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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if this will become a real project in the sense that there will be an actual outcome in form of a beautiful old Honda, but after a couple of months in my garage I have to recognize that it has actually become already something like a project. I'm writing about a rather corroded and neglected '72 CB450 which I bought in November last year. Although having already a '72 450 and a 500T my finger just couldnt resist pressing the 'buy now' button on eBay after finding out this bike isn't too far away and for peanuts.
I love my two old Hondas but since I’ve bought them just a couple of years back and never had much trouble with them, I always had this desire to learn more about the engine and all the small bits you don't tear apart just for fun. So this seemed to be the perfect deal for me.

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I knew what I was getting into and yes: There have been some flaws and bad surprises (and will be), but they have been well reflected in the price of 85$ only. On a normal bike the major flaws would be: no title, sitting outside for months or years without spark plugs (yes both, please see the detail picture), two broken fins on the cylinder head, a damaged crank and bearing, a cracked triple tree and some parts missing like tank, side covers etc... But nevertheless; over the months this bike managed to take control of my consciousness as well as my wallet. I never knew how much fun this is. To make it short. This is how the bike looks today. Yes, it's a K7 tank but I bought it afterwards.

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As anyone can imagine the engine was super-seized and filthy and it took me a whole week to get the pistons out. The fiddliest part was to cut countless pieces of hardwood to put between the cylinder and upper crankcase when hammering softly. Every time I made some progress I had to cut some new pieces. I’ve read a lot about mystery oil etc., but with this kind of freeze you’ve got to apply some force (and lots of heat of course).
Anyway, the engine is apart and I’m pretty happy with the outcome. The only downer was an outer crank bearing race with some deep rust stains and rust pits on the counterpart surface on the crank. But again my finger took control of the situation and pressed ‚buy now‘ an eBay again before I could really make up my mind. So I guess that’s solved…

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Some other parts like battery and tool box, pegs, chain guard etc. are already cleaned and primed and my plan for now is to prepare everything and put it in boxes. However, it doesn’t prevent me or my finger to continouusly order new bits and pieces 'cause I just can’t put unfinished subassemblies in the box. Stupid? I know, but I’m at least aware of it…

But anyway, not really knowing the actual outcome of this 'project’ turns out to be the main question. It is certainly not a full restoration without a title. But what is it then..? Maybe a spare parts deluxe project? I will find out…
Another important factor in my planning is that I will have to move abroad this summer. There is no question about leaving a bike behind but I don’t know if I will have a garage. Well, I have some months left to get my wife used to the idea of having a bike in the new house or apartment;) For now I'm planning to restore at least the engine since I've got two other bikes that could take advantage of it one faraway day. This week I will measure the cylinders and valves to see what else is required...
 

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Nice orange water in the top end... :lol: the price was right, despite no title, but it certainly has a long way to go. hopefully you can find a used crank somewhere. Can't blame you for taking it on, get another one on the road!
 

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Dang, this is a real project! I think you have the skills and experience to know what you are doing. Keep going, it is worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nice orange water in the top end... :lol: the price was right, despite no title, but it certainly has a long way to go. hopefully you can find a used crank somewhere. Can't blame you for taking it on, get another one on the road!
I'm waiting already for a used crank I found on eBay. Hope it's ok and works out well... No doubt, this thing has a long way to go. First of all: the work itself; and secondly a move to the Azerbaijan this year. But I'm confident; I've got a patient nature...
I've read your thread half way but will definitely read all soon. Man, that is such an inspiring project and great bike!
 

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...a move to the Azerbaijan this year
Wow - that's quite a scenery change... have anything to do with the fact that you're currently in DC?

Man, that is such an inspiring project and great bike!
Thanks very much. It was, and still is, a lot of work but I'm happy with how it turned out and it's (hopefully) on its way to being better after the recent re-build (oh wait, maybe you hadn't gotten that far in the thread yet... :lol: ) and to reference your reply to Jim - my wallet already feels bad!
 

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Wow - that's quite a scenery change... have anything to do with the fact that you're currently in DC?

It has! My wife will be re-posted to Baku cause she‘s a diplomat; but we‘re both German.
My bikes are probably not the perfect choice for that region but real love (in this case to two-wheelers) leads to irrational decisions. Haha..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As I said already: I knew what I got and I was prepared. Seized engine - ok... damaged crank - no problem... but WTF made this happen...? Someone must have hated this bike a lot... There's a hint for those of you who can't recognize the pictured part ;)
Ok, there was a quite an amount of debris in the engine and a small metal piece in the case but this really makes me wonder. Especially since the cam chain didn't look too bad. Has anyone seen anything similar?

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More and more often I'm having this Kennedy moonlanding quote in mind and think to myself: "I'm not re-building this motorcycle because it it easy; I'm doing it because it is hard." Haha..
 

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Also working on sanding the tank down which is a shame 'cause I kinda like the old patina, but has to be done. You also see the full glory of the fantastic original metal flake colour under running water what makes it even harder to remove it...

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The vinegar test looks very promising. So I've put the seat plate with vinegar in a garbage sack and pulled most of the air out. Think I let it sit for a week or so. It is very rusty...

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As I said already: I knew what I got and I was prepared. Seized engine - ok... damaged crank - no problem... but WTF made this happen...? Someone must have hated this bike a lot... There's a hint for those of you who can't recognize the pictured part ;)
Ok, there was a quite an amount of debris in the engine and a small metal piece in the case but this really makes me wonder. Especially since the cam chain didn't look too bad. Has anyone seen anything similar?
More and more often I'm having this Kennedy moonlanding quote in mind and think to myself: "I'm not re-building this motorcycle because it it easy; I'm doing it because it is hard." Haha..
I can't speak for others here, but I've personally never seen that particular roller in that bad a condition... and I've worked on some pretty neglected 450 engines in the past. NOS will be pretty pricey for that roller and a good used one might be hard to find
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I can't speak for others here, but I've personally never seen that particular roller in that bad a condition... and I've worked on some pretty neglected 450 engines in the past. NOS will be pretty pricey for that roller and a good used one might be hard to find
Tom
I found one on eBay which is not perfect but certainly good enough for this bike...

So time for a little quiz game. Who can find the 17 differences between the two rollers? A small hint: It isnt the badge.

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Discussion Starter #15
That roller is out of control!
What an undertaking, you're a brave man. I liked the look of your tank as well.
Well, it's certainly an undertaking but to be honest: I find it more interesting and also more rewarding when there's plenty of crispy rust on top. I don't know if I can get it back on the road but I can see progress on each and every little piece that I've worked on. It keeps me motivated this way and I also like the challange.

The roller is a different story. I'm still puzzled how this bike could have run and what noises it must have made...
 

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Here’s the same roller from my ‘74 CB450 and it’s replacement. This bike was running with this thing in there and I noticed it when I started to do a valve adjustment. Tough old Hondas will run if they can!
Good luck with bringing your bike back from the dead, but be careful because it is addicting. Don’t ask me how I know...
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Discussion Starter #17
...but be careful because it is addicting. Don’t ask me how I know...
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Think I've got a clue already how addicting this is. This was supposed to be a parts bike for my other 450 K5 in the first place, and now it looks like a real project. I think I know already what's missing when this is finished: another parts bike? :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Since the weather is warming up now in DC, I took advantage of it and started to clean my crispy crusty frame. Yesterday I've removed most of the paint with paint stripper and a large wire brush. It worked quite well. Today I did a second round with a rotating wire brush on a drill and the frame looks not to bad afterwards. Next steps will be sanding, sanding and doing all the little details before I finally clean the whole thing. So, time to start thinking about the colour...

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Red! :lol:
Well, looks like we have the something in common…

I was thinking about the color scheme already for a while. Originally I wanted to paint the bike in a dark blue, light and dark grey, silver and black combination. So I started playing around with photoshop trying different colour combinations. When playing around with other colours it hit me - boom - red.

I’ve always loved Hondas classic red and silver color scheme of the 60’s but never actually thought of doing something like that. What I really like about the color scheme is that the red and silver appears more of an integral part that ranges from the front fender throughout the whole bike to the rear fender rather than just the colored tank and side covers within a merely black and chrome bike. Don’t get me wrong: I have a beautiful 450 K5 in original bacchus green (which is actually a blue metal flake with a yellow clear coat) but I think that the 60’s silver/red is stronger concept wise.

I also like that the red frame makes the whole bike look so much more plastically and makes the details sparkle a lot better than the black frame. Also it’s sooo classic. So, I think of the project now as a 70’s 450 with classic 60’s colours. Since my plan (for now) is to do just a very, very mild resto-mod, the colors will define the build.

I’m not sure if it’s clear in the picture but the fenders are supposed to represent the silver grey. I hope it’s not too difficult to spray. So here is my technical question. Can someone recommend suitable silver and red spray bombs? Yes, I don’t want to powder coat because this is my learning project. And I even learn something when the paint fails :)

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The tail light is incorrect cause scaled down for the effect... made the seat look 1 inch thinner... Pegs and stands probably changed to red... unsure about the headlight...
 
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