1981 Honda Passport C70 Restoration

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by dgomezhall, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. dgomezhall

    dgomezhall Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey scooter fans,

    Just wanted to report in on my latest project...well, actually my first restoration project.

    I picked up this sweet little Honda Passport C70 last week for $150 after seeing a Craigslist ad on my way to visit some family...didn't expect much, but the seller was pretty flexible and the scooter had all the parts and pieces (minus mirrors).

    With 6800 miles, last registered in 1989 and not knowing the last time it ran, the PO wasn't much help, but I've found a lot of resources online and some pretty affordable parts at dratv, and fortunately he had been smart enough to put a new 6v battery in before unsuccessfully trying to bring it back to life...so I loaded it in the back of the truck, surprisingly it fit with the camper shell on it!

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    After the family visit and everybody saying..."well now, that's a project..." I got home, made a make-shift workbench, and took a few "before" pictures:

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    Then started the process of getting it running. To be honest, I've never embarked on a project like this before. I've done the basic maintenance on my BMW F650gs Dakar, and maintain 29 boats (combination of motorboats and sailboats) but haven't ever tried a full on project like this.

    Got the oil drained and refilled, changed the spark plug, drained the gas and cleaned the tank...looks almost new inside now. Got it started using starter fluid but gas wasn't getting into the carb. Good news is the headlight works as do the blinkers (though the rear ones are smashed so there's no blinking) but it seems like everything electrical is working minus the electric start. Once I get it running and tuned I'll delve into that.

    Took the carb off and started taking things apart and cleaning. Got it all pulled apart and put back together, still no gas in there. After a couple more cleanings, decide to just get one from dratv while I continue to play with the oem one.

    Missed the mailman today, so I'll go pick it up tomorrow at the post office (btw, their shipping was super fast!).

    Tomorrow I'll install the new carb along with new fuel lines and put some fuel filters in the lines before the petcocks (not sure why this wasn't stock with such a tiny, sensitive carb). Hopefully getting it running tomorrow and then we'll see what happens next.

    The plan is to get it running and tuned, then registered, then cosmetically cleaned up. I've been torn between trying to go OEM restoration, but I'm kind of sick of all the people doing that and then trying to sell theirs on craigslist for $1600+. I'm thinking of keeping things close, but making it mine. I didn't get this for its resale value, I got it for the project and to putz around on.

    This thread will likely go through phases up updates with pauses in between as this is a learning process and work is going to start getting busy soon, but I'll try and update as much as possible, with as many pics as possible.

    If anyone has any tips, tricks, or suggestions, feel free to contribute.

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. PinkSteel

    PinkSteel Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Fairfield County, CT
    Yeah, most guys doing the Passport restoration just buy the DrATV carb....it really is plug and play. Mine came jetted perfectly and has been in constant use since I installed it 4-5 years ago.
    #2
  3. Dabears

    Dabears --------------------

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    747
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Looks like a great project- Do you have the legshields for it? They really make the look seem finished.
    #3
  4. hexnut

    hexnut Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    603
    The leg-shields are available from DrATV (Beatrice Cycle) as well.
    #4
  5. dgomezhall

    dgomezhall Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I do have the legshield as well as the battery cover, but the legshield is pretty much toast...once I get to the cosmetic stage I'll get that ordered as well as a replacement front fender.
    #5
  6. dgomezhall

    dgomezhall Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    The seat foam is pretty munched, surprisingly though, the seat pan is in excellent condition. Anybody ever rebuilt a seat?
    #6
  7. hexnut

    hexnut Been here awhile

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    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    603
    #7
  8. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,737
    Location:
    The mosquito-y Center of Canada
    I see the legshield in the back of the truck in the first photo.

    Repros are available but they are not the same as the original - functional, but obviously a copy.

    I have a '82 (12V) with 26,000km showing on the odometer; it'll still haul my 200 lbs to barely 80kmh (50mph) if I have a good tuck, flat road, and favourable winds...
    #8
  9. HandKPhil

    HandKPhil Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    509
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    Here's my '83 that I restored. I think I paid $650 for it, put about $200 into it, and sold it a year later for $800. I'm obviously not going to retire on the money I've made from restoring bikes.:rofl
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. HandKPhil

    HandKPhil Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    509
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    In regards to the legshield, I cleaned the OEM part in the bathtub with hot water and Simple Green. Then I lightly wet-sanded the whole part with super-fine wet-type sandpaper, dried it for several hours in the sun, and shot it with while Krylon paint, made especially for plastics. It came out very nicely.

    Phil
    #10
  11. HandKPhil

    HandKPhil Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    509
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    Notice the engine in my picture (above). I carefully wiped every nook and cranny with acetone, taped everything off (with the engine still in the bike of course) the shot it with ceramic silver brake caliper paint from Auto Zone. It's almost an exact match for Honda silver engine paint, only it's much more durable, and it doesn't need to be clear coated. :D
    #11
  12. HandKPhil

    HandKPhil Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    509
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    Safety tip: Make sure that the bolts holding the front shocks/springs into the stamped steel "fork" leg are tight. Mine were not, and the first ride at the seller's house was death-defying....


    Phil
    #12
  13. dgomezhall

    dgomezhall Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Success today! Plugged the new carbo in, primed it with a little starting fluid, couple of kicks and it ran great...a little bit of white smoke at first but then clean and smooth. Adjusted the idle screw 1/2 a turn and rode it around for 20 min...what a blast!

    Regarding fasteners, the forks seemed ok but when I pulled it back onto the table I definitely had several loose bolts.

    Next project is the rear blinkers and then getting it registered, hopefully that's not too much more difficult than getting it running.
    #13
  14. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,737
    Location:
    The mosquito-y Center of Canada
    Check the operation of the front forks. They can be crazy loose and you won't notice until you wipe out. Stand in front of the bike, hold the wheel between your knees, and twist the bars. There are a dozen little bushings that wear, down in the front suspension. The Taiwanese full kits are cheap and make a huge difference - I can't vouch for their longevity over original Honda parts.
    #14
  15. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    703
    Location:
    Northern California
    I've brought back quite a few old, neglected cycles and scooters, and I can tell you that, regardless of what they look like, the tires are waiting to kill you. If you go out on the road and try to stop quickly you will slide all over, including sideways and upside down. The old tires have zero grip, they are hard as wood, and you really should replace them ASAP.

    New tires are pretty inexpensive, ditto new tubes. It's your skin.
    #15
  16. dgomezhall

    dgomezhall Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    oh yeah, new tires are a definite necessity. I'm not generally a work on the bike 3 hrs for every hr ridden, but with this one, there's no rush to get it completed. I want to learn everything about this bike and then after that I'll use it for riding around, but that's not the primary purpose of this project.

    Even though I'm getting ahead of things here, what do you all think about painting this thing...is it worth ripping it all apart and painting it properly or should i do a good job of masking and prepping and just paint it partially assembled?
    #16
  17. ootpik

    ootpik Harley and Watsonian

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    They come apart easily and put all your parts in baggies and list where they came from. I am presently doing a Honda CT 90 restoration. All apart and sand blasted, now paint, assemble the frame parts, $800.00 in parts, then do the engine. It is a great little farm gravel road bike with the knobbies. Tires for them are cheap, but replace the tubes and spoke cover strip and check the spoke torque. All available from the good Dr ATV. ootpik of the Great White North of Manitoba Canada
    #17
  18. Upshifter

    Upshifter n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2
    I have 1980 and 1981 yellow C70s. Both have mostly good parts and I will end up with one really good bike from these. The 1981 has a clear title, so that's the one that I'll concentrate on.

    I noticed that some people believe that the M62 tires are the best, only hard to mount. I found some on sale and I got both a 2.25 x 17 and a 2.50 X 17 for 52.97 dollars, delivered. Also, I won the bid on ebay for a black and white seat cover for 21.50. Brown was available, like the original one, but I don't like brown.

    The engine on the 1980 C70 is much better so it will replace the worn out one on the 1981 model. The 1981 is cosmetically better, but the engine is no better than a politician's promise, slipping clutch and no compression.

    So, the 1981 on this thread looks like mine. Lots of luck with your project; and thanks for posting this thread and the nice pictures.
    #18