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Sunday, 30 June 2013

More time in the garage

I've been doing a bit more work on the CL 350 rebuild lately. As I'm going on holiday on Thursday, I wanted to get the frame painted so the paint would have plenty of time to harden fully while I was away. I'm using good old Hammerite - a couple of coats of brush on 'Direct to Rust Satin Black', followed by some spray-on over the top. I've used this in the past and the spray-on helps smooth the surface and cover the brush marks. I could have got the frame powder coated, but Honda only spray painted frames back in the 70s, and I'm not one of these people who 'over restore' bikes, taking them beyond original spec. This is going to be a usuable 'riding' bike rather than a show piece.
The frame and attached parts came apart very easily due to a lack of rusted or butchered nuts and bolts. The bike's fairly low mileage so very little had been apart, and it has obviously never been ridden through a winter on salted roads, (it's from Ohio and I doubt they salt the roads there.)
I made sure I took lots of photos of how everything came apart, wiring routes, etc, so this should help with reassembly. As I dismantled the bike, I stored all the parts in freezer bags, labelling them when the parts aren't obvious.

Plastic food tubs are handy as well

Once the frame was apart I gave it a good wash with degreaser, then a blast with a power washer. I hadn't originally intended taking the swing arm out, but there was the slightest 'knock' in its movement, so a couple of careful taps with a hammer with a block of wood held against the end on the spindle got it out easily. I'll clean everything up and see what needs replaced. It has phosphor bronze bushes which have long since been unavailable from Honda, but there are a number of suppliers for classic racing CB 350Ks that use the same parts.
I removed any loose rust with an electric drill fitted with a wire brush. This also takes the glaze off the surface of the old paint (hopefully) making the new paint stick better. Just before painting I gave it a wipe with methylated spirits (cheap 'cleaning' alcohol), then brushed on a couple of coats of Hammerite.

Once that's dry I'll turn it over and paint the lower surfaces. Once all the brush painting is dry, I'll give it a couple of coats of spray-on, then hang the frame up to dry for a couple of weeks. I've always found that although Hammerite dries in a couple of hours, it doesn't seem to reach final hardnesss until 2 or 3 weeks later.

Inspired by Larry's recent post, here's my '3 amigos'.

Once I come back from holiday I'll start the process of reassembly and the project will feel as it it has turned a corner - I'll no longer be taking things apart, I'll be puting them back together (hopefully in the right order!) First job will be to get the swing arm bushes and steering head bearings so I can get the frame back together. The original steering head bearings were the 'loose balls' type that scatter all over your garage floor when you dismantle them. I'll be replacing them with a taper roller kit - life's to short to muck about with loose balls!

I found a picture on the Web of a CL 350, not only the same model and colour as mine but also with the same type of rack. Mine doesn't have the backrest, but seeing one explains what the extra holes were for. Hopefully, one day, mine will look as good as this!


  1. Looking good Norman. Just got back from day 2 of the Classic Japanese Motorcycle Club Show and swap meet. Lot's of pictures of various types of 350's...some stock some not. Will be posting some more this afternoon. You saw the British part I found yesterday at FB, found and purchased something else British today...Edward Turner would approve. Yes, one must have 'amigos' when doing these kinds of projects.

    1. Since I posted, the paint dried enough that I could turn the frame over and paint the underside. I'll have a look at it tomorrow and see how good it looks, but I'd better not paint any more as I've got a job interview in the afternoon and don't want to go smelling of paint and with black stains on my hands!