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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

Even though the majority of this project probably won't really get moving until at least this summer (relocation heading our way), I figured I'd get this started with a little background, plus some early progress.

My background is almost entirely 4-wheels, and a lot of open-wheeled track versions. I'm the owner of a forum community like this one dedicated to formula cars of all kinds, but mostly small bore amateur racing in North America and Australia. We've been around since late 1999 and we're still growing, but house, wife, kids, work and everything else pulled me out of racing cars pretty much for good. Over the last few years as we have bounced around between states and dealt with inconsistent employment, I've had to dial back a lot of my hobbies. The result of that fat trimming is that when I do have idle time, I get really itchy about working on mechanical things that aren't our daily drivers or a lawnmower.

I have threatened to restore an old muscle car, but I know better–lack of space, money, time and everything else makes my wife look at me like I'm an alien. I haven't been on a motorcycle since long before I met my wife and grew up, but I have been wanting to do a cafe-style street racer for a while. It seemed like a good time to do it, the costs fit my budget, I can work in a smaller space and I can move everything around on my own without help from a cherry picker or someone else to split the weight. The vintage Japanese bikes are a perfect fit for me.

I spent a weekend digging through CraigsListings in a 1-state radius, hoping to find just a small engine to screw around with and learn some things. I found a listing for a "'70 or '71 CL350 engine in good shape" with no photos or further description, but it was about an hour and a half from home, and the price was right ($25), so I decided to take a little road trip. When I got there, he also had an old CL or CB tank for a few bucks, which would be a great canvas to practice rust and dent removal, and reset my bodyworking and paint skills. When the seller told me the engine was in a storage unit, I really expected the worst, but as it turned out, the motor was in really decent shape visually, and I could turn it over with the kickstarter. Bonus.

As I was ready to pay the guy and go on my merry way, he asked me if I wanted the chassis it came out of, too. For another 40 bones, I got a freshly powdercoated frame, swingarm, rear fender, rear shocks, center stand, battery box and toolbox, with mostly new hardware finger-tightened together. The kicker was that it didn't have a title, and I didn't realize that what I bought would need a title to get it registered until I got home (yeah, it was a moment of stupidity). We stuffed it all in the back of my GTI and I drove home thinking about how I was going to break it to my wife that I just essentially bought the skeleton and heart of a 40-year old motorcycle.

She was a little mad at first, then the next day asked me when I was going to build her one, too. I think I got off pretty easy, considering. :) Might have to do a little CB175 someday, if this one goes well.

Here's what followed me home just after New Year's...





The engine is a CB350 K5, as is the frame, so his estimate of 1970 or '71 was wrong. The tank appears to be an earlier '71 CL though, so maybe that's what he was talking about. The frame is very clean but already powdercoated, and can't be titled or registered in Iowa until it's a complete motorcycle. I had the DMV run the VIN on it and it came back clean, having last been registered in the late 80s sometime. The engine looks like it may have been cracked open once before, as may of the JIS fasteners are boogered up pretty good. It had a relatively fresh once-over silver paint job, too, so it may have been a derailed project. For $25, I'm not complaining.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
It has been just above ‘freeze your balls off-cold’ in Iowa for the last few days, and I was able to stop drawing things on paper or creating strange spreadsheets of fasteners and I got in the garage to organize, clean and prepare for an engine teardown to see what I have. Last week, my Vessel JIS impact screwdriver bits arrived (priceless pieces for a 40-year old Japanese bike teardown) and I got into the garage to see if I could get any of the stripped case screws off. In a matter of about an hour, I was able to get every single stripped JIS cross-head screw off of the engine, and I started my teardown.

I'm a bit of a clean freak with performance gear, so as I pulled the engine apart from top to bottom, I was either re-threading the fasteners into where they came from or putting them all neatly into marked zip-seal bags, then into plastic shoeboxes to be used or at least referenced later. I figure the mass of the rebuild will happen over 6 months from now in another state, so anything I can do to keep spotless records of every detail, the better off I will be.

The head on the motor looks like it has suffered from some sort of drop or something odd, and the left bank of header bolts are not only stripped, but elongated. I figured a nutsert could work, but for less than the cost of the proper metric sizes, I picked up a freshly soda blasted head, springs and valves off of eBay. It actually was more than the whole engine, but it will be better in the long run to have a spare as the build moves forward.

I started with the side cases and the oil spinner cover. Everything was relatively clean, but I'm a bit surprised at the contents of the oil spinner...





With the condition of the rest of the engine internals, I'm scratching my head at the contents of the spinner. Plenty of metallic particles in that clay that probably was some sort of dinosaur by-product at some point.

The engine teardown went fast and as easy as I could expect, and the cursory inspection of everything indicates that it's a helluva lot nicer than any $25 I had anticipated. The top end was VERY clean, the pistons are a bit of a mess, but it was all free and loose, and the cylinders don't look too horrible.





I'm at the bottom end now, and still no socket to remove the oil spinner, so I'm at a stall until that arrives. At this point, I'm documenting fasteners and dimensions of things that have come out of it, so at least I'm keeping my over-active brain occupied.


I'm having fun, and that's all I wanted. :)




doug
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yesterday I was bored with the lack of oil spinner socket, so I decided to see what I could do with rust removal of some of the frame fasteners that aren't necessarily easy to acquire. I set out for Home Depot in search of Metal Rescue or EvapoRust, which have been recommended on this and other forums. Turns out they are "online only" which seems ridiculous, but whatever. Instead, I grabbed a small bottle of "Crud Cutter: The Must for Rust" which seemed like a Prep & Etch, but it is water-based and biodegradable.

I experimented with a few bolts covered in Midwestern oxidation and had really good results. Took less than a half-hour of soak, with a water rinse and a once-over with a brass wire brush for a couple of really heavy stubborn spots. For some reason, the stuff seems to lose it's potency pretty fast (maybe it's in my head), so I will keep looking for the other rust removal products for things like the gas tank.

Motor Mount Fasteners
Before:


After:


They will all probably wind up in a box of other parts that get zinc plated, but it kept me busy in the garage yesterday when the kids were all sick, snotty and whiney.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thought some might find this interesting—I certainly did.

My disassembly had hit a wall because I lacked the socket to remove the oil slinger keyed nut. I found the Chinese double-sided one on eBay for $10 shipped, but wasn't sure how long it would take to arrive. It got here this afternoon, and I was fired up to attack the gummy oil slinger. Sitting down with a few dental picks, a thin screwdriver, plastic brush and a few other archeological tools to clean out the clay in the slinger, I wasn't sure what I'd find underneath. As it turns out, it wasn't good...



As you can kind of see, the keyed nut looks like it has been previously mangled by someone ham-fisted without the tool to remove it. I kinda started to panic that the socket wasn't going to get it off. Fortunately though, the socket was able to be pressed in and seated on whatever was left on the nut. I put a brass punch in the drive gears to keep it all from moving, and grabbed my longest 1/2" wrench to try to persuade it off. With a little luck and with my eyes closed, I felt it start to turn. I actually cheered! I really thought I was going to have to cut everything off.

The nut that came off is seriously messed up. Still kinda shocked it came off. Crisis averted.

 

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when it's time to reassemble stick a penny in the gears between the crank and clutch backet to keep it from rotating. the penny is much softer metal and won't damage the teeth on your gears. a punch is much harder metal and can damage the teeth on the gears
 

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by the way...penny goes on the bottom of the gears for on and the top for off :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I layered up today and attacked one of the things that has been bugging me on my list—my swingarm. Whomever owned the frame previously had it powdercoated before doing anything to the frame, like detabbing, cleaning up seams or anything else. One of the more frustrating parts of the powdercoat was the singarm shock bushings and mount bushings were BOTH left in the part for powdercoat. No amount of sledgehammer beating was budging the mount bushings that were coated in thick black powdercoat, and the shock bushings look fused to the arm. Without access to a hydraulic press, and not willing to take a hacksaw to the parts, I needed another option.

I have been thinking about this for a little while now, and without making any adapters or buying any blind bearing removal tools, I recalled seeing a clever method of getting a washer inside of the swingarm bushings by cutting or grinding the sides off square. What I came up with kept me from making a trip to Mendard's, and it worked almost flawlessly. I was so excited about the results (without having to use gorilla force), that I figured I'd share it here.

I used a 230mm length of M8 threaded rod, a few washers, a couple of body washers and a M8 locknut to make this tool, and it worked for both the interior bushings and the outer bushings. The first thing that needed to be done was to take a washer that mics out to 22.5mm OD, 9.5mm ID and 2.5mm thick and grind down the sides flat on a bench grinder. You only need to grind until it sides into the bushing sideways, which is just under 20mm wide.

Thread one M8 locknut onto the end of the rod, flush with the end. If I did this again, I would use second M8 nut to jam up against the bottom of the locknut to keep it from turning at all. Take the squared off washer and stick it inside one side of the swingarm until you can flip it up against the inside of the bushing face. You might have to buff the corners of your ground sides round to get it to rotate properly. Slide the threaded rod through the washer all the way until it extends through the other arm of the swingarm. At this point, I used (2) 38mm x 9mm x 1.5mm thick body washers on the outside of the other arm, then a standard M8 nut lubed up with a little light oil on the threads. Clamp everything down snug.

A 13mm deepwall socket on the locknut inside the arm with the trimmed washer on it, and a 13mm on the opposite side of the setup to tighten everything up and draw the inner bushing out of the arm. It was butter once I snapped through the powdercoating. Repeat on the opposite side inner race the exact same way. Now we're half done.

For the outer races, I couldn't figure out what to use to pull the race out, so I flipped my threaded rod tool to push the outer races out instead. I used 2 thick 22.5mm washers stacked on one end of the threaded rod captured with a M8 nut on the inside and a M8 locknut on the outside end. This was fished into the bushing, and again, 2 stacked body washers went on the other end, except this time I installed them inside the opposite side arm, using another M8 nut interior on the thread. You have to think it through a little to get it setup correctly, but this works and is very easy with common hand tools to execute.

This is what the threaded rod looked like for the outer bushing removal that pushed out from the inside...




Here is the tool installed on the swingarm as I am pressing the races out...



This completely outdid beating on the swingarm with a sledgehammer or taking to high-tolerance areas with a hacksaw. No hydraulic press needed, and I weigh 145 pounds soaking wet, so you don't need to be a brute to make this work. No heating or flame needed, no soaking of penetrants at all. Just simple a threaded bearing press and a lot of staring at the ceiling during the middle of the night trying to figure out how to get these buggers out.





Now, to figure out a similar trick to press out the lower shock bushings that were powdercoated over. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A couple of PMs asking for clarification on how I did the bushing press alerted me to the fact that I may have made it sound more complicated than it was. I got a chance to do a quick drawing of the press and how it works in the swingarm, and hopefully this makes is easier to understand what I did. A little oil on the threads to keep from galling, and nothing else much other than what you see. The best part is that there is no BFH needed. :)

It's not 100% to scale, but it's pretty close. With some measuring, you could probably use all SAE hardware found at Home Depot or Lowe's without much effort. I know in this area, metric hardware is all but impossible to find anyone with any selection. Lots of farm equipment around, go figure.



Hope this helps,



doug
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A little update, with the nice weather, I was able to get into the garage and do something other than moving things around on a workbench. We hit the 70s yesterday, and it was great to get outside.

I have been tearing down the engine slowly and methodically over the last couple of months, documenting everything with photos and notes, and bagging every single part that came off of it. The last piece of the puzzle was finished yesterday in the disassembly of the bottom end. To this point, there looks to be very little wear on any components in this engine. Not bad for a $25 initial investment. The worst parts have been the carbon deposits on the valves, pistons and combustion chambers, and the sludge in the oil spinner.

I did some experimentation with cleaning the carbon build up just to see what was under the pistons and valves, and I was surprised to find that both were relatively clean...



The bottom end has been staring at me for at least a month now, taunting me with a layer of grime and spiderwebs. Most everything came apart without much stress yesterday, which will give me an opportunity over the next couple of weeks to inspect and measure everything, and continue planning my build.









I did a starter rebuild recently, and am waiting on a couple of fasteners before posting all of the final photos, but it turned out really nice. Next project is cleaning everything including the cases. Might do vapor blasting on the cases to bring everything to like-new condition. We'll see what the budget allows.


More soon...
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
My order from StainlessCycle.com FINALLY arrived (nice product, but don't order if you need something in a hurry). So here's the starter rebuild I promised. :)

The entire starter rebuild process was documented here with all of the gory details and photos. :)



CB350/CL350 Starter Rebuild
I know I am new to these forums, and relatively new to vintage motorcycles, but I have been turning wrenches on cars my whole life, and 30 years of experience racing electric R/C cars gives me a bit more experience with electric motors than most. Our starters on the 350s are relatively similar to those 05 motors we used for decades in R/C race cars, which made this starter fairly simple to work on and rebuild. If nothing else, I can offer my experience with my CL350 starter, which is identical to the CB350 and probably quite a few others, too. Unfortunately, the link thrown around here for the GL1100 Goldwing rebuild can send you down a dark alley, and while a very good rebuild how-to, it’s not 100% accurate for our starters. If you follow that website on a 350 starter, you will break it, as fair warning.

Here's the foundation of this rebuild—it's a mess, inside and out:





And here's the complete rebuilt starter...



Hopefully this helps someone down the road with their starter rebuild. The starter and all of the components that go along with the electric start weigh a tick over 6 pounds, not including the wires, connectors and a reduced weight battery. For me and my wonky knees, the weight savings was not significant enough to remove just to remove components for the sake of being cool. In fact, I might remove and block off the kickstarter to gain some clearance with the rearsets and knock off almost 2 pounds that way and counter keeping the weight of the starter.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
This might be interesting to some of you, too. Through posting photos of my piddling in the garage on the engine on Instagram (@dougcarter24), I came across someone doing the same rebuild. He had posted some photos of a set of valve covers that he found on eBay, and I thought they looked like an awesome idea. Knurled caps with fresh grooved-in O-rings that you can take on and off with your hands. The seller is "roofis27" on eBay, and the parts were shipped form a company called Cycle Heap out of Portland, Oregon. A great idea, for sure.

They arrived today, just as I was finishing up the soak and clean of the cam case. For $40, I wasn't expecting much, considering how expensive most of the other OE and aftermarket options are. As great of an idea as they are, the execution is a little on the rough side. The faces were buffed on a buffing wheel (which removes material), and the threads were cut-inducing rough. Sharp edges, burrs and lathe clamp marks are all over them. I sat with a brass brush, deburring tool and a couple of files cleaning up everything on all 4 caps. A good cleaning and a touch of oil on the threads and they installed pretty nicely. A for idea, C- for execution. My plan is to anodize these on the final assembly, but they will have to have the face finish machined before doing that. I grew up around a boutique machine shop with a father that was crazy detail-oriented and taught me to have a critical eye, so I may be a lot more picky than most people would be. These don't appear to be CNC'd, so don't expect that type of precision.

Still, if you understand what you will be getting, and what it takes to make them nice and clean, they are worth the $40 for the 4 of them.







doug
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Wanted to touch base on a small update today. When I am able to find certain parts, I can't share my excitement with my wife because she just looks at everything and thinks that I'm buying rusty piles of scrap metal.

I was able to track down a set of '72 SL350 triple trees, with the double bolt clamp bottom tree and 35mm straight fork tubes. The plan is to mate a set of CB550 fork legs to this setup with a CB77 front hub and brake. I found the hub/brake setup on a nationwide Craigslist search and got it for less than I had allotted for it. The triple tree was sourced from an online motorcycle junkyard here in Iowa and was thrilled to find the whole thing still together. They seem to be more often broken or sold without the top clamp for some reason.

Still in parts acquisition mode, probably for a while, but this part is really entertaining for me. Definitely not nearly as fun for my wife.


1967 CB77 front hub/brake:





1972 SL350 triple tree:





Fork lock sculpture carefully removed—and only 3 cut-off blades exploded.


 

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This completely outdid beating on the swingarm with a sledgehammer or taking to high-tolerance areas with a hacksaw. No hydraulic press needed, and I weigh 145 pounds soaking wet
I completely feel that, being around the same weight its all about working smarter not harder.

"If you cant raise the bride lower the water"
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No explanation why, but I really enjoy making rust and paint disappear.


Original photo of the SL350 triple tree from the seller...


As I received it with some work underway...


After rust and paint removal cleanup...


SL top clamp before...


SL top clamp after...



Garage therapy sessions are invaluable.
 

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Hi all,

Even though the majority of this project probably won't really get moving until at least this summer (relocation heading our way), I figured I'd get this started with a little background, plus some early progress.

My background is almost entirely 4-wheels, and a lot of open-wheeled track versions. I'm the owner of a forum community like this one dedicated to formula cars of all kinds, but mostly small bore amateur racing in North America and Australia. We've been around since late 1999 and we're still growing, but house, wife, kids, work and everything else pulled me out of racing cars pretty much for good. Over the last few years as we have bounced around between states and dealt with inconsistent employment, I've had to dial back a lot of my hobbies. The result of that fat trimming is that when I do have idle time, I get really itchy about working on mechanical things that aren't our daily drivers or a lawnmower.

I have threatened to restore an old muscle car, but I know better—lack of space, money, time and everything else makes my wife look at me like I'm an alien. I haven't been on a motorcycle since long before I met my wife and grew up, but I have been wanting to do a cafe-style street racer for a while. It seemed like a good time to do it, the costs fit my budget, I can work in a smaller space and I can move everything around on my own without help from a cherry picker or someone else to split the weight. The vintage Japanese bikes are a perfect fit for me.

I spent a weekend digging through CraigsListings in a 1-state radius, hoping to find just a small engine to screw around with and learn some things. I found a listing for a "'70 or '71 CL350 engine in good shape" with no photos or further description, but it was about an hour and a half from home, and the price was right ($25), so I decided to take a little road trip. When I got there, he also had an old CL or CB tank for a few bucks, which would be a great canvas to practice rust and dent removal, and reset my bodyworking and paint skills. When the seller told me the engine was in a storage unit, I really expected the worst, but as it turned out, the motor was in really decent shape visually, and I could turn it over with the kickstarter. Bonus.

As I was ready to pay the guy and go on my merry way, he asked me if I wanted the chassis it came out of, too. For another 40 bones, I got a freshly powdercoated frame, swingarm, rear fender, rear shocks, center stand, battery box and toolbox, with mostly new hardware finger-tightened together. The kicker was that it didn't have a title, and I didn't realize that what I bought would need a title to get it registered until I got home (yeah, it was a moment of stupidity). We stuffed it all in the back of my GTI and I drove home thinking about how I was going to break it to my wife that I just essentially bought the skeleton and heart of a 40-year old motorcycle.

She was a little mad at first, then the next day asked me when I was going to build her one, too. I think I got off pretty easy, considering. :) Might have to do a little CB175 someday, if this one goes well.

Here's what followed me home just after New Year's...





The engine is a CB350 K5, as is the frame, so his estimate of 1970 or '71 was wrong. The tank appears to be an earlier '71 CL though, so maybe that's what he was talking about. The frame is very clean but already powdercoated, and can't be titled or registered in Iowa until it's a complete motorcycle. I had the DMV run the VIN on it and it came back clean, having last been registered in the late 80s sometime. The engine looks like it may have been cracked open once before, as may of the JIS fasteners are boogered up pretty good. It had a relatively fresh once-over silver paint job, too, so it may have been a derailed project. For $25, I'm not complaining.
DUDE! Subbed like crazy to this! I just read the first post and felt compelled to write before I finished.. $25!!?!?!?!?! Are you F#@%&ING KIDDING ME?! haha holy crap, that's amazing. Plus another $40 for the freshly painted frame & bits?! Not bad at all man, not bad at all! I'm actually quite jealous after what I just paid and went through to get my frame & bits powder coated. Anyway, you seem like a good chap man and I will follow this along with you. Good luck with the wifey, but in the end I'm sure she understands. I know a lot of us can level with you on the stares we get sometimes hahaha!

Good luck bud and I can't wait for more posts.. going back to read the rest now.
 
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