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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Eccles is the CX650E based winter machine that I drive to work every day in the winter. This is the latest pic I have of Eccles:
IMG_4258.JPG

A few weeks ago, during yet another thread hijack :rolleyes:, I wondered if I should start a retroactive build thread for Eccles. Well here it is, going right back to the beginning, but first a bit of background for those of you who haven't been around that long or are old and forgetful like me.

Before Eccles I had a GL500 for 5 years but never got around to naming (there were several before that but this is really where Eccles' story starts). Over the years I did a lot of work on it and made a few changes. This is what it looked like at the end of its career:
01aug04rear2.jpg

In 2005 I decided it was time for a change.I still wanted a mid sized, shaft drive Honda but i wanted something a bit newer in hopes that parts would be available for a bit longer. I ended up paying too much an '84 CB750SC Nighthawk. On my way home one evening the next spring it let out a mighty moan and stopped. It had thrown its camchain through the back of the cylinder block. Replacement engines, or even cylinder blocks, were impossible to find because, as one wrecker told me, every one they got in had the same problem as mine. It looked like this:
LOWERS.JPG

I needed a bike in a hurry and I wanted something that I didn't have to learn a whole lot of new stuff for. I also missed this forum (or at least whichever of its predecessors we were on back then). So I passed up a $900 CX650E around the corner because it was too nice for what I wanted to do to it. And besides, I really wanted a GL500/650 anyway. But they were going for around $1500 (to much for a winter machine) & when I changed my mind a week later the CX was gone. It was starting to look like I wouldn't find anything in time to get it ready. Then I saw an ad in a local online classified ads for a really cheap CX650E The seller sent me these pics:
before.jpg

To be continued....
 

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You are such a great writer, Bob. Thank you. :cool:

Joel in the Couve
 

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Discussion Starter #3
07-24-2006, 7:44 PM I'm Baaaaack!!!! - Honda CX500 & GL500 Forum
On Saturday I bought an '84 CX650E for $400. The fairing & one mirror are smashed, and 3 of the 4 turn signals are wonky or broken, the battery is dead, the back wheel has a flat spot, and the petcock needs re-building.

I will be removing the rear right & both front turnsignals & the mirrors & fairing anyway when I put the sidecar & the big fairing on, and I will set it up with the lawn tractor battery (cold cranking amps are important in January). I put a kit in the Nighthawk's petcock, and I should be able to move it (or maybe the whole petcock) to the CX.

I will have to get a wheel, and maybe a left side cover. And I will need to buy the fairing bracket back from Drew.

Bonus: It will be a LOT easier to get snow tires for the CX than the Nighthawk.
The NH has 16" wheels front & back, and the only dual purpose or enduro tires I could find were a Kenda front & a Bridgestone rear, both a size smaller than spec. They cost me a bit over $200. I almost got 1 winter out of the Bridgestone (it lasted about 5,000 Km). The Kenda has more than 1/2 of it's tread left - I will keep it for the sidecar wheel.
The CX650 takes 18" tires front & back. There are a lot of suitable 18" tires available in the $55 - $75 range.

$400 CX650.JPG

08-23-2006, 12:05 PM Re: CX650E or CX650T rear end & shaft needed - Honda CX500 & GL500 Forum
CX650E or CX650T rear end & shaft needed urgently.
I figured out why the oil was dripping where the rear end meets the swingarm. The splines on the rear end driveshaft and in the pinion joint (the cup shaped part on the final drive that the driveshaft engages with) are worn out and the damper seal was shot.

I figure it will probably be better to replace the whole rear end if I can find one.

As far as I can tell (my eyes are going bleary from looking at parts drawings) the CX650E & the CX650T take the same parts.

If anyone has what I need, please let me know.
Oddly enough, my local Honda dealer could get me the shaft but without the joint it was worthless. I called around to all the wreckers again and nobody had a wheel, final drive or joint.

Then I got an email from a forum member....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I had intended to put Eccles together over my vacation but it was becoming increasingly obvious that I wouldn't be able to. In fact, my chances of getting this wreck on the road in time for winter were diminishing rapidly and I had started looking at want ads again. If I could find a ratty looking but sound GL500/650 soon enough I could still attach the sidecar and get its lights working and do the rest as time allowed.

But in my scramble for information I had asked
does anyone know if a CX500 wheel will work in with a GL650 rear end
and RichNCT (now richnct) had replied
Answer, no, the GL650 axle is larger diameter. Actually, I only know for sure that the GL500 axle is smaller, but I believe the CX500 to be smaller too. I did some tape measure comparisions between the GL650 and CX650E rear swing arms last night. I said tape measure, no calipers
The length, width and clamp side axle hole all appear to be the same dimensions. The brake stay mount is on top on the E, as you know. It's on the bottom on the GL. No problem if you're changing wheels/brakes, but then you're going to have to change other brake parts as well (mechanical GL vs hydraulic E). I have a good low mileage rear swing and prop shaft assy from a GL650I if you can use it.
It was tempting but the GL650 has a 16" wheel (assuming I could get one), I didn't know whether I could mate a CX500 wheel to it and I really didn't want to be restricted to using the Bridgestone Trail-Wing tire that I had found unsatisfactory in the past (I think there are more options now).

So Rich let me know that had a CX650E, several other twisted twins in various states of assembly and some spare parts and was willing to spend a lot of time helping me out. At that time Rich only had web access at work (I think he only had time for the forum because he's the boss) and, of course, all of his CX stuff was at home. So instead of assembling Eccles I spent my vacation emailing back & forth with Rich. I would spend the morning poring over online parts fiches(this it was before we had the really good PDF parts manuals that we have now, let alone the CX wiki so that we can find them when we need to) and send Rich an email with correlations I had found (if any) and questions I needed answered. Rich would take a printout home, spend the evening in the shed measuring parts, email the results to me 1st thing in the morning and start it all over again. Within a week we had gathered enough information for me to start gathering up parts.

If I worked really hard and my son Matt did some while I was at work we might get it done in time after all.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
After it was all done and I had time to catch up a bit I put the following together:

RichNCT & I researched what would fit together when I was putting my frankenbike together & we have figured out the following:

NOTE: We didn't research the turbo models and couldn't find information for the GL400, so if anyone knows about them please let us know.

- There are several rear end configurations in this family of bikes.
- the original CX500 type
- the GL500 type
- the GL650 type
- the 2 piece propeller shaft/4 stud final drive design
- The part of the frame where the swingarm attaches & the width of the linkage where it attaches to the swingarm is the same for all of the Pro Link models. This means that the swingarm from any GL500, GL650, CX650C or CX650E will fit the frame of any other GL500, GL650, CX650C or CX650E.
- There are 2 different types of propeller shaft.
- The original 1 piece type has one part of the u-joint machined as part of the shaft. In spite of the fact that the online parts fiches call for different numbers, the ones for the GL500 & GL600 are identical. I'm not sure if the one for the CX500 is the same, but it looks different in the fiche drawing.
- The 2 piece type has a separate propeller shaft & u-joint. This type was used in the CX650E, CX650C, & GL700
- There are 2 different types of final shaft (the shaft that sticks out of the engine that the u-joint attaches to).
- The original type has a groove around the end to accomodate the bolt that attaches the u-joint to it and was used on all CX500, GL500, & GL650 models.
- The 2 piece propeller shaft type which has a tapered end was used on the CX650c, CX650E, & GL700.
- There are 4 different final drives.
- The original CX500 type has a stud for attaching the shock absorber & splines on the pinion gear shaft (input of the final drive) to engage with the splines inside the joint that is pinned to the propeller shaft. It is attached to the swingarm by 3 studs.
- The GL500 type is similar to the original CX500 type except that it doesn't have the shock stud.
- The GL650 type is similar to the GL500 type except that the raised centering ring on the swingarm that engages with the opening in the final drive housing has a larger diameter.
- The 4 stud type (CX650E, CX650C, GL700) has a large "pinion joint" mounted to the pinion gear shaft which engages with the splines on the propeller shaft.

For Tips & Tricks section: CX & GL 500 & 650 drive train train comparisons - Honda CX500 & GL500 Forum
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So in order to have an 18" wheel I would need to use a CX500 or GL500 final drive. That would mate to a GL500 swingarm which would in turn mate to the CX650E frame and work with its suspension linkage. But the CX500 wheel would be drum brake so what would I have to do to make that work on a bike that originally had a rear disc? It would be relatively easy if the brake on the wheel was on the right side of the bike like the brake pedal but on these bikes the final drive was on the right so the brake pedal had to operate a brake on the other side of the bike.

Honda's engineers to the rescue! For some odd reason, even though the E frame has a number of differences from the GL frame (including lugs for the aluminum footpeg brackets, master cylinder &c) they included the tube for the shaft that transferred the drum brake's pedal movement across to the other side of the frame.

In the meantime Matt & I had stripped the 650 to the frame so we were ready to start as soon as we had the parts. Rich had offered to send me a lot of what I needed for the cost of shipping. I had sold my GL500 to a forum member called Vitter for parts and since I was going to a completely different bike that would not need them I hadn't bothered to keep the fairing bracket and sidecar subframe. I knew he had put my engine & CX500 wheel into his GL500 but still had the rest of it stashed away so I got in touch with him and bought back the bracket, subframe, front seat, tank, sidecovers and a few other odds & ends. Then I made up my shopping list and headed for Cycle Salvage for the rest.

When I added it all up afterward I had used parts from at least 13 individual bikes. Maybe more - it is possible that some of the parts had been on more than one bike before I got them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I know most of you already know what a CX650E is and a handful might even own one, but for those who aren't familiar with the E, here is what Eccles looked like in 1984

Inside 1.JPG
Inside 2.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I wanted to have time to play around with the sidecar setup and become thoroughly used to the new machine before the first snowfall so I needed to have it roadworthy by mid October. Here's what the engine looked like in Sept. 2006. All I had time to do to it was pull the rear cover off and swap in the original type final shaft needed to mate with the GL500 driveshaft.
CX650E engine Sept 2006.JPG

Assorted rear end parts for the project
Rear end parts for 650.JPG

30 Sept. (morning)
empty 650 30 Sept 2006.JPG

30 Sept (evening)
engine in Sept 30 2006.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Yeah. Its sort of ironic that I have eliminated or changed more than half of the features mentioned in the brochure.

I probably should have mentioned that the month between figuring out how to turn it into a rolling chassis and the start of actual assembly was spent on details.

I learned years ago that too much front brake on a sidecar machine used in winter is not an advantage. A significant percentage of the front tire's traction is needed to keep the mass of the sidecar from pushing the outfit into the lane to your left so if you apply the front brake too hard on snow/ice the front wheel locks, the handlebars snap to the right and you loose the ability to steer. Because of that I always convert winter machines to single disc. When I got the Nighthawk its front brakes had the original rubber lines so I removed the 500's master cylinder, braided stainless brake line and caliper as an assembly, moved it to the NH and removed one disc. A year later I did the same with the 650.

The Nighthawk's original low bars would have hit the big fairing so I had also installed the handlebars (with heaters already installed) from the 500, which also let me sit up straight. So I moved them to the 650 too.

Matt cleaned up the frame and gave everything a fresh coat of paint.
Matt working.JPG
In the brochure picture it looks like the handlebar is a casting with no visible means of attachment. But what you are seeing is just a plastic cover over regular tubular handlebars and a fusebox with integral handlebar clamps just like all the other models in the CX/GL500/650 family. Except that the handlebar cover was also the fusebox cover and mine looked like this
Dash.jpg
And even with the "wings" hacked off like that it wouldn't work with the higher handlebars so I had to figure out a way of covering the fusebox. While digging through stuff to find something suitable I came across a fusebox from a GL1000. Hmm... That would give me 2 more fuses for future accessories... But it won't fit on the handlebars so where? There's just about enough room on top of the airbox so all I need to do is extend the wires...
Fuse Box.JPG
I did it all by soldering new wires to the old fusebox and the original terminals from the connector after I fished the wires through a piece of 3/8" clear tubing. It is still working well 8 years later but if I was doing it now and i had the time I would order a fusebox, some terminals and a roll of heatshrink.

When we test fitted the big fairing we discovered that the instrument panel hit so I had to modify the bracket to tilt it up a bit to clear
modified instrument panel bracket.JPG
And I needed somewhere to put all the wires that used to be in the original small fairing. I found this at the $1 store.
wiring box.JPG
BTW: 6 years alter I finally got around to mounting it properly
Wiring box brackets.JPG
 

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Thoroughly enjoyable read , Bob!
You're one die hard rider, snow doesn't even stop you. Is eccles pronounced as it's spelled? (Ekkels??)
Thank you for digging around in that big brain of yours and showing us some history,
Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #12
According to Wikipedia its pronounced ˈɛkəlz but your version is close enough. I didn't name it Eccles until 2008; before that it was just "The 650". I'll post more about that later.

Here in Ontario vehicles have to pass a safety standards inspection before you can transfer the ownership of a fit vehicle or have a vehicle's status changed from unfit to fit. Before starting work I had registered the 650 in my name but as unfit to make sure the title was clean. If you intend to modify a vehicle in any way that will effect the handling (such as adding a sidecar) it is always better to have it inspected first. Here are some pics from the day it was inspected
CX650E left 6 Oct 2006.jpg
CX650E right 6 Oct 2006.jpg

BTW: When I removed the emblems from the engine for painting there was a lot of water behind them. Over the years debris had washed down behind them & sealed up the space at the bottom, preventing water from escaping.The water had been in there for a while because it had lifted the paint & there was a lot of rust from the brackets that hold the emblems in place.

I also discovered that the driveshaft boot was split so I posted this Driveshaft boot: are CX650E & GL500 the same? - Honda CX500 & GL500 Forum and found out that a right outer CV boot for an '84-87 Civic 1500 could be easily modified to fit any CX/GL with Pro-Link. It is still in good condition 8 years later. I highly recommend inspecting yours and replacing
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have been arthritic since my 20s so the CX650E's footpeg location wouldn't do. The pegs were originally mounted on aluminum brackets, the right one of which was also the mount for the brake pedal
original footpeg setup R.JPG original footpeg setup L.JPG
Moving the pegs down & forward (about 2.5") was pretty easy. I made up a couple of pieces of steel to bolt on in place of the brackets and bolted the pegs to them.
footpeg mount 1.jpg footpeg mount 2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I forgot to mention that the safety was done on October 6th, one week after the day we put the engine & rear end into the frame. Its amazing what you can do when you are trying to get done before it snows snow.gif

And another week later, on October 11th, it looked like this. The sidecar was on but it still had the original seat (which hurt my knees where they rubbed against the front edges), it still had the original tail light and the battery was still in the original location... But it was driveable and the sidecar setup was pretty close to what I like so I put put it on the road on October 19th after spending about $1150 including title transfer & taxes. The rest could be done on weekends before it got cold.
CX650E 11 Oct 2006.JPG

And it was. Here it is on Dec. 1, as done as it was going to get, and you can see from the dirt on the engine & seat that November was pretty rainy.
CX650E Dec 1 2006 1.JPG

GL500 front seat with the pieces of 1"x4" structural aluminum bolted to the frame in place of the rear seat so that the trunk and battery box could be mounted without a rack. Much tidier than what I had on the 500 or the 750.
CX650E Dec 1 2006 2.jpg

And for the first time ever I had matching tail lights & turn signals on the bike & sidecar.
CX650E Dec 1 2006 3.jpg

The fairing that was on all 3 of the machines mentioned so far (plus the GS400 I had before the 500, both as a sidecar outfit and later a trike) originally came from my '83 GoldWing. On the 500 I used the GL1100 lowers with parts cut from a plastic waste basket bolted on to cover up the holes. They wouldn't work with the 750 so I bought a brand new waste basket and cut it up to make the "Rubbermaid lowers". I'm pretty sure I modified them to fit the 650 some time during the winter of '06-'07 but I didn't get around to taking pics of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have been re-creating this from notes in my maintenance log and stuff I posted on the forum about what I was doing. Since I hoped & expected to keep Eccles longer than any previous winter machine I have kept better records right from the beginning than I did for anything before. But I seem to keep better records every year and it seems like every time I look back more than a couple of years I wish I had kept better notes then. All of which means that I am bound to occasionally remember some detail that I missed because it wasn't in my notes but I feel is important enough that it deserves to be added in later.

In this case, that means what I did to prepare the frame for long survival in a salty environment:

For most of the time I had it my GL500 had its rear seat and its original rear fender. In 2004 I decided that, since nobody had actually sat on the back seat in years, it made a lot of sense to remove it, eliminate the rack and mount the trunk & the old Yamaha saddlebag that held the lawn tractor battery on structural aluminum bolted directly to the frame (similar to what I did a couple of years later on the 650). Until then I had never looked at what was under the back seat closely enough to realize that the frame terminated with open tubes that would allow anything that got into the recesses in the fender to run down into the lowest part of the pressed steel part of the frame. Concern about how much salt saturated slop could have ended up in there during 4 winters of use contributed substantially to my decision to retire the 500 after 1 more winter.

I didn't want that to happen to the 650 so I sprayed most of a can of RustCheck into those tubes, cleaned out their ends and sealed them with thick plugs (probably 1.5-2" long) of Kitchen & Bath Silicone to ensure that no moisture could get in that way. The next fall I contacted RustCheck for advise on the best way to protect my bike with their products and was advised to use the high creep oil (red) inside the frame and the thick, sticky stuff (green) on surfaces likely to be abraded by salt & grit as well as places like the carb linkages to both lubricate and keep water & salt out.

All indications are that it is working. I used to spend a lot of time every summer removing peeling paint and rust and re-painting. Since I started using RustCheck the damage has been reduced so much that it usually takes 2 years to get bad enough to get the wire brushes out and even then it requires less than half of the work I used to have to do. After 8 years Eccles is in better condition than most of my winter bikes were in after 2.

Re silicone:
I keep 2 kinds of silicone on my workbench:
I always have a caulking gun of clear Kitchen & Bath silicone. Whenever I have a fastener un-done that won't be getting hot, I put a squirt of silicone into the threads before putting it back. This seals out water so the threads won't rust. I also put some between any parts I am assembling. Since I started doing this, working on bikes has been much easier. Especially my winter sidecar bikes that are used on salted roads.
I use high temp silicone (designed for use on engines) on gaskets & on bolts that will get hot (such as engine bolts). I use anti sieze in the exhaust nuts & other things that get really hot, but it just doesn't work as well on them as silicone does on bolts that don't get hot.

NOTE: Silicone is not a substitute for a gasket. It can be used to improve the seal of a gasket, and I have seen gaskets that came from the factory with a bead of silicone on them - a Harley primary cover gasket and a GL1000 water pump cover gasket for example.

If you are going to use silicone on a gasket you must never assemble parts with un-cured silicone between them. If the silicone isn't completely cured it can squeeze out from the joint & tiny drops of it can come free to float around inside the crankcase, end up in the oil, & block oil passages.

The correct way to use silicone in engine assembly is to apply it to the gasket either in a bead less than 3mm wide and 1mm thick or as a coating so thin that you can only tell it is there by it's sheen, then let it cure overnight before assembly (longer if it's cold where you are working).
If you do this, the gasket should come out clean the next time you take it apart & you should get another use from it.
I would only use a gasket twice, though, because after that it may be too compressed and affect clearances.
 

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Bob, thanks for the kind words about my very minor part in Eccles. I've always been a sucker for an impossible project, and I early recognized a kindred spirit. The difference between us is, I wonder about them, YOU DO THEM! And for the record, Bob sent me a box of useful parts for my contribution. As well as sidecar advice. I was well paid. And I smile every time I see Eccles in your avatar. Winter's coming Bob, are you getting excited ? :)
 

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"so I bought a brand new waste basket and cut it up to make the "Rubbermaid lowers".

Sooooo, that's where Tony got the idea!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In order to attach a sidecar & bike together you need a minimum of 3 attachment points on the bike (preferably 4) and the one that is absolutely necessary is the lower front mount - right where there is nothing to attach to on these bikes. So a subframe is needed to provide something to attach to. I went through all of that when I attached the Velorex 700 and GL500 and it had worked well for about 45,000 Km so I used the same subframe for the 650.

My subframe attaches to the lugs on the bottom of the engine (nobody knows why Honda put them there, but they are perfect for attaching the subframe to), the right rear engine mount and the right front engine mount.
Subframe 1.JPG

Subframe 2.JPG
Here's what it looks like installed
Subframe 3.JPG
And with the strut in place
Subframe 4.JPG
And just to give you an idea of the other attachment points
Mounting 1.JPG

Mounting 2.JPG

It must have been pretty reliable that first year because the log shows nothing between mounting the trunk & battery in November 2006 and getting it ready for winter in the fall of 2007.

But a search of the forum archives found only these:
See: I told you washing a bike wasn't a good idea! - Honda CX500 & GL500 Forum (The problem went away but re-surfaced a year later)

Re: I found a decent aftermarket headlight unit!!!! - Honda CX500 & GL500 Forum
Somehow that didn't get recorded in the log, probably because I installed it while the 650 wasn't being used.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have realized that I completely missed mentioning Eccles' fenders. The original abbreviated sport bike would not have been adequate on sloppy winter roads so I spent quite a bit of time & effort figuring out what I could do for minimal expense that would work.

The front was relatively easy. The GL500 fender bolted up to the CX-E forks and cleared the tire but the fork brace wouldn't bolt down over it. A bit of trial & error determined that if I used a 3/8" ss nut under each corner as a spacer it would raise it just enough so that it barely cleared the top of the fender. Fortunately, I had 4 M8 Allen head bolts that were just enough longer than the originals to work.

The rear was another matter altogether. I brought all of the plastic fenders I had down from the attic to see what had a close enough profile to mate with the original inner fender. The only thing that came close was (surprise! surprise!) the inner fender from the GL500. The edges were shaped to snap onto the 500's frame so I had to trim them off and the flaps at what was originally the front end were very asymmetrical to fit around stuff so they had to be trimmed to match.
gl500 inner fender.JPG
I have always thought the final shape resembled the back of an old fashioned fireman's helmet.
Rear Fender.JPG
The rear fender is solid enough not to cause problems but flexible enough that I can bend it out of the way a bit to make room for getting the wheel out.
 
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