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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

Long-time lurker, first time poster.

Here’s where im at. I have a 1972 CL350 K5. Purchased it with about 10k miles on it. After about 12 months of riding I started hearing a whirring/ratcheting noise coming from the kickstarter. The noise got worse if you moved the kickstarter while the bike was running, but seemed to get slightly better when the kickstarter was ‘home’. Being an optimist, I went with the mechanically sound principal of just hoping it would go away…it didn’t.

The kickstarter now ‘kicks back’ when starting and either returns ‘home’ really hard or doesn’t come back up fully. I am tempted to do a full engine rebuild, but don’t have a lot of space (live in an apartment). Im also keen not to mess with a good thing. I had the top end rebuilt recently by a shop that I trust, and they said the internals were immaculate. Knowing my mechanical skills, its highly likely I take a predominantly well running engine and ruin it.

Here’s my question. From what ive read from other posts with similar symptoms, it sounds like the kickstarter ratchet is failing and is not dis-engaging fully. IF I was to attempt to repair the problem myself, can I take the motor out, flip it upside down, remove the bottom half of the case and access everything I need from there? Ive read the SL350 engine rebuild thread (by Jphoenix) a few times, but think I might be getting in over my head.

I am having other transmission issues but don’t think they’re related as the engine WAS running well. Other issues are stuck clutch (suspect adjustment issues) and starter motor not engaging engine (suspect starter clutch needs new rollers/springs).
 

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Took a second before I realized I needed to rotate that picture.

Short answer is no you can't weld that either economically or without removing it. Pull the engine and split the cases. Much easier than doing the top end.

Be sure to get a new Honda circlip that is on the internal end of the kick starter. There is an early version of the this shaft and the later version which you have. I think the switch was made in 69 or 70.

Good time to do all the seals. Put them in before bolting the cases back together and also watch that the locating pins on the ends of the various shafts are in there proper locations otherwise you will be redoing this job and having to repair cases as well.
 

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Yes - It CAN be welded (TIG WELDED) back together.
Economically or not is a totally different question, depends on who you know or if you can do it yourself.
If not find a replacement case section, they are out there.

The good news is that you can split the cases without disturbing the TOP END.

The bottom section can be removed and cleaned up for welding and the rest of the motor does NOT need to be disturbed.

I KNOW I've done it.

I had the small Cir-Clip that retains the stack of ratchet and springs for the return assembly come loose.
I had to pull the motor, and one thing ONLY TURN the motor on it's side, NOT fully upside down.
If you have parts that have come loose they can slip past the gears and down (or Up depending on how you think about it), thru the Cam Chain opening into the TOP END.
If you only turn it on it's side while splitting the case any loose parts will stay in the bottom end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks gents, appreciate the advice.

Ill attempt to have it TIG welded back together. Unfortunately here in Australia we dont have as many second hand parts as the US, and finding a replacement bottom end is proving difficult (without buying a whole new bike).

Great tip on not turning it upside down, thats probably the first thing I would have done. Ill let everyone know how it goes.

Few photos so far.

This is the original photo rotated. Blue circle shows the broken off piece. Red circle shows where it broke from
IMG_6936 (1).jpg

This is how you remove an engine by yourself when you live in an apartment complex.
IMG_6954.jpg
IMG_6955.jpg
IMG_6956.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update:

So I pulled the case apart and its worse than I thought. The case actually has two cracks in it. Looks like im going to need to source a case in Australia

You can see in this photo the second place its cracked.
IMG_6969.jpg

Here you can see that the piece doesnt fit back like a puzzle. Its bent then cracked. Doesnt matter if it was welded back in, it wouldnt match up.
IMG_6971.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Bill, that would be great. I guess it would just depend on the cost of shipping (im in Australia). Do you have a rough estimate of the potential package dimensions?
 

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Hi , Am thinking $50.00 for the case half and the last thing I shipped to Australia was a pair of pistons and the shipping was $75.00. If interested I will get you the exact amount.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Bill,

Yes im interested. If you could get a quote, that would be great. Postcode (Zip) is 2600. Town is Canberra, Australia.

Matt
 

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just a FYI...the kickstarter mechanism design on these bikes is a tad on the weak side.

once you get your new case installed try to avoid over exuberant jumping on the kicker. for yours to break like that it usually means you really jumped on it hard or the kicker wasn't properly indexed to the shaft

they don't require too much force to start.

when installing the kicker, you should pay attention to how your kick start lever is indexed to the shaft. there is an index mark on the end of the shaft which should line up with an index mark on the kicker...having said that I have seen some kickers that are missing the index mark. if you are missing the index mark look at photos and try to match the angle of the kicker to those in the pics...if in doubt err on the side installing the kicker oriented towards the rear of the bike, or counterclockwise if you are standing on the right side of the bike while looking at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not a worry Bill.

Thanks outobie. I would probably guess that its due to some over zealous kicking. Its my first bike with a kickstarter, so I was just making it up as I went. Plus the bike was working fine...until I started touching it. Read a few post about it now and hopefully I wont repeat previous mistakes. Copy on the correct indexing, ill keep that in mind during the re-install.

Maybe yourself or someone else can help me with the next question. This whole process started because of a whirring sound I was getting from the kickstart when the bike was running. Upon opening the case I expected to immediately see what the problem was (i.e. the kick mechanism all mashed up), but it looked fairly normal. Can anyone tell what this is 'supposed' to look like? Im thinking the gears arent supposed to come together until you kick it?
IMG_0052.jpg
IMG_0054.jpg
 

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My memory is a tad foggy on the precise orientation however you are correct in that the ratcheting gears should not engage until the kicker begins to rotate. Briefly install the kicker on the shaft and operate it.

there is an internal spring that holds the ratcheting gears apart until the worm gear engages to move the interior gear outward with the kicker movement
 

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Here's the assembly order and the idler gear should spin freely when the kick lever is up... And engage #3 when down.
Your part #3 looks a little worn. If try and replace it with something that has better teeth, before putting it back together

https://www.cmsnl.com/honda-cl350-scrambler-1972-k4-usa_model549/partslist/E16.html#results

Edit: btw, I have a lower case if bill doesn't get you one. I had to use the upper on my last rebuild. The windage tray has small cracks, and it's super dirty. I am in the USA, so shipping will be $$$
 

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Matt I can probably come up with the gears if you need them. Also do you have a full service manual?

doode help me out here its been several years since I worked on a 350 Doesnt the gear shift spindle keep the kick pinion and the kick ratchet apart when the bike is in gear and allow them to mesh when in neutral? I cant tell from the photos he sent whats going on. Maybe another problem we cant see. Im thinking it holds them apart till the shift drum is moved to the neutral position then allows them to mesh. If they are engaged all the time there must be another problem, but it might be because of the broken case. Its hard to help when you cant get hands on.

Bill
 

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Judging by the photos, if the kick shaft is up then the guts are assembled incorrectly. If the kick lever is down, then it's fine.
I'll see if I can dig up some photos for reference.

Edit: found a video I took. Just a note: It's important to support the shaft when doing this, since the rt cover isn't installed and it's possible to damage the case by doing this

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Thanks gents! So much good advice, so little time to work on the bike. Hopefully get to it this weekend. I know for certain that the gears weren't coming apart when I rotated the kickstart shaft. This would probably explain the problems I was having, which was a constant whirring sound AND the kickstarter 'kicking' back. I dont think it was installed correctly, as I had no problems for a good 12 months.

Bill, I would take you up on the gears if you and the others think its worth it. I think i'll definitely be replacing the springs. In the absence of no major damage, my guess is the springs are strong enough. And, yes I do have the full service manual...and the clymers one...they get referenced ALOT haha
 

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Matt, I will sell you the lower case plus shaft, gears, springs ,ect ,parts installed and in working order for $75.00. Shipping from Waverly, Oh to you is $75.60 for a total of $150.60.
If interested let me know.


Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi Bill, definitely interested. Saves me a lot of hassle sourcing more parts in Aus. Shall I PM you my details?
 
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