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Author Topic: CL350 Junker Wrenching  (Read 5073 times)

Offline MandoSteve

  • Posts: 49
CL350 Junker Wrenching
« on: Sep 22, 2018, 21:11:07 »
Hey all. Iíve checked your boards and Iím pretty sure that what Iím doing probably fits into the ďSpecialsĒ category. A couple of weeks ago I was blank-staring at the shed beside my barn and suddenly thought...why donít you see if you can make a bike out of that 350? So, here I am.

A little background on meóIím a small engine repair guy and I like to tinker around a little with other things. I can weld, bend a little, know how to use tools. I donít have immensely shitty taste so I might be able to get something done with this bike.

A little background on the...patient? Itís a 1973 CL350. I took it as partial trade for a repair on a garden tiller. Not a bad deal, even though at the time I thought it was pretty lousy. The previous owner said he had left it exposed over a winter and then tried to start it, which didnít work out. Shocking. After that it had gradually sunk into mud and been lightly hit by a student driver trying to do a 3-pointer. It last turned over in 1989.I wish I had photos of its original condition, but I wasnít really thinking about a project at the time.

So hereís where I am with it. The bikeís front forks were damaged beyond repair as was the seat and part of the seatís mounts. The tank was full of brown sludge and rust. The keys are long since gone. The tires dry-rotted years ago, as did most of the cables and hoses. The ignition is most definitely not kickingóI even jumped the solenoid with a screw-driver and a battery pack and it seems dead as a hammer. I compression tested it though, and got almost a 100 on the first kick try, which I think is pretty damn considering itís state. You get an ďearĒ for these things and it sounded good and throaty to me. The screws for the oil filter, the starter, and some others are stripped and will need to be drilled out. The headlight is shattered as is the headlight cone. At some point someone hacked the ends off the mufflers, presumably to get at the baffles. The good: the engine seems serviceable and the frame is straight. Iíll have to take it from there.

Current progress is this: I broke down the carbs first and started a list of ďdo before crankingĒ items. The carbs were...dead inside. Just dead. Took a bit but I got them cleaned and mounted.The list has veered off-course as I have experimented with one thing or another, but it has mostly stayed true. I traced out the wiring harness and put the volt meter on every end and it seems sound. I swapped out the coils, cleaned the points, replaced the fuel lines and started looking at my junk pile for possible part donors. I cut out the original battery/air box rig and slapped some cheap pods on there. Iíll switch to something else if I can get it turned over and retune it accordingly, with new jets on the carb if need be. I went down the frame removing some excess mounts. I know for some this is heresy, but I can make whatever mounts I want or steal them from other junkers. I didnít want them clouding up my thinking when it came to fabricating/placing things like an electronics or battery box.

I started looking at what might be compatible with the front end and wound up pulling the forks and stem off a 2000 GSXR 650. I was just going to leave as-is, but the cables had already been pulled off the handle-bars. One switch set was gone, and the other seemed hopelessly frozen. I figured it was worth the experience. I ordered the right bearing set and pressed in the new stem (this was the ďdeviating from the listĒ part). I pulled the tank off and sanded it and shot on some primer to stop any flash-rusting, then used acid to clean the rust. I poured in some 50:1 to coat the tank until I am ready to use it. I replaced the pet cock as well. The other was in absolute shit condition. I didnít see any point in rebuilding it. I purchased a battery, a replacement headlight and throttle and will throw those on later. I swapped the coils, plugs and wires. The others were fairly shitty as well.

Things I am currently sorting out in my noodle:
I have Suzuki forks. How best to mount the wheels/how will I replace or modify the hubs? Should I buy some solid rims and chunk the spokes? What are the dimensions on the rear axle? Will the swing arm require modification to accommodate a matching solid wheel set?
Can I make a proper seat tray using fiberglass (pretty sure I can). What paints are best? After a little test run, epoxy-based on the frame seems workable. It resists scratching pretty well. High-heat should work on the engine, but a few tests with the cap on the generator tells me that itís pretty scratchable. Maybe Iíll just polish it as best I can.

Iíll update as I roll along. Iím not really making a rat-bike. Iím salvaging what I can, but I do intend to make it look as nice as possible, so plenty to blank-stare at. I brought the rear shocks and fenders home from the shop today. Shocks and springs are cleaned, the fenders were acid-bathed to break the rust. I wire-wheeled them and primed them. The chrome look really isnít salvageable. I donít know if I will use them but itís productive.

Offline trek97

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Re: CL350 Junker Wrenching
« Reply #1 on: Sep 22, 2018, 21:46:48 »
Welcome to DTT. 

THAT CARB...OMG LOLOL  8)

Offline MandoSteve

  • Posts: 49
Re: CL350 Junker Wrenching
« Reply #2 on: Sep 22, 2018, 21:52:14 »
No joke, it took hours. Overnight soak, a metric ton of acetone. I finally got down to cleaning it with a dental pick.

Offline pidjones

  • Posts: 609
Re: CL350 Junker Wrenching
« Reply #3 on: Sep 22, 2018, 21:56:09 »
" I donít have immensely shitty taste" - Really? They've let me hang around, so.... I sounds like you have the right attitude, skills, and training. You should do more than fine. Heck, I used lacquer paint and the bike still turned out better than I hoped.
"Love 'em all.... Let God sort 'em out!"

Offline MandoSteve

  • Posts: 49
Re: CL350 Junker Wrenching
« Reply #4 on: Sep 23, 2018, 20:43:05 »
Problems on this one today. I added some clip-onís and set up the throttle and clutch just for ease in testing the engine and suddenly I canít get the kick-starter to engage. My intuition tells me that this is no coincidence coming on top of placing a fairly shitty clutch cable into place. Itís rust af but I figured it would work. Maybe the tension on the cable is causing it not to engage fully? I donít know for sure. The kicker doesnít seem junky under my foot and I hear what I would consider a proper ratcheting attempt to happen. It snaps back into proper position, so the return is ok at least. The e-start isnít an option at the moment as it seems completely dead. I suppose tomorrow I will get in there and poke around if I can get the stripped screws out. Who knows, maybe these two problems are related? Possibly. I have a starter rebuild kit, so it might be the right time.

I worked on some cosmetic items prior to that, and Iím still relatively in neutralópardon the punóabout what to do on the axle/hub/wheel selection issue. Iíll work it out, I suppose.

Offline pidjones

  • Posts: 609
Re: CL350 Junker Wrenching
« Reply #5 on: Sep 23, 2018, 21:52:40 »
Sometimes you just work on what you can until....
"Love 'em all.... Let God sort 'em out!"

Offline Rat_ranger

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Re: CL350 Junker Wrenching
« Reply #6 on: Sep 24, 2018, 04:57:33 »
The old honda front hubs can be modified to fit a newer front end.  It takes some time and a lathe, but it can be done.  The picture is a 76 cb550 hub, on a 2012 zx6 front end, with a ducati rotor, lined up with a yamaha caliper.
Xs650

Offline MandoSteve

  • Posts: 49
Re: CL350 Junker Wrenching
« Reply #7 on: Sep 25, 2018, 01:05:18 »
Nicely done. I have access to a lathe. By that, I mean its parts are in a storage bin. Iíll have a look and see what I can do. I havenít fooled around with one much, but I think I could sort it out. I out my time in today on a  John Deere riding mower and a nice ATV with a Honda pull start in it. I had to save the 350 for last. Curiously, when I cracked open the cover over the front sprocket and clutch adjustment I found that it was full of rat droppings...and of all things, chewing tobacco. I guess some previous owner liked his Redman, and apparently his rat did too. I wish I had taken a picture before I brushed it away. It was a little startling. I went ahead and pried the cover off the starter side as well, trying to preserve the gasket. The whole area will need a thorough cleaning and regreasing. I thought the contrast between the exposed area and the sealed side was pretty remarkable. I removed the coils and gasket and preserved them carefully. They are in fairly good condition.  I decided I would go ahead and take off the after-market dirt bike kickstart that someone tacked on there long ago and it took some doing. Itís really far too wide to be sitting there and Iíll need an appropriate copy or original part. The bolts on that side are chewed as they can be. I tried an impact driver and it still wasnít having it. I covered it with some PB and Iíll see if they can be convinced tomorrow. I suspect the clutch is shitty, and I further suspect it has never been maintained properly. As soon as I can snag the spanner for the oil filter Iíll break the entire right-hand side down and see whatís going on in there.

Offline pidjones

  • Posts: 609
Re: CL350 Junker Wrenching
« Reply #8 on: Sep 25, 2018, 08:34:48 »
Amazing how poorly folks can treat equipment (but, I'm sure you've seen many examples). Just as amazing is how nice patience and the secret ingredient can make them awsome again. I'm on my second "rescue" of a bike. I think the next project (years off) will be a restoration - MUCH harder!
"Love 'em all.... Let God sort 'em out!"

Offline MandoSteve

  • Posts: 49
Re: CL350 Junker Wrenching
« Reply #9 on: Sep 25, 2018, 19:40:39 »
Yes, this bike shows a lack of maintenance all the way around. I suspect that I will find that the filter has never been cleaned, provided I can ever get the bolts out. I called a uncle on the Impact driver and got after them with a grinder and drill today, being careful not to damage the case and using a magnet to collect metal shavings. I wasnít in any particular hurry. Still three more to go. I have only a rear wheel at the moment so getting the foot peg/kick stand assembly was a trick being that I have the bike on a jack. I should be able to crack it open tomorrow if this Honda ATV Iím working on cooperates and starts. Speaking of a lack of maintenance...