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Sunday, 12 February 2012

CL350 update

As I've been working away this week, there's not much to update you about.
Since the last update, the keys have arrived. I gave all the locks a good spray with WD-40, and all work well! I connected a battery and all of the electrics work except for 3 out of 4 indicators and the starter. However, if I short across the terminals of the solenoid, the starter spins the engine easily. I removed the tank, (very rusty inside) and found that the rubber pipe that links the two bottom edges of the tank had decomposed and fell off. I had expected to replace all the rubber hoses anyway, so this wasn't a surprise. I squirted some petrol down the petrol pipes and tried starting the engine - nothing! I took out the plugs and there was no spark. A quick clean of the points (takes you back, eh?) and I had a spark, but the bike still wouldn't start. This wasn't really a surprise as the bike has obviously been sitting for a while and I assumed that the carbs would need cleaned out.
I removed the RHS side panel to get at the airfilter. This would have to be removed to get at the carb. The panel was very hard to remove as the rubber mounts had become brittle with age (it was also about 0 degrees C at the time, which wouldn't have helped!) I got the carb off OK, and gave it a good clean out. However, the rubber drain pipe on the flat bowl snapped off! Now for the LHS one and a problem arose.
I couldn't get the side panel off as it was also very tight on its rubber mounts, and it is also cracked almost in two. I didn't want to pull too hard at it in case I broke it completely, and I'm not sure whether you can remove this panel without removing the exhaust first. I was running out of time at this point, so sprayed the exhaust nuts and bolts with WD-40 and left them until I've got more time.
I've also received a pair of kickstart ratchet gears that I found on Ebay at a fraction of the cost others were offering them at. I'm not entirely sure if they are the correct parts, but I'll find that out when I get the casing off. I also bought a genuine unused 1980s Cibié headlight unit. This was a favourite upgrade at the time as it focusses the light a lot better than the original. It also uses a normal bulb (rather than being a sealed beam like the original), and also has a clever lever on the back that converts it between left and right hand dipping. Handy for my future European trips! Incidentally, the correct pronunciation of Cibié is 'C-B-A' and not any of the dozen or so incorrect pronunciations I've heard.
So that's where I am at the moment. I'm working away again this coming week, so won't have a chance to do any more work before next weekend. As the weather's getting a bit better, I'll have to do some work on the Traveller, (service and general tidying up), so might not do much work on the Honda for a while. I'd always intended it to be a 'long term' project, so don't don't be too surprised if it's not on the road for a while. I want to use the Traveller a lot more this year, so once the good weather comes along I'll be out on that.
Once I get the Honda running properly, it'll be time to start the process of getting it registered. I looked up the DVLA website (the department that deals with vehicle registrations), clicked on the relevant button, and they sent me a large envelope full of all the forms I need to fill in. The process is fairly straightforward, if a bit time consuming, and they detail the order to do each thing in. 
'Watch this space' as someone once said!


  1. Bringing back all kinds of memories about working on 350's. That left-side air cleaner cover was always a hassle, and as that aging plastic gets more brittle with age... In the 'time was money' days at the shop I worked at, all kinds of short cuts were used by the mechanics. (most of which I wouldn't use at home on my own bike...). If you loosened the bolt that fixed the carb choke linkage and slipped it over, and also the screws on the rubber manifold boots, you could pivot the carbs and access the screws to the float bowls and top covers. Then you could perform an 'on the bike' carb clean-out. If the carbs aren't too encrusted with barnacles this could be a time saver. For jet changes this is a handy trick. One I never liked was the 'adjust the valves with the engine running trick'.Possible, because of the eccentric adjusters. I always took the time to do it right. I always had a good laugh when guys would tell me they had perfected the method and could 'hear' the right clearances... Another one was taking a cutting torch to the frame above the motor and making a 'notch' in the frame that would allow the head to be removed without pulling the engine. Another one I wouldn't do. I had pulled so many motors by that point, that it hardly seemed a time-saver. Come to think of it, I started working on my own bikes after suffering from the effects of ham-fisted Honda mechanics. I'm trying to remember about that cover. You might be able to loosen the collars at the exhaust and remove a muffler hanger nut and pivot the works enough to access that cover for removal. Good luck and have fun!

  2. Oh yeah, and that 'pipe-clamp and mount' that grabs both exhaust headers....