Looking like the most promising of the four bikes, the 1966 CL77 showed only 3600 miles on the odometer and the whole chassis had been powdercoated in an earlier restoration effort. The fuel tank was clean and a rebuilt petcock was installed, along with a new battery. The battery was the first challenge to surmount, as the battery terminals on the CL harness have installed nuts on the connectors that are not a match for the posts on the new batteries. Eventually, a Dremel cutoff wheel was used to saw through the outside edges of the battery posts and a little redrilling of the holes allowed the battery hardware to finally connect up. With power ON the horn worked, as did the other electrical components which were still attached. There was power to the ignition system, so from that point the rest would be regular tune-up adjustments…. Or so I thought.
The carburetors had shiny air/speed screws installed indicating carb kit repairs. When the float bowls were dropped down, a thin layer of oil gasoline deposits were found in the bottoms. The main jets holders were removed and the idle jets coaxed out of the carb bodies, which can be difficult on a CL series machine with the exhaust pipes in place. The main jets were poorly stamped, but I was able to make out that they were #130 sizes, which is about right for a 305 Scrambler. The idle jets seemed to be open as I could see light through them, but when I pushed the jet cleaner wire into the jet, it wouldn’t go! I tried going in from both sides, but still no luck. Grabbing a magnifying glass I was able to make out the number 30 barely stamped into the jet faces. WHAT?????? I have NEVER seen a #30 idle jet applied to any Honda motorcycle engine, no matter how small it was. Ah, the joys of aftermarket jet kits!!! I dug out a pair of #38 jets from spares boxes and installed everything back into the awaiting carburetor bodies, still hanging off the back of the cylinder head.
The ignition timing was next and the first thing that was noticed was that the points were ND style but not ND branded parts. I have had bad luck with these parts in the past, as they often don’t allow a good gap and proper timing within the limits of the point plate slots. The gap on the right side was barely perceptible when opening. After contact cleaning, the left side was set to .014” and timing plate adjusted so they just opened at the LF mark. The right side gap was carefully adjusted until they just opened at the F mark AND had a decent point gap setting.
I dropped the fuel tank on the frame, cut some new fuel hoses and went to fill the tank with gasoline. I thought it was ready to receive fuel, but I had overlooked the fact that the fuel tank was a late model replacement tank with NO crossover tube and that the petcock still had the crossover tube fitting in place… open to atmosphere! As I poured gas in it flooded out over the motor until I finally figured out what had happened. With one hand I was able to plug the fitting and with the other hand cut a piece of fuel hose and stick a 6mm screw into the end to make a block-off plug. I slipped it over the petcock fitting and mopped up the fuel overflow on then engine and off the floor. The bike doesn’t have any air filters or connecting tubes so any kind of a back fire would have lit it up into a ball of fire.
I did check compression readings on this engine which were 180 psi on both sides, so this should be a healthy motor. With just a couple of kicks, the engine fired up and smoothed out quickly. With the stock OEM muffler system in place, the bike is relatively quiet, but the whole package is not without its own set of harmonic tones.
I put the seat on loosely, turned the bike down the driveway and pulled in the clutch to engine 1st gear. I could feel it jerk into gear because the clutch plates were “stuck” from sitting, however with the clutch lever held in and a few engine revs applied the clutch disengaged and worked somewhat normally again. I ran it down the street checking the gearbox and then rolled it back up the driveway to rest for awhile. This one turned out to be better than expected so far. Hopefully, someone will adopt it before more work needed is done by me.