Type of Metal for RH Handlebar Assembly - CL175K5
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Thread: Type of Metal for RH Handlebar Assembly - CL175K5

  1. #1
    Senior Member ethano's Avatar
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    Type of Metal for RH Handlebar Assembly - CL175K5

    I had a little spill turning on gravel and the old RH handlebar switch assembly cracked!

    Type of Metal for RH Handlebar Assembly - CL175K5-img_0102.jpg

    As you can see, I tried to fix it with JB weld but that wasn't strong enough, so now I'm thinking of welding it. There are NOW online for about $80, but I would prefer to repair.

    My buddy who works for a welding shop thought this was cast iron. Can anyone here confirm this?

    I have access to a wire-feed mig welder. Is a repair possible?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Alan F.'s Avatar
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    Cast aluminum was my thinking.
    CB250 Nighthawk projects 92,93,92.
    CM400C Sold 7-21-18 It's been fun, buh-bye.
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  3. #3
    Supporting Member Yendor's Avatar
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    Definately NOT Cast Iron.

    I'm not even sure if it is Cast Aluminium. It might just be pot metal which is an Aluminium alloy but with a MUCH lower melting point.

    There are Aluminium Brazing rods that "MIGHT" be an option for this but be VERY Careful. As aluminium (and it's alloys) approach the melting point it goes from solid to liquid in a flash and temp control can be super sensitive.

    Harbor Freight sells the rods: (They call them welding rods but they are used with a propane torch and are more Brazing then Welding)
    https://www.harborfreight.com/8-piec...kaAvZfEALw_wcB

    I have used them but not a lot, only once or twice and on a part that was replacable if I screwed up.
    If you go this route get some scrap stock to test it on to get the feel of it.

    I would probaly take a Dremel to the jiont and give it a slight "V" groove for filler.

    Here is a lik to a demo:
    Last edited by Yendor; 04-18-2019 at 06:23 AM.
    1970 CB 350 CAFE - Current Project on the bench,
    1972 CB 350 K4 Red - Now a Happy Rider ! !
    1972 CB 350 K4 Green (My Sons) DONE - YES !,
    1st Bike 1970 SL 350 (Brought home in Parts - Trailer/Trunk/Back Seat - I miss that bike),
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    Senior Member oupa's Avatar
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    Tough to tell from the photo. Is it JUST the lever perch/clamp that is broken from the collar?

    If so, I'm thinking that could be a difficult fix. There is a lot of torque on that pivot. Just took a quick peek and there's a couple at ebay for $65-$70. (ouch!) If you end up at a pro welder, the bill could approach half that.

    Even if you do get it back together, I think I'd be visiting the swap meets looking for a cheaper replacement. What's it look like inside? Can the broken out portion be backed by a reinforcing plate??? That would provide a LOT more resistance to the pulling force of the lever than simply joint welding the broken piece back in.
    "They're not like cars with a body that rusts out in a few years. Keep them tuned and overhauled and they'll last as long as you do. Probably longer." - Robert Pirsig

  6. #5
    Senior Member Richard_Pitman's Avatar
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    I'd keep looking for a second hand part. It looks as though you only need the bottom half of the switch unit. Same casting used on several different models eg CB200 drum brake model, CB175, CB125 twin etc

    One gotcha - earlier switches ( pre K6, maybe K5 ) don't have the hole in the brake lever perch for the brake light switch. Early bikes used a brake cable with an in line switch.
    1970 Honda CB175K4
    1972 Honda CL175K7
    1999 Honda CB600 Hornet
    1970 - 1972 Random heap of CB/CL/SL 175 parts, slowly being reassembled ..

  7. #6
    Sensei 66Sprint's Avatar
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    Your LIFE may depend on the brakes that are leveraged off that unit.....
    You really only need to replace the bottom half of the casting which is common to many of the 175's, 350's and 450's ......
    oupa likes this.
    "I have a mind like a steel trap.....Old and rusty, of antiquated design, and hard to get stuff back out of...."
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    Senior Member Paul F's Avatar
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    unless you're skilled in MIG with aluminum wire repairing broken aluminum castings, i would have someone else weld it. preferably not your friend who thought it was cast iron.
    it's a type of cast aluminum and can be TIG welded by grinding a chamfer on the break with a clean rotary bur tool and welding into a V. cleanliness is everything with aluminum.
    this is the process i suggest: use a dedicated stainless steel brush to clean the piece, grind your V and wipe it with acetone (wear rubber gloves). pre heat the piece a little with propane then use TIG on AC frequency. make one pass with 4043 or higher strength 5356 aluminum filler, then grind out the V, brush clean, wipe with acetone and re weld a second pass, grind out the V again, clean it up and repeat. each time you run a bead the AC frequency will be bubbling out impurities into the weld bead which is why you need to grind it out and repeat. by the 3rd pass the cleaning action of the AC frequency should have removed enough of the impurities in the casting so you can get an acceptable weld on clean cast material. be patient and wait till you see a shiny clean puddle that flows smoothly into the toes of the bead, then you can be confident in the weld. this process is commonly used for cracked aluminum engine cases and other cast aluminum parts with a lot of impurities in the casting. use 1 amp for every .001" thickness of your material.
    ancientdad and Simo like this.
    current project: 1986 CB450SC Nighthawk

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    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    Clearly you've welded a few things in your life, Paul... nice breakdown, good stuff - and I love the cast iron comment!
    Paul F likes this.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member ethano's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great responses!

    I really couldn't believe it was cast iron either HAHAHA ....

    This is for my partner's bike so safety is an even greater concern for me - to make a confession, it's the only one of my bikes I've actually fully gone through Jim's famous "new-to-you old bike checklist" with. The simplest thing would be to just spend the $80 and get a new complete unit. And while it's true I only need the lower casting, I don't really know how to get my hands on one.

    I like the backing plate idea, never thought of that! I think there is close to zero space within the assembly, so it would have to be somewhat visible. That's not the worst thing on this bike... Most intriguing to me though is the idea of using one of those aluminum rods and braising it. While that video shows how easy it could be (with warnings of heat sensitivity heeded) and how strong the welded material is, there is no mention of actual tensile strength. I'm wondering if it would give the strength needed? And with Paul F's comments of removing impurities... without a AC current is that possible? I do feel like I'm more capable with a propane torch than a mig welder.

    Currently, I'm certainly not at all capable at MIG welding aluminum, but I'm happy to learn!

  11. #10
    Senior Member Richard_Pitman's Avatar
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    And while it's true I only need the lower casting, I don't really know how to get my hands on one.
    Search Ebay.
    1970 Honda CB175K4
    1972 Honda CL175K7
    1999 Honda CB600 Hornet
    1970 - 1972 Random heap of CB/CL/SL 175 parts, slowly being reassembled ..

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