1971 Honda CL350 Restoration

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Farmwalker, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Farmwalker

    Farmwalker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    116
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    Southern WI
    Hi All. Since I am new I should take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Luke. I grew up on a row-crop farm (this is where Farmwalker comes from) in SW Iowa where I drove, fixed, designed, and built all sorts of equipment and toys. This led me to pursue and Ag Engineering degree at Iowa State, which led to a job in southern Wisconsin designing ag equipment. My daily rider is a '08 Burgman 400 :ricky

    I stumbled into old's cool... I'm not really sure why. But the Cheep Bike challenge got my attention, and some of the old scramblers (or conversions) had me hooked.

    The purpose of this thread is mainly for historical documentation and entertainment for you.

    A week ago I picked up this '71 CL350 in Madison for $560.

    [​IMG]

    Its compression wasn't too impressive, only ran on one cylinder, has a crack in the frame, and needs lots of TLC. Once I got it home, I took a little time to adjust the valves and see how lucky I am. Turns out I was! The valve inspection caps didn't show any tool marks and probably hadn't been adjusted in its 8000 miles of life. With that out of the way and the bike running fine, it was time for a very thorough inspection so I could make a "To Fix" list.

    Here is my list, I will keep it up to date as I go:
    <iframe width="500" height="300" frameborder="0" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AuBvpzEUSJ4CdE96ZWtndkM5bE1NSkZFdUc4eHFDbkE&single=true&gid=1&output=html&widget=true"></iframe>

    Last night I finally got an hour to start the teardown process. I am taking general pictures as I go for reference and more specific pictures for where certain hardware needs to go. These might cause some extra scrolling, but will all be posted in case someone will find them useful some day.

    Under the seat:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Under right side cover:
    [​IMG]

    Seat hinge pin:
    [​IMG]

    Rear fender/turn signal bolt:
    [​IMG]

    Exhaust wedge/seal:
    [​IMG]

    Progress so far!
    [​IMG]

    I have more time tonight to work and should have another update soon!
    Throughout the project I will be referencing a Clymer service manual and a Factory Service manual. The bike also came with a box of goodies I need to sort through yet.

    Luke
    #1
  2. Farmwalker

    Farmwalker Been here awhile

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    116
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    Southern WI
    I had a little more time to work last night and got the tank, headlight, wiring harness and a few other odds and ends off the bike. Get ready for another batch of pictures.

    Harness on left side of frame:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Harness routing around battery box:
    [​IMG]
    *Note: the wires route through the loop on the frame like in the next pic.
    [​IMG]

    Main ground/Case vent routing:
    [​IMG]

    Ignition - Right side:
    [​IMG]

    Ignition - Left side:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Back side of forks general area:
    [​IMG]

    Under front sprocket cover:
    [​IMG]

    Overall Progress:
    [​IMG]

    The wiring harness is a little worse for wear and the connections for the rear turn signals were somewhat hacked up, and directly connected to the main harness. I tried to cut them where there would be enough left over to still use. Since these old bikes can have reliability issues from their electrical, I will probably just make a whole new harness for it with connectors that seal well.
    #2
  3. aduthie

    aduthie Andrew Duthie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Looks like a pretty complete project, there! I hear a lot of guys say they think so-and-so bike needs a new wiring harness, but in 2.5 years of working on old Hondas regularly, I've yet to come across a single bike where that was true. (One guy had replaced the wiring harness with one for the wrong year, and he left the melted fuse panel in place. So we got to fix the new harness.)

    Do replace any hard-wired connections from the previous owner. It warms my heart to hear someone recognizing that as a problem, in fact. But once you've got a working circuit, I honestly wouldn't worry beyond that, unless you're going for a 100-point restoration rather than just a fun, vintage bike to ride.
    #3
  4. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
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    6,971
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Great pix.
    I love looking at good pictures.

    It looks like a large battery in that bike.


    You can upgrade the rectifier easy I think, and I wonder if anyone makes an electronic ignition for the old Honda's, they do for the old Triumphs which made my life much easier.

    Good water proof connectors are hard to find/make.
    I use the silicone (dielectric) grease on things instead of replacing the connectors.

    When I did my old Triumph up, I used a trailer harness connector (water proof) for my rectifier/regulator.


    I will be interested in what you find inside the motor.
    #4
  5. Farmwalker

    Farmwalker Been here awhile

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    I was originally going for a complete restoration, but then I realized I would end up with too nice of a bike to thrash on a dual-sport trail or ride regularly. So now I'm focused on reliability and just making it look nice, but not brand new.

    I have a link to a lawn mower rectifier/regulator up in the "To Fix" spreadsheet to replace the OEM ones. It has WAY more capacity than I need, but it is cheap and small. I am planning on changing to a smaller battery and remounting to clean up the triangle and go without side covers. There are a set of CB side covers that came in the goodie box, but they would melt on the exhaust (CL covers are a different shape to give more clearance).

    When I was still planning a new harness, It was going to be all hand made (no eBay junk) with Metri-Pack connectors. Those connectors are relatively cheap and do a great job of shedding water.

    After the valve clearance adjustment, compression is at 180psi on both cylinders. I think factory spec is 185psi(?). I'm going to try to avoid opening the engine if at all possible. The starter clutch makes some funny noises, but otherwise the powerplant is in good shape.
    #5
  6. Farmwalker

    Farmwalker Been here awhile

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    I finished teardown on Saturday and moved all of the pieces into the basement work area for the winter.

    Blinker Relay Location. I saw it on the floor with the other parts and had to think a while to remember where it went, now it has a picture.
    [​IMG]

    Also, here is a electrical schematic for the wiring on these bikes. I found it on a forum somewhere, not sure who to thank for making this but, Thank You!
    [​IMG]

    Engine out, Getting closer!
    [​IMG]

    All apart, time to move things to the basement.
    [​IMG]

    Her home for the winter. I need to get more cardboard so I can lay the parts all around the frame instead of in a pile.
    [​IMG]

    Hmmm. Should probably do something about this...
    [​IMG]

    tap tap tap....getting there...
    [​IMG]

    Much Better!
    [​IMG]

    Now I am going to spend time getting all of the parts degreased and cleaned up. Then I will start fixing things at the front and work my way back.
    #6
  7. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Very smart to not make the bike look like new.
    When I got my old Daytona, it was fair looking, and the first year I just abused it in the dirt as I had an old 750 for the street.
    I decided the Daytona was more fun to ride and sold the 750, and started fixing up the Daytona, mostly mechanical improvements, but after a few years it started looking ratty, so I took it all apart, had the frame powder coated, repainted the gas tank and fenders with Sherwin Williams automotive paint and it came out fantastic looking.
    It was SO nice, I could not bring myself to dirt ride it, which was what it was best at, as a local dual sport bike.
    I ended up selling it after a while as it was a poor street only bike for long frequent rides.

    If I had left it a rat bike, I would still have it.
    And there is nothing better then passing some modern dual sport bike in the dirt on an old Daytona!

    Get rid of the rust, make it mechanicly and electricaly reliable and have fun with the bike.

    I sure wish I had that ratty old Daytona, even with all the problems.
    #7
  8. Farmwalker

    Farmwalker Been here awhile

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    The frame is definitely getting all new paint, and many of the chrome bits are pitted. I don't want to spend the money on re-chroming so the fenders, handlebars, fuel cap, exhaust, carb tops and valve adjustment covers are all going to black. The gas tank has a random speckle of little rust spots (2-3 inches between each speck). I am planning on sanding off all of these little areas but leaving the rest of the paint intact. If it gives the bike a nice weathered look I will clear coat it to prevent more rust. Sorta like this...
    [​IMG]
    It has a sun-fade gradient that can only be acquired with age and is part of the character of the bike, just like the dent in the right side of the tank. If sanding all of these spots just makes it look like a leopard, I will just sand the whole tank down to steel and clear coat that. Something like this, but not polished...
    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. groop

    groop So much to ponder

    Joined:
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    3,400
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    oc, ca
    I didn't see the dent in the right side, but I've had good luck with paintless dent removal on steel motorcycle gas tanks.
    #9
  10. Farmwalker

    Farmwalker Been here awhile

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    I will have to look into doing that. I don't have a pic of the dent up here yet.

    I just made a couple of big parts orders to keep me busy for a while. Total came to the same as what I bought the bike for :eek1
    I guess I was expecting that though, and I'm not done yet.
    #10
  11. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

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    That's a really nice looking complete bike! (Do you have side covers?)

    I like the "restore for riding" approach that you're taking.

    I have your little brother (175cc) and am taking the same path:

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. Farmwalker

    Farmwalker Been here awhile

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    I never looked at the 175s close enough to realize how similar they are. The bike did come with side covers, but they are for a CB350. The left side has a different shape to give room for the exhaust pipe so it won't melt.

    [​IMG]

    Since I don't have this, I am moving to a tiny battery and cleaning up that area so it doesn't look bad without the covers.

    How is the engine in that bike? Made me nervous just seeing those open spark plug holes, and that front fender is interesting too... But the exhaust looks good, and that is rare on these!
    #12
  13. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

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    When I got the bike it was in a shed with carbs and plugs removed. Engine wasn't seized though. Engine seems OK - I've had it running well enough to ride around the block, it's not blowing smoke, there's oil in the top end and there is no metal in the oil. I need the adapter for my compression tester before I can check compression though.

    Painted front fender is correct for the 175. Exhaust is in pretty good shape too. I have the chrome heat shield although I see it's not installed in the pic I posted.

    hondatwins.net is a good resource for these bikes.
    #13
  14. travlr_45

    travlr_45 Been here awhile

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    Jun 26, 2011
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    Savannah
    great thread. about 2 years ago i picked up a 1970 CL 450. took a few months but finaley got it rideable. tore it down to the frame, had that powder coated, had the paint restored back to factory scheme. New tires, chain, etc etc, 1 thing that took an untold # of hours, I used a 22 cal. pistol cleaning rod with several brash brushes to clean all the cooling fins on the block. if i could find a way ( adv board wont let me post attch) I;d post up some pics. still have some chrome work to do. I'll be watching for updates. good luck. it turned out to be a very rewarding experience.
    #14
  15. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Good luck with the project. My first bike was a '73 CL350 - Red and White.
    Wish I still had that.
    Looks like an easier project than my '86 K75c that I am working on now.:norton
    #15
  16. Farmwalker

    Farmwalker Been here awhile

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    The last couple of days I have been brainstorming ways to clean that engine, and this sounds like a great idea. I also stumbled onto the [thread=387234]Macgyver tips/tricks thread[/thread]. I think it was in there somewhere that you can cut a q-tip in half and the hollow shaft fits perfectly onto coat hanger wire. Instant long reach q-tip. What did you use for a cleaning agent on the engine?

    DADODIRT, I like the look of older airheads, but I'm too young to have the budget I would need to restore it properly. Heck, if I had a bigger budget on this Honda I would be doing the whole powder coat thing. Right now I just want to stop the rust and ride it. Maybe down the road quite a few years when my cheap paint needs redone it will get a better treatment.
    #16
  17. travlr_45

    travlr_45 Been here awhile

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    I used the brass brushes that came in the cleaning kit ( had to buy a few extra to finish) along with a jar of " mothers polishing cream " and a LOT of elbow grease. ..... Regarding the paint, try looking up a guy in W VA. by the name of Mark Byrd. He completely restored the paint on my 450 to factory scheme. Did an excellent job, about $650.00 with shipping both ways from south ga.

    P. M. Me an email address, I'll send ya some pics of the 450
    #17
  18. Peashooter

    Peashooter Older Dog

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    #18
  19. arcanum

    arcanum Been here awhile

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    I have found that when dealing with little rust pits in the chrome, just picking the rust out of them is a good first step. A dental pick or even the sharp tip of a utility blade from a utility knife can do wonders. Sounds crazy,but it works. Picking out is not for the tiny little pits that will come out with oooo steel wool-- maybe start it for areas of 1/8th" or so.
    A good example of this is a nice 40 year old exhaust that had rust blooming out of a spot weld. After softening the rusty spot with PB or something for a few hours,the rust picked out of it pretty easily and the surrounding area was saved from damage.
    A can of aluminum roof paint always has some settled aluminum paste in the bottom of the can. Wiping that into the pits is not permanent, but it can improve the appearance and add some degree of protection.
    You have a cool bike. I just found a 1970 CL350 and it is cleaning up pretty well. Just gonna fix the appearance stuff what I can without tearing the bike apart.
    #19
  20. Farmwalker

    Farmwalker Been here awhile

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    Thanks Peashooter and arcanum for the tips. Sorry all that I haven't had an update in a while, been busy with several projects around the house. I have gotten all of the parts in that I ordered last week. Once I am done building a desk I will put some more time into this project, should be this weekend.

    Tuesday night I tore down the forks to replace the seals and found quite a bit of rust and pitting. :puke1 I need to check closer but I think it is all above the travel area for the seal.

    Any specific tool suggestions for buffing up the fork lowers and wheel hubs? This weekend I will try to do the forks, rebuild wheels, and build a new battery compartment.
    #20