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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
And so it begins....

I am the lucky (I use that term loosely) recipient of a 73 CB350.

The price was right at $0, so I thought what better time to try my hand and tearing down a bike, and rebuilding it

I've always been fascinated by these bikes, and the resources out there that this community has built gives me the confidence that I might just be able to pull this off.

Going the cafe route on this.

Any advice you can offer would be appreciated. Looking for tips on how to keep parts organized through the dismantling and reassembly, good resources to have printed out in the garage, tools that save time, and any suggestions you may have about upgrades, retro fits, etc.

The engine is what concerns me the most, it's not seized, tank is clean, but I'm still going to rebuild it. Looking for any good machine shops that are still out there to help get this thing right. Was looking at old references, such at bore tech and Delta cam, which have both shut down. If anyone knows of new places that I can send the stuff to, if appreciate the reference.

Hoping to get this project kicked off in the spring, so got some time to do some more homework.

Thanks in advance,


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It looks like a decent bike to start with, and the price was right.
Have a plan, shaped by what you want to end up with, which is formed by looking at sites such as Bike Exif, Pipeburn , etc. Keep the photos of bikes that move you, and ask yourself , what is it about those bikes that you like, and don't like. Form an image in your head how you can combine those elements on your machine, while making it your own, not by outright copying.
Have a clean, clutter free place to work, and take notes and pictures of disassembly. The very first thing I do, before disassembly, I like to power wash the bike, and blow it completely dry with a leaf blower. It makes disassembly so much more pleasant, and inspection of parts as they come off much easier. I HIGHLY recommend you invest $300 for a Harbor Freight lift, you won't regret it. The bike was free, so use a few hundred on a lift. This is a long term project, and you will be glad you have a lift every time you work on the bike. Trust me.
Buy a box of sandwich bags, and a good Sharpie. Bag and tag every nut and bolt that comes off the bike. Disassembly is easy, and goes quick, but it's easy to lose confidence in a project when you're looking at a bare frame, and boxes of parts. Everyone has moments of doubt, but keep in mind, it's just a frame and an assembly of parts, not the Space Shuttle. Make a list of what has to be done, and just tackle one thing at a time. Every task you cross off is progress, even if it's just cleaning a few parts. You're closer to finishing today than you were yesterday. Don't compromise quality of work or parts, in the name of getting it done quicker. Better to have a killer project the following summer rather than this summer because you "just wanted to get it done".
Download and print a Honda service manual, and grab a Clymer manual, too. Everyone hates on Clymers, but they're useful, and easier to navigate for some jobs.
Buy a box of shop rags ( paper towels) at Lowe's, and while you're there, grab an impact driver, and some #3 Philip bits. Go on Amazon and order a can of Kroil, and a JIS screwdriver, which is the proper screwdriver for Japanese fasteners. They are NOT Philip s heads. Despite this, after your power wash, I would spray every nut and bolt, especially the screws on the entire engine, specifically the engine case screws, with Kroil. Let it sit overnight. The next day, give the engine case screws a gentle twist, testing them with the JIS driver, to see if they want to come loose. Don't mangle them if they don't freely turn. If you have ANY resistance, STOP. Use the impact driver with a #3 bit, and hit the fasteners with it like you're driving a nail.
This info should get you started.
Here's a 72 350 I've been working on for my wife, for some inspiration..

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Bore Tech is out of business, but I'm pretty sure Delta Cams is not. You can go to their page on FB to verify, the owner's name is Jon Bodwell. I sent stuff to them mid-year last year and others here sent stuff later in the year as well. All good advice from 540nova above, but I'd add that you might get the engine running first to see if it's still in decent condition... a lot more can be learned about an engine by hearing it run. As for JIS screws on vintage Honda engines, I bought this T-handle screwdriver with interchangeable JIS bits in 3 sizes and it works really well - gives nice leverage and, when used correctly, often eliminates the need for an impact driver except in the absolute most stubborn cases. I bought a Vessel JIS T-handle when I worked at my first full-time Honda mechanic job in '71 and I still have it but the plastic is cracked on the ends of the handle, only reason I bought the Motion Pro piece. Of course, if you go with allen heads everywhere like most here do and recommend, you won't be using it much. I prefer the look of the JIS screws, but that's just me
 

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I agree with the sandwich bags and Sharpies. You'll go through a few. Pick up a factory service manual, which you can download and print out or find on ebay. Personally, I've found that the Clymer manual is also useful. It is just the right thickness to put under the center stand when you are trying to get the rear wheel to clear the fender during a tire change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys, I appreciate the support.

That's what I've always loved about these forums, always someone out there to help you out. I had a 2006 Tacoma, and Tacoma world was a great resource for projects.

I honestly was checking out that Milwaukee work table from harbour freight last night after I was binge watching YouTube videos of engine rebuilds. I like having the project contained while I'm tinkering.

Sweet bike by the way, is that the gsxr front end conversion? Was checking that out on cognito Moto. Hefty price tag on that kit, but man it's sweet. Was on my list to research further to see if I could get it done for less than 3k. Although I understand, sometimes you need to pay up to remove some headache, and that kit had it all.

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Joben, that is a 2005 GSX-R750 front end, purchased at a cycle scrap yard, and rebuilt, along with Cognito Moto triple trees and front hub. The complete setup from CM is pricey, but may cost you around the same amount, by the time you piece and sort everything out.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The cognito set up may be in my future, I love the idea of a one stop shop for an entire front end. I think my priority this year will be setting up my shop, gathering specialty tools, getting a good organized tear down, then focus in on the engine rebuild.

I feel that the engine rebuild will take the most time, that's the biggest part of the bike that will be salvaged. And honestly, that's the part of the build I'm most uncomfortable with. Really want to take my time, do the research, and try my best to get it right the first time.

The success or failure of the engine rebuild will really determine whether I have the skills and confidence to finish the project. If I get over that hump, I'm fairly confident I can tackle the suspension, electrical, brakes, etc. after having done that kind of stuff on my old Tacoma.

Nova, I checked out your other bike, you do really nice work, and couldn't help notice the NJ plate. If have any good local resources, let me know. I'm in PA, close to the Maryland border, and used to live in southern NJ. With bore tech out of commission, finding it hard to figure out who to go to for honing, cylinder bore, valve spring replacement, etc. Only place that I've found so far is racetech, and even then, not sure if they are the ones to go with.

Here's a pic of my old taco, was inspired by the back to the future Tacoma, lol


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Just as a tip - I usually number the bags and keep them in order in a tub. Refer to the list for a description of the contents. It's easier looking for a bag that's in numerical order as opposed to trying to read/write the contents on a piece of tape.
 

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I agree with most everyone here and would add the best $100 I ever spent was for a used computer with WIFI. I use it every time I am in my shop to look up parts, purchase parts and yes to access forums like this one.
 
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