Friday, September 17, 2010

Introductions are in order.....

You have somehow managed to find yourself staring at my '77 Honda CJ360 build. Lucky you. What lies beyond this point, I'm not really sure. I've gone back and forth in my head about what I'd like to accomplish out of this process, and I'm still undecided. I guess that's just part of the adventure.

I'm a 32 year old IT Professional living in the amazing and picturesque Pacific NW. I have a wife and two kids, two dogs and a passion for motorcycles. My wife and I share many things, but a love of two wheeled speed is not one of them. I owned bikes before we were married (never worked on them myself), but only recently have I been able to talk her into letting me acquire one. Of course, there were some restrictions.

1. It had to be cheap

Okay, only one restriction.

After some looking and a bit of luck, I happened upon this '77 Honda CJ360T for next to nothing in late June. I had never heard of a CJ before, but it looked pretty close to the CBs I'd seen many times. The bike would run, but not very well, and the turn signals did not work. There was a decent amount of surface rust on the exhaust, forks, signal stems, basically anything chrome, but nothing too serious. It was, however, complete, and had a title.

Here is the bike the night I picked it up.

My original plan was to get the bike back on the road, and ride it for the summer, before tearing it down over the winter to rebuild. I also wanted to do some cosmetic modifications....mainly those grandlebars were annoying the hell out of me.

Pictured is the right side carburetor. The left side was noticeably worse, but I'm not sure what happened to the picture I had of it.

Upon removing the carbs, I found that the air filters were in need of replacement. The left side was easy enough to find, but the right side had to be ordered from Holland. I also drained and refilled the tank, cleaned the petcock, and replaced the inline fuel filter.

Carbs rebuilt and reinstalled, new air filters installed. I adjusted the valve clearance, replaced the points, and adjusted points and timing. My inexperience coupled with the wrong tools made these steps a pain in the ass. I strongly suggest anyone doing the valve clearance on one of these old Hondas pick up a Motion Pro tappet gauge. They're the perfect size, and bent to shape. I tried bending a straight feeler gauge first, but was unsuccessful in getting a good reading from it. Even with the right tool, it took me a few tries and probably a week to get everything nailed down.

All cleaned up.

Rewired the turn signals, replaced the flasher and the signals work!

Next step was replacing a clutch cable that didn't seem to be engaging properly.

The inside of the sprocket cover. Nice and clean, eh?

Dirty clutch guts.

I'll do a better job of cleaning these parts up this Winter. Right now, though, I want to ride. This will do.

Now everything seemed to be running well. And, since there were a few more weeks in the season, I thought it might be fun to try and swap the handle bars out and get a few rides in before the weather changed.

New NOS handle bars (Off a '76 CB400F), grips, levers and a set of EMGO bar-end mirrors should make a huge difference in the appearance and feel of the bike.

I hate stripped screws. Seriously.

Got that bastard.

Finally got the old bars off.

New bars, grips and levers mounted.

I figured I might as well do the turn signals while I'm at it. After some rerouting and tweaking of the cables, she looks like this.....

The end of the season is getting close. I'm starting to look forward to the tear down, and get an idea of what I might be looking to accomplish. In this initial post, I've attempted to squeeze two months worth of ownership into one rambling juggernaut, but subsequent posts will be more segmented to match the project I'm working on at the time.

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