1977 CB400F Super Sport "Give Up"


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Ended up not being able to get into my station wagon securely. It wanted to roll around in side the car, even with the wheels off. Not only that, but at the time my wagon's springs were severely damaged, and the car was riding on the bumpstops.

So I waited...and saved...

and after 3 months of my motorcycle sitting in pieces (wheels off, forks off, engine in frame)...

I bought a trailer! A 70's Holsclaw 3-Rail Motorcycle Trailer.


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So after nearly 500 miles, 5 stops, one blown tire, the Holsclaw managed to get my CB400F and about 400lbs of stuff from one side of PA to the other (Philly to Erie).

The girlfriend's T-Bird had no problems with the towing, although the suspension could have been better.

The trailer's flat tire was a result of rapid deterioration of the right side tire. I suspect an alignment issue, as the axle appears to have been repaired and the tire was at a fairly low air pressure, yet wore through the cords in the center of the tread.


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So this is where I'm at.

1) I know the bike runs. I had it running, riding (badly), and idling (badly), but it ran!
2) The carbs are now in good shape, but need synced probably. I benched synced them but who knows how close that is.
3) Electricals are all over the place, see below.

So lets start:

Wire nuts on the ignition/key cylinder and on the right side switch wiring (starter button).

The key cylinder uses different colored wiring, I'd like to redo the plug for OEM wiring.

Four wires into one wire nut...and only one wire out? PO didn't know how to hook up the three-way cut-off switch and the start button...

From brown to black...is this normal?

I have no idea where to start with any of this:

I could really use some ideas on what to do with the relays and junk at the back of the bike...they are just hanging loose in there. Some of them look old and questionable as well...


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Cleaning stuff up, despite it being messy outside.

Previous owner purchased a newer Voltage Regulator/Rectifier Combo, but didn't utilize the Regulator. I'd like to try to use the new unit to minimize the amount of wiring running around, but didn't want to remove the old regulator mounting tabs. Solution:

I've gotta start construction of a work bench in my basement, because its getting too cold outside to spend much time outside, plus there is no rush to have the bike on the road until Spring.

How she sits currently:



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Still need a RH switch/cable assembly. Start button and On/Off Three way switch for CB360, 400/4, 550/4, 750/4.

I'm thinking of going with a Kit's headlight tabs, ditch the stock indicator lights for some sort of smaller light bar.


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Keep up the good work man , I built a CB400/4 this year to and had all the same probs as you
my threads on page 6 CB400/4 UK build,
The wholes at the back of the frame hold brackets that then hold the indicators!!!
I took the wiring loom off and re-built it following the manual,
your carbs look ten times better then mine,If your keeping the mesh filters,85 main jet, turn air screws out two turns,
A good earth is a MUST,Also check the Auto advence behind the points and fit NEW points and condencers
Anything you need just ask i will keep watching ;D


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Now that the temps here in Northwest PA are starting to rise above freezing I think I should start ordering some stuff.

I've got a Wishlist 5 items long (and $200 deep) on Dime City Cycle, and probably will hit up Vintage CB750 for electrical connections.

I'm not going to purchase from Dime City until I've got the wiring all figured out, restored, and reinstalled.

So here's my question of the day:

Should I remove the engine while the wiring is out? I don't have a stand, I don't have a work bench, and I don't have a buffer. I don't really have a reason to remove it, but it would make cleaning it easier.

My thinking is to get the bike on the road this summer then go back and clean it up once I know the running condition.

I'm also thinking that I might start looking for a replacement engine, depending on price.



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I'd clean it in situ for now. Sounds like keeping it in the frame will give you the best engine stand.
If you liberally soak it with a cleansing agent and keep on working away at the crap over a period of time it'll come good. Polishing the bollocks out of it will not make it any more reliable or reconditioned ;)


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Hey man, i'm glad i found this thread! i;ve got the same bike as you and have been having the carb issues you've been describing. thanks for the help everybody. good luck with the build i'll be checkin in.


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Update March 2011:

I've made progress on putting the harness back to stock, including cleaning up the electrical panel and going to a modern fuse setup.

Once I get the harness back in place my hope is to try starting the bike again. It may be difficult now that my carbs have sat off the bike for close to 5 months.

My hope is that with the bike back to mostly stock setup, it'll run well enough to check the condition of the engine, then start modifying in a given direction.


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The wiring on old bikes can be a real pain. I was/am in the same situation as you, burned wires, wires soldered together badly, nonsense splicing etc.

But on the other hand, when fixing it, it's nice to know that what you are doing only makes the bike in a better condition than it was before. If you are not comfortable with wiring it might be an idea to look for a new harness, price depending.

Get heatshrink in various sizes, connectors and spare wire, tin and a soldering iron, it'll be worth it if you're going ahead.

Good luck on the project!


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thanks for the support. I probably will get a soldering iron and some equipment for that as well.

Worked on some Photoshop concepts today. I'm rather impressed. Which do you prefer?

Concept 2: Cafe?

Concept 3: Tracker?


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