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Discussion Starter #1
A little late getting pictures up since we brought it home a week ago but here they are anyway. Background, as the title says its a '79 CM400T with 15,000 and change miles on it. This is going to be a project for wi5ea55k (my girlfriend's advrider screen name) and myself. She's always wanted to restore an old car, and then lately mentioned she wanted to learn to ride a bike. So here we are with an old bike to fix up, and it will be hers to ride when it's finished.

So far we know we need a gasket set as there is a pretty bad oil leak, the tires are weather checked, seat cover is shot, and I'm assuming I'll have to rebuild the carbs as it has been sitting since for a while considering the inspection sticker is dated June of 07.

Being that we have an apartment with no garage, the laundry room is our makeshift garage, fun stuff.






The exhaust system is hiding by the water heater. Was fun trying to get that off as one piece since the gaskets are all hardened and I've yet been unable to get the cans and one header out of the collector.



WD-40 has only been used as a cleaner, PB Blaster has been taking care of the reluctant 30 year old fasteners.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Repaint is not in the works as the frame paint is good. Simple Green and WD-40 are doing the grease cutting so far. I'm unsure if I'm going to pull the motor completely out to clean all of it since the oil has pretty much gotten everywhere from the leak at the front of the motor. I've also discovered that there is gas in the oil, or at least I think there is because the level is well above the high mark on the dipstick. So I may need a larger drain pan to catch it all as I only have a 5qt pan.

I'm also stuck on ordering individual gaskets or ordering the whole kit for $60ish on ebay. I don't think all of them will need to be replaced but having the whole kit would keep me from having to sit around waiting on more parts to ship.


The Clymer manual states that oil changes are due every 600 miles, do these old Hondas really degrade the oil that fast? That's how often I changed it in my 2006 KLX250S which was run hard on and off road. I can't imagine a 400 twin would be just as bad, but if that's what it is, that's what it will be changed at.
 

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Cool! Get the ol wife riding!! Shweet!

Watch that PB blaster on rubber. It will swell it up beyond repair. It'll also melt certain plastics. I swear by the stuff though. It once unlocked a Yamaha CT3 for me that had been outside with no head, full of water for over 20 years. Nothing else would unlock it. Including a 5lb hammer! Blaster did the trick! ;)

My shop is the spare room so don't feel bad. :D

GB :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No pics but just got off the phone from the bike shop and ordered:

tires: Kenda K657's
tubes
complete gasket kit
530 oring masterlink chain
16 tooth front sprocket
35 tooth rear sprocket
spark plugs
oil filter

Going by online pricing its ~$450 in parts. The local shop is going to probably be closer to $500 or a $550 but its nice to support the local shops and they typically have everything in 2 days.
 

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If you need parts, let me know - I have an almost complete '79 CB400T2 in the shop.
the engine is complete, it's essentially the same bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We've gotten a little further. The motor is out and partly disassembled. Had to take the head to a local machine shop to get the exhaust studs out. I broke one off below the face of the head, another sheared off to the point that the fins are in the way of grabbing it with a pair of vice grips, and the third I left alone. The machine shop said they'd soak it for a few days with Kroil and they should be able to get them out easily. They do a lot of work on old Indian motorcycles and have had a few of Jay Leno's bikes in the shop. I'm a Mechanical Engineer and the owner of the shop has built some of my designs for Alcoa up here in Massena so we have a pretty good rapport.

Back on topic....The cylinders are stuck to the base something awful. The 8 bolts that hold the rockers/head/cylinders to the base are out but it seems that the locating dowels and the gasket are stuck in both pieces. I'm soaking the gasket area with PB Blaster and beating on it with a rubber mallet a few times/day hoping it will loosen up.

I finally got the exhaust pipes out of the collector, 2 weeks of daily blasts of PB Blaster and wiggling the pipes finally made the gaskets give up and shatter.

Anyway...here's some pictures.

wi5ea55k hard at work on the side cover. Excuse the darkness, I stole the shot from another room lest I get beat with the scrub brush :lol:


High dollar motor stand...


Gutted...


Still hard at work...


Pretty clean for 30 yrs old....


The offending area....




Just a little carbon...
 

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Hmmmm, yea, it sure looks like YOU'RE doing a lot of work. :)
 

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bryantjt said:
I think you just made someone's night........she's still giggling :shock:
Yea, ya gotta love em when they jump right in and offer to help out. I've got a wife who loves to be involved as well. If I remember correctly all this cleaning session cost me was dinner at a Mexican Restaurant. :)

 

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You've got the coolest girlfriend on the planet! Letting you work on that bike in the house, AND helping! Better keep that one.

If all else fails, one could try a heat gun on the stuck jug.. Never know? Maybe pry on it upward, and have her whack the hell out of it (rubber mallet) from all sides??

EDIT: I don't know where you guys are getting these womenz that like to help? Around here, they won't get dirt under the nails :|

GB :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No photographic proof but she was the one cleaning parts in the kitchen sink too! She tore down the carbs as well, only needed my assistance with an impact driver on some of the fasteners, one person to hold them, the other to beat the snot out of the impact driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
She likes new "clean" bikes too.....





She has oh so affectionately named the CM "Dirty Bitch" I've not quite figured out why, it only has oil covering most surfaces and chain goo flung all over and just a squosh of rust.
 

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I'll say it again. Bonafide.

That's a nice lookin Strom too! It's funny how her sitting on it makes it look like an army tank! :p

Keep us updated on the dirty bitch! I'm speaking of the bike my good sir.. ;)

GB :mrgreen:
 

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bryantjt said:
No photographic proof but she was the one cleaning parts in the kitchen sink too! She tore down the carbs as well, only needed my assistance with an impact driver on some of the fasteners, one person to hold them, the other to beat the snot out of the impact driver.
Well, that's a pretty good one.

My wife doesn't like it when I bring parts in to bake them in oven for one reason or another. However, I'll see your carb cleaning girlfriend and raise you one rivet driving, airplane building wife. :)



and then she'll manage our endurance racing team and head up the fire control efforts on our 600RR when a fuel stop goes wrong.

Opppps, sorry for the threadjack. I just want to impress on you that when you find one like yours (and mine) you gotta keep em. My first two wives weren't quite so agreeable. :lol:















 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I've got it hanging from 2 passages in the cylinders and I've spent the last hour with a propane torch, rubber mallet, and regular claw hammer heating the base of the cylinders and beating on the OEM studs. The threaded rod was standard pitch, only thing available locally, and the OEM studs are fine pitch....go figure.

Anyway with a propane torch I've gotten it up to 130 degrees locally but the aluminum dissipates the heat so quickly that I can't heat up an entire cylinder, only 1 wall at a time.

Here's my poor mans bridge to hang from.....


Don't worry, that's the spare room Though I do know a guy who restored an old Triumph Bonneville in his and his wife's bedroom, still married and still has the bike.


And the verdict is not a bit of movement and my hands are numb from holding the stud. There's some definite vibration going on but its doing nothing to move it. Some of the stud holes are also oil passages, the others I believe are just bottoming holes. Would it be wise to spray some PB Blaster down the passages to see if that will release it or will I encounter problems later? I don't want to split the case because I've never done it before and I don't think it is really required to get it back up and running.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well we got the motor apart and wi5ea55K decided to do the writeup....

Caution: Dirty subject matter
I was back on the floor yesterday all in the name of havng something to ride. Yup, you guessed it- more cleaning! I have had my fair shar of cleaning gross, disgusting messes before (ie college dorm rooms, dirty diapers) so this wasn't a task that I couldn't handle, however, it was still a challenge.

Having managed to take everything off, it was my task to clean the frame where the engine is attached. (Bryantjt worked on taking the old gaskets off, so his hands didn't get nearly as dirty.) With a spray bottle of Simple Green/Wate solution, a brass bristle brush, another brush, and my Sonic Scrubber with various attachments I spent several hours working around, and under the frame. To my surprise the frame is actually black, not **** brown! Dirt and grime was caked ito any place possible. I filled a boot tray we put under it to catch the dirty/oily water, and went through a bottle and a half of the Simple Green/water mix. Both brushes were disposed of due to the amount of crap on them and the fact that nearly all of the bristles were mangled. The Sonic Scrubber whined in complaint of its mistreatment.

To make all of this process more tedious than it needed to be, the S/O told me that I didn't have to clean all of the frame because we could wash it later; I couldn't just leave it alone. I'm a detail-oriented girl, and I want to know I'm doing a job well and doing it right- therefore, I did it anyway. Since there are no windows in our laundry room/makeshift garage, we rely on the windows from the spare bedroom and the living room, and the over head light fixture (P.O.S. that it is) and a tiered lamp to light the room. I asked the S/O several times if he could either move the lamp for me, or hold a flashlight, but I've now realized either one of two things: a) he didn't fully hear me when I asked him to hold it for me, or b) there is a definite double standard in WHO gets to hold the flashlight. After asking him to hold the flashlight as I cleaned up inside the frame, I ended up holding the flashligt in one hand, and cleaning with the other. It was a hell of a sight I'm sure, since I was lying on my back, covered in black spots that the brushes threw back in my direction, and often times reaching for my spray bottles, or rags.

As if things couldn't get any worse, what proof do I have to show for my efforts?



I was literally covered from head to toe! My socks were grey instead of white, and I left footprints in the bathtub afterward.



Notice our makeshift flood lights and the mass of "stuff" taking over the laundry room! I also neglected to add that I was holding my small desk lamp at one point too- yup, it was quite a sight.

Here's the kick in the pants though! What does the S/O take pictures of?



His polishing didn't amount to much did it? (hehe) But, look- he managed to remove the gasket- ooooooooo.



She's prettier here. I guess he does do some nice work.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd that's all I get to show you, because though there are pictures of me covered in gunk, he never took pictures of all of my hard work. So I cold have rolled around in a muddy field for all anyone knows. Next time I'm taking the pictures!!!!!!!!
 

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It looks like you two are making some nice progress, and I'm glad to hear that cylinder finally complied.. What'd it take in the end to make it budge?

As for that frame cleaning, it never hurts to do just what you did. If there were any cracks, bad welds, major rust etc, then you would've had a better chance at catching them early. It never hurts to be "anal" :lol:


Nice write-up!






You dirty girl :lol:


P.S. I still have'nt seen him with dirty hands have I? ;)

GB :mrgreen:
 

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Haha you have an awesome gf! The most I got her to do is change the oil on her Ninja 250.
 
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