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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Honda Twin Community,

I'm trying to fix up a few Hondas that I got but my lack of mechanical knowledge is hindering my process. I have a 1969 Cb350, a 1978 CB750F2, a 1979 CB750L, and a 1981 CB650. I"m working on the cb350 at the moment and i have the whole thing disassembled. The lower end is split and that's as far as i've been able to go because I have no idea how to clean this thing to factory new. There's some gunk inside and I don't have a shop sink. I've asked around locally and was told to get it soda blasted. I'm not against it, but I want to wash the parts as much as I can to reduce labor costs. Or even learn how clean it myself to remove that cost entirely before I start the rebuild.

So my first question is, how should i clean it? What products or chemicals should i use? What's the set up I would use them in?

Next is what parts in the motor should i absolutely replace? The motor was seized pretty bad so I was gonna get new pistons and rings. But what's a list of parts that I should replace every time i rebuild a motor? I'm going to go through this process at least a few more times and I just want that knowledge going forward.

Thanks ahead of time for all the help.
 

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Opinions vary on the parts washing - many use mineral spirits, I bought the cheapest parts washer from HF and bought a 5 gallon pail of parts washing fluid from Advance Auto for around $80. It works great, but the total cost was about $150 or so. As for the parts to replace... tearing it down and inspecting everything will reveal the real needs. Post pictures of parts you aren't sure of and we'll help. Now that you're a member, please take a look at the link below and post an introduction for us - you'll get plenty of help here, and it will help everyone help you better once we get to know you and your bike better

https://www.hondatwins.net/forums/23-member-introductions/121120-critical-read-before-posting.html
 

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A low-bucks way to do it would be to get one of those big rectangular plastic storage tubs and a couple cheap paint brushes, along with five gallons of your favorite cleaning solution. A recirculating pump would be nice to have but it isn't absolutely necessary.
 

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If you've got a permanent residence, a bead blast cabinet is invaluable for motorcycle restoration work.
 

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If you've got a permanent residence, a bead blast cabinet is invaluable for motorcycle restoration work.
^^^+1
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I rent in a friend's home. She's nice enough to give me half of the garage but that half is filled to the brim already. Someday though.
 

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Opinions vary on the parts washing - many use mineral spirits, I bought the cheapest parts washer from HF and bought a 5 gallon pail of parts washing fluid from Advance Auto for around $80. It works great, but the total cost was about $150 or so. As for the parts to replace... tearing it down and inspecting everything will reveal the real needs. Post pictures of parts you aren't sure of and we'll help. Now that you're a member, please take a look at the link below and post an introduction for us - you'll get plenty of help here, and it will help everyone help you better once we get to know you and your bike better

https://www.hondatwins.net/forums/23-member-introductions/121120-critical-read-before-posting.html
Awesome! Thanks Tom. Just posted an introduction. And i'm definitely gonna check out Harbor Freight and go with this course of action. Should i prewash the parts to clean the parts washing fluid as clean as possible for as long as possible? How would i prewash them? I really wish this garage had a sink....
 

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It depends on how bad they are - the washer fluid will get dirty from internal oil and sludge that clings to the parts anyway, but it will still clean up stuff decently until it gets pretty dirty. recently, another member posted a link to modifications done to a HF washer to add a better pump, filter arrangement and work light... I've not done that to mine, but it cleaned up every single thing on my 450 build except for the upper and lower crankcases which I had "hot tanked" by the local hot rod shop, where the parts go into a closed tank with a rotating platform and heated solvent is prayed on the parts to do a deep cleanup, saved me a lot of effort. Other than that, all my engine parts were washed in my HF parts washer. You might look for a hot rod or speed shop that does hot tanking, it really works well and avoids the extensive cleanup required after getting the parts vapor or bead blasted
 

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I have had great luck with plastic tubs and Simple Green when cleaning parts. Fill the tub up with water pour in a good amount of Simple Green and mix well. put engine case in the tub and let soak for a few hours. HOT water works better. I learned from a friend of mine that worked on/climbed wind turbines that one of their secret ingredients for cleaning those dirty things was Simple Green in high concentration.

Once its sat a bit scrub chip or whatever other method you feel like to get most of the crap off, then soak again. Then clean, then soak etc. until you have all/most of the stuff. Then dump the tub in a responsible place and put engine cases in tub, tub in car, go to a car wash and power wash them to get all of the soap and the rest of the residue off. Should come out almost clean enough to eat off. Hose down all bare steel/iron with WD-40 to displace the water and dry everything else.
 

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My cleaning station probably costs about $25 - a small tub on saw horses with a dozen nylon and wire brushes and a gallon of Simply Green - and most of that cost is the SG. That takes care of about 75% of the cleaning. Another twenty percent is resolved with a dremel and various brass and ss brushes and a buffing wheel on the bench grinder. The last 5% takes a pro. I tried soda blasting and didn't like the results. It takes a good cabinet, media and a big compressor. And, to me, it was more effort that only produced marginally better results than my own elbow grease. If I had it to do over again, for that last 5%, I'd probably send the engine out for vapor blasting. I've seen those results and they are impressive.
 

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So what kind of tubs do I buy for the Simple Green method? I asked a couple guys at Home Depot and Lowes and they told me to google it.......... I thought there would be more retired Chemical Engineers working at those places. I know that the wrong kind of plastic could yield disastrous results. Also is it okay to soak the engine case in there? I'm gonna probably go the HF part cleaner route for smaller things but the main issue I'm trying to get around is cleaning the bigger pieces.
 

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On my last project I strapped it to a trailer and drove it down to the local DIY Car Wash that has one bay they let people do Engine degressing in.

Gave it a good soaking with the canned foamy engine cleaner, worked it around with a stiff brush then pressure washed the whole thing down.

That got me about 99% of the way there before tear down.

BUt it was late JUNE and warm out at the time.
 

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Any good plastic tub will do, happen to like Rubbermaid Roughnecks, made out of tough plastic. Simple Green will not eat plastic. It WILL however etch aluminum if you leave it in it for weeks, then again most de-greasers and cleaners will do that. You can clean just about anything with it, does wonders on nasty wiring looms, tires, rims, plastic parts, etc. I soaked my engine cases in it overnight and they came out practically spotless.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/18-Gal-Roughneck-Tote-RMRT180001/302148847
 
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