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Where to Start?

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shutch4251 Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:30 am
Location: Arizona

Where to Start?

Post by shutch4251 » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:39 am

I have an 68 CL77 that I have been lugging around for over 15 years. It was my old bike back in high school. Now my son is coming of age and about ready to take it on. I want to do a complete build ground up and have completely stripped the bike down to frame.

As eager as we both are to rip into the next steps, 1) Paint, 2) Parts, 3) unknown. The question is where to start?

Do i rebuild the engine first? Paint/polish/finish so when it runs its finished? Never doing this before, I am inclined to paint and polish first to when it is done, its done and not being riding around 1/2 done.

My son is aching to crank into the motor, but I resisting... any thoughts on where to start and what manuals/books/tips/tricks are available?

Day One!
Day One!

ggray Member
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:14 pm
Location: Joplin, Mo.

Where to start

Post by ggray » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:29 pm


Just finishing up my rebuild of a 1965 CL77, I can offer you my theory on where to start but it's eventually up to you.

If you're unsure of the engine's condition after 15 years, (Mine sat for 18 years although I had rebuilt the engine prior to the sitting period) I would first evaluate the condition of the engine by doing some simple checks as compression and whether or not the engine will even kick over before you even attempt to start it, You did not state if it will. Prior to starting I would do the following at least: For sure drain the oil and clean the oil slinger, rebuild the carbs and replace the points. Drain the tank and make sure the petcock is clean and sealing correctly. If the tank shows signs of rusting, seal the tank. There's no sense in trying to start the engine until it is in proper condition and you are SURE everything is working correctly, including wiring. If, after making the above maintenance you feel confident the engine is ready, attempt to start it if you want. You can always do the cleanup of the exterior parts while it's out of the frame. I guess what I'm saying is why wait until the frame is all painted to find out the engine needs work and have to pull it out of the frame again.

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask....I just went through this .
Good luck,

'65 CL77 Owner

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davomoto Member
Posts: 2508
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:36 pm
Location: Marin County CA

Post by davomoto » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:32 pm

Start by buying the Bill Silver manuals available on this site. I personally do the engine first, rebuild the carbs, and install and tune before any paint and polish. It means disassmbling twice. This way you aren't scratching up all of your nicely painted and polished parts while trying to tune the engine, fuel leaking out of carbs etc, or if the engine needs to come back out. It sounds as though your already down to the frame, so this may not be the best option for you.


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