Blue Lite Weblog
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Pictures in blue frames are thumbnails. Click on them to see an enlargement.

This bike is going to be named Blue Lite.

The 'after' shot in the snow was taken a year later in November 2002.  Scroll down to see another thumbnail of the rust from battery acid (bright orange), and even further to see two photos of the project partially completed.

blueleft.jpg (39647 bytes)

Click on the thumbnail above for the before picture, October 2001.


In the before shot, Blue Lite has a chrome front fender (from a CB175) and no chain guard. The seat looks flattened.  The mufflers look good in the picture but both are rusted through. The engine ran briefly, and I need to test it later with good gas and a battery. There are major cracks in the plastic side panel pieces.  There is battery acid damage, and no battery.  It is a U.S.A. K3 model, last registered in New York in 1980. It has a Honda sticker on the steering head that says it conforms to all Federal standards.  I don't have a clear title, but might try to get one later.

In the after shot, the changes you can see from this angle are the fenders, chain guard, footpeg rubber, mufflers, and tires. The side cover you see has been repainted. This weblog explains the effort that went into cleaning it up and getting it to run for 1000 miles before the cam chain broke. Now it's waiting for the engine to be taken out and opened up this winter. 


Frame CD175-2002153, Engine CD175E-2002399

Start of Log December 10, 2001

I would like to make it complete, by finding used parts in the original candy sapphire blue color. (NOTE: About a month from now I will finally clue in that CD175s came in two different colors, first Candy Blue and later Candy Sapphire Blue)

The mufflers are no good, but I am not looking for replacements because Red has the two-into-one exhaust which I think will last a long time, and I can still use Red's spare and reasonably quiet patched up mufflers (if I had the missing exhaust collar joint).  I don't need another battery because this is after all a parts bike.

December 14, 2001.

I removed the sacked out seat and took it apart.  It is also missing the middle rubber supports, and consequently it has also a slight crack in the pan where the riders weight was too much for the unsupported seat pan.  The foam inside the cover is hollow, and the hollow part is filled with spaced-out blocks of foam that have fallen over (explaining why it appears so collapsed), and a central spine of foam that has caused the ridged appearance.  The seat pan also is slightly bent in at the front right corner. I wire-brushed the rust on the seat pan.  Just typical surface rust on the top. The bottom of the pan is in fair condition, mostly black paint. 

December 15, 2001.

I drained gas tank and carburetor.  The gas was brownish.  Could not get through the screen filter easily when I tried draining it. I removed the screen and then it drained fine.  Donít know what to do with the old gas, so itís sitting in my 2 gallon container now.  The O-ring in the sediment bowl is permanently crushed into a wedge shaped section.  The carburetor looks newer than the rest of the bike.  Lots of oily buildup on the top and front of the engine and between the exhausts. This is probably where it would never get washed.

 December 16. I brought the gas tank inside today with the gas cap on so I donít stink up the house too much.  I removed the chrome side panels and put a Motherís Wax 3-Step coating on it.   There were a couple of scratches on the tank, and a small dent that had somehow been knocked out.  Wonder how they got inside the tank to punch it out?    Looks like the gas (spilled from the crooked and leaky gas cap) got through the candy blue paint. No matter how much I polish, seal, and wax the surface, it does not remove the dull spots/streaks. The gas tank has little or no rust inside, but it's hard to see the corners.

I sanded and painted the seat base.

Then I cleaned the plastic side panels.  I used a soldering gun to stitch weld the cracks.  It was good enough to hold up during the waxing process.  I tried steel wool to get down to the original paint in one hidden spot.  Iím not sure it would look good if I tried to do it all over.

Dec 17 Sprayed some baking soda and water on the acid-damaged areas of the frame.  There was no fizzing, so the acid is gone.  Removed the mufflers, foot pegs, mirror.  Stuffed rags in the exhaust ports.  Put the carb bowl back on.  Put Redís luggage rack on to help in getting the bike down stairs.  The V model has special rear fender bolts with threaded holes for mounting the luggage rack. But it will do for now with just four bolts holding it on.  I tried cleaning the aluminum engine side covers.  They are a bit spotted, and dull, but it seems like the original finish is there.  It is getting obvious that this bike had a crash on the right side, damaging the right handlebar controls, the right side panel, fork covers, headlight housing, engine covers, rear turn signal, rear fender, and exhaust down tube.  I removed the tape from the brake cable, and the cable is cracked underneath the taped sections, at least its nothing worse.  I put the parts in a bag and put back as many nuts and bolts as I could in their threaded holes on the bike.

Dec 18.  Cleaned up the chrome gas tank panels and put them back on. Sprayed black paint on the bottom of the seat.  I used duct tape on the inside of the seat cover for the small rips. Put 3 layers of new foam to replace the sacked out stuff.  (One blue dense foam from a camping mattress, next to the seat pan.  Then two layers of carpet underlay on top, and the original foam shell on top of that).

For the battery cover side panels, I got some UV Bondo and smeared it on the inside of both panels over the cracks. (on top of the stitch welds.)  I left it to cure outside (needs UV, but it was cold with some rain) It sets solid, but the surface is not hard, more like very tough silcone seal. 

 December 19, 2001

I put the seat back together with chrome and strap.  The chrome strip was missing one pin, and I lost another one somewhere. I used a nail to replace one, and a small bolt to replace the other. I put it on Red and it looks good together with the 2 into 1 exhaust.  The seats can swap back and forth easily.  I may switch the front fender too, since it also has a sporty look to it.  I didnít bend the hooks down yet on the seat pan, and there are no rubber supports, so I might make a pair myself.  They are available at David Silver for $4 each.

I started cleaning up the exhaust systems. I noticed that Blue Liteís exhaust is actually quite a bit lighter than Redís patched dual mufflers.

I ordered a pair of Blue NOS fenders today.  Sent a cheque for $170 to a guy in New Brunswick.  Apparently some scratches on the rear one. But I think the price was OK.  That is about what they cost from David Silver, but the blue ones are no longer available there.

Now I will need the front blue stay, it does not come with the NOS fender, and itís not available in blue (CN) at David Silver, but if it was it would be $20.  They have lots of red (CM), and a couple of XKís whatever color that is (Note I will later find out that XK is Candy Blue, CN is Candy Sapphire blue).  The black plastic cable grommets are also unavailable (to hold the brake and throttle cables).  I need two of them, as itís also missing off Red. 

Dec 20

I cleaned up the muffler hanger brackets and footpeg brackets (but didnít wire brush or paint).  Also cleaned up the room Iím working in because I couldnít move or put anything down any more. 

On the headlight shell there are cracks around the winker bolt holes.  There is supposed to be a collar around the bolt to take the stress off the plastic, but the collar is missing on both sides. I stitch welded the cracks in the plastic and covered the welds with UV Bondo (no fiberglass reinforcement yet) and I need to wait till the sun comes up tomorrow to cure it.  The area around the turnsignal holes is pushed outward and on the right side is broken off in a complete circle.  On the left is broken only half way around.  I was not able to push them back in before bonding. But since there are also chips missing, I left it that way.  I was afraid by forcing it I would crack it more.

I cleaned up the turnsignal arms with steel wool.  They are pitted but shiny now.  The actual turnsignal housing is perfect, except where it was scraped (I guess in the big accident on the right)  The turnsignal on the left has mud packed into the screw hole Ėa sign that the bike has bit the dust on that side too.  I accidentally chipped the lens by using a screwdriver that was too big to get to the screw.  All the nuts, bolts and washers holding the front turnsignal together are rusty, and are not chrome so I would like to replace them.  (actually, these bolts are chrome on the rear turnsignals).  I was not able to get the turnsignal off the stalk after removing the pinch bolt, so I left the rusty bolt off for now.

 The headlight is the sealed beam unit, but it is a special Honda part, I think.  It has tabs on it for the adjusters, and the Honda color coded wires are soldered on to the bulb.  I was hoping it would take a standard sealed beam, but there may be no standard 6 volt sealed beams available anyway.  It is off centre in the chrome ring, so I need to do some bending.

The speedometer comes out the top by pushing the clips together, but it was not easy.  The rubber is new looking with two small cracks in it.  The speedometer rubber on Red really looks to be 30 years old. Blue Liteís new odometer shows 1300 miles, but the road mileage is unknown.  I would guess at more than 15000.

Dec 21

I had to remove the 1980 NY Licence plate.  I put it in with the transfer documentation file.  Because I donít like the color scheme (Dark blue on orange.)

Dec 22

I cleaned, waxed and remounted the rear turnsignals. The rubber was not seated right or the ground strap was bent, and so the whole blinker was crooked.  On the left side too.  But on the right, where the crash damage was, I tried to straighten it more with a crowbar.  Now they are both reasonably straight.  Both blinkers have spliced wires, so maybe both were replaced, or possibly both were ripped completely off in a crash.  The other possibility is that someone needed to remove them both to do a repair, and did not want to pull the whole wire out.  I need a better way to splice the wires together.  The plastic twist connector shows signs of damage from tire rubbing.

December 23, 2001

I removed the front wheel and brought it inside to clean.  There is a hard grease buildup on the brake plate, which I got off with spray cleaner and a toothbrush. 

The wheel itself was very dirty, seems like the tire was sitting in a puddle of axle grease.  The part called ďgearbox gear washerĒ was placed on the wrong side of the hub. (according to the parts book) And what looks like an old cherry pit is caught between the bead and the rim. There is a washer missing at one end of the axle, called the 15.2 x 25 washer.  The one at the other end is still there. Part #90557-230-000.  Inside the brake drum is rusty and it feels a bit rough.  I donít know if its OK or not. Usually this type of rust is unavoidable and wears off with use, but this is more rust than I have seen before. Two of the spokes are loose.  And on the fork, the chrome piece called ďRight Bottom case coverĒ has slipped up about an inch on the bottom fork leg from its proper position.

Dec 26, 2001

Removed the forks and front fender.  Cleaned off lots of varnish and some rust.  There was heavy oil in the right fork leg, none in the left.  I think this heavy oil is the ďaxle greaseĒ that I thought the wheel was sitting in, I assume it leaked out of one fork or the other.  There is a truly amazing amount of heavy oily varnish buildup, and I am starting to think it all came from the forks.  With much difficulty I scraped off various layers of NY State vehicle stickers.  Looks like some crashing can be dated by peeling off the dated layers of sticker and observing which ones are damaged.  The chrome collar is not positioned properly on the right fork and it is threaded, according to the Haynes manual, needs a special tool or at least a strap wrench. I see some damage where someone took a vice grip to the other one.  The forks at least slide up and down.  There is some rust on the fork stanchion above and below the lower triple clamp.

December 28, 2001

 I removed the right hand fork chrome collar with a pipe wrench (and a few scratch marks.)  Now I can see it is not threaded (The Haynes manual said it was).  Instead, there are two dimples punched in the collar quite close together.  And there is a groove cut in the fork, which give those dimples space to slide straight down.  The groove is just long enough to allow the collar to slide easily all the way down.  The final step to lock the collar in place is to twist the collar so the dimples are forced tightly against the aluminum of the fork.  With the collar off, I sandpapered the rusty part inside the collar, and smoothed off the outside of the fork surface that the collar slides over.  Now it slides down all the way by hand only, and I can also lock it by hand force only.  There is a matching cut at the bottom of the collar on the fork leg.  I think that cut is to show you how to line up the dimples when you pull the collar off.  Too bad they don't  line up exactly. I also noticed that there are three nylon rivets at the top of the collar, and I think they are to keep the outer lower fork covers from rubbing on the chrome collar.  Several of mine are missing, and that explains all the rusty scuff marks on the collar.

While I had the collar off, I removed the circlip on the fork seal and tried to extract the stanchion tube and the seal.  No luck.  I pulled it out just far enough to prevent me from getting the circlip back into its groove.  I also tried unsuccessfully to unscrew the bottom Phillips #3 screw in the fork leg.  I think I'll leave it there for tonight.

December 29, 2001

I rolled whatís left of the bike out of the garage and brushed the crud off with the left over gasoline.  Mainly the cylinder head and front and rear sprockets.  The front sprocket cover came off easily enough, and there was some mud in the middle screw hole. (Confirms that this bike was laid down in mud on the left).  There was a lot of crud under the sprocket, I needed a screwdriver to poke it all out.  The rest of the stuff dissolved easily.  After lunch, I went out with a bucket  of hot soapy water and a brush (itís below freezing outside.) and I rinsed off the bike, especially the engine side covers that I didnít want to gas to eat away.

I looked again at the center stand shaft.  It seems the holes in the frame have become widened and allow the shaft too way much clearance. (about half an inch of slack in all.)  The brake lever is seized onto the shaft, and the entire shaft pivots with it.  Which is bad, because the shaft is supposed to be held by the pinch bolts, and the stand and brake are supposed to be pivoting.  The pinch bolt brackets are a bad place to pivot because there is almost no bearing surface, and so the holes will gradually widen.  I sprayed some lube on the frozen part.

I measure the handgrips, and they need to be a little over 5 inches long. I think the throttle grip needs to be about 1 inch in diameter, and the other one is a bit less (7/8 inch?)

December 30, 2001

I removed the fork upper and lower covers by loosening the steering stem locknut and swinging the handlebars the opposite way to the bottom triple clamp. I sandpapered and primed the right covers.  The left ones I will leave original factory color, scratches, dents and all.  I am looking for a candy blue spray paint can for the right (and the body side covers). The left fork coverís ear has been bent, and could explain why the headlight shell is cracked.

 I found light blue Krylon spray paint which I applied to the left fork covers.

January 1, 2002

The bike came inside, down the basement stairs on a dolly using my trailer ratchet tie-downs.  It took two people mainly because of the sharp turns at the top and  the bottom of the stairs.  I parked it on a block of wood on a tarp on top of a sheet of plywood on the wall to wall carpet. (Mary Ann is not home today.)

I cleaned it up a bit with soapy water and a rag.  Then I reassembled the front end, back fender, tank and seats/luggage rack combo from Red.  Just to see how it looks (no mufflers, and the forks are backwards, but it does look ok, even with the light blue krylon which does not match the candy blue.  It is not even shiny, but the effect is presentable at least (IMO).

I am missing the short piece of heavy duty wire (and the rubber cover) that connects the battery to the starter solenoid.  There is also one spoke missing on the rear wheel and most of the spokes sound ďdeadĒ.  I removed the pinch bolts on the center stand shaft, and the spring for the center stand.  No luck yet in freeing up the brake lever.  

January 2, 2002

I bolted up the exhaust pipes and it looks like the kick start lever is bent in.  The big gouges in the chrome muffler were cause by kick starting it when it was hitting the muffler.  The gear lever is also bent, but it is bent out not in.  When I get a bench vise, Iíll bend them both back into shape.

I pulled the plugs.  There is enough compression in each cylinder to push my thumb off the spark plug hole.  The plugs are D8HA, not D8HS.  Apparently this means there is a non standard center electrode, but it looks the same to me.

I tightened the spokes on the back wheel.  I really need a 6 mm wrench, the crescent wrench is just too clumsy.  I used a little oil.  Some spokes just turn with no protest.  Some will make cracking noises as they begin to turn.  Some will twist the spoke like a torsion rod, and then return to the same position.

The NOS candy sapphire blue front and back fenders just arrived by Canada Post.  They were extremely well packed.  Too bad there were some obvious scratches on the rear fender, but I got a $20 discount for it.  They look great (They are on already). I had to hammer on the inner frame fender a little, because it interfered with me mounting the new fender straight.  There was a similar mounting problem with the old fender.  (NOTE: in the future, I will find that the mounting holes need to be enlarged to make the fit easier)

Two things I noticed about the fender.  Little clips hold the wires inside the USA K3 back fender, and the wires are one long piece.  The K4 fender has fully enclosed guide tubes for the wires, and the wires have bullet connectors so you can detach the signals lights without pulling the wires out. And the color is lighter than the old fender.  Donít know if this is fading with age or differences in the factory paint. 

I cleaned up the hand levers.  Both levers have a metal bushing pressed in on their pivot point.  I didnít see any bushings on Red.  Also, the clutch has a small lever end knob, and the brake has a large one.  The brake leverís plastic clear coating is cracking and coming off.  With a closer look, I think Blue Liteís clutch adjuster was modified to accept the larger clutch cable.  It was drilled (I noticed it was a little off centre) so that the bigger cable outer would fit, but it is almost too tight to get the inner cable through the slot designed for the ľ inch cable.

January 3, 2002
I found a right side cover for $40, candy blue NOS at Zdeno Cycle Salvage.  Actually I found 3, but they were all for the right side.  Then I saw 2 CB175 covers also blue, but not exactly the same colour.  The top two tabs match because the frames are the same, but both were also right side covers.  The new one has a few nicks, but looks good.  Too bad Blue Liteís left cover was the worst one also missing one tab.  It was difficult getting the new cover on.  It seemed like the bottom tab was not aligned right.  So I forced it on, but I might have cracked it a little.  On further inspection, it seems like the cover has exactly the same pattern of tabs as the old one that lined up straight.  But what I didnít notice was that the old cover had a section cut out to allow the wiring harness through (instead of over, where itís supposed to go.) So I rerouted the wiring harness and now the cover fits on exactly.  I plastic welded the small crack so it doesnít spread.  I am considering cutting off the tab from the old right right cover and bonding it on to the left cover using fiberglass mat and UV Bondo.  Also reinforcing it with drilling a dowel down the center.

 I took some pictures with the new fenders and side panel.

 January 5, 2002bluelite1.jpg (52551 bytes)

I bought an impact driver at the International Motorcycle Show yesterday.  Removed a couple of screws (the points cover), but no luck yet on anything else.  Iím starting to think that these impact drivers are not that good (about the same effect as hitting the screwdriver with a hammer without the impact driver being in the way).  The screw bits donít even fit that well, and I had to file the tip off to get it to fit better.  Also, the screwdriver tips are starting to twist (or bend) a little already.  Next, Iíll try a t-bar screwdriver with a g-clamp to increase the downforce on the screw, but I donít have a big enough clamp yet.

This morning I removed the rear wheel and swingarm.  The rear axle was hard to get out.  Next was the swing arm shaft. I needed a hammer, but the swingarm shaft was easier to remove than Redís. No surprises taking all of it apart. I saw more mud packed into tiny holes on the left, for example the hole in the end of the axle.  One frame bolt on the left plate may be partly stripped. I noticed the old chain was a Diamond Ė I think thatís a good sign that someone cared what they were putting on Blue Lite.  The sprocket is put on with a circlip, so Iíll need to buy or borrow circlip pliers to get it off.

This afternoon, the weather was OK so I took all the greasy parts outside to clean using the old gas from the tank.  I got the sprocket off with needle nose pliers and Michael helped by sticking screwdrivers where they stopped it from popping back in.  Then it shot across the room but I found it again.

January 6, 2002

I cleaned the rear wheel and brake assembly.  The outer cover of the rear brake will need to have its clear coat removed.  It is half gone already and looks bad. The rear wheel seems well preserved under layers of grease flung off the chain.

I bought a propane torch and used it on the rear brake lever, and was able to drive the shaft out with a hammer.  I also put water on the inside of the shaft to cool it at the same time.  I hammered until it was flush with the brake lever.  Then I found a socket that was  the exact match for the shaft and continued driving it right into and through the brake lever.  Then the center stand was also stuck, but not as bad, so oil and sanding and hammering alone managed to get it out. (no more heat)  The pinch bolts on the frame may be usable if I cut the open area back with a hacksaw.  The shaft itself has a groove worn where it pivoted in the pinch bolt clamp (on the brake side mostly).  I think a new shaft would be a good idea if I canít put the old one in backwards.

I have cleaned and painted the battery holder, the tool holder, and the centre stand.  I cleaned the frame rusty acid damaged areas without actually removing the engine. 

January 8, 2002

The wiring harness is dangling down in front of the engine, and the starter cable is not tucked away as it should be.  The harness should run from the headlight to the left of the steering head and over the left gas tank rubber bumper. Iím pretty sure there is a clip to hold it there on Red above the ignition switch.   The starter cable is supposed to run between the starter and the engine, under the engine and then up through the frame center post.

January 9, 2002

I got some Emgo hand grips (Super bike type, Honda, Black rubber Plug end).   They cost $9.00 Cdn. They are just the right size for Blue Light, so I cut off the old Yamaha type grips that were too short anyway.   One of the new grips has a split in it.  I decided to not go back to change it.  I found the throttle tube is too long for this bike Ė actually it is off another bike anyway, so I cut off the end of the tube.  The grips fit on pretty easy.  I didnít use any glue.  The end plug was OK on the throttle end but way too small for the left end.   I had to file it down.  If I was to do it again, I think the ďClosed endĒ type grip instead of the ďplug endĒ type would suit the bike better.

I saw a post somewhere that said a good way to remove clear coat from aluminum is by using gasket remover.  I bought some Dynatex gasket remover at Princess Auto, in a spray can.  I sprayed the back brake plate and rinsed and brushed in water about 4 times, waiting about a minute or three each time.  It did bubble up, and seemed to slag off with the water.  But Honda must have used some incredibly tough and thick coating back in the sixties because most of it is still there.  Some even still looks shiny.

And I got two tire irons.  I hope theyíre worth it because I thought the price said $1.99 each and it was actually $7.99 each.  I have never been able to find tire irons as good as a pair I had many years ago that were about 6 inches long with a round bar and a curved flat at each end, made of aluminum.  The new ones are made by Motovan, and are 9.5 inches long, drop forged steel.  Not very easy on the rims, especially alloy rims.  

I also picked up a 10 piece  needle file set that might be good for cleaning up threads of bolts.  And a 3 piece (nylon, stainless, and brass) brush set for about $1.50 like big toothbrushes. 

I was soaking the old chain in old gasoline overnight in the garage Ė on the carpet.  This morning when I looked, the gasoline had melted the plastic pan and so I had to cut out that section of carpet and throw it in the garbage.  Not too many messes get worse than that, considering the small size of it.  (I mean the Exxon Valdez would be worse, but mainly because there was so much of it.)

A so-called mint CD175 just sold on eBay for $1450 US. There was some last minute sniping on that one.  It was a black K3 US model with a dual seat (recovered).  And 5500 miles with a clear title.  In my opinion the only reason it went for that price is that is was black, and not candy red or blue. Last summer a red one sold for $2000, that was not quite as good.

Redís wiring harness crosses from left to right behind the upper engine brackets.  Blue Liteís crosses in front.  Itís a given that Red is how the bike is supposed to look, Blue Lite is a creative effort.  So I removed the hanger brackets so that I could move the harness behind them. There is also a wiring holder that should go on the left attached to the horn bolt.  Blue Lite had it on the right attached to an upper engine bracket bolt.  So that will be moved too.  And finally, the condenser is supposed to be mounted to an engine head bolt, not the upper engine bracket bolt.  The wiring harness has a plastic tube that is inflexible, so I cut part of it off and taped it up again.  There was one broken dark blue wire inside the harness, I hope that is not going to cause a problem.  Now everything is back in place (more or less)  The brackets around that area are dirty and paint has flaked off.  Canít figure out why they would look so bad after only 31 years.  I tried to get the ignition switch off so I could paint it, but I guess itís going to need a special tool.

My CD175 Ownerís manual arrived today.  Itís a bit smaller than I remember.  Printed in 1968, with no reference to the K3 models.  But itís a lot like the one I got with my first bike.

January 10, 2002

I gave up on trying to polish the aluminum rear brake plate.  The clear coat is too tough.  When I put a wire wheel on it, the wheel actually slows down when it gets through the clear coat and starts biting into the aluminum.  I got some Krylon Chrome, and used it instead.  It is very shiny, not as much as chrome though.  Problem is it looks a bit too bright.  The metal bits have are more of a blue gray tint.  Iím not sure I understand the difference, but I would like to try toning down the color of the Krylon Chrome.  I also have some high temperature aluminum spray that I havenít used yet.

I took off the sidestand.  I canít get a socket on the frame bolt because of the shape of the stand.  Also, the stand is loose.  I canít tighten it because itís a shouldered bolt. Also, everything is worn, the pivot pin, the stand and the bracket.  I canít even fit in a washer next to the stand, but I might try one under the shoulder bolt head.

Al the screws on all the engine covers are stuck. I was using a bit from the impact driver and snapped the tip off right in a screw head.  Probably need better quality screwdrivers. I am going to postpone this job for now.

I reinstalled the tool tray, and the battery holder.  I discovered a few more bits are missing:  One of the rubber circles on the battery holder, a nut on the starter solenoid, and the lower plastic nut on the brake light switch.  A good tip when reinstalling the rubber grommets Ė drop them in a cup of water and heat it in the microwave for about 2 minutes.  The rubber gets soft like when new.  Otherwise, itís hard as a rock and may break when you try to stuff it into the hole.

Next the swing arm went in.  I had to tap the swing arm into alignment, but the pivot shaft went in with hand pressure only.  The frame bolt directly under the left end of the swing arm shaft is stripped, so needs a longer bolt with a nut behind it.

January 11, 2002

By sheer luck (and force) I straightened the center stand shaft this morning.  Now it slides on by hand, and I put the center stand and brake pedal back on the bike, along with the back wheel Ė just to see how it looks.  I tried the old back fender at first, but it looks like crap compared to the shiny new swing arm and wheel.  The New fender looks great, and so does the Krylon Chrome on the brake plate.  It actually looks better today than yesterday, maybe I just needed to sleep on it.

I am going to try my hand at soldering, an art form I gave up many years ago after finding it too demanding for my crude work habits.  I need to splice the wires to the rear winkers before I reinstall the back fender.   

                          bluelite2.jpg (80153 bytes)         bluelite3.jpg (77001 bytes)

 This afternoon I learned soldering from Barry.  I managed to solder/splice wires together and use heat-shrink tubing to cover the joint.  I had to use my propane torch on pencil flame, it looks OK.  The next problem was getting all seven wires through the four tubes under the fender. It better be right when I test the lights, because there is no way I am pulling those wires back out.

January 12, 2002

I went back at the engine cover screws again, with a propane torch and ice cubes.  Heat with a propane torch around the area of the screw head.  Place an ice cube against the screw head.  Put on a good fitting Phillips #3 screwdriver with a T-Handle.  Press hard enough that you need to hold the other side of the bike to stop it from falling over, and twist.  This method worked for all three screws on the rotor cover on the left side first time.  Without the heat, the maximum force I dared to apply couldnít move the screws.

But on the right side oil filter cover where I broke the impact driver bit, this technique did not work.  Then I tried using a chisel to cut the screw and apply a turning force with hammer taps.  Even combined with heat, this did not work. These three screws are really stuck.

I am using the center stand to hold the bike up now, so itís easy to roll around the basement.  But there is too much play in the pinch bolts that hold the center stand shaft, and the bike rocks easily from side to side.  I am thinking about putting an aluminum shim in there to tighten it up. If I could just figure out how to do it. The front tire has no air in it, but still holds the bike up when I roll it around.  I think itís the original Ohtsu tire that may be 31 years old, and the rubber is pretty hard.

January 13, 2002

I painted the left side panel Krylon Ocean Blue today.  Itís not a color match to the candy blue, but it looks OK while I search for another side panel or color matched Candy Blue paint.

I cleaned the old drive chains, the one from Blue Lite and one that came with Red with a small stainless steel brush, in an aluminum lasagna pan and the stale gas  from Blue's tank.  Redís old chain came clean easily but Blue Liteís old Diamond 40 chain has got some gunk on it that is about as hard as the chain itself.  It will not come clean.  I was wrong about it being a good chain.  It is a light chain with thin side plates and small pins, although it still fits the sprockets.  Then I put Redís old DID heavy duty chain on Blue Lite.  The one problem I have now is that the master link posts seem to be a bit too short.  I canít get it through far enough to expose the groove for the clip to slide in.  There are two sides to a master link.  The inside, with 2 grooved posts, and the outside plate with two holes.  The master link I am trying to fit on Blue Lite is a NKN inside and a DID outside. The NKN chain is on  Red now.  So I now have two mismatched master links, but at least the one on Red holds a clip, while the one on Blue Lite doesnít.

I measured the spoke nipple wrench size again with calipers this time.  It says ľ inch, or pretty close.  That works out to 6.3 mm, so I really need either a ľ inch or a 6 mm open end wrench. According to some research I did on the internet, spokes need special wrenches.

January 15, 2002

I decided to get the oil filter cover off today, it has been resisting too long.  (Thatís where I broke a screwdriver)  I started by using a pointed cone-shaped bit to smooth out the sharp edges on the top of the screw.  Then I used a standard bit 15/64 size, about the same as the shaft of the screw. I drilled it down until the head came loose.  I checked every little while by stopping the drill and tapping the head with a chisel and hammer.  Suddenly the head came off.  I used the same technique on the other three screws, except that the other screws actually came out easily without getting the head off completely.  Once the cover was off, I undid the first screw with pliers (quite easy).  So I guess the threads were not actually glued or corroded.

I got the CD175/CD175K3 parts fiche today.  So I went down to the library to take a look. I can see an ďout of orderĒ sign on one machine in the row of five.  Of course it was the fiche reader, all the others were for microfilm.  But luckily, I was directed to a different department where they had a working fiche reader.  I found out quite a few things about the fiche.  It was put out by American Honda Motor Co. Inc. in April 1977.  Maybe thatís when they converted all old books to fiche.  This book only contained the US models of Honda CD175, the original CD175 and the K3 models.  (Blue Lite is a US model K3.)  So I looked to see if there was a screw in the bottom of the fork.  But there wasnít one and the K4 parts book does not show one either.  Then I discovered that the color code for Candy Blue is XK.  Candy Red is XJ.  The K4  colors  are Candy Sapphire Blue (code CN) and Candy Ruby Red (code CM).    The candy blue is darker than the candy sapphire blue.  My fenders are candy sapphire blue, color code CD.  But everything else is code XK.   I donít notice it much any more, and it is almost undetectable in a photo of the bike.

In the fiche there was one obvious error, the picture of the 1968 CD175 motorcycle at the beginning of the fiche was wrong  (actually the picture of the 1970 K3)

January 16, 2002

I was cleaning up the spark plug caps.  There is a black ND cap on the left and black HM on the right, but they look identical other than the logo.  The plastic has really dulled, compared to what I see under the rubber boots at either end. (Redís caps are gray).  I sprayed on some Honda Ignition spray which helps performance in wet weather and (more importantly) makes the plug cap shiny.

I had to get four more items from Canadian Tire again.  First I got Armour Coat Mid-Blue paint.  It is  a closer color match than the Krylon Ocean Blue that I used on the right fork covers.  I tested it on the left side panel, and itís just about right, except that itís not shiny or visually as interesting as the candy colors.

Then I got a small tube of lithium white grease.  I used it on the rear brake cam spindle, and I reassembled the rear brake.

Fourth, I got some ďSimple GreenĒ cleaner.  Less toxic than ďFantastic!Ē, so Iíll give it a try.  It worked reasonably well on the sides and front of the engine for cleaning up some dirty corners I missed.

Lastly I bought the GS27-DS scratch removal kit.  It is a tube of polish and 8 wax crayons of different colors.  It was twenty dollars and ďAs seen on TVĒ (and as dissed on the Internet) , which I must have missed with all my channel changing.  Just rub the scratch with the polish and wipe off immediately.  Then rub on the filler stick and let dry overnight or 24 hours.  Then squeegee the filler wax off using the base of the tube covered with a soft cloth.  Then polish again.  I canít wait.  I tried three representative spots.  One on the left fork cover, one on the left front end of the gas tank and one at the left bottom of the new rear fender.  If it doesnít work or really messes up I have not destroyed the bike entirely.

January 17, 2002

While waiting for the scratch filler to dry, I decided to remove the grungy ignition switch to clean and paint.  No luck removing either the chrome lock ring or the harness plug, so I just cleaned and painted in place, after removing the mounting bracket screws.  I also looked at the horn, not as bad as the switch, but still could use a cleaning.  The hornís bracket was likely a victim of the big crash, too.  The replacement bracket is strong enough for some truck airhorns.  I repainted the mounting bracket too.  And while I was painting, I repainted the switch markings on the handlebars (L/R and HI/LO in red).

I finished off the three test scratch repairs this afternoon.  I would say the most successful test was on the new rear fender.  The least succesful was on the tank.  The scratch on the tank was difficult because it is a Ďraisedí scratch.  It has lifted from underneath.  Also partly it was paint fade from thinning, and the deep scratch filler did not work on that either.  The final test scratch was a small spot down to bare metal that had rusted to a dark color.  The scratch repair filled it in, but did not hide it as well as it hid the new scratches at the rear.  I went ahead and filled all the other scratches on the rear fender.  I might prefer to use paint on the older scratches.

January 18, 2002

I checked again with the scratch removal wax. The results were mixed.  Today I tried a different method that may work.  I put the wax on very thin, and worked it in with a paper towel.   I wiped off most of the excess right away leaving some in the scratch, and it looks good already.  In a day or two, I may go back with the polishing compound to finish the job.  In my opinion, the idea is to make people not notice the scratches.  I think it really does camouflage them, and it protects from rust, too. I like that the Deep Scratch Kit  is easy to start over when you make a mistake.

 I borrowed a one-quarter inch wrench and it was too big for the spokes. (6.3 mm).  Then I tried a 6 mm. wrench.  It feels a bit loose, but it seems to be just close enough to do the job.  It is much easier than a crescent wrench.  Some of my spokes are not frozen, it's more like they are too long.    Maybe theyíre stretched, or maybe the wrong spoke was installed.  I suspect that spokes have been replaced, because some look a little crooked.  I adjusted all the rear spokes to have a ping when hit with a wrench, and the back wheel still seems straight.  I only had to turn each spoke about one turn altogether to go from dull sounding spokes to a ping sound. I could not turn any that were to the end of the thread already, but even they sounded tighter when I loosened the ones next  to them.  I read this comment once about spokes ďItís always the tightest ones that breakĒ, so I tried to make sure I didnít have any that were too tight.

I visited the Honda dealer to place an order for 4 fork seals, and a center stand pivot shaft.  They are available, but are ďbackorderedĒ. The dealer says that means they are available but not tomorrow, and I should eventually get them.   I also tried for a split exhaust collar joint, but they are no longer available from Honda Canada.  I noticed that the dealerís fiche was the K4 book, same as the printed parts book I have.  He claims  they may have updates to part numbers that I might not have.

January 19, 2002

Another small detail, the fork lock.  One small screw allows itís plastic cover to be pulled off.  I brushed the metal lock cover plate and sprayed it with Krylon Chrome.  I cleaned off the lock face with steel wool (It is chrome finish), and I found a replacement screw in my collection that was not rusty.  Now it looks almost new.

Trying to clean up the tangle of cables over the engine and around the carburetor, I found that the best way to route the crankcase breather hose.  It should pass on the right side of the carb-to-air cleaner tube, just hidden by the frame section.  There is just exactly enough space for it there, but no space at all on the left.  Now itís hidden away and not interfering with the carburetor lid or choke lever any more.  I also think the clutch cable should be routed above  the wiring harness and below the gas tank rubber socket.

January 21, 2002

To clean the centrifugal oil filter, you need to remove the cover. I received this advice via email.

Remove the right hand cover by removing the three crosshead screws, you may need an impact screwdriver to do this. Look into the engine and you will see a circular cover with a hole in the centre and this hole is full of oil.  Buried in this oil is a single crosshead screw which you should remove. 

Remove one of the 4 chromed bolts holding down the two aluminium clamps holding the handle bars to the top fork cover of the bike........yes, one of the chromed bolts. Take this and thread it into the hole where you took out the single screw buried in oil of the oil spinner cover. This should thread in easily for 3-5 turns and it will start to turn heavy. Use a spanner to thread this further and this acts like a special puller tool and will actually push out the cover to meet you as you squeeze the bolt. It may be stiff as the gunge inside the cover can cause it to stick a bit but it will come out. Simple isn't it and you'll be happy to see the simplicity of how to remove this mystery filter. Once the cover comes off a small amount of oil will spill out. Clean the cover in petrol (gas) and also clean out the inside of the oil filter (spinner) with a little gas. It cleans the oil by centrifugal principle so the gunge will be heavily stuck to the inside of the cover.  When re-assembling the cover make sure that the tongues of the cover align with the slots in the filter body and tighten up the screw in the cover followed by the outer cover.

I have already removed the three oil filter cover screws, so I can skip several hours and the destruction of an impact driver right there.  Now the central phillips head screw holding the spinner on is the next problem.  It has already been butchered in a previous owners attempt.  I drill that out in about 10 minutes, skipping all the frustration of the impact driver.  And as the head breaks loose, the drill spins the remains of the screw shaft right into the end of the crankshaft.  But not to worry, it was finger loose and one thread was still visible, so pliers were enough to turn it, once I got the spinner itself off.    Of course first I had to try the recommended method, pull on the tabs with pliers.  One tab was already broken by previous owner, and I broke the second and last one.  Then I used the method above and it worked! I found quite a lot of grunge inside the oil filter, some of it like tar, some more like clay.  I removed most of it with a plastic knife and chiseled more out with a screwdriver. (I didn't use gas because the bike is inside now, and even though Mary Ann was away for the day, she has a keen sense of smell.)  Pretty horrifying sight, but I suppose it means the filter is actually doing its job.  I got a new hex screw to put the spinner back on (and a spare for Red).  The size I put on is called  M6 x 1.00x 20 mm socket head screws.   They still donít have any rotor cover screws, which are called M6 x 1.00 x 40 mm Phillips oval machine screws.  At the same time I bought a 6 mm open wrench for the spokes.  I think a 15/64 inch would be a closer fit at about 5.9 mm, but I haven't actually tried it.

January 22, 2002

Today I happened to find a solution to the exhaust split collar.  I noticed a piece of plumbing pipe in my box of old metal, that had the makings of a split collar.  So I hacksawed and filed off anything that didnít fit, and it seems to work.  It is made of aluminum.  But now I have to put the collars in top and bottom instead of left and right.

It was a bit difficult taking the carburetor off the head studs.  Finally I realized that the studs are a little crooked, so to make it easier when I put it back on, I tried bending them slightly to make them parallel to each other.  Also filed the matching holes in the carb a little bigger, now it goes on easily enough.   All the small bits are soaking in carb cleaner overnight.

January 23, 2002

I changed the main jet needle setting while I was putting the carburetor back together.  The clip was set in the second lowest groove, so I put it in the middle one.  I removed some sewing thread that was wound around the idle mixture screw just under the head.  And I set the float lever (I am guessing, I don't know the correct height) to close the needle valve sooner.   The intake boot between the carb and the air filter is cracking enough to let air in.  This is just where Redís boot had cracked.  I will try to find a sleeve to put inside to keep it from collapsing, then put duct tape around the outside to keep dirt from getting in.

I sent a money order to Sharps for three Cheng Shin trials (or enduro) tires.  They were advertised on the VJMC classifieds.  One 3.00 x 17, and two 3.25 x 17.  The 3.25 x 17 size is quite difficult to find.  I tried a 3.50 Avon rear tire on Blue many years ago.  It just barely fit.  I think I had to take off the chainguard and maybe reroute some taillight wires.  So I imagine a 3.25 would fit.  It does change the look of  the bike, though.  The original 300 x 17 skinny tires look quaint compared to the ultra wide tires on everything today.  And even a ľ inch size difference, which requires only 1/8 inch extra clearance all around, is quite noticeable (to me anyway)  

January 24, 2002

Carburetor Jet Sizes

I found a website that recommended recording the jet sizes when you have the carburetor apart, which made sense. (Probably why I never thought of it before).  Anyhow, the main jet is a #105, one size larger than normal according to the K4 parts book. (normal is #100).  The Idle jet is #38, and that is the normal jet.  Too bad I didnít check Redís when I had it apart (NOTE: When I do check Red's main jet I will find it is also a #105!).  I had to clean the top of the jets with a small brass brush and put on some reading glasses before I could make out the numbers.  While I was at it, the same website recommended cleaning the bolts on a brass wheel.  Since I had a small brass wheel I used it carefully on the drain bolt, the banjo bolt, and the idle speed and mixture screws.  The idle screws are not brass, but the bolts are, and the wire wheel uncovered the shiny metal on the screws.   This website is [EXTERNAL]

January 25, 2002

My Honda factory manual from eBay with the pink cover arrived in the mail yesterday without any problems from customs.

Now the front end is back together, with the fork covers painted Armor Coat Mid-Blue.  I like the color match now, and it is about as good as I will get without real candy paint.  Candy color varies from dark to light depending on the eyeís angle to the surface, but with plain enamel the color is uniform except for normal shadows.

I reinstalled the fuel tap.  I need to get a 7/8 ID O-ring with 1/16  CS for the sediment bowl.  And a 1 ď ID with 3/32 ď CS for the seal between tank and fuel tap (it fits in an oval groove).

The sediment bowl had signs of major corrosion inside near the bottom.  It had not actually eaten right through the bowl yet, but give it another 30 years and it might.

January 27, 2002

Just checking the spoke sizes.  Seems to me like the left rear outer ones are 154 mm and all the other spokes, front and rear are 150 mm. (measured from inside of the hook of the spoke to top of the dimple on the rim).  The thickness seems to be about 3.16 mm at the rear and 2.88 at the front.  The K4 parts manual lists the sizes as

Rear Inner: 11 x 152   Rear outer: 11 x 151.5

Front inner: 9 x 153.5    Front outer: 9 x 153

NOTE: I found out later the main difference in the spokes is not the length, it is the diameter (Back spokes are too thick to fit in the holes on the front wheel) and the bend at the top (Inside spokes do not have as sharp a bend) 

January 31, 2002

Electrical Testing

I put Redís battery in Blue Lite, and have started testing the wiring.  Nothing much worked at first.  So I started troubleshooting.  I have a circuit diagram, a bulb tester and a multitester.  First problem solved: I forgot to put a bulb in the taillight.  Second problem, I didnít tighten the left rear turn signal bolt, so the ground was not tight.  Third problem, the right blinker handlebar switch contacts were corroded, so I disassembled, filed and reassembled.  (Took most of the time looking for a spring that popped out).  Lots of little pieces to watch out for, but easy enough to reassemble when you have them.   Now I detect 6 volts coming off the handlebar switch, but all that happens is the relay ticks repeatedly on the right (winkers do not come on), or on the left the winkers stay on steady.  I tried to take the relay out of the circuit by shorting the relayís in and out wires to each other, but apparently I shorted something else and now the main fuse is blown.  Itís supposed to be 15 Amps, but the fuse reads ďAGC 10AĒ.   I think the right winker circuit is shorting to ground somewhere, because as soon as I plug the light blue wire into its socket, my probe light goes out (meaning the probe and clip are both grounded) , and the winker relay starts clicking, which means its being called on for too much juice.

According to internet sources, if winkers are on with no click, it means a bulb is out or the relay is defective.  If the the winkers are off with a fast click there is a short before the wire gets to the turn signal.  So I went back armed with this knowledge.  (and luckily I found some replacement fuses in my collection) After checking out everything visually, I noticed that I had the blue wire plugged into some other colored wire.  I fixed that problem.  Next I discovered there was no ground to the front right winker.  Apparently it has to be grounded through the main winker bolt, and because I had painted the upper left fork cover (Thatís the part itís supposed to touch), I had accidentally blocked the grounding.  I sanded off some of my paint, removed the washer, tightened and tried again.  This time it was successful.  Both front and rear right winkers came on and stayed on (just like the left).  So now it means that only the relay is defective.  Also, the taillight and brake light both work now.

February 1, 2002

Then I tested the horn and the starter button.  Neither worked.  After I checked the wiring diagram, I saw that both were apparently grounded only to the handlebars.  But CD175s have rubber mounted bars, so it could not possibly be grounded that way unless there was another ground wire.  What gives?  I had the idea of connecting up the clutch cable (neither one of the handlebar control cables was in place), and that effectively completed the ground path.  That is one more new fact I learned.  Now the horn makes some kind of pathetic noise, and the starter turns the motor.

Later I read on the internet that on 6 volt systems, the flashers will not work unless all the lights are well grounded.  Also, it would help if the instrument indicator light was also connected in which it wasnít.  Unfortunately I broke the relay, so I canít test that theory.

 February 2, 2002

I also tested the compression, engine cold, throttle open, electric start, no oil.  Left and right were both exactly 154 pounds per square inch.  Normal is 142 according to the old CD175 (1967) manual.  Either they raised the compression for the K3 or there is some carbon buildup in the combustion chamber.

Finally I adjusted the cam chain, but did it with the engine cold and the crank at the T mark.    I always thought is was such a pain to have to do it on a running engine, itís worth a try this way.

Now as far as Iím concerned, if I put some gas (and oil) in it, it would start and run.

February 4, 2002

Just as I got the foot pegs apart to try cleaning and painting, the mailman arrived with the Cheng Shin trials tires I ordered. He wanted about $10 (Tax and a $5 handling fee), which I paid by credit card. The tires were a bit dirty.  So I cleaned them off first, and right away I put the 3.25 x 17 on the back.  It looks good, does not even look too big, so I will put the same size on the front.  Then I have one 3.00 x 17 left over.  Usually Iím a bit more careful and I would have looked to see what type of tube was in there, but I wanted to see what it looked like all together.  All I noticed was that the rim was not too rusty inside, and the valve was off centre and the valve stem nut was cross threaded.

The Cheng Shin C186 Trials tires were as I saw on the internet.  I have not yet had a chance to check the fender clearance, but it doesnít look like it will be a problem.

Then I took off the front tire.  Much more rust inside the front rim than the back rim.  Some chrome even peeling back Ė I think there may be some sharp edges touching the tube if I donít grind them down.  The rim tape is a bit mangled in places.  I tried to brush the rim and put some Rustoleum aluminum paint on.  The main rust spot centered on a spoke hole about 160 degrees back from the tire valve.  Was probably setting where water could run down the spoke for several years.  The inner tube was the original 3.00 x 17 (not 2.75/3.00 x 17 that you get these days.

LINKS Feb 5, 2002

This is a really nice website, some great photographs, interesting roads, bikes, riding tips, travels.

February 7, 2002  

Second job today, check to see the 3.25 inch trials tire clears the fender without rubbing.  I took apart one shock absorber.  The locknut needs a 27 mm wrench (I guess, because I don't have one.) So I used a plumbers tool to hold it while I unscrewed the upper shock eye.  The spring came out easily, very rusty but I assume still OK.  I put the springless shock on the bike, removed the other shock and then I could spin the tire while lifting the wheel up and down.  It rubbed a little on the left winker wire where it comes out of the winker bolt - not at the top of the wheel travel, but in the middle.  And only if I lifted the swing arm on the right side.  The first solution I considered was to remove the winkers (Now I remember that I did it on Blue.  In Africa big tires are important, signals are not.)  Second solution was to grind off the side knobs.  Third solution, to straighten out the wheel a little with the spokes.  The last one is what I did and now I don't hear any rubbing.  It should be good enough for a short run.  If I get a problem where the winker wire is cut off, I will move the winkers to the rear of the bike and run the wires outside the fender.  

While the shock was apart I measured the travel at 2.1 inches.  Then there was a rubber bumper that was 1/2 inch thick.  This is not an ideal shock for washboard roads where the depth of the bumps can sometimes be 4 inches.

February 8, 2002

I checked the headlight bulbs.  The white wire is burned out, the blue (High beam) is OK.

ChengSinFwide.jpg (85298 bytes)This afternoon, I got a digital camera.  It's a Hewlett-Packard PhotoSmart 318. Here is the first web posting of a picture. (click the thumbnail for a larger view.  This shows the new Cheng-Shin 3.25x17 trials tire I ordered for $10 (US) plus shipping etc. from Sharps. I saw the ad for tires on the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club website.  


February 11, 2002

Looks like a good day for a ride on the BMW.  Sunny, dry roads, -10 Celsius.  

MichMan.jpg (143190 bytes)Through the miracle of a digital camera, I can post a picture to the internet before I can even get the bike to fire.  It's still there, with a battery charger and a hair dryer on it.  

OK Now I'm back from my ride, and the trick for starting it was to open the throttle and crank.   If the roads are dry and it warms up to zero Celsius, I am going to head off to Bike Week in Daytona Beach come March 2nd.  On the BMW, not the CD175.

February 13, 2002

I found a way to fix the loose side stand.  I took it off and squeezed it in a bench vise.  Actually, I gave it a complete turn, I probably should have given half a turn because now it's a bit too tight.  It's really hard to open up again.  Anyhow, when I put it on, the side stand foot folds up to meet the muffler right on the stand rest.  Before, it used to disappear under the muffler where I couldn't get it out with my foot.  The bike leans more than it should on the side stand, but that is because of the larger tires.   

February 14, 2002

Oiled the clutch and brake cable and put grease on the speedometer cable today.  It's hard to get oil completely through the cable unless you take the cable out and hang it vertically.  Once I did that, the oil appeared at the bottom end within about an hour, and by next morning it had stopped dripping.

February 15, 2002

Bent Forks

Checking the fork alignment today.  I took them off, and first I noticed that the top of the left fork lower cover was bent.  That explains why it rubs on the chrome collar.  I will straighten it later.  Next, I found the left fork was bent about 3 or 4 mm.  at the lower triple clamp.  I will try to straighten that too, later.  It's going to be hard because the fork tube is about 1.25 inches in diameter.  Also, there are a lot of little pit marks, but not rusty, on the left fork tube.  And what looks like a vise grip mark just below the lower triple clamp, where the tube is bent.  The bent tube explains why it was so hard to get the front wheel on. It was the left fork that was leaking oil, too. The right fork does not look so bad.   

February 16, 2002

Apparently you need a hydraulic press to straighten fork tubes.  Luckily Barry has one. (!) So I got ready to take apart the left fork.  First some bent needle nose pliers, where I filed a groove in the ends so they could hook into the circlip.  That came out easily enough.  Then I used the impact driver on the screw in the bottom of the fork.  The second tip snapped off. (remember the oil filter cover? That was the short tip I broke)  Then I got the broken tip out with the drill (That was dumb luck).  Next I tried the T handle Phillips #3 driver with as much downforce as I could, and amazingly enough the screw came out.  Next to remove the fork tube, but so far no luck just sliding and pulling.  I need to attach the fork lower to a really solid bench vise.

February 23, 2002

I've been off for a week with the flu.  Feeling better now, need to disassemble the fork.  First I attached a bench vise to the fork leg like a boot.

ForkClamp.jpg (78275 bytes)Then I pressed down on the fork tube against the floor and pulled it up repeatedly like a pile driver in reverse.  The weight of the vise was enough to pull off the fork leg.  I did not need to attach the vise to anything.  Actually when I did attach it to a bench it was hopeless.  My bench is too light. In doing this you need to be careful to not squeeze the fork leg too much or you could deform it.  Later on, I changed the vice position to squeeze the axle hole area, which is stronger.

ForkPieces.jpg (168867 bytes)Click on this thumbnail to see the main pieces of the fork that I numbered in red.  1 is the part not shown in the parts book.  I would call it a damper.  It is attached by the famous screw to the bottom of the fork leg.  But it does not need to be removed.  Actually, it stayed inside as I pulled the fork tube out.  The bottom of the spring sits on the top of this damper. 2 The fork seal.  The fork seal is the stickiest part and resists efforts to take out the fork tube even with the clip off.  3 The fork guide. It is made of aluminum. It slides easily up and down the tube until it hits a retaining clip. It is also not too difficult to set it in place in the fork leg.  4 Is the piston.  It seems a little corroded. It has two parts, the lower part is tight and the upper part can rotate easily by hand.

March 25, 2002

I have not worked on the bike for a while now because of my trip to Bike Week in Daytona, and being sick before that.  Click here for pictures of Bike Week.

I took the left fork tube over to Barry's house and he straightened it with his home made 2 ton hydraulic press.  It is very close to straight now, maybe less than a half millimeter gap, but now it's more a wave than a simple bend.  Anyhow, I think it will work better than before.  I reassembled the left fork after cleaning out gunk inside and polishing the pits on the fork tube with 300 grit sandpaper.  The old fork seal went in with a hammer and piece of ABS (or is it PVC) pipe.

Then I took apart the right fork leg and it looked about the same.  So I reseated the old fork seal and reinstalled the clip. Then I reinstalled the forks and the front wheel.  Bad news. The wheel still does not fit right.  I suspect the fork is still bent, so I twisted the left fork tube 90 degrees.  There was no hydpress.JPG (43804 bytes) change in the gap.  Then I twisted the right fork tube.  I realized the right fork tube was bent!  I assume it was bent all along, and I just missed checking it properly.  Anyhow, it only took me 5 minutes to get the fork off and apart.  I needed to use Barry's hydraulic press again, and here is a picture with the right fork tube in it.    

It was very tricky getting the blue fork lower covers to fit straight without rubbing the chrome collar.  I can't tell if they are straight until I get the entire fork together with the steering head bolt tight.  Then if it's still rubbing, I take it all apart, bend the top with a screwdriver and try again.  Finally I decided if it is going to rub, it should rub on the rear side where it is not so noticeable, so I bent it pretty far in that direction.  Then when I got it together tight it was just about right for once. 

The fork is all together now.  There is still a slight bend in the fork tubes, but I don't think it will be worth the effort to get rid of the last couple of millimeters.  I tried pumping the forks with no oil, and there is noticeable sticking in the travel.  I didn't measure exactly, but it seems to come up only about half way after I compress it.  I'll add fork oil later and see if it helps.  

March 26, 2002

The hardest part for me is getting the first bead of the new tire on far enough that I can start working the tire levers. The rubber is very stiff and it keeps popping off as I try to work on it. Apparently the trick here is to use rim lubricant (50-50 soap and water) and to get the rubber warm by putting the tire in the sun.  Well, the sun is not going to be available today, so maybe I could set the furnace up to 25.

I used the soapy water on the bead (just enough to get it damp).  Then I stood the wheel and new tire vertically.  I pushed the wheel down into the tire with one hand while I worked the tire lever from the inside with the other hand.  Some sort of magic occurred, and I got most of the bead over the rim, and from there it was a fairly easy job to lever the rest of it in.

The next problem is getting the valve stem into the hole.  The opposite bead of the tire is blocking the way, and the rubber is so stiff, I am having a hard time pushing with my fingers.  Since Mary Ann is away, I have some extra options today.  I took a heating blanket and wrapped it around the part of IM000218.JPG (26153 bytes) the tire near the valve.  Just like Formula 1 racers! I should be done by the time she gets home.  Then I have to hope that she doesn't check my weblog, as she usually does when she gets back from trips, searching on my website for "Mary Ann is not home today".  That's why I'm changing the wording to "Mary Ann is away" so she will not find this paragraph. 

So the job is done now.  I think the heating pad helped.  My opinion is that the 3.00 by 17 trials tire looks like the right size for this bike.  I also think that the 3.25 by 17 looks right on the back, even though it's one size larger than standard.   


April 7, 2002.

It's still winter outside, 2 deg. C., but in anticipation of summer, I have put the fork oil in, engine oil, and I am now charging the battery.  I found an amazing amount of slag on both the battery terminals.  I probably have not looked at them for a couple of months now.  I think it's battery acid that leaks out near the terminal post and forms a powdery white slag around the bolts and the terminals.  There are actually a few pieces of the nut and bolt that broke off.  I washed it off with baking soda, and that started bubbling.  Luckily there is no serious damage, but I can see how if it was left unattended for long periods of time, you could get the entire bottom of the bike corroded.  And this is a half year old battery, too.  I remember this happening on "Blue" in Sierra Leone, and evidence of battery acid damage on other CD's, maybe it is a common problem.

The fork oil is the same Hydra Spec 2 that I have in Red.  But the forks are really sticky, maybe even more with the oil than they were without oil.  There is still about a 2 mm gap at the bottom of the fork before the axle bolt pulls it tight against the brake drum.  I already tried turning the right fork tube 90 deg., but it did not change the gap.

I also reinstalled the clutch cable, and swapped the kick start lever with Red.  Blue Lite's kick start was bent in about 2 mm, which made it hit the muffler.  Red's two-into one muffler has more clearance, so it does not matter for now. 

April 10, 2002

I took Red for the first ride of the spring today.  Along with Red went a few pieces of Blue Lite for their first ride.  The dual seat comfort was acceptable.  I also gave  Blue Lite's kick start lever a good workout. 

Even with fork oil, there is a big difference between the smooth action of Red's forks and the stiction of Blue Lite's.  So I took off all Blue Lite's fork covers, and experimented rotating the fork tubes until the clearance at the axle was zero. (The distance between the forks at the bottom is exactly the same as the wheel hub plus spacer.)  Then I sighted from the side to make sure the forks were parallel, and retightened everything for a test.  Now Blue Lite's forks do not stick half way down any more.  I hope they work on the road. (NOTE: I will discover next summer that the forks are still essentially rigid, and synthetic gear lube can solve the problem)

April 17,2002 Red: 6352 Mi.,  Blue Lite: 1307 Mi.

Took out Red for another spin, and a motorcycle cop on a Harley pulled up beside me and wanted to know the age of the bike.  I told him it was made in 1969 in case he was concerned about my headlight not being on.  It's about 25 degrees C. outside right now (noon), a record for April 17th.

May 17,2002 Red: 6405 Mi.,  Blue Lite: 1307 Mi.

Blue Lite was leaking oil out of the left fork drain bolt.  It's missing the copper washer there, that may be the problem.  I think that may be one reason why there was so much fork oil on the front wheel when I bought it.

June 10,2002 Red: 6495 Mi.,  Blue Lite: 1307 Mi.

I switched clutch levers, cables and adjusters between Blue Lite and Red.  The thicker clutch cable from Blue Lite is what makes the difference.  Now Red has a very smooth clutch pull, and it can easily be done with one finger.  Red also has a wire clip on the coil hanger bolt to guide the clutch cable.  It's missing on Blue Lite.

June 12,2002 Red: 6518 Mi.,  Blue Lite: 1307 Mi.

I went for a test ride with some new "Max Lite" ear plugs, and they are so good that I do not think it will be necessary to get a quieter muffler for Red.  Tom gave me a pair to try yesterday.  Today I bought a box of 200 pairs and Tom and I split them.  Apparently Max Lite plugs came out on top of a BMW MOA comparison test.

Red has a lot of oil buildup on the left fork leg below the chrome collar.  Probably  a leaking fork seal.  I still have not received the fork seals I ordered at KW Honda months ago.

I also adjusted the shift lever down one notch.  With my new thinner sole boots, I was missing some up shifts just because my ankle didn't move my toes far enough.

I put a couple of drops of Big Red lube on the felt for the points cam.  Everything was clean under the points cover, and the point surfaces looked in good condition.

June 13,2002 Red: 6579 Mi.,  Blue Lite: 1307 Mi.

I just took off Red's left fork to see why there is a lot of oil grunge on the outside of the left fork leg just below the chrome collar.  I drained the fork oil, and little or none seems to be missing.  The fork tube itself is in good condition where the seal slides on it.  I don't see any pool of oil on the fork seal itself.  So I just cleaned it up and put it back together.  On the fender, there was one bad nut, so I cleaned those threads with my 1.00 thread file.  Then there was a bad thread inside the right fork stay hole, so I had to run another nut of the same thread, but longer, backward from the other side to true up the aluminum threads.  I was scared to apply very much torque to any of the fender bolts, they seemed very close to stripping.  I put a new black tie wrap on the fender to hold the cables.  I put new fork oil in, the old stuff was starting to look grayish blue.

I finally figured out how to get the lower fork cover straight, so it doesn't scratch the chrome fork cover that it goes around.  It's amazingly simple, you just start sliding the fork into the triple clamp, and just before the chrome collar goes into the lower red painted fork cover, you can bend the fork cover to get it exactly centered!

My final test run today was a gas mileage record.  I went about 85 km with 2.5 liters over mostly 60 kph limit roads, with the usual traffic lights, stops signs etc. from home to Ayr, Cambridge and back.  I should have measured the level of the tank more accurately and I'm sure I could have got over 100 mpg.

There was no misfiring or running on one cylinder.  It seems to me like Red is running just about perfectly, can't think of anything that needs fixing.

June 14, 2002 Red: 6585 Mi.,  Blue Lite: 1307 Mi.

I just discovered that the rear winker lights on Red have no wires going through the middle of the main bolt.  That means I can mount my 3.25*17 trials tire on Red without any worries about the knobs shearing the wires to the winkers. (unlike Blue Lite.)  If it wasn't the day before the big local vintage bike rally, I would start now.  But I don't want any problems while traveling with other bikes.

June 15, 2002 Red: 6635 Mi.,   

Just got back from the Paris Rally.  It just started to rain when I got there, and rained for about an hour while Red was parked outside.  Then it was mostly dry going home.  I met some friends at the rally and we rode home together.  Red managed to keep up, although it was mostly flat out, up to 70 mph.  Luckily there was no wind from the front.  Back home, I checked nuts and bolts for tightness, also the chain and the oil level.  Everything was OK, including no bulbs burned out, no new cracks in the license plate.  I am quite happy about the test, because one of the reasons I really liked my first CD175, was that it could cruise at 60 mph if it was well maintained.

The only thing I could notice was that the front left fork lower cover that I straightened out yesterday has started rubbing on the fender.  The fender itself is actually crooked, and I needed to bend it to center it between the forks.

June 21, 2002 Red: 6668 Mi.

IM000487.JPG (209223 bytes)I put both the wheels (with trials tires) and rear brake assembly from Blue Lite on Red.  A short test ride displayed very strange handling and a shaking from the front.  The rear wheel was only 12 lb/in, so I pumped it to 34.  The front was 30 lb/in and there was a lot of runout on the tire (but not the wheel).  So I let all the air out and tried to reseat the bead and pumped it to 26.  There is still some runout and a bit of a shake, but really not too bad.  The front trials tire works better on pavement than the knobby I had on Blue in Africa.  It is not as securely planted as the street tire, but less squirmy than the knobby.  The trials tires are almost as good as street tires on pavement.  Then I found an off road test spot.  It's just south of Petersburg, where the road crosses the highway.  A little piece of crown land with an open gate.  It is moderately deep sandy uphill for about 50 meters. I got bogged down the first time, I went too slow.  The second time I got more speed and slipped the clutch and made it to the top.  I believe that is much better than I could have done with the street rubber.  So the trials tires look like a good compromise, and I will leave them on for long term testing. 

The rear brake is a bit weak but the front feels OK.

June 21, 2002 Red: 6674 Mi.

I want to replace the the missing spoke on the rear wheel Blue Lite donated to Red.  To find a new spoke, I need to take a similar spoke to Zdeno salvage and let them match one up from the box of old spokes.  I found an easy way to get a spoke out of Red's old wheel.  It is a rear right inner spoke.  There are 4 different types of spoke on 1970 CD175's.   To remove the spoke, I only needed to deflate the tire, unscrew the nipple, then push the rubber bead aside and pull the nipple out from the inside.  Then I still needed to unscrew a second spoke, a left rear inner, to allow me to extract the spoke I wanted.  The second spoke will not come out completely because the sprocket is in the way.  So I just moved the second spoke over far enough to let me get my spoke out, then I left the second spoke loose on the hub.  It looks like the exact same length as the right rear inner spoke.

June 24, 2002 Red: 6706 Mi.

I took Red out for another test of the trials tires.  Inflated at 26 F and 28 R.  It does seem a little loose on the street, but not too bad.  On my sandy test area, it did just fine with a first gear run from the street all the way to the top.  I didn't slip the clutch, and managed to get to the top without falling, even though there were a lot of gullies caused by rain Saturday.

I have not been over 50 mph yet with the trials tires, but I am not interested at this point in going a lot faster.  The gravel road I found unfortunately was in excellent condition, smooth and hard packed like pavement.  I decided to challenge myself by riding down the edge of the road, where gravel and sand has piled up and some gullies had formed.  Red did pretty well but finally my luck ran out and I got into a deep S shaped gully.  I managed to slow to a crawl, but couldn't hold the bike up and we both fell over to the left.  I had my shoulder right down on the road.  The first thing I noticed was I couldn't get the left foot peg down.  It had been forced up past it's normal stopping point.  The clutch lever had bent down a little in the pivot area, but I bent it back.  Otherwise, everything was fine, not a scratch on the bike or on me or my clothes.  

June 25, 2002 Red: 6847 Mi.

I went to Turkey Point where they have a combination of packed gravel trails, sandy narrow trails and some narrow ruts right through the forest. I drove Red all the way there and back on back roads with the headlight off at about 40 mph, averaging 89 mpg (UK).  It took from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM.

On the trails, Red performed well enough with street tire pressure.  There was no problem with ground clearance.  First and second gears were all I used.  I hit a branch that loosened the left mirror, I assume mirrors are the first thing removed when riding off road. There were a lot of whoops, which I took sitting down.  (Good idea with the low overhanging branches.)

I did notice the trials tires pick up rocks and rattle them around in the fender sometimes.  And I tested the trials tires one other way, and that is driving on gravel roads and changing tracks, which is sometimes hairy.  I found that it was actually quite easy and I slalomed back and forth just for the heck of it.  The steering is a bit quicker than it should be. If I lengthen the front forks, it should slow down the steering a little, but I have no plans for that.

There was a bit of oil weeping on the left generator cover, the points cover and the left fork.  Also, the front tire does not run straight (it has about 2 cm. of  runout), but it's not dangerous.

June 26, 2002 Red: 6847 Mi.

I noticed that the front and rear tires have a maximum pressure of only 32 lb/in. marked on the sidewalls. The old rear tire also has a maximum of 32 lb/in.  My manual recommends 36 lb/in for carrying a passenger.  Apparently I need stronger tires before I pump it up and carry a passenger.  

I switched speedometer cables, but the new cable is not a complete solution to the needle wavering.  Maybe the speedometer itself has something wrong with the needle damper.  The needle wavers mainly at 50 mph.  I took it up to 70 mph on the freeway, and the needle is fairly steady at most speeds.

July 6, 2002 Red: 6847 Mi.

Blue Lite: 1307.8 Mi.

Blue Lite is outside today. Barry came over and between the two of us, we carried it upstairs with just the engine and frame.  Barry got the front, which I think might have been 100 lb, and there was likely another 50 at the back, which I carried.  It now has Red's twin muffler system.  I need to tighten a bunch of bolts, and put more oil in the left fork leg, hook up the brakes.

July 7, 2002 Blue Lite: 1307.8 Mi.

First test firing today for Blue Lite.  

I put on Red's gas tank and battery.  The battery had some corrosive powder on the ground terminal, but not much on the positive terminal.  The bike didn't start. The spark plugs were OK.  Then I checked the float bowl, it was empty.  I thought maybe I had set the float level so low that no fuel at all could flow into the bowl.  After I bent the float lever to let fuel flow in, it started running.  This could have been due to crud blocking the fuel petcock, too When I take off the choke the engine will run for a while even faster, but then suddenly die.  I can usually keep it going if I apply the choke again soon enough or give it more throttle.

Hoping to improve the idling, I raised the float height without removing the carburetor.  I simply took off the bowl and held up the floats with my finger and turned on the gas.  Then I lowered the floats until gas started to flow.  Not very scientific, and now a little gas leaks from the overflow tube when I have the bike on the side stand.  Some time in the future I will lower the level a bit .  I also smeared Vaseline around the intake manifold in case I needed to stop any leaks there.  Now the bike starts, and I can make it run with the throttle open, but does not like to idle slowly. I adjusted the idle air screw, which has very little effect.  The idle jet may need another cleaning.

While I was running the engine, I did a cam chain adjustment.  I think I can hear the cam chain rattling in there.  (NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: you sure can, maybe this adjustment was a bad idea because this chain is going to snap soon)

On Blue Lite's maiden voyage around our little block  I was quite impressed! It does not fall into sharp turns like Red, and the gearbox shifts very smoothly.  Even the clutch and throttle work smoothly (I'm using Red's old sticky clutch cable too, but routed more loosely).

July 7, 2002 Blue Lite: 1308.3 Mi.

I connected the headlight (only high beam works), and the wires from the rear fender.  Now the brake light works.  Also the speedometer cable.

I found out why the forks clunked each time I took it off the center stand.  The head bearing was loose. I don't know why I didn't figure that out a long time ago.  Now it's  OK.  I also added fork oil on the left.  And I discovered that the forks do not compress at all.

July 9, 2002 Blue Lite: 1309.0 Mi.

The forks would not compress because I added oil to the left one twice!  It now has 150 cc in each leg.  Also I loosened and retightened all the fork bolts and the axle and fender bolts.  The forks work now, but don't feel quite as smooth as Red's.

I went to Canadian Tire to buy an o-ring for the carburetor intake manifold.  It should be just over 1" inside diameter by 1/8" cross section.  I don't know why I wrote that it was 1 and 1/4 inch inside diameter before, but I got the wrong size. I also tried 1 and 1/8 id by 1/8 cs.  It is also too big, both in inside diameter and cross section. 

Right now, Blue Lite is using several parts from Red.  Front and rear wheels, rear brake, clutch cable, mufflers, kick start lever, tail light lens, chain, and battery.  Except for the battery, Red has better parts, or parts that work just as well.  Blue Lite is still missing one rear wheel spoke.

July 11, 2002 Blue Lite: 1309.0 Mi.

I see gas is still dripping from the float overflow pipe.  I suppose this means the petcock is not shutting off properly and the float valve is also not shutting off properly.  (I have the petcock in the off position.)  I get less than 1 cc every 5 hours or so, it's a pretty slow drip.  I tried tightening the outside screws on the petcock, but it does not seem to help.

July 15, 2002 Blue Lite: 1309.0 Mi.

During the last few days, enough gas leaked from the carburetor to fill a small cup.  So I have removed the gas tank and I did a few things to tighten the tap.  I took off the tiny screws and the switch plate, which exposes the wavy washer and the rubber four-hole gasket.  I bent the wavy washer, making it a little more wavy, as this is what puts pressure on the four hole rubber gasket.  I also greased the wavy washer, as it was getting a bit worn on the sliding parts. And I sealed the back of the four hole gasket with Permatex 2 (Gas resistant). Then I straightened out the plate that says ON RES, because it was bent out a little in the middle.  The tap still drips.

I took apart the entire tap and found one more place that could cause a drip.  It is the washer around the main screw, the one that holds the tap on to the tank.  So I used Permatex 2 on that washer.  If any fuel gets past it, it goes straight from the tank to the sediment bowl, and bypasses the OFF tap.  After several hours, I still don't see any dripping, so the main washer might have been the problem.  There was some corrosion around the main screw seat, which probably prevented a tight seal. There was also some rusty crud in the sediment bowl that I cleaned out.

I looked at the float valve in the carburetor and there is a slight groove around it, but it is smoothly worn.  Maybe it will be good enough if the tap actually stops all leakage of gas and I always turn off the tap when parked.  

July 16, 2002 Blue Lite: 1309.3 Mi.

Cleaning the Carburetor

There was no leaked fuel under the carburetor this morning. I pulled off the carburetor and took out the idle jet.  It will soak in carb cleaner for a couple of hours. But I already soaked it overnight once back in February, so to make sure, I also ran a wire through the idle jet.  This is not recommended in the manual. I used one strand of bicycle brake cable.  And I also ran a wire through the hole in the carburetor body where the idle jet sits, and it is clear now, but it looked very small before I ran a the wire through it.

I also adjusted the float height with a ruler.  It was set to 20 mm.  I reset it to 26.  Recommended is 28 mm in the manual.  And the two floats were actually different heights, so I bent them back into line.  I'm afraid they might snap off if I bend them too much.

I put on the left mirror, filled with gas, and went out for an 18 mile run.  It now idles and runs fine.  The speedometer is steady, and the clutch cable is smooth.  Even the mufflers (from Red) sound reasonably quiet.  The mirror is not right for this bike, the bend at the top is too sharp, and prevents me from centering the mirror view.

Blue Lite 1327.7 Mi.

Just for reference, the four holes in the gas tap are (clockwise starting from the blank) :   1- blank 2- from tank reserve pipe 3- out to sediment bowl and carburetor 4- from tank normal (long) pipe

I tightened a few of the bolts around the foot pegs and replaced a stripped bolt. I took off the mufflers and poured two turkey basters of used oil down each header pipe to try to prevent rust.  I also oiled the chain by wiping it with an oily rag.

I took a second ride to spread the oil around inside the mufflers. I didn't see any smoke out behind while riding.  Also I have lost the left bolt, collar and rubber bushing holding the chrome taillight base,  due to vibration.  And some of the others are loose.   The weather is too hot now to look for replacements, I'll wait till later.

July 17, 2002 Blue Lite 1337.5 Mi.

I connected the front flashers and the indicator light, and also put in the speedometer light for night time. The speedometer bulb was burned out, but a standard 6 volt auto part does the job. Then I checked several fasteners for tightness.  The signal lens cover screws seemed a bit loose.  Also, the center stand pivot shaft was working its way out.  I never installed a cotter pin in it, so I did that.  (The shaft is in backwards right now because it is so worn, and I'm waiting for a new one to arrive.)

There was no leaking oil under the mufflers this morning, and the gas tap is not leaking either.

I charged the battery last night using my "Battery Tender".  I don't think it really needed the charge though.  I also added air to the tires, and moved the gear shift lever down one notch.

6 Volt Flasher Relay

A few days ago I bought a 12 volt flasher relay.  I installed it, but it does not allow the lights to turn on.  It has a resistor that heats up while the bulbs are off, and it can't heat up enough with only 6 volts.  I opened it, bent the contacts to be on all the time, and closed it.  I will try manually flashing when I need to until I get a 6 volt relay.

Today I found a 6 volt flasher relay at Zdeno's Cycle Salvage for $7.95.  They found it in less than a minute, a real surprise to me.  It even has a rubber around it for easy vibration free mounting on the bike, and two Honda type bullet connectors, male and female.  Blue Lite had two spade connectors, but they were on short adapters for the U.S. style relay.  Once I removed the adaptors, the new bullet connectors plugged in perfectly, and the signals blink at the right speed. About half a second before the first blink comes on, though

And I found a bolt to replace the one that fell out of the tail light.  I also have a couple of rubber bands around the tail light lens because the crazy glue is not really strong enough to hold it together with the pressure of the screw on it and the vibration.

Blue Lite 1368.8 Mi.

I was feeling a funny vibration from the bike at various speeds, and a bit of rattle at 40 mph or so.  Maybe nothing...

I'm getting some black oily splatters on the back of my shirt.  Not in a straight pattern, kind of all over the back. It may be the chain or it also may be the mufflers that are full of oil.  I also see some spatters on the back of the license plate and on the rear fender, and back wheel.  I will need to find an answer to this problem.  I should have made a chain guard last winter, but I didn't expect to be riding Blue Lite this early.

The most pressing needs if this bike is to be put on the road are:  Chain guard, Low beam headlight, positive lead from the battery (just using a bunch of twisted wires now), tail light lens.  

July 18, 2002 Blue 1368.8 Mi. Red 6882 Mi.

I took Red out for a ride, and I was comparing the sound and feel to Blue.  I think the bigger rear tire makes Red less stable  and when making a tight turn it wants to fall into the turn.  There is also a hum or whine from the trials tires on the road.  I think I can feel the same engine vibration at idle as Blue, but not as strong. There is a bit of a lumpy vibration from the front tire at low speeds.  Red's back and front brakes are not as effective (Actually Red has the drums and backing plates that came with Blue).  It took quite a while to get Red started, maybe I should have drained the carburetor in this hot weather.  I am beginning to think Blue's transmission is slicker shifting than Red's, although I have hit a few more false neutrals with Blue.  Red's two into one is also quieter than the dual mufflers (I put Red's mufflers on Blue, because Blue's original mufflers are obviously hopeless)

Red Aug 20, 2002

I went for a short spin with Red.  It took a while to kick it to life, maybe should have drained the carburetor before parking it last month.  When it did start running, I had my Max Lite earplugs in, and did not hear it, so I kept kicking until I figured it out.  On a short ride, I found out the right turn signal is not flashing.  Tire pressures were low.  Everything else seems OK.

The I decided to test ride Blue again, wearing my leather jacket to stop the oil drops from hitting my shirt. I still got a few spots on my jacket, but the leather wipes off easily.  

Aug 23, 2002

More Gasoline Leaking

Gasoline was leaking from Blue's carburetor.  I suspected the leak was the same place as before, the main petcock attachment screw.  So I took it off and applied more Permatex 2. But no luck.  Actually it was the 4 hole rubber gasket which had developed a leak between two of the holes.  It was also leaking at the rate of a drop every second!  I took it out, wiped it off, flipped it over and that seems to have done the trick.  But there is more crud in the sediment bowl. I can see surface rust inside the tank through the filler hole.

Aug 25, 2002 Blue 1410 Mi.

I was out for a ride on Blue today.  The oil spatters are almost surely coming from the chain, so I'd like to install a temporary chain guard until I can find an original blue full chain case.

Troubleshooting the Starter Button

I discovered the starter button was not working, so I did a big troubleshooting session.  There was a little corrosion in the switch, but short version of the story: the black wire coming out of the relay was not connected under the seat.  The circuit is made up of two wires, a yellow wire with a red stripe that emerges from the relay and makes it way to the starter button where it is grounded.  There is also a black wire emerging from the relay.  But unless the black wire is connected to ground, the yellow/red wire never gets 6 volts, so it does not light up the test probe.  The black wire is a ground wire, but it passes to ground through the key switch to prevent any starter action without the key being on.

Aug 27, 2002 Blue 1440.4 Mi.

Pushing Her Home

Today was the first time I had to push Blue home.  So much crud had gotten into the fuel petcock from the tank, that the reserve outlet got plugged.  The main outlet does not get sediment because of the long pipe, but the reserve outlet is down at the level where sediment can flow in.  Many newer bikes had a short pipe for the reserve to avoid this problem.  Soon after I went on reserve, Blue died and I could only get it going for short runs and then it would cough and die again as the gas flow through the petcock was not sufficient.  This was the first time Blue was at a gathering of real motorcycles, the local Show 'n Shine Tuesday night.  There were plenty of Harleys on the road as I pushed the bike all the way back from the other side of the city.  Kind of embarrassing but good exercise.

It is running again after I got home where I have all my tools.

I just went out to check on Blue in the garage, and I see that I forgot to turn off the fuel tap.  But there was no leaking that I could see, so obviously the float valve holds it all in at least sometimes. (or the tap is clogged again)

Aug 28, 2002 Blue 1440.4 Mi.

This morning I had more energy than I did last night after the long push home, so I decided to get any crud out of the tank before going for another ride.  If I did it again, I would *not*  flush it with GASOLINE, and do it a safer way.

I think if the the bigger rust flakes can get stuck between the on-off lever and the four hole gasket into the petcock, they could have been the cause of the torn 4 hole gasket.

Blue 1478 Mi.

I filled Blue with gas and headed out for a 38 mile trip through the countryside.  Mostly 40 mph, listening for noises and seeing how reliable it is.  The front forks seem to lock up over gentle bumps, but they do compress normally for bigger ones.  I noticed it also while pushing the bike home yesterday.

There are some noises coming from the engine, but I can't tell what is causing them, maybe tappets or cam chain?  Anyhow, they aren't too loud, or is it the earplugs? (NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: Another warning of cam chain failure?)

Blue August 29, 2002 1497 Mi.

chainguard.JPG (80851 bytes) Click on this thumbnail to see the new chain guard. It is effective at keeping the spatters off the back of my shirt.  It is from a 1969 Yamaha YCS3 200 cc street bike that I found in the bone yard at Zdeno's Cycles.  I cleaned off the rust, and I think it has just the right look for the CD175.   They charged me $16.00 for it.  I had to bend the back strut to make it straighter or else it would lock up the rear wheel (Tip: after installing a new chain guard, try to spin the back tire before taking it off the center stand. )  I am still looking for the CD175 complete enclosed chain case in candy blue but I'll be more patient now.

Attaching the back of the chain guard was very simple, luckily the CD175 had a threaded hole in the right place.  The front was tricky so I threaded a long nut into the hole on the inside of the chain guard, locked it with a locknut, put some rubber grommets on it and used a hose clamp to clamp it to the swing arm cross piece.

I went to the the Honda dealer on a tip that they still have CD175 spokes.  The parts guy seemed to think that outer spokes are on the brake hub side and inner are on the sprocket side.  He may be right, but I thought it was whether they emerged inside or outside the hub.  Anyway I bought three, two outer and one inner (or vice versa).  The single spoke I bought apparently was the last in Canada and they are now discontinued. The other ones are still available. They wanted $1.50 each, including the nipple.

I also put together a right hand mirror out of a broken CD175 mirror and a few other bits out of my parts box, and it looks almost perfect. I used a hacksaw to get the round glass and rubber out of a Kawasaki mirror, and popped it into the CD175 chrome backing, mounted it through a handlebar clamp and that was it.

I tightened the drive chain one half turn of the screws.

Blue August 30, 2002 1637 Mi.

Blue has completed its first  100+ mile road trip.  I topped up the oil at 1580 miles, as the level was below the bottom line at the bottom of the dipstick.  I could only put in about .25 liters.  There is an oil leak that drips under the lowest part of the  condenser wire on the left side of the engine.  Oil may be running down the wire that goes to the condenser.  I mopped it up with a paper towel. There does not seem to be much oil leaking.

I ran at a steady 50 mph most of the way because there is too much handlebar vibration at 40 mph.  Near the end of the trip I was getting up to a steady  55 - 60 mph.  There is not much power left at 60, and sometimes up hills, the speed dropped. Even when Blue is hot, it's very easy to find neutral.  Quite a difference from Red which can be almost impossible when it's hot and idling in first with the clutch in. The engine died once on the trip at a stop sign, but I think it was getting ready to go on reserve.  The reserve switch works, too.

While riding, I saw the top headlight adjustment screw coming out and I pulled over and put in my pocket before it disappeared. I reinstalled it after the trip with a new nut (old one disappeared on the road.)  This time I snipped off the end of the screw with bolt cutters.  It was too long, and the bolt cutters will mess up the threads enough that the nut will not come off  easily if there is a next time.

After I got back I did a post trip inspection.  Tire pressure check was 25 psi rear and 23 psi front.  Just a little low, I can pump them up later. I lubed the chain with "Big Red Chain Lube", and it's much easier when you don't need to remove the chain guard.  I pinged the back spokes and tightened a couple.  I'm checking those mainly because of  the missing spoke.  I oiled the rear brake pivot and the front brake cable end.  The engine oil level is just below the top line. 

On both spark plug electrodes, the insulators were half white on one side, half black on the other.  The white is a sign of overheating or lean running. According to my notes, Blue's main jet is one size larger than normal, and the needle was at the second richest setting, but I moved it last winter to the middle setting.  I think I will just put it back to second richest and hope that that makes the jetting right.  I know the float level is a little higher than specified, so I will leave that alone for now (higher is richer). 

Blue August 31, 2002 1637 Mi.

Idle Speed Fluctuating

The idle speed is still going up and down, so I plan to turn the idle mixture screw out to see if that fixes it.  I picked up this advice from the internet. (NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: This also happens to be a symptom of a loose cam chain - impending disaster)

If, when you release the throttle, the revs hang up a few hundred rpm above idle speed, then drop to idle, you are too lean. Turn the fuel screws out. In extremely lean cases the idle will hunt between the proper speed and something above it

I got the needle out and found a number on it.  It's 073301.  I could read it using a trick Mary Ann showed me for looking at really small stuff.  Look at it backwards through binoculars. Unfortunately, the parts book does not specify a needle number, just a Honda part number.   And to add to the confusion, according to the internet, Keihin carb needles have three letters, not six numbers.  With the binoculars, I can see that the 'groove' I thought I could feel on the needle is actually just the top of the taper.  That's the spot where the machining stops and the full width of the needle begins.  The second to bottom clip position is actually only one position down from the middle, there are five position in all. The carburetor slide also has a number on it, it's 113 and underneath is the number 25.

I gave the tires a shot of air, wiped off the chain and I'm ready to go again. 

The second test is complete now, and I now have 1713 miles on the odometer. Plenty of fast running, and Blue feels good at 60 mph.  I put over 400 miles on Blue this summer, including a 3 mile push.

I now can see some chain spray on the license plate and the rear fender up to the license plate bracket. The drive chain is still holding its adjustment, but the sprocket teeth and the rollers on the chain were shiny.  I re lubed with Bel - Ray blue foamy chain lube.  That stuff is sticky and should stay put for the next ride.  

There was only a drop of oil in under the condenser wire this time.  But the engine oil level is now down to halfway between the two marks. I went on reserve again and filled up, getting 65 mpg (UK) since last time.

I took out the plugs and surprise! They are mostly black.  Under the reversed binoculars I could see little balls of something on the insulators, could be aluminum spray I suppose.  But there was a little patch of tan color on each plug.  The left had the biggest patch, almost hidden by the ground electrode. Red's spark plugs are a light tan color.  So maybe Blue has something wrong like a clogged air filter or the float level is too high.  I also feel there is a little off idle hesitation when I start to drive off from a standstill. 

The headlight adjuster seems loose again.  I made the spring longer by sctretching it, and I'll try that.  I also used Vise Grips to slightly rough up the threads.

I felt the clutch lever getting a bit sticky so I used the grease pistol on the grease nipple near the sprocket.

Fork Problems

Blue has stiction in the forks.  Red's forks slide much more easily.  The garage test is to sit on the tank, then stand up and sit again.  Red's forks will slide over most of their travel with this test, and Blue's will not move at all.  I thought Blue's forks worked because I can easily pump them up and down using the handlebars with the brakes on.  But when actually riding, most of the time Blue's forks are locked solid, but move occasionally over a big bump.  I don't like the feel of the rigid forks, but it is not painful or dangerous as far as I can tell.  The front tires absorb most of the little bumps, like a rigid bicycle fork.

I took out the forks to see if loosening all the bolts would help, and it did not.  I can actually feel stiction in each fork tube separately. So in a moment of inspiration I drained the fork oil and put in 70w-90 Synthetic gear lube.  I could feel a difference almost right away just sitting on the tank.  It still sticks more than Red, but much less than with fork oil.  On a test ride I found that I can feel the fork tubes moving up and down most of the time. And I can now feel some dive while braking.  (Note: Next year I will read on the internet that thick fork oil can blow seals.  I really should be using the thinnest oil I can, maybe synthetic 10W-40)

Oil is leaking out of the left fork drain hole, and the threads are stripped in the hole. I got another bolt the right length with slightly coarser threads, and a rubber washer, screwed it in and it's OK now, because you don't need a lot of torque on that bolt.

I finished the day with 1752 Mi.

September 2, 2002, Blue 1871 Mi.

I made another trip of over 100 miles.  I filled up at 1823 miles and got 65 mpg UK again.  At one point I had trouble shifting down through the gears at a stop light, but that problem went away.  

When I went on reserve at a stop sign, it took me a while to get it started again, but once it started, it was fine.  Could be another partial blockage of the reserve outlet that cleared itself up as I played with the petcock.  I have checked the sediment bowl again, and there are more bits of rust in it, but not as much as before.

I went on the freeway twice, and could cruise at 60 mph.  The only thing I noticed was the turn signal lights blink faster. 

I also discovered on this trip that the horn works!  

The after trip inspection has plugs looking dark brown to brown, I think it's getting closer to what I want.  

The drive chain tension seems to be within specs, and there still is a bit of lube on the rollers, but it sounds a bit dry at I spin it. I put a liberal dose of Bel Ray foaming blue chain lube.  That stuff is very messy.  As I spin the chain where the chain separates from the sprocket, long strings of lube form, like mozarella cheese off a hot slice of pizza.  On a windy day the strands blow all over the place and make a mess.

September 3, 2002, Blue 1967 Mi.

I rode Blue up to Pro-Formance Cycle, where I got Red's 2 into 1 exhaust last year. It's about an hour away, and I was cruising at 65 mph on the final stretch.  When I got there, I noticed the swing arm bolt was half way out, and the nut and washer were gone.  I don't know how close I might have been to losing the entire shaft. They put a new nut and washer on for me without charge.  I made it back without further incidents.  I remember now something about how easy the swing arm bolt came out last winter.  The K4 models have a castellated nut and cotter pin, I think.

The correct torque, at least on the K1 and K2 models was 36-43 ft. lb.  The new nut is bigger than the old one, and needs a 23 mm socket, which I don't have.  I think I used a 3/4 socket on the old one. And the axle nut torque is even higher at 50-72 ft. lb.

The reason I went to Pro-Formance was to see what kind of mufflers they had because I was finding the mufflers to be loud. But today I was wearing a new pair of Max Lite earplugs, and the engine sounded very quiet on the way up there. Pro-Formance suggested I may be better off ordering CD175 mufflers from David Silver in England, as it is hard to find universal a muffler with long enough taper to fit the CD175 down tubes.  He said the CD has a crimp-on muffler that should be easy enough to remove and replace with a clamp.

September 5, 2002, Blue 2154 Mi.

I tightened the chain one third of a turn, aligned the rear wheel, oiled the chain using both Big Red and Bel Ray Blue Foam.  I went for a 150 mile ride to Port Dover.  I ran at 55 to 60 miles per hour on the faster roads.  The lower headlight adjuster screw started coming out. It was the upper one last time.  The right rear signal light rotated on its stalk, because I didn't have a clamping bolt in it.  Last winter I couldn't get the stalk off the light because it was rusted, so I left out both the rear clamp bolts (Not thinking too clearly).  Amazing what 700 miles of vibration can loosen.  I put bolts back in both the rear turn signals Also two of the three bolts holding the tail light bracket to the fender fell out, but were trapped by the license plate.  I reinstalled all of them with blue Loctite.

Before the trip, the rear tire pressure was OK at 28, and the engine oil was OK at about half way. I checked the rear spokes and tightened a couple just slightly.  At the end of the ride, the engine oil was still about half way up.

Today I turned the idle air screw in a bit and the off idle stumble when accelerating is reduced. (also a symptom of incorrect timing)

I think it's the higher speeds that I'm riding that are shaking parts loose.  I hope that everything settles pretty soon, or I'll have to slow down.  The list of things to check is getting too long.

I picked up spokes today from the Honda dealer.  I there was some confusion (probably caused by the diagram in the parts fiche) about what an inside or an outside spoke is.  I found a photo on the internet that indicates an inside spoke runs from the rim to the inside of the hub then hooks through a hole in the hub.  The end that has the flat nail type head terminates on the outside.  In other words, an inside spoke is installed by pushing through the hub hole from outside to inside. The only difference I see between the spokes is that the outside spoke has a sharper bend than the inside spoke. 

I was missing an inside spoke, so after installing it my new one, I still have three spokes left, an inside rear, an outside rear, and a longer one that will not fit the rear but may fit the front.  They will go in my spare parts bin.

I found a diagram and part number for the oil seal inside the points cover, so I might try to order that one day.  It looks like it may be easy to replace, but if the camshaft bearing is worn it will not do much good to replace the seal.

I added about 100 cc of 2 stroke oil to half the tank of gas, hoping to prevent rust in the mufflers and maybe do some good to the tank.

Click here to continue where Blue snaps the cam chain up in Grand Bend