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Saturday, 14 July 2012

One step forward.........

Thought it was time for an update on where I've got to with my CL350.
I'd bought a few other bits and pieces on Ebay, plus a stainless Allen screw kit. This turned out to be a 'whole engine' kit, and included the domed nuts for the top of the cylinder head studs and screws to hold the crankcases together. I had thought 'I'll never need them', but things haven't worked out that way.....
Both of the round removable covers on the crankcase sides (one over the alternator that gives access to the timing marks, and one over the oil filter), had seriously chewed up screw heads that required being drilled out. I was careful not to damage the rubber 'O' rings behind the alternator cover screws, and managed to remove the remaining threads with pliers. So far so good.
I then started to take the LHS crankcase side cover off. The screws looked as thought they had never been taken out since leaving the factory, and most came out using an impact driver. The others required a small amount of persuasion with a hammer and narrow chisel, but they came out without damaging anything.

I'd mentioned before that the kickstart ratchet is worn, and looking at the Clymer manual, it shows the kickstart gears, just behind the clutch.
However, looking at mine, no gears can be seen.
It would appear that at some point during the production run, Honda moved the kickstart gears inside the crankcases, which means that they are going to have to come apart to repair them. (Yes, I know the return spring should be hooked round the casting, I'd moved it before taking the photo).
For a moment, I had thought about not fixing the kickstart and relying on the electric one, but the ends of the teeth that had worn must have gone somewhere, and the crankcases will need cleaned out. Also, what laughingly passes for an oil filter (oil is pumped through a spinning 'can' on the end of the crankshaft and any 'lumps' are forced to the outside by centrifugal force) had a lining of black material with the consistency of toothpaste. There's a mixture of metal fragments and 40 years worth of gunge in there that'll have to come out. So it looks like the engine will have to come out of the frame and be stripped and rebuilt.
Remember I said that I was planning on having the bike back on the road by 'the end of the year'? Well, I didn't say which year!
Previously I cleaned the carbs, but wasn't really happy with how they came out. Looking round the Web, the consensus was to have them ultrasonically cleaned. Luckily, just as I was pricing one, Maplin had reduced one from £100 to £80, just after I had earned a lot of overtime one weekend, so that was bought.

It's not quite big enough to clean a carb in one go, but you can clean half of it then turn it over and clean the other side. Got the carbs really clean and no doubt I'll find lots of other things I can use it for.

Unfortunately, my job appears to be coming to an end, so I'm going to have to look for something else. The next job might not include a company car and I could be based at one location, so having a bike for commuting would be useful. I don't really want to use my silver Traveller, and I've also got a white Traveller that I bought cheaply a few years ago. I haven't ridden it since I bought it, and it'll need a bit a of work to get it back on the road, so the Honda might have to get put back a bit more.
Nobody said rebuilding a 40 year old bike wouldn't be without some pitfalls!

1 comment:

  1. Wondering if what they are showing in the manual is a picture of a later SL 350 engine with "primary" kickstart set up ,(I believe it's called). It has the ability to be kick started in gear, while pulling the clutch lever. At any rate if you pull the motor to repair or replace your kick start mechanism, don't pull the top end (unless you want to for other reasons)...just remove what you have to off the sides, flip it over and pull bottom case. If it was me, I'd probably clean that filthy filter, which probably has never been attended to. (I think lots of crooked shops would say they had cleaned it, and didn't).Give it fresh clean oil, and see if that mechanism frees up. Course you have other running bikes, so maybe that isn't an issue.
    Somewhere I might still have a magazine with a bit about a Japanese man who did an around the world trip on a 350 Honda, late sixties, early 70's...? Guess I'll go Google it. Not trying to alarm you, but sometimes that black grunge in the Centrifugal filter is also made up of bits and pieces of Cam chain roller and slipper materials...but could just be the usual engine debris. Might be able to peek in that area of engine by pulling cam tensioner assembly, but you know-all you might see is the back side of things...been a long time since I've gotten my hands dirty on one.

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