Down under, an idiot and a 400F

neevo

Active Member
It all started with a random picture find on google images... Spiderman's to be precise (Bonita Applebum). Never before had I seen such a beautiful bike, classic roots, retro looks with a stunning mix of customisation. Unfortunately this started an infatuation which not only consumed a large part of my life but also my bandwidth at home.

I had no intentions of buying a bike and having a go myself, but i was watching some bikes on eBay (just to see what they went for) and fell in love with a dirt cheap wreck. 9 agonising days later and $411 AUD out of pocket I was the proud owner of this little beauty:



Little did I realise how far away it actually was. I am in Sydney and the bike was in Mildura... a mere 1020 km's away. Oh well, the heart wants what the heart wants, and it was an adventure :). 1020km's of endless straight roads and fields:



Saturday I filled the car with fuel and headed out on the 22hr round trip to pick up my newly acquired bike: a 1976 Honda 400F (Four).

Here she is back at home:







First up was to give it a good clean, crack out a couple of cans of degreaser and the trusty Karcher and hit it hard. It scrubbed up well and cleaned off the caked on crud and crap:





Had a bit of a whoopsie moment rolling the bike back in to the garage (I had undone the real axel bolt) when the rear wheel fell off!!! Oh man these bikes are heavy, struggled to get the wheel back on.

Was planning on running the bike before I stripped it down but still haven't got some carbs yet, that can wait. Time to strip it down, first off came the loom:



Made sure to label all the loom well, as I have no idea where this stull should plug in:



With the bike nice and light... or should I say slightly lighter, I rigged up a way to get the bike off the ground so I could strip the swingarm off:



The plank of wood wasn't really doing the job. so I got some steel reinforcement sticks, covered it in hose and used that instead:





Got into stripping the bike well and truely. Fork bottoms were a bit of a pain:



Made sure all parts were clearly labeled before being stored:



Made a high tech front end holder upper:



The font caliper has a metal tube running into it, this has a thread which has broken off, can anyone advise the best way of getting this out?



On removal of the front sprocket cover I found a few of these worrying items of metal:





I suspect it may be a broken chain link caught up in the gunk, anyone else got any thoughts? Here it is on a chain:



I was going to leave it there, but got the grinder out to start trimming some unwanted tabs. First up the passenger peg mounts, then some of the brackets where the airbox was:





Thats it for day one. More grinding tomorrow.
 

bikeboy

New Member
Good score neevo. saw that too, but I'd be coming up from Geelong. Not quite as far ;)

There's a few aussie 400fs on the go at the moment, so have a look around. You're not alone.

cheers
ian
 

neevo

Active Member
Should probably take the time to say I am a Pom down under. So any amazing engineering, bike building work is because I am a Brit.

Anything I bugger up... I will claim to be a true blue Aussie ;)
 

bikeboy

New Member
Just a little observation, but as well as a busted shock, there seems to be a bend in that rear sub-frame rail?

ian
 

neevo

Active Member
bikeboy said:
Just a little observation, but as well as a busted shock, there seems to be a bend in that rear sub-frame rail?

ian
Yep and yep. I did know about it before I bought it. Shock is easy, was going to buy new ones.

Frame I need some pointers with. There are 2 damaged sections, the one you pointed out, which has tweaked the back end, plus the section where the side stand is. It has taken a hit by a forklift and on pulling it back has crushed the frame and peeled open when pulling it back.

Luckily it's on straight sections for both. I was going to buy some same dimension tube to replace the sections along with tube that fits inside the frame tube, so that I can brace the joint when I weld it.

What do people think?
 

Hoosier Daddy

Earache my eye...
WELCOME! 400F's are a great little bike, you'll have some fun! Bugger about the forklift damage... I think you did good, but have your work cut out for you so I'm tagging along out of "Morbid Curiosity" ;)
Spend a few hours/ days looking for sources for spares. There be "land pirates" out there who think parts are made of gold... especially those carbies. But research will pay off and help you spend your bike funds wisely.
You can try to remove the broken threads from the caliper, but you may want to start looking for a replacement... or at a very minimum a rebuild kit.
 

Ryanh

New Member
neevo said:
Should probably take the time to say I am a Pom down under. So any amazing engineering, bike building work is because I am a Brit.

Anything I bugger up... I will claim to be a true blue Aussie ;)
It doesnt matter me where you originate, your building a bike on Australian soil that has to conform to our strict rules and regulations, for that reason I consider you an Aussie
 

neevo

Active Member
Ryanh said:
It doesnt matter me where you originate, your building a bike on Australian soil that has to conform to our strict rules and regulations, for that reason I consider you an Aussie
Fair dinkum!
 

neevo

Active Member
Hoosier Daddy said:
You can try to remove the broken threads from the caliper, but you may want to start looking for a replacement... or at a very minimum a rebuild kit.
So I assume that metal pipe is stock? And I should be able to back it out?

Will give it a go. Worst case I get a replacement.
 

Hoosier Daddy

Earache my eye...
neevo said:
So I assume that metal pipe is stock? And I should be able to back it out?

Will give it a go. Worst case I get a replacement.
My Lil CB350F, the forerunner to your 400 had a steel line that attached to the front caliper so good possibility... there are tons of parts sources who have factory micro-fishe pages you can look at to check what was OEM.

*EDIT*
Yep, #14 on the schematic...
http://www.bikebandit.com/houseofmotorcycles/1975-honda-cb400f-front-brake-caliper-disc/o/m9225sch401287
 

bikeboy

New Member
Oh yeah. Let me know if you could use a parts fiche and manual (both PDF formats) ;D PM me your email if you like.

Sorry, should have offered that up sooner. David Silver Spares (back home ;) ) have good stock for these if you need to go that route? I just picked up a replica exhaust and some engine parts. Delivered in 3 days! I've had stuff come from Perth take a week.

hang in there.

cheers
ian
 

neevo

Active Member
bikeboy, PM sent. That would be awesome thanks! Got a Haynes manual coming from eBay, but another version would be a huge help.

Got the grinder out in force today to trim a bit of fat:



Going for a clean look where the airbox was, all the electrics and battery are going to be relocated under the rear seat cowl.

Certainly cleans up the frame, although I did realise a grinder - guard + fingers = ouch! A couple of times too.





Going to cut of the damaged frame rails soon and have a question about the rear uprights. My right hand side seems to have a kink in it. Is this how it should be or has it taken a whack too?



Also can someone comment on my plan to fix the damaged frame? Smaller tube inside main tube to brace joint whilst welding.
 

neevo

Active Member
More work. Bike had the rear rim damaged by the forklift too, so the easy way to release the hub was deployed:



Getting the brake plate off was a total bitch, turns out the arm was fused to the plate with the brakes on slightly. A fist full of muscle, some WD40 and she was free. Need to polish the arm to make sure it works well in future:



The hubs are going to get blasted and polished.

Started on the front hub too, took a while but managed to get the bearings out. Not too bad in the end, but replacing them all anyway, anyone got bearing numbers so I can go to my local bearing shop?



Lastly a bit of a tidy up and grabbed the forks to put on the bench. Looks like they have taken a whack as they are bent from the lower triple clamp, is this something to worry about? I know the travel is not affected:



Running out of free things now, need to wait for some more cash and Christmas (Santa is bringing a impact wrench, compressor, sandblaster and polisher :))).
 

neevo

Active Member
Had a crack at fixing the front caliper, turns out the metal tube thread and bleed nipple are well and truly stuck! Snapped an easy out trying to back it out. Smashed out the pads and turns out the piston is screwed too.

Anyone got a front caliper for a '76 400F they want to sell?
 

bikeboy

New Member
neevo said:
bikeboy, PM sent. That would be awesome thanks! Got a Haynes manual coming from eBay, but another version would be a huge help.

Also can someone comment on my plan to fix the damaged frame? Smaller tube inside main tube to brace joint whilst welding.
no probs. email sent.

That 'kink' on the back-right looks the same as my frame, so I think you're good there.

While I've braced plenty of frames, I've never cut and shut a section, so I'b be reluctant to offer advice there, but I know plenty of others have used a system of a smaller plug inside the new piece to locate and secure it. Should be some pics somewhere?

Those forks will need to be either fixed or replaced. You may be able to have them rolled flat, or keep an eye out for another set. Either way, they're no good like that.

Toys for christmas is always good. I'm sure you'll get good use out of 'em.

cheers
ian
 

neevo

Active Member
Cheers Ian. Will look into fixing the tubes, never heard of rolling them to fix bends, might get my google on tonight.

Had a crack at mocking up a bump stop:





Stripped to loom down to see if any of the electrical bits would fit:





Thinking of boxing in the rear frame rails so that I can run the cables, what do people generally do?

Definitely going to have to get one of those fancy Li batteries as there isn't much room in the bump stop and I want to keep the electric leg.
 

neevo

Active Member
bikeboy said:
Those forks will need to be either fixed or replaced. You may be able to have them rolled flat, or keep an eye out for another set.
Got a couple of names already, looks like only $40 odd a leg too :)
 

neevo

Active Member
hillsy said:
You can find bearing numbers over here:


http://www.bikebearingshop.co.uk/C5.htm
Legend! What about tapered bearings for the head stem? Or do I need to buy a kit for that?
 

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