Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Equilibrium restored, sparks recovered, pumps are pumping now...

Since the last installment, the CBR900RR carbs were re-checked; installed with rerouted emission control hoses and a new petcock/screen installed on the fuel tank. Initially, the fuel pump relay connector was jumpered to get the pump to function, but once the fuel bowls were filled, the pump slowed down like it normally does as the demand slackens. Once the bike was fired up, the solid-state fuel pump relay was re-installed on the connector and miraculously the pump functioned normally, apparently as designed. It won’t fill empty fuel bowls, but once the engine is running, the pump relay does function normally. All’s well that ends well and the bike was driven out on Sunday afternoon and apparently made the trip back to the owner’s house successfully, in one piece.

The little devil of a Sport Cub C110 was treated to another condenser, which was actually designed for a different application and a replacement ignition coil from an eBay seller. Once the flywheel was re-installed, the bike showed a nice bright spark at the coil’s wire end, but the “fits Honda CA110” eBay auction page failed to note that the spark plug secondary wire is about 4” too short. The original application was for a Bridgestone 90, which shared the same mounting points, but the primary wiring was reversed and the spark plug wire was too short for the Honda application, so it is headed back to the seller next week.

The old coil was reinstalled and suddenly was working just fine. The bike lift was lowered down so the bike could be kick-started from ground level. Initially, the bike kicked over but didn’t fire off on full choke or no choke. After using various throttle settings, suddenly it lit off and ran just fine with no unusual sounds or leaks, so success has been achieved there this week, as well.

The CL/S90 project was treated to some shorter aftermarket shocks, which required some bushing modifications, but now the rear wheel is well clear of the ground, making it sit better on the centerstand, which does have a slightly bent leg on one side.

Fitting the CL90 exhaust system to the bike left one problem which really has no easy solution. The S90 engine has a high-mounted dipstick on the clutch cover. When the CL90 exhaust was engineered for these frames and engines, the exhaust pipe runs right over the top of the dipstick handle. So in order to check the oil, you have to loosen the exhaust pipe. The normal solution, if you had a later model engine would just be to change the clutch cover to the CL90 style, but that doesn’t work here due to the different oil passages in the center crankcase that don’t match up with the clutch cover.

A few days later…
I pulled the engine back out of the S/CL90 and went forward with rebuilding it in the correct CL90 engine cases. There was a lot of cleanup to do as they had been sitting out in the open at an auto body shop gathering resident dust as well as sanding dust from years of bodywork efforts nearby. The center cases, clutch cover and dyno covers were all cleaned and flushed out in preparation for assembly with the majority of the S90 engine parts. However, there was, of course, an issue with the right side engine case where the kickstarter stopper is located. Sometime in its long life, the stopper had been sheared off inside the cases. The S90 engine was torn down and that case half taken to my good friend Rob North for some welding on the broken case half. Using the S90 case for a guide, he was able to Heli-arc the stopper back to near factory shape in the CL90 case half.
Once that was out of the way, the rest of the engine internals were swapped into the correct case set and eventually the reassembled engine was installed back into the chassis. With everything buttoned back up again, the start-up drill was initiated… and failed. Again, there was no spark at the plug nor was there a viable voltage signal at the points. I imagined having to pull the engine again to recheck the ignition coil/condenser components, but when I disconnected the point wire at the connector, the voltage re-appeared. For some reason, the old points tend to ground out at the wire connector when clamped down too hard. Readjusting the wire connector on the points brought the power back to an ungrounded state when the points were opened. With spark reestablished, the engine fired on the first kick, sounding happy and healthy once again. Now with the dipstick in the proper location, the oil can be checked and filled without difficulties.

A near-miss CBX purchase almost happened last week; but once I took a closer look, I decided to pass. The bike had 48k miles on it and the suspension was pretty loose on both ends, plus the engine had not been run for a couple of years, the tires were bald and rotten and the whole thing looked like a financial black hole. Hard for me to turn down a CBX, but I did!
Good news, of sorts, in that the grubby XL200R found a new home, basically for the cost of parts invested over the past month. That was another one of those deals best left alone in the future. Lesson learned!

The little C110 Cub is getting closer to street-legal status now. With a running engine and newly revamped clutch, all that was left were to hunt down some footpegs, which came from an eBay seller for very little money. A search back through my friend Ron Smith’s storage locker turned up a spare fuel tank and the chromed side covers for the Sports Cub so it’s looking better all the time now!

Bill “MrHonda” Silver

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