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UPDATE: Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated! (until I start fixing the next bit and need a littel more help!)

Hi guys, I'm new to the CX500 life and just got this barn find running for the first time in 30 years. I'm no stranger to working on bikes...I've got two KTMs [awaits jokes]. Anyway I've done all the usual stuff when starting an engine that hasn't been touched in yonks:

  1. Drained old fuel from tank and filled with new fuel mixed with snake oil
  2. Drained old oil and installed new oil filter before filling with fresh part-synthetic oil
  3. Installed new NGK iridum DR8EIX spark plugs
  4. Cranked engine over a few times with the lead off the plug to get the oil flowing around the engine

Important note: I don't know if it was hard to start because I only filled 5 liters of fuel and turn the fuel tap to ON rather than RESERVE. I realised this after a few cranking attemps since it happens to be all too often when I'm riding enduro :'D Anyway, I'm not sure whether the hard starting was because of that or actually having to wait for the fresh fuel to make it's way though the carbs...

It sounds a little noisy to me, I haven't made adjustments to the camchain tensioner or valves so any input from experienced ears would be greatly appreciated before I start testing the bike on the road!

Cheers :)
 
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cranks like compression is low

carbs need a clean

get the synth oil out if it

put in cheap dyno oil and let it run itself back in do a oil change at 300 miles then another at 1k miles

leave the synth in now and the rings may not reseat
 

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MA or MA2 oil for wet clutch non synth.

attachments/video missing ?
 

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Def needs carbs cleaning. But runs surprising well for a barn find.

Hopefully the inside is in better shape than the outside??? :)
 
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Do the maintenance before riding.

a tad dirty .
 

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Lovely patina. The differences in alloy oxidation are wonderfully apparent. Best wishes going forward. Might want to check that valve train seems a little noisy to me too.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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Next time you want to circulate the oil in an engine crank it with the kill switch off instead of removing the plug leads. It is possible (although not likely) to damage the ignition by operating it with out the plugs.

It doesn't sound bad for the first time running in 30 years. Change the oil (as Murray said) and run it a bit more, then get working on cleaning it up. And no, that isn't "patina". It is corrosion and, if not dealt with can result in holes where you do not want holes to be.

BTW: Don't forget to change the coolant and the final drive oil...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
cranks like compression is low

carbs need a clean

get the synth oil out if it

put in cheap dyno oil and let it run itself back in do a oil change at 300 miles then another at 1k miles

leave the synth in now and the rings may not reseat
Okay, cool! Will do. Going to try and see if I can buy some 10w-40 mineral MA oil off the shelf. Otherwise I'll have to order it online.
 

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Its not a bad idea to flush an engine that has been unused for a long time. Usually you would use the cheapest oil possible because you are only going to run it for a few minutes but in this case the synthetic you have used will do the job. I would even consider adding some engine flush additive and running it for a few more minutes before changing it but it probably isn't necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Next time you want to circulate the oil in an engine crank it with the kill switch off instead of removing the plug leads. It is possible (although not likely) to damage the ignition by operating it with out the plugs.

It doesn't sound bad for the first time running in 30 years. Change the oil (as Murray said) and run it a bit more, then get working on cleaning it up. And no, that isn't "patina". It is corrosion and, if not dealt with can result in holes where you do not want holes to be.

BTW: Don't forget to change the coolant and the final drive oil...
Haha! Yeah, the patina isn't going to stick around once I know she's mechanically sound. I'm guessing any ethylene glycol coolant is okay mixed with distilled water.

Didn't know the engine cranked over with the kill switch off, I'll do that from now on. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Def needs carbs cleaning. But runs surprising well for a barn find.

Hopefully the inside is in better shape than the outside??? :)
Carbs are on my list too, but I'm trying to get it ready for an MOT (road worthiness test) so it can at least be taxed and used on the road. At the moment she's technically still a non-runner and I don't want to sink too much money into the bike if it's too costly to rescue!

LOL, yeah it looks like she's still got inner beauty xD
 

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Don't forget to check all the hydraulic front brake parts before you do a first ride.
"Normally" the brake fluid should be changed all two years. Because the fluid is hygroskopic (likes to add water) and this produces corrosion.

A look into the rear brake drum is also recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Make it safe before MOT. I'm guessing they will tear you a new one in that condition.
Yeah, I've still got a way to go and it needs new tyres too. I'll give it a clean too so it doesn't look like a fossil! It came with a massive fairing which I've removed, so I've gotta sort out all the wiring for the lighting :'(
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Don't forget to check all the hydraulic front brake parts before you do a first ride.
"Normally" the brake fluid should be changed all two years. Because the fluid is hygroskopic (likes to add water) and this produces corrosion.

A look into the rear brake drum is also recommended.
I've taken apart the master cylinder and both callipers. Both we're totally seized but I've put them back together with the original parts and fresh fluid (original stuff was totally black) and they're working pretty well. Will need to bleed them a little more as I think there's a little air in the system.

The rear brake is working suprisingly well but still needs some testing once the bike is okay to run for longer periods.
 

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There is probably a sub-harness that belongs to the fairing plugged into the bike's main harness. Once you remove that it won't look so daunting. You can download the appropriate colour schematic for your bike from the CX Wiki (link in my signature) and then connecting the new parts to the correct wires should be straightforward.

Re brakes: You should consider replacing the (probably 39 year old) rubber brake lines before you take it out in traffic. Rubber brake lines are only designed to last for 2-3 fluid changes (5-6 years). They deteriorate due to ozone in the air, ultra violet from sunlight, and contact with brake fluid. Have you ever wondered why brake fluid turns red/brown after a couple of years? it's a combination of oxydization caused by the moisture that finds it's way through the porous rubber and rubber particles suspended in the fluid. If the old fluid was black it must have contained a lot of rubber... Stainless steel braided brake lines are NOT made with rubber. They are made by braiding stainless steel wire over a teflon tube. Teflon is NOT porous. It will not allow any contaminants into the fluid.
 
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