ON THE ROAD!!!!! Project two---a CB400F

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

Glimpses of what might actually eventually be!!!

Sorted out my "wheel is not centered between the forks" hiccup. I goofed when I laced the wheel - with it laying on a table, I snubbed up all the nipples by hand, then threw it on the axle/forks to true it. This resulted in me truing a wheel that was askew to one side. Lesson learned!

With that sorted, I test fitted the painted brake caliper mounts and rotors to hub, and hung the whole shebang from the forks. Test fitted the (empty) calipers......I *think* we're off to a decent start.....nothing looks wonky to me....? I think I wiped up all the drool. :D





Also got that CB550 top triple home, gave it a quick roughup and did the Satin Black thing to it to match the lower triple.

 

1fasgsxr

Active Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

What hear did you source that front end from? I like the dual disk alot!
 

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

Thanks!

Most of the front end is a '72 (or '73) CB500 Four----the forks (with Mikes XS emulators installed), the hub/axle etc. The rim is a 1975 kawasaki KZ400 1.85x18x40 front rim, and it's laced to the hub with KZ400 spokes.

The intention is to beef up the 400F's suspension and braking abilities...
 

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

Yup. '72 (or '73) CB500 Four

Using the 500F hub, axle, speedometer drive, and axle nut, with the 400F LHS axle spacer (same PN, and NLA). Rangelov's dual disk speedometer drive adapter plate takes the place of the OEM plate on the RHS.
 

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

Rear wheel assembly time.

From this


To this


Although I had to walk away from it a couple of times to refill the gumption tank, got the wheel trued as well.

Tire time!!
 

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

Pulled the trigger on the tank plan today too.

After a lot of stewing, the tank and side covers will be sanded down, some small repairs to the tank and one side cover done, and repainted in as close to Light Ruby Red as we can get.



Did a little polishing too...getting these bits ready for eventual reassembly.





I think the engine's gonna be a mix of "as clean as as I can get it" metals and some polished items. Hope it results in something interesting to look at.
 

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

Winter has certainly established its presence here lately this year---man it's cold in the garage!!

So, not much going on out there-----but seat bits are all assembled awaiting a visit to the upholsterer



And the tank / side covers came back from the painter



 

ex119x

Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

Just to note, you might not have a leaking headgasket. The 75 CB400F had a problem with porous cylinder castings and would weep a little oil. There was a recall on them, but not all of them got done since the leak was small or non-existent until later. At this point, there isn't anything you could do about it except replace the cylinders from a 76 or 77.

The other thing I would suggest is to reverse your fork legs so the calipers move to the back. This lightens up the steering feel and helps the forks self center with the weight of the calipers behind the axle. The only other thing you need to do is remove the rivets from the front fender brace and reverse it so the fender fits back on the right way. I just used button head allen screws to bolt the fender back to the brace.

Also, as a suggestion, I shortened the rear fender on my CB350 race bike on the forward edge where it bolts togethere under the seat. That way the cut portion is concealed and you can still keep the rolled edge instead of a cut off sharp edge.

All in all it is looking good. I bought a blue one new in the spring of 1975 for $1240.00. My first new bike.
 

Chuck78

Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

Looking great, Rod! Ive got to get you down this way to go riding some serioys twisties in the Appalachian Hills with us sometime! Or at least to AMA vintage motorcycle days weekend at Mid-Ohio sports car course outside of Lexington Ohio...



These CB350/400/500/550-Four Koni 76F shocks of mine that Kenny modified for Koni 7610 Dial-A-Ride adjustable damping internals (effectively making them the equivalent of Koni 7614 alloy body Dial-A-Ride's) will look really great on that bike!




 

Attachments

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

hey Chuck---- ya...I'm looking forward to the mailman ringing the doorbell and saying "your Koni's are here"!!!!!! :D

I'll post up some pics with them installed.




EX119: I do recall reading something about that metal being a bit porous, but I'm knee deep into changing the gasket now anyway, so....

Running the calipers behind the forks----I would LOVE to do that...understanding that one of them (regardless of them being in front or behind) has to be shimmed up to run "straight" anyway. It was when I read somewhere that running them behind complicates two "maintenance" items----bleeding the lines (as the bleed valve would no longer be near the highest point on the caliper), and draining fork oil (the drain bolt is no longer at the lowest point on the fork leg), that I started wondering if that (for me anyway) was the way to go.

Now, that said....I get it....pull the forks to change the oil.....Brake line bleeding will just take a little longer.... It's certainly not too late to swap 'em around!!!

Thanks too for the thought on the rear fender mod----with the frame's rail's rear mounting points remaining there, the plan is to run the signal light stalks through them, and continue to catch the fender's side mount holes too....to keep the whole structure rigid. I do like the rolled edge finish too....it "finishes" it...but also imagine a fender that's got a smaller/more narrow profile too.

Once the bike starts getting reassembled especially with the rear tire and seat/tank, I'll do lots of staring at the rear and hopefully the lines will emerge.
 

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

Well.... I swapped the forks the other night to run the calipers behind.

Took my carbs over to a buddies' place last week too, and he helped me check over my efforts. All the jets and orifices and interiors were cleaned up, new o-rings installed everywhere, and they're "bench sync'd" (I think is the term?). I think we're both pretty satisfied with them.




Been poking away too at the engine, taking my time. Took some nudging, but the cylinder block did eventually break free from the lower cases. It was quite dirty in there....collections of what to me is sand at the around the bases of some of the studs. Have started to remove that old base gasket, and clean that surface. Have also started cleaning up the crusty studs.

Pulled the pistons off the rods, and went at the tops and the head combustion 'dome' surfaces to get some of the carbon build up off. Just used some bathroom cleaner and some scotch pads....not perfectly clean, but I can see a difference.











Have bought new piston circlips, head washers and some new head nuts to replace a few that were a little mangled. Will continue cleaning the exteriors of all the major engine components while they are apart and therefore lighter/easier to move around, and start buttoning it all back up.
 

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

cleaning up the lower faces of the engine.....



And installed the airbox/ battery tray and inner rear fender, both of which got a couple of fresh coats of paint...

 

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

Well, the doorbell rang this morning!!

The kind mailman dropped off a nicely packaged set of rebuilt and upgraded Koni Aluminum 76F's, with Ikon "dial a ride" adjustable damping internals installed.

Dealing with Chuck78 here and (sorta indirectly) his suspension guy, Ken was great....answered all my "don't know what I'm talking about" questions, and even generously included an extra set of springs in the deal. Good people, those two.

Popped into my favourite nuts and bolts store to pick up some bottom shoulder bolts, and voila -- rear suspension, done!







 

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

Ya gotta love the small victories!!

REALLY hoping to re-use the oem headers, and still on the fence a bit about re-using the silencer that came with the bike. The OEM headers had been painted (the top 8-9 inches or so) to cover up some not so nice stuff (I'm guessing). Cleaned that paint off in Fall, and the whole system has been leaning up in a corner since....It was NOT coming apart at all.

Today, I decided, is the day. Lots of penetrating oil, lots of gentle tapping, and time.....and the system is disassembled! Thank goodness!



So....next steps. I had bought two spare header down pipes..and I think they're in better shape than mine, so that's perhaps obvious.



I will take some closer pics of the areas of the headers that I'd like to make look nicer....perhaps someone here has some suggestions on the how?

And, in less exciting news, also installed some new rear shoes...

 

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

......and reinstalled pistons and the cylinder block this morning. New piston sleeve orings, new piston pin clips, new base gasket, and the engine bits as clean as I can and want to get them. Not going for the "brand new" polished engine end result.

Really thought that this was going to be a royal PITA to do...was nervous about installing the new piston wrist pin clips.....surprisingly, that wasn't all that horrendous. And was also a little worried about how difficult it would be to then slide the block down over the pistons/rings etc....wow---that really wasn't all that painful either. Maybe I got lucky?

Aligned each pistons rings so that gaps were proper, applied a light smearing of assembly lube on the bottom inner are of the piston sleeves (maybe that was a mistake, but to me it would help the piston/rings slide up into them...), raised up the two inner pistons, slowly slid the block onto the studs and then gently worked/centered those two pistons and rings up into the sleeves while gently tapping down from above, then rotated the crankshaft a little to bring the two out pistons up a little and repeated the above to those two. A little bit of jiggering with one of the pistons, and voila----the pistons and (perhaps most importantly) their rings all slid up into the sleeves and block gently lowered down to the gasket.

The point - if any kind of "encouragement" from this corner is worth anything - take your time, breathe, count to 10 here and there and these tasks, to anyone whose not done them before, aren't all that scary in the end.





 

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

more pics!!!

With the cylinders back on, installed the head and cam and sprocket and oil tubes..... New orings and gaskets everywhere.


And then got the valve cover ready to be put back on and breather cover on....




And continued to shop for some other muffler---lots of choices for sure, but ended up stumbling on a pair of these for not much $ from a guy 10 miles away.... I *think* it's gonna work...it's baffled, so hopefully(?) no rejetting will be required---and the length/shape takes my eye. Was not convinced that I wanted another megaphone shapes pipe, kept going back to "reverse cone" shaped pipes. If this works, great, if not, I'm sure a plan B will materialize.

new pipe versus aftermarket pipe that came with the bike


And loosely mocked up on the bench... The inlet/outlet connection will just need a thin layer of some packing, and I've got a nice heavy duty clamp on order from DCC. There's a mounting bracket on the inside of the pipe that just needs some hardware to mount to a little L bracket that I'll have to come up with to bolt up to the bike's existing exhaust mounting plate.

 

Jimbonaut

Well-Known Member
DTT SUPPORTER
Re: Project two---a CB400F

Yeah man, right on! Couldn't agree more - some of these jobs look Herculean until you give them a go, and then they seem pretty human after all.

In my case not without a hiccup here and there but hey. Great work on that cylinder block, job done!
 

tattoo

New Member
Re: Project two---a CB400F

yup....took my first small, tentative baby steps with taking an engine apart (PARTIALLY!!!!) and putting it back together----and the only extra part that I had left over, well I'm pretty sure I can use it on a BBQ that I need to put together! ;D

but you're right---I definitely feel like I learned some stuff, and it wasn't as 'scary' as I was imagining it was going to be.
 

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