first time engine build and just about to close up the case...any advice?

ddub

New Member
She's a Honda CL350, and I've never rebuilt an engine before. I'm a little nervous about closing the case, for fear that I've forgotten something important. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. The cam timing chain is original and has about 8k miles on it. Bike will not be raced, just trotted around town. Would you guys do anything special to her? Thanks for your time.
 

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i would just check everything is in its correct position before sealing her up.


nice feet by the way! ;)
 
if those cases were blasted, you need to be VERY thorough in your cleaning.

EVERY oil passage cleaned, EVERY bolt hole needs its threads chased, EVERY nook and cranny.

Lots of compressed air, lots of hot soapy water, and lots of patience.

If you have already done this, then great!

If you haven't you need to consider it. That grit will ruin things right quick.

double and triple checking is not excessive.
 
Bozz said:
if those cases were blasted, you need to be VERY thorough in your cleaning.

EVERY oil passage cleaned, EVERY bolt hole needs its threads chased, EVERY nook and cranny.

Lots of compressed air, lots of hot soapy water, and lots of patience.

If you have already done this, then great!

If you haven't you need to consider it. That grit will ruin things right quick.

double and triple checking is not excessive.


Thanks for that info. I have not done any cleaning such as you mentioned.
I wish I had compressed air, but don't. I can do hot soapy water, though. What do you use to chase threads?
 
You chase threads with a tap/die set. And if you're into this level of engine building I'd seriously consider picking up a used small compressor for air.
 
Yes, even a little pancake compressor is better than nothing.

Check craigslist and/or pawn shops for a little compressor.

You will need a metric Tap & Die set. Harbor Freight and Northern Tool and even some Auto Parts Stores carry small sets. You don't necessarily need machinist grade stuff, just something serviceable to make sure all the threads are clean, both male and female.

Since your crank and transmission shafts have been placed into the cases you should consider cleaning them very well also.

Spray Brake Cleaner works and hose them down very well, then get a little assembly lube to coat all bearing surfaces to make sure that you can spin the motor as needed before you first fire it and get oil flowing.

Keep the assembly lube away from any gasket surface, and after everything is as meticulously clean as you can make it, assemble with care.

Get a good torque wrench, and take your time.

I'm not trying to scare you, just trying to help your first build be a success!
 
+1 to what Bozz said.
I just finished bead blasting my head and I couldn't believe how easily that glass gets into everything. I had my head sealed up with duct tape and I still had blasting dust everywhere. I just scrubbed it with nylon engine brushes in a bucket with hot soapy water and then blew it out with high pressure water followed by air. Then repeat it twice. Coat any steel parts with oil right away to prevent rust.
 
Before I chime in with my two cents, DID you media blast the cases or parts?

"Burnin' oil and smellin' royal!"
 
Clean mating surfaces with lacquer thinner and use Hondabond or similar liquid gasket, make sure that little black rubber ball is in that one hole, align all the semicircle bearing guides properly, also the those little dowels that line up the end bearings. Set all the shift forks in the correct spaces and make sure the transmission is in neutral, you can tell by being able to spin the sprocket shaft freely. Tighten all the baffle bolts, you don't want those to come loose. Torque wrench is absolutely necessary, too loose and it will leak, too tight and the case threads will strip.
 
johngofast said:
Before I chime in with my two cents, DID you media blast the cases or parts?

"Burnin' oil and smellin' royal!"


They were glass bead blasted and powder coated, at different businesses. I guess I sorta assumed (stupid, I know) that the powder coater cleaned the parts well before painting. There was a bunch of dirt and grit in the bolt holes for the crank center bearing holder, which I did clean out, but didn't chase. I must confess that I'm totally freaked out now that there's no way I'm going to get this thing together right. Oh well.
 
DrJ said:
Clean mating surfaces with lacquer thinner and use Hondabond or similar liquid gasket, make sure that little black rubber ball is in that one hole, align all the semicircle bearing guides properly, also the those little dowels that line up the end bearings. Set all the shift forks in the correct spaces and make sure the transmission is in neutral, you can tell by being able to spin the sprocket shaft freely. Tighten all the baffle bolts, you don't want those to come loose. Torque wrench is absolutely necessary, too loose and it will leak, too tight and the case threads will strip.


Sweet. This is what I was looking for. Baffle bolts = case bolts? Is there anything special I should do with the kick start shaft and gear? It seems like it's just floppin' around on it's own as you put the cases together.
 
I'm sorry to scare you, I'd just hate for you to go through all the effort and then have the thing grenade within the first 100 miles.

Try not to be scared, just be diligent in your cleaning and prep.

Your service/shop manual should have the reassembly order, torque settings and such.

This is well within your skill set, so don't feel like it is beyond you to do right.

If you are patient and go by the book, each step is fairly simple.

You are completely capable of doing this, but it does need to be done right.

Get everything as clean as you possibly can, get your hondabond or your sealant of choice, your torque wrench and your book and step through.

Keep asking questions, there's an unbelievable wealth of knowledge here.

Take photos if you have specific questions, those help us better understand your question.

Also, as you may have noticed, this is an international board so some components have different names depending on region of the globe.

You will get there, and you will be SO PROUD when you do.

Stick with it!
 
ddub said:
Sweet. This is what I was looking for. Baffle bolts = case bolts? Is there anything special I should do with the kick start shaft and gear? It seems like it's just floppin' around on it's own as you put the cases together.

The baffle is the steel plate under on the bottom half of the case. It's attached by several bolts, make sure they are tight. Yes, the kickstarter gears. Do you disassemble them? If yes, make absolutely sure you put it back the same way. I once reinstalled one of the parts upside down and it broke the spring tab.
 
I maintained fleets of small engines (80-250cc rental go-karts) 60-100 go karts at a time, 80 percent Hondas, for 10 plus years. These were high performance engines that received all day abuse from the public. They were never governed and were setup to go as hard as possible. I've seen hundreds of parts get ground up in engines, and none of them from media. Our engines were all blasted 3+ times in their 8-12 year service.

I wouldn't worry about a little media in your cases, though I would recommend blowing it out (even if you have to purchase compressed air in can) and changing the oil very often in the beginning once it's up and running.

I WOULD make sure to remove every bit of media as possible from your bolt holes by blowing them out, lubing and chasing the threads. Media in your bolt holes can damage your fasteners and threads + cause fasteners to bind and potentially (with the right amount of persuasion) SNAP.
 
ddub said:
What do you use to chase threads?

I would highly recommend a "Thread repair kit" over a tap and die kit. They have a slightly different design. They are meant to follow and clean existing threads instead of cut new ones. Much more useful unless you are machining new parts
 
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