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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. I have a '81 CX500 Deluxe and over the past week my buddy and I were replacing some gaskets for clutch cover and transmission cover. We put it all back together last night, new oil, and water in the radiator. On the way home the bike several times would slowly begin to lose power in the middle of riding. The only other time I've felt something like this was low gas, which of course reserve tank fixes issue. Switched between on and reserve several times and it didn't help much (plenty of gas). I couldn't get it up my driveway in a low gear without it dying out on me.
This AM, I was able to get it up the drive (which I dunno how that happened) with it still kinda sputtering a bit and not having a ton of power. I THEN observed a clicky sound (in video) that kinda sounded like it was on the left side of the engine maybe near the front.
Do y'all have any ideas on what's going on?

 

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Hard to tell on these little computer speakers...

Sounds like maybe the valves need to be checked which would not be caused by any of the things that you did over this past week. Do you know how to do that? Any manual or search can tell you how to do that. Perhaps that ticking is a loose valve on the left side?

Did you change the oil filter and somehow get it in wrong?
 

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When you say you removed the clutch cover, do you mean the small little round cover or the whole front motor cover?
 

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I was asking about the cover because if the little oil orifice was installed it can affect oil pressure and oil making it to the valve train.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hard to tell on these little computer speakers...

Sounds like maybe the valves need to be checked which would not be caused by any of the things that you did over this past week. Do you know how to do that? Any manual or search can tell you how to do that. Perhaps that ticking is a loose valve on the left side?

Did you change the oil filter and somehow get it in wrong?
Checked the filter yesterday, and it's good on that front.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was asking about the cover because if the little oil orifice was installed it can affect oil pressure and oil making it to the valve train.
The whole front cover was taken off in order to put new gasket on. I made sure that those little O-rings went back to their proper spots. Since I drained it again to troubleshoot, I could double-check that area.
 

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There's an oil metering jet inside one of those o-rings. If it was lost or installed backward, you won't get proper oil pressure to the top of the engine. It's on the right side above the clutch.
Do you remember handling it? It can come out when the case is removed.
 

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check vacuum line to auto petcock
I was thinking along the same lines. Did you have the fuel tank off or disconnect the hoses from the petcock? Your symptoms sound exactly like what happens if you reverse the vacuum line and the drain/vent line on the petcock.
The vacuum line (from the left side of the right carb) is supposed to be connected to the small barb farthest from the main body of the petcock and the drain/vent (hangs below the bike so fuel doesn't land on the hot parts if/when the vacuum diaphragm fails) is supposed to be on the one closest to the main body.

BTW: Welcome to the forum. Please add your location to your profile and your bike's model and model year to your signature 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).
 
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