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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been meaning to start a project log since I joined this site but kept forgetting. J-T's new project thread on his CM400 gave me the incentive to finally start, thanks J-T. :)

Ever since cluing up most of the work on my '78 KZ650 cafe, I've been itching to find another bike to cafe. Problem was I am pretty strapped for cash and so needed to find a really cheap bike. This is easier said than done where I live. Around here prices for used bikes are ridiculous compared to what I see elsewhere in North America. You rarely see a bike for sale for less than $1500, no matter what shape its in. Also, it's very difficult to find a bike from the '70's, like hens teeth. The Craigslist thread on this site blows me away. I'd love to be able to pick up some of these bikes for those prices.

I then saw an add for a '80 CB400T Hawk just down the road from me for $500, but it had a knock in the engine (see thread here http://www.hondatwins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1456), so I figured I'd take a look and see if I could get it for a bit cheaper. I've only had the head off a bike engine so the thought of opening one up intrigued me. I love to learn new things, so if I could find a cheap subject to work on all the better. While looking at it, the knock seemed like it was coming from the clutch area, so I figured I'd take a chance and so I picked it up for $300. The rest of the bike was intact, but a bit rough around the edges. The only thing that looked missing was a few bolts. Here is a few pics of the bike the day I picked it up and its garage mate the KZ. The KZ is 95% done, with just a few cosmetic things like lowering the gauges, etc, left to do.







 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
As I mentioned the engine had a knock in the lower end, and also it was a bit difficult to start. So, I removed the carbs and gave them a good cleaning. Also, charged the battery. This was all it needed, started right up. :)

I won't go into the knock situation here as there is another thread on it, but with everyone's gracious help here, I found it was caused by a bad first gear (two bad teeth). I just ordered a used tranmission off eBay, so hopefully this will cure it.

After getting it running fine and isolating the knock, I started to strip it down, taking loads of pictures so I know how it all goes back together. :D Here are some pics of the stripped down frame, you can see that there is a bit of surface rust all over. Nothing structural, only very light.





 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
While diagnosing the engine problems I also started stripping down various parts and getting them ready for paint. Used a few different wire wheels to remove the surface rust. This is the first time I've really painted in the summer, I usually do most of my work during the winter months. The humidity really made a difference in the drying time of the paint. I've since put a dehumidifier in the garage to help things along.

Stripped frame


Swingarm and center stand hanging to dry (garage door rails make great parts hangers :D )
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The engine itself was fairly clean, but still dirty looking. You know the way the aluminum gets, sort of blotchy with dark and light areas. I have the engine cases (i.e. valve, alternator and clutch covers) removed and have started the process of polishing them. I'll be painting the rest of the engine (block and cylinders). Here is an example of the finish on the cases. No damage or overly deep scratches so hopefully they will clean up nice.

 

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Gratifying to hear that I've had a positive impact so early in my participation here.
I've found some interesting threads about cleaning up and polishing the engine by blasting with sand/glass beads/plastic beads/walnut shells, just about everything but sheep dung (please don't tell me I missed that one!).
I look forward to watching the results of your efforts.
 

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You're doin great stuff there! Good luck with the aluminium polishing....my finger tips have only just grown back ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
leethal said:
You're doin great stuff there! Good luck with the aluminium polishing....my finger tips have only just grown back ;)
I hear you on that one. I wear rubber gloves but my nails still get worn down from trying to sand in the corners. Price we pay for our bikes :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just got a transmission in the mail. So hopefully the transmission woes are behind me. Since I now have the bike stripped completely down, it'll be some time before I can do a full running test of it though. Hopefully I can get it all together and running before winter comes. I'll have to get some patience. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have the transmission installed now and getting ready to put the bottom case on. Before doing that I wanted to clean the oil strainer. Its actually pretty dirty. I have one half cleaned of the debris but having a hard time with the half that underneath the cover that covers half of the screen. Any tips on getting everything out of there? It doesn't appear it can be taken apart and there is not much room to work with.

Also, what is the use of this half cover anyway?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Finally getting some progress done that is actually picture worthy. For the past few weeks its been mostly working on the engine and tedious hours of sanding aluminum. At least when you're done polishing the final result is rewarding enough to make up for the countless hours ;)

Here is the front wheel that I just finished. I sanded down the lip to remove the grain (pretty deep grain at that) and then polished it. The remainder of the wheel was painted gloss black. Working on getting the forks done now, so that I can actually get the front end on and the frame upright. I'll be able to start putting finished bits on as I get them cleaned up.

 

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What he said...plus..did you remove the tyre?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys. After sanding I used a woolly type attachment on the die grinder along with some Mother's aluminum polish to bring the shine up. Only problem is my compressor is so small I could only do a bit at a time. Don't have the room (or cash) for a larger compressor :(

No, I never removed the tire. I don't have the tools or experience in doing it so I passed on it this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Getting one step closer to getting the front end off the ground. Finally finished polishing the left fork. Started with the left one as it was a bit more involved since it had the brake bracket. Although, I just started on the right fork this morning and it seems the PO must have attempted to sand the forks as well. The right one has a lot of deep sanding marks which are proving to be a bit of work. He must have used a very rough grit and given up without continuing on with finer ones. Seems he was doing it with the forks on the bike as well, as the side closest to the wheel is alright, still factory looking.

Here is a couple of comparison shots of the right and left.



 

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Nice work. Hope to have the patience to get mine looking like that this winter.
Should at least be plenty of time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
J-T said:
Nice work. Hope to have the patience to get mine looking like that this winter.
Should at least be plenty of time!
It does take a bit of time and is tedious. I just usually do it in small chunks. Took me over a week to do the one fork, just doing a bit here and there. Once you get the initial sanding done with the rough grit it goes a lot smoother (pardon the pun :D ). Hoping to get the other one done by next weekend and get the front wheel on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: 1980 CB400T Hawk - Project Clean Up - Unicycle Mode

Finished polishing the other fork yesterday. Also, polished the speedo assembly that sits on the axle (sorry not sure of the correct name :oops: ). I wasn't going to bother with this little piece thinking it would be a lot of work for something that wouldn't be very visible. However, now that I have it all together I'm glad it went through the trouble, would have looked strange to have that dull piece in with the rest.

After work today I was able to get the forks, handlebar mounts and front wheel on. Much nicer now looking at something that resembles a bike, I was sick of looking at the bare frame :) I ordered new bars from Z1 earlier this week so I'm hoping to have them soon.

I also put on the front fender even though I haven't done any thing with it. I wanted to put it on so I could mark it out for chopping. I find it way to long so I'll be shortening it up a bit on both ends. Few dents in it as well that will have to be addressed.

Next up will be to finish the polish work on the engine cases and get the engine installed. Also, start in on the rear wheel.

Here are a couple of pics:







 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Started working on the rear wheel tonight and ran into a problem trying to get the sprocket off. Removed the four nuts and then the manual says to remove the dust cover. Can't for the life of me figure out how to get it off. Didn't want to attack it too much without really knowing if there was a proper method to it. Anyone know how to go about this? Right below this cover is a circlip and washer that will have to be removed, but I first need this cover off. Or do I? Am I reading the manual correctly?

Here is a picture of the culprit. Any help would be appreciated.

 

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Just take off the circlip and see what happens? Thats how my 360 sprocket is removed.
 
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