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Are you looking at those NOS Mojave tanks? They mount like an old triumph tank with a threaded rod going up the middle. They say they fit a 350 if that helps. I have two waiting to go on a bike someday.
 

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alright noob lets figure out a few things first.....

does your cm400 run and drive? can you get on it and ride it to work and back without putting yourself in harms way?

lets talk about the condition of your bike before you start to monkey around with tanks and seats and what not.

Cosmo is fine. I have never gotten a "deal" from him and he was rude to me at mid ohio. Other than that you give gim money and get parts which is sometimes more than I can say about some sellers on ebay (I am still waiting for a left sidecover from a buyer for almost a month).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I gathered the rudeness thing, thick skin here, after all it's on the web! That's like being the worst bully ever...on MySpace.[:p]

As for the bike's condition. Yes, the motor runs but I can't ride it...current tank is rusty on the inside, I'm not putting fuel in that tank. For the time being it's been cranked off a spare sporty tank and some fuel lines just to see how it runs.

As I said before, this thing is gonna get stripped all the way down and then built back up. I've got nothin but time so I'm just doing research for body parts now. I've still got a long way to go before buying a new tank and making the seat section...but it's interesting to find and plan shit out.
 

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quote:Originally posted by zr140th
As for the bike's condition. Yes, the motor runs but I can't ride it...current tank is rusty on the inside, I'm not putting fuel in that tank. For the time being it's been cranked off a spare sporty tank and some fuel lines just to see how it runs.

As I said before, this thing is gonna get stripped all the way down and then built back up. I've got nothin but time so I'm just doing research for body parts now. I've still got a long way to go before buying a new tank and making the seat section...but it's interesting to find and plan shit out.
ok...tearing the bike down is probably about the worst and most time consuming way to build a bike. Really a full teardown is more for cosmetics than it is for repair and replace kind of work. It is a common newbie mistake and usually insures that the bike never gets finished.

Now before we begin talking about your project planning, lets talk about your bike. You bought a $100 bike because it is basically worth $100. You can think it is a deal all you want but a "full teardown" kind of custom build on a honda is going to cost you $1000-$2000 at the least and provided you do all the work. All this into a bike you will be lucky to get $900-$1200 for. YOU WILL LOSE MONEY ON THIS PROPOSITION. a lot of it. If you are ok with this then carry on. There is a reason people build cafe bikes out of cb350s, cb750s, kawi kz900s and triples, it is because those bikes have an intrinsic value to them because of legend and heritage. Eventually they will appreciate, plus they were the bikes to have back in the day and carry a certain nostalgic haze with them that makes them appealing to everybody. CM400s, CB400s, 1st gen hawks don't have that. They were one step above a scooter and really not as cool.

Basically you want to get the bike in the best shape possible before you do any custom work so that you are not trying to figure out how to fix problems at the same time you are modifying stuff. Plus the condition of your bike now will indicate problems better if it is stock an untouched. Once you modify it you add in that doubt of was the problem there before or have I added it? and second guessing yourself on a motorcycle project is just bad news. Think of it as dressing your canvas.

If I were you the first thing I would do is build a test tank. Think of this as an IV drip for motorcycles. You want a fuel tank that holds about 1/2 a gallon max, prefferablly plastic - dirt bike oil tanks work well for this, and a stand, preferrably with wheels to hold the tank above the bike. I live near a hospital so dumpster diving for all kinds of cool actual IV stands is possible but you can use an old coat rack or one of those tall halogen lamp bases (without the lamp guts) if you are in a pinch. Get a fuel tap for a natural gas line and hook that in line to your fuel line from the tank to the bike. Now you can run the bike without a gas tank and also bench test carbs for leaks.

The first step I tell everybody is start with the small tune up mechanical items. Get that motor running to it's peak condition. Clean the carbs, new points, plugs, seal up any oil leaks with fresh gaskets (and while those covers are off you might as well polish them), get her running well.

Then attack the systems. If you need tires and brakes, start with the wheels. Figure out what service items the wheels need (tires? tubes? wheel bearings?) and what other service items the chassis needs (swingarm bushings?, rubber stops?, etc) make detailed notes and then begin. Somethings are better to do after the cosmetics are done, it is better to get the swingarm bushings done after you have painted the swingarm, so you may want to take care of that now. If you don't need major service items in the wheels or suspension you may want to start another system. Wiring is one of those things I always say to tackle while the bike is stock since later on when you go to wire the bike you can just delete stuff rather than spend time chasing shorts and bad patch jobs.

If you are still dead set on doing the tank first, then do all the bodywork at the same time. It all needs to work together so figure out your seat while you are figuring out your tank.

Once you have tackled ever system on your bike and it runs great, looks about where you want everything, and is rideable, and you have ridden it consistently for at least three months, then you strip it to the frame and repaint/replate/polish till your heart's content. That way it is like a big model kit and you are not stuck with a bunch of headaches and "what did I get myself into" moments.

remember, break the bike down into systems and tackle each system till it is perfect. Then you can rip the whole thing apart.
 

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quote:Originally posted by burntblacktoast

Wow. I've been a dumpster diver all my life, but a dumpster outside of a hospital? That takes dedication and courage. My hats off to you.
They do keep the medical waste seperate, it goes in huge sealed dumpsters clearly marked. I am not about to climb into the gray dumpster marked sharps (FYI sharps are used needles).

However they have regular dumpsters too. I am not exactly going to climb into the den of communicable diseases but usually things like IV stands, broken furniture, etc...tend to stick up out of the dumpster or get placed along side it, making it easy to spot and remove.

That being said I delouse everything before it enters my property.

The best way to get hospital shwag is to make friends with one of the phsycial plant guys (maintenance). Get all sorts of cool throwaways (one time I got a whole box of cool machined aluminum parts that were taken off machines over the years),
 

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Just giving you a hard time. State Farm, the colossal insurance provider, has a warehouse around the block. Apparently,when you are that extremely wealthy, you just throw out stuff and new stuff appears. Works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Those are some really good points, something worth listening to. You have a lot of experience here so I'm gonna trust it. So far the bike has been at a friend's garage, but will be nestled up in mine this weekend. I'll have more time and ability to pay attention to detail, etc. Overall though that sounds smart, I'll probably re-think some of my plans.

As for CM models and value vs. others...I would love to get my hands on a Kawasaki; I'm partial to Kawa. In the end though I'm looking for a good project, I would love more value from the bike, but honestly, this was just a $100 to pick up a project. I could keep it, dump it, sell it, love it...it's all in the air right now.
 

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Did you actually refer to your bike as being "nestled" in your garage?

That nestling has got to stop. Right now.


At least until you have something British in your garage to nestle.

(I can't believe I actually said the word, 3 times no less. I think I'm going outside right now to kick my own gay ass)
 
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Geeto, +1 +1. What a lovely didactic. A rather altruistic pedagogical homily, if I might say so myself. Seriously, Geeto has hit the metaphorical nail on its head. From person experience, my "really great deal, the $500 RD350" has quickly disclosed itself as quite the financial endeavor. These old bike rarely will serve well as an investment....

zr140th, it sounds like you have some great plans for a cool little bike (even though the market has been flooded with those crappy Benelli tanks...). Just be sure to get the dang thing on the road ASAP. Spring/Summer is time to ride. Winter is time to build a cool bike. I would encourage you,zr140th, to just get your little bike running and get out there to enjoy it. Swallow your pride and drive an ugly bike for a few months. As you get used to its actual mechanical requirements, then fix it up. You might drive it around and realize that you hate the way the thing rides, or you might fall in love with it. Try to be as pragmatic as possible, and your bike will serve you well. For me, I will focus on things in this order: (1) get the engine running (2) clean carbs & set points. (3) fix brakes (4) Chain (5) tires (6) aesthetics.

Peace and grease
fang
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, if I'm gonna give it the ol' try and ride it first and then see what I want to do, I'm gonna need a good tank. I saw that one on here from the CX500, saw a couple on Ebay. I'm also thinking about getting some Red-Kote and seeing if that'll work on the stock tank. Anyone tried it or a product that's similar?
 

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quote:Originally posted by zr140th

So Benelli tanks are garbage?
they aren't garbage, but they are repro tanks which means thinner metal than an original. For restorations they probably would be just ok, for custom work they are ideal.

I think he meant crappy as common, since a lot of cb people seem to be buying them lately.

custom bikes are always built twice, once for the hard work and then again to make it pretty.
 

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quote:eek:k...tearing the bike down is probably about the worst and most time consuming way to build a bike. Really a full teardown is more for cosmetics than it is for repair and replace kind of work. It is a common newbie mistake and usually insures that the bike never gets finished.
Amen - I tore mine down to bolts, albeit after at least getting it to run first, and it would have been much better to do things one bit at a time.

My problem is that I just can't stand to do something half-assed. This is why it's taken me over a year so far.
 

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quote:eek:k...tearing the bike down is probably about the worst and most time consuming way to build a bike. Really a full teardown is more for cosmetics than it is for repair and replace kind of work. It is a common newbie mistake and usually insures that the bike never gets finished.
I disagree. I found the process very rewarding. Yes, I'm a newbie, but I dare say I have more fun building the bike than actually riding it (maybe). You can get to my website by viewing my profile. On it, I documented every step on my CL350 build. I'm out maybe $1200 in the CL350, and if I were to sell it, I'm sure I can recover the cost.

I don't know anything about CMs, so maybe the above does not apply. Just my opinions.

--Chris
 
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