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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just taken possession of my first 1979 Honda cx500. She is a bit rough, but with the proper attention I believe she will turn into the gem I see. My overall plan is to modify the bike minimally. I want to avoid cutting the frame and essentially turn this bike into an amalgamation of the retro styles I love so much. My vision is a flat brat seat, semi-knobby tires and clubman bars. I know that I need to start with the Heart of this bike and my inexperience working on this motor necessitates help and guidance. So I begin my build thread with plea for help from the community to hopefully keep me from getting stuck and completing this project in a timely manner. Ive got a starting budget for the motor work of 500$ including the cdi unit that I need, and I hope that by doing the work myself I can stick to that budget and hopefully complete this build by the end of August. I have supreme confidence in this community having already met one member who is local in my area and cant wait to hear from everyone on suggestions and advice. I am beginning with the carbs, and would love input on whether I should undertake a rebuild and which kits are good to use, as well as approximate time needed to complete this task.
 

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Welcome to the board and congrats on the purchase. I was in a similar position last fall when I got my 81 Custom and I have learned a lot since then. If I may give you my two cents worth I will try to make it short and sweet.

Your vision of the finished product may change a couple times (mine has 4 times so far) and that will determine what parts you use and any changes that you need to make. I have gone with the advice I have been given by many on here and that is to get the bike road worthy and put some miles on it before changing too much. By the sounds of things you wont be changing much that would change the ride handling but I have a feeling that you may see something you like and you might get some ideas. Also you are going to be asked to put your location and model of your bike in your signature so that people know what you are riding and where you are (even though it says it on the left lol).

Carbs wise I was planning using the stock ones at first and have since changed that and I now have Murrays carbs. Can't say the difference other than Murray's are very easy to work with and come set up out of the box so you dont have to be a carb expert to tune and tinker with them. (he asks that you not tinker with them lol)

Before dealing with your CDI, I would do a stator and coil test which you can search for on here and find out if everything is ok in that regard. You may be able to swap in an ignitech unit or Raysan instead of an old CDI if you need to.

Lastly there are lots of wildly different opinions on here and i don't think any are wrong, you just need to decide which is right for you!

Good luck and it would be great to get a picture of the starting point for your project.
 

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thats the thing money and time

there is really no way to say

as the engine is a complete unknown

and theres no way to tell what skills u have

how much time you can dedicate what all

u will end up doing.

after you do 1build things speed up on on

the second and third.

start out simple get this together ad running

ride a while and go for mods later.

makig things complicated by not knowing how to basically

get runing and maintained and doing expensive time comsuming mods

often resulslt in an abandoned project.
 

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I can second Slacker and Purple's comments. getting it running and putting miles on it is the most important thing. I know I wasted a lot of time on changing the appearance of the bike up front. I say this (not because i have a nice looking bike--i know it's a frankenbike) but because since I've been riding it steadily for the last few years the mods I want to make are completely different (and sometimes counter) to my original vision. Having ridden it for a season would've saved me time and money.
my 2 cents added on the pile...
good luck though. I love these bikes. I have a '79 too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you everyone for the replies! I have to tear the bike down anyway to clean it and paint everything, and I don't want to do it more than once this year so it makes sense for my situation to do any "modifying" or improvements before/during reassembly and restoration. The only major decision I'm stuck with is to go with the bobber monoshock conversion or to retain most of the original rear frame and dual shocks. I have taken the tank, rear section, and airbox off the bike just to get at the carbs to pull them and cleab/rebuild them. I figured it's a good place to start. Then I plan on rejuvenating her heart and doing fluid and gasket changes throughout the motor. I'll put updated pictures of the tear down later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Stator has also been tested by another member who came out to look at the bike for purchase, unfortunately I do not remember his member name. He lives in Boise near me and he found that the only faulty electrical piece of the puzzle was the cdi, stator and everything else was good. I am trying for the ignitech, but I cant seem to find one and haven't bee responded to in my PMs on the forum for the next group buy. My next question is the best value on a complete gasket set for the engine and a carb rebuild kit. Key word there... VALUE, reasonably priced with good function.
 

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For a full gasket set you can look up 4into1.com they have them and are out of San Fran so shipping shouldn't kill ya either. An alternate to the Ignitech unit is a Ray San system. You may want to research that as well because it may be easier to get. I was lucky that a local board member had an Ignitech he wasn't going to use and I bought his but that was pure coincidence. The bike looks like it is in decent shape to start with so at least you will have a decent base for your project.

If you decide to go with the monoshock set up I would heavily research the threads on here, there have been quite a few successful projects with just as many varying opinions on shock type, placement, angles etc.

Im not sure who has the link in their signature but there are a couple book son rebuilding the stock carbs one of them is Larry's Carb book ? I think that is what it is called anyway. 4into1.com also sells o ring kits for the carbs, actually they have quite a few parts for the CX's and not bad prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So just the head gaskets? Everything else I should be fine getting from a kit? Also should I be staying away from stock cdi units that are working or are they perfectly fine? I'm worried I'll get a stock working unit and then it'll crap out on me sooner rather than later.
 

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Mobile, hold off on the head gaskets until you get Honda ones. Most say the same thing for the rear case gasket.
 

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I'd still hold off and check your Honda place or msg Murray to see what might be a good source for OEM.
 

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This is a case of Dictation.

or an example of you get what you pay

thru the nose for.

There really is no choice.

Bit the bullet.
 
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