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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So... some of you have already fielded some of my obsessive questions about my engine problems and now my engine rebuild. I figured I should consolidate my annoying questions into one thread so I can also share photos of my progress.

I started out with some toasted piston rings, replacing which i thought would be the extent of this project. It quickly escalated, as I seem very susceptible to convincing myself of "in for a penny, in for a pound." I am writing this on the train home from my studio where my now fully dismantled frame now sits awaiting powder coating.

Photos to come soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I am! Just moved into this new studio space but mostly so I could do this rebuild. :cool:

This is Lolita.

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She 13000 miles but lives outside so has had a harder life than garage-kept bikes. I took this photo at my parents' house in Maine before riding back home to NYC. On that trip the engine overheated very badly (I was measuring it with a temperature gun) and began smoking with considerable loss of power. At the end of the trip I confirmed that the left piston rings were toast and decided to do a top end rebuild. It had run great up until that episode.

This is what I found inside the left cylinder when I opened it up:

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The left piston chewed up and spat out the compression ring, destroying itself and the head and making the cylinders only good for a large overbore. Came onto this forum and someone recommended TOOLS1 for head rebuild work and machining, so I sent my cylinders and head to him and he has very graciously assisted me in my questions and anxieties as this is the first time I've tackled a rebuild. As both the cylinders and head weren't good for a rebuild, I turned to ebay but had to order three new heads in succession before a seller successfully sent me a head without damaging the cooling fins. :mad:

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With the top end off getting machined and having new valves from Common Motor Collective installed, I took stock of all my parts and decided that if I had this engine open I may as well replace as much as was necessary.

New D.I.D. racing cam chain chain and KA tensioner:

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
New clutch plates and springs, new points:

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I have been slowly replacing all the phillips head bolts with socket bolts, which has made frequent dis/reassembly really easy and looks great to me. Nearly lost my mind trying to remove the bolt that holds on the neutral switch. It was rounded out to a perfect "O" and the head was about to break off after many an attempt with an EZ-out. I barely got it out using a cutter wheel and a tiny file to create a slot and then used my trusty 350 ft-lb electric impact driver.

Grabbed all new gaskets and seals from CMC. As I decided not to split the cases, I merely cleaned the hell out of them and stripped the paint to reveal the beautiful aluminum. Any panel or parts that could could be polished or painted were. I don't have a buffing wheel so I had to hand sand/polish all these engine covers, which is ok with me because I really like a little bit of "touch" in the bare metal. For that same reason I was reluctant to paint many aluminum parts because of how sterile I think it can look.

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My workspace:

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Will upload more pictures when I have a chance. Just wanted to update with what I have so far!
 

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What medium do you work in? I would like to see some of your work. Sometimes I like to go to a coffee shop and sketch the pretty girls. It's almost as good as my dog for attracting women.
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I studied painting in school but work in several different media! I've done a lot of work with ceramics in the past few years.

Today I got the front end disassembled after a huge amount of trouble. The fork tubes are rusted to hell beneath the headlight ears and I had to hammer them out of the triple trees.

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I gave them a light sanding but they're very pitted. I hope these are not thin-walled tubes or I will have a problem soon. I'm going to sand and brush all the loose rust off and then hit them with rust converter and eventually Boeshield T9 before reassembly. I am getting the frame ready for powder coating so the neck bearings also came out. I plan to replace them with a tapered bearing kit... another expense I feel obligated to make now the bike is this far apart. But could also be because all the ball bearings rolled off everywhere when I opened the neck up


I need to remove the brake caliper to polish the fork lowers but one of the connecting fasteners looks like some adjustment mechanism with a flathead drive and a spring. I can't hold the bolt with a flathead driver in order to take off the bolt--- how does this come off?

As for the swingarm, I removed the bushings and attempted to bang out the shock bushings but they're not going annnnywhere. Tomorrow I'm gonna hit them with a C-clamp and sockets. Question: are there swingarm bushings in the frame that can/should be removed? I can't tell from looking.

I also began putting parts of the engine back together now that hardware and replacement parts have come in the mail. New (to me) neutral switch after the last was savaged by my attempts to remove the seized retaining bolt, new seals, and new o-ring for the starter motor, which isn't included in overhaul gasket kits. While (carefully) hammering in the big seal for the drive sprocket with plenty of assembly lube, some of the rubber on the outer rim got caught on the engine case and got sheared off--- this is the second drive seal this has happened to. I decided to keep it in because it is still an extremely tight fit and it seems there's still enough rubber to seal against the case. I rubbed on a dab of hondabond where it was a little cut up and will keep an eye on it.

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I will return with more photos!
 

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I have had that same problem with that same seal. You need to deburr the edge of the case where the seal goes in. I use a Dremel with a sanding drum to chamfer the edge of the case. Also, I made a special tapered seal installer with a driver to install that seal.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Tools. I deburred the rim and the went in very easily.

Finished tearing everything apart and sent the frame, swingarm, and a few other parts away for powder coating. I'm going to paint the rest of the bike parts with Eastwood Extreme chassis black, which apparently has a lot more hardeners in it than most rattle can paint. It's also really, really sticky but so far is finishing very nicely.

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Neck bearings came out and will be replaced by tapered rollers. Swingarm bushings being replaced with new bronze and rubber ones. May as well do this right while I have it apart...


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Almost through hand-sanding and polishing the various aluminum parts. I'm going to find some sort of oil product to keep corrosion away. Worst decision I've made so far in this rebuild is using those little dremel wire wheels... They last about 5 minutes before all the wires have detached and are flung EVERYWHERE. I have so many in my clothing and will definitely have to do a once-over in the engine before sealing it all up.

I'm at a turning point where I don't seem to be so dirty at the end of every work session, which is nice. All the engine parts are very clean and I've begun assembling it again. Eagerly awaiting the shiny rebuilt head from TOOLS which is in the mail right now. Will include new valves, .5mm oversize pistons, fresh bore and hone, and resurfaced head. Not looking forward to having to hand grind the head for the KA tensioner I'm putting in... completely forgot the head needs modification until after it was in the mail.

The one thing I'm struggling with right now is the master link riveting on my new cam chain. I bought a chain tool from Common Motor Collective but the riveting tool seems way too big to keep centered on the softer riveting material.

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The anvil hole that holds the hard, pre-riveted opposite ends of the pins is also slightly too deep, so when I turn the tool to rivet the pin it actually begins to push it out and through the chain as though I'm removing it. Does that make sense? For that reason I couldn't use the intended anvil and had to rig up a setup without it where it was even harder to keep riveting bit centered. This is what I ended up with after a few attempts:

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They aren't pretty but they're the same width as the other link rivets and are holding. I can't tell what they are supposed to look like ideally because there isn't really any guide on the internet to doing these small rivets--- only videos for drive chain riveting. Are these acceptable rivets or will I need a new master link? Anyone have input on how to make this chain tool work?
 

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It does not take much for them to hold. I would call them good if the plates are against each other. I had to make a riveting pin for my chain tool out of a broken press pin and the backing anvil for riveting should not have any holes for the pin to go through.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, so a bit of downtime while waiting for Fedex to finally deliver my top end, but im finally reassembling the engine. Will upload pics when i get back to my desktop computer.

Im having an issue with the rotor and piston timing. It seems like the left piston is visually at tdc almost exactly 120 degrees after the rotor is at LT. Its as though i reinstalled the stator 120 degrees off but ive verified that its as it was before--- with the timing notch at about 10 oclock. The rotor is new but ive verified that its stamped marks and camshaft keying are the same as the old one. What on earth could be causing this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Attaching pic of the rotor at the position where the left cylinder is actually TDC. Im including old rotor for comparison. The stamped timing marks are off by 120 degrees exactly. Ill check if it is installed on the crank correctly tomorrow but im pretty certain it is right. And its being 120 degrees off doesnt seem like it spun randomly on the end of the crank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Im going to verify that today, but ive installed rotors on various old honda bikes in the past so I am aware of the key. Im 99% sure it is installed correctly.
 

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What am I missing here. ?
From the pic you have posted they look identical to me.
The slot for the keyways aren ot lined up exactly the same but if they were the F & T marks would be in the same position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, so I have to own this mistake... the woodruff pin was missing and the rotor had spun. I wonder how long it has been gone and if this caused my overheating issue that led to this rebuild. I ordered a new key and have to hold off on camshaft installation til then.

In the meantime, here are pics of my new toys that arrived this week:

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Powder coating my frame, swingarm, and swingarm brackets was $350. I know that's pricey based on what I've seen here, but I live in NYC so in my experience most labor seems to cost twice as much. The first guy quoted me $700+. I'm very happy with the job these guys did though, leaving bare spots for grounding points, masking all the threads and bushing/bearing surfaces. It seems tough as nails--- I had to file through it around where the swingarm pin goes through the frame and it took a few minutes to get through a thick top coat and some sort of whitish undercoat.

A huge thanks goes out to TOOLS1, who did the machining on my head/jugs for a very fair price and helped me hugely while I dealt with a succession of incompetent/inaccurate ebay sellers (I ordered 4 heads which either arrived damaged or not as described). Eventually he found one locally that was in great shape with fresh exhaust valve guides. The rebuilt top end includes bored/honed cylinders, new oversize pistons, resurfaced head, new valves, racing cam chain, KA tensioner, and full blasting/repainting.



Assembling...

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When I replaced the front cam chain guide I found that the engine ate the tip of my last one. I shined my flashlight under the oil filter and found most of it. It was pretty well pulverized.

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While I wait on the camshaft installation I loosely assembled everything to see what it will look like. Nothing torqued.

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And the top end as it was before, for comparison...

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Will continue to upload progress as it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Today I began torquing specific bolts down with my new torque wrench and checked the camshaft end play. To do this i snugly bolted the bearings on with their new gaskets and torqued down the head nuts with washer stacks underneath so i could measure everything with the valve cover off. There is ~.65mm of play.

This seems large but ive read here that honda recommends shimming when the play is greater than a mm. What do more experienced members here recommend? Should i expect the clearance will reduce as my new gaskets compress? Or should i wait another week for shims to come in the mail?
 

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.65mm is about .0025", which for the 450 is almost the minimum (.002 minimum) so I can't imagine that being an issue with the 350. The FSM should have the spec range... do you have one? If not, there are many here who can share one

Edit - can't believe I originally said .025
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I do have the FSM but am having difficulty finding that particular spec. If anyone knows off the top of their head or from doing this a lot it would be great to know.
 

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Do you have the cam bearing gaskets installed? If not then you will get a false reading on cam shaft play

Edit: just reread your post and seems like you did
 
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