Updates. Been trying to get the shittily running CB back in good shape so the GL has taken a bit of a back seat. Waiting on parts however has meant I can turn my attentions back to this old girl. With the water pump rebuilt and timing belts changed, I flushed out the engine's cooling system the only way I know how...messily -
- but largely effectively. Left some Prestone radiator cleaner product in the rad for three days or so so clean that up and flushed it with distilled water. No overstatement to say a fair bit of crap came out of the thing -
Went to check if the thermostat still worked and discovered there was no thermostat in place -
but drug up a couple from the ol' spare parts boxes, found the least cruddy, did the checks to make sure the thing still worked (it did) so installed that along with the new o-ring for the housing. Hooked up the radiator with its new hoses, filled it with coolant (I ended up using OEM brand from Canadian Tire - they have a formulation specifically for Honda engines, no silicates), filled the engine with oil (still using Rotella T4 15W 40) with a new filter and fired up the bike to start the vacuum synch.
Things were going ok until I noticed the brand new battery was having a tough time turning the starter - killed the engine and noticed plumes of black smoke pouring from the left side of the bike. Turns out the starter motor was on fire - literally. Think it was caused by a loose connection between the cable and the starter. Panicked the fuck out (had the aux gas tank suspended just above it) and dumped a load of water on the thing. Which saw to the fire, but also to the ongoing operational abilities of the starter motor. Utterly trashed the thing.
Not for the first time I thanked Andre the PO for supplying me with a trove of spares when I bought the bike - dug in and found a starter motor which looked useable. Getting the old one out is thankfully not the huge ball ache that Clymers suggests it is (they say engine removal from the frame is required - utter bollocks). I had to remove a couple of bolts securing the starter, the gear shifter, the headers and an exhaust stud bolt and the job was a good'un. Also, had read that the bike must be on the side stand in order that the starter chain in the engine does not dislocate. But I'd also read - and had on good authority - that this was an old wives tale, that there was in fact no way for the chain to dislocate due to the internal anatomy of the engine casing. So I put my chips on that, and kept the bike upright, which worked out just fine. Pulled the starter apart for shits and giggles - the internals were deeply fried and the smell of burnt grease was truly, truly awful. I also learnt what a planetary gear is, cool looking set-up. Installed the replacement and whaddya know, the thing worked. Beauty.
Back to the vacuum synch - idle was all over the map which turns out was caused by me not properly securing the lid on the air filter. I've got the carbs pretty close now and a fairly steady idle -
Thing is, I then decided to dial out the mixture screw on carb #1 from 2 turns to 2 1/2 out, and then things went pear shaped again - idle surged bigtime. So more tinkering is required, but I'm told I'm on the right track. Which is good, because the CB is giving me fits.