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CB360 running/charging issues

15007 Views 45 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  mktsc
So I picked up this CB360 a couple of weeks back. Previous owner put in a new battery. When I got the bike, it ran pretty good. Over the past week I've been ironing out some running issues, mainly found intake and exhaust leaks. I also adjusted the clutch. So I take it out for a spin, get a few blocks away and come to a stop, and the bike dies. Kick start it, and it doesnt want to stay running. Limp the bike home, and smell clutch. So I chalk it up to a poor adjustment. Readjust, and re-ride. Runs great, idles, get down the block again, and same story. Limp it back home and start thinking. So I've noticed that over the past week of riding, the electric start works less and less, and now it doesnt seem to have enough juice to start the bike. So after doing some research, I figure it's the rectifier. It's original, and I test it via the Clymer manual, and get no continuity. Problem solved, right? Wrong. I get the Radio Shack replacement, and wire it up and check continuity via the Clymer manual procedure again. (negative probe on green wire, positive on red/white, yellow, and pink) Neither of the replacements show continuity. But if I reverse the positive and negative probes and voila, continuity. I recheck the old one, and it shows continuity in this manner too.

Now I'm at a loss. I plug back in the new rectifier, and fire the bike up. Seems to run pretty good, but then again it ran good in the first place anyways, until i get down the street.

Has anyone had similar problems, or have any idea what's going on with the rectifier or what to check next? The bike's run pretty good since I got it, just seems to run worse over the course of the past week. I have no idea why the electric start worked a week ago, and has worked less and less ever since until now when the bike doesnt run good either. One last thing, I noticed that now the headlight gets brighter when I rev the throttle.


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Bike seems to start and run ok, but it did before too. Haven't had the nuts to ride it down the street only to get stranded again.

Measured voltage at batter, 11.64VDC off, and 11.32VDC while running.

So I started the bike up, idled ok ran ok, decided to take it down the street. Long story short, same thing happened. I went halfway down the street, I pull in the clutch lever and let the engine revs settle out. Bike idles as I'm going down the street. Everything seems ok. So I went further. Tried it again, and it died. Pull off, get it started back up, limp it home, get it in the driveway, pull in clutch bike dies.

It seems like if I let the bike cool down, it pretends to run ok...

Sorry, 11.3V was running at idle. Didn't try revving it. Tomorrow I'll check points, coils and condensors. I didn't check the alternator, but the three screws are stripped...
Charged the battery up this morning, but the bike wouldn't start. I checked the points and they were out of adjustment. I adjusted them, and got the bike to start and idle, but when I rode it, the same thing happened. I checked the VDC output at the battery at 3K, and it's still around 11 volts, and doesn't change as I rev the engine. This leads me to believe it's a faulty voltage regulator.

How do I check the alternator from the leads? I couldn't find instructions in my Clymer manual or factory shop manual. They both say to take the cover off and check at the stator.


OK. I got continuity between yellow/white, and yellow/pink. No other combinations.

Voltage is as follows while bike is idling:

green/white - 8.5VDC - 7VAC
green/yellow - 2VDC - 3.2VAC
green/pink - 2VDC - 19VAC

Bike doesnt want to idle, have to hold the throttle open a bit. I think the battery is dead again, it won't turn the starter.

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tbpmusic said:
What do you mean by "set the points"??
You should read the Twin Timing thread over in Tech Tips - it applies to your 360, as well.
I adjusted the gap to spec per the manual. (0.015")
Great thread, thanks. Once I figure out how to get the stripped side cover bolts out, I'll definetly have to follow that method.

Understand, I never tried to actually set the timing, all I did was adjust the points gap per the troubleshooting section of the manual.

When I got the bike almost 2 weeks ago, it ran great. Idled, ran and rode just fine. It never died out, and the battery seemed to hold a charge. Ever since, it's progressively ran worse and worse, until it's current state.

What would cause the timing to be out over this time?

The bike ran progressively worse and worse until it got like it is now before I even touched the points, so whatever cause the bike to not run right, has nothing to do with the points or timing. I had no idea that changing the points gap would effect timing. This is my first foray into a vehicle with a points type ignition.

So in the maintenance intervals, where it says to check your points every 1000 miles and adjust if neccesary, it doesnt say anything about checking and readjusting the timing too. Are you saying you have to readjust the timing at 1000 mile intervals as well?

Not trying to be a pain in the ass, just trying to learn.

Gotcha. Thanks for taking the time to explain it. I just picked up a stator from eBay. While it's in transit, I'm going to work on getting the bolts of the side covers and working through that timing tutorial.

I'm thinking those things coupled with a charged battery should yield promising results. Do you think there's any reason to suspect the coils or condensors?

Guess us "young ones" are as impulsive as you "old ones" are fussy.

I don't have an inability at following directions, the manual says to measure from the "stator" to the other three wires to test the alternator. I apparently incorrectly assumed that because the manual said nothing of the green wire, that the green wire was coming from the stator.

I bought this bike because I love old cars and motorcycles, and grow tired of how everything these days is increasingly controlled by computers. I'm a mechanical engineer, and have always enjoyed working with my hands. I've worked on and serviced countless modern cars and motorcycles, but am really am really interested in learning how to properly operate and maintain this motorcycle which predates me by almost a decade, which is why I came to this website.

I just wish some of you were more patient teachers. Thanks to you who took the time to explain things until I understood, and I apologize if I've offended any of you with my incompetence.

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No harm done, sometimes it takes me a few times before I actually digest something. I'm more of a "learn by doing" type of person, and will be the first to tell you that when it comes to electronics, I'm no genius...

I appreciate your help, and can't wait to get this old girl running right.

The saga continues:

I did as you asked Steve, and measured AC voltage between yellow and pink on the alternator plug. It didn't want to stay running, so the idle voltage is approximate.

idle: ~20V
3K: ~55V

Based on the fact that the voltage is increasing with engine revs, I'm starting to doubt that it's the stator. For $20, I'm still glad I have an extra though.

So what's next? Regulator? Coils/Condensers?

Also, I got an impact hammer and got my alternator cover off. FYI, there is oil behind that cover so make sure you have a catch pan readily available. I'm an idiot...

I did notice something odd when I got the cover off. There is what looks to be a coiled up length of fabric wire insulation jammed between two of the stator coils. What is this? Is it supposed to be there? (big pic for clarity)

edit: It appears to be on all the eBay stators too, must belong...

Thanks in advance...

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Last time I checked voltage at the battery, I measured 11.5 at idle and 11.3 at 3K. I replaced the rectifier with the $4 Radio Shack rectifier.

Someone else in here said that the regulator could not be allowing enough voltage to the battery. Does this sound right?

I think I'm going to pick up the $13 Ford regulator, and a new battery and try it again. I've been talking to some motorcycle guys at work here, and they seem mirror your suspicion that the battery is at fault...


I was going to replace the battery, since it's dead, then re-read all the voltages. Should I check them prior to replacement?

Thanks again for all your help.

New battery. Bike starts but won't stay running. Measuring 12.3VDC at battery at idle (bike won't idle), 12.5VDC at 3500rpm. Replaced rectifier again, same results. Unplugged regulator as you instructed, still no increase in voltage at revs. I checked, and get spark from both plugs.

I bought the Ford regulator, but not sure how to hook it up (i.e. which pins go where...)

It also feels physically hard to kick start, feels real "tight"

I may be slow to learn, but I'm not an idiot, I know how to use a multimeter, and I do know the difference between AC and DC. The voltages I gave you were AC.

I'm starting to think the timing may be off...

Also, I realize that the physical resistance of the kick starter has nothing to do with the charging system, it was just an observation.
I wired up the radio shack replacement like this:

I'll go back and actually check the wiring.

The reason I'm thinking the timing's out, is because I'm having a real hard time starting the bike. I'm getting spark, and have a fully charged battery, and she still doesn't want to start. The shop manual says that this could be caused by improper timing or valve tappet adjustment.

edit: I figured out why my voltage isn't increasing with revs.....the headlight's on...

So now that the charging system has pretty much been ruled out, could my simple adjustment of the points gap have taken the bike out of time enough to prevent it from starting?

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I'm going to re-time the bike today, as well as adjust the valve tappets. Hopefully that will get her to start and run. Then I'll check the voltages again to make sure that I'm charging.

Thanks again for all your help, I'll post results...

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