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Hey all -

My father had an '82 CX500 Custom about a year ago and I fell for these models. He got it on a trade and rode it a little but wasn't really sure what to do with it. While he was putzing about figuring to modify or sell (he ended up selling), I stumbled across a Silodrome feature CX500 that I lusted for. Recently I started lurking the site looking at all the awesome creations, and looking for my own transverse V. Low and behold, I found one I liked! Enter my '81 CX500 Deluxe from Columbus OH. With over 41k on the ticker and what seemed to be some sticky jets, I got it for a pretty good price.

I'm very green at the moto-building game, but I'm fairly handy and an engineer by education - so maybe I can figure this all out? :dontknow:

Here's the pics - and the (very high level, 'hope I can achieve a distant cousin of it') inspiration I mentioned. This is just going to be my way to track progress, and hopefully get some insight from the knowledgeable peanut gallery.

Cheers!
Howitzer


Just got home, still on the truck.
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First real pic at my apartment. The leetle red bike behind is a 09 Kawa Ninjette. Fun little fella.
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Disassembly begins
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Clean air box - can't be a bad sign.
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My Moto Muse :love10::love10::love10: Also see http://silodrome.com/honda-cx500/ for more pics and info on the build.
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Welcome! Nice bike to aim for.

I vote ride it - getting a feel for what the bike is like as it stands will give you a good perspective on what you might want to change to get the bike you want at the end of the day. Making changes without getting a solid idea of what you're changing it from may not actually result in changes that improve things, or end up doing what you want them to.
 

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Ride it for a while call it a shakedown run.

There will be plenty of dark cold winter days ahead.

Make hay while the sun shines.:cool:
 

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Hi! Welcome to the forum!
I also cast my vote on "ride"

Had my cx last summer and has been spending autumn winter spring and this summer so far building :)

Good luck, will be interesting to see where this goes
 

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I say go for the rebuild. You will have time to ride next year when you it all worked out. At that time you will feel the ride and get used to it. If you have a heated garage then maybe tear it apart this winter. But like me I will be freezing my butt of this winter and not much will get done. Remember the anticipation is the best part of life.
zippy
 

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I say ride it first, or atleast for a little while. Just to see what has to be done on the bike. Otherwise you will rebuild it without really knowing if the bike is ok or not.
 

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I was in a similar position, I wish I would have rode stock just a tad more to fully compare the transformation. I am, however, slightly impatient and Im sure it gets a little chilly in Cin. I also wish I would have taken video of how it ran to have a before and after. Nice lookin ride!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the input! I think I've decided to get it up and road-ready and ride as much as I can this season, and do the majority of the work over the winter. In a turn of events, my girlfriend ended up getting a job in Nashville so I may convert the one side of my kitchen into a shop then since she won't be there to judge me (as much).

Just ordered Larry's carb book and looking forward to seeing what I can do.

After that it's just tires, fluids and brake. I think I'm going to do the CB900 dual piston conversion, but they don't seem super easy to come by. If anyone has or knows of any laying around, I'd be interested in knowing about it.

Howitzer
 

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I did the carbs according to Larry, if you don't have one -get a ultrasonic cleaner! Gets shit done :) ..or away.. It just cleans like shit.. Or.. Just get one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I made some more progress on the disassembly tonight....why didn't you all tell me the airbox was a PITA to remove? Ugh. Tank, rear fender, rack, tail light and turn signals removed. I also decided against what I said earlier today - I think I'm going into full modify mode. 3 reasons: I have another ride, so I'm not missing out; I'm kind of lazy and don't feel like rushing to reassemble with only 2-3 months left in the season and thirdly; I ran into a bit of a problem. See below for that.

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Here's my master mechanics tool shop :sign10: The only outlet is on the overhead light. If I can pull of a decent build...anyone can.

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Now for the troublesome news....as I was tinkering and tooling around. I found this...lower left radiator mount is sheared off. Didn't see this upon inspection when I bought and now I'm kicking myself. Looks like it has been attempted to be patched before, but clearly didn't last. Not sure what I can do, or what I should do. Advice is very welcome if you've run into this before. Hopefully the block hasn't become a big paper weight...

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On a brighter note, my gauges are in pretty spot-on condition. Not sure if I'll be using them both or just a tach, but they sure are bright still.

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Howitzer
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I took the plunge and decided to add a 496cc kitchen table to my decor, and wouldn't you know it....it looks great!

No update on progress - just tickled to have it inside and accessible to better light, a more accessible power outlet and A/C :D

Carb rebuild to come soon once Larry's book arrives and I get the rebuild kits.

Howitzer

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Another quick update - I did a little more disassembling today: carbs, headers / H-pipe / exhaust, radiator, and a few other odds and ends. I wanted to take my center stand off tonight but it was a little late to be banging a hammer in my apartment building :dispirited: I also have a bit of a leak from the front seal. I haven't opened the engine up yet to see the condition. I'm halfway hoping a don't need to perform a triple bypass, but then the other half is excited to rebuild an engine. I think whichever way I go, I'll be ok with it. I sold a few parts today to a fellow CX rider too, he seemed really pleased with the parts, I'm glad I could help him out.

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I also set up what will become my work bench in my living room. I'm really living the bachelor life now...

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I realize now this is not a radiator mount (only a fan shroud mount), but it's the front lower engine mount that is broken. I've seen one thread from about 4 years ago where they ran into this, some suggested finding a good TIG welder, welding and re-tapping the threads, some said they experienced this before and just ignored it and ran with 7/8 mounts. I'm unsure what my plan of action is here right now. It's late, maybe I just need to sleep on it.

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Tomorrow (or today for you non-Americans) is Sunday so happy riding and keep the rubber side down.

Howitzer
 

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So I made some more progress on the disassembly tonight....why didn't you all tell me the airbox was a PITA to remove? Ugh. Tank, rear fender, rack, tail light and turn signals removed. I also decided against what I said earlier today - I think I'm going into full modify mode. 3 reasons: I have another ride, so I'm not missing out; I'm kind of lazy and don't feel like rushing to reassemble with only 2-3 months left in the season and thirdly; I ran into a bit of a problem. See below for that.

View attachment 25922

Here's my master mechanics tool shop :sign10: The only outlet is on the overhead light. If I can pull of a decent build...anyone can.

View attachment 25921

Now for the troublesome news....as I was tinkering and tooling around. I found this...lower left radiator mount is sheared off. Didn't see this upon inspection when I bought and now I'm kicking myself. Looks like it has been attempted to be patched before, but clearly didn't last. Not sure what I can do, or what I should do. Advice is very welcome if you've run into this before. Hopefully the block hasn't become a big paper weight...

View attachment 25919

On a brighter note, my gauges are in pretty spot-on condition. Not sure if I'll be using them both or just a tach, but they sure are bright still.

View attachment 25920

Howitzer
There are no shortcuts here! If you plan on doing work to the engine, then strip it down, take the aluminum casing to a GOOD aluminum welder, have the offending area built up which you can then grind & finish to blend with the rest of the casing and then re-drill the mount hole. There will be others who will suggest epoxy fixes but it won't be good enough. Do it once and do it right...you won't regret it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Another quick update - I finally got a little more disassembly completed. Motor is off the frame, wiring harness is out and ready for inspection and repair of some previous half-ass wiring jobs. The milk crate was a good idea for an engine stand. I'll keep an eye on it so make sure its not going to buckle. I know when I bought the bike it had the rev plateau where it wouldn't run well between 3000 & 4000 rpm. I'm assuming it's a stator problem so I'm going to try to test it and if it is as I imagine, likely getting it wound back up. Next up is to remove wheels, forks, swing arm and have a stand alone frame. I've stripped a few old rusty screws, one on the clutch hand assembly and one on the headlight housing that are just giving me problems. But if it were easy, cavemen would do it!

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I opened up the valve covers to take a peak, nothing much of concern at this point. We'll see more as I start taking the front and rear covers off. Need to look at the timing belt and tensioners. Hoping not to do a triple bypass, but only time will tell.

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Drive shaft spindle was fairly clean, doesn't seem to be a leak if any with the seal. I do have a leaking shifter seal that will have to be mended. I looked into that briefly and it seems pretty quick and easy.

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Now another snag - not sure how to remove the clutch arm from the housing. I've loosened the lock nuts but can't seem to get it through the slot. Thoughts?

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I scored some dual pot brake calipers from an 82' GL1100 Aspencade, which need rebuilt and cleaned up. They have the correct 2.5" bracket spacing in case anyone is looking into the brake upgrade. The Aspencade came with dual front brakes so I'm going to see if I can sell the other side, and the single piston caliper to make a few bucks back. I'm also going to braided brake lines, I've seen a few threads about who to buy from for the lines, anyone have a preference?

I also have some other stock parts; crash bars, front turn signals, hump seat and some others if anyone is looking for them.

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My project is now fully spilling over into my living room - work table filled with parts and tools, coffee table has cardboard mockup pieces all over it. Working on a battery box where the H-box was located, and will likely put the rest of the electronics short of the rectifier under the hump.

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I'm loving seeing everyone else's projects! I get more and more ideas every day. If only my budget would support my ideas! It's looking like there will be a Phase 2 to the bike at some point, likely including Murrays carbs, 18" rear wheel w/ a disk brake conversion, and an SS style front fairing. I was inspired partly by Steve's orange machine, but moreso by this Swedish GL1000 build I saw recently. Maybe even make the jump for some sexy spokes :love5:

http://www.pipeburn.com/home/2014/04/28/76-honda-goldwing-adams-custom-shop.html

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All in due time...

Howitzer
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well the girlfriend is officially moved to Nashville so my weekends will likely be fairly unproductive, but weekdays are mostly free to get work done on this beast.

Nothing really noteworthy from this update. Wheels, hubs, driveshaft removed. Frame now sitting idle as I begin to dig into the engine.

Just a few quick pics of the state of things as I pull them off. Starting to find lots of rust, grime, lime and a few oak seeds.....

Took a peak at the thermostat - o ring was shot so it'll need replaced, and lots of lime buildup on the hose fitting. It's soaking in some vinegar now to get some of the debris off of it.

I seem to have a leaky shift seal, and theres a considerable amount of grime on the front of the engine. That will get replaced, along with a full gasket job with the front case also having a slow drip.

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Lots of cleaning in my future, and a little bit of engine fun to follow.

Howitzer
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've also made the decision to go with some of Murray's carbs. The idea of gaining ~20% power from a bolt-on is too lucrative to pass up. And knowing that I have a reliable set of carbs right out of the gate helps ease my mind. I've got a bit before I'll need them though.
 

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Looking like quite the project my man! Keeping up with your progress
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok - a few busy weeks at work and weekend trips have left me out of the garage (kitchen) for a few, but I've been back a bit this week.

I've made some progress and as well as made some setbacks for myself.

I removed the advanced unit cover to find a little grime - but nothing that worries me too much based on other I've seen.

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Checked the spark plugs

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Removed advancing pulser... I am still a little confused on a few things involving stator/advanced pulser/coils + Ignitech unit. As far as I can understand, if using the Ignitech unit, the advanced pulser is not needed, as the Ignitech unit calculates the advance itself? Does this still hold true using the G8 Stator? I've read a lot of posts regarding this, and I have yet to find a clear, concise answer.

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A good few hours have been spent recently on a wire wheel, cleaning up hardward/covers/etc and I think these radiator bolts speak for themselves.

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I got the rear cover removed and cleaned up - checked the timing chain and all looks well there with more than half of the life of the tensioner intact. I'm going to leave this be for now.

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Now for the bad news - I was a little overzealous trying to take the water pump cover off and in my haste, broke a corner of the piece. Looks like I can find one pretty reasonable on ebay though, so not too concerned.

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I also tried testing my stator - but realized it needed hooked up to the advanced pulser, coils and a proper ground to get accurate readings.

I also had my forks laying on their sides for a few weeks now and noticed a considerable amount of leaking from the top end. This seems like I need to replace some o-rings / and might as well do lower fork seals at the same time?

I think some frame work is going to be starting here soon, so stay tuned. I'm also waiting on my GL1100 brake rebuild kit (dual pot caliper) and ordering a complete gasket / o-ring set soon. Once I figure out the stator issue that will also be coming along.
 
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