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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is the start of the restoration of my 1970 CB 450. The frame is date 10/70 which would indicate a 1970 model but the VIN equates to a '71 K4 Model. From what I can tell there is little difference between the two years but when I repaint it I will use the Polynesian Blue (K4 Color) since I prefer it over the '70 Blue/Green shade.

This project will go much slower than my previous '68CL350 (which is not done yet) since it needs much more work and I will have to pull the motor to do a ring job at the minimum.

Here is a picture of how I purchased the bike.



The looks of the clubman bars just didn't set well with me and I like the looks of the euro style bars so I ordered some 'Superbike' bars and installed them tonight. My local dealer also had some NOS handgrips in the back so he gave me a deal on those so I could replace the aftermarket 'Coke Bottle Soft Grips' that were a common aftermarket add-on back in the day.

I had to drill the bars for the locating pins on the switchs and that turned out well. There is a lot of piece meal, non-standard, stuff on this bike (unlike the CL350) so I can see I'll be replacing lots of small bits and pieces. It looks like the switch gear halves are made up from two different sets since they don't match up just right and the colors are just a shade off. The top half of the switch gear has been filed somewhat to allow the wire harness to exit the housing and run along the handlebar instead of running through the clubmans that were installed. I don't know yet if I'll drill the new handlebars and run the wires or just leave them outside and use some nice, wide black plastic strapping (not tie wraps) and strap it to the bars.

Here are the new bars installed and also a picture of the replacement grips.






The tach needle was setting on 11,000 rpm so it was obviously broken. I bought a replacement on eBay and installed it. It seems to work well and by combining the instruments lights from both tachs I was able to come up with a complete set so all the lights now work on both the Tach and Speedometer.

It was suggested that I might be able to pull the old tach apart and fix it by removing the chrome ring that hold the top/bottom halves together. I gave it a try and the damage the chrome ring was mininum. It turns out the return spring on the tach needle was broken. I attempted to glue the two halves back together so I'll have to post the results later.

Here is a picture sequence of the tach. You can see the drop of glue in the last picture that is holding the two pieces together.









 

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Looks like a nice survivor bike Mike. Nice to see another 450 being brought back to life. It's gonna be Honda central around your place! :)
 

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Love those new grips...as well as seeing another 450 in the works!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I went out and checked on my 'fix' for the broken tach spring and it seems to be holding. The spring pressure feels solid so I I put the tach back together. In the course of reinstalling the tach halves I was carefull to try and not damage the top part of the ring. I used a pair of channel lock pliers that had a smooth jaw tip to work the clamp back into place.

When viewing the underside of the ring it's obvious that the ring was messed with but the top looks surprisingly good. There are some small nicks that can be seen but, if this this tach works mechanically, it will make a nice spare since the housing is in excellent shape.



Here you can see the small nicks that are on the topside of the ring.



As viewed from the riders side.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alright, enough of this fiddle farting around with spare parts that don't matter. It was a long day in the restaurants today so after about 13 hours I needed to unwind for a few minutes and what better way than to do something small on the 450.

In the course of doing this sort of stuff, I like to try and accomplish little goals, one at a time. I know I won't be able to ride this bike during the restoration like I did the 350 but I still like to see the mutation as it takes place once in a while.

Also, unlike the 350, this bike is in much rougher condition. As I dig in and start taking things apart, the plot thickens and it starts getting ugly. Tonight I decided to replace the fork boots and decorative ring. I thought replacing the boots would go a long way to dressing up the ugly front end and give me a little pride in the bike. I hadn't taken a close look at the front end other than the torn boots, so when I started taking the front fender support struts off I was surprised when half the rear strut fell to the ground. Apparently, the strut broke a the rear screw and the PO used a novel approach to fix it. It looks like he took two pieces of welding rod and ran it through the fender brace then used some sort of glue or adheasive to hold it in place. I can TIG weld the brace with no problem but then I have the challenge of finding the little rubber block and then having to get the part re-chromed. I'll keep an eye out for a replacement fender for a while and see what I come up with. There is a small dent on the top of the fender but it's not creased and I'm sure I can knock that out and it wouldn't be noticeable. Bummer.

Here is the way things looked when I started. Notice the torn boots and it looks like they took 220 grit sandpaper to the fork leg. Additionally, the fork seals are leaking and need replacing.



Here's what I found when I pulled the rear fend brace loose from the fork leg.



The fork leg after removal.



Now, all did not go so smoothly. When removing the fork you have to remove the mounting ear to get the decorative ring off. Not a big deal normally....but this caused me some more problems. I needed to remove the turn signal so that meant unplugging the turn signal wire which meant removing the headlight to get to the connection. When the headlight came off so did a large chunk of the plastic headlight shell. PLASTIC??? Damn, I didn't notice it was plastic, I had assumed it was metal like my 350. Oh well, does anyone have a headlight shell they want to get rid of?? Also, the rubber washer in between the mounting ear and the headlight shell was toast.



After I removed the mounting ear I found that the PO must have liked adhesive since he had secured the decorative ring in place with something. Actually, I should be grateful at least the ring is still there and it can probably be buffed up and reused. My guess is that the boots tore up and the ring started flopping around. He was probably to lazy to remove the forks and take the ring off so he just glued them in place.



After removing the fork and the remaining boot, I took the fork leg over and hit it with the buffing wheel to see how tough it was going to be to polish the legs up. Surprisingly, they cleaned up quickly, in this case about 20 seconds. Here is a picture of that short bit of work. I'll complete the polishing when I take the forks apart to replace the seals.



How about a short poll. My plan is to restore this to as close to original as I can economically afford. What is the groups opinion on polishing...yea, or nay? I like the polished look on my 350 and I used to polish the cases on my old '75 CB750F and other street bikes I've owned. Recently however, I've seen some very nice looking restorations when the owners paint the cases and it looks very 'factory' and nice.

The new boot, ring and fork installed without much trouble. I find that if it's rubber, it gets a shot of Armoral to help slide things together. This is especially true when trying to slide the forks through the rubber bushings in the headlight ear. The rubber bushings were in very good shape, nice and supple, so they will not have to be replaced.

TaDa! Oh well, it's just a little victory but it helps keep me motivated. :)



 

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Dude, if I had a polishing wheel I wouldn't get diarrhoea every time I thought of doin some 'cleaning up' on the 'ol bike :? .

I say polish the crap outta that sucka!

Lee
 

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Mike,
On a 450, I'd go factory on the engine.... Silver painted center-cases, bare aluminum cylinder and head (beadblasted), and all the cam journals, rocker covers, and outer engine cases/covers polished.....You'll probably have to repaint the starter motor as well......
The headlight shell MAY be hard to find...They all broke like that.....Watch eBay for a NOS piece, (on any used one the nylon will probably already be sun-dried and brittle....)

Armorall was a good choice... Any petroleum based "lube" product (WD or similar) will actually degrade the rubber.....
Good work, keep it up!.... Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
dlslick said:
Give Western Hills Honda a try in Cincinnati on that headlight shell.
http://www.westernhillshonda.net
Don
I called Western Hills but they're all out of any 450 headlight shell although their price was pretty good. Instead, I picked up one off eBay this evening that looked good.

Today I picked up some rubber tail light bushing, instrument mounting bushings and instrument cushions. I should have ordered the handlebar mounting rubber but I forgot about it. I got the instruments mounted up securely and it sure is nice to push on them and have that nice cushioned feel to it. It seems to look a little nice too. :)

I ordered the tail light rubber bushings without pulling the tail light off and that was a mistake. The tail light was held on with some plastic spacer, some rubber grommet and what ever else the PO had laying around. He also used a hex head bolt to hold it to the fender.

When I took the tail light off I noticed there were no metal bushings that go through the rubber grommet. Crap! I thought. rather than wait and pay about $3.50/ea I pulled one off the CL350 and decided to make up 4 of them. I had some extra aluminum brake tubing laying around from my airplane project (that's parked right next to the bikes and feeling neglected) so I grabbed some of that and chucked it up in my cheap little Chinese lathe and went to work. It was pretty simple really, just turn the outside down about .020" and cut to length. I then installed the grommets and installed, what I thought were, the wrong bolts. The washers were a little large and obviously the wrong parts.

All this fussing around of finding the stock, making the parts and installing everything took about an hour or so. I came back in to check the fiche and see how much the correct screws, washers and handlebar rubber mounts were going to cost and SURPRISE! it turns out the CB450 doesn't mount the same way as my 350! Dang, I hate it when that happens. Turns out the 450 uses a shoulder bolt with a hex head instead of metal bushing in the rubber grommet.

I guess I'm going to have to learn to look at the manual first instead of forging ahead and wasting my time. The set up I just made will work fine and actually look correct but I'll probably go ahead and get the right bolts and install it correctly.

Turning the bushings



The completed bushings next to the stock 350 part


The completed bushings installed.......wrong! :) along with the new rubber grommet
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
66Sprint said:
Mike,
On a 450, I'd go factory on the engine.... Silver painted center-cases, bare aluminum cylinder and head (beadblasted), and all the cam journals, rocker covers, and outer engine cases/covers polished.....You'll probably have to repaint the starter motor as well......
The headlight shell MAY be hard to find...They all broke like that.....Watch eBay for a NOS piece, (on any used one the nylon will probably already be sun-dried and brittle....)

Armorall was a good choice... Any petroleum based "lube" product (WD or similar) will actually degrade the rubber.....
Good work, keep it up!.... Steve
Thanks for the tip on engine color Steve, I think you're right on that. That's pretty much the same scheme I had in mind for the 350, when I pull the motor someday, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I got the left fork off to replace the seals, fork boot and polish the fork leg up. The seals came in so I thought I could get them both finished up today and maybe pull the engine tomorrow (Sunday). I cleaned up the internals and checked them for wear then commenced to polishing.

I finished up and tried to install the fork seal but it was undersized and didn't fit. I checked the part number on the bag and it didn't match the part number on the online fiche that I use. It turns out the part is for a CL450 and they apparently are not the same. They'll re-order the correct part and I'll get them in a few days.

In the mean time I've got a front fender on the way as well as a headlight shell and I've got the paint job on the 350 to keep me busy for the next few evenings as well. I'll also pull the right forks apart and start cleaning and polishing them as well.

Here is a comparison between the left and right fork leg. I spent about 30 minutes on the polishing wheel. There was some deep corrosion and I wasn't happy with the results so I took some 600 wet/dry paper and clean up the problem areas then repolished.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In the past two days I got a little bored waiting for the fork seal and I'm not prepared to pull the motor yet soooooooo, I decided to pull the front end apart and redo the whole thing. I got a call that the fork seals were in today so I'll be installing them tomorrow. While I was on the phone with the Honda Parts Department, I went ahead and ordered a set of tapered steering head bearings.

If you remember, my tach was bad so I got a replacement from eBay. It had some bad damage on the case so I decided to pull them apart and paint them. Before that, I pulled the decorative rings off and clean them up. The PO decided to try and paint the triple while they were still on the bike and got black paint over everything. They cleaned and polished up nicely.



After that I stripped the instrument cases and primed them.



I had to tape them up carefully.



The front end is looking pretty naked. You can see the side cover that I just painted. It's a nice Royal Blue that I think will look good with the stock gold stripe (as seen on the existing tank) or I'm also thinking of painting the stripe a non-standard silver. I don't want to deviate much from stock but I really like the silver idea.



The PO's attempt to paint the triples on the bike. Pretty pitiful.



I also plan on re-doing the wiring harness covering. This is looking more and more like I might take it down to bare frame. Please don't tell my wife....



The brake caliper and reservoir are very dirty. The existing finish son the reservoir, right now, looks like a black chrome type of deal although I know it's not. Can anyone tell me what the original finish was? Gloss black paint?? Since I'm using Superbike bars, the reservoir - brake light switch junction hose is a little long. Not excessive, but just enough to irritate me. I'm in the marked for something I can build but has a stock look. I've seen it somewhere but can't remember where. I can build race line myself but I'm wondering if my lock hydraulic hose guy can cut and rebuild the stock hose? I need to source the O rings and parts to rebuild the whole front brake system. I just read tonight about a stainless steel piston that I'll have to research. Obviously I'll strip and paint the black caliper. It looks like the caliper arm and other aluminum pieces look to be painted from the factory which I will duplicate.



Here is what the stock steering head bearing look like when they are neglected. This bike has about 8300 miles and these are in poor shape. Back in the day, I think it was expected that the owner would do a certain amount of maintenance.



Lower triple tree before cleaning.

 

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MNellis said:
The existing finish son the reservoir, right now, looks like a black chrome type of deal although I know it's not. Can anyone tell me what the original finish was? Gloss black paint??
I also was wondering the same question. I'm polishing the switch blocks and front brake resevoir, and paint stripper doesnt seem too effective on the factory coat.
 

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That's because it was ANODIZED black...... It is NOT paint, it's actually part of the metal......
 

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Those front forks look killer! My PO also did a half-ass job on the triples, luckilly he managed to take off the gauges before doing so.

What are you using to paint the gauges, regular rattlecan?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
krukster86 said:
What are you using to paint the gauges, regular rattlecan?
Yes, just Duplicolor Gloss Black Lacquer with Dupont clear from the HVLP gun but I think the Duplicolor clear would work just as well.

I'm still new at this painting thing and I caution you to resist the urge to use lots of paint. I used too many coats of paint and clear and had some trouble when it came time to take the tape off.
 

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Mike, LOVE that color of blue!... I agree a silver stripe would be the way to go.... Steve
 
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