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Sorry, the new models just don't excite me...
Yep, I feel the same way - I don't even bother going into a showroom anymore because I don't expect to see much that I like. The CB1100 is about it, and what they refer to as "naked" still isn't really naked or it might be more interesting. I like the Triumph Speed Triple as much as any new Honda, and I'd be taking some stuff of it too (if only I could afford one)
 

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I sure know what you mean about the new bikes. When the Africa Twin was launched I was kind of excited to see it. When I did see it, the excitement wore off. Not that it isn't a great bike but all the electronic gadgetry (on everything today) just sort of puts me off. My greatest attraction to motorcycles is simplicity. Anyway... it was good meeting you today! Wish I could tell you more about that head, but you know what I do. :-? The cover fit perfectly and actually cleaned up so nice I decided not to paint it. :D Thanks again Butch!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I've always got an eye out for a good deal for parts I need, and some patient scrounging has yielded results! First, I scored a good cylinder head for $20 off a fellow I follow on Instagram. It appears to be in good shape, and he threw in the cam case and top cover to boot. I suspect he just wanted it all out of his shop...he's primarily a 2-stroke builder/tuner, I was surprised to find out he had CB parts.
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Next up, I scored a seat pan off the classifieds here. The pad and cover were toast, which is good since I want to do a custom seat of some sort. The hinge and latch were attached, which makes me very happy since the hinge is tough to find. Another $20 well spent I think. (The shipping was more than the part!)
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I've got the head torn down, and am still impressed with it's condition. The chambers cleaned up nicely and the valve guides are still tight. The valves had accumulated a lot of junk, especially the exhausts. I spun each one up in a drill and took it all off with a Scotchbrite pad. There's still a little discoloration, but they're nice and smooth. I followed up on the buffing wheel for good measure, now they're downright slick.
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I'm soda blasting the head and covers now, they're cleaning up well. The head looks great, I'll leave it "natural" and paint the other parts with the same high heat paint I'm using on the lower end parts.
My wife asked me last night, "So, how long is this one going to take anyway?" I paused for dramatic effect and said, "I really don't know...I bought it as a long-term project."
 

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Butch, I'm sure you are aware of the differences in the CB/CL heads and the SL350K1 and K2 heads... the K1/K2 has smaller ports, smaller carbs and a different grind cam for more torque at a lower power peak and redline. I'm sure it will run okay, but I wonder how it might perform with the K1/K2 carb size on the head intended for 28mm CV carbs
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Butch, I'm sure you are aware of the differences in the CB/CL heads and the SL350K1 and K2 heads... the K1/K2 has smaller ports, smaller carbs and a different grind cam for more torque at a lower power peak and redline. I'm sure it will run okay, but I wonder how it might perform with the K1/K2 carb size on the head intended for 28mm CV carbs
Hey Tom, thanks for the heads-up! Although I'm gathering parts from a few different sources, the whole top end of this engine will be CB/CL. It came with a stuck top end and a spare CL350 engine with a set of CV carbs. The guy I bought the bike from used it as a parts bike for his very nice SL. I'm sure he is either using the stock carbs or has them squirreled away somewhere!
 

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Okay then, you'll have a SL350K2/0... no electric start, but the engine top end similar to the K0 - more horsepower (a little) but less torque. Primary kickstart (great for dirt riding) with diaphragms to replace... should be an interesting combo
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Man, it's hot out in the garage these days! I've been trying to get some time in some mornings or late evenings when I can work without sweat literally dripping off the end of my nose. Whenever I have to wear nitrile gloves my hands sweat so much the perspiration runs down my arm and drips off my elbow! Misery aside, this part of the engine reassembly has been very satisfying. The head cleaned up very nicely after soda blasting and a good scrubbing in the laundry room sink. When it comes to specialty tools I always debate the wisdom of buying vs. renting vs. improvising. To get the head torn down I decided to turn to the tool "loaner" program at my local Advance. It's a nice spring compressor, cost is $89, and you get that refunded in full when you bring the tool back within 90 days.
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Got the head stripped pretty quickly and chucked up each valve in the hand drill to check for straightness. They all checked out, so while I had them in the drill I spun them up with a piece of Scotchbrite to get rid of all the crusty stuff that was baked on. After that a lap on the polishing wheel to polish the stems and they looked great! Checked them in the valve guides, they worked smoothly with very little wiggle. Applied a couple of drops of 30 weight to the stems and tried again, there was no wiggle and the stems glided smoothly in the guides' bores. By now it was heating up in the garage again, but I was excited about my progress and kept going. It took over an hour to get the valves reassembled in the head. I took my time and made sure everything was clean and well lubricated going back together. A tool like this is a necessity for this job and it's still a workout. By the time I was finished I was soaked in perspiration and about ready for a cold one (or two)!
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I hear you on the heat... fortunately for me, the previous owner installed a couple of 220 window a/c units in my 26x36 garage - so I'm actually able to work with little sweat, but sweat still happens. But I know the feeling well, can't mow the property in the a/c in the garage!
 

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Discussion Starter #29
As I was cleaning parts for the next phase of assembly, I couldn't help but notice the ignition advancer unit was not moving. Although it looks clean and serviceable, it is quite stuck.
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The cleaner one on the left is the one that came out of the SL motor that had been sitting under a tarp for Lord knows how long. The grungy one on the right I pulled from the spare CL motor I used to scrounge top end parts for the rebuild. It honestly looks like it's sat at the bottom of Lake Michigan for the last 20 or so years. The cam is so crusty and pitted, no way it can be used. Now, wouldn't you know it - I gave it a shot of lube and it freed right up. I've had the left one marinating in Kroil and PBlaster for a couple of days now and nothing, zero, zip, nada! Can't get it to budge to save my life. I even hit it with the heat gun last night for a good five minutes until I heard a loud POP. I thought for sure that had freed it up - but Noooooo!
I may have to set engine work aside for a while and start cleaning up the frame and swingarm...
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Alright kids, riding season's over so it's time to retreat back to the garage. After work, vacation and a fair number of "honey-do" and house projects, there hasn't been much progress on the ol' SL. Plus in the meantime I rescued a mate's bike that had been sitting neglected in his parent's shed for about a year and change. I volunteered to get it road-worthy and give it a place to live where the mice wouldn't eat the wiring harness. It lives in my garage now, and after repairs and clean-up it runs quite well. I rebuilt the carbs, installed genuine Denso points from my Honda dealer and checked out the charging system.
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I've only had it out a couple of times...man, does it hurt my old wrists. There was a time when I'd be riding something like this all day every day, but I'm afraid those days may be looooong gone. Lot to be said for a "sit-up" scrambler-style bike with wide upright bars. (Insert heavy sigh here)

Okay, back to the project. The engine is pretty much together as far as I want to take it. The top end and valvetrain are all together, I just haven't put the top cover on the cam box just yet. I also don't have the clutch assembly in, nor are the side covers attached. The plan here is to have the lump still light enough that I can pick it up and get it situated on a shorter bench so I can drop the frame onto it. Then I can get the frame upright and finish engine assembly from there. Oh, one more development, this one quite delightful I do say! In my quest for a serviceable spark advance unit a fellow HT'er came to my rescue and raided his parts stash. Thanks Shane! One more piece of the puzzle in place!

Over the last couple of weeks I've been piddling with the frame, getting it disassembled and stripped for a new coat of paint. My buddy Scott is also tearing down an old Honda ATC90 three wheeler he wants to restore, so we were able to set up our outdoor sandblasting rig and spent a pleasant Saturday morning outside blasting parts. Hard to say how many coats of paint were on mine - there were various shades of silver, gray, black and just general grunge that came off quite easily. I hung it up in our makeshift paintbooth this morning, wiped it down and shot three coats of self-etching primer. I put a space heater in the booth to keep things toasty, and will let it cure the rest of today.
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Discussion Starter #33
It's seems there have been a lot of projects going on here at HT featuring red frames...not only the old classics that featured them stock, but a few newer bikes that traditionally came black. I'd never really considered it before, but you guys are really starting to influence my thinking. From the start I've had no intention of doing a full-on restoration. Heck, just purchasing a stock exhaust system would be more than I have in the whole project so far! I've always envisioned a stripped hot-rod style for this build. Up till now, I'd been thinking of painting the frame a shade darker than the stock silver - just something that would contrast a little again the silver engine and fenders.
This could be the downside of this project taking so long - it gives me too much time to think!!! :twisted:
 
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Butch, I like the idea of a silver frame too. When Honda went silver on the SL frames starting with the SL90 and SL350K0, I immediately liked it. A silver with a little coarser metallic (but not too heavy like metalflake) looks really good. When I did my project SL90 in high school (no pictures of it at all, never thought that way back when it was film only and Mom and Dad had to buy it and pay for the developing), I used an automotive silver that my Dad recommended and it looked great. Hey, a stripped-down hot rod doesn't have to have a red frame... :D
 

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Good to hear your back on it Butch!!!

I'm really digging that truck though. :eek: Is that a GMC? It'd make a classic race hauler. :cool:
 
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I'm really digging that truck though. :eek: Is that a GMC? It'd make a classic race hauler. :cool:
Yep, the cab-over is I believe a '66 Chevrolet. It runs, I'm pretty sure it has a 2-speed rear, but the brakes are HORRIBLE!! It belongs to a friend of ours that is going to use it to haul all of his welding equipment around. I'm trying to talk him into shortening it a few feet. It wouldn't be hard since the frame rails are just big straight C-channels. All the suspension perches are riveted on, so it's not impossible to move them up. From there we'd have to shorten the driveshaft and fab new brake lines. What could go wrong?
 

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I picked this bike up from Pops and will continue my progress on this thread. Butch did some great work on the engine and frame, that was a big factor in pushing me towards the purchase of the bike, minimal engine reassembly and no need to strip and paint the frame.

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As you can see he did a great job on the motor, I still need to install the internals under the right and left side covers along with polishing them, other than that, engine is pretty much good to go.

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He did the frame in a Rust-Oleum stainless steel, nice color, I may hit it with some 2k clear once it warms up to prevent chips.

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I painted the swing arm and lower triple tree to match.

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I also cleaned and disassembled the forks, brakes and wheels so I could store them inside. I'm not too thrilled about having to clean up another set of crusty rims! I hit them with the wire brush for an initial cleanup, still have a ways to go... I plan to run the 21-18 combo.

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After initial wire brushing

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And with that, the bike goes to exile in the attic as to not distract me from my 3 CL450 projects, I hope to pick back up on the SL in the spring.

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Made some progress on the 350

Finished cleaning the rims, laid some clear on the bare metal bits and mounted Kenda 270s.

Before/After:

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Best I could do without rechroming

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Cleaned up forks, Before/After

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