I have had some time over the past few days to work on the new Honda CL360 project. Although I should be working on the Honda CB550, to deal with the carb issues I had up in Vermont, I have become obsessed with getting this new Honda CL360 apart, so I can determine how many parts I will need (and afford!). There is just something about a new project that always takes over your focus, at least when you first get it, when it still seems possible to mold this beast into what you envision for it.
The Honda CL360 engine will be a challenge…
The engine is finally out. Took a while on my own, but finally, it’s on a bike lift, ready for some serious cleaning. I took my time, and tried to methodically remove each bolt and brace, and document all the parts, for when I have to reinstall it. The parts were put into zip-lock bags, labeled with a Sharpie, and hopefully will remain organized as the build progresses. The biggest challenges were the classic Honda Phillips head screws. After so many years, these screws become oxidized (rusted!), often mating with the metal they are touching, because of the two materials being different metals. Also, the heads tend to strip easily when you really need to apply force. The bolts will all be replaced with stainless steel Allen-head screws and bolts, with a healthy amount of anti-seize on the threads to prevent this from happening again.
I have two tools that I used to get all the screws out. After a massive amount of penetrating oil was doused on the screws, and allowed to soak, I went at them with a Harbor Freight impact driver. If you have never used one, buy one now! It is basically a large screwdriver handle, with the ability to fit various heads (flat, Phillips, etc) into the end, and a solid metal backside, for slapping with a hammer. This worked for almost all the screws, but left me with a few that were too ornery to come out.
That’s when I whipped out the air impact wrench for the first time. I also bought this at HF a while back, and haven’t had to use it yet. These are far cheaper than the cordless kind, and although there seemed to be something wrong with this one – it would spin automatically when the air was applied to it, making it impossible to get it seated onto the screw – I discovered a workaround, placing the driver on the bad screw, and then plugging the air hose into the driver, and instantly the screws came out. This little tool is a miracle. I’m not sure how or why I lived without one.
Next up…cleaning the entire engine with turpentine for paint prep. Also, I need to go at the frame with a wire wheel, to get the rust spots off. Then I will determine which parts are coming off the frame. Any extraneous tabs will be removed with a cutoff wheel, to clean up the look of the frame. I am looking at getting a new set of pistons with rings tonight, if the eBay auction goes my way. That should take care of my compression issue in the right cylinder….