Monday, 10 November 2014

Read All About It!

Take a look on the DSS website at the brilliant articles written about the CB400F restoration programme (et alia).  Articles by Classic Motorcycle Mechanics, Practical Sportsbikes, Classic Bike, Bike, MCN, Classic Bike Guide, our local East Anglian Daily Times and Ultimate Motorcycling dot com.


Latest CB400F off the blocks.

Read the Manual!

You may remember Kerry Cornish (Red Paint Makes Bikes Go Faster).  She is our CB400F1 restorer from Australia.  She restored an old Varnish Blue F1 into a beautiful Candy Antares Red.

Kerry has been undertaking some more restorations to the bike and has contacted me to let me know how things have been going.

Hi Jacqui,

Long time since I have posted anything to you about my 400, these last couple of weeks we have been doing some minor restorations to the bike. 

The most obvious one is the header pipes. As you can see from the before pics they were a very unhappy set of pipes. These I am led to believe are the original pipes and are extremely rusty, dented and scratched. Dents and scratches were done by the previous owner(s) not me. I don't know how many owners this bike has had. 

I bought new headers from Motad(UK) a while ago and have just been able to put them on. It was not easy either! When I bought the bike it came with a gasket set, which was minus a head gasket, but had exhaust gaskets.  Unfortunately they were too small so we had to reuse the old ones. I cleaned them up and refitted them.  We fitted the pipes but OH dear!  Something was wrong with the way the collars looked. A check of another 400 we have, found that they were in fact the wrong way around! So off came the fins and we turned them the correct way. ( It does pay to look up the workshop manual also). So much better fitting. Start the engine - there's a ticking sound! Loose gasket! tightened up -  all's good!. Tacho cable was replaced. Trying to remove the old rubber was interesting! Dean used a skewer to pierce the rubber and to  be able to remove it. He said the manual won't show anything! Yes it did, but too late he had already butchered the rubber which was okay as I had a new one!

Fuel filter was replaced after I was having heaps of trouble starting the bike and in general riding. We thought the battery was crook so I  bought a C-Tek battery charger which can be left on the bike permanently. Still having trouble. Check the plugs - they're fine. Dean said it sounded like the bike's not getting enough fuel. Removal of the fuel filter found it to be nearly totally blocked! New one fitted. On  rides the bike kept hesitating and lacked power. We then  drained the carbs and found they were also blocked with fine rusty bits. I am going out today, Saturday 13th, for a ride, to test whether the bike has more power than it did. Here's hoping! I also replaced the spark plug caps which was probably one of the easiest jobs.

The toughest problem and the hardest to track down is the minor oil leak. We can't find out where it's coming from. Head has been checked and tensioned, all bolts checked and tightened. The leak is not major and only drops when out riding - my boots get a light splattering of oil, mostly the right hand side but that could be from blowback. It only loses about 2 desertspoons in 4 -  5 months, it's just a nuisance we cant track it down. We have degreased the engine twice now and cleaned it off but still  nothing definite.

I have attached some before and after pics of the header pipes and a couple of the pipes after our first ride on Friday 12th, and as you can see they are going a golden/blue colour which I expected as they are a thinner metal than the original. I have sprayed the inners of the pipes with a heat proof paint.
No matter what - my CB400 still draws attention .At the service station before our ride on Friday 12th to check if the pipes discolour, a guy asked me about the bike. Apparently he had a blue one and a CB750 years ago and is getting the itch again to buy one. I encouraged him to do it.

My 400 is so nice and shiny now. Still love it.