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Author Topic: The Honda Valdez: CB350F Build  (Read 498 times)

Offline LeVeL

  • Posts: 11
The Honda Valdez: CB350F Build
« on: Jan 25, 2018, 16:30:40 »
Hi there! Long time lurker, first time builder. I'm cross posting this on the SOHC Honda forums as well. Enjoy!

This is going to be an ongoing, slow build thread of my 1973 Honda CB350F. I got it in a trade for a '90 Geo Tracker and at the time seemed like an even trade. When I got it, I knew that the timing chain tensioner bolt was broken and the valves were loud. It rode around the neighborhood just fine so the deal was done. I'm sure that you can already tell where this story is going...

When I got it home, I tried everything to get the broken tensioner bolt out. Nothing worked. So I decided to just park the bike for a couple months until I had time to tear it down. I forgot to even get pictures of the bike as a whole, but have photo documented well for the teardown. The reason for the name Honda Valdez; this bikes leaks oil like it is its job. When I first got the bike, the fins on the cylinders all had oil throughout. The oil pump area also leaked. On the few times that the bike was started and let run for only a couple minutes, it would leave two half dollar sized oil spots on the garage floor.

Now, full disclosure. I have never split cases on an engine before. This is by no means a how to, or even the proper way. I have been using the Clymer manual backed by a PDF version on the Honda manual. They both give you a general idea of what to do. So, first things being first, I started with removing the engine.

The oil pump area was nasty as the seals had pretty much given up on trying to keep oil in the engine.


Once the engine was out, I started to tear it down. I was immediately stopped by what I found under the rocker box cover. The camshaft had nearly sheared itself in half, taking a few of the rockers with it in the process.


And of course this damaged the journal in the head.

Pistons do not appear to be damaged, but also appear to be aftermarket. I have no history on the bike, so I can only guess. Two of the pistons have been through my little ultrasonic cleaner.

The oil jets? that are on the outside of the cylinder jugs were completely clogged with debris. I believe this to be part of the problem leading up to the cam failure (no pics of the jet things). So I decided to take a look at the oil pickup screen. No surprises here, crammed full of shavings
1973 Honda CB350F
2006 Harley-Davidson FLHRI

Offline LeVeL

  • Posts: 11
Re: The Honda Valdez: CB350F Build
« Reply #1 on: Jan 25, 2018, 20:21:38 »
So I scored big on eBay with a complete head. Had everything that I needed, is in good shape and was way cheaper than anything else out there right now.



There is an unusual chunk missing on the inside of one of the journals... I don't think it will be an issue, but am open to the what you all think.


I spent some time and cleaned up the face of the valves and the combustion chamber itself. Was a fair amount of carbon built up on it. Some on the face of the valves will not come off.

I also cleaned up the intake ports off all the casting marks. Didn't really take a ton of material away, but did manage to match the intake carb boots to the head a little better.

Tusk makes a really nice, really inexpensive valve spring compressor that made taking the valves out a breeze.

Trying to keep things organized as I go. Baggies and boxes.

I also found another culprit to the demise of the engine. Stuck on the base gasket for the cylinders was a small piece of piston ring and another, much larger piece in the oil pan. Yet, the pistons all have good rings and appear to be non OEM. I'm thinking someone did a really bad top end rebuild with the motor still in the bike. Who knows...

Next stop, machine shop.
1973 Honda CB350F
2006 Harley-Davidson FLHRI

Offline hooligan998

  • Posts: 219
Re: The Honda Valdez: CB350F Build
« Reply #2 on: Jan 26, 2018, 01:06:10 »
In.  I love these smaller 4's.  Hope to get one someday.

Offline WhyNot

  • DTT SUPPORTER
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  • Posts: 1114
  • ~~~If it ain't raining, I'm riding~~{iii}?~~prost~
Re: The Honda Valdez: CB350F Build
« Reply #3 on: Jan 26, 2018, 06:47:00 »
In too, how bout some pix of the bike.

And I do have one, and expect to have it on the road this season.

Just wish I could figure how to register it in Georgia w/o having to give up the original paperwork to it...............see, I'm only the second owner of it.

So I have to original title signed by the original buyer of it.

What did the other head look like, that you took off?
2006 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1975 Honda CB750K5 needs carb work
1974 Honda CB350F2 needs tins painted (being lazy)
1972 Honda CB175K2 roller no engine
1972 Honda CB/CL350 Engines need roller
1972 Honda SL350K2 Frame for above engine
1972 Honda CB100K2 needs kicker shaft
1990 Mitsubishi MM needs engine rebuild
1984 Dodge D50 Beater DD since 1997

Offline LeVeL

  • Posts: 11
Re: The Honda Valdez: CB350F Build
« Reply #4 on: Jan 26, 2018, 09:53:06 »
In too, how bout some pix of the bike.

And I do have one, and expect to have it on the road this season.

Just wish I could figure how to register it in Georgia w/o having to give up the original paperwork to it...............see, I'm only the second owner of it.

So I have to original title signed by the original buyer of it.

What did the other head look like, that you took off?
The original head was a disaster in one of the outside journals. Oil flow saw slowed to it from crap building up in the oil control valves that go into the outside of the cylinder walls. The cam chewed itself up and took that journal with it. I have no idea why, but Google photos isn't showing the photo of that journal. I don't know why.
The rest of the bike is still assembled but is stuffed behind a bunch of stuff to make room in the garage. I'm going to start work on it after the motor is sorted out. Going for a desert sled, brat style bike.
1973 Honda CB350F
2006 Harley-Davidson FLHRI

Offline WhyNot

  • DTT SUPPORTER
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  • Posts: 1114
  • ~~~If it ain't raining, I'm riding~~{iii}?~~prost~
Re: The Honda Valdez: CB350F Build
« Reply #5 on: Jan 26, 2018, 15:21:35 »
Cool, really want to see it when it's done.

I was trying to keep my little 350f as original as possible, but the wifey likes orange......so.
2006 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1975 Honda CB750K5 needs carb work
1974 Honda CB350F2 needs tins painted (being lazy)
1972 Honda CB175K2 roller no engine
1972 Honda CB/CL350 Engines need roller
1972 Honda SL350K2 Frame for above engine
1972 Honda CB100K2 needs kicker shaft
1990 Mitsubishi MM needs engine rebuild
1984 Dodge D50 Beater DD since 1997