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Author Topic: Another Honda CB400F cafe racer  (Read 63244 times)

Offline JustinLonghorn

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Re: Another Honda CB400F cafe racer
« Reply #10 on: Aug 06, 2012, 11:10:04 »
I can definitely dig it, sir. I am on board.
I'm going to eat your brains and gain your knowledge.

Into The Sunset, CB750 build

TT500 the Animal

Offline Owned

  • Posts: 60
Re: Another Honda CB400F cafe racer
« Reply #11 on: Aug 06, 2012, 12:38:44 »
Looks like a nice stocker rising from the grave!  Love these 400's.  Great platform to work with. 
'64 CB160
'72 CB350/400F Hybrid Cafe
http://s1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee520/indyrider2/?albumview=slideshow
'74 CB350F Cafe
'01 900ss Ducati

Offline swan

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  • Kickstart, shift on right, drum brakes and spokes
    • 1962 BSA Gold Star barn find restoration
Re: Another Honda CB400F cafe racer
« Reply #12 on: Aug 06, 2012, 14:14:12 »
Thanks all! I was not going to do a build thread for this bike at first, but I changed my mind and will keep the updates and images coming.

Last night I added oil and kicked it over to get the oil into the internals but did not test compression yet. No leaks, drips or errors.

Started on the electrical, bought and charged a new battery and dug my way through three wiring harnesses that I picked up over the last few years.

Two are hacked, spliced, duct tape, wrong connectors and wrong color extension wires-total amateur hour and a pile of useless spaghetti.



The third was dirty but unmolested with the correct part number so I cleaned it up. The fuse holder is broken but usable.

I have three left hand controls but did not think any of them are for this bike. I hit the service manual, wiring diagrams and multi-meter to sort it out and ended up repairing a bad HI/LOW switch on one control and it is the correct one.  I need to take it apart, drill a hole for the wires on the side to fit the clubman bars and paint it to match my new OEM right hand control. The old right side controls ALWAYS have a broken or fragile starting button, so it is best to start with a new one. Of course the left hand control is no longer available from Honda in the US, but they are still available in the UK and EU.




I have a busy couple of days at work and socially but will work more on this bike later this week. I want to get this thing running within two weeks. Stay tuned...
« Last Edit: Aug 07, 2012, 14:47:13 by swan »
1966 Triton cafe, 1962 BSA Gold Star DBD34, and 1966 T120 Triumph Bonneville.
BSA Gold Star barn find restoration
1975 CB400F Cafe Racer build
1966 Triumph Bonnevile restoration

Offline john83

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Re: Another Honda CB400F cafe racer
« Reply #13 on: Aug 06, 2012, 21:17:43 »
Good stuff. Very nice work.

Offline bwald

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Re: Another Honda CB400F cafe racer
« Reply #14 on: Aug 11, 2012, 19:40:02 »
I was watching Swan working on his seat all afternoon today. This is going to be a sexy bike when it's done.

Offline ronnie

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Re: Another Honda CB400F cafe racer
« Reply #15 on: Aug 12, 2012, 02:52:30 »
Checking in for this thread..
HOLD FAST.

"'Today I Learned' that if you're going to drink all day you have to get started early." ~kop

CB350F/400Fpowered  "Dago": http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=35263.msg381531#msg381531

Offline OneArmWillie

  • Posts: 86
Re: Another Honda CB400F cafe racer
« Reply #16 on: Aug 12, 2012, 04:36:56 »
This dude knows how to make a build thread.
A Pussyeater for the Ages

Offline swan

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  • Kickstart, shift on right, drum brakes and spokes
    • 1962 BSA Gold Star barn find restoration
Re: Another Honda CB400F cafe racer
« Reply #17 on: Aug 12, 2012, 13:50:33 »
Thanks all, a quick update: The electrical is 98% sorted, tested and installed and my left hand control is painted, assembled, tested and installed. It looks good and works great. I found a good fuse holder in a box of spare parts.

I am greatly inspired by Oldog's thread on making a fiberglass seat mold and producing a seat pan http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=3070.0 and decided to buy the materials to do this. One, so I could learn the process and two, I want to produce seats for my CB750, KZ400 and possible other projects for guys in our shop. This will be a Manx style seat with black marine vinyl covering the entire pan with red piping to match the tank.  I took detailed measurements of my tank, frame and rear fender and made a cardboard template.  It is important to me that it uses the stock locking mechanism and hinges and I want it to look like it could have come from the factory.

Next, I glued with a hot glue gun pieces of scrap foam insulation I had been saving and marked out the general shape and form. The rough form was cut with a hacksaw blade and hand saws. Next,I used rasps and rough sandpaper to get to the final form. More sanding with finer grit sandpaper and then coated the plug with lightweight body filler.



With more rasp and sandpaper work, additional coats of filler, I am nearing the final form of the plug and plan to finish filling and sanding it tonight so I can paint it with a two part epoxy primer and then create a mold from it


From this plug I will make a mold from which the seat will be cast using black gel coat, epoxy resin and airplane grade carbon fiber I friend gave to me. It will take several days for the mold and cast pan to be made and cure so I plan to start on the carbs during the drying process.

They are complete, and are not in terrible condition but I plan to spend many hours inspecting, cleaning and rebuilding them with new carb kits. Each step is one closer to a finished bike.
1966 Triton cafe, 1962 BSA Gold Star DBD34, and 1966 T120 Triumph Bonneville.
BSA Gold Star barn find restoration
1975 CB400F Cafe Racer build
1966 Triumph Bonnevile restoration

Offline juan@crqcycles

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  • Not a lot of cafe's down here in Mexico...
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Re: Another Honda CB400F cafe racer
« Reply #18 on: Aug 17, 2012, 00:39:17 »
COMPLETELY BEAUTIFUL BIKE! You sir are an artist! I can't wait for the finished bike!!! The detail you put into every little nut and bolt...congratulations!

Offline swan

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  • Kickstart, shift on right, drum brakes and spokes
    • 1962 BSA Gold Star barn find restoration
Re: Another Honda CB400F cafe racer
« Reply #19 on: Aug 19, 2012, 19:37:45 »
Thanks!

Updates: Carbs are done and the seat mold complete

I made time to finish cleaning and rebuilding the carbs. Overall, I spent 6 hours dissembling, cleaning, rebuilding and setting them up and I really need to be in relaxed frame of mind to do this detailed work. I soda blasted the bodies and the interior of the bowls. The exterior of the bowls and caps were polished on the buffer.


We have all been here before, years of sitting, dirty exterior and varnished gasoline in the bowls-yuck:




New rebuild kits, #80 main jets and lowered the needle clip one notch (raising the needle). I used the same set up on other CB400f's and this will be my baseline for tuning with K&N pod filters, stock header and Dunstall replical muffler. Plug chops and a carb synchronizer will be used to determine the final carb set up.


This was one of the best set of carbs I have worked on. Dirty, yes, but no corrosion of metal, zinc plating is in great shape, nothing missing. Someone had been in the lower portion before, but not the top parts. The slides are prisitne:


The floats had undersized pins and drill bits holding them loosely in place and they were set to the wrong height. I threw them out, bought the correct diameter rod stock from a model/hobby store, cut to fit and installed. They work correctly and I set the float heights to 21mm.


The only drama was on the carb number 4 float bowl screw. It was very tight even after soaking in PB blaster. I was literally walking over to grab a propane torch to heat it and I made the mistake of trying to turn it once more and it snapped off. F#$%!


The broken piece came out easily with a screw extractor and I replaced it with a spare screw from one of my shop mates, thanks Andrew.
The carbs done and installed on the bike. I will shorten the stock throttle cables and install them this week.



SEAT

Since I am making a mold from which to cast a seat, there is much more work and several more steps involved then simply casting a seat off a plug. Again, Oldog's thread was of great help and I am bodging my way through this to learn the process and made a few mistakes which I corrected and learned from so my next attempt will be better. I am experienced with fiberglass and resins but not gel coats.

The sanded plug was sprayed with multiple coats of two part automotive sealer/primer and wet sanded with 220 to 1000 grit sandpapers. Next three coats of Partall Wax was buffed on and then topped with a PVA mold release film. The beer is optional.


Next, several layers of black tool gel were applied with a brush. I do not have a dedicated spray gun for gel coats (yet). Things went bad on the second coat and there was some wrinkling which could be attributed to an inaccurate mixture of the gel and catalyst or most likely too thin of a coat due to brushing, not spraying. From the Fibre Glast website:
"A coating less than five mils thick may wrinkle, especially when brush marks are present. Check the thickness using a gel coat thickness gauge. The preferred thickness is .010" to .020". Live and learn....



After the tooling gel set, layers of fine weave fiberglass and epoxy were applied followed by two layers of a heavier fiberglass mat. The mat may have been too thick, was difficult to work with, leaving me with some air bubbles on the final coat (whitish areas). The mold ended up being very solid and will work well, but just looks ugly. For the next mold I will start with fine veil, regular weave and then a single layer of lighter weight mat fiberglass.


The plug was removed and the inside of the mold was washed with soap and water to remove the release film, The wrinkling in the tooling gel left valleys which will show up on the seat if cast as in, so to correct this I filled the valleys with a few rounds of light weight body filler, sanding and then sprayed the same catalyzed primer sealer I used on the exterior of the plug. Then the mold was wet sanded up to 1000 grit, waxed and sprayed with release film. There are still a few minor imperfections in the surface of the mold. I can live with them since the final seat pan will be upholstered.  The flaws are more obvious on the flange of the mold, but that part will be trimmed off.




Tonight I will brush several layers of tooling gel into the mold and plan to lay some fiberglass and carbon fiber tomorrow, have a seat pan by Tuesday and start sewing a cover on Wednesday. Stay tuned...
1966 Triton cafe, 1962 BSA Gold Star DBD34, and 1966 T120 Triumph Bonneville.
BSA Gold Star barn find restoration
1975 CB400F Cafe Racer build
1966 Triumph Bonnevile restoration