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1979 Honda CX500 Deluxe (US)
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
Well, as short lived as having a fully functioning bike with no issues was for 3 days, something else happened. Riding home on a perfect riding day, and the suspension bottomed out in the rear and the rectifier wires were hanging out. Next thing I know I hear a loud thud and the bike shudders and I cradle the bastard home, half a mile. I park it and shut it off and look everywhere to see the wires chewed through. The black is completely disconnected, and the red is showing, but intact. I鈥檒l post pictures of everything, but just {expletive deleted} man. Was gonna go to bike night tonight, but guess not. I鈥檒l order a new one, but {expletive deleted} me man.
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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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Your PO didn't allow for suspension travel. Another glaring example of style before function.
Sorry to say it, but you bought someone else's failure. You should have that bike thoroughly checked by someone competent.
 

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1979 Honda CX500 Deluxe (US)
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited by Moderator)
Your PO didn't allow for suspension travel. Another glaring example of style before function.
Sorry to say it, but you bought someone else's failure. You should have that bike thoroughly checked by someone competent.
Sadly the realization has slowly hit me. I grabbed some channel locks and clicked the rear suspension two clicks (hopefully that鈥檒l help), but when I get another rectifier I鈥檓 going to change things around. I鈥檝e already moved some of the wires around, allowing for decent access to tuck shit. As I go along I鈥檓 going to try to do it better, but shits gonna take a {expletive deleted}ing while troubleshooting everything. The icing on the cake is now the PO won鈥檛 answer at {expletive deleted} all. So, yeahhhhhhhh
 

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1979 Honda CX500 Deluxe (US)
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thats life, it's your bike now
I鈥檓 not here to complain, just making a comment as to my current situation. Realistically who in here is going to have an issue with a curse word or five? I only day them to exaggerate the frustration. Nobody under the age of 16 is realistically on a forum anymore. My generation doesn鈥檛 fully utilize forums and the extent of knowledge that can be found.
But don鈥檛 let me fool you, I got the bike knowing it would be a project, just not a week into owning it.
 

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most of us have spent weeks/months on these bikes before ever getting to ride. you have a 40+yr or machine that others have messed with. instant gratification is not w an antique bike. get real
 

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1979 Honda CX500 Deluxe (US)
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
most of us have spent weeks/months on these bikes before ever getting to ride. you have a 40+yr or machine that others have messed with. instant gratification is not w an antique bike. get real
馃憤馃徏
 

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1979 Honda CX500 Deluxe (US)
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, pulled the rectifier and repaired the wires and threw it back in. I鈥檒l check and see if it鈥檚 charging or not tomorrow, but got a replacement in the mail, so it鈥檒l be alright.
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1979 Honda CX500 Deluxe (US)
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
most of us have spent weeks/months on these bikes before ever getting to ride. you have a 40+yr or machine that others have messed with. instant gratification is not w an antique bike. get real
Repaired the rectifier wire w/ 14g wire (temporary fix), and it's not dying on me or throwing the bike. Now just waiting on Murray's rectifier to get here before I swap it out. Bike runs fine.
 

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CX650 motor project into a CX500 Turbo Frame - ongoing
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That also has to be a terrible place for a rectifier as they get hot I wouldn't want a bunch of wires sitting on top of it.

Might consider relocating it, maybe under the pan out of reach of the tire.
 

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1979 Honda CX500 Deluxe (US)
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That also has to be a terrible place for a rectifier as they get hot I wouldn't want a bunch of wires sitting on top of it.

Might consider relocating it, maybe under the pan out of reach of the tire.
That's the overall game plan. I want to redesign the pan for all the electrical, as the current rear suspension setup doesn't allow me to make too many changes.
I want to pull the battery a little lower so that I can move the pan a little forward, and slide all the electrical forward, but I haven't seen too many underseat boxes to get any great ideas. There are so many things I want to change, and this is one of them. I ordered one of Murray's Rectifiers, and if I can pull it off, I want to try and mount it on the underside of the aluminum pan, up closer near the CDI box, and reroute the wires so that all the wires sit nicely in the pan, without too much wiggle room. Once I get the new one in hand I'll be able to formulate a better plan of attack, as I have no idea the dimensions of the replacement.
Looking forward to rebuilding this thing properly though. Definitely going to get a nice Motogadget unit in the future. I'm also curious as to the whole Ignitech device instead of the stock CDI box. I've heard of it but don't really know what the overall gain from it is other than a more updated version that you can't arc the starter solenoid off of. (I only say this because it happened to me when I replaced the solenoid and had to get another and actually mount this one.....)

Also quick note:
After this brief overview of the wiring, I"m not that afraid of it anymore. Everything is very straight forward, and has a direct link to something. So honestly the Motogadget might happen sooner than I expect.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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I would consider any bike that someone else has modified as barely better than a parts bike and expect to deal with making it safe & reliable accordingly. Too many people think that since they have seen pics of a few customized bikes and maybe read a few magazine articles or watched a few videos they are experts when in fact they really don't have a clue. When they loose interest, run out of money or discover they are in over their head they sell it on to someone else and we see a lot of them here with a lot of really scary issues.
Just to give you an idea of how bad some people who have the nerve to call themselves "builders" have a look at this thread. And this guy's name is all over the internet as a so-called professional too! (you can imagine how bad some of the amateurs are)

Stop riding it right now. Before you go any farther read the FSM through and then go to the chapter on maintenance and the maintenance schedule and perform all of the maintenance procedures (this is even more important when you are dealing with someone else's project because a lot of those guys ignore important maintenance while concentrating on shiny bits). While you are going through the bike look for anything that doesn't look right (example: If it was OK to pile all the electrical stuff in like that Honda would have done it that way) and deal with it before it comes back to bite you.

And re the location of the regulator/rectifier: It has those big fins so it can dissipate heat but it needs to have air flowing past it for that to happen so make sure you mount it on the bottom (outside) of your tray.

Re Ignitech: It's not about performance except in that a bike that actually runs performs infinitely better than one that doesn't.
The original Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI) system uses special windings added to the alternator's stator to power/trigger the CDI box. If one if those windings fails you have to remove & open the engine to replace the stator. Also, the original CDI boxes have not been available new for many years and failures aren't uncommon. At one time the only option was to find a used one but replacement ignition systems like the Rae-San (made in Australia by forum member Rayman) and the Ignitech allow you to replace it with something with brand new (as well as modern) AND don't need the special windings so you can instal them without taking the engine apart.
 

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What a hack (referring to John T.)! Obviously no conscience whatsoever either. One of the definitions of professional is "participating for gain" so he has that part right...
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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One of the definitions of professional is "participating for gain" so he has that part right...
There's also the concept of professional ethics, which seem to be lacking in the Thompson build.
 

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1979 Honda CX500 Deluxe (US)
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I would consider any bike that someone else has modified as barely better than a parts bike and expect to deal with making it safe & reliable accordingly. Too many people think that since they have seen pics of a few customized bikes and maybe read a few magazine articles or watched a few videos they are experts when in fact they really don't have a clue. When they loose interest, run out of money or discover they are in over their head they sell it on to someone else and we see a lot of them here with a lot of really scary issues.
Just to give you an idea of how bad some people who have the nerve to call themselves "builders" have a look at this thread. And this guy's name is all over the internet as a so-called professional too! (you can imagine how bad some of the amateurs are)

Stop riding it right now. Before you go any farther read the FSM through and then go to the chapter on maintenance and the maintenance schedule and perform all of the maintenance procedures (this is even more important when you are dealing with someone else's project because a lot of those guys ignore important maintenance while concentrating on shiny bits). While you are going through the bike look for anything that doesn't look right (example: If it was OK to pile all the electrical stuff in like that Honda would have done it that way) and deal with it before it comes back to bite you.

And re the location of the regulator/rectifier: It has those big fins so it can dissipate heat but it needs to have air flowing past it for that to happen so make sure you mount it on the bottom (outside) of your tray.

Re Ignitech: It's not about performance except in that a bike that actually runs performs infinitely better than one that doesn't.
The original Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI) system uses special windings added to the alternator's stator to power/trigger the CDI box. If one if those windings fails you have to remove & open the engine to replace the stator. Also, the original CDI boxes have not been available new for many years and failures aren't uncommon. At one time the only option was to find a used one but replacement ignition systems like the Rae-San (made in Australia by forum member Rayman) and the Ignitech allow you to replace it with something with brand new (as well as modern) AND don't need the special windings so you can instal them without taking the engine apart.
Once I get the new rectifier in, I will be relocating it to the underside of the pan. I also plan on moving the battery a little lower so that I can create a new under-seat pan that is a little farther forward, or at least has more space so that I can reroute and make sure nothing too bad is going on. I'll make sure I read through that article once I'm out of lecture for the day.
And my curiosity towards the Ignitech system was mores the concept behind it so that I could understand it and the parameters it opens. I do realize that if the stator decides to poop out on me, then my best shot is the Ignitech system if it is the one connector that goes wrong, as it is plug and play CDI replacement that allows for slightly more control, but if you're dealing with a completely dead battery/charging system, then it's as good as dead in the water (so I can understand the risk/reward that comes w/ the Ignitech System. What I'm waiting for the most is just some clear weather and decent temps that aren't freezing before I take a day and start giving everything a one-over. Being in college, and living in an apartment complex only allows so much freedom, as everything I do is in a parking lot. I want to go through and get a stock tach/speedo and the brakcet for it so that I can learn how the bike reacts under different RPM's, as well as it would give me all the functionality back, and the brief glance to understand everything is alright, temperature wise and stuff like that. Good thing is I did repair the rectifier last night, and it is charging again, so that's a plus, but just a temp fix.
 

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1983 cx650c
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When I saw the pic of damage it occurred to me that the wires could be repaired which it sounds like you did. There are definitely "form follows function " issues that are commonly overlooked by builders seeking "style",, I've always felt grateful to get an old neglected bike running dependably in it's stock configuration! Some thoughtful re- engineering will hopefully get you a safe, reliable machine to ride.
 

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1983 cx650c
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And as previously mentioned don't neglect maintenance operations that may or may not have been done by previous owners. Check everything and replace the fluids if anything is questionable. Adjust the valves and cam chain if required. Check wheel bearings, steering head bearings, swing arm bearings for play by manually pushing and pulling on them with bike on blocks as I doubt center stand is on the bike. Bikes in poor mechanical condition are dangerous.
 

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@MarcW5

Looks like you're on your way to resurrecting that poor bike from the ashes, good on you. Have fun and be safe.
 
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