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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys,

I'm a newbie to mechanics, but last winter took apart the master cylinder, breaks and carbs. I rode my '80 CX500c for 2 days and then it died. I pump it in a local shop and they are saying the stator went on the bike. It wont turn over at all. They quoted me $1300 ($400) of which is parts to make the fix. The reason the price is so high is because, as they explained it, they need to drop the engine... Does this all sound legit?

I'm wondering if I am willing to buy all the parts is this something I could do? Does it require dropping the engine, because if it does, its probably better I don't get into that.
 

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Wow.....Im in the wrong business. Maybe I should just start doing stators and water pumps for $1000 and scoop up all the business:D
 

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Dropping the motor on these is honestly not particularly difficult if you're mechanically inclined and can follow the directions in the FSM... and if you don't rush. There's pretty well always someone around on this forum to answer a query while you're mid-process and after you've done it once or twice you should be comfortably able to do it solo in under an hour without rushing.
 

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I have installed several stators, cam chains and mechanical seals and all I got
was a hand shake, a pat on the back and some good experience. If you have any mechanical experience
and a few tools you can do this. These bikes are easy to work on. It would help if you can find a forum member
close by who is willing to help with this project. Has anyone tried to use Skype for something like this???.
That would be like having an assistant in the shop with you.
 

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Sounds like the shop owner has a boat payment due.

Dropping the CX engine is easier than taking an engine out of a lawn mower if you have even the most basic of skills. Take the advice of those on here, get the manual and drop the engine yourself. I would divert from the manuals on a few issues, I like to leave the exhaust in one piece instead of separating it, you can get it off in one piece IIRC. The stator and water pump are pretty straight forward, you'll want to do a triple bypass (quadruple?) if you're pulling the engine. Search this site and you should find many posts on how to do it and shortcuts.

Have you actually diagnosed it? What do you mean by "it won't turn over?" Not turning over means the starter doesn't crank the engine, is that what's happening? The stator may be fine, if the High Side died and the stator is still charging, you can replace the original CDI with an ignitech unit and leave the stator alone. The water pump seal can be changed in the bike.
 

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Or a Shepped seal and an ignitech if the camchain is OK and the problems identified by the mechanic are the correct ones.

To double check his work, do you have a multimeter?
 

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Unless it won't turn over because the battery is dead?
 
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$400 for the parts is too high. For that much he should be changing the camchain & guides and the starter clutch. And for $900 in labour he should polish & paint the engine while it is out :p Part of the problem is that he is probably quoting on Honda's list price for the parts and he probably has never had one of these apart before so he is including the cost of a mechanic learning how to do the job.

If you are going to continue to own an antique motorcycle I would highly recommend that you develop the skills to do this sort of work yourself. It ain't rocket surgery and there are lots of us here to help you figure things out. Otherwise you will end up spending more to keep it running than it is worth on a regular basis.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks gentlemen. I have the bike in my garage, not theirs. I have a battery charger and had that on there, and it says its charging fully. We had issues with the "charging system" last fall. I would charge the battery fully pop it in and go for a 10 minute ride around my neighborhood before it would die. He installed a trickle charger on there, but it didn't really seem to do anything.

I do have some basic skills, so I'm not too too worried about dropping the engine, I just don't want to do all that work and find out it wasn't even the stators to begin with. How do I diagnose the charging system? What are the troubleshooting steps?

Thanks!
 

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Thanks gentlemen. I have the bike in my garage, not theirs. I have a battery charger and had that on there, and it says its charging fully. We had issues with the "charging system" last fall. I would charge the battery fully pop it in and go for a 10 minute ride around my neighborhood before it would die. He installed a trickle charger on there, but it didn't really seem to do anything.

I do have some basic skills, so I'm not too too worried about dropping the engine, I just don't want to do all that work and find out it wasn't even the stators to begin with. How do I diagnose the charging system? What are the troubleshooting steps?

Thanks!
For the stator check, go here:
https://motofaction.org/motorcycles/honda-cx-gl/how-to-check-test-stator-honda-cx500/
(It's actually in the FSM, but that's harder to follow.)

Good luck, and keep us posted.

Peter
 

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Also take note that just because the battery charger says it's charging fully, or indicates a full charge, that does not necessarily mean the batter is capable of the full load required. Get the battery load tested at any auto parts store or battery retailer to determine if it is up to snuff. Getting a new battery is a reasonable expense to eliminate these kinds of issues.
 

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Did the bike sit with the battery discharged for any length of time? Even overnight at full discharge could decrease the charge capacity (maximum charge possible) and if it sat for a month or two it could be ruined.

Start by doing the stator test Peter posted the link to and let us know the results.
 

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I think the battery may be shagged whether the stator charges it or not. - Probably not.

A CDI CX with a bad stator can be ridden for a lot longer than 10 minutes. I've had to use my own 500C in this circumstance some years back.

And the thing is .... a CDI CX won't die when the battery [email protected] out anyway as the ignition is independent of the battery and charging system. It just won't have the electrical power to spin the starter once stopped.

I wonder if you have a short between the 3 yellow wires and pin 9 that becomes apparent with a bit of temp. I think in any case this is some sort of electro thermal fault or even fuel starvation.
 

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...and check where the negative battery cable is grounded to. You call the bike a 'brat;' Someone may have moved the original frame ground for the cable to where it insulated from the frame or not making good contact. Connect the black battery cable to one of the starter mount bolts to see if that helps. Cheap easy fix to see if it will turn over.
 
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