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CONTINUED LOG CD175
September 9, 2002, Blue 2241 mi. Red 6900 mi.
Blue Lite has snapped the cam chain, and will need a top end engine rebuild. I am going to use Red until the rebuild is complete next year.
All the battery cells were low, so I filled them up when I moved the battery over from Blue Lite to Red.
I don't know why Blue seems faster than Red, because Red has the newer engine. Blue has the twin mufflers and richer jetting, and also the tires are smaller. A smaller tire at the back gives better gearing for top speed. (A wise note from the future: DID YOU CHECK THAT RED'S CARBURETOR SLIDE GOES ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP? I thought not)
Surprisingly enough, Red's forks do not feel any better than Blue's, which are using 90 weight synthetic gear lube and are slightly bent. I may try using gear lube in Red's forks next.
A few more comments after the first ride on Red in three months. The front brake has a squeak and feels spongy, and the left mirror came loose. The steering bearings feel like they need adjusting. Red's steering is completely cured by putting the street tread on the front wheel. The rear wheel is still the 3.25x17 trials tire, but it has no negative effect on the steering. I can leave it on for a while.
September 10, 2002, Red 6936 mi.
I did a tune up on Red this morning then went for a ride. The last oil change was at 5657 miles.
Cam Chain Adjustment
After the ride, I adjusted the cam chain with the engine hot and idling. As soon as I loosened it, I heard a difference in the engine. Now it's idling OK again, but I don't think I'm doing it right. According to the 1968 CD175 owners manual (for the sloper engine):
There is no mention of idling the engine while performing this operation. And the thing about "screw out until compression felt slightly" is also doubtful.
(Update from November 2003) Two people have sent me the updated instructions (for the vertical twins) which reads:
After all the rewriting, the manual left out the step of tightening the adjusting bolt before the lock nut. No wonder there were cam chain problems with these bikes. I guess professional mechanics rarely read the owners manuals.
September 19, 2002, Red 7170 mi.
I pulled the baffle from the two into one muffler. The fiberglass packing I put in last year had partly obstructed the exhaust pathway. I took out most of the packing and went for a test ride. Definitely louder, but with the Max Lite earplugs, it sounds OK. When it's idling it is hardly objectionable, but before, I almost couldn't hear it idling.
I got it past 60 up to 65, into the wind and up a slight grade. Then it seemed to lose power, so that I needed to slow down and if I tried to go much faster, it would stumble. Seemed like either a partial seizure or running out of gas. Actually it did need gas, so I turned on the reserve, but I think the problem was still there. I forgot to test by setting the choke to see if that would make it run better.
I checked the size of the main jet, which is easy to do just by removing the float bowl. Surprise, it is also #105, like Blue Lite. So it would seem that this might be the normal jet for K3's, even though the parts books says #100 is normal for the K4.
September 22, 2002, Red 7280 mi.
I tried premium gas (Sunoco 94) to see if it helps high speed runs. On a two way run I got up to 75 mph one way and 80 the other, I could not hear any pinging or ringing sounds from the engine. Unfortunately it still misfired once at nearly 80 mph wide open. Up to now I used mostly Sunoco regular unleaded which has 10% ethanol. Some old four strokes apparently need lead to cushion the valve seats, but so far no problems on that side. I don't know what problems the ethanol may cause in the CD175.
September 24, 2002, Red 7429 mi.
I filled up with gas and changed to new plugs. The misfiring seems to have cleared up again. The right plug was gray with a white spot on it, the left was a fairly even gray color. That could be an effect of the 2-into-1, which has different bends and lengths for each cylinder. (The carburetor and ignition timing are the same for both, and I hope the valves are set the same.)
Now the left fork is dripping oil. Wasn't it just a few days ago the right one was doing it? The right one is still dry.
I recorded a wav file of Red's 2-into-1 exhaust system. . Click on this thumbnail to see the picture of the baffle. you can see the old packing and where I flattened the ends of two internal tubes. I also have an arrow where I left some packing on near the rear of the muffler.
Click on the link below to hear the sound recorded about six inches to the side of the muffler outlet.
Click on the thumbnail for a good picture of the 2-into-1. The left pipe is even longer than it looks in the picture.
September 25, 2002, Red 7429 mi.
I checked Red's carburetor needle and it was in the middle position. Because of the white spot on the plug, I am changing it now to the next richer position, to make it the same as Blue Lite. The needle and slide numbers are the same as Blue Lite. After I put the slide back in the carburetor, the throttle grip did not snap shut as fast as it used to. Maybe it's because I wiped the fuel off the slide and didn't oil it before I put it back in. I'll wait and see if it frees up by itself after I run it for a bit.
Red 7555 mi.
Found the Problem
I am back from a 2 hour trip to pick up some parts for my BMW motorcycle. Before leaving, I sprayed the chain with lube and topped up the engine oil. I was on the road about half an hour before it started misfiring again. It gradually got worse during the trip, especially around the time I went on reserve. Then I filled up, and the performance was restored. That made me think of when I changed the plugs yesterday, it was just after I filled up with gas, and it ran great. So it was the full tank of gas, not the plugs that fixed the problem. I stopped at a picnic area and pulled out the fuel filter screen. It looked OK except for a little circle of crud on the screen. Then I realized that I must have put the screen in wrong last time. If you don't put it in right, part of the screen will cover the inlet hole. I reinstalled the screen with the inlet hole lined up with the hole in the screen and got back on the road. I went the rest of the distance at about 65 - 70 mph with no stumbling or misfiring.
September 26, 2002, Red 7608 mi.
Just took one more ride, the odometer is now reading 7608 miles, about 700 miles since Blue was sidelined. It is definitely running stronger than ever. So I will park it for a while, except for the occasional short ride. The weather is starting to get colder and wetter, too.
October 3, 2002, Red 7646 mi.
In case I ever need to replace the rear shocks, CB175 or CL175 shocks might be able to fit, and are more easily available on eBay. But they are longer at 12.5 inches between the center of the eyes. The CD175 has 11 and 7/8 inches between the center of the eyes, I guess because of the smaller 17 inch wheel.
October 16, 2002, Red 7760 mi.
The problem of the engine racing while warming up (like the throttle is stuck open) has disappeared. I used to get this on cold mornings. It fires up easily on a couple of kicks, and I just drive away with the choke on, even at 8 deg. C.
November 12, 2002, Red 7836 mi.
I have been driving around and in the city, which can be fun on a bike like the CD175 when it's running right. The temperature outside has been about 6c to 10c lately. The chain will need an adjustment soon, and maybe I should fill up with gas before the snow and salt comes.
The oil seal kit that I bought on eBay arrived by air mail. No problems with Canada customs when things are sent by US Postal Service. If they are sent by UPS, or other couriers I get dinged with a $30 "broker fee" for crossing the border, which is robbery, so I always make sure I ask the seller if they can use US Postal Service before I start bidding on stuff from the US.
Now I think I have all the parts needed for Blue's engine rebuild, unless there was damage to the valves. I have the cam chain, an oil seal kit, and a gasket set. And just in case, a new set of pistons and rings.
November 13, 2002, Red 7850 mi.
I adjusted the chain by two flats, and pumped up the tires. There was only 22 psi at the rear, and I could feel it squirming. (Note from the future: That explains why it will be flat next March 2003.)
I pulled out the baffle to see if I could get it a little quieter. It was very sooty this time, maybe I am running too rich. I repacked the muffler baffle with fiberglass, but on the first run the new packing came loose and plugged up the internal muffler tubes. I could tell because it had hardly any power over 3000 rpm. But I was amazed it could run at all with the baffle so plugged. I figure I could afford to close up the openings a bit more, so I removed the new packing and used a vise grip to squeeze the openings of all the internal tubes. Now it sounds a little quieter than before, but I don't know yet if it is restricting power at high rpm. I was able to get up to 70 mph easily, but I was following the slipstream of a truck. Going into the wind I could not get over 55 sitting up straight.
I filled up with mid grade gas, and got 58 mpg on the last tank.
November 14, 2002, Red 7890 mi.
To reduce exhaust back pressure, I pulled the baffle and drilled a lot of holes in the internal pipes. Also a few in the front baffle plate (closest to the engine). I can't hear much difference, and not much difference in top speed. But it isn't worse either.
January 1, 2003, Red 7895 mi.
I managed to get out today for a 5 mile ride, the first one since Nov 14. I forgot to drain the carbs last time so I did it today before starting. Red started on the third kick, just like the usual summer procedure, but took too long to idle properly, so I raised the idle speed a little then it was OK. I lowered the idle speed again at the end of the ride. Temperature was -2c. The forks are feeling a bit stiff, with the 90 gear oil and -2c But still acceptable.
February 21, 2003 Blue Lite 2241 mi.
Six weeks ago, I dragged home a seized engine and did a top end job using the pistons and cam chain from Blue Lite. I called this new bike 'Junkers' and now Junkers' engine is in Blue Lite's frame, while Blue Lite's first engine remains disassembled in the workshop. I commented on the first test firing at the end of the engine rebuild log, here.
Now it's time for the second test firing of the Junkers engine. I took the bike outside, and no need for pre-heating the carburetor. It took about 10 kicks with some fiddling, but started and ran, then after it warmed up about a minute, I turned down the idle speed until it almost stalled. It idled at a steady speed, which the other engine did not do. Maybe because the cam chain is adjusted properly. The rebuilt Junkers engine also has better throttle blipping response from idle than Blue Lite had last summer..
Checking It Over
I loosened the top oil gallery dome nut, and oil started coming out - that proves oil pressure is good. Finally I installed the positive battery cable and rubber boot between the battery and the starter solenoid. It was missing from Blue Lite, and I had cobbled together a dangerous looking bunch of wires and electrical tape. But Junkers had the entire harness including the rubber boot in good enough shape except the main fuse was broken. With that working, I connected the starter motor. The starter worked but made funny noises. The neutral light is fixed now, it was just a loose connection at the switch, which is visible with the sprocket cover off. The only bad news is the rear tire was almost flat, maybe a very slow leak. This rear wheel is actually from Red, I have never taken the tire off yet. The battery water was low so I had to add some.
When I release the starter button there is a noise like the sound a starter makes when you turn it on with the engine running. It only lasts about a second. There was also a funny noise when I turned off the engine, sounded a bit like the starter noise but only for a tenth of a second. Otherwise I didn't notice any worrying sounds from the engine.
Some investigation turned up the possibility that the noise is caused by the starter clutch. This clutch is located behind the generator rotor, so at the very least, the rotor must come off. The cover looks like it can come off with the engine in the frame. According to the Haynes manual, the rear axle can work as a threaded rotor puller, so I would not need a special tool, apparently some automobile pullers could wreck the rotor. The clutch itself has three metal rollers with springs that may need replacing. All this sounds complicated, so I am just going to use the kick starter and not do anything.
With the temperature of 6c outside, I got Blue ready for a short test drive. The drive chain, the foot pegs and the seat are all on it now. I just went down the street in front of the house, far enough to get through all four gears. I had no trouble climbing my snow covered driveway in first gear with the rear street tire, which really surprised me. It could be that the tires are so narrow that they just cut right through the snow, and the tread is reasonably good too. But anyway I find it easy to drive slowly (1st gear) on snow and ice with the CD175. Now I will be able to get out for a lot more off season rides, because many times the main roads are clear but my driveway and street are covered in ice and snow.
When I got back I saw a small oil leak, could be the right front valve inspection cap, which was only finger tight. Or it could be a drip from the bolt I loosened this morning to check for oil pressure. I do not see any other oil leaks, and the engine runs well.
Red is going to be retired for a while, so I went to drain the carburetor, but no luck. I either already drained it or all the gas in the float bowl leaked out in the last two months.
February 22, 2003 Blue Lite 2241 mi.
Front End Swap
I put Junkers' forks, front wheel and axle on Blue Lite, including both axle washers and leak proof fork oil drain bolts with copper washers. This axle slides in without the hassle of needing the fork tubes to be rotated. I can easily compress the forks by putting weight on the gas tank, a good test of free movement.
Also fitted Junkers' white rubber cable guide that keeps the speedometer and brake cable from rubbing the new fender. It looks pretty good now that it's cleaned up and sitting on nice blue paint. Whenever I need to install a plastic/rubber thing, I find the hair drier to be very useful in softening it up first.
I accidentally got a greasy thumb on the brake shoe surface, so I used some Loctite brand cleaner spray that leaves no residue. I sprayed it on then wiped off with a new paper towel. I also cleaned the brake drum surface that way. I don't know how good the cleaner spray is, but it's way better than kerosene that I once used and ruined a pair of brake shoes.
Road testing will have to wait, it's raining out now and more winter is coming this way.
February 23, 2003 Blue Lite 2241 mi.
Rear Street Tires Load Rating
After digging out from the biggest snowfall so far this year, I headed into the garage to check out the tire situation. I have had a problem finding good rear street tires for the CD175. Honda recommends 36 pounds per square inch (psi) air pressure at the rear when carrying a passenger. It's hard to find a tire that holds that much pressure. Many 3.00 x 17 tires are load range 'B' with a maximum pressure of only 32 psi.
The table below shows the rear street tires mounted on my two CD175's outside.
It's too bad Yokohama is no longer selling motorcycle tires, because the Yokohama World Tour can handle Honda's recommended rear tire pressure for a passenger. At 3.22 inches it is noticeably larger than the other two tires. (Yokohama's tire division was bought by Shinko, apparently.)
The J.C. Whitney catalogue on the internet has a 3.25 x 17 rear tire for $32.99 US, recommended rim width of 2.15, and load rating of 430 lb. (load range B) That is the same load as the Yokohama, and it's close to the same size. The fit is tight at the rear inside the fender. The limitation is the distance between the inside nuts on the turn signals, which is 4.25", not including the wires that stick out through the nut. Red has a little more clearance because of the turn signal design.
J.C. Whitney also has a 'low profile' 3.25/3.50 x 17 tire with no load rating given, so I will pass on that, but it might work too, and it's only $22.49 U.S. They also have a universal tread tire that is more street oriented than my Cheng Shin Trials, and could work on the front with a Cheng Shin Trials tire on the back.
If I do order from J.C. Whitney, I may combine the order with a trunk and a drive chain to save on shipping. Mufflers might be nice, but they only go down to 1 and 3/8", the pipes I have are 1 and 1/4".
February 25, 2003 Blue Lite 2241 mi.
Center Stand Pivot
Click the thumbnail to see an enlarged picture of Junker's pivot shaft and pinch clamps. The design has a fatal problem. Either the center stand pivot gets loose in the frame's pinch clamp, or the brake lever or center stand gets seized by rust on the shaft. Then damage occurs because the shaft now pivots in the narrow pinch clamp, wearing an even bigger hole in it. If you try to tighten the pinch clamp, the ends come together and it will not get any tighter. Grooves are also worn in the pivot shaft. The pinch clamp is not replaceable, unless you get a new frame.
Red's shaft was in good shape, but both Blue and Junkers were seized.
With Junkers, the brake pedal had seized, but wear on the clamp was minimal. I could fix it by sawing the space in the pinch bolt bigger, and then tightening the pinch bolts a bit more.
With Blue Lite, the problem had gone too far for that. I had to put in a new pivot shaft, the old one had a deep groove worn in it. Then sawing the pinch bolt gap did not work, because the pinch bolt just deformed rather than close up the clamp. The bike is steadier when on the center stand. But the pivot shaft still rotates inside the clamp, so the problem is going to get worse.
Junkers had a really nice brake cable with only one crack in the sheath. But when I put it on Blue Lite, I discovered that it is not a CD175 brake cable, the threaded part on the lower end is only 2.4" long. I just barely got it on, but I will try it for a while. It looks like a CL70 brake cable I saw on eBay and has the same measurements.
February 27, 2003 Blue Lite 2243 mi.
First Run 2 Miles
It was -14c this morning, but sunny. I wanted to get out on the road for a real test drive, so I put the 2 into 1 muffler on Blue Lite. By the time I was ready to go it was 1:00 PM, sunny and -1c. Melt water was starting to run onto the road, so I kept the ride short. I went only as far as Strange Street, a good name for a destination, less than 2 miles in all. Click here for a picture of Blue Lite with Junkers motor on the first ride.
The 2 into 1 was a bit tricky to get on. I finally gave up trying to get both split collars on, and just put one half collar on each side. I cut the corners off the collars so I could get one to go on between the studs, instead of one per stud. I am using muffler gaskets that came in the complete gasket kit I ordered last year on eBay. One of the muffler mounting bolts was also tricky to get in, I tried enlarging the hole in the mounting bracket with the Dremel without much success. With a bit of rubber hammer persuasion, I finally got everything lined up. But then the kick starter hit the muffler, so I loosened the kick lever and moved it 2 mm out on its shaft and retightened. I think that the new gaskets could have moved the muffler forward enough to interfere with the kick starter.
I had to use the hair dryer to get Blue started. As I was kicking, the starter clutch was making noises. I think it did not disengage properly the last time I tried the electric start. After a bit of kicking I didn't hear any more starter noises.
I had no trouble at all on the snow, and it was snow all the way down the driveway and to the end of our street. The engine felt very powerful, and the brakes too. I had no earplugs, so the muffler was a bit loud, but I didn't hear any engine rattling noises either. Gave it a few twists of the throttle, just to help break it in.
The speedometer went crazy, recording 60 mph through a school zone, I'm sure I was doing only 20 mph. (NOTE: Right now I am puzzled by the speedometer action, but in August 2003, I will read on the internet that if you put too much grease on the speedometer cable, it can work its way into the speedometer and then if the temperature drops, this will peg the speedometer. In other words make it read at the top of the scale.)
February 28, 2003 Blue Lite 2249 mi.
Second Run 7 Miles
Checked the oil and it was 1 mm down from the top mark. The oil was clean, but there was some white froth on the inside of the cap, probably the engine is burning off moisture.
The clutch needed adjusting at the bottom end, and I tried to use the grease pistol. The adjuster was frozen and I needed a hammer to move it even after I loosened the 10 mm bolt. But with some WD40 and a few more taps it came loose enough to turn it with the screw driver. NOTE: Do not drive around with the sprocket cover off, like I was doing, because the cover is the only thing to hold the clutch cable in place.
March 1, 2003 Blue Lite 2258.6 mi.
Third Run 9 Miles
The temperature was -2c and rising fast, so I got out on the road before the snow started melting. I had dry roads and tried some faster speeds out on the highway. It started with about 15 kicks or so, and some fiddling with the throttle and choke. I can't tell how fast I'm going because the speedometer has not worked yet in the cold weather. But I was moving as fast as the traffic, sitting straight up. Right before my exit, the bike coughed twice and cleared up when I slowed down.
The Post Ride Inspection
I switched plugs with Red's almost new ones. They came out of Red that ideal tan/coffee color, so Red is tuned right for the two into one exhaust. Red also has a nice clean air filter, which might also contribute to clean high speed running.
I tried the electric start, and for the first two button presses, the starter worked fine with no starter clutch noise. Then I heard the noise the third time I used the starter, and since the engine was not starting easily, I switched to kicked starting. One kick was all it took. I assume the new plugs helped.
One more check for the oil level. This time there was a lot more white foam inside the cap. I hope that running the engine is eventually going to evaporate all the moisture in there and I will get no more foam. Apparently I need to drive for more than 30 minutes at a time to begin boiling it off in these temperatures (-2c).
The Wheels and Brakes from Junkers
I checked the rear tire pressure where I have the slow leak, and it was still 32 psi. I took the Yokohama off Red's front, and eventually it is going onto Blue's back wheel. With the Yokohama tire off the rim, I have a chance to check all the spokes. When I find any that are difficult to turn, I remove the nipple and oil the threads. Only one spoke was so stuck that I used the torch on it, and then it came loose. I wire brushed the rust inside the rim, where bits of chrome are flaking off.
To get the brake dust out, I used a dry artists brush to loosen it then used a vacuum cleaner, and it helps avoid breathing that bad stuff. Have to be careful that no inner wheel pieces (like speedometer drive gear) get sucked up. Next I will wash off the rim, and paint the inside with primer.
This front rim is a Kaga 160Ax17w rim that came on Red originally. It has more than a few scratches on the edge that looks like tire lever damage. When I pick up and turn the Kaga wheel, I can hear bits of rust tumbling around inside the rim, which seems to be double walled with a space in the middle.
Junkers back rim is a DID 160A x 17. The wheel rim was dented, I guess by hitting something at speed, and was repaired by a hammer. Similar to what I did with my first bike in Africa many years ago. The DID rim also has more rust than the Kaga rim. From being stored outside, I assume. But still it's presentable. I think the quality of the chrome work on these bikes is amazing, especially the rims. The DID rim does not have rust tumbling inside the rim, even though it appears more rusted overall.
I took all the spokes off the DID rim. On almost all the spokes and nipples, the original finish is totally rusted and rough. I cleaned them with a brush and steel wool, washed and painted them with aluminum rust paint. Lacing up and truing the wheel again was actually not too bad, but it may be one of those things where you get lucky the first time. I used one of my new spokes to replace the broken one. I should have separated the inside and outside spokes more carefully before beginning to lace. I wanted to mount all the inside spokes first. I accidentally mount an outside spoke on the inside. By the time I discovered my mistake, it was not easy to find the odd spoke. The only difference is slightly less angle on the hooked part.
The brake has also been disassembled, and the pivot was seized so hard it took a hammer to get it out. The sprocket was also seized, so I took some sandpaper to the rusted surfaces and it slips on and off easily now too. The remaining problem is the brake drum surface, which is a bit rough from rust. About half the braking surface has been attacked by rust. I have tried sandpaper to smooth it. The brake shoes are 2 mm thick in the middle and 3.5 mm at the ends. The manual says the normal value is 4.5 mm, but no mention of the service limit.
March 4, 2003 Blue Lite 2258.6 mi.
Mounting the Yokohama Tire
With no tire on it, the wheel is almost balanced, but with the Yokohama tire on, it takes three 4" lengths of solder to balance it. The tire was not molded very evenly, apparently. It took a pretty big weight when the dealer mounted it on Red in 2001, and I can see where they put their chalk mark, so it's in the same place.
I used the old IRC inner tube because it's bigger than my new Kenda tube. Even though there is a pinch mark on the IRC tube, about 5" from the valve, it never leaked any air, so I'm going to assume IRC makes a pretty tough tube.
I dusted the tube and the inside of the tire with baby powder. It must be a good thing to do, many tubes come with talc on them. Then I pumped it up to 40 psi and I'll make sure it stays there before I put it on the bike.
March 6, 2003 Blue Lite 2258.6 mi.
Just got the driveway cleared from a snowfall even bigger than the one last week.
I made one more attempt to tighten up the center stand pivot. I cut a shim from a tin can and slid it in between the pinch clamp and the shaft. The clamp is just a little tighter, still not real tight, but I noticed two things. First, the shaft does not turn in the clamp when I put the bike on the center stand or press the rear brake. Secondly, the rear brake pedal does not touch the exhaust tube any more.
Now the heavy duty Yokohama tire is on the back of Blue Lite, and I also changed the brake to keep the same brake shoes and drum together as a set. I have both of Red's original wheels and tires inside the house now, and Blue Lite is running on both Junkers wheels, but with better tires.
March 7, 2003 Blue Lite 2258.6 mi.
Red's back brakes are in excellent shape. Almost no corrosion at all, and there are about 3.5 mm of lining left at the lowest part. I could feel the brake action was binding a little. There was still grease in the pivot groove, but none on the actual bearing surface.
March 10, 2003 Blue Lite 2258.6 mi.
Fun with Air Filters
Since it is -16c outside, and seems like another ice age has begun, I decided to check out the air filter. I have a spare one now from Junkers. I can see bars of daylight through the paper element if I take off the plastic box and put my eye to the outlet hole. But on my spare air filter, if I point the filter at sunlight and wait for my eyes to adjust, I can barely make out the bars of light. So I hooked up a vacuum cleaner to blow air into the outlet reversing the normal flow. The vacuum cleaner didn't slow down at all, so the dirty filter must be allowing plenty of air to flow. Then with the vacuum cleaner still blowing through it, I scraped the outside of the paper with a small screwdriver and each time I did, I saw a puff of dust fly out. That was the fun part. But even after I stopped getting dust, the paper still didn't allow any more light through than before.
Blue Lite's filter is even worse than the spare air filter. Blue Lite was running over-rich last summer, seen by pulling the head off the engine. The coughing at high speed last week that could also be caused by a clogged air filter, (note: or a partly seized engine) so the clean Junkers filter is going to be installed in Blue Lite tomorrow.
March 11, 2003 Blue Lite 2265 mi.?
Fourth Run 7 Miles
Temperature -7c, dry roads, at least in my neighborhood. Decided to go for a longer run. I tried to start the bike cold, no chance. Then I drained and refilled the carburetor, and heated it with the hair drier and it started on the second kick. I think I was out for about half an hour, I hope that was enough to warm the engine.
The odometer reading is an estimate today. The speedometer intermittently stops, including the odometer. I am starting to think there is something wrong with it other than just the cold.
I accidentally locked up the back tire while braking. Contributing factors might be the new back brake being easier to lock, the tire had 40 psi in it (way too much) and it was very cold outside, maybe an icy patch. Next, I got onto some wet roads unexpectedly, and had a momentary loss of traction going around a corner at an intersection in second gear, I think. Soon after that, I stopped and let some air out of the back tire. I didn't get a chance to test for the high speed misfire because I was thinking of the problem with the speedometer, so I didn't go on the big highway at all.
March 12, 2003 Blue Lite 20,060.3 mi.?
I replaced the speedometer with Junker's. Inside the house, I could test both speedometers with the reversible variable speed drill. At the drill's top speed, both speedometers indicated a steady 39 mph. But I thought Blue Lite's was a bit noisy at first. I know now that both work inside the house where it's warm, up to 39 mph. I also know the odometer advances. I decided to go with Junker's speedometer even though the dial and the indicator lights are faded, because of all the problems I've been having on Blue. And actually, 20,060 is probably closer to the real mileage too.
Then when I was putting it on the bike, I noticed that the speedometer cable was routed incorrectly, with a bend inside the headlight housing. The correct route is to go down from the speedometer in front of the lower triple tree, but somebody (probably me) routed it between the forks, over and behind the triple tree. That might have been causing some of my speedometer problems, at any rate it would shorten the life of the cable.
It's too wet outside (1c) for riding, so the testing will have to wait.
March 14, 2003 Blue Lite 20,060.3 mi.?
Fifth Run 25 Miles, Speedometer Gear is Stripped
Now the speedometer is not working at all because the screw gear inside the front wheel hub has stripped. I replaced the brake and gear with the unit from Junkers, and now it seems to work, at least in the garage, turning the wheel by hand. Two things are still worrying me. When I first put it together, the gear was not turning at all. I took the wheel off again and the second time it was working, but I don't know what I did different. Secondly, I can't tighten up the lower part of the speedometer cable as much as I want to. The cable is loose even when the ring nut is tightened all the way to the end. (But it is the same with my other speedometer cable, so maybe it's OK).
Even though the turn signal bulbs were not changed, the flashers blink much faster with the short turn signal stems I just put on the front.
March 14, 2003 Blue Lite 20,060.5
I got worried reading on the internet about how the speedometer gear can be stripped repeatedly within a couple of miles, even when replaced with a new one. So did some extra work to stop this from happening again. I cleaned off the gear and speedometer cable and applied lithium grease, which lists speedometer cables as one of the recommended applications. I found the rubber ring that apparently slips over the lower end of the cable and makes the cable more solid when screwed tight. I straightened the two tangs on the gear, so they would engage the wheel more positively. Finally assembled everything and spun the wheel until the odometer moved up to 20060.5 miles. (an additional .2 miles.) Click on the thumbnail to see the stripped (right) and the replacement gear (left). You can also see how the tangs are bent toward the gear. Later, I bent them out more with pliers.
While spinning the front wheel, I felt that there is a bit of drag in one spot on the brake. When I loosen it enough to eliminate the drag, the handlebar lever is then too loose to apply the brake.
I also tightened the engine mounts. The front ones needed tightening, I think the others were OK. I didn't check the lower rear mount, too hard to get at. Then all the cylinder head dome nuts needed less than a quarter turn each because they felt a bit loose. They will need tightening again later with a torque wrench.
I checked the oil and tire pressure, both OK, but there is still some white foam under the cap.
The drive chain had a modified side plate on the master link. Last year when I tried to install the clip, it wouldn't fit, so I used a grinder to shave material off the side plate. Today I replaced that side plate with the side plate from Junker's master link. It was a bit rusty, but otherwise fit tight with no grinding. I also oiled the chain and tightened it 3 flats on the adjuster bolts.
March 17, 2003 Blue Lite 20,061.3
Sixth Run 1 Mile, Total on rebuilt engine estimated at 56 Miles so Far
A short ride at 9 AM on wet roads. Temperature 5c, humidity 100%. There was condensation forming all over the bike as I took it out of the cold garage. Signs of a rapid rise in temperature outside.
I have a new brake hub and shoes installed because I wanted to fix the speedometer gear. Now the brake shoes are hard to adjust because they drag long before they make solid contact with the drum. Also, the front brake was weak and had a spongy feel at the lever. So I had to back off the brakes just to make the wheel spin freely (or almost).
The speedometer works finally, but it does waver a bit over 40 mph.
The engine was sounding more like a can of nails. I loosened the left intake valve, tightened the left exhaust valve. After the ride, I adjusted the cam chain. It does not make much difference.
The valve covers are difficult to remove because of the rounded nuts, so I changed the valve inspection covers with Blue Lite's engine, and I also put new rubber rings on them. The rings came with my gasket kits.
Seventh Run 25 Miles Total so Far 81 Miles
Another longer ride at 1 PM, I got on the freeway and after a couple of minutes at 60 mph, I had a repeat of the misfiring or coughing. I need to be more patient about the break in procedure. The rebuilt engine should get at least 500 miles before running more than a minute at 60 mph. The coughing problem may disappear when the engine is broken in, and I should not test it again until then. So far, I have probably less than 100 miles on the rebuilt engine. I am up to 20084.7 miles now, and it will be easier to track mileage with the odometer working.
On return home, I replaced the fuel petcock just in case, then I took out the muffler baffle and reduced the back pressure. I drilled about 5 more holes in the baffle nearest to the engine. I also opened up the internal tubes a little, but left the last outlet tube the same.
March 18, 2003 Blue Lite 20,084.7 mi
Front Brake Shoes
The front brake is still dragging, so I changed the front brake shoes. I put back in the newer shoes that were working well before the speedometer gear stripped. Now the spongy feel in the front brake is gone. I compared the profile of the new and old shoes, but I don't see much difference except slightly less shoe material on the old ones. I cannot figure out why the shoes alone would make such a difference to the feel of the brake lever. Now when I apply the brakes, the lever has a clearly defined point where it makes contact, and does not move much farther with increased hand pressure.
Filled up with gas at 20085 miles. I think I have an out of round tire. Checking the spoke tightness on the back tire, I found that all the spokes needed tightening about one turn.
March 19, 2003 Blue Lite 20,129 mi
Routine Maintenance During Engine Break In
A pre-ride inspection today. Went over the spokes and found the front wheel also had loose spokes. Then I did the back wheel spokes even tighter than yesterday.
I used a flashlight to look at the engine, saw evidence of oil seeping from the top right cover, and from the right cam bearing cap, and nowhere else. I tightened the cam bearing cap screws about 1/8 turn each.
Still a little gas leaking from the carburetor drain plug. The bike started on the first kick.
I can still feel clutch slipping, a couple of times in the 2-3 shift and once in the 3-4 shift. Some research on the internet: clutch slipping would be mainly noticed in top gear roll ons. Basket wear (notches in the ears) can cause clutch slipping, as well as worn friction plates. Some oils will slip the clutch in cold weather. As a precaution, I re-adjusted the clutch lever to make sure it had free play and the same for the clutch rod in the engine.
The white foam on the oil filler cap has disappeared, and the oil level is still almost at the top.
March 22, 2003 Blue Lite 20,129 mi
The compression reading I took today was 134 psi left and 128 psi right. I did it cold at +2c, with the throttle open, with the electric start, and using my old 'push on' compression tester. The right hand cylinder with the slightly lower compression is also the one that was most corroded, and the one with the worst valve seat area. The noise from the electric start is so alarming that I have not had the nerve to do the first compression test until now.
In the 1968 factory manual, the compression is to be between 114 psi and 172 psi, taken at normal engine operating temperature, kick starter and choke and throttle open. I think it might also make a difference what type of gauge is used. Last year on Blue Lite's original engine I registered 154 psi on both sides, cold.
The plugs were both a dark brown.
10th Run 20153 mi
The clutch slipping was only noticeable until I got to the first corner, so maybe it's a cold oil thing after all. I maintained a speed of about 50 to 55 for most of the run, but when I approached 60 once I felt a misfire, so I backed off to 50 again.
I can see some results of riding in dirty weather. The black paint on the 2 into one header is beginning to show rust, and the new black hex screws on the engine cover are getting rusty too. There is also a little bit of rust on the left foot peg pin. When the weather finally clears and I can count on dry roads, I will do a complete cleaning and touch up the problem areas.
March 23, 2003 Blue Lite 20,175 mi
After this ride I checked the compression warm, and it was 145 psi right and 155 psi left, normal factory specs.
The plugs are sooty, looks like it is running rich or a malfunctioning ignition. And the plug gap is about .022", recommended is .024" to .028".
On the road, I found the misfire is still there at 57 mph. I never was a great believer in break in schedules anyway, so I ignored the break in rules and ran it for 15 - 30 sec at 65 mph. When it misfired again, I slowed down. I think there is a slight misfire at idle speeds too.
The points gap measured with a wire gauge is about .018" (recommended is .012" to .016") The reading may be false because of the rough surface.
March 24, 2003 Blue Lite 20,175 mi
I purchased a new brake cable with part number 45450-243-0001on eBay, and it arrived today, and fits fine.
March 25, 2003 Blue Lite 20,202 mi
Solving the Misfire Problem
The next logical step in the misfire mystery is to change the points and condenser. Those parts are about the only two things that were not tested last year when Blue Lite ran fine. Now the misfiring is greatly reduced. Well at least it doesn't happen as soon as I try to run it over sixty mph, but I did get a little misfire twice in my 20 mile test loop, and that could just be dirty plugs. I don't know if it was the points or the condenser that was the problem. Today I rode for long stretches at 60 mph, maybe 4 minutes?. Also did some full throttle running in high gear up hills.
I changed the oil to a mix of Amsoil 10w-40 and 10w-30 oil. The old oil was dirty after only 185 miles. Filled up with gas at the same time, 20183 miles.
I am using the points and condenser from Blue Lite's engine. I took the points apart so I could grind down the surface using the Dremel cutting wheel. Then I finished it off with folded sandpaper pulled between the closed points, and then some Loctite cleaning fluid. Inside the points cover, behind the points plate there was a lot of lubricant that had flung off the advance mechanism.
I set the gap at .012", (the minimum) in order to get a better spark at high speed.
There is a problem with the timing, one lobe of the points cam opens the points a bit sooner than the other. When I set the timing for the left cylinder, the right is too advanced (one complete turn of the crank counter clockwise). If I set it for the right, the left is retarded. The CD175 is simplified in that only one set of points is used to fire both cylinders. I made it an average. Actually that points cam can be changed easily, it is part of the advance mechanism. I made sure to not turn the engine backwards while timing it for fear of upsetting the cam chain tensioner.
The body of the condenser I just installed has almost no corrosion, but the woven high temperature insulation is a bit frayed at the end. Junkers' old condenser that I just removed had a dent in it which may indicate damage.
I washed the bike for the first time this year, the salt is all gone off the roads and when it's not raining the roads are dry. I got the hose inside the fenders, and I can see where the water gushes out under the rubber block between the taillight bracket and the fender.
The forks seem to be leaking a bit at the seals, mostly the left. I felt an oily patch down the back of both fork legs.
March 26, 2003 Blue Lite 20,224 mi
Almost Unleashing the Power of the CD175
Spark plug gap wider, set the needle to the middle position (that is the stock position, and one notch leaner than the PO set it.), spray the spark plug wires with Honda Ignition Spray, set the idle air screw to 1.5 turns out. And before I forget, a drop of oil on the points cam felt block.
This run was even better than last time. I noticed right away while cold, the engine would race during gear changes. That is an indication of a lean mixture, but it went away after a minute or two. I had a side wind, so that should not affect my speed much. I found it easy to follow traffic at 65 mph. I was doing so well that I got onto the freeway coming back, and cruised at 70 mph sitting up straight. I had a very slight misfire going up a hill (at 70 mph) but again it could be the plugs need time to burn off the soot. Everything is at the factory specified setting. (except the muffler, but I think that it's not a problem).
I realized I finally had full power as I was following a Mercury Topaz out of town. While Mercury Topaz's do not dominate the automotive world (I know, my mother used to have one), they are more than a match for a CD175 on the open highway. He opened up a lead at the start of the 80 kph speed limit. Blue Lite struggled at first and then at about 60 mph I felt a surge of power and started closing the gap. In no time I was right on him where I could choke in exhaust fumes from his clapped out engine. Once the CD175 can get past 60 mph, there is a powerband that will help it cruise at 65 to 70 mph. Assuming everything is just right with the engine, no brakes dragging or headwind etc. With most bikes today, you simply cannot have fun following a Topaz. With a CD175, it becomes the high point of an entire year's worth of research, development, rebuilding and tuning.
March 27, 2003 Blue Lite 20,270 mi
Temperature 11c. Now that Blue can keep up with traffic, I went for a ride with Barry and his Honda VFR750, all on back roads. It's still misfiring a little, but I think the plug has not cleaned itself yet, maybe I need a new set. Fifty miles, and Barry says he sees no smoke out the tailpipe, but there is a slight wobble on the back wheel. I think it might be the dented rim.
I checked the spokes again. The front wheel seems to be about 2 mm out of round, but it's hard to tell. Tightened some spokes front and back. Checked the oil, and lubed the chain.
March 28, 2003 Blue Lite 20,270 mi
Finally put the side covers on the bike so it looks complete. But first I put the clamps on the air filter box tube, and some talcum powder on the rubber grommets that hold the side covers. That stuff is so slippery that I am worried the side cover will fall off while I'm riding.
Also adjusted the chain one flat, and wiped it off with a rag. Found an original washer for the rear axle nut, Blue Lite's was missing and had been replaced by thin metal.
Resistor Spark Plugs
I got some new spark plugs in one more attempt to eliminate the last of the high speed misfire. Last year I was sold two pairs pairs of NGK DR8HS, (R is for resistor), and that's what is in Red and Blue Lite. The manual says to use D8HS, but the best I could do was D8HA. The difference seems to be the center electrode on A looks like its nickel plated. The new spark plugs didn't make any difference, and I keep getting some misfiring after running full throttle for more than a minute or two.
The resistor is necessary for suppressing radio frequency static. When you have a resistor and the spark plugs are dirty, they do not spark as easily, and when they do spark, the spark is slower and not as strong.
Honda puts resistors in the spark plug cap, so you don't need resistor plugs. All they do is double the resistance without helping the radio static problem. I took the caps off Blue Lite and tested them, each was 10 K ohm resistance. They are Honda (or ND) and the resistor is sealed in the cap, I don't know any way to get it out. I checked one of Red's caps, and it's also 10 K ohm, but a gray color not black, seems like an aftermarket addition. I also checked Junker's caps, and one was defective - very high resistance.
I also bought some NGK plug caps, rated at 1 K ohm. on the package label. I measured them and they are more like 0.6 K ohm, much less resistance than the Honda caps at 10 K ohm. I can't put them on just yet, because I need the terminal adapter at the top of the spark plug. The NGK caps do not have a removable socket inside like the Honda caps.
More Spark Plug Tips
While searching the internet for spark plug info, I came across some tips I had never seen. Apparently a really dirty plug hole could reduce the contact on the grounded side of the plug too. I guess that would have to be much dirtier than my plugs. Also (and this seems to be based on actual experience), never tighten a steel plug in a hot engine like the CD175, because the aluminum threads will grow smaller when it is cold, 'trapping' the plug, and it will be hard or impossible to remove without stripping the threads. And again, you should not put oil on plug threads because it carbonizes and makes the plugs even harder to install and remove. Anti seize is OK, but don't tighten the plug as much when using anti seize.
March 31, 2003 Blue Lite 20,319 mi
Today I cleaned out the main jet, checked the fuel flow to the carburetor bowl, and changed the entire exhaust system, and the misfire still happens in the same location. I took out the plugs at home (not a 'plug chop'). The new plugs now look gray on the side electrode, and the ceramic part looks white on one side and dark brown or even shiny black on the other. Red's plugs were a tan brown color all over.
I found a way to look right inside the main jet, which is a pretty interesting sight. I held up the main jet in front of a binocular's eyepiece and looked through binoculars backwards to see inside the jet. Actually, there was a very small piece of dirt lodged inside there, and I got it out but apparently it had no effect.
April 2, 2003 Blue Lite 20,333 mi
Cured the High Speed Problem Again?
I found a comment on the internet newsgroups that inspired me to replace the fuel system, even though I just went over it last week and it looked OK.
I switched the fuel delivery system (Gas tank and carburetor) with Red, and headed out on my test loop. Even coming back into a headwind and uphill, and running for several miles flat out, the bike ran without a glitch, although a little slower than before. (Hindsight is 20/20! In June 2004, I will discover that it is the CARBURETOR that has the problem.)
I found one difference between Red and Blue's carburetor that may explain why Blue always seemed to run faster than Red. There is a throttle adjuster screw on the top of the carburetor, Blue's is set near the top, Red's is at the bottom. I didn't notice it until now, but it could result in Red's throttle slide never getting to full open. I will need to check this out later, right now we are in the middle of another snow/ice storm.
April 4, 2003 Blue 20,333 mi
I don't like the look of the red gas tank on Blue, so I spent yesterday trying to clean out Blue's tank using water and laundry soap. I shook it many hundreds of times with a chrome dog chain inside, and drained it tens of times until it looked cleaner, and I was not getting as much dirt in the flush. But it never really looked clean inside, and furthermore it appeared to be rusting faster than I could clean it! Maybe it's just paranoia, because I have no way to measure rust scientifically. When I finished, I tried to dry it with a hair drier, not so easy to do - should have used Acetone I guess, but I don't have any. When it looked dry, 4 hours later, I sprayed it inside with WD40. Lots of WD40, until there were WD40 fumes coming out of the filler cap. Then I put the cap on.
I took an apprehensive look at Junkers' tank that I cleaned a couple of months ago, and left to sit in the basement where I figured it was dry. It also looks more rusty than before so it got the same WD40 treatment.
I want to put an inline fuel filter on Blue's tank. The size of the fuel line is supposed to be 4.5 mm. but I am using 3/16", and it seems to fit.
April 10, 2003 Blue 20,360 mi
Today I made another experimental high speed run and this time I made sure the throttle could open fully, by adjusting the cable slack at the top of the carburetor. I ran for about 5 miles at 70 mph, and more at 60 mph. I had no problems, so not only was it a successful experiment, but now I know that the misfire has something to do with the carburetor or gas tank and fuel line. I will try to get the bike back the way I like it changing parts one at a time until I find out what caused the problem
Some of the car drivers that passed me were amazed by the bike's speed. To them, I must look like I am riding a 70 mph roller skate.
April 11, 2003 Blue 20,380 mi
I reinstalled the newly cleaned blue gas tank and tap, and a new fuel line with an inline filter. Now I can feel the same misfire again. (And because of this unexplained misfire, I make a big mistake of thinking BOTH the carburetors are OK!. Note from the future, June 2004. So, now back to April 2003 and my faulty reasoning based on faulty observation:)
I think I have a fuel flow problem from the gas tank. So I did some math to calculate what flow rate I need into the carburetor at top speed. Assuming I am getting 6 miles per liter at 75 mph, I should need about 200 cc per minute delivery. I went out to measure the fuel flow on Red's tank (which is 75% full), it comes to 250 cc per minute. Blue's tank, even with the fuel filter on it is a little faster. But that could be because I filled Blue's just before I brought it home (with Petro Canada mid-grade non ethanol).
April 15, 2003 Blue 20,401 mi.
There was no stumbling at high speed. In fact, with a strong tail wind on a level road, I held it wide open at 80 mph for about 2 miles. The problem was either in the type, purity or amount of gas in the tank. (Too bad I could not figure out it was actually the carburetor. Could have saved myself a lot of trouble coming in June 2004)
April 16, 2003 Blue 20,461 mi.
I installed the new NGK plug caps that have a low resistance of only 600 ohms. The right spark plug was black and sooty from driving around town yesterday. I dropped the carb needle to the middle position (one notch leaner than before). Then I took a 50 mile drive and I could detect no misfire or hesitation at any speed or throttle setting. It also started on the first kick, and idled on its own while I went over to close the garage door. I think those might both be firsts. Apparently both of today's changes were good.
Blue Is Running Like A Bull At Pamplona
Blue is running strong now. There are of course many little things left to work on. But the brakes are very good, no smoke from the engine or oil drops from the crank case breather tube. The gearbox and controls all work well, the battery and charger are very good. Almost no oil consumption. I don't have any bolts or nuts coming loose, and I'm not losing any parts. The ride is smooth and it runs straight. I don't hear any dangerous engine sounds.
April 19, 2003 Blue 20,517 mi.
Filled up again with Esso regular. The left plastic side cover almost came off, I need to do something about that. Also, the top of the engine has some oil on it, I can't tell where its coming from, but I suspect the valve inspection caps. I just realized I forgot to use a wrench to tighten them last time I checked the valves. I cleaned off the engine so I could tell if it stops the leaking.
April 19, 2003 Blue 20,560 mi.
The valve caps are holding in the oil now, but I still see oil seeping from the front middle of the top engine cover gasket. I tightened the engine dome nuts just a little, and I'll see if that stops the oil getting through in that spot.
After the ride today, I saw a couple of drops of oil under the bike. It's the first time I have noticed, and it looked like it came from the breather tube. The bike was on the side stand at the time.
April 25, 2003 Blue 20,577 mi.
The front wheel felt out of balance at about 30 mph, so I replaced it with Red's front wheel and original ribbed front tire. I was very careful to check the trueness of the rim by adjusting spokes. It's tricky because the rim has some bumps and wavers in it that get in the way of precise measurement. Then I mounted the front tire and balanced it with the axle through the wheel. I did this all as carefully as I could, considering the problem I had with the other tire. Now the front seems in balance, and the ribbed tire feels a bit more 'planted' than the zig zagged tread pattern. I noticed a bit of glazing on the drum and there is a ticking sound when I spin the front tire by hand.
I had a run against the wind on my 'Salt Flats' road, and managed to average about 65 mph depending on the gusts of wind. There was no hint of misfire. There is also no sign of oil leaking from the engine except maybe a little at the bottom around the engine case bolt that caused so much trouble on the first startup. I can monitor that for next time. I topped up the oil because it was 1/3 up from the lower mark.
April 27, 2003 Blue 20,747 mi.
My last tank averaged 74 miles per gallon (UK), in a mix of highway and city driving. Except for the speedometer that is still wavering, the only other sign of trouble is the occasional stall at a traffic light.
The fork seals are doing better now. It could be they were just dried out and are gradually swelling in contact with the oil I put in the forks this winter. I decided to change the fork oil. There was not much oil missing from the forks, maybe 15 cc. each. Now I have Dexron II automatic transmission fluid in both forks.
The left plug looks good, not the tan color of Red's plugs, but a color that I would consider normal.
May 6, 2003 Blue 20,853 mi.
Chain seems OK, tires are about 1 psi under the recommended. A trace of oil on the right fork leg, and also a trace on the top gasket area in front. I picked up a couple of fork seals from the Honda dealer, but don't know if they will fit yet because they are not the part in the book. They were part number 91255-464-003.
May 10, 2003 Blue 20,930 mi.
I removed the tank so I could torque the head bolts. I have to be careful because some of them stick and it takes extra torque to break them free and start them turning. I should actually loosen them before tightening, maybe next time. Anyway I found that I could tighten all the bolts, and the front ones, where it is leaking needed the most torque. I think it is also a good idea to remove the top engine hanger brackets, because they stress the top cover, and maybe that gives a false reading. I also enlarged the hole in the bracket a little to relieve the stress on the engine, and make it easier to slide the frame bolt through the bracket.
Even after removing the hangers, I was not able to tighten the hidden bolt between them. Not enough space to get my screwdriver in, even the stubby one.
May 15, 2003 Blue 20,957 mi.
Changed oil to new 10w-40 with synthetic friction reducer. I decided to not touch the valves because I want to wait for the engine to be cold. Put some oil on the chain.
May 19, 2003 Blue 21,256 mi.
Last weekend I went on the annual Single Malt run with Blue Lite, and managed to more or less keep up even though my bike was by far the oldest and smallest. This was Blue Lite's first overnight trip. I was hoping to avoid holding up the rest of the guys with any Ural style roadside wrench twirling. Unfortunately I had to stop the group to tighten the exhaust flange nuts. I have since replaced the plain washers with lock washers.
On the post run inspection, tire pressures OK, 25 front, 28 rear. Chain tension OK, I oiled the inside link plates. Engine oil 1/2 between marks. Battery level almost at the full mark, all cells.
Pulled out the speedometer inner cable and oiled it, now the needle is a little bit steadier.
Engine oil leaks have stopped entirely since I torqued the head last week. There was a little oil mist at the front of the right fork.
The rear brake had the adjuster screwed all the way in. I pulled it apart for a look, and the linings were down to about 3 mm in the middle. I put in Red's rear brake shoes and hub, which was a big improvement. Apparently, Ferodo part # FSB760 brake shoes are supposed to fit the front of the CD175, and they also fit a bunch of four wheel ATV's, so they should be available somewhere. But I don't know what fits the back brake of the CD175, and I know it is a smaller shoe.
As I took the brake apart, I saw there was no cotter pin through the clevis pin holding the brake pedal to the brake rod, and the clevis pin was also severely worn. I have no idea why it didn't pop out long ago leaving the brake useless and the rod hanging down. It is supposed to use a "Hair Clip" cotter pin. I had some regular American split cotter pins and one size was too big and the other too small. So I used some needle nose pliers to make a hair clip cotter pin out of a big paper clip. Just one more item to monitor as I add on some more miles.
I was at a bookstore recently looking for a good vintage motorcycle repair manual. I didn't find one but I did find "How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step by Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot" by John Muir, 1969. Apparently this man (deceased in 1977) is revered by VW owners. The manual is so good it makes me want to to buy an air cooled VW. Here is a quote from his book.
I will confess that I checked the CD175 clearances last time without a feeler gauge. I just sort of grabbed the rocker arm when the valve was sort of closed and wiggled it up and down. If I couldn't move it it was too tight. If it moved too much and made a loud clicking sound, it was too loose. If it hardly moved at all and made a quiet clicking sound it was OK. I had used this method for years to do a double check of the valve clearance after I finished setting it with a feeler gauge, but last time I didn't bother with the feeler gauge at all, and that was very bad of me. In fact I didn't even take off the rotor cover to find Top Dead Center.
This time, I did it right, and I found that all the valves were too tight. So I turned each adjuster out about 1/8 of a turn or less, and now I can get the .002" feeler gauge in all of the valves. I should check again by the 2000 mile mark. An extension to Murphy's Law says if the valves are set too loose they will get even looser, but if you set them too tight they will get tighter.
The oil was a just below the top mark, and none poured out when I took off the rotor cover. So I don't need to drain the oil to do a timing or a valve adjustment.
May 30, 2003 Blue 21,452 mi.
This time I made it to Grand Bend and back without any mechanical problems. I broke the curse of the broken cam chain. According to Barry's GPS, we were doing a true 60 mph, but my wavering needle pointed to 65 or 70 much of the time. His GPS also indicated that we started from Kitchener at an altitude of 1013 ft. and the Tim Horton's Coffee Shop at Grand Bend was 650 ft. It is a very straight and boring road out there, some posted at 90 kph.
June 9, 2003 Blue 21,452 mi.
The Speedometer Overhaul
The speedometer needle will bounce around even while I am parked just with vibrations from revving the engine. I pulled out the speedometer and reinstalled the one that came with Blue Lite, which read 2264 miles when I put it in. The new speedometer does not jump, but is inaccurate above 65 mph, the needle slowly swings up and down between 60 and 85 mph even when I keep my speed steady. Also, the tenths of a mile digit jitters as I am driving.
I was determined to find out what was inside the old speedometer (which I got off Junkers), so I worked at the chrome ring until I finally popped it off. Then three screws at the bottom allowed me to pull the mechanism out for inspection. Unfortunately there was a little metal tang that broke off the face when I pulled it apart. The tang is not visible when the speedometer is together, but maybe it's one of the ways that speedometer fixers are foiled.
First surprise was that the 'fading' on the speedometer face was actually a fine gray dust! I wiped it off and the face now looks fairly new. The indicator lights are still very cloudy looking, so maybe I can polish them later.
The mechanism itself is not too complicated. The cable spins a "drag cup", which turns the needle shaft. I assume the drag cup is the standard magnetic type. The cable also turns a worm gear, which turns another worm gear, etc. that turns the numbers on the odometer. The first worm gear looks a bit worn, and not much grease is on it. The other worm gears look almost dry.
I spun the drag cup, and I got the needle over 90 mph, and steady at all speeds. Looks like the speedometer is OK. But since it's apart I will just store it in a bag in case I need it.
June 11, 2003 Blue 2306 mi.
I managed to tame the speedometer needle problem. Now it still wavers within about 4 mph, but you would not notice unless you were really looking. Also, I think the ticking noise when I spin the front wheel by hand has mostly gone away, it's really faint now.
This is what I did to smooth out the speedometer. Cleaned the inner cable in solvent. Wrapped duct tape around the damaged part of the outer cable. Bent the outer cable backwards and installed it rotated 180 deg. from last time. Routed the cable outside the fender cable guide. Tightened the lower knurled nut with pliers - it's tight now and does not move up and down at all. (That rubber collar is really essential to getting it tight, but you could make a collar out of 3/16" gas line too, I think) Lubed the entire inner cable with the correct amount of lithium grease.
BUT whenever I get too focused on one thing, what happens? The headlight falls out on the test run. I forgot to put the screws in to hold it, and air pressure alone will not hold it in, apparently. No harm done, it just hangs there by the wires until you stop and put it back in.
July 18, 2003 Blue 2552 mi.
Everything is still running fine, including the speedometer. I have been too busy to ride Blue very far lately. But I have been noticing noise from the forks when going over bumps. I couldn't feel any slack in the steering bearings but I decided to tighten them anyway. I tightened maybe almost 1/4 turn, and the forks still turn freely. I went for a ride and there was less noise, but still a little. I think you are supposed to tighten till the bearing drags then slack it off a little. I'll do that next time. It's the second time I have tightened Blue's steering bearings.
I wanted to fix up the headlight for night time riding. Junker's sealed beam has both high and low working. But the chrome ring on Junkers did not want to sit properly in Blue's headlight shell. I couldn't figure it out so I put the sealed beam from Junkers in Blue's chrome ring.
Red's K3 headlight, with the separate reflector/bulb, does not plug in directly to Blue's K4 harness. Red's headlight ground wire is terminated in a female connection, while Blue's is a male connector.
I also tried using some dielectric grease on the bullet connectors for the headlight.
July 23, 2003 Blue 2570 mi.
Tonight was warm and dry, and it was ideal for a midnight run to test the lights. The headlight is adjusted a little high, but I like it that way because the low beam shines far enough to run at 50 mph. But the tail light is dim. When I put the key in the "Park" position, the tail light gets brighter.
July 31, 2003 Blue 2693 mi.
I checked over the switches and wiring but could not find anything wrong. Curiosity made me check out the resistance of the tail/brake bulb. The theory is that the wattage of a bulb is inversely proportional to the resistance. I have several spare bulbs lying around, not counting Red's tail light bulb. I was surprised to find the resistance varied significantly between bulbs on both the tail light and the brake light. The most resistance was measured on the bulb I took off Blue Lite. On my $20 Mastercraft Digital Multimeter, touching the leads together gives me a 0.9 ohm reading (It has no zero adjustment). The readings on the dim tail light were 3.0 ohms (tail) and 1.4 ohms (brake). That bulb was marked "T1157 JO". Red's bulb marked "6v/18/5w" was only 2.1 and 1.1 ohms, by comparison, which means it should be brighter. I replaced Blue's tail light bulb with the one from Red, and put an old genuine Stanley bulb back in red's taillight socket (which incidentally is beginning to rust - Blue's is still shiny.)
I do not understand why, but when the key is in "Park", pressing the rear brake pedal makes the taillight filament glow brighter. In the garage with the ignition switch turned on, I can see the new bulb is normal brightness.
I topped up the battery water. The middle cell was almost down to the low line. The other two were a bit below full.
I tightened the steering head bearings another 1/8 turn. Now I feel a slight 'notch' in the middle when turning the handlebars. I will wait to see what effect this has on handling and on the sound from the front forks.
August 7, 2003 Blue 2804 mi.
I blew the main fuse during a 40 mile ride with Barry. I was going about flat out with the high beams on, and my new brighter tail light. When I hit the brake for a stop sign, the lights went out. I was too far from home to push, and I had no spare fuses, so I shorted out the fuse and continued on home with my lights turned off. Then I checked the wiring diagram. It's supposed to be a 15 amp fuse, but I had a 10 amp fuse in there. I bought a set of 15 amp fuses at the local store and now I will also pack along a couple of spares.
The tail light filament is burned out. It could be that the bulb was not designed for motorcycle vibrations. I might look in a motorcycle shop for the next one.
I raised the idle speed because the engine stalled twice. And I lubricated the speedometer cable. The needle was jumping around again, and only 500 miles since the last cable lubrication.
The front forks still make a noise, but it is only when they top out. (Hit maximum extension)
August 9, 2003 Blue 2844 mi.
Changed oil. Mineral 10W-40. That's 740 miles since the last change, kind of tricky to calculate miles because of changing speedometers since then. And this is the first time I have noticed that the gear shifting is slicker after an oil change.
Time to check valve clearances, since they seemed to be getting tighter last time (600 miles ago), but now seems looser or the same. I actually loosened the left exhaust a little, but not sure if I needed to. The rest were at least .002" already. I inspected the spark plugs with 1400 miles since new. The left seems a little darker, and has a grey area on the outside part of the insulator (between the spark plug cap and the nut.) I wire brushed the threads, applied my anti seize compound and put them back in. They screwed in very easily with that anti seize. Then some dielectric grease on the tops and popped the cap back on. Next I forget to open the choke while riding in town for 15 minutes, not doing the plugs any good, I'm sure..
I wonder if the dark plug on the left means the piston rings, or valve guides are worn? I actually have about 2000 miles on Junkers (the salvaged motor) now, and I am hoping it will last a lot longer.
I checked the spokes (tightened a few at the back), air pressure 26 f 29 r.. that's OK. I also checked the center stand to make sure it is not seized on the shaft, then I oiled it a little.
The speedometer is steady now, and I got a top speed reading of 67 mph in still air on level ground. Coincidentally, I also have averaged 67 mpg (Imperial) since I've had this bike. One of the screws on the trunk lock came out, and I Loctited both of them back in. The tail light is still working, but I bought two more just in case. I saw an oil mist around the top gasket on the left side. I tweaked the head bolts on that side about 1/16 turn, but they were pretty tight already so I didn't do any more.
August 14, 2003 Blue 2935 mi.
A 100 mile trip to Port Dover today, and this time nothing at all went wrong with Blue Lite. Last time, I blew the main fuse and the power went off. This time, something else blew and all the power to north eastern North America went off. But I don't think Blue caused it. I was ok except for running low on gas. I went on to reserve about 40 miles from home, when I discovered the blackout was on. No gas to be had anywhere, traffic lights in the city were off and huge traffic tie ups. I stopped about 20 miles from home and was ready to wait it out at the gas pumps. I had almost no gas left, but then I decided to try to stretch the last bit of fuel at 30 mph and if I ran out of gas, I would push the rest of the way home. At one jammed up intersection, I switched off the motor and pushed Blue about 200 meters until I was past the traffic tie up, saving gas and actually not wasting any time either. I must have been getting over 100 mpg, because I made it home with some gas to spare.
Riding a bike in a power blackout is like being in a third world country. The Honda 175 is better suited to it than a Gold Wing, because when there is no gas available, or the roads are blocked, you can push. And with a small engine, slowing down to 30 mph can make any gas last a long time. I suppose a Honda 65 would be even better, but let's be realistic, these situations do not happen every day.
The vibration on the Honda has not changed, but because I was tuning my BMW's handlebars to not vibrate at my normal riding speed, I am more aware that the CD175 handlebars really buzz at 45 mph. At 50 mph it's much better and even the mirrors are almost clear.
All the lights are still working. I had the high beam on (and tail light) most of the way.
August 16, 2003 Blue 3048 mi.
The power grid is restored, so I went for a fill up with gas and a midnight ride. I put in 9.88 litres, the most I have recorded in either Red or Blue, and I went a total of 153 miles on that tank, also a record.
There is a slight misfire at lower rpm's sometimes. Also I think I hear a hole in the muffler.
August 20, 2003 Blue 3300 mi.
I did a run down to Port Dover today with hot sunny weather. I started with 3118 miles and first added oil to bring the level from the bottom mark to the top. This also helped make the shifting just as good as after the oil change about 300 miles ago. This was the first top-up since the oil change.
At Port Dover, I started hearing some new noises from the engine, but that could be because I removed my earplugs for a short ride. Also, there is a bucking or staggering from the engine when I try to accelerate from low rpm's. So with the noise and the bucking, I wanted to check the spark timing and the cam chain tension. I found out the timing was advanced, one cylinder is about 5 deg more advanced than the other.
According to the Clymer manual, if the two cylinders do not fire equally, you need to replace the points cam. It is easily replaced, you just need to take of the points plate and undo the central bolt on the end of the cam shaft. The points cam can then be pulled off along with the advance mechanism. I switched the points cam and timing mechanism with the one from Blue Lite, and kept the same points plate (which originally was from Blue Lite). The Junkers advance had the number 307 stamped on it, and Blue Lite's had 302, but I don't know what the meaning is. However the Blue Lite points cam still does not have the timing exactly equal. The right cylinder fires a little early - the mark lines up with the edge of the pointer, not the line in the middle of the pointer. The left cylinder is spot on. That looks like about a 2 degree error.
I needed to adjust the points gap to .015", it was way off with the new cam. Also, I can only tell which cylinder is firing by removing the valve cover to see if the valve is tight. The left valve was tight when the advanced lobe fired, meaning the right cylinder was ready to power stroke with the valves closed. Finally, I put some synthetic grease on the cam lobes and put the covers back on.
All this has definitely cured the stumbling problem, and now I actually find the engine is a bit smoother than before, and maybe quieter too.
The speedometer is starting to waver again. I wiped the cable off, and I put on graphite powder , but it did not stick to the cable. So I oiled the cable with engine oil and that helped the graphite stick. But the speedometer still has problems. It seems to not be able to get over 60 mph, and actually falls back as the engine builds speed. But then if I coast with the clutch in and engine idling, the needle immediately rises.
I saw about 4 cm wide oil mist on the front of the right fork leg. About 0.5 cm on the left leg. On the ride today there were a lot of bumps taken at good speed.
August 22, 2003 Blue 3402 mi.
Just driving around town in warm sunny weather. I was wrong, the vibration has not really changed much, but the speedometer is much steadier now - up to 60 mph anyway. Maybe the graphite takes a while to work in.
August 23, 2003 Blue 3490
Before my ride today, I topped up the oil (at 3402 miles) which was 2/3 of the way to the low mark. I added a few pounds of air to each tire. I plinked the spokes, and the back ones all sounded dull, but I wasn't sure if it was my imagination. The ends were tight, so I let them be.
I stopped Blue at a sailboat marina, and an aside here, about all the sailboats in the marina that were docked on what might have been the nicest day in the year, and a Saturday too. Why do those people not sell the boat if they don't want to use them. I saw almost no activity out on the water. An old Irish man came up to me exclaiming "Tis a shame, a shame to see all that money wasted." He was talking about the boats.
I got out my 1970's metalflake helmet with the flat shield and peak. That was to complete the 1970's motorcycling experience. It lets in a bit more noise, and it made me worry about the engine more than usual. I filled up with mid grade unleaded gas at 3476 miles, but it didn't make any difference to the sound or the performance.
I also put a little oil and graphite powder on the clutch lever cable end barrel. That makes it smoother to pull in the lever.
Back home again, the oil appears to be the same level as before after a 90 mile ride. Then I oiled the chain (both sides and the middle) to make sure that the chain was not more noisy than it should be. I have put on about 900 miles in the last 30 days.
August 26, 2003 Blue 3573
Cam Chain tension adjustment. I didn't bother to ride the bike first to heat it up, I just idled it while looking for my wrenches. When I first loosened the adjuster bolt, the engine stumbled and sounded like a bag of nails. I was afraid I would not be able to get it back to running smooth, but I loosened and tightened until it sounded OK, then tightened it and the locknut too. Then I took it for a ride, and there was really no difference that I could detect. I still have a slight rattly sound at about 45 mph in top gear, but it may be normal. (Correction note: The owners manual says adjust the tension when the engine is stopped at TDC.)
October 9, 2003 Blue 3812
Up to now I have put about 2750 miles on Blue in the year 2003 (with the rebuilt junkers motor), and I will probably finish with 3000 miles. I only put on about 250 miles in September. The weather was colder and I rode the BMW more. Today we are into a week of warm sunny weather, so I will start one last long trip before the winter sets in. I am going to visit my mother, about 150 km away on the expressway, but I will take back roads. I checked the air in the tires (front needed about 6 lb to bring it up to 26.) Oiled the chain again, and actually the last ride I took got into some rain so I gave it the full oil job on both side plates of each link. Sometimes I only oil the inside or outside plates. I checked that the lights all worked.
I topped up the oil which was down to about 1/3 of the markers on the dip stick. I have let it go to about 1000 miles since the last oil change and I should be doing that job again when I get home.
October 10, 2003 Blue 4072 miles
I just came back from a two day trip, 2 hours yesterday, 4 hours today. Mostly touring at 55 mph.
Oil change today. I found some aluminum chips in the drain cap. It could be just old stuff from the loose cam chain. I also found out that my replacement ignition key does not work on the fork lock.
December 31, 2003 Blue 4227 miles
I took Blue out for a run today, +3c and dry clean roads. Started on about the fourth kick. Battery was still charged from the last time I went out. It ran perfectly, and I drained the carb before putting it away.
Blue Lite now has 4488 miles as of May, 2006 To continue the
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