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Once the engine is on the milk crate it can be slid out from under the frame. It works good for putting the engine back in as well.
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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I just use a rolling floor jack with a short piece of 1x6 under the engine.
 

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I've installed them both engine in and out.

Engine out is easiest as you can see what you are doing better ... except you have to pull the engine.

Engine in it is fiddly but doable. The coolant bottle can be unbolted but not removed but you can push it out of the way - sort of.

A cranked ring spanner is my tool of choice for removing and refitting the 5 small cover bolts. Most tools struggle to reach a couple of them.
 

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1978 honda cx500
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Discussion Starter · #187 ·
I've installed them both engine in and out.

Engine out is easiest as you can see what you are doing better ... except you have to pull the engine.

Engine in it is fiddly but doable. The coolant bottle can be unbolted but not removed but you can push it out of the way - sort of.

A cranked ring spanner is my tool of choice for removing and refitting the 5 small cover bolts. Most tools struggle to reach a couple of them.

I will probably do engine out since its my first time, is there anything i absolutely should replace while i have the engine out?
 

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1978 honda cx500
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Discussion Starter · #188 ·
Also since theres some corrosion in my ignition boots should those also be replaced? Am i able to buy just the boot or a new resistor for them?
 

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You should be able to just do the job at hand and put the motor back.

Unless you'll be opening the motor you won't have access to much else. Though it is a good opportunity to do some cleanup.

You will need a new gasket for the advancer cover. You can easily make one with a small piece of gasket paper.

Plug caps are available new both with and without resisters.

Ebay may find you something or David Silvers should have some.
 

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I wind it all the way out - about 10 mm.

Most healthy ignitions will jump this gap. Suspicion arises if they don't.

Stock CDI will throw a spark this far if the low speed coil is healthy, as will an ignitech or raesan.

The test is also audible. You should hear the spark. A really good spark makes a snapping noise. A weaker spark may still jump the gap but be silent. If you have to start narrowing the gap to get the spark to jump it's reason for suspicion. Anything less than 4 - 5 mm may not start the bike even though a spark is present. "It's got spark" doesn't always cut it. The spark colour can also be easily viewed. Blue or white is good, red less so, orange less so again and the yellow spark likely won't jump more than a few mm anyway.

Simple it is but it's a great diagnostic tool that I use often.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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I use a flat furniture dolly for removing the engine (details & pics here)

BTW: Welcome to the forum. Please add your location and your bike's model and model year to your profile so that you don't have to remember to tell us every time and we don't have to keep asking when you forget (see Forum Settings link in my signature).

And welcome to the world of antique vehicle ownership (they own us, not the other way around). Present problems aside, your bike is about 4 decades old and the Previous Owners may or may not have done the maintenance necessary to keep it safe & reliable so it is highly recommended to download the Factory Shop Manual for your model (available through the CX Wiki - link in my signature) and go through all of the service procedures, regardless of whether your bike has reached the specified mileage.
I also recommend looking on all rubber parts with suspicion because rubber does not age gracefully. Check the date codes on your tires and replace them if they are over 5 years old no matter how good they look & feel (old rubber simply cannot flow around the irregularities in the asphalt well enough to grip, especially if it is cool or wet). If your bike still has the original rubber brake line(s) (should be replaced every 2 or 3 fluid changes = 5 or 6 years) I recommend shopping for modern stainless braided ones (they last practically forever and double the life of the fluid). And don't forget things like the rad hoses and the boot between the engine and swingarm (they can crack on the bottom where you don't see it).
 

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1978 honda cx500
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Discussion Starter · #193 ·
I use a flat furniture dolly for removing the engine (details & pics here)

BTW: Welcome to the forum. Please add your location and your bike's model and model year to your profile so that you don't have to remember to tell us every time and we don't have to keep asking when you forget (see Forum Settings link in my signature).

And welcome to the world of antique vehicle ownership (they own us, not the other way around). Present problems aside, your bike is about 4 decades old and the Previous Owners may or may not have done the maintenance necessary to keep it safe & reliable so it is highly recommended to download the Factory Shop Manual for your model (available through the CX Wiki - link in my signature) and go through all of the service procedures, regardless of whether your bike has reached the specified mileage.
I also recommend looking on all rubber parts with suspicion because rubber does not age gracefully. Check the date codes on your tires and replace them if they are over 5 years old no matter how good they look & feel (old rubber simply cannot flow around the irregularities in the asphalt well enough to grip, especially if it is cool or wet). If your bike still has the original rubber brake line(s) (should be replaced every 2 or 3 fluid changes = 5 or 6 years) I recommend shopping for modern stainless braided ones (they last practically forever and double the life of the fluid). And don't forget things like the rad hoses and the boot between the engine and swingarm (they can crack on the bottom where you don't see it).
Thank you for letting me know, i went ahead and added my location and my bike model. So ive already put new tires, changed the brake line, changed all the cables (throttle push and pull, choke cable, clutch cable), new valve stems on the wheels as well. Everything is ready to go, i just need that right cylinder to work for me. Ill probably need new ignition boots, i may need help choosing them because they almost all look the same to me, and i also cant seem to find any that use just one connector pin. Its probably a good idea for me to change the gaskets in the engine, im not sure how good the quality is but 4into1 has a engine set that comes with all the rubber parts for around 50-60$. How hard would this be? Ive never had to take an engine apart to that extent before. Other than that the bike seems good to go. Im going to see if i can find a furniture dolly at harbor freight, id just need one high enough that it would be the right level when i need to bolt the engine back to the frame.
 

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If all you are doing is installing a Rae-San you only need one gasket, the one for the timing cover. You could cut one from gasket material or buy a gasket. CX500 Advance Pulser Cover Gasket – Murrays Carbs . You are not taking the engine apart if all you are doing is installing a Rae-San, just removing the timing cover. If you are on a budget keep it simple, only replace what needs replacing unless you are willing to lay up the bike for some time.
 

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1978 honda cx500
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Discussion Starter · #195 ·
If all you are doing is installing a Rae-San you only need one gasket, the one for the timing cover. You could cut one from gasket material or buy a gasket. CX500 Advance Pulser Cover Gasket – Murrays Carbs . You are not taking the engine apart if all you are doing is installing a Rae-San, just removing the timing cover. If you are on a budget keep it simple, only replace what needs replacing unless you are willing to lay up the bike for some time.

Sounds good, i was just wanting to get everything done if possible since the engine will be out, but it seems like its not too difficult to remove. I guess the only othet thing would be new ignition coils. Are there upgrades for these bikes? Something that kay work better? Ive heard of people using iridium spark plugs but i dont know much in that realm to give it a try
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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FWIW, I made the dolly in those pics when we were moving and I needed one in a hurry. It is just a piece of plywood, a couple of pieces of 2x4 and some casters that I had. After I used it in the shop I decided it wasn't suitable for furniture anymore so it lives in the garage now ;-)
I highly recommend getting a notebook (I use school notebooks from the $1 store) and keeping a log of everything you fix or replace on your bike (I didn't do that for years and eventually found I was having trouble remembering what I had done, when and to which bike). I have drawn sketches of what blocking is needed between the dolly and the engine inside the front cover of the log for each of my bikes.

By "ignition boots" I assume you mean the spark plug caps. Most motorcycle spark plug caps have a single pin, which is actually a long, thin screw designed to screw into the end of the wire and make contact with the conductor. They come in various lengths and angles and you need to get the type that fits the engine you have. Unfortunately, the ones for the CX/GL500/650 family of bikes were never used on any other models so they aren't as common as the ones used on some other models. Fortunately, ones that fit are available through the vendors mentioned in this thread.

You normally only replace gaskets if they leak or if you have the part they seal apart so you really don't need the whole kit unless you expect to do major engine work.

I believe the kit you are talking about is what 4 into 1 calls the "Engine Rebuild Kit", which includes the gaskets & seals for the whole engine (note that they have mislabelled it - the '82 CX500 has the same ignition system as the GL500 so it has the later type timing cover which requires a different gasket).
They also sell an Engine Oil Seal Kit which includes all of the oil seals except the one where the final shaft exits the engine rear cover, which has a special flange for attaching the swingarm boot (I don't know of any source for those currently). If multiple seals are leaking that one might be worth getting but if you don't have any leaks I wouldn't bother.
The seals that most commonly leak are the gearshift shaft seal (not expensive and can be replaced with the engine in the frame) and the front camshaft seal (behind the radiator and the fan - can also be replaced with the engine in the frame but a but more complicated).

I'm not sure which coils Ray recommends for use with the full kit (Rae-San Electronics is Rayman on this forum) but inexpensive coils made for pit bikes with CDI are often recommended for CDI CX500s. Someone who knows more than me about which ones will probably tell you exactly which ones.
 

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1978 honda cx500
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Discussion Starter · #199 ·
Ok perfect! Thank you for all the information its very helpful. Is that a general name for these coils? Like i could find these on Amazon? Or ebay?

Question, ive seen people on YouTube that say you should replace your water pump mechanical seal anytime you have the opportunity to do so. Should this be something i worry about? It doesn't seem like a difficult job
 

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1978 honda cx500
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Discussion Starter · #200 ·
Also the main thing i havnt found, is the correct boot size for this bike, all of the ones that show up are very small
 
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