First startup after sitting 34 years...

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MtnMann
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First startup after sitting 34 years...

Post by MtnMann »

Just fired up my new-to-me '81 today. It's been in storage since 1988. Have a few issues to work out and would appreciate any insight from the gurus here.

Here's what I've done to this barn find so far:

Gave her a good bath
Pumped up the tires
Completely tore down, cleaned, rebuilt, bench sync'd (visual only), and polished carbs.
Swapped two shims on a couple slightly tight valves
New battery
New petcock and fuel line
Repaired vacuum shutoff

Upon initial startup, cylinders started slowly joining in. #2 & #5 weren't firing after running for a minute or so. Pulled plugs to check spark on those two cold cylinders. Plugs were wet and spark was strong so I cranked it briefly to blow out the cylinders, put plugs back in and viola! She was purring. Not sure why those last two cylinders took so long to join in but hey, they were sleeping for 34 years!

Here are the issues I've noticed so far:

Idle was steady and smooth at first but after it warmed up a bit, I revved it up a bit and after that the idle stayed high. Is that due to carbs being out of sync? (I haven't done a final running sync yet - still finishing up making my carb wrenches) Or is a carburetor slide/piston sticking possibly? (none of them stuck at all when I checked them after re-assembly)
I haven't checked timing at all yet.

Brake calipers are sticking. Pistons were stiff. I lubed and exercised them and they are better but still won't release brake pads sufficiently. Has anyone run into internal swelling of brake lines (acts like a check valve and won't let pistons retract). I've seen that on other equipment before but not bikes. Or is there something else in these brake systems that causes them to not release?

Rear suspension air light came on during a short ride around the block. I'm unfamiliar with that system and don't have a manual yet.

Started smoking a bit on one side after running around the block (1 mile). Didn't smoke on initial couple warmups. Haven't diagnosed that any further yet. Just wondering if there are known issues on these after sitting for a long time. Valve seals? Ring sticking? (I didn't check compression yet)

Bike has 17K on it and supposedly ran very well before the previous owner let the gas go bad a second time from sitting (1988) and didn't want to pay the $1800 to have them cleaned out again. So it sat...

Other notes: Mixture screws are at 2.5 turns out (I removed flags). I'm at 6200' elevation. Bike all stock except K&N style air filter.

I'll post some pics this weekend.

MtnMann
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Re: First startup after sitting 34 years...

Post by MtnMann »

Teaser...

I got a '79 from the same guy that has been stored since '85 (37 years). He hydrolocked it when he left the petcock on and parked it on the side stand. Rather than fix the bent rod, he just got another one – the '81 I just got running. More on that '79 revival later this year...

MtnMann
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Re: First startup after sitting 34 years...

Post by MtnMann »

AA250572-F57B-4909-9133-CAD28BBC5325.jpeg
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B7EAB7F9-3673-4B41-BF05-D4E10E561070.jpeg
E33DA754-63C2-45DF-AC77-651840315D4F.jpeg
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MtnMann
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Re: First startup after sitting 34 years...

Post by MtnMann »

E28CDC15-E9FB-4F9A-A0AF-09DC9388D302.jpeg
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daves79x
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Re: First startup after sitting 34 years...

Post by daves79x »

http://www.cbxclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=11043. This is what you should have read before doing the kind of piecemeal approach you are doing. You absolutely must have a shop manual.

Your carbs need gauge synced, and that is a very fiddly thing to do if you've not done six before. You also need to make sure your tank is clean.

You need to replace the tires, not just 'pump them up'.

You need to completely rebuild all brake components, front and rear.

You need to completely rebuild your forks and check the steering bearings.

You need to familiarize yourself with the stock rear shock and how it operates relating to the low pressure light. Then throw it away and get a real shock. Also on the Pro-Link it is necessary to remove all the rear shock linkages and clean and re-grease them. You will find them bone dry.

You should have carefully adjusted your camchains while you had the valve cover off.

You should have replaced the spark plugs.

You should absolutely check the timing and remove the advancer to clean and inspect.

You should have completely disassembled the alternator and checked all components, including the wiring at the loom.

You should take apart and clean the ignition switch and starter button switch.

Lots more, but all the above should have been done before even trying to start the bike. You WILL be doing all of this and more, you might as well get it all out of the way and enjoy your bike instead of constantly working on it for two years or more.

Dave

daves79x
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Re: First startup after sitting 34 years...

Post by daves79x »

BTW, 2.5 turns out on the mixture screws is too much for 6000'. 1.5 is plenty.

Dave

Marten
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Re: First startup after sitting 34 years...

Post by Marten »

Nice work on the carbs👍

You can download a repair manual on this site. Follow it to the t.

As Dave said, do it once and correct is the best way.

Search info about your upcoming work on this site. That will save you time and money. Good luck👍
Honda AF CR500 2002,
Honda CBX1000 1982, project.
Honda XL250 75, project.

MtnMann
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Re: First startup after sitting 34 years...

Post by MtnMann »

Thanks for the tips!

I did see your list Dave.
I’ll definitely look into those issues.

My initial goal here was just to get it running as an assessment and familiarization process, not to go ride long and/or hard on tires from the ‘80’s ;) I knew I’d be diving back in…
The seller has a factory manual along with parts removed from my ‘79 that I’m still waiting for him to find as he clears out his 5 storage units.

I’ll back off the mixture a bit and do the final sync on the carbs to see how she likes it.

Forgot to mention before, tank was drained and previously epoxied so it was actually free of crud and rust which was nice. (Not like my ‘79!) The only tank issue I had was the petcock seal was hardened and leaking.
Last edited by MtnMann on Sat Jun 18, 2022 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

MtnMann
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Re: First startup after sitting 34 years...

Post by MtnMann »

Just for fun, here was my first look in the carbs…
3581E16E-540A-4001-AD25-4C860B5A6CFB.jpeg
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MtnMann
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Re: First startup after sitting 34 years...

Post by MtnMann »

BCFFF891-6FBE-45DB-A7A3-A9006FD14502.jpeg
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I got busy for a week or so but after starting her up again yesterday, the initial minor bugs I experienced seem to have disappeared. She starts, idles and runs amazingly well now. I haven’t even done the final running carb sync yet! Steady idle and no smoke. I exercised the brake calipers and flushed the old brake fluid (clearing crud from return port) and brakes are no longer sticking. I’ll be looking to find her a new home soon in case anyone’s interested…
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MtnMann
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Re: First startup after sitting 34 years...

Post by MtnMann »

Finally found time to finish making my carb sync wrenches and checked to see how close my eyeball bench sync was. Remarkably, I only had to bump two set screws a tiny bit. Also interesting how that tiny adjustment helped noticeably with throttle response off idle (and settling back to idle). She’s up for sale now! I need to make room for restoring my ‘79 now :)

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