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Thread: CL450 project reboot, street-legal this time

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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    CL450 project reboot, street-legal this time

    This attempts to be a synopsis of the nearly 500 posts of my "little red monster" build from another forum long ago...

    When I was 19, I built a CL450K5 into a modified class drag bike

    IMG_0533.jpg my Honda 450 at Twin City, 1974 with time ticket.jpg

    Ever since letting it go for one month's rent on a one bedroom apartment ($125) while broke and out of work for 6 months that year (1975), I've wanted to do it again - but this time, street legal. I found this bike in nearby Lakeland FL for $1900. I took it home in a truck (despite it being a runner) and proceeded to tear it down. Glad I did, after discovering that the PO had left the fuel on all the time and the carbs had seeped into the bottom end.

    20161015_175339.jpg 20161015_175454.jpg 20161015_175604.jpg

    Started tearing the bike down, since it was going to get a makeover as well as plenty of engine work

    20161015_194806.jpg 20161016_173616.jpg

    20161016_173701.jpg 20161016_173815.jpg

    Clearly the bike had sat for some time before it got to me, and the guy I bought it from was likely the guy who bought and flipped it.

    Thus began the quest to (try not to, sadly in vain) spend more money than I've ever spent on a project before.
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    Senior Member 12ozPBR's Avatar
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    Nothing like a second chance! No, not your bike Tom, I’m talking about a second chance for me to actually follow your build!
    The original was so in depth with so many pages, I was never sure that I covered it all. This time I’m starting at the beginning and going to try and keep up. Looking forward to this second iteration

    1974 CB450
    1974 XL350
    1972 CL350
    1971 Triumph Tiger

    Parts hound with too many other potential projects to mention...
    Bombers, K1 450’s, etc

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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Began ordering parts in earnest with the vision in mind of what I wanted to do with the bike, and luck was with me as I ran across many things that ended up fitting together well along with a number of little items that appealed to me as I began to discover new and re-discover old places to find the parts I had in mind. During those months, I happily found 4into1.com and in my long, difficult search for just the right gas tank for the idea, the website Web!ke where a marvelous little chrome 1.8 gallon replica Honda Monkeybike tank was available for $95. The picture on the right below is an early idea I had... must have been a few too many adult beverages involved in that choice. I gave that tank to Mike, as he was still riding motocross at the time and might know someone that had a bike it looked better on.

    20161213_110835.jpg 20161202_125621.jpg 20161127_172007.jpg

    Gaskets, dust caps for the forks, 36mm Mikunis, 74mm 11.6:1 Team Hansen pistons

    20161107_174531.jpg 20161121_194246.jpg 20161213_110545.jpg

    4ah lithium ion battery - 1 lb and so much smaller - and a narrower 5" wide aftermarket rear fender, as the stock rear fender always made the rear tire look puny

    20161214_164346.jpg 20161219_094949.jpg

    Cheap low seat that was amazingly easy to adapt and snuggled up to the Monkeybike tank very well despite them having nothing to do with each other prior and more little parts - fork seals, period-correct gray cables (but dummy me bought the Keihin throttle cable - DOH!), handlebar mount dampers, OEM stickers, 400F bars, basic levers and perches and OEM right switch, with the idea in mind that since the bike was not going to have turn signals or electric start, I would use the starter button for the horn

    20161114_122518.jpg 20161114_122248.jpg
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.08.20 at 6:53 PM.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    With a limit of 10 pics per post, re-creation is challenging!

    One more that I couldn't fit in the previous, not that it's a big deal - the 400F bars, new levers and perches and the OEM right switch. Oh yeah, and the worst set of aftermarket passenger pegs ever, they look the part but began to droop as soon as my feet were on them the first time. They're in the garbage now

    20161107_174422.jpg

    So began the work on the frame, tabs and seat mounts/lock and helmet holders all trimmed off, both mounts for the rear fender cut out and my welder friend Mike replaced them with something more appropriate for the aftermarket fender. Don't worry, the tank was dry, no fuel put in it yet.

    20170116_150932.jpg 20170116_150859.jpg

    And an idea I came up with on the fly, move the ignition switch up a bit, tucked in near the tank to fill in the open space left by the coils being moved and the tank set rearward

    20161219_130142.jpg 20170116_151249.jpg

    I removed the factory brake pedal stop bracket, brake light switch bracket and a clip for brake light switch wire and had Mike weld them in their new positions

    20170116_181703.jpg 20170116_181723.jpg

    And new coil mounts would need to be placed behind the engine as they wouldn't fit under the new tiny gas tank

    20170116_181806.jpg

    The fender was initially fitted and drilled for mounting bolts. Too bad hindsight wasn't available then or I would have realized that we did too much weld cleanup on the forward fender mount, and the rear mount for the fender just wasn't going to be strong enough. In the end, it cost me a second powdercoat job, which turned into a third.... explained later

    20170121_162026.jpg 20170121_162038.jpg
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.08.20 at 8:25 PM.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    The rear brake pedal was shortened and re-welded by Mike so it still looked like the factory brake pedal. We cut a section from the centerstand tube to use as a pivot, then drilled the passenger peg mount hole on the right side larger for a bolt that would fit snugly inside the piece of tube. The length of the tube was cut so it held the pedal and a large flat washer on the back, which when bolted together acted as a shoulder which gave the pedal a solid pivot with room for a revised version of the original pedal return spring. I bent the one end of the spring into a 90 and drilled a hole in the stamped metal that is part of the passenger peg mount, and used the hole for the 90° end of the spring to hold that end still while the other end of the spring pushed against the arm of the pedal where the brake rod connects.

    brake pedal closeup.jpg 20170122_112010.jpg 20170122_111320.jpg

    20170122_111345.jpg 20170122_111416.jpg
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.08.20 at 9:01 PM.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    I've always liked my bikes to have one or two things that set them apart from their completely stock counterparts and though much of this bike was intended to be a replica of my drag bike but street legal, which in itself would be different, I just wasn't enamored with the usual headlight choices out there and wanted to use an LED headlight as well. So, we come to the part where most hate my choice... the "road warrior" headlight, as my buddy Mike called it

    20161228_113736.jpg 20161228_113725.jpg

    The bike won't be ridden much at night if at all, and since there is no provision for high and low beam... well, it's pretty much bright enough to be high beam aimed a bit lower.

    I bent up some thin flat steel for a battery box, using a drift clamped in the vise to get a nice curve on the tabs on either side for an OEM battery strap, and had Mike weld it together. I used 2 taillight mount shoulder bolts and rubber grommets to give the battery some insulation from the vibes of the big twin. The original idea had the battery lying on its side to show off the push-button 3 LED battery strength meter. Sadly, that made the package too wide for the space between the carbs and air filters... back to the drawing board, with the battery vertical, but no pictures of it after the change

    20161228_094958.jpg 20161228_095013.jpg

    20170101_114008.jpg 20170101_114026.jpg

    On to the engine for a bit. Briefly considered going with the bottom end as it was with a good flush, but decided against it in favor of not only checking everything for wear but taking the pieces to be hot tanked at the speed shop that was doing the boring work for me. Glad I did, as so much more was discovered during the teardown, the cases came out much cleaner and the goo in the bottom end was worse than I thought.

    20170102_114618.jpg 20170115_164800.jpg

    20170115_170245.jpg 20170115_170313.jpg
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Teardowns reveal some ugly stuff sometimes, like the typical overdo of RTV... ugh. Even got on the starter chain. I kept that gasket and hung it on the garage wall.

    20170110_143906.jpg 20170110_143700.jpg

    Except for a sloppy pizza cutter, the rest of the bottom end was good, just nasty and gooey

    20170126_131057.jpg 20170126_131120.jpg

    So, cases at the speed shop in the hot tank, outer covers cleaned and painted the last of the beautiful Honda Marine Oyster Silver left in his garage by my Dad. Little did I know then that the cans of Oyster Silver were about 10 years old, and the next couple of cans I ordered from the exact same manufacturer were... very different in color. Not even close, which means when they get boogered up enough to need painting again, they'll all need it at the same time. No, I didn't take a picture of the other covers...

    20170111_175113.jpg 20170111_175132.jpg

    On to polishing the other covers

    20170110_173237.jpg 20170111_172053.jpg 20170128_120031.jpg

    And I picked up a real starter hole plug from SpeedMotoCo, not some freeze plug from the auto parts store

    20170111_161230.jpg
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Worked on the forward end of the wiring harness, trimming stuff I wasn't going to use and doubling back/taping up to make it more compact since my plan was to run all the connections from the bars, headlight and gauges under the tank since there is no headlight bucket to hide them in. Bought wire harness end covers from 4into1, one large and the other medium sized, to slide one inside the other with the connections inside the pair. Mocked up the harness to be sure of lengths and locations

    20170109_155936.jpg 20170109_155925.jpg

    First mockup of seat, fender and taillight. I bought Emgo shocks that measured 11.5" to lower the rear 1.5"

    20170121_190202.jpg

    And a mockup of the head, carbs, air cleaners and battery box now that it was revised so the battery sat upright for the narrower width, and added the coils in as well. It's pretty tight in there between those big carbs and air cleaners. Drilled the 2 holes in the upper rear frame brace for the Oregon Cycle rec/reg I was fortunate to get with the bike

    20170122_133024.jpg 20170128_131059.jpg 20170128_131133.jpg

    So the frame and swingarm was ready for blasting and powdercoat

    20170130_110354.jpg

    Replaced the shoes and polished up the backing plates front and rear and the lower fork legs after new seals and reassembly

    20170203_125826.jpg 20170204_205651.jpg 20170204_204907.jpg
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Got the cases back from the hot tank, looking so much better. A little corrosion on the back of the upper case undoubtedly from a wayward battery vent tube's acid drips. I had just enough Oyster Silver left to fog a little on the upper case later to help it look its best.

    20170204_205755.jpg 20170204_205740.jpg

    So I forgot that I did take pictures of the other outer covers...

    20170205_101333.jpg

    A little gingerbread for the engine, courtesy of my wife's steadier hand

    20170209_065408.jpg

    And the first simply gorgeous part was ready. I cut off the sidestand mount portion of the left footpeg and had Mike weld it to the frame in the proper position so it would be a permanent part of the frame (and so the powdercoat guy wouldn't want to charge me for another separate part)

    20170210_164919.jpg 20170210_165224.jpg

    Put the bottom end together using the marvelous JIS screws from the Motion Pro assortment I bought, because I wanted JIS screws in the engine and not allen heads. Moved the bottom end to the rack for the top end assembly.

    20170212_125230.jpg 20170212_141043.jpg 20170212_171545.jpg

    And got the VIN plate back on the purdy frame

    20170212_174022.jpg
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    Senior Member HerrDeacon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientdad View Post
    Tom, what's the stuff you have on the front rim (around the spokes)? Is that some kind of old racing trick or something?

    Glad you started up this build over here.
    Perry

    '72 CB350 / '78 XL250s / '17 Africa Twin

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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Now the upper case looks better

    20170212_181159.jpg

    And a better view of the shortened stock brake pedal and arrangement for it - couldn't help putting a few pieces on that frame for some contrast

    20170212_175931.jpg 20170212_175910.jpg 20170212_181810.jpg

    I utilized the open ends of the rear frame tubes for secondary brake lights with a couple of LEDs, each mounted in one half of an upper shock rubber bushing cut in two

    20170213_134106.jpg

    Back to the engine again. New 120-x11/x12 cams came in from MegaCycle, and after scouring the internet for a couple of new followers, had to buy one from cmsnl.com and bite the big shipping bullet... that's $125 in that bag right there.

    20170214_183513.jpg 20170128_131339.jpg

    Since my 40+ year old Craftsman dremel was really tired and had a broken chuck lock, I decided to let a local home-based machine shop do the ports on the head for me. He matched the intakes to the stubs and didn't go crazy, just a modest opening up and nice finish. Then started putting the head together

    20170218_152635.jpg 20170218_152716.jpg 20170218_175611.jpg
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.10.20 at 9:07 AM.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HerrDeacon View Post
    Tom, what's the stuff you have on the front rim (around the spokes)? Is that some kind of old racing trick or something?

    Glad you started up this build over here.
    Thanks Perry, it's been challenging at times so far, close to 500 posts total over there.

    Not an exotic racing trick, just duct tape as sometimes back then the spoked wheels didn't break the beam at the far end of the track and you'd get no ET or mph
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    Senior Member HerrDeacon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientdad View Post
    Thanks Perry, it's been challenging at times so far, close to 500 posts total over there.

    Not an exotic racing trick, just duct tape as sometimes back then the spoked wheels didn't break the beam at the far end of the track and you'd get no ET or mph
    I was trying to figure out what it could be used for and don't think I would have ever thought of that. Learned something new today, thanks.
    Perry

    '72 CB350 / '78 XL250s / '17 Africa Twin

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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HerrDeacon View Post
    I was trying to figure out what it could be used for and don't think I would have ever thought of that. Learned something new today, thanks.
    If you're ever looking at some old bike drag race pictures, you often see a disc covering the entire spoked area. My Dad made a cardboard disc for his CB175 drag bike, but the down side of that of course is crosswinds... you can get blown all over the track if the winds are gusting across the far end
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Now we're getting somewhere! Oh, I forgot - I left out the part where I had to take the head back off and take it back apart to get the valves tipped, as the valve seats being cut reduced my valve adjustment to zero in a couple cases. Ugh, another head gasket.

    20170218_190337.jpg 20170218_190351.jpg

    20170219_172552.jpg 20170219_195843.jpg

    20170220_142927.jpg

    Pricey, but worth it, NOS points and plate complete with wires, which I had to extend to reach the now-rear mounted coils. Of course, I used a short section of silver PVC sleeving beyond the white cloth to keep the look OEM (where it could be seen)

    20170224_130912.jpg
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.10.20 at 10:52 AM.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Now to prep the engine for the frame

    20170225_135439.jpg 20170225_135600.jpg

    Then the next move, sooo easy compared to putting an engine back in a roller

    20170225_142054.jpg 20170225_142106.jpg

    Then things go more quickly

    20170225_151557.jpg 20170225_154541.jpg

    Block it up a bit as you go

    20170225_165720.jpg 20170225_175937.jpg

    20170225_194438.jpg 20170225_194444.jpg
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.10.20 at 9:36 AM.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    The plain steel rear fender was finally chromed, ready for installation

    20170223_173610.jpg 20170226_155426.jpg

    And those are the original, pieced-together pipes we made from a mandrel bend set for an XS650, ceramic coated by the powdercoat shop. A better set came long later

    20170226_155410.jpg
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.09.20 at 9:15 PM.
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    Moderator 76Twin's Avatar
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    Man... I almost forgot how extensive your build thread was.
    1976 CB500T Frankenbike
    1973 CL450 (basket case for now)

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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    But wait - there's more. A LOT more... with a couple chapters later on that I'd like to forget.

    Those beautifully-refurbed (cosmetically) gauges I bought from a member who was selling off his parts and build looked great with the nice addition of the voltmeter, but it was short lived all the way around. The speedo needle came loose on the shaft and started spinning in circles not long after I started riding the bike, and the voltmeter died a few segments at a time not long after that. Ended up taking both of them apart and using the nice new faces on my original gauges, then scuffing the gloss powdercoat on the covers and painting them satin black to match the other black parts on the bike.

    20170226_155525.jpg

    Then the headlight

    20170226_155455.jpg 20170226_155512.jpg

    Wiring all in place and ready for the tank, then the carbs in place. I had bought OEM carb clamps from 4into1 but later realized they weren't up to the task of clamping the heavier Mikunis, so I relented and used American hose clamps

    20170226_155552.jpg 20170226_191211.jpg

    20170227_183915.jpg

    And the first start-up... well, not the very first, that video is on a drive that won't spin up now (yet, still fiddling with it from time to time).
    But this video is the first start after what I believed to be the last repair in the intermittent oil flow problem I would later deserve a Homer Award for



    It was fun while it lasted... all of about 65 miles that time for whatever reason. The saga continues on more detail...
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.10.20 at 10:57 AM.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    All went well initially, but after the first ride beyond my neighborhood I noticed it running a little flat and when I came to a stop sign on a rural road near me, it stalled. It was really hard to start again and that told me something was up, but I was about 8 miles away from home. Finally got it running and rode it home and as I turned into my driveway it stalled again. Put it back on the rack and discovered the points were almost closed. I knew that was not possible without a good reason, and sure enough, there was a good reason. As I rotated the crank and watched the points, I could see the exhaust cam moving back and forth... obviously there was wear on the left exhaust cam bearing. So, into the first of 3 damaged moments that would be due to an unknown cause at the time.

    Anyone familiar with the 450 engine knows that the proper way to remove any part of the camshaft assemblies would require removing the engine and then the cylinder head. However, since I had just spent months and dollars assembling this expensively-finished machine, I was not about to yank the engine and gouge up my fresh powdercoat. I rotated the engine until the exhaust valves were both closed, then loosened the cam chain a bit by rotating it backwards just slightly with the tensioner lock bolt loose, then locked it and set out to remove the left cam bearing. Sure enough, excess wear on the aluminum bushing surface of the last piece in the top end to get oil flow.

    20170305_092718.jpg

    So, to summarize the long string of events that followed:

    I ordered a new cam bearing and polished it up, re-installed and figured I'd just not used enough pre-lube. Wrong. In about 22 more miles of riding, it happened again. Clearly there was something I was missing. So I broke the cam chain, took out the exhaust cam and after wondering about how and why this was happening, decided on a whim to look inside the cam with the inspection camera my Dad left me. Interestingly, I found this.

    20170309_165204.jpg

    What you're seeing is small particles of foreign matter stuck in the left orifice in the end of the camshaft. I was not happy, and a phone call to MegaCycle produced a somewhat ugly conversation with Jim's wife - she immediately got defensive as if they never do anything wrong, and refused to let me speak to Jim until they had the camshaft in their hands. So, it got sent out there again (they don't have these cams on the shelf anymore, you have to send them your cores for them to weld up and grind your cams to the profile you want) and as the first time, I included a fully-descriptive typed note for them to read and requesting they call when they opened the box and read it. And of course, for the second time they did not call, requiring me to call them and get into another less-than-pleasant talk with her before getting to speak with Jim. Though they did not believe it was caused by the debris in the cam and said I should have been more thorough in checking the cams when I got them back - despite the cams being clean and in plastic bags covered in light oil, seemingly ready for install and no instructions to the contrary - they agreed to repair the damaged bearing surface by turning the ends down and pressing on torrington sleeves for half price, $50. Okay, fair enough.

    So here it sat for a while

    20170317_152045.jpg 20170309_181838.jpg

    Then I got the cam back and decided to look inside it again to be sure...

    20170404_175903.jpg 20170407_130331.jpg

    I was shocked that once again there was something stuck inside the camshaft, this time looking like a piece of pencil lead. Never knew exactly what it was but I absolutely dislodged and removed it.

    20170407_131001.jpg 20170407_131014.jpg

    Sorry I don't have access to all of the pictures from that period, but needless to say it went back together again. Re-installed the exhaust cam and follower, another new cam bearing and finagled the cam chain around to the intake side for the master link installation since the exhaust cam sits still where you put it but the intake cam springs back unless you have the chain on it in place... with an assist from a big screwdriver and a zip tie.

    20170408_115130.jpg 20170408_115217.jpg
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    And I promptly dropped the other end of the cam chain into the bottom end... and I was ready to put a stick of dynamite under it, but left it overnight and had an epiphany while doing so - I have one of those hardware store/dollar store flexible grabber things, AND an inspection camera, so all was not lost.

    20170408_120728.jpg 20170408_121006.jpg

    Double-secured the chain with zip ties this time and got the deed done

    20170408_121943.jpg 20170408_121952.jpg 20170408_130857.jpg

    Done! Right? Took it for another ride, this time I got it!

    20170409_180821.jpg
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.10.20 at 1:35 PM.
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  22. #22
    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    I should mention a few things that were done during the downtime... as Lefty once put it, the amount of time you are waiting on parts equates to how much more shiny stuff goes on the bike (or something to that effect). I polished the top of the dipstick, then ordered and employed a stencil for the back of the seat

    20170325_173328.jpg 20170325_172252.jpg

    And then, my sticker guy (finally) came through with the tribute to my late father, who I fully credit for my good start at home with all that he taught me, enabling me to get my first job at a Honda shop at age 15 that sent me on my way through more than 25 years of mechanical involvement on Hondas and later, the Police Harleys and Kawasakis for the City of Tampa.

    20170323_112736.jpg 20170325_172301.jpg

    And during the frame modifications, I had Mike weld a 6mm bolt to the frame tube right behind the engine with the idea in mind to make a steel support bracket to sit behind the carbs to take the load off the rubber carb stubs trying to hold the weight of those Mikunis and K&N filters. I added little sections of self-adhesive dense foam as pads to protect the carb bodies.

    20170228_185210.jpg 20170228_185530.jpg

    So... back to the then-present. Running good, out riding it more.... but as they say... not so fast, my friend. As mentioned previously about a 65 mile "success", all seemed well and I was riding triple the previously reliable distance without issues this time so I started feeling pretty good about things until I came to a stop sign about 6 miles from my house... ugh. Nasty clacking coming from the top end. Rode it home very slowly, back up on the rack and then, after it cooled off (and me too), found this.

    20170415_181619.jpg

    Now, I KNEW I had an intermittent problem, and I resigned myself to tearing apart anything related to oil flow and passages and whatever it took to find out why this was happening. Clearly, despite all the odd stuff discovered previously, the issue was definitely intermittent oil flow as I rode it so much further with no cam bearing issues this time, only to lunch a lobe and follower next. So apart it came again. I checked the oil pump, I checked the cover passages, I checked the gasket, I found a difference between an older gasket and the newer gaskets and cut mine to match the larger opening used previously or in other sets... but still, nothing obvious jumped out at me.

    20170307_164748.jpg 20170307_165825.jpg clutch gasket revised.jpg
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.10.20 at 2:00 PM.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    I reached the point of looking at every single thing whether I trusted it or not. With that focus, I finally discovered the problem... in something I had previously never taken apart in all my years of working on Hondas, in large part because when I worked on them for a living decades before, these parts never needed to be disassembled for any reason as they were too new to worry about. In my situation, the engine was so nasty inside I felt it important to disassemble and clean everything that was involved in the oil flow to the top end - which, because I'd never been there before and did NOT pay as close attention to it as I should have while going somewhere new, I casually but improperly re-assembled the parts below.

    oilfiltervalve.jpg oilfiltervalve2.jpg

    In the picture on the left above, note the tabs attached to part #1 in the fiche shown by the red arrow. In the picture on the right, note the red arrows pointing to the small holes milled in the bottom of the cover - intended to align and retain the tabs and prevent unnecessary movement of the oil filter bypass valve. THIS, my friends, was my downfall, and what cost me 3 repairs and probably about $250 between replacement parts, shipping and camshaft repairs.
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    Senior Member Nick_Brox's Avatar
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    Ouch. I always hate finding those types of mistakes. However, it is nice to know what was causing the issue and being able to fix it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    -75 CL360

    Manufacturing Engineer


    My '73 240Z Resto-mod
    https://ratsun.net/topic/57777-73-24...end-z-trix-t3/

  25. #25
    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Now that the incident and resulting carnage was resolved - including a heavy flush with a mix of cheap oil and kerosene down through the cam chain tunnel and exhaust cam area to get rid of as much ground steel as possible - it was time to start enjoying a little riding. To bolster the exhaust cam oil exposure, I bought an extra intake valve cover complete with baffle plate and followed Terry Naughtin's lead of cutting and bending curved tabs to fit as close to the cam lobes as possible, in an effort to re-direct as much of the constant forward-slung oil as possible back toward the cam lobes. I figured it couldn't hurt and the cost was minimal.

    20170605_140609.jpg

    By June 15th 2017, the now-revised speedo with kmh face marked with paint pen at 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 mph had recorded 270 miles total on the engine, the last 200 of which were trouble-free.

    20170615_143418.jpg

    Made the rounds of the local neighborhood, from the Sunday hangout to the Wrong Turn...

    20170618_095834.jpg 20170625_123959.jpg

    By another month the engine had over 570 miles on it, running very well, getting the jetting sorted out and pondering taking the bike to the eighth mile strip south of me in St. Pete.
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.10.20 at 4:27 PM.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Ah, but again - not so fast, my friend...

    Though I do not have any pictures to show of the next issue (on that drive that won't yet read), the previously-mentioned hindsight that wasn't available then reared its ugly head and caused the need to start all over again. Not the engine this time, but the combination of excessively cleaning up the welds on the forward rear fender mount combined with the smallish rear mount for the fender created a crack in the left side of the forward mount where it met the frame. I also discovered that the smallish rear mount was never completely stuck to the frame on the left end weld and the movement allowed by that cracked the other end of it as well, allowing the somewhat heavy rear fender far too much movement which only made matters worse. I was sick at the thought of having to tear the bike completely apart again, only a couple months after resolving the oiling issues and being able to ride it. But, it had to be done.

    I stared at my reflection as I pondered just how long this would take...

    20170804_163445.jpg frame crack.jpg 20170804_163514.jpg
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.10.20 at 4:53 PM.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    The work began to make better, stronger rear fender mounts and beef up the rear area of the frame since the original channel-style forward rear fender mount had bee removed. Since it was a PITA for my buddy Mike to bring his MIG welder 70 miles up to my garage, I took the frame down to his small shop. Since his place was a one stall rental facility and his hot rod V8 S-10 was on jackstands while he re-worked his 4 link and swapped to a 9" Ford rear end, he literally had no bench room to work on the frame so the work was done in the bed of his truck.

    20170805_121012.jpg 20170805_121022.jpg

    20170808_143620.jpg 20170808_165229.jpg

    The forward mount was double-gusseted this time, and we added horizontal bracing tubes as well. The rear mount was significantly wider and thicker this time, not taking any further chances for more hindsight.

    20170808_165243.jpg 20170808_165329.jpg 20170812_130052.jpg

    Checked it for full travel distance as well, since the previous mounting was about 1/4" lower and the rear tire lightly scuffed the underside of the fender on one of our fine rural road pavement imperfections.
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  28. #28
    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Mike would be the first to tell you his welds aren't always a thing of beauty, but I knew I could work on these a bit since there was a lot more meat this time around. Sadly, about 3 weeks after his work on the frame, and on the night before Hurricane Irma screamed north through the state of Florida, Mike had a stroke at age 58. He wasn't found quickly enough for them to do any sort of reversal, and as a result he is now very limited in his speech and has lost the use of his right arm and leg for the most part. His recovery is ongoing and he was fortunate to have been employed by a long-term rehabilitative care facility in building maintenance, so he was taken in and is being housed by by them and everyone there knows him.

    As such, I had some tribute stickers made for Mike and the work he did on my 450. Mike's over 50-class motocross number was always 5, so his initials with his number seemed appropriate.

    20170323_133232.jpg

    For obvious reasons the project was put on hold for a while, and other arrangements had to be made for any further welding needed.

    20170820_141735.jpg

    With the gusseting adding the strength necessary, I set out to clean it up as much as possible.

    20180110_140746.jpg 20180110_140804.jpg

    The ongoing issue was pits revealed as the welds were cleaned up, and in an effort to get some additional meat added I took the frame to a couple of different places somewhat near me (at the time, I did not know my current machinist or I wouldn't have needed to clean up anything). The first place recommended to me was a pathetic referral - the guy said he couldn't make anything stick to the frame. Then I took it to a longtime friend who builds beautiful custom cars and he stick-welded some beads across the area to hopefully fill things in.

    20180110_140945.jpg

    Despite all that extra material to work with, there were still a few little pits revealed once the cleanup was done so I took the frame to the speed shop in Tampa and had the owner's son put some TIG welds on the area as if they were the real welds, and with a light cleanup it was once again ready for powdercoat.

    20180214_163941.jpg

    And so began the next adventure... you didn't really think it would be easy, did you?
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.10.20 at 6:16 PM.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Coil mounts moved, fender re-fitted and cosmetically-good welds in place, the frame went back to the powdercoat shop.

    20180214_164001.jpg

    I was excited to get going on the reassembly, picked up the frame and took it home. When I took it in the garage and started looking at it more closely, I was very disappointed... the job they did the first time was stellar, gorgeous wet-looking finish and no visible flaws. Not so much this time, a bit flat and upon closer examination, sand in the finish.

    20180223_172027.jpg 20180223_172053.jpg

    I took it back and showed the owner of the powdercoat shop, and he started making excuses and asking me what covered certain areas. When I tried to explain to him that practically the entire frame was a cosmetic area with only the seat covering the largest total area, he got upset and said he'd do it over for me but he would NEVER do anything else for me. Wow.

    At least it turned out right the next time.

    20180308_163400.jpg

    Little did he know that when I got the next set of pipes, my custom car buddy - who helps him out on occasion and his wife works the front counter there as well - took them in and got them done for me.
    Last edited by ancientdad; 06.11.20 at 10:15 AM.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    A fortunate byproduct of the engine being out of the frame was the opportunity to re-seal the head gasket, as it had started seeping a bit of oil from the front of the cam chain tunnel area prior to the bike being torn back down for the frame problems. The cylinder base gasket stuck like a brick, so I was spared dealing with getting the rings back in the cylinders with such a thin taper left after the 4mm overbore.

    During that time, I had already decided I didn't care for the broad powerband the 120-x11/x12 cams offered and started talking with LiamG6 about making a straight-up swap for the set of circa 1992 MegaCycle 120-40 cams he bought used from Ed of Chin On The Tank. We agreed on a deal that included me sending him the Cappellini reman oil pump as well, and after a couple weeks his cams came back to America from down under in exchange for mine. As I prepared to put the head back together with a set of cams I was very familiar with from my drag bike in the early '70s, I came to the realization that the light rust on the bearing journals of the 120-40s needed more cleanup than I'd hoped and by then the left exhaust journal was under spec and too sloppy in a new cam bearing to use, particularly because the points work off that end. More hurdles to cross... but now, through the owner of the speed shop I found the best machinist I've ever met, and took my problem to him. He bought a few bronze bushings from McMaster-Carr and I gave him a couple of my worn left exhaust cam bearings to work with. He machined the 2 cam bearings, pressed a bushing in and honed one of them to fit the now-cleaned up left bearing journal of the exhaust cam from the 120-40 set, putting the clearance at .0007".

    cam cleaned up.jpg bronze bushing.jpg

    Now I could move forward with putting the head back together, then the top end of the engine and finally, the bike. Re-polished all the cam bearings and assembled the head

    20180722_171136.jpg 20180724_160433.jpg
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Since these engines occasionally blow the clutch rod seal out of the crankcase, and my engine is running higher compression ratio and higher rpm as well, I figured I'd take the opportunity to make a clutch rod seal retainer while things were apart. I found a piece of scrap aluminum square tube and cut a section off one side, then bent and shaped it to lay flat over the seal and drilled a hole for the clutch rod to go through as well as a hole for mounting it on one of the neutral switch screws under the front sprocket cover. I felt the tab at the bottom get a bit soft after bending and re-bending it a bit, so I added a layer of JB Weld to give it some reinforcement. A bit crude-looking, but effective.

    20180721_124743.jpg 20180721_125319.jpg

    20180721_125705.jpg 20180721_125723.jpg

    Engine ready, frame ready.

    20180801_165838.jpg
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    So I'd forgotten about the story of how I got the second set of pipes, and it's worth mentioning because this is a great example of why forums like ours are such a great thing for vintage bike enthusiasts. Over at the other forum, a new member who joined kind of in the middle of my together-apart-back together situation needed a 450 starter clutch and alternator rotor. I had a spare engine with a good one, so we made a deal and I shipped it to him. Here's his account of what happened after.

    member DT1969
    "Alright, just had to share the crazy background story on the drag pipes….good things happen to good people like Ancient Dad, who shares much wisdom with us about these bikes, and reminds us what this forum is all about....

    Earlier this year… some crazy Newbie (me) posts for the 1st time, that he needs a starter clutch for a 450. The ‘all knowing one’ (Ancient Dad) replies he has one he is willing to sell. Ancient Dad does sell it to the Newbie and departs many words of wisdom about care and feeding for the 450 engine, which the Newbie is forever thankful for. Ancient Dad also sends Newbie a link to a magazine article about his original re-boot. Newbie’s chin drops to floor when realizes his bike came with (and he is not using) what appears to be the drag pipes on Ancient Dad’s original bike….that he couldn’t find.

    Newbie sends Ancient Dad a picture….turns out they are (or really close). Newbie cannot believe the odds, knows destiny/fate has stepped in, and off they go to re-live again/be part of Ancient Dad’s awesome bike.
    "

    David so generously offered them to me for the price of shipping. What a great thing, and I'm very appreciative.
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    The rest of the summer was uneventful, the bike was running great and I was getting it ready for the 2018 Barber Vintage Festival. Because of the crew I was going with, I was able to take my own bike and since the ringleader Don was a vendor, we were there from mid-morning Wednesday to the following Monday morning.

    20181003_132831.jpg

    20181003_162441.jpg

    20181004_125040.jpg

    20181007_122714.jpg

    navjmc barber Dale.jpg
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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    In March of last year, I took the bike to the eighth mile strip in St. Pete FL to run the bike for the first time. My period-correct tire choice was not a good one for the track, as wheelspin was my nemesis all evening along with my rustiness from being away from the track for a few decades. Never had a decent reaction time all evening and my 60 foot times (something that wasn't even measured at local tracks the last time I ran) suffered from wheelspin but the bike ran strong all evening. Best ET of 8.9658 at a best 76 mph on the night, easily lost a tenth or two with above 2 second 60 foot times all night. I added a relay into the ignition power circuit to use off the starter button (which is my horn button as the bike is starter delete) to kill the ignition momentarily and it made shifting without the clutch easy and effective. FYI, the bike I ran heads-up against in the video is a Ninja 650 so I don't feel too bad.

    showtime1a.jpg 20190313_174245.jpg

    I caught a few runs on the GoPro, this is the last and best run of the evening.

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    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    In May, I took the bike to Gainesville to run it on the quarter mile. I'd ever run there before, and it's a pro track with far more proper track prep than the track in St. Pete ever gets, but it didn't help with my tire-related traction issues. Same result there and we got in less runs than at the eighth mile track as the crowd was bigger. Best run on the night was a 14.253 ET with the best speed at 90 mph. I took the GoPro and had it on for one of the runs, but it shut itself off right as we were going onto the track from the staging lane so all I got from it was a couple screenshots

    Gainesville video screenshot2.jpg Gainesville video screenshot.jpg

    Gainesville.jpg
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    Senior Member
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    Great thread. I apparently missed this build over there. Glad to have at least seen this one.

    Is that a stock front fender? It's about the perfect shape for my build.
    1971 CB350 K3

  38. #38
    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knoxes View Post
    Great thread. I apparently missed this build over there. Glad to have at least seen this one.

    Is that a stock front fender? It's about the perfect shape for my build.
    Thanks, this is the abbreviated version, the other one had a ton of discussion during the DOH! period where I messed up the reassembly of the oil filter valve and caused myself a couple months of frustration and toasted parts. The old thread is almost 500 posts long. Yes, that is the stock front fender, I've always liked the CL version. It's similar to the CL350 fender but I'd be surprised if the interchanged. One thing to note about these fenders though - if any of the rivets are loose, before you install the fender you should have someone help you hold it over an anvil or the flat section of a big vise and use a 2 lb hammer and good sized drift to tighten up the rivets, or cracks will happen from the rivet hole outward. I had to do this to repair it after the fact, 2 cracks opened up after our 92 mile mountain ride last October. I tried a large pop rivet first, but the aluminum gave up pretty quickly. Good old JIS screws...

    20191208_164148.jpg 20191208_164201.jpg
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  39. #39
    Senior Member birdland's Avatar
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    Absolutely loved reading every word of this.
    '71'|74 CB450

    K4 Frame | K7 Engine

    Osoyoos, British Columbia

    Canada

  40. #40
    Senior Member AndrewJK's Avatar
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    Really stunning, I was not aware about this story, thanks for sharing.
    Andrew JK, forward inclined rider, Silesia, Poland, Europe
    Granny Raspberry, Honda CB125 K5, '72
    Little Blueberry, Honda CBF 600 SA, '04

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