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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I posted an intro a while back, and figured I'd start a thread to chronicle my 1971 CB350 project.

I picked this bike up (literally) from a field, where it had been dumped. I found the owner, and got permission to take the bike. The guy just wanted to get rid of it.
Here's what the bike looked like the day I drug it from the field.

























 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The bike is missing a number of small parts, but the important stuff is there.

When I tried to kick it over, it did't seem to have any compression. It would roll in gear with the clutch out. I tried to do a compression test on it, and got a zero reading on both cylinders. At first I thought the engine must be toast, and the reason it had been dumped.
Turns out, it had a bicycle lever installed on the clutch cable (the original had been broken off), and the cable was pulled out slightly all the time. The reason there was no compression is that the clutch was slipping.
Once the wrong clutch handle was removed, it turned over with 120 psi in each cylinder.

Knowing that it had compression, the next step was to go through the carbs and see if it would run.
The carbs were full of sandy crud, from sitting for decades.












One of the floats was collapsed and full of old fuel.

Did some troubleshooting on the wiring harness, and sorted out a couple of issues to get everything working.



Got the carbs clean, and bought a carb kit for the gaskets/jets, etc.

Unsoldered the bad float and fixed it.





more to come-

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cleaned and rebuilt the gas tank petcock, it was completely full of crud.



I scrubbed the chrome with steel wool and the wheels and fenders came out looking new.





Cleaned out the tank by filling it with vinegar and letting it sit for a week, and then rinsing with acetone and lining wth Red Cote tank liner.
It had a few pinholes along the bottom edges, that I tried to solder before lining. Seems to have sealed up fine.








Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Once the tank lining had cured, I reinstalled the carbs, petcock, new fuel lines, and tried to give it a go.

It took a bit of cranking to get it to fire, but once it caught, it ran nearly perfect, and idles great... amazing after decades of sitting.

Now that I know its a runner, I'm going to start replacing the broken stuff, and finding the missing pieces to make it a daily rider.

More to come!

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Slowly collecting some new parts to get the bike roadworthy...

I bought new: switch boxes, levers,mirrors, grips, throttle tube, front brake switch, cables, correct metric fuel line, gas tank rubbers, and spark plug boots.


I installed the switch boxes and connected all the wiring. Everything works: high/low beam, turn signals, turn indicator bulb, etc. Bulbs ares burnt out on neutral light and high beam light.

I wasn't able to find anyone who sells the right hand switch box for the drum brake bikes, which has the integrated brake lever mount. So, I bought the switch box for the disc brake bikes and just used the bottom half of the old switch box and painted it black to match.
Waiting on some of the new parts to arrive to finish the install.

Looking for a speedo gauge, the original was missing from the bike. I'm watching a couple on ebay.

Haven't decided what to do with the seat yet. The seat cover is shot, foam is not worth re-using with a new seat cover, and I haven't been able to find a replacement foam without carving my own from raw foam stock. I have a new cafe style seat from another project that I might try out for looks, but I think I'd rather keep the stock style seat for comfort.

The headlight bucket is broken, missing a big chunk of plastic out of the back and the front edge is missing a few chipped edges. Thinking about maybe going with a new bucket and lamp from 4into1 like this:


Need to check and see if this bucket will work with the cables since it doesn't have the recess dimples like the factory bucket that make room for the clutch and brake cables.

I want to be able to ride it around the block a few times before winter hits, at which point I'm planning to dive into getting it cleaned up a bit more, painting the frame, rebuilding the forks, wheel and neck bearings, etc.

A few steps at a time...

More to come-

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Making some progress on the FreeBee CB.

I decided to dive in and get some of the bike cleaned up. Started with pulling the forks to replace the seals.
They had clearly been leaking for a long time...




Most of the oily crud just easily wiped off, the aluminum and chrome underneath looks pretty good. I was contemplating polishing the forks, but decided to keep them as is.


The forks came right out without any grief, I was assuming they would be rusted in place and a bitch to remove from the bike.


I pulled the forks apart, cleaned them out, and installed new seals.



The forks are in decent shape, the seal surfaces are nice. One of them looks like it had been handled with a pipe wrench sometime in the past, but the marks are above the extent of travel on the seal so I don't think they will hurt anything.


More to come...
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Next on my list was trying to save the headlight mount ears. The bike had been dropped before, and the headlight had been pushed to one side, bending the ears.






I wanted to try and save the original paint as much as possible, as I plan to run the patina tank and fork covers as they are.


With some patience and a couple of body hammers, I was able to get them pretty straight. The left side was the worst, bent between the tube and the turn signal mount where the ear is a double layer of steel.


They will do for now, unless I happen upon a nicer set in the same color.



Pulled the tank off and started to clean up the frame a bit for a coat of new paint. Re-taped the wiring harness too, the old tape was ugly and we had removed most of it trouble shooting the wiring when we first got the bike.





The battery box is a little mangled, so I'll be pulling that out next to straighten it out and weld it back together and repaint it. The tool box has a couple of broken spot welds too, where it mounts to the frame. Odd design, in that the tool box supports the rear fender... When I pull the battery box out, I'll pull this apart too for a fix.

Still need to clean up the hubs on the wheels, the front is especially grimy from the leaking fork seals.

The rear wheel is a little out of round, I'll have to dive into trying to straighten it before installing new tires.

More to come,
Pete
 

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Nice work! I'm using this headlight on mine - plenty of room for the tach and speedo cables. If your headlight lens and bezel are good, there are plenty of used headlight housings available on eBay, though.

6-8-18a.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice work! I'm using this headlight on mine - plenty of room for the tach and speedo cables. If your headlight lens and bezel are good, there are plenty of used headlight housings available on eBay, though.

View attachment 264330
I've been watching Ebay for a decent headlight bucket. There are lots of black ones, and lots of them with chips or cracks. Found an early metal one that I might do, and repaint. I haven't seen a green one yet... I love the color of the tank and fork covers, and the old patina that they've earned. I'd use the the old headlight bucket too, but it's beyond salvage. It is missing a big chunk at the top edge, and most of the back, unfortunately.
Pete
 

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Nice work! I'm using this headlight on mine - plenty of room for the tach and speedo cables. If your headlight lens and bezel are good, there are plenty of used headlight housings available on eBay, though.

View attachment 264330
I've been watching Ebay for a decent headlight bucket. There are lots of black ones, and lots of them with chips or cracks. Found an early metal one that I might do, and repaint. I haven't seen a green one yet... I love the color of the tank and fork covers, and the old patina that they've earned. I'd use the the old headlight bucket too, but it's beyond salvage. It is missing a big chunk at the top edge, and most of the back, unfortunately.
Pete
You will find that most buckets are cracked right along the edge that clips into the rim, common weak point. Black might look nice with the green, chrome would too. I'm with you on originality though, I likes to keep my paint the way it came from Japan! Really is too bad about your bucket, I love the way it yellowed out.
Amazing what a little elbow grease will do, bike cleaned up nice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
The head bearings felt fine before I pulled the forks, so I figured I'd just regrease them and keep the stock ball bearings. Once pulled the forks though, I could feel some notchy-ness turning the bars left to right.
I decided to disassemble further, to see what was really in there.
I doesn't look like they bearings have ever been re-greased before, and from the looks of the race at the top, the balls weren't even touching the race.


I decided to just go ahead and replace the ball bearings with the new style tapered roller bearings.
I used a dremel with a small cut-off wheel to remove a chunk of the bottom race, and it popped right off. Tapped out the races from the frame as well, and cleaned everything up.


Fresh paint on the bottom tripple tree.



Apparently the bike had been ridden a bunch through the weeds, judging from the debris that came out of the steering lock... It was packed solid.


Taking things apart further, I pulled the tool box off to see if I can fix it. It was hanging on by a thread, the bracket is completely blown out on the front side of the box. I could weld it back together, but since there are hundreds of these on ebay for a few bucks, I think I'll just get another.


The old starter solenoid has seen better days, I already have a new one to install.


The battery box is mangled too, looks like someone shredded the front end of it with a pair of pliers to make an incorrect battery fit. Not sure if it's worth the time to fix, or like the tool box- just get another.


I want to paint the frame, so now I'm trying to decide if I want to pull the engine out of the frame while I'm this deep... or just do a careful masking. Haven't decided yet.


Looking for some instant gratification, I decided to polish the tripple tree top rather than paint it. The old paint finish is brittle, and scrapes off easlily, and would have to come off to do a nice paint job anyway, so I dove in.


I started by scraping the old paint off with a pick, and then sanded it with several grits of paper. I left the deeper battle scars.


Once it was clean and smooth, I polished it with several grits on the buffer. Came out pretty good.


More to come,
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Today I pull the bike apart a little further to clean up, prep, and paint the frame. Decided to leave the engine in the frame, and do a bunch of careful masking to keep it simple.

Masked off the data plate-


I have the top half of the frame painted, just need to get the swing arm, center stand, and underside cleaned up and then paint the rest. Came out looking pretty good.


Haven't decided yet how I'm going to detail the engine- Polish the cases, or just give it a super scrub to get it clean and run it as is.

The new head bearings will be here tomorrow, so I can get the front end back together.

I think I have just about everything I need for it now, aside from a headlight bucket, good seat and new tires. Looking forward to the first spin around the block.

More to come,
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would have cleaned the engine before painting the frame. Some cleaning agents may not be good for fresh paint.
I've only painted the top section of the frame, so that I can move ahead with the head bearings/battery box. I wanted to make sure I liked the paint too, before going all in.
I'll be cleaning the rest of the engine/bottom of the frame before painting any more of it. The paint I'm using is a high temp engine enamel, and it matches the original paint very well. Slightly glossier, but hardly noticeable.

The new head bearings arrived yesterday, so I put the races into the frame. Popped the races into the freezer for a couple of hours, and they went right in without any grief.


Same with the bottom bearing. I put the tripple tree in the freezer, and heated the bearing a bit, and it tapped right on. I used the thinner shim, and it seems to be a good fit on the bike.


The top nut/cover was a little ugly, so I polished it.



While I was at it, I polished the trim rings for the fork covers.



And the lock nut-


Here's the assembly ready to go back on the bike. Just need to pack the bearings and install.


Picked up a nice tool box on ebay for $14. Going to sand and repaint.


Going down the rabbit hole a little further. I pulled the swing arm to get it and the area around it clean.


Degreased and ready to paint.


Next is getting the bottom of the bike frame and engine clean, painted, and then start to put it back together.




More to come-
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Painted a few more parts yesterday-

The new tool box is like new, and the swing arm cleaned up and painted nicely.


Polished a few more bits as well-



I decided to polish the brake plates. They are pretty crusty, and it's going to take a bunch of sanding to get them smooth.
You can see where I sanded a spot in this pic


Polished a spot on the buffer to see if it need more sanding first. And it does... need to get some more finer grit paper, and get after it before buffing with progressive grits.


I have a love/hate relationship with polishing this stuff. It's a dirty job, but it looks so great when done.

Not sure what I'm going to do with the wheel hubs yet. They would take forever to polish, and I don't really want to re-lace them. Thinking about painting the hubs and spokes, and leaving the chrome on the rims as is. The chrome is like new and looks great. Still need to get them straight, and then decide.

More to come.
Pete
 

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Not sure what I'm going to do with the wheel hubs yet. They would take forever to polish, and I don't really want to re-lace them.
I opted for leaving the hubs on mine as the only remaining patina, for the same reason you mentioned - I have hundreds of hours in the rest of the bike and my wheels are fine, spokes good, the rims look good, only the hubs are a little dull... so I decided not to go to the trouble of re-lacing them just to get a little shine there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Decided on the 4into1 build your own headlight, with an amber lens. The whole assembly with replacable h4 bulb was $35, cheaper than an ebay cracked and chipped original headlight bucket.


Been stalled for a while with work and life, hoping to start re-assembling the bike next week.

More to come.
Pete
 
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