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Finishing my 1978

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:02 am
by pjgoeman
I hadn’t really considered a project thread for my 78 GL because I’ve been so slow at making progress on it and I didn’t think I could add anything to all of the great projects already documented. On the other hand I’ve learned so much from those other projects and the technical help that I’ve received in response to the questions that I’ve posted that I feel a little guilty about not contributing more to the forum so I’m going to give it a go.

Two or three years ago I bought a 1978 partial basket case from a Craigslist ad. It was a failed project from a guy in Denver who just wanted it out of his garage. In one of the boxes was a license plate from 2009 so that was probably the last time it ran, other than that I don’t know any of the history of the bike.
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This is the only before picture that I have.

Thanks to the Corona virus I’m not working and I have lots of time available. My plan for the bike is to do a budget build and when (if) I can get it running I will make decisions about modifications, customization, color, etc. My vision is a sort of a hot rod, semi cafe with straight pipes or loud mufflers, lower bars, and a semi blacked out appearance. I’m not a big fan of the appearance of the gauges on the shelter so I’d like to also make some changes there. As I made progress I made decisions on what to address and what to postpone. For example, I replaced the steering head bearings but not the front wheel bearings because they can be easily replaced later.

This is where I’m at today - after finishing the disassembly the frame and motor have been painted, forks are rebuilt, gas tank cleaned and painted, wheels cleaned, brake discs resurfaced, cylinder heads cleaned and reassembled with new seals and gaskets, timing belts replaced, and valve clearances set. Each cylinder head had two broken head bolts with no apparent cause, I’m kind of holding my breath about that. I’m now cleaning, repairing, and reinstalling the wiring harness. Some PO had cut out the stator plug and spliced in extra wire so there were six crimped butt connectors to replace with soldered connections as well as a bunch of those piggyback connectors up front that apparently fed into a fairing. The old dog bone fuse was still in place so I replaced that with a 30 amp mini fuse holder.
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And finally, how it sits today.
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So I have a little bit of wiring harness work to finish and today I started to work on the radiator. I’ll do my best to update my progress.

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:26 am
by Liam
You have done a ton of work so far. Everything looks really good. Looking forward to seeing more.

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:58 am
by Track T 2411
Looking great!

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:40 am
by pidjones
This will be so rewarding for you,

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:49 am
by Rat
Keep up the good work .... interested in what happens next ....

Gord action1

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:38 pm
by pjgoeman
Had some other priorities so didn’t get too much work done on the bike today but did get the speedometer and tachometer installed and the wiring connected. It was a challenge to get everything plugged in and hidden behind that little indicator light panel which isn’t in the best condition appearance wise. As I said before I hope to make some future changes to the instrument layout.
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I also disassembled the radiator/fan assembly so I could clean and paint it. The quick disconnect had been cut off the fan and some long leads were soldered on so apparently a PO had wired in a manual fan switch. Don’t know if this means the fan temperature switch is bad - time will tell.

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer so I hope I can paint outside instead of in the garage.

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:55 pm
by pjgoeman
Managed to make some progress the last couple days on the wiring and radiator but first the bad news. I found this spring on the floor in my work area and I have no idea where it came from or where it belongs -
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It’s about 3/4” long, 1/2” in diameter, very stiff, and has a little rust on it. Any ideas what it is and where it came from? I’m stumped because I can’t think of anywhere it could fit on the things that I’ve been working on.

The good news is I made progress getting the radiator and fan cleaned up and reassembled -
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I got the radiator assembly and hoses installed back on the bike. I’m not installing that panel that goes behind the radiator because I like the motor to be a little more open and accessible. I’ve seen other projects that left it out and the general comment that it’s not needed. I also cleaned and painted the headlight bucket and got it back on the bike as well and all the electrical connections tucked inside.
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I’d like to get a battery in it to test crank the motor, check for spark, etc. but I’m waiting on a battery ground strap from Partzilla. Because of the virus situation and a significant pre-existing condition that my wife has we are very disciplined with our isolation and I’ve been ordering all my parts and supplies on-line. I try to anticipate what I need ahead of time but sometimes there are surprises or delays that slow me down.

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:55 am
by Pedrotq
looks like the spring off the sidecover retainer. I am messing with mine as she is going to the paint shop soon.

Best regards, Peter :-)

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:59 am
by Jonesz
Nice work so far. Like the look of the gaiters, my buddy is thinking of doing that on his 82 standard. I will show him your pic.

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:08 pm
by pjgoeman
Bingo on the identification of the spring. I had my side covers out of the box a couple of days ago and the spring must have fallen out. Many thanks for your help.

I found the gaiters on Amazon - Daystar F00058-BK-02 Black 11" Long Travel Fork Boot https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JHEOR2C/re ... KEb6NM87GJ

They are a very nice and tight fit on a 78, not sure about about a newer bike.

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:17 pm
by Fred Camper
Do concentrate on getting her running before you do mods. Looks like that is exactly your plan. Best to know what you are dealing with before putting labor and $ into mods. Sure looks like you are close to having her run.

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:03 pm
by pidjones
I just noticed that in the first photo, it had an 1100 valve cover and the right side. Was this just a temporary thing?

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:28 pm
by pjgoeman
Yes, my plan is to get it running on a budget then go from there. I’m cleaning and painting everything as I assemble it but I’m not touching the brakes, fenders, instruments, tires, etc. I just ordered Randakk’s carb rebuild kit - that will be what I tackle next.

I didn’t realize that the chrome valve covers that came on the bike were from an 1100. I didn’t want to paint over chrome so I’m using a set of non-chrome covers that I bought on eBay. You gave me a little moment of concern that maybe I had an 1100 motor but the motor serial number is close to the frame number which clearly identifies it as a 1978.

Here’s a picture of my 1973 CL175, my first project. I did go a little overboard on this one with powdercoating and having a shop do a top end rebuild which I should have done myself but I got impatient when it was close to being finished. The paint is original, may tackle a repaint sometime in the future but I also like the original patina.
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Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:53 am
by Rat
A little beauty ....

Gord action1

Re: Finishing my 1978

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:12 pm
by pidjones
That little 175 is sweet! BTW, IMHO, the 1000 valve covers are better looking than the 1100 covers (please, no flames - it's just an opinion). Chrome covers are bad about loosing their chrome, and near impossible to remove it all. Aluminum covers can be polished, painted, or left to grow "patina".