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Topics - djb

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CB350/400 / Clutch Locking Washer - Cannot Align
« on: December 28, 2020, 05:45:00 PM »
I've just replaced the plates on my clutch. Everything was going great until I tightened the clutch centre castle nut. The torque settings I understand should be in the range 29 lb ft to 32.6 lb ft (CB400F).

However, I am unable to get any of the locking washer "tangs" to align. If I start at 29 lb ft and increase the torque in increments to 32.6 lb ft, non of the tangs will align.

I can get a tang to align at 26 lb ft and another at around 35 lb ft.

When I stripped the clutch down, the tangs were not aligned. The PO had just bent a tang upwards with half in the recess and half outside! So it appears they had set at a recommended torque setting and just bashed the hell out of a tang for a partial lock.

So my questions:

(1) are my torque settings correct for a CB400F (29 lb ft to 32.6 lb ft)?
(2) if correct, any ideas why I cannot get a single tang to align between 29 lb ft and 32.6 lb ft?
(3) can I (should I) use a lower (26 lb ft) or higher (35 lb ft) to facilitate alignment



CB350/400 / Sand, Sand, Sand and Polish...
« on: December 19, 2020, 02:33:59 PM »
Decided to carry out a few cosmetic jobs on my bike. Decided to remove rather badly applied paint from clutch, alternator and left crankcase cover.  Rather than re-paint, I've sanded and polished by hand and really pleased with the results. Not too shiny, which I quite like (plus I started to run out of elbow grease!).

Here is before and after clutch cover:

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Previous owner has omitted a few gaskets, washers and also had a random sized selection of allen screws which I am replacing with stainless JIS screws. I'm not a bike purist by any stretch of the imagination but I do like the look of the JIS screws:

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Mind you, I am wondering what other items have been "omitted" or "overlooked" by the PO!


CB350/400 / Storage for Winter
« on: December 03, 2020, 12:49:50 PM »
Well, it's got a little cold here and they have started sprinkling nasty stuff on the roads. So I thought I would lay the bike up for a few months...but I've not really done this before. When I used to ride, it was all year round pretty much.

Has anyone any suggestions on storing my bike over winter? Say for 2-3 months or so.

The workshop iself is pretty good humidly wise.  However, I've read that E based petrol can cause havoc with tanks / carbs. And some people are saying that fuel additives are pretty much snake oil for negating the effects of Ethanol in petrol over time.

In short, I've no idea what is the best approach to storing my bike over winter. 

I think it best to just ask the people here with experience for some practical suggestions. Thanks...


CB350/400 / Brake Squeal
« on: October 23, 2020, 02:12:50 PM »
I just thought I would post my experience with the front disc squealing on my CB400F. The squeal has been particularly bad since I bought the bike. Very bad. In fact, it was so bad that I was unconsciously modifying my riding behaviour to compensate!

My first steps in tackling the problem was to go through a comprehensive list of recommendations that can be found elsewhere on the forum. New pads, ensuring the caliper was free to move and properly set up, bleeding the brake, de-glazing the disc with sandpaper and so on.  I noticed a slight improvement when I de-glazed the disc. But it was only a slight improvement and the effects didn’t last for long.

It got me thinking though. What if the glazed disc was behaving in a similar way to running a wet finger over a wine glass. The “slippy / grippy” nature of the pads against the glazed disc were causing the disc to squeal.

I removed the disc from the bike and could see as well as being glazed is was also very pitted. You can’t really see the pitting from a distance but on closer inspection it was very apparent.  To be fair, it is 45 years old.

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No amount of sandpaper or elbow grease was going to sort it out. I thought of perhaps getting the brake skimmed in some way but after some consideration I decided to buy a new ABE disc which was sourced from David Silver. It was a fair amount of money, but (a) we probably spend more on making our bikes shiny and (b) it’s the front disc! A pretty important component when considering the important line between riding and death ;-)

I installed the new disc and it has cured the squeal problem completely! No squeal whatsoever. Nothing.

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Of course, I am not suggesting that anyone with this problem should go out and buy a new disc. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you have set up all of the braking system correctly and still have the squeal problem – de-glazing in some way may work for you also.

I should also add I am now regularly cleaning the new disc with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to stop the nasty stuff building up again…


After a severe bought of incompetence in the workshop, I find my self in need of a front mudguard stay (the front facing stay, not the one with the speedometer  hoop).

Unfortunately,  it seems you can only buy this item as a complete set (with mudguard). Ebay (so far) has not given me a result.

Does a fourm member have a front stay I can purchase from them? If so, please post here or drop me a PM.

Thanks in advance...


New Member Introductions / Hello from North Yorkshire...
« on: September 19, 2020, 02:52:28 PM »
Started riding in the early eighties. Like many people at this time you could buy bikes from the seventies for very little money. My first Honda was a CB200, which is one of my favourite small bikes. That said, I’m pretty small myself so I should say it was a prefect fit! I remember sitting on a friends CB400F and deciding that would be my next bike. Sadly, it didn’t happen – I ended up buying an RD250 (coffin tank) instead. The fickle choices of youth…

Anyway, a large number of years later I finally bought myself a CB400F. It’s a UK bike from 75 (registered early 76) but at some time in it’s history it’s been painted in the later USA colours. Personally, I rather like it and don’t intend to change it, although I suspect there may be a few people would prefer to see a more authentic varnish blue or ruby red.

After I bought it I replaced the oil, oil filter, plugs, air filter, adjusted the electronic timing (it was too advanced for some reason), adjusted valves and timing chain. Some useful posts on this forum helped with the timing chain adjustment. It’s generally been looked after but there are some areas that will keep me busy in the winter months. The squealing front brake is also turning into a challenge but I’ve not tried everything suggested in forum posts, so I’m sure I will get there. No complaints though, it’s running very well so I’m just enjoying as is.

The biggest problem I have is the squidgy blob that rides it. I think overall the bike is in better shape after all these years.


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