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1979 cx500
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone I'm new to this forum and I have a few questions. I have a 1979 cx500 that I want to build a cafe / scrambler out of and I'm interested in a monoshock setup. My question is would I be able to put the components from my CX500 into a gl500 frame with the new engine brackets? It's a bare gl500 frame so I would like to know if everything would transfer over and what kind of modifications I would need to do. I also have an ignitech for the bike as my old CDI is shot
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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It could be done but it will be a fair bit of work.
  • Mounting the engine to the frame is as simple as using the GL500's front engine hanger brackets but you would also need the GL radiator unless you are willing to completely change the CX one's mounting tabs.
  • The wiring harness and associated parts (handlebar switches &c) should be able to be made to fit.
  • You would need the GL swingarm; I'm not even sure if the CX swingarm will fit in a GL frame but it doesn't have the brackets necessary for the Pro-Link to attach to and isn't designed for the loads without he shocks supporting the end.
The only difference between the CX and GL final drives is the shock stud so you can use the one from the CX but the swingarm length and the distance between the engine and where the swingarm pivots is different so you would need a GL driveshaft.
Making the wheels work shouldn't he a problem (lots of people use CX rear wheels on GL500s).
- You are probably planning to change the seat anyway but the CX one won't fit the GL frame and neither will the fuel tank. I think the steering stem is close enough that the CX triple clamps &c can be made to work.

And when you are finished you will have something that is nether a CX or a GL; It would have to be registered with the number on the frame but the wiring will be CX (= completely different) so the re-sale value will be less than a decent parts bike for either.

If it was me, I think I would look for a GL to start the project with instead. Not only would it have the Pro-Link rear end & stronger frame but larger diameter forks, a tank that fits, the Transistor amplifier Ignition (TI) instead of the problematic Capacitor Discharge Ignition and the higher output alternator.

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). 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).

Re your project: The best advice anyone can give you about customizing any vehicle is to get it safe & reliable in more or less original condition and use it for a while before you start making any changes so it can tell you what changes it needs to make it do what you want/need better. That approach almost always results in something you actually want to keep and use but making changes based on style or on what someone else (who may or may not really understand how the changes affect the way it works) has done often results in a piece of expensive yard art that you can't stand sitting on for more than a few minutes and might even be dangerous.
 

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1979 cx500
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow thanks man that's actually super insightful. I wasn't planning on doing any of this until the winter I'm gonna ride it the way it is until I fully decide how far into it I wanna go
I should have mentioned it does have the prolink swingarm attached to the frame but you definitely have me alot to think about so thank you. Just curious does the ignitech system replace the old CDI or just piggyback it
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", '83 GL650, '82 GL500 Project "AdventureWing", '79 CX500C, '78 CX500 Scrambler
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10,416 Posts
The Ignitech replaces the old CDI unit. While it draws ignition power from the battery, rather than directly from the alternator, it still relies on the stock pulse generators (aka pulsers, pickups) for ignition timing.
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", '83 GL650, '82 GL500 Project "AdventureWing", '79 CX500C, '78 CX500 Scrambler
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10,416 Posts
Unless you're starting with a registered rolling chassis. Then, I think it would be reasonable to build a hydride.
 

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I think we're going down the wrong path with him. HE HAS a GL with the prolink assembly factory installed on the GL frame. HE IS using a GL as the project, unless I'm mistaken? Before cafe/scrambler mods, his interest is putting the CDI CX engine in the GL frame, which as been done before and is well understood (and not particularly difficult if you have the CX donor bike wiring, electrical components and radiator). Are the radiator tabs really different, or just the radiator top hose location/orientation? Maybe the GL radiator can be used with the CX motor?
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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16,290 Posts
The rad bolts to the engine mounts and the mounts from the CX frame won't fit the GL frame.

What he has is a complete & running CX and the chance to acquire a GL frame. Yes, swapping everything that fits to the other frame is possible but I think he would be better off looking for a GL to base the project on.
 
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