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Orpheus 07-02-2008 06:15 AM

'68 CL350: the road to recovery
This past Christmas, I picked up a '68 CL350 that had been sitting out in the snow in a Wisconsin yard. While I don't live in Wisconsin currently, I do own a house there, which is where my CL350 has been sitting for the past six months or so.

When I got the CL350... well I wouldn't say it was in terrible shape, but it had been neglected. The electric starter is shot as far as I can tell, and the kickstarter had an awful lot of trouble. A friend of my father managed to get it running for about three seconds, but it died very quickly.

Back in California, I decided to buy a CB350 Frankenbike to work on in preparation for working on the CL350. The logic holds up, really! :norton

Moments after buying it, I had its next owner lined up: my ex-.
A few weeks ago, I managed to work out a few of the niggling problems and handed the bike off to her with mild trepidation (it had been a while since she took the MSF, and I strongly encouraged her to take it again). It's working out well so far though (BTW, she does have more gear than this!)

But enough about the past: on to the future! Back in Wisconsin, a box of replacement parts have been waiting for me. My father cleared out a great workspace for me. Quite a nice change from my limited space in California! My goals on this trip were to deal with the terrible rust in the gas tank and to venture into the loathsome inner workings of the carbs.

Nice workspace for a change!

The Fonz looks on in approval.

I disassembled the carbs and what did I find? A load of crap.

Varnish everywhere, a blocked pilot jet, a torn slide diaphragm (with cracked temp repair from a previous owner) and a smashed in float. How the hell does a float even get damaged like that? I have to imagine someone took it out and hit it with a shoe.

Nice battery tray. There wasn't an acid drip hose in sight.

New rectifier on the left, old on the right.


So basically, I accomplished one thing: hooking up a new rectifier. Well, the tank was fixed after I left. I ordered replacement floats, gaskets, and diaphragms but they all arrived in Wisconsin when I was chillin' in Orléans. I did clean out almost all of the varnish and I blasted the jets with an air compressor at 120 psi, so hopefully the next visit will actually result in a running motorcycle.

I POR-15ed the tank as well after these pics were taken, but I ran into a slight problem during prep: the crossover pipes at the bottom of the tank were plugged with rust. I got one clear, but the other was rock solid. Not good. After I left, my father took an e-string from a guitar and used it as a drill bit to slowly wear away the rust in the blocked pipe. After about 15 minutes of work, he managed to clear a passage. He then dried out the tank thoroughly (it had already been marine cleaned/etched) and applied the POR-15 sealant. Thankfully that's dealt with now, because gee whiz... that was a rust monster.

On the cosmetic side of things, I looked at the front fender again and I don't think I necessarily need to replace it. However, I may want to do a CB350G front wheel and brake conversion. Hopefully I'll be able to work on the bike again before Christmas. Next steps: replacing the carb inner bits, replacing the spark plug wires, and attaching my UNI foam filters in place of the gargantuan stock filters.

I should probably pull that battery tray and make it... not terrible, too.

datchew 07-02-2008 07:30 AM

Does your Ex want to sell that bike she's riding in the picture?

I LOVE that olive green... and all that bike needs are some flatter handle bars and knobbies!

Orpheus 07-02-2008 07:36 AM

She loves that olive green as well. In fact, that's why she was so crazy about it. I doubt she'll sell it any time soon. She has it packed into her garage with her other little ride, a Porsche 356 Speedster replica.

datchew 07-02-2008 07:43 AM

oh well.

ya, that's a 74 or 75 right? Something about that green. :1drink
I normally don't notice honda's or suzi's and such, but something about that model (and color) really calls to me.

Orpheus 07-02-2008 09:32 AM

The "base" bike is a '73 CB350G, but it has the tank and side panels from a '72 (that's the only year for that olive color, I think) and a CL350 engine.

notarex 07-02-2008 09:57 AM

Dr. Orpheus-

Please tell me about the recifier you've got there :ear

Orpheus 07-02-2008 10:02 AM


Originally Posted by notarex
Dr. Orpheus-

Please tell me about the recifier you've got there :ear

It's made by Oregon Motorcycle Parts. Good stuff.

notarex 07-02-2008 10:10 AM

Awesome! My CA95 thanks you :deal

Bird76Mojo 07-05-2008 01:11 AM

The float was more than likely damaged by freezing water. I've seen it before. You're lucky the float bowls are'nt cracked as well.

Do tell where you ordered those new diaphrams?? They're discontinued by Honda..


Orpheus 07-05-2008 07:10 AM

Ah yes, the slide diaphragms were ordered from Sirius Consolidated, a Canadian company recommended by someone in my CB350 thread.

They were a great replacement, though quite tricky to install. Here is a CB350 slide diaphragm replacement trick (ok, four):

* The diaphragms can be physically pulled from the slide; you have to be gentle but firm. Be careful not to tear the diaphragm, even when removing. You don't want to leave rubber bits behind.

* When installing new diaphragms on the slide, take some grease on the edge of a piece of paper and run it all around the inside of the slide's lip where the diaphragm seats. You will have a hell of a time getting the diaphragms seated without that grease.

* You can start the seating process by pulling he side on the opposite side to essentially "suck" the inner circumference into the lip. Don't over do this, though, as it can make distributing the rest of the circumference difficult (bunches up).

* It will be virtually impossible to get the entire circumference of the diaphragm to seat just by pulling and pushing. Be very careful about how you push in the diaphragm. I found the best tool was a Bic pen cap. I used the pointy part (the leftmost point in this image), to very gently push it in.

MNellis 11-10-2008 11:13 PM

It's good to see another 68 K0 being recovered. I look forward to following your progress.

I picked up a classic "barn find" (well in this case in was a hanger find) earlier this year. It was basically given to me as "gas money" which was about $75 or so.

Initially I was going to do a ground up restoration but as I got into the project and started taking things off bit by bit for clean up I found that I enjoyed keeping the original patina of it intact, maybe just some basic cleaning.

Once I'm finished and ride it a bit I'll probably take it down and start all over again doing a more through "concourse" restoration.

I'm curious about the tank on your '68. I've never seen one with the middle stripe and the color that extends all the way to the welded seams at the fron of the tank. Do you know if this original? If so, could this have originally been a Canadian model? I don't think the US versions did not have the reflector on the front fender either...well, at least not in '68 or '69.

Mike Nellis
CMRA #23

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