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Larry's CX500 project

26935 Views 114 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  CXResurrection
A year ago I started working on another full resto project after I finished my GL650I. On the old forum it was called "Not a Good beginning" After I got started on it (08-2009) I started to get swamped with total restorations and projects from a local bike shop as well as carb jobs. In the last year I have restored 6 bikes completely and 5 near total rebuilds. Since they were paying jobs, of coarse mine took the back seat.

These are a few I do have pictures of,

And A 72 CB450 And of coarse a dirt bike for the kids. There are more, but you get the idea. I got busy.

I got the frame and all the components painted as well as 90% of all the polishing done, that included the new reverse rims and all the electronics and controls, before the rush started in a couple weeks. But then it went to the side and was ignored. Over the next few months I was able to at least build a new engine for it since the original one had a blown piston. Everything inside the engine is new if I could get it. All new bearing shells, pistons, rings, vale guides, (bronze) the triple bypass stuff was done too as well as porting the heads. I even found time to paint the engine with automotive paint while I did some paint work on one of the restorations. This way if anything spills on the engine it won't stain the paint.

Well, after I retired in April of this year I have been able to get caught up with everything, including finishing my Carb rebuild book and getting it printed and ready to sell. Now, finally I'm getting back to work on my CX500D project. 2 days ago I pulled everything back out and started assembly. Since the frame and suspension has been together for a while, and the engine was done, it didn't take much for me to get going and put the 2 together. After that I just had to see what it was all going to look like mocked up. I bought one of the Eagle Screens with the flared lips to deflect the air and was jazzed to see what it all looked like together.

I really like it so far. I have always wanted one of the euro style shields on one of my bikes.

Now I'm working on the exhaust system. I have Sportster pipes going on it. But the Hbox needed to have the rear attachments replaced due to being rusted out. I went to the muffler shop and had them make a couple flanges for me to work with. After getting them cut down to length and cutting the slots in them, I machined a new sleeve that will weld to the front of the pipes so that they will slip in and seal the way the stock pipes do. It took a while, but I think it's worth it. Everything is ready to start welding together now. So after rebuilding a set of carbs that came in the mail for me to do today, I'll get it going and show you how it all looks with the exhaust on it. I just hope all these pictures were put in right!

It's been a long time but I'm really excited to be working on it again. I need to get it finished though because the waiting list is growing for bikes waiting to come in and get restored.
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As long as I can convince myself that I can make it before the 4th I'm sure I'll be ok. Well, as OK as you can be without getting much sleep! 12 days left though and I haven't reached that point yet. Once it together and running I'm sure I can get into the tank mods and get it painted in time. We'll see though.
Yup....I'm the one making Larry's life hell right now.
Actually, the show on the 4th is Larry's self-imposed deadline, but it would be great for him to get some accolades for his work and perhaps garner some new business from it as well.

Little did we know that there was so much difference between a standard and deluxe from the same year.... No surprise, Larry has been the biggest advocate to ensure the bike is period and model correct.

I've been considering and casually looking for a '79 CX500D for a couple years now, but it wasn't until back in February when I joined the forum and started searching beyond ebay, cycletrader and my local craigslist. Seeing the photos documenting the work that Larry has done on the bike and motor, told me that this was the route to go. As Larry mentioned, I was first looking for pretty much an exact replica of the bike I bought new back on July 6th 1979. (I still have the sales order from the dealer in MN - bought it for $2,495) However, after seeing the modifications/improvements Larry made to the brakes, wheels, exhaust, etc - I started to think to make some slight modifications which would still pay homage to the original bike but yet with some personal touches to give it a one-off look that will be uniquely mine. Very much looking forward to re-living post-highschool years on a LRCXed bike!
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OK, the latest progress is that I have the bike all rewired with the new gauge package on it for the remodel. I now have to get busy on the tank that I got to replace the original one I had on the bike. I discovered that that tank had the larger threaded fitting for the vacuum petcock. Since it's not correct for the 79 deluxe I bought another tank for this project that IS correct. Today will start that part of the build. I'm hoping the painting will start in a couple days at the most. Since I only have 7 days to get it painted and to DMV to get it registered and plated I'm not going to hold my breath. But if I can divert any interruptions I MAY just make the show.

Here is a quick and crappy phone video of it so far. Sorry it's so blurry but it's the best I have for now. [media][/media]
I finally started the last phase of the project last night. The new tank had to be stripped and blasted as well as pulling the metal strip off where the stock Honda emblems screw into the tank. Were changing those for the round Honda wing emblems and the old mounts won't work. The metal strip has to be removed since I'm filling in the sides with body filler to smooth out the look of the tank. If I was to just fill in over them the strip would expand and contract at a different rate then the rest of the tank and cause the body filler to crack eventually.

Here are the steps I took to get it in primer by today. Note that the entire tank was also glass beaded to remove any rust on the tanks underside and top.

Grinding the spot welds out.

Ground out and ready for glass beading.

Blasted and ready for body work.

Sides filled in along with a skim coat on the top to smooth out the slight ripples from the factory welding the tank together. They all need a little help in this area sometimes.

All blocked out and ready for the high build primer.

After it cures for the night I'll start the block sanding process. I'm hoping this is the only coat of primer I'll need to put on it. We'll see when I start blocking it out tomorrow.

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I'm just curios as hell because this is looking beautiful how much would something like all of the run a man?
That's where my cheese grater went. Had one walk away from my tool box and there's no reason so I made due with better squeegee work. Add that to the list of stuff I should get.

I do agree with you about the flexing but what about fine kitty hair fiberglass bondo. Ever have that lift and contract on you? Either way the best answer is if you're going to spend the money do it right in the first place.

It all really depends on what the particular bike needs. Of coarse the cost would climb the more the bike and motor needed as well as what the person wanted the finished product to look like. I will tell you that it's not cheap for what I do in an entire rebuild. If you have a bike your interested in having done send me an email and we'll discus it. But you'll need to know I have 3 more bikes to build right behind this one.


That metal strip on the tank that I took off would end up acting like a bi metal switch with the cool gas inside the tank and the hot sun on the outside. The strip would expand faster than the main metal of the tank and eventually pop ANY body filler out or crack it. The kitty hair bondo would not help at all in this situation. But since there is only 3 spot welds to get it off, why not do it right so there's no chance of a problem later down the road.

Oh yea Don, even Kragen or HF has the cheese graders. It sure makes shaping body filler much easier.
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That's where my cheese grater went. Had one walk away from my tool box and there's no reason so I made due with better squeegee work. Add that to the list of stuff I should get.

Here's something that can be used -,40733,44734

Martha Stewart says it can be used to make lemon zest too!
Those zesters are pretty expensive in the right stores. But the reason for the cheese grater is the curve in it allows you to take off as little or as much body filler as you can in a short time. And when I say short I mean short. You get the filler on and as it's still tacky you sculpt away. Maybe a 10 minute window before it's to hard and you are left with the sander to finish the job.

Guess now I know what I can spend my 25% Harbor Freight Memorial Day Coupon on.
LOL I cant wait to see this thing finished!
Me too Pacman, me too!
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Me three!

It's been great to see it all come together!!
Great work!! Can't wait to see the finished product.
Yesterday ended up being a long day of sanding. I started out thinking that the fender and side covers had already been blocked sanded and they were ready to do the final 400 grit sanding, but I was wrong. So I ended up spending all day doing the 4 stages of block sanding to get the parts ready to paint. The worst part was that all the plastics have all those tiny nooks and crannies molded into them. And to make sure the paint never lifts at the edges all those edges have to be sanded down smooth so the paint sticks well forever.

This first picture shows the light coat of green misted on the tank. It's called a guide coat. As you sand down the part it allows you to see low spots and sanding scratches as you progress. When the guide coat is gone you know you've gone as far as you have to. Then another thinned out guide coat goes on so you can go to the next finer grit paper and remove those sanding marks. The grit's I use for all the blocking are 150, 220, 320 and finally 400. Now you know why it took all day to get them ready.

Here's all the parts sanded down to 400 grit and ready to go. Today I will be cleaning out the shop and putting up the paint booth. If everything goes right I SHOULD be able to get some paint on by this evening. At least I have two big races to watch today while I'm getting everything ready.

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Looking good Larry.

I'm sure it will be another show piece when you get done with it.

One race is over,,what a heartbreak finish for Hildebrand

Bring on the 600
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I know! What an amazing lack of thinking on his part. He could have backed off and followed the lapped car and still won.

The 600 will be better to watch anyway. It's my brand.
AAAARRRRGGHHH, just not right for either finish!! end of thread jack.
I've waited a long time for Dale Jr. to finally get another win too. I was yelling so loud when he ran out of gas that everyone came running out of the house!
He just can't get a break. Your right Joel, both endings sucked.

OK, back on track here. Yesterday was a long day of cleaning and putting new plastic sheeting on the paint booth. If it wasn't for my buddy Ron I wouldn't have gotten it all done yesterday. All the bending and stapling over 1000 staples really got to my back slowing me down quit a bit. But we made it and I got the sealer sprayed on all the parts. Today will be nice because I'll be getting the paint done. Here's last nights progress picture. Hopefully the next post will include the finished paint job.

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Oh buddy its about to have glorious stamped all over!
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I thought Ramp may be a Biff fan.

What color are you painting this one Larry?
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