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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys and Gals, Please humor me. Some of these questions might seem lame to you but I am a first time "mechanic". I basically just learned about all the parts of an engine and how it actually works! I am rebuilding my '71 Honda CB350. I race it at AHRMA (Vintage Motorcycle Racing at Willow Springs International Raceway). I took a short DIY motorcycle engine rebuilding class as my foundation. I took the engine out of the frame so that I could take it to the garage where my classes were. I was able to disassemble it, which was a pain because all of the screws were seized or the last mechanic loctite them! I'm working on the top-end because one of the valves hit the top of the piston (when my engine seized while I was on the track). I had a machine shop replace all four valves and guides with Kibble White titanium. The machine shop said that I didn't need a new piston even though it was impacted. They said it was not cracked and a good cleaning was all that was needed. The machine shop also honed the cylinders. The engine rebuild class is over. I brought my engine home and will need to get it back together on my own. I'm looking for suggestions and/or tips before I get started. I know that the first thing I'm going to do is make sure the engine is clean of debris before I put the pieces together. Any suggestion on what cleaner to use? I've been told to use blue shop rags because they are lint-free. Also, what are your suggestions for applying the gasket? Hi-Tack spray? Where do you recommend that I purchase a piston ring compressor? Should I just use assembly lube on the bolts so they don't seize the next time I need to wrench on my moto? Anyway, these are just a few of my questions before I start the rebuild.

Thanks for your responses!

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There's a class?! Why didn't you guys tell me there was a class?! I had to learn everything (what little) I know from these clowns :rolleyes:

More seriously, welcome! Lots of good info here - got pictures of the bike?

For my part, my advice would be:
- Maybe too late this time, but invest in a good manual impact driver and a deadblow mallet (JIS bits for your impact are a plus, though not as big a deal if you aren't keeping the original screws) - it'll make taking out those seized screws a breeze, and they're seized on like every single bike.

- Do you have the factory service manual for the bike? If not, someone will be along to PM it over to you - the step-by-instructions on exactly how to rebuild the engine are in there, and it's miles ahead of the Haynes/Clymer manuals.

- How deep are you going on cleaning the engine? I spray everything down with Simple Green, scrub with a plastic bristle brush, spray, repeat...until my arms fall off. If you're lucky and have a parts washer or a buddy with one, that'll make that part a lot easier. Also...it's environmentally unfriendly of me, but I use like...gallons of brake cleaner. It'll cut the muck that nothing short of time in a parts washer will do. If you're just looking to clean it up and make it look nice, Simple Green and elbow grease work great. Just don't leave it on for longer than like 30 minutes, it has a tendency to stain metals if allowed to set for too long. Rust takes extra chemicals.

- Which gaskets? With the exception of my head and base gaskets, mine go on dry, and none have leaked - the usual game is Hondabond-only between the cases and between the valve cover and the head, and dry gaskets on everything else. My head and base gaskets are copper, so they get a Permatex copper spray coat. If it's tricky to get on, threading a couple bolts into the cover and then hanging the gasket on it before placing on the engine usually does the trick.

- You can antiseize everything, but...honestly, it'll cost you an hour and $50 at your local ACE to replace every single one of those damn JIS screws with stainless steel allen bolts, and they won't need it (and they'll look nicer, to boot :D)

- So far I haven't need a piston ring compressor on any of my engines - the cylinders on these bikes have tapers on the bottom, so the rings can usually be gently coaxed in. You can grab the only tools you'll need over lunch - get some sushi and bring an few pairs of chopsticks home, they make great poking tools for ensuring the rings don't slip out and bind.

- In terms of assembly lube, anything that rubs metal-on-metal (thinking bearing surfaces/cam faces) gets a coat - to my mind, you can't really overuse the stuff (aside from making a sticky mess). Copper or aluminum antiseize is what you want to keep bolts from seizing in place, but I only use it on the speedo and tach retaining screws on the bike side.
 

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I thought this video did a really good job on summarizing a top end rebuild of a 350:

I also never used piston ring compressors. Way too much $$$$ for something quickly you can do with your hands/chopsticks.
 

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There's a class?! Why didn't you guys tell me there was a class?! I had to learn everything (what little) I know from these clowns :rolleyes:


- You can antiseize everything, but...honestly, it'll cost you an hour and $50 at your local ACE to replace every single one of those damn JIS screws with stainless steel allen bolts, and they won't need it (and they'll look nicer, to boot :D)
LOL to the first part.

There is an eBay seller (I think he goes by Alloy Boltz?) that has pre-packaged sets of SS hex bolts for the entire engine. I have used this stuff on my CB360 rebuild. Be sure to follow the torque specs recommended in his paperwork vs what the HSM specifies, as they differ.
 
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Use low odor mineral spirits to clean parts, followed by a shot of aerosol brake cleaner right before assembly. As for gasket adhesive, none should be needed.
And I have to ask, are you sure it was an engine re-building class? It sounds like it was just an engine disassembly class.
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Good info above and probably more to follow. It's been commented that girls get like 10x more attention than dudes.
My advice is, once you're ready to assemble, meet with someone who can help with assembly.
Of course you can figure it out on your own, but I've met a number of folks and come across a number of engines that were done wrong and resulted in another rebuild.
I am in LA but if other members are available, then perhaps skype or FaceTime sessions to help guide you might work for a majority of us who are out of town.
 

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LOL to the first part.

There is an eBay seller (I think he goes by Alloy Boltz?) that has pre-packaged sets of SS hex bolts for the entire engine. I have used this stuff on my CB360 rebuild. Be sure to follow the torque specs recommended in his paperwork vs what the HSM specifies, as they differ.
+1 i used alloy boltz and was Thrilled. Quality, organized,

Just keep the card with the new torque values. Old torque specs are way different with a stainless bolt.

Blue loctite or aluminum antisieze are a must.

Welcome to the club. Its a very rewarding hobby. Just the right amount of challenge.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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Glad to see a gal wrenching. I have a wife ,3 daughters and 4 granddaughters none of which care what Im doing. I use easy off oven cleaner on the real dirty parts then simple green then Dove and water then blow dry. Its a pain in the butt to use ring compressors around all those studs sticking up but have used hose clamps . Chop sticks , pop cycle sticks or flat blade screwdriver will work.
Just use lots of oil. I use a long , wide fine file and draw across areas where the gaskets go. Light strokes at different angles will tell you if there are any high or low spots. Good clean flat surface,good gasket no leaks.

there is a wealth of knowledge on this site so ask away.

Bill
 

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Hi Guys and Gals, Please humor me. Some of these questions might seem lame to you but I am a first time "mechanic".
Everyone starts somewhere, and as you'll see from some of the ages of members here, it's never too late.

It's been commented that girls get like 10x more attention than dudes
Absolutely true - and it's possible that girls with a few visible tats get even more responses. :D

seriously, I always appreciate seeing a lady get involved... riding is great, doing her own work is even more commendable. I've personally taught two ladies how to ride from complete scratch in the past. Neither had even driven a manual transmission... it was very rewarding for both of us at the time. Fingernails clean up, and the satisfaction of the accomplishment remains forever. There are many here with tons of great knowledge and advice on getting your engine back together, many of those who have road raced as well. Good for you Liza, looking forward to seeing your progress - and some track video afterward too
 

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If only i were a girl... my build would have a million views!

Kidding...everyone's been super nice to me as a normal average dude... and I'm sure they'll treat the OP with exactly the same respect and courtesy.

Does anyone out there really care if the poster is a guy or girl? I hope not.

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There was a woman named Erin who posted a while back... She put a fair amount of her build on here, and I think members reciprocated. At that time I think it was jokingly brought up.
Truth be told, this is a very good and helpful forum regardless of such factors.

Edit: I should also mention that it's great to have ancientdad back. He's helped a lot of folks, including me countless times. Most recently with an undersized cam bolt washer. Not sure how I never noticed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Spirograph: Thanks for the response! I actually already bought allen bolts to replace the old screws so hopefully I don't have to worry about seized screws again (at least for this bike). I was able to upload a digital copy of the old shop manual through Common Motors website. Is this the same as the service manual? If not, how can I get a copy? As far as cleaning... I tend to be OCD so I'd like to clean it inside and out as much as I can. Would you recommend that I clean the outside after I build the engine or should I clean them now while it's apart? I'm not sure if any cleaners that I use on the outside will be bad for the inside of the engine. What types of cleaners should I keep out of the inside of the engine? Will simple green work on the inside and outside? I had a friend that said I should literally soak my engine parts in brake cleaner. Is this okay? Also, I guess I was referring to applying the head gasket.. I'll get some hondabond. I ordered a gasket set off of Dime City. I'm not sure what they are made of. I'll check on it and get back to you if I have questions. Lastly, it sounds like I don't need to waste any money on getting a compressor since you and others on the thread have recommended that chopsticks. popsticks and hands will do. Thanks again for all the great info! I'm sure more questions will follow once I start putting it all together in a couple of weeks.

Here are a few photos:
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I thought this video did a really good job on summarizing a top end rebuild of a 350:

I also never used piston ring compressors. Way too much $$$$ for something quickly you can do with your hands/chopsticks.
Thanks for the response. I have watched this video but will probably watch it one more time before I start putting the engine back together. I've also decided against the compressors and will opt to try it with chopsticks instead!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Use low odor mineral spirits to clean parts, followed by a shot of aerosol brake cleaner right before assembly. As for gasket adhesive, none should be needed.
And I have to ask, are you sure it was an engine re-building class? It sounds like it was just an engine disassembly class.
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I actually learned to rebuild a Moto Guzzi in the class. The class took us through tear down and rebuild. The class was in the Los Angeles area and I live in San Diego so I rented garage space for my own CB350 engine thinking that I could work at the same pace with my moto right after each session. Well, ordering and getting parts took longer than I anticipated. By the time I received all my parts, the class was over and so was my garage space rental. Now I have my engine home hoping that I'll do fine rebuilding it myself. Sounds like I'll have a ton of support through this forum so I'm feeling more confident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good info above and probably more to follow. It's been commented that girls get like 10x more attention than dudes.
My advice is, once you're ready to assemble, meet with someone who can help with assembly.
Of course you can figure it out on your own, but I've met a number of folks and come across a number of engines that were done wrong and resulted in another rebuild.
I am in LA but if other members are available, then perhaps skype or FaceTime sessions to help guide you might work for a majority of us who are out of town.
I figured I'd get some attention have "Girl" on my post but that's what I wanted because I do need all the support I can get. I just want to make sure that I'm well-informed before I start piecing the engine back together. Believe me, I've done a ton of homework.. watching YouTube videos, reading manuals, talking to guys that wrench on cars and motorcycles and now this forum. I just want to build my knowledge before I independently work on my engine. So although I'm getting a ton of info from everyone, I don't necessarily want someone watching over my shoulder but I appreciate the offer for Skype or FT sessions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
seriously, I always appreciate seeing a lady get involved... riding is great, doing her own work is even more commendable. There are many here with tons of great knowledge and advice on getting your engine back together, many of those who have road raced as well. Good for you Liza, looking forward to seeing your progress - and some track video afterward too
I appreciate the kind words. I'm really excited about wrenching on my own moto. I decided that I needed to learn about how to fix motos when I was stuck at the track during a race with a seized engine and not knowing what I could do to fix it. I have a ton of guy friends who usually help out but when they are racers too it's tough to rely on them. So here I am learning what I can about engines and loving it! I thought that maybe there might be other females out there who wants to be independent from having to ask their boyfriends or mechanics to fix their motorcycles for them so I created a meetup in San Diego for women to learn to do basic motorcycle maintenance and repairs together. To my surprise, in a week I got about 25 members. So much of what I learn here may be shared with my meet up members :)
 

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Hi Liza,
It looks to me like you are taking a technical approach to the build. It would be helpful if you could post some pictures. The old Chinese proverb is true, on picture it worth a thousand words. Think about buying a SS screw kit on ebay. They are not expensive and will make for a lot fewer trips to Ace Hardware. There are two important things with the SS screws, one is they do corrode when they are screwed into aluminum. Copper grease or an anti-seize compound is required to install them. Even if you use the factory steel screws they do corrode to the aluminum and anti-seize helps. There is a chemical action that happens. The copper will stop it. Anti-seize is available at most auto parts stores. The clerk will look at you funny and most likely not know what you are talking about. The other thing is the torque value. The torque value is about 7-9 foot pounds. Muck lower than the stock torque. This is because the anti-seize will lubricate the threads and the compression between the parts will be achieved at the lower torque value. Also, you will need a good Allen wrench set. I have the Harbor Freight 3/8 drive set and a Sears Craftsman Tee handle set.
+1 on the Honda Factory Shop manual. These old Honda manuals are a treasure of information. Not only do they clearly explain how to do the maintenance action, but they very thoroughly explain how it works and why. The other thing I would advise is to do something to the bike every chance you can. It is very easy to get distracted and progress stops. Thanks for joining our forum.
 
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