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Repair Log - 1964 Honda Superhawk CP77

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[ 1997: October - December ]

10.17.97 While the carbs were soaking, I turned my attention to the missing oil filter thrust washer.  Since chain noises had been louder that I'd like them to be, and since getting the oil filter chain back onto the gears takes a long time (when done through the access cover), I decided that the entire primary chain and clutch cover (left side of the transmission) should come off.  I had to debate this move, as I knew that I would be risking the side cover gasket, but curiosity about the condition of the primary drive chain got the better of me.

As it turned out, I would not have found the thrust washer without taking the cover off anyway, since it was lodged in behind the primary chain tensioner arm and thus completely out of sight.  In fact, I had already concluded that a PO had probably lost the washer earlier and had given up searching for it, when it fell from behind the tensioner bracket.

However, this was not before I went through some hell in getting out the last of the side cover bolts.  They are all Phillips-head machine type screws.  Don't try them with a #2 screwdriver, only Phillips #3!  Penetrating oil and plastic mallet on the screwdriver (to seat it better) notwithstanding, one of the bolts would not move.  PO had already damaged the head of that bolt earlier and the screwdriver would slip out no matter what.  This also happened to be the most inaccessible of the left cover bolts - on the very bottom, right next to the shift pedal shaft.  There was no way of grabbing this bolt with vice-grips, nor was there room enough to consider making a slotted head incision with a dremmel.

After soaking the bolt with more penetrating oil and after propane heating and more futile attempts at extraction, I came to the conclusion that drilling the head off would be the only solution.  Keeping in mind that this is a highly visible aluminum part on a 33 year old motorcycle, I went forward using extreme care and caution.

First - a relatively small pilot drill bit (3/32), drilled depth about 1/8.  Next drill bit (1/8) drilled a bit further in.  At this point, I tried to seat the screwdriver into the fastener.  It almost worked; I attained a better grip and had this been a less stubborn screw, it would have been out.  But I could not apply enough head-on pressure and the minute extra seating surface got obliterated.  I then proceeded to gradually increase the size of the drill bits until most of the Philips slots were gone, but the screw head was still relatively intact.  Here, I decided that I should risk sacrificing a cheap Allen head driver in order to get another chance of extracting the screw in one piece.

I found an Allen head driver that was just slightly larger that the drilled opening and proceeded to seat the driver into the hole.  Not too much pressure, no rapid movements, no need to go in deeper than 2mm!  Well, it worked!  I was able to get a good grip on the Allen key (which was making a snug six-point contact in the head of the screw) and give it a twist.  The bolt gave a squeak and turned loose.  Very satisfying.


The case came off; the gasket broke apart.  However I have access to the primary chain (DK328.56L) and the tensioner for inspection.  The tensioner seems all right, the chain as well, although I can see that about 1/4" to 1/2" of slack is being taken up.  I wonder what the tolerances are...  Also wondering about the tensioner spring - how to check it properly?  I'll have to look into it.  The oil filter is going to be soaked in the parts cleaner, right next to the 1963 carburetors.

10.18.97 Removed 1963 carburetors from the cleaner.  Rinsed under hot water, blew out with air.  The carbs look great!  Even some of the original iridescence is still present.

The old fuel in the left carb had really done a job: the slide needle is permanently etched and the residue on the bowl and some parts of the carb body had not soaked off even after spending close to two days in the carb cleaner!  Some careful scraping took care of the residue leftovers.

Began to reassemble the carbs. While washing the carbs, I noticed that each had some king of a glue or caulk applied to the area where the slide guide dowel is inserted through the carb body.  The color of the original sealer had been red - a good coincidence as I had some red electrical contact varnish on hand.  Careful application of a dab of varnish and the air-tight seal had been restored.


The bowl gasket had originally been glued to the top bowl (main body).  So had been the slide cover gasket (top of the dome). After considering the cost of new gaskets, I had decided that reassembly should forgo the glue and the convenience of not having to pay attention to whether the gasket falls out when the lower bowl is removed, reducing the risk of ripping the gasket at future carb disassembly for cleaning.

The reassembly was uneventful. I replaced every component until I ran out of parts without taking apart the carbs presently on the bike.


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