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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those that didn't read my introduction post, a little back story on why I have this bike... I work full time in Dallas and have to commute 4-6x a week up to Denton to go to college (I am also a full time student, if this clues you in at all to my insanity) and couldn't keep putting nearly 500 miles a week on my car. It just wasn't economical.

I had some spare grant money burning holes in my pockets, so I decided to browse craigslist for my dream motorcycle. Now, let me say that my dream motorcycle was a bike that was running but obviously needed some work. I actually -wanted- a project bike because I am clearly insane and need committed. So I found this Honda CM400A for $500. Carbs were clean (supposedly, but that's another story) and it ran. It, also supposedly, didn't need any major work.

I decided to go that night and check it out. It was running/idling for 10 minutes by the time I got there for this guy who was interested. I saw the bike and instantly fell in love. I will freely admit that I didn't do much research into the CM400s other than seeing they were reliable Honda's and will get me from Point A to Point B without killing myself -- so when I asked about the clutch I was surprised when they said it was an automatic. Now, I don't mind owning an automatic, but I really feel like I'm on the short bus sometimes when I'm riding it.

I got my MSC under my belt and my license already -- after a five hour wait at the DMV, my license photo shows me very unhappy and I'm ready to begin my adventure into project bike land....

ENJOY MY PHOTOS AND PAIN!


This is the day I got it home. Notice how much of a wreck it is? Yeah, I thought so too. Also let me know if my photos are too big.



HOLY CRAP LOOK AT THOSE SWEET PIPES GUYS!!!


I'm replacing the exhaust system here from those shitty straight pipes to actual real pipes. Also, when I was try to get the black paint off the front shocks, I got a bunch of paint thinner on the rims so now no more black rims (i suck, sorry).

I'm going to take a break from the photos here for a second to give you a break down of what all I've done so far on this bike. Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking I would be making a project log so I didn't take photos for a lot of it.

Things I have done so far:
Run Seafoam through my gas system
Rebuilt the Master Brake Cylinder
Replaced the gear shift cover gasket
Rewired the rear tail light
New Throttle Sleeve and grips
New Mirrors
New diaphragm for the Brake reservoir
New brake line from HEL
New Speedo cable (my bike didn't have one, WTF?)
New front tire (Bridgestone Spitfire. The Front tire was 10 years old, also wtf?)
New battery
Oil changed
Adjusted chain (story behind this too)

Things on my to do list:
Replace Gas tank and panels
Replace fuel line and filter
Buy a new headlamp
Wait patiently for my K&N air filter and swap that out (story about this)
PAINT THE FRAME YOU LAZY HOBO
Drink a ton of beer

Now onto more photos:


The bike as it was 3 hours ago when I pulled up to my house!


Another view

The main reason for the GREAT GASKET EXCHANGE OF OUR LORD'S YEAR 2010 is because of this:



and this:



some of this too:



Don't forget this:



and finally, these people are morons. Look at this gas line, just look at it:



Okay, intermission number two from photos.

I got home today for pre-Christmas. At my doorstep was my new gas tank and panels! My current gas tank seemed to only hold 1.5 gallons of gas before I had to put it on reserve/run out. I'm starting to think that I am actually a dumbass and it really does hold 2.5 gallons... I'm just dumb or the petcock is broken. One or the other. It's a 50-50 toss up.

PRESENTS FROM SANTA CLAWS:


T-t-those aren't the right decals? o no (it's okay, I'm getting custom decals made of Petunia from Pete and Pete to put over them because I am a huge dork).

And finally, this is how the bike looks RIGHT NOW IN MY GARAGE:



I have stories to share, please pick them like a "Choose your Adventure" book:
What is that thunk thunk sound when I accelerate?
This front tire doesn't look so hot, I wonder what's wrong with it?
God, I sure wish I had some gloves so I don't get my hands dirty
My Tank only handles 1.5 gallons, why is it taking so long to siphon this gas out?
What was that hard thing that just hit me in the leg at 70mph?
What is all this crap caked in my air filter housing/gear cover/chain/everywhere?

I'll update this log as I progress through my bike project. Tomorrow will be breaking down the engine and looking at the carbs to see if they need rebuilt or not. Then possibly syncing them or cleaning them. One or the other. Now, I have to work on this arcGIS project for college that I should have done 3 hours ago![/b]
 

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Just curious, cause I dont know anything about automatic bikes, what is the other lever on the bars for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Parking brake, since I can't really use first gear as a way to stabilize the bike on a hill.

So after a long and painful session, I got the carbs and rockers off the engine. I didn't even bother pulling the carbs apart because I got to the cam shaft and got stuck. I can't find the freaking bolt they're talking about, and I ripped apart my pair of gloves. It's 1am and I have to be up at the college tomorrow for a major research project so I stopped messing with the bike.

I'll pick it up tomorrow. In other news, the frame is rattle canned and looking mucho better. I'll take pictures tomorrow when there is better light. I wanted to take the frame into work and put it through the paint booth but a) our paint at work is water based and b) I doubt it'll survive the heat so I used heat resistant paint on the frame.

I patched up rust spots and some gray spots from when the guy previous (whom I have grown to hate) got all over the frame for some reason??

The underside of my bike looks like a **** demon exploded under it. I'm going to have to do a major cleaning session for just the underside. I've been working on the frame. I think the dumbass before me ran this thing in a freaking field; I also think he hit a ton of birds from the amount of feathers I've found.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
HerrDeacon said:
Stagebomb said:
...I got to the cam shaft and got stuck. I can't find the freaking bolt they're talking about, and I ripped apart my pair of gloves. ...
What kind of problems are you having with the cam shaft? What bolt are you looking for?
There's supposedly a bolt next to the top gear to help the chain slip off the gear to the left so I can take the top cog off. I can't seem to find it but it might have been a combo of my lack of sleep and lack of adequate light, despite having a shop light.

I should take some pictures after I get back from college. There's some rumblings from my friends that they want me to do a local MTB race. I'm tempted to go because the womans field is so light around here; I'm almost surely going to podium on the course rather then actually have to be competitive to get my hardware :mrgreen:

Edit: Oh, I found a potential issue and why my bike might be running lean. I'm also at a loss on how to fix it due to the discontinuation of the parts. It looks like my left insulator boot for my carbs is cracked and not really creating a vaccum when it runs. I've been looking for boots online, but no one makes them for the CM400A, which uses a different boot then the other CMs (probably because they detuned the engine and it has less HP then the other CMs?). So this makes me think I might have to do something stupid to get it to vacuum seal like the previous owner did on the right one, like seal it with something after I reassemble the engine. I've been looking for spare parts from salvage bikes but it's a hard bike to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, that's the part. I ran into this issue with my hose. A lot of sites say they have it, but it's a discontinued part so they can't actually get it.

I called motogrid and left a message. They'll get back to me Monday probably. I also found a gentleman on ebay selling an 81 Hondamatic engine with the boots. He has offered to sell me the boots (which aren't cracked) if his engine doesn't sell, the listing ends next Friday.

So I have some options at least. Methodology paper went okay, but took four hours. I still have to review the final paper and transcribe it to power point for a presentation Monday in front of a professorial review. I didn't make the race, so I guess it's more engine working time..









Once I buy a torque wrench because neither my roommate nor I have one. I thought he did but hehhhhhh. Not screwing up the torque on these engine bolts.
 

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Good Luck.
Anybody prepared to work on their bike AND use ArcGIS gets my vote.
The bike I can cope with but Arc... I hate it.
 

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Nice snag on the tank and panels if that's the same ones I saw on e-bay. Glad I didn't decide to run the price up. ;)

On another forum I once saw the carb intake boots repaired through the inventive use of sections of bicycle inner tube and liquid electrical tape. It not only worked but actually looked pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bike-Mart said:
Good Luck.
Anybody prepared to work on their bike AND use ArcGIS gets my vote.
The bike I can cope with but Arc... I hate it.
ArcGIS is awesome!!! I love it, it's very handy and easy to use but I used to be a computer programmer :3 Now I'm just an amateur Archeologist/Geologist.

The bike is reassembled with new tank and panels on. I'll have some photos later. I'm so beat, and both my gloves ripped so my hands are caked in grime; something i wanted to avoid.

J-T: probably not since these were a buy-it-now only auction. I've been eyeing them for a month but finally pulled the trigger on them last Friday. I paid $249 which I think is a little steep but after tracking side panel auctions, I knew I was going to be plopping down at least $100 for the panels, so I guess I paid $149 for a tank with a really nice coat of paint and nice inside?

If you got a link handy, I'd like to check it out. I'm a little worried about using electrical tape because of melting issues, unless liquid electrical tape is different? I have not heard of such a wondrous invention before, I must know more.

Okay, putting on my gear to go fire up the bike and run to the gas station for some more gas. Here's hoping the bike doesn't blow up. Boy would my face be red.
 

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I found some references to the bicycle tube method on xjbikes.com but I couldn't find any pictures (you know how we like pictures).

Anyway, the liquid electrical tape is a lot like Permatex gasket sealer only it isn't sticky when it dries. You would need to figure out what size tube to use to get a snug fit, coat it with the liquid, then slide on an appropriate length of tube.

I have used plain old electrical tape on a boot that was cracked but not yet leaking. It actually looks reasonably good but I'm not expecting a lot in the way of longevity.

BTW, I don't have a clue what that other stuff is you guys are talking about. :roll:

Oh yeah, $149 for a good clean tank is a good deal around here. Congratulations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Crap crap crap crap crap crap... I'm kinda freaking out.

My engine won't turn over. It's not starting and it just endlessly hangs and won't catch. I checked the gas line and it is sending gas to the carbs. I don't know why it's not starting, I did everything correctly and by the book. :/

I'm not going to mess with it tonight. I'll and see what I did wrong tomorrow. Hoping it's just like the spark plugs or something.

Edit: Did I seize the engine like an absolute moron? Here's a video of the sound it's making. The cam on the left side is turning. I took the cover off to watch it. Other than that, I am at a lost at what I could have possibly done to mess this up:

edit2: I can't kick start it, but if I put it into gear, there's no problem rolling it around and the rear wheel isn't locked up. Looks like it's seized?. Probably the cam chain or something. I guess I'm tearing it apart again tomorrow and make sure I don't do something stupid. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay, I need your guys input before I tear down my bike again.

These are the symptoms so far:
Engine won't turn over
Kick start won't budge while in neutral, but is loose and free in gears 1 and 2
Rear wheel is not locked up
Alternator Flywheel is not seized and spins

Should I just tear apart the engine and check the cam chain? I followed the timing instructions. Do you think it's a carb compression issue or something else? It's not a fuel issue either. I really don't want to take it into the shop, I'm sure it'll be a hefty repair bill.

Edit: The only good thing from this is I did find the correct gasket to replace and it's not leaking oil anymore :|
 

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When I play your video it sounds like the engine is turning over. If the alternator flywheel spins then either the engine (or at least the crankshaft) is turning over or the flywheel is spinning on the crankshaft. Pull the spark plugs and see if the pistons are moving up and down when you crank it. Better yet do a compression test if you have the tester.

Hopefully someone will be along soon with some insight into the kickstart problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
J-T said:
When I play your video it sounds like the engine is turning over. If the alternator flywheel spins then either the engine (or at least the crankshaft) is turning over or the flywheel is spinning on the crankshaft. Pull the spark plugs and see if the pistons are moving up and down when you crank it. Better yet do a compression test if you have the tester.

Hopefully someone will be along soon with some insight into the kickstart problem.
They are moving up and down and the cam chain is spinning so it looks like it's not seized. This leads me to believe it might either be a) Spark plugs (because I pulled one out and didn't see any spark) or b) compression issues.

Edit: lmaooooo we have a winner on the biggest moron on the face of the planet. The winner is me, I'm the winner. I was talking to my roommate since he's worked on engines for a long time and I was showing him what I did and showing him the rocker/heads and how it was moving. He goes "You... you didn't mess with the rockers did you?" I replied "Er yeah, why?" ".... that's why it's not starting. Your timing is off. You need to adjust them"

CRAP! So... I think I found my issue on why it's not starting.

Edit2: It's dead Jim, got a new one coming (only set me back 13 dollars) and should be here in the middle of the week. Until then I guess I'll get reacquainted with my triathlon bike :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
While i'm sitting around doing nothing because of the timing issue, I got a question to ask. What's a good aftermarket replacement for the Master Brake Cylinder housing/brake fluid resevoir? I heard the 650 would be doable? Maybe my recollection is bad.

I don't like my resevoir and getting a direct 30 year old replacement is kinda a PITA.

In other news, my new air filter will be here today and the left rocker will be here tomorrow. Still no leaks since I've replaced the gasket but I'll know for sure after I fix it and fire it up. I checked the tension in my cam chain too last night and it's in amazing condition. After this mess, I can't really budget in any more upgrades to the bike until I get my work bonus or my spring college grants, except maybe a carb clean/potential rebuild. My cat needs somewhat expensive surgery to remove some teeth :( Kitty health comes first.

I feel like my log is slightly boring cause it's stuck in a holding pattern for right now. Eh, while I'm sitting around with my thumb up my butt I might as well pull the wheels and paint the stars back to black. So I might have some pictures tonight.

edit: Something like this? http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/FRONT-BR ... 1c16482bd2
 

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That one should work just fine but if your line doesn't have the banjo connector you'll have to get an adapter. They're available at a good cycle shop for around $10.

Replacement reservoirs do show up on e-bay fairly often, I think they run around $50 or $60.

Yep, that's just for the reservoir. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's the whole assy that I'll need. And yeah no kidding, I browsed the actually plastic reservoir before looking at replacing the entire assy and was like "uh yeah, no".

I do have banjo fittings already, not bolts, since my brake line was custom made by HEL.
 
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