Tuesday, April 25, 2017

When Super Hawks go rogue…

Most people think of the standard CB72-77 Super Hawk in conventional terms; a flat-bar machine with a dual seat, a 180 degree-firing crankshaft engine design, dual carburetors, a 4-speed transmission, stopped by 200mm DLS brakes and rolling on 18” wheels/tires. Honda made something over 137,000 Super Hawks for worldwide distribution from 1961 to 1967, in various guises; some of which have never been seen or are seldom seen, even to this day.  Even in the beginning of the 1961 production machines, there were exceptions to the conventional CB72-77 models.

Engines                                                                Frames                                                 Features
‘61 Type
CB72E - 110001 - 113443                CB72 - 10001 – 13443                      The first 366 units were prototypes
CB72E - 150001 - 151657                CB72 - 50001 – 51657                      Type 2
CB77E - 110001 - 111249                CB77 - 10001 – 11249                      US models
CB77E - 150001 - 150480                CB77 - 50001 – 50480                      Type 2
CP77E - 110001 - 110080                                 CP77 - 10001 – 10080                       Non-Police
‘62 Type
CB72E - 210001 - 211880                CB72 - 21001 – 21881                     
CB72E - 260001 - 263469                CB72 - 60001 – 63444                      Type 2
CB77E - 210001 - 210900                CB77 - 20001 – 20902                      US models
CB77E - 260001 - 260395                CB77 - 26001 – 60395                      Type 2 ? I own #474!
CP77E - 210001 - 210228                                 CP77 - 20001 – 20228                       Non-Police           
‘63 Type
CB72E - 310001 - 315446                CB72 - 310001 - 315446
CB77E - 310001 - 319222                CB77 - 310001 - 319222
CB77E - 340001 - 340015                CB77 - 340001 – 340015                  Type 2
CP77E - 310001 - 311094                                 CP77 - 310001 – 311094                  Non-Police
CP77E - 340001 - 342015                                 CP77 - 340001 – 342015                  Police Type 2, rotary gearbox
CP77E - 3100001- 3100100             CP77 - 3100001 - 3100100
‘64 Type (1)  Six digit starting with 1
CB72E - 100001 - 104165                CB72 - 100001 – 104165                 
CB77E - 100001 - 109755                CB77 - 100001 - 109755
CP77E - 1100001- 1100803             CP77 - 1100001 – 1100803              Non-Police
‘64 Type (2) 6 digit starting with 4
CB72E - 400001- 402754                                 CB72 - 400001 - 402707
CB77E - 400001- 403838                                 CB77 - 400001 - 403841
CP77E - 4000001 - 4001260            CP77 - 4000001 - 4001103
CP77E - 4900001 -4901223             CP77 - 4900001 – 4900641              Police Type 2, rotary gearbox

’65-67 “The machines which were discontinued the year of manufacture are as follows:”
CB72E -1000001 - 1006342            CB72-1000001 – 1010918                               Numbers don’t match up!
CB77E -1000001 - 1056494            CB77-1000001 - 1056432
CP77E -1000001 - 1002015             CP77 -1000001 – 1001966               Non-Police                                                                CP77E -1900001 - 1901540                CP77 -1900001 – 1901535               Police Type 2 Rotary gearbox

Totals, based upon this chart, (which has errors!) = 137,240! That’s a LOT of Super Hawks! But that’s not all!

What is not shown clearly on the Honda production chart above are these unusual versions:

CM72 models, primarily 1961 and some early 1962 editions. These bikes were a cross between a Dream and a Super Hawk; solo seat, luggage rack on the back, single-carburetor, 360 crankshaft, rotary gearbox, single Scrambler-type speedometer, sidestand, winkers, early tail light.

CBM72 models, standard 250 Super Hawks, which have Type 2 engines installed. I have owned at least one of them and have seen others.

The Type 2-powered bikes used a 360 crankshaft, left cam with different master spline location, Dream points/point camshaft, special mounted twin-lead coil/condenser and a TYPE 2 labeled point cover. The cam timing was normal CB series lift/duration and carburetion was normal to any other CB. While there were Type 2 engines installed in 250cc Scramblers, no Type 2 engines were used in 305cc form. However, the 305cc CYP77 Police models did have Type 2 crankshafts.

In 2002, I was able to rebuild a genuine CYP77 Police bike, but the original engine was missing. I did come up with some engine cases that were stamped CP77, but the second digit (9) was not present, because they were for a non-Police application. I purchased a new Dream crankshaft for the 360 firing order. I ground off one of the splines on the left camshaft, which allowed the correct 360 degree firing. Fortunately, a genuine Type 2 ignition coil and condenser was available from a source in Canada to complete the installation, as close to original as possible. Because the Police bike rotary gearbox components were not available to me, I used a conventional CB77 gearbox with X’d gears in the transmission. The bike turned out well, with good low-end power and strong mid-range, too.

The oft-mentioned 1962 Type 2 CB77, currently in the stable of bikes, was built in the early 1990s and was treated to the then-available CYB racing parts, including the alloy rear fender, shift lever/rod, fork crown, clip-on handlebars, special fork cover clamps, hydraulic steering damper, steering stop and the factory racing seat.

I can’t recall exactly how I came upon the chassis in the beginning, as it was definitely not a US spec model. Following the domestic Japanese frame numbering system used in the first few years, the year is stamped in the middle of the frame number, so the frame is CB77-62-260474, where the 6 denotes a Type 2 engine that year. Honda used 4, 5, 6 and 9 as designators for Type 2 engine models through the years, although the 9 also designates a CYP77 Police model.

Honda stamped CP77 on both Police and non-Police versions, calling the Police model a CYP77 in the parts books (282 product code). The regular CP77 (281 product code) was a standard Super Hawk equipped with high handlebars, winkers, side stand, solid footpegs and the early style tail lights only seen in the US on 1961 CB77s. CP77s used that same tail light through 1965-66, while the rest of the export models used the more conventional CB72 generic tail light assembly from 1963-66. 1967 model bikes received the oval tail light treatment, along with some chrome fenders on the last 200 machines built.

Some sources report that many of the CYP77 Police models were used by the Army in Malaysia or Indonesia, back in the 1960s. There is ONE bike in Norway and perhaps TWO in the UK. Very few have ever come up for sale or even in photos. My CYP77 came out of Canada, where they did bring in a limited quantity of bikes and stocked parts for them briefly. There are several Facebook pages for vintage model Hondas, including a couple for the 250-305 Super Hawks. Recently a CYP77 was revealed in as-found condition down in SE Asia, but that is a rare occurrence these days.

Super Hawks are celebrating their 56th year anniversary of their release. While really good originals or even carefully restored bikes are becoming more scarce, you can see that there were many, many bikes produced and a good 68,000+ were sold right here in the US.  I got mine… go find yours!

1962 CB77 Type 2 cafe' racer version with CYB72 racing parts installed.

                                         Honda CM72 image from a show in Thailand

Someone didn’t read the book… How wrong can you be?

Well-intentioned efforts to rescue at least one CB77, from a stash of 5 bikes which sat outdoors, near the ocean, for some 20 years can involve a lot of twists and turns in the adventure.

My friend Steve, whom I steered towards the horde of Super Hawks (and a couple of other strays) has been sifting through several engines in hopes of finding one that was worthy of repair and overhauling. The first engine removed had cylinders full of corrosion, rust and other contaminants. Unfortunately, that engine was the match to the best of the CB77 frames in the pack. One of the bikes is a PI issued CB72 250 Hawk, so while some of the lower end parts are interchangeable, the top end components and crankshaft are all of different specifications.

On the second engine pull, Steve was shocked to discover cylinders with brand new pistons and rings, nestled in nice honed bores, all ready to go to work. The valves in the head were all new replacements and it looked like the best path to success, once the engine was completely disassembled for a thorough cleaning and inspection of the internals. With the top end already dismantled, it was time to turn attention to the lower end in hopes that the crankshaft, rods and transmission components were all in similar condition.

At first glance, it was noted that the infamous crankshaft locating pin on the rotor end of the crank was pushed up into the engine case and the displaced chunk of aluminum was subsequently glued back down in place. Unfortunately, the patch seemed to be displaced once again, so it seemed like more troubles could be lurking below. And so they were…

The kickstarter cover was still mostly in place, however it was broken in half and just shards of aluminum remained attached to the lower edge of the bottom case. The case and stator were removed to allow access to the rotor for removal. Normally, the central bolt is a special one with a 14mm head. This bolt had a 7/16” sized bolt head holding the rotor onto the end of the crankshaft end. Once the rotor was dislodged from the crankshaft snout, the back side of the starter clutch looked pretty much destroyed with the wrong screws installed and rollers and the back cover plate damaged severely. 
There won’t be any reusing of those parts in the future.

I use a long #3 Phillips impact bit to loosen the clutch cover screws, hitting the bit with a hammer first, then using an impact drive to twist them loose enough for removal. That process worked well and the clutch cover came loose after some use of a plastic mallet and even some screwdrivers to pry along the edges. Once the cover was removed, the outer oil filter boss was seen as dimpled in a few locations where someone had tried to pound it onto the clutch cover without regard to the position of the oil filter shaft locating pin. The thrust washer was nowhere to be found and the order of installation of the crankshaft washers and nut were somewhat incorrect. I happened to notice that one of the primary chain rollers was split down the sides! The clutch assembly looked new, but the plates were all stuck together from sitting for so long.

With the forward sprocket, primary chain and clutch outer basket removed as a unit, the shift shaft slid out of its position easily. Standing back to look at the whole side of the engine, it was shocking to find that the primary chain tensioner and bracket hardware were all missing! Not only that, there was a strange-looking bolt in place of the stopper bolt for the kickstarter shaft end. When the bolt was removed, it was found to be a self-tapping oil drain plug, not a transmission stopper bolt! It was way too short to even begin to contact the end of the kickstarter shaft end as designed. All it did was to plug a hole.

The bolts for the shift selector parts were not very tight, but nothing had dislodged after the reassembly. From the looks of it, the engine was never run at all after the aborted attempt to reassemble the engine correctly. Thank goodness for that miracle!

With the whole clutch side of the engine cleaned off of components, it was time to split the cases to see what kind of shape the transmission was in and how far off the crankshaft bearing pin hole in the main bearing was located.

The cases had been sealed with Permatex gasket sealer; fortunately the non-hardening type. With the bottom case pulled up and away a look at the transmission gears and shifting seemed to be somewhat normal with some minimal gear dog overlap on the countershaft gears. When the countershaft was removed to inspect the kickstarter pawl function, the end of the shaft was damaged, the pawl was loose inside the engine case and the end bushing had a huge gouge along the edge of the bushing face. My best guess, forensically, was that the kickstarter pawl was installed backwards, which causes them to fly out of the end of the kickstarter shaft end, where the pawl interfaces with the inside of the transmission’s low gear. The stepped, 14mm bushing was in decent shape, probably due to being replaced during the attempted repairs.

The main shaft and gears all seemed to be in serviceable condition and the assembly set aside for cleaning. With the transmission shafts and shift forks/drum removed, the last item on the agenda was the crankshaft. I already knew there was a problem with the rotor end of the crankshaft, however I was appalled to discover that all of the main bearing oil holes were in disarray and completely out of position. The rotor end main bearing was a ball-bearing instead of the normal roller type. This kind of substitution is generally used when the main bearing and crankshaft bearing surface on that end has been damaged.

As the crankshaft was lifted out of the engine case, I discovered that all of the other three crankshaft main bearing locating pins were missing! Without the locating pins to index the bearings, the mains can only get a little splash feed to lubricate the needle/roller bearings, instead of the normal flow of oil that trickles down from the upper end and is funneled into the main bearing feed holes. How can it get worse than this?

Well, it did, in that the oil pump drain bolt was discovered to be another self-tapping automotive drain bolt and one of the pump attachment bolts into the bottom case was an SAE bolt, instead of a 6mm metric bolt.

With the lower end all torn down and inspected, the cylinder head was brought to the bench for disassembly. There were signs of a lot of water going down the intake ports, but luckily the intake valves were both closed when the engine was installed back into the chassis. All of the valves had nice fresh margins, so were obviously new when installed. The camshaft lobes had scoring and discoloration consistent with a lack of lubrication. The rocker arms, however, were the early side-feed versions and really had no matching wear to that of the camshaft lobes. That’s very unusual! The camsprocket was in good shape, but the advancer shaft was stuck in place initially. The points cover had been left off the bike so the end of the point cam was heavily rusted and frozen in place. Things loosed up after disassembly and the point shaft might be reusable with some cleaning and polishing of the point cam lobe.

The pistons were mostly all shiny, however the top ring of one side was a little rusted into the piston groove, but finally loosened up with an application of penetrating oil and some gentle prying with a small, scribe-tipped tool. The cylinder bores still had a nice cross-hatch finish and should be perfect for refitting the pistons and breaking the engine in, as was originally intentioned.

Steve is faced with either having me rebuild this engine, which has non-matching engine numbers for the frame he will use OR he will bring the matching engine down for an attempt to penetrate the corrosion in the cylinders sufficiently to allow the cylinders and pistons to be removed so the 
crankcase can be reused for the engine rebuild. I hope that no one has done the same thing to the other engine as what was done to this one by someone who just couldn’t read the book!

Kickstarter pawl found in the bottom of the engine after egress from the shaft end.
Severely worn end bushing which didn't help the kickstarter pawl stay put.

Crankshaft main bearing oil holes all out of alignment

Ball bearing installed on the crankshaft to repair damaged bearing surfaces.
Ah, these holes are not supposed to be seen like this.

Locating pins all missing from the main bearing locations.

Rotor end of crankshaft had main bearing locating pin pushed into the engine case.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Wheels, rims, spokes and all those funny angles…

As long as I am embarrassing myself this month, I have to confess to another miscue that was based upon observed problems in the past, coupled with mis-identification of parts.

That Scarlet Red 1962 CB77 had been carrying one of the DOT stamped rims up front since it was built back in the 1990s. Aficionados of restored vintage Hondas really don’t want to use the replacement rims which Honda was required to produce and sell since the early 1980s. There is nothing subtle about the big DOT required rim labels, in this case “J 1.60x18 7 84 DOT” vs. the little tidy “DID” logo in between the spoke holes, plus 1.60x18 lightly stamped nearby on the flat edge in this case.

I had already purchased CB77 spoke kits from Marty Mattern at 4into1.com as the spokes on the bike were pretty corroded, having sat not far from the ocean for 25 years. The chrome on the rim was remarkably good, but seeing those giant letters was distracting. New tires had just arrived and the plan was to re-spoke the wheel and install new rubber for safe driving duties. While digging around beneath my work table, I discovered this apparently unused 1.60x18 DID rim which I had no recollection of acquiring whatsoever. It seemed like divine intervention to have a perfectly good rim show up like that to replace the ugly DOD version so after a bit of cleaning up, I was ready to take on the rebuilding task.

Once the tire was pried off the old rim, the corroded spokes came out fairly easily and the rim/spoke swap began in earnest. Unfortunately, when the spokes were sorted out, there were 19 inner spokes and 17 outers packed into the kit! Not a good start already…

The spokes all installed without difficulty, however once the nipples were snugged down evenly the spoke angles were all a bit “off” with gentle curves coming out of the nipples and across the expanse to the hub. That’s not right, obviously! After taking a couple of photos of the misguided spokes, I jumped to the conclusion that the spoke kit was one of those errant versions from Thailand that I had seen in the past on various Dreams and some Super Hawks. Some of those rim/spoke kits had severely kinked spokes once they were tightened up and I figured that must have been what happened here… cheap spoke kits!

I fired off photos to Marty to show the results of the spoke job and wanted to know if he had other complaints of them in the past. According to Marty, they have sold over 100 kits without complaints. Well, how could that be? Obviously, I was fairly certain that I was dealing with OEM Honda parts in the rim and hubs, which had been aligned perfectly before I changed the spokes. The rim looked correct, and was the same size as those of the CB72-77s which never changed through the years. When you see a DID rim with 1.60x18 stamped on it and it has a 36 hole pattern, it MUST be for a Super Hawk, right?

Well, after exhaustive comparisons between the OEM spokes and nipples and the a/m kit parts, only a few minute differences were apparent, but perhaps they were sufficient to cause this problem. None of it really made sense as I tried to noodle it out in my mind. All that was left to do was to pull the wheel off and apart, once again and compare the rims carefully, side-by-side.

Using a digital micrometer, I measured out the distances between the first two spoke holes on each rim, just beyond the valve stem hole. Well, they were just slightly different in that measurement. So I expanded the measurements out as far as the caliper would allow, which was about four holes apart and the figures came out substantially different, to the tune of a millimeter and a half as I recall.

I stripped the rest of the spokes from the hub and rim and switched back to the DOT rim for reassembly. Lo and behold, the spokes straightened out just fine without any kinks or bends coming out of the nipples or across the expanse between the nipple and the hub! So, apparently, the “CB77” front DID rim was, in fact, a rim for a Honda CB160 instead! The CB160 has a 180mm brake vs. the 200mm brakes on the CB72-77s, but the flange holes must be fairly close to the same in allowing the 160 rim to spoke up to the CB77 hub with just a little bit of deflection in the spoke angles. Ah, another lesson learned and to be shared with those who might/may have encountered a similar situation. The similarity of the two rims was certainly sufficient enough to fool MrHonda, so don’t let it happen to you, too!

After apologies to Marty and his supplier with emails entitled “Mea Culpa,” I think I learned my lesson on this one, for sure. However, there ARE rim/spoke kits out there from SE Asian sellers, which were made to either Benly or CB160 specs but being offered as replacements for full-sized Dreams and Super Hawks. So “buyer beware” on those offerings and check with others, on the various forums, who have encountered problems and successes with these wheel kits being offered from across the sea.

Thanks to Marty Mattern at www.4into1.com for his patience and understanding, as I muddled through this problem which had nothing to do with the quality of his products. While I was in the midst of discovering the actual cause of the problem, a phrase from that popular song by the group Level 42, called “Something About You” goes:And it's not so wrong; we're only human after all,” kept running through my mind. 

Yes, even MrHonda is human after all.

There ARE differences between the two spokes.

                                                  Bent spokes on the first attempt.

                                            Success in the end, returning to the original DOT rim.

Friday, April 7, 2017

How many experts does it take to make a CB77 run right?

It has been a push-pull experience with the 1962 CB77 Type 2 cafĂ© racer bike during these past few weeks. After the initial excitement of “re-owning” the bike again (after it was away for 25 years) the reality of what had been built and what it needed to run properly again has caused unending headaches.

First, the fuel system was contaminated with 25 year-old gasoline residue, which attacked the old KREEM tank liner. After flushing out the old gasoline deposits (I thought), fresh fuel was added as the bike was brought back alive with a new battery and carb cleanout. Apparently the Kreem leftovers contaminated the new gasoline to the extent that it created a gummy substance that caused the carb slides to gum up and hang partially open. After cleaning the carbs several times, the tank was finally treated to a full strip cleanout and coating with POR15 sealer. Of course the petcock and carbs all needed to be cleaned again to rid themselves of the gooey gum deposits. What also happened was that the old contaminated fuel that did go through the system coated the insides of the intake ports with slime, which kept getting spit back onto the back sides of the carb slides, even after the fuel system was cleansed and sealed.

The motor has been out four times now for:

1. Cam sprocket replacement with a Dream unit; falsely thought to be the cause of ignition system inaccuracies. The point cam was the actual culprit.
2. Removed for a bottom end teardown, initially to correct shifting issues and noises. One offset cotter was cracked in half and I discovered that the main bearing locating pin had been pushed through the engine case, so that needed repairing. While it was apart, the rest of the top end was taken apart so that an endless camchain could be installed and an oversized piston pin was put in the left side rod. After the engine was reinstalled and run, the clutch pushrod seal dislodged and blew out all of the engine oil during a 15-minute test run. A new seal was installed with Lock-Tite.
3. Engine out again to replace the “repaired” CA77 Dream camsprocket, which was suffering from too much spark advance, too early, causing engine idling issues. When engine was reassembled, the wrong set of timing marks were used as reference points for cam timing, resulting in ZERO compression, discovered when the bike starting attempts failed. 
4. Instead of pulling the entire engine out of the chassis, the bottom rear bolts were left loose and the engine tipped downwards towards the front fender. This left sufficient clearance to remove the cams and rotate the camsprocket 180 degrees for proper cam timing. Compression readings returned to 180 psi on both sides. Bike started up okay, but ignition timing continues to advance out somewhat when engine is operated and returns to idle.

Initial start up was rocky as it wasn’t running on the left side, at idle. After cleaning the idle jet, the start- up improved, but part throttle was dodgy until about half throttle. Closer inspection showed that the carb slides had gotten out of synch and then the ends of the needle tips were not hanging out of the bottom of the carburetors equally. Slides were removed and the right side needle had no numbers on it; apparently an early Keyster kit needle. Replacement of the needle with an OEM version and careful carb slide synch made things much better, but the erratic hot idle conditions remain.

After careful reshaping, the point cam timing ramps are about exactly the same, so that earlier erratic timing problem has been solved. The problem with the whole system is that the return springs for the weights don’t fully pull the weights back into the resting position. There is ALWAYS some slack/slop in the mechanism. The springs are not terrifically strong, so it is easy to twist the point cam and feel the looseness in the parts. Worn point cam shaft shoulders, which ride inside the right side camshaft, can induce timing errors as the point cam wobbles around during each revolution. This is especially noticeable with normal Type 1 engines where one point cam lobe opens two different sets of points that are located across from each other.

Additionally, what I have noticed is that the point cam seal lip grip, enhanced by the coil spring on the back side, grabs the point cam with enough tension to prevent it from returning to resting position at idle. The seal friction, plus the inherent play in the camsprocket components, prevents accurate ignition timing at all engine speeds. This CB77 Type 2 engine can be statically timed at the F mark on both cylinder rotations, but when the engine is started up, the spark timing jumps out five to ten degrees immediately and quickly ramps up to the full 45 degrees, well before the stated 3300 rpms, in most cases.

Controlling the idle speed/quality requires the cooperation of a stable idle spark timing setting, balanced carburetor slide openings, idle mixture screws that are functioning properly, the correct float level setting, idle jets that are right for the application, even compression readings, no air leaks at the carburetor flanges and insulator o-rings and minimized oil consumption. If any of these functions are compromised, the entire engine function suffers, especially at idle. Hampering effective combustion is the fact that the intake ports are not directly mirror images of each other. One intake charge is aimed directly at the spark plug for one cylinder, but the opposite side fuel vapor flow points away from the spark plug tip.

The only way to totally control the spark advance on these engines is either the crank-mounted system from Germany ($500) or an electronic spark advance system using the point cam as an initial trigger. The problem there is that you need to lock up the spark advance system permanently, so the electronics can do their thing correctly. Dealing with a nearly 60 year-old design presents more and more problems as the parts age and wear over time.

The Sin of Omission… 1964 CA77 clutch mystery-solved!

My friend, Javier, has a bright red CA77 Dream which he’s used sparingly for the past 6+ years. He called the other day to ask me to help him solve a shifting problem that he had suddenly encountered. Despite monthly rides to keep the bike in operating condition, suddenly the clutch wouldn’t disengage when he tried to ride it last week.

All the symptoms sounded like a “stuck clutch” syndrome, which often happens when the bikes are laid up for many years. It didn’t make much sense that the clutch would suddenly act up like that after regular use, so the only thing to do was to have him bring it over for a look. After checking the clutch cable and clutch adjuster for proper settings, the bike continued to lurch into gear and die when any attempt to drive it began. I suggested that he ride it down the driveway in neutral, pull in the clutch and drop it into gear; then continue to ride the bike up and down the street in gear with the clutch lever pulled in to see if it would break loose. He had no luck doing that, so was obviously time for a clutch inspection!

The bike is mostly stock except for front crash bars, rear grab rail and some re-purposed HD mufflers installed on the stock header pipes. The oil was drained and work commenced on disassembling the left side of the bike; exhaust pipe/muffler, footpeg, shift lever, oil filter cover and all the clutch cover case screws (Socket head screws on this machine). The oil came out a little dirty after circulating for the past 5 years, but there were no signs of any large particles in the drain pan and the engine’s left side components were all relatively clean showing that someone had done an overhaul on it during the restoration process.

Once the cover is off, it only takes removal of four bolts to remove the clutch pack from the engine. The clutch pack combo came out like a brick and the remaining clutch plate set, held in with the retainer wires, was stuck together as well. It is hard to imagine that the bike could have been recently driven with a clutch that looked like this. The clutch inner hub was removed and the outer wire carefully taken out of the hub to release the inner clutch plate set. All the clutch plates were pried apart and the steel plates all scrubbed up on a wire wheel. The fiber plates were scrubbed on a Scotchbrite pad, just enough to rough them up a bit. The surfaces were all glazed to some extent, but not from excess slipping or abuse.

With everything cleaned up, the clutch pack was reassembled onto the engine. I fully expected to have a fully functioning clutch now, but after bolting down the outer clutch pressure plate with the four bolts, washers and springs, it was apparent that something was missing! The outer spring-loaded plunger, which is called a “metal oil guide,” was nowhere to be found! It hadn’t fallen out into the drain pan because it was never there in the first place! Whoever had built the engine failed to install the part, which is crucial to supplying oil to the clutch and transmission shafts. The metal oil guide is the bridge between the oil feed hole in the clutch cover and the center of the clutch pressure plate to supply the clutch and transmission with fresh oil. Not only does the oil fail to be delivered to the transmission shafts, the oil which would normally go to the oil filter on the way to the crankshaft bearings is dumped back into the clutch cover, through the existing gap between the cover and the outside of the clutch pressure plate.

I recalled hearing the engine run, years before, there were unusually loud rumbling noises that seemed to sound like bad crankshaft bearings to me. I heard it again when the bike was being run during the attempt to break the clutch loose, prior to teardown. Javier hurriedly fired the bike up and ran it around the block, then shut it down to be loaded back into his truck before I could get a good listen to the engine after the repairs, but I suspect that the crankshaft is going to be a lot happier with a full flow of oil to the bearings from now on. 

USPS… unable to deliver

 What a weird month of postal difficulties for getting parts to where they are destined!

1.            On Feb. 14 I sold a CB450 dyno cover on eBay for $50. When I received the sale notice I checked the shipping label info and addressed the box to him at a CA address. Already heading for the PO on other business, I brought the box and mailed it at 12:30 in Lemon Grove, CA. When I got home I received the PayPal notification that the mailing address was destined for FLORIDA! I zoomed back to the PO and asked for the box to re-address it. The counter people said that it was already gone. They suggested going online and doing an “intercept” to redirect the box to FL. I attempted that but was sent a notice that it was “not completed.” 

Following the tracking to N. Cal, I watched it go to the local office and suddenly there was an “intercept” note in the tracking. The next day it was in FL for 2 days and then it suddenly was returned to CA! The notifications stalled out for days, then weeks. After contacting three different postal departments, I was told to go online and report a “lost package” to that section. Verification of my request came back in email and then the things just ground to a halt. No progress on tracking and nothing back from lost mail department. Here’s the long story below. 

A couple of days ago, the buyer, whom I had refunded last month, reported receiving the box after it was forwarded to him in FL. He sent back the payment and that was the end of that, finally… a month later.  Somehow it was routed to NY and Atlanta, GA (lost mail department) before heading back to CA again. Whew!

March 18, 2017, 3:55 pm               Delivered, In/At Mailbox              PLEASANTON, CA 94588
Your item was delivered in or at the mailbox at 3:55 pm on March 18, 2017 in PLEASANTON, CA 94588.
March 18, 2017, 8:13 am                Out for Delivery                PLEASANTON, CA 94566
March 18, 2017, 8:03 am                Sorting Complete             PLEASANTON, CA 94566
March 18, 2017, 6:12 am                Arrived at Post Office     PLEASANTON, CA 94566
March 18, 2017, 1:30 am                Arrived at USPS Destination Facility         RICHMOND, CA 94804
March 17, 2017, 12:48 am             Arrived at USPS Facility  ATLANTA, GA 30320
February 22, 2017, 6:04 am          In Transit to Destination               
February 21, 2017,                           Redelivery Scheduled    NEW YORK, NY 10039
February 20, 2017, 11:04 pm        Arrived at USPS Destination Facility         SAN JOSE, CA 95101
February 20, 2017, 4:15 am          In Transit to Destination               
February 18, 2017, 9:15 pm          Departed USPS Destination Facility          RICHMOND, CA 94804
February 18, 2017, 9:08 pm          Arrived at USPS Destination Facility         RICHMOND, CA 94804
February 17, 2017, 11:18 pm        Departed USPS Facility  ORLANDO, FL 32824
February 17, 2017, 9:30 pm          Arrived at USPS Facility  ORLANDO, FL 32824
February 17, 2017, 8:09 am          In Transit to Destination               
February 16, 2017, 8:09 am          Arrived at USPS Destination Facility         PLEASANTON, CA 94566
February 16, 2017, 8:06 am          Forwarded          PLEASANTON, CA
February 16, 2017, 8:05 am          Intercepted        PLEASANTON, CA 94566
February 16, 2017, 8:05 am          Out for Delivery                PLEASANTON, CA 94588
February 16, 2017, 7:55 am          Sorting Complete             PLEASANTON, CA 94588
February 16, 2017, 4:09 am          Arrived at Post Office     PLEASANTON, CA 94566
February 15, 2017, 6:49 pm          Arrived at USPS Destination Facility         RICHMOND, CA 94804
February 15, 2017, 12:12 pm        In Transit to Destination               
February 14, 2017, 6:08 pm          Departed Post Office     LEMON GROVE, CA 91945
February 14, 2017, 12:12 pm        Acceptance        LEMON GROVE, CA 91945

I ordered some parts from my friend, Marty Mattern, at 4into1.com, which I have done many times before. Parts were shipped Priority Mail and were mailed the same day. Guess what? The box was immediately shipped to FLORIDA!
March 8, 2017, 12:52 pm               Delivered, In/At Mailbox              SPRING VALLEY, CA 91977
Your item was delivered in or at the mailbox at 12:52 pm on March 8, 2017 in SPRING VALLEY, CA 91977.
March 8, 2017, 8:23 am  Out for Delivery                SPRING VALLEY, CA 91977
March 8, 2017, 8:13 am  Sorting Complete             SPRING VALLEY, CA 91977
March 8, 2017, 7:26 am  Arrived at Post Office     SPRING VALLEY, CA 91977
March 8, 2017, 4:01 am  Arrived at USPS Destination Facility         SAN DIEGO, CA 92199
March 7, 2017, 5:48 pm  In Transit to Destination               
March 7, 2017, 4:30 am  In Transit to Destination               
March 6, 2017, 5:48 pm  Departed USPS Facility  ORLANDO, FL 32824
March 5, 2017, 9:30 pm  Arrived at USPS Facility  ORLANDO, FL 32824
March 4, 2017, 7:18 pm  Departed USPS Origin Facility     SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94188
March 4, 2017, 7:18 pm  Arrived at USPS Origin Facility     SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94188
March 4, 2017, 6:03 pm  Accepted at USPS Origin Facility                SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94080
March 4, 2017, 11:49 am                Shipment Picked Up       SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94080
March 4, 2017, 9:07 am  Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item       SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94080

The last one may not have been the fault of the USPS, but a package to the UK was held up over in England for 3 weeks. There is no “tracking” from USPS, however using the customs form DOES allow the package to be tracked internationally, at least in some countries. This was for one pair of re-chromed Dream shock covers.

March 15, 2017, 7:49 am                Delivered           
Your item was delivered in UNITED KINGDOM at 7:49 am on March 15, 2017.
March 13, 2017, 11:46 pm             Processed Through Facility         
March 13, 2017, 9:14 pm               Processed Through Facility         
February 17, 2017, 12:16 pm        Departed             LONDON,
February 16, 2017, 5:18 pm          Departed             LOS ANGELES,
February 16, 2017, 12:59 pm        Arrived LOS ANGELES,
February 16, 2017, 10:40 am        Processed Through Facility          ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS),
February 16, 2017, 9:59 am          Departed USPS Facility  LOS ANGELES, CA 90009
February 16, 2017, 8:25 am          Arrived at Facility             ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS),
February 16, 2017, 1:40 am          Arrived at USPS Facility  LOS ANGELES, CA 90009
February 15, 2017, 10:56 pm        Departed USPS Facility  SAN DIEGO, CA 92199
February 15, 2017, 5:42 pm          Arrived at USPS Facility  SAN DIEGO, CA 92199
February 15, 2017, 4:05 pm          Departed Post Office     BONITA, CA 91902

February 15, 2017, 10:14 am        Acceptance        BONITA, CA 91902