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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so... I am NOT comfortable doing heavy mechanical work, very basic Maintenance is all I am really comfortable with (yes you can laugh at me if you wish)

Have an 81 CX500C (not mine officially, just watching it while my Brother-In-Law is deployed)

He got it after it had sit in a shed for several years, took it to some guys had the carbs cleaned, etc... That was in, oh 2006? Worked fine for him, no issues. Still no issues, but I want to keep it that way.



My plan is to drive it to work to save a bit of money.



Decided to change the Oil Filter/Oil before I started riding it regularly, and I figured while I was there I would change the Air Filter...

Well, while I am doing the oil change I find there is a spring in the Oil Filter Casing (and the Oil Filter was dated March 06, thats where I get the 06 number from) the Washer is missing, and, after popping the seat, I find, there was no Air Filter in it either(there is now). I rode it down about 10 miles, and didn't really notice any performance increase from the bike, I didn't ride it much before I did the oil change, though. I do know, from experience, it got about 41 .5mpg on 2.21 gallons (83 miles per 2.1 gallons of gas), haven't tested post oil/air change yet.



First Question: I know the Washer is needed, but do I have to get it right this minute, or can I wait until I change the oil again?



Second and Third Questions: With the Air Filter being gone from the unit, for who knows how long, what could it have effected? And what do I need to do?



Fourth Question: Should there have been a performance increase, and me not really noticing, could that mean that the carbs need cleaned again?
 

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As for the oil filter case, if the washer is gone, and it is not leaking oil, you might be okay for a bit, but it should be there for things to work right. Take a peek in the General Discussion section under the Quick Reference thread. You will find a downloadable factory service manual, and plenty of other helpful tips, including the questions you pose.



The air boxes on these really need the filter to keep things balanced. The carbs should probably be gone through again thoroughly, preferably by using an ultrasonic cleaner. You'll find tips on that as well in that section.



Average MPG for these bikes runs from 45 to 50 in normal riding. If it is a Custom, that is the smallest fuel tank on any of them, at just shy of 3 gallons, so hitting reserve around 85 to 100 is normal. There isn't much left when you hit reserve, so you'd better be by a station soon.



Tell us a bit more about it, and put the bike model and year in your profile signature line so we can always refer to it when answering questions..



Welcome aboard THE ultimate source for help on the CX/GL series bikes.



Joel in the Couve
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, forgot to add my sig. Done. Sorry :/ ... Thank you for your reply, and thank you for Welcoming me so Warmly. It took very little searching to find this site.



More Info on the bike: 3 owners, One here, in Tennessee, he gave it to his Son, His Son sold it to his best bud ( my Bro-in-Law) for chump change. He took it to Arkansas, and he gave it to me to take care of while he is Deployed ( back in Tennessee). About all I know about it.



I got the manual, and will look it over, I have a Haynes also, but it seems to expect the reader to already be a mechanic to understand things. So I am lost at times (okay, most of the time)

It is not leaking Oil, I let it idle a long time, to ensure this. A washer is on my agenda, then, I will order one, if the Dealer in the next town has it. Thanks, I was worried it may end up seizing or something on me.



A carb cleaning worries me. I have little mechanical knowledge, and I am very afraid that I will mess something up. I have the option of taking it to a (not so local) Shop, but they want to do it for more than the bike is worth. I think I will wait and inform the Owner when he gets back. Perhaps driving it to work every day, is not such a good idea.



Wow the quick reference is massive, I don't know how I missed it, thank you so much!
 

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Your welcome.

If you want a sure deal on the carbs, not knowing what your budget is, you could ship them to Larry here on the board (LRCXed) and have him work his magic. He also has a very excellent book he wrote last year about the whole process which is available to buy for about 25 bucks. Sending them to him via USPS in a medium flat rate box costs about 11$ and his cost is about $250 ish. You would never have to worry about them for a loooooonnnnnnng time after that.



He did the carbs for my previous CX500 Custom and the difference was incredible, which took me to the next level and I bought his beautiful restoration piece, my G-Loria, which you can see the whole process in my sig line link where it says "click me".



You should be able to do many of the maintenance items without too much trouble, and someone is here from all around the world, nearly 24/7.



Joel in the Couve
 

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OP...Welcome to the site!



Don't give up on the bike yet! As you've already found out, there's a lot of good info on here and a lot of good memebers all around the world. If you do need your carbs cleaned, there might be a quilified member near you willing to give you a hand! I need to pull mine again. This will be the third time. However, the first two times I didn't know what I know now! (someone should make a song about that!)



I too have an 81c.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OP...Welcome to the site!



Don't give up on the bike yet! As you've already found out, there's a lot of good info on here and a lot of good memebers all around the world. If you do need your carbs cleaned, there might be a quilified member near you willing to give you a hand! I need to pull mine again. This will be the third time. However, the first two times I didn't know what I know now! (someone should make a song about that!)



I too have an 81c.




Well, by stroke of luck my Brother emailed me after I updated him on everything. He informed me that he had the carbs re-done about 4 months ago, in the winter time, and really did not have time to ride it since then, I'm hoping that the lack of Air Filter didn't effect it much (and he suggested running a cleaner through through it, not sure if I will or not). I have noticed that (and my wife agrees) the bike sounds different, don't know how to explain exactly, but it just sounds different. Filled up yesterday at 93 Miles (2.21 gallons), and had not hit the reserve yet probably wasn't far, but oh well, that's (at least) ten more miles to a tank, I'm pretty happy about that. Starting to really like the bike, and I will likely buy one if it continues to be a good bike for me.
 

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I wouldn't sweat the lack of air filter too much, if in fact the carburetor rebuild was that recent and he didn't ride the bike much. If it starts running poorly, or idling funny, then you may have a bit of dirt that made its way into a sensitive area. I have a 1980 Custom with true carburetor issues - the float inside the float tank is more of a sinker, since the float is cracked somewhere. If you do develop carburetor issues, find out where your brother had the bike worked on - he can resort the carbs or, if you want Larry out in CA to do the work, your local guy can pull the carburetors and reinstall them. It will get expensive, but from what you have described, you are ok and were smart for putting the air filter in. From your description, you may not want to get involved with carburetor work - it can be frustrating and requires some good tools.



As far as the missing washer goes, I would probably get it ordered and ride the bike until the part came in. Then, I would drain the oil, install the washer, and reuse the filter and the oil - no sense in wasting a good oil change. If the oil is dirty, then I would replace the filter and the oil as well.



Welcome to the club.



Oh, and I am not surprised that the bike sounds different. Without the air filter, the carburetor intake or vacuum is probably louder. I may use my SPL (sound pressure meter) and measure the decibels with and without the filter, just for fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'll take your advice about the washer. I think also, I will run seafoam through a few tanks of gas, hopefully if anything got in there, it isn't so bad that Seafoam would be useless.



Yesterday Yesterday I got curious , so I pulled the seat off and looked around in the Air Filter Box. I noticed this mesh wall (I am fairly sure it is a filter of some kind) well I looked closer into it, and it smells pretty heavy of gas, which is probably normal, but what I noticed was if I swype my finger accr oss the mesh filter, I pull off an oil like residue.... should I look into cleaning this? Of is this normal?
 

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Your bike has a crankcase ventilation loop that will pull the gases from the crankcase, through that screen/filter, through the airfilter and back into the carburetors to be burned. The vapor from the crankcase will have oil suspended in it, which will deposit on the screen and everything else inside the airbox. If you want to see something really gross, pull the two stoppers out of the airbox draintubes that are underneath the bike, right in front of the rear tire. If you have to pull your carburetors for some reason, then I would consider cleaning the airbox - that is what I did with mine. I submersed it in hot soapy water for a period of time, rinsed well, then I dried it with compressed air and put it in the sun to finish drying. It is much cleaner now.
 
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