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My CBX build

Talk about all your non-Zed or even Kawasaki bikes here.

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Russ
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My CBX build

#1 PostAuthor: Russ » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:53 pm

OK peeps, spent a bit of time sorting piccys out and will put together a post on the CBX build.
I know it's not a Kwak, but it's still a labour of love and, like some of the bikes on here, was nice to try to get such an iconic bike back to it's former glory. There were problems and solutions on the Hodna which I'm sure all bikes suffer with.

I saw this one in a dealers in Holland, he was selling it as a "barn find" non runner. The owner had left it for a couple (ten?) years in his garage. it was a two owner bike with papers and only 24,000km - about 16k miles. Even though it was a non runner, they have a reputation for carbs gumming up, I thought it looked promising. It still wasn't cheap though and there was no negotiating on the price, and I had to get it crated over and UK registered, which was expensive and a pain in itself.

The bike as it came off the curtain-sider;

IMG_0296.JPG


I thought it best to see if the dealer was telling the truth about the bikes history and find out if I had at least a runner. Emptied out the fuel, put in fresh and pressed the button, and pressed, and pressed.........first it farted, then fired on one, two, three, four, five, but never six. It ran, but only over 3,000 RPM, carbs.........
The next week I got it up on the mezzanine in work and started to scratch my head.
The bike was in fair condition, dealer sent loads of pictures over so I knew basically what I was getting. Tank had been lacquered over and was solid but rough, exhausts were not original, frame was OK but a bit rusty, wheels were corroded and scratched, tailpiece was split (although 90% are - due to a design fault).
As with all bike projects, some people like to run and ride them with a "patina", some want to get them back to factory which is almost impossible due to the lack of parts. I wanted to rescue it and get the bike as best as I could without getting it back to a factory finish.

IMG_0590.JPG


I needed to get it registered in a certain amount of time after importing it into the country, can't remember how long but couldn't cheat with the dates as import paperwork has to be forwarded with all the details on. To get a Reg No. you need an MOT, fill out some forms, send all the import documents and I think £55 for the first registration. To get it to the MOT station you need insurance, with no Reg number the insurers are supposed to insure it on the chassis number but they won't, or at least mine wouldn't. So, you can't insure it without a Reg number, you can't get a Reg number without an MOT, you can't get down to the MOT without insurance. Just goes round and round in a vicious circle........

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Sent all the documents off and they got sent back because I hadn't filled in something right, a call to the DVLA helpline and resent it all back again... finally got a Reg No.
Pressure was off a bit now so could start planning what to do first............
Last edited by Russ on Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Savage
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Re: My CBX build

#2 PostAuthor: Savage » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:16 pm

My back aches just looking at that engine :lol:
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Philippe
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Re: My CBX build

#3 PostAuthor: Philippe » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:49 am

Hi Russ

looks great! Keep those pictures coming!
Buying and riding a bike is one thing, taking them apart and restoring them is something else.
You're on the right track, go for it!
Good luck!
GrtZ
Philippe
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Charlie
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Re: My CBX build

#4 PostAuthor: Charlie » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:55 am

The ridiculous DVLA systems virtually force a bending of the rules in some cases. Be assured, you are not alone in doing that.

Well done on getting sorted. :wink:
Why do I persist in debating with idiots ? I really should know better :)

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Tonto
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Re: My CBX build

#5 PostAuthor: Tonto » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:13 pm

Nice bike and a great starting point you have got there: look forward to more pics.
Ive had a couple of Insurance companies provide 30 day temporary cover notes based on VIN / Frame nos: curious, but who are you currently using ?

Cheers Tim
"Better to remain silent and be thought an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove any doubt" - Abraham Lincoln
Z900 A4 / KZ1300A1 / ZRX1200R / RG400 / H1F 500 Project / Secret Hodna / CBX Project

Russ
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Re: My CBX build

#6 PostAuthor: Russ » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:03 pm

Tonto wrote:Ive had a couple of Insurance companies provide 30 day temporary cover notes based on VIN / Frame nos: curious, but who are you currently using ?
Cheers Tim

Hi Tim, it was a couple of years ago but I think it was "bikesure" - not 100% on that though.
Russ

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Re: My CBX build

#7 PostAuthor: Russ » Tue May 01, 2018 9:16 pm

I thought it best to do the carbs first, this is one of the Achilles heel's of the CBX - it has lots :(
Somewhere in here are the offending items;

IMG_0591.JPG


To get the carbs out you need to follow a procedure, starting with the rear wheel spindle - I kid you not :D

First you loosen the rear wheel spindle, push the wheel to the front of the slot, then you take both banks of exhaust's off with all the collars, split collets and bracket's. Next is disconnect the air filter housing but not the carb intake box, then HT leads, the two top engine hangers are removed which are either side of the frame. Next it's choke and both throttle cables, these are very fiddly to get to. Top rear engine mount with spacers and sprocket covers is out next after putting a trolley jack under the motor. The engine can then be lowered on the jack and pivoted on the bottom rear engine mount.
The engine will only go down as far as the drive chain will allow which is why the spindle is undone. The bike was going to be fully stripped in this case so I took the drive sprocket off and let the chain go. If you just wanted the carbs out you can leave the chain on. The carb intake box rubbers are connected to the carbs with six jubilee clips, once the box is removed you can start on the carb to head rubbers, these are held on with 12 more jubilee clips but only the carb ones can be loosened. the carbs are in a slight "V" shape and are very hard to remove. A piece of timber can be used as a lever but there are vacuum pots and lots of delicate pipes so care is needed. It also helps to spend 10 minutes with a hot air gun on the rubbers as they get brittle after 35 years (the ones on this bike will be replaced as they are too far gone).
After lot's of swearing the carbs are out...

IMG_0596.JPG


Hodna dealers had to this a lot under warranty, it must have cost a fortune. The problem is deep inside the carbs.....I bet the mechanics hated this bike.
The design was changed after about 2 years so the problem disappeared to a degree. There are books written just about the CBX carbs.
There are 700+ parts to the assembly, all the rubbers are perished, O rings are the same as are the float bowl seals. You can send them to the US and have them overhauled or there are a couple of blokes in the UK that do it, but the backlog is months and the cost is a basic £750 - or more if there are sheared bolts etc.
Ordered a carb repair kit from "Randakks" a specialist in the US who makes the seals etc with Viton - £160. You can get cheaper ones but why take the chance? Hodna use the usual Japanese Industry Standard (JIS) screws on these bikes and these were very tight. A lot of problems are because someone has used a phillip's screwdriver on them and knackered the heads, then the chisel comes out........A new set of JIS screwdrivers from Vessell were ordered, also bought an ultrasonic cleaner, which is a nice bit of kit.

Started to strip them down, each carb was separated and bagged up with associated pipes and connectors, "witness" marks all over the place to show that they had been "worked" on by a dick in the past.

Bank of three, vacuum tap on the top with pipes connected . As with some other bikes there is a scenario when people either replace the part or leave it out and connect straight to the tank tap. If the diaphragm fails (or the valve is removed) fuel is permanently on to the float bowls, then if one of the float bowl valves fail and the bike is on the side stand number 1 cylinder can fill with fuel. Press the starter and the conrod goes through the crank cases. Regular thing, even now, with CBX owners.

IMG_0604.JPG


Not all the carbs are the same, some have different linkages and pipe work so care needs to be taken about the order of the things. I did one at a time but there are people that can do these in their sleep and strip everything at once.

IMG_0615.JPG


This is the bottom of the carb underneath the float bowl, the black rubber bung in the middle of the carb hides the problem.

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When this is removed it shows the offending pilot jet. The problem is that the holes in the jet are 0.0013" (0.35mm), the jet is fed from one of the larger ones next to it (you can just see the feed hole at about 5 o'clock). The rubber bung stops the fuel draining back to the bowl so the knock-in jet is permanently in a fuel pocket and the very small holes soon get blocked up with varnish and the bike won't idle.

IMG_0728.JPG


This is a knock-in jet with no way easy of getting it out, The jets on this bike have never been out, some people just soak them in cleaner or blow them with compressed air without removing them. This rarely sorts the problem though, other people screw a self tapper in and try to get them out that way? Bit too rough-arse for me.
I made a little puller out of an M2.5 screw and aluminium collar.
First thing to tap the end of the jet, you have to count the number of turns though or you will damage the holes in the jet - max 8 full turns of the tap.
Screw in the puller;

IMG_0715.JPG


And the jet pulls out, should have put a ruler in the picture - these jets are so small.....

IMG_0721.JPG


I made a couple of sets up consisting of a tap, pullers and drifts for knocking them back in and sent them to CBX HQ. This got me some brownie points to use at a later date if needed.

The carbs come out of the ultrasonic bath a lot cleaner, they really are a die-cast work of art....

IMG_0635.JPG


And the finished articles, it took me two months to do them all. Bench tested with fuel and a couple of leaks so had to adjust the float heights again.

IMG_0638.JPG



Forgot to add that, when all the work on the carbs was done, they were put back onto the bike with all the other bits and fed with fuel from a bottle. Bike started almost immediately, ticked over no prob's and revved cleanly so all was good. They were stripped out.....again, and the rest of build was started.
Last edited by Russ on Tue May 08, 2018 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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chrisNI
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Re: My CBX build

#8 PostAuthor: chrisNI » Tue May 01, 2018 9:18 pm

Bloody hell... :oh :oops :Oo :whoa

freddyz1r
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Re: My CBX build

#9 PostAuthor: freddyz1r » Wed May 02, 2018 8:03 am

Well russ that was a well documented, interesting read on the carbs :up
I'll never call/swear at zed carbs again :ws (yes I will :D ).
Cheers freddy
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Russ
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Re: My CBX build

#10 PostAuthor: Russ » Thu May 03, 2018 8:37 pm

Bike was almost fully stripped.

IMG_0664.JPG


Next was refurbing the wheels, tyre's were removed and the wheels were put in a 4 jaw chuck on the big lathe. They are anodized I think but they came up fairly well using wet and dry down to about 800 grade and then finishing with Autosol. New boot on the rear and ready to put back on, all this took more than a day to do :(

IMG_0851.JPG


The clocks were working OK but after almost 40 years they were looking a bit tired, also they were in Kmh and the Odometer was obviously the same. There are little dampers on the needles so they return smoothly, these get worn out but are serviceable if you know what you're doing.

IMG_0690.JPG


They were dispatched to a bloke in Birmingham called Nigel who specializes in refurbishing these clocks. Funny side line but hey-ho, and he does do a nice job.
All the spade connectors were removed from the blocks and cleaned with Scotchbight and electrical cleaner, wiring was also cleaned up and new bulbs.

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New sponge clock mounts were sourced, gearing changed to MPH, Odo swapped to the equivalent mileage from kilometers and mounting plate powder coated matt black

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Again, this all takes an age to do. Nigel did me a good price as I helped him with some other stuff but it still wasn't cheap.

Fork stanchions were slightly pitted so they were sent to be ground and re-chromed back to standard, They are very flimsy on the CB1 model, later models had the diameter increased by 2mm to 39mm which made them............very flimsy. New seals, circlips and dust covers, bushings were OK and in spec so they stayed in. Fresh medium weight oil in them and ready to go.
Brake discs were almost unworn so made a jig for them and took the smallest clean up from them on the lathe, purely for aesthetic reasons. Material was nothing special, just cast steel I think. Painted the centers up and they are ready to fit.

The 1970's electronics were a sight to behold. Again, every spade was removed from every connector block and cleaned

IMG_0649.JPG


Typical damage to the headlight shell, the cracks from the mounting holes to headlight rim are caused by the rider reaching over the clocks to adjust the beam height. Damage has to be repaired as they are no longer available from Hodna, pattern ones aren't the same - Hodna material is like a plastic / bakerlite? Several narrow slots were cut on the inside of the shell at 90' to the crack, then I dropped small lengths of 316 stainless filler wire into them, filled over them with Loctite 4090 cyanoacrylate gel and dremeled off when set.

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Repair is strong and virtually invisible from the outside after being painted.

IMG_1322.JPG


IMG_1323.JPG


Next task was the Tank and plastics.........

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Re: My CBX build

#11 PostAuthor: relisysxx » Thu May 03, 2018 10:18 pm

Great post, keep it coming. Just bought a pair of CBX's to restore so your post is very informative for me :D

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Andrew_s
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Re: My CBX build

#12 PostAuthor: Andrew_s » Fri May 04, 2018 6:55 am

Great project, love the CBX - here's my mate's US spec:

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Russ
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Re: My CBX build

#13 PostAuthor: Russ » Mon May 07, 2018 10:23 pm

While all this work was being done I was asking round about a sprayer for the tank and plastics.

I wanted someone who was used to doing CBX's, obviously Dream Machine's name was mentioned but they are too hit-and-miss now, I heard that they have 30+ sprayers and all these sprayers can't be as good as each other hence the finished job will depend to an extent on which one you get. I saw a post on CBX site about a lad who had just had his red bike sprayed, nice job. PM'd him and the lad who did the work was only an hour away from me in Ormskirk, near Wigan.
Had a trip up without the parts to have a chat, he was just a 2 man band working out of a small unit on an old farm. Didn't advertise, which was good as he didn't need to, and specialized in 70's Candy stuff on H1's and 2's etc. He had some clients stuff finished ready to collect so I could look at some of his work, job done.
Dropped the stuff off the next week.
I um'd and ah'd about changing the colour to the red (I do like the red), but decided to keep it as close as I could to original spec.

He stripped it, pressure tested and did the paint on the tank, plastics and panels.

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One of the side panels on the bike had a repair to a sprue so it took six months to find another good Hodna one (pattern one's are available but are not the same), the freshly sprayed side panels also made the other black stuff look a bit plop so I had to send them up to be done as well. Also had the headlight, back of the clocks and rear mudguard done.

If it's possible I like to do all the work myself, but this was way beyond me I'm afraid. I am well pleased with the result and glad I didn't try to do it. Credit where it's due, he did a great job and I've put two, maybe three, full bikes from other people his way........which is why he doesn't need to advertise.

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Tonto
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Re: My CBX build

#14 PostAuthor: Tonto » Tue May 08, 2018 4:11 pm

Russ, that paintwork looks gorgeous !
Sent you a PM.
Cheers Tim
"Better to remain silent and be thought an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove any doubt" - Abraham Lincoln
Z900 A4 / KZ1300A1 / ZRX1200R / RG400 / H1F 500 Project / Secret Hodna / CBX Project

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Re: My CBX build

#15 PostAuthor: chrispyduck » Tue May 08, 2018 7:25 pm

Great documentation of this rebuild........nice job you are doing :D
I heard the cbx costs a fortune to restore. I can see why :roll:
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