You are such a great writer, Bob. Thank you.
Joel in the Couve
Eccles is the CX650E based winter machine that I drive to work every day in the winter. This is the latest pic I have of Eccles:
A few weeks ago, during yet another thread hijack , I wondered if I should start a retroactive build thread for Eccles. Well here it is, going right back to the beginning, but first a bit of background for those of you who haven't been around that long or are old and forgetful like me.
Before Eccles I had a GL500 for 5 years but never got around to naming (there were several before that but this is really where Eccles' story starts). Over the years I did a lot of work on it and made a few changes. This is what it looked like at the end of its career:
In 2005 I decided it was time for a change.I still wanted a mid sized, shaft drive Honda but i wanted something a bit newer in hopes that parts would be available for a bit longer. I ended up paying too much an '84 CB750SC Nighthawk. On my way home one evening the next spring it let out a mighty moan and stopped. It had thrown its camchain through the back of the cylinder block. Replacement engines, or even cylinder blocks, were impossible to find because, as one wrecker told me, every one they got in had the same problem as mine. It looked like this:
I needed a bike in a hurry and I wanted something that I didn't have to learn a whole lot of new stuff for. I also missed this forum (or at least whichever of its predecessors we were on back then). So I passed up a $900 CX650E around the corner because it was too nice for what I wanted to do to it. And besides, I really wanted a GL500/650 anyway. But they were going for around $1500 (to much for a winter machine) & when I changed my mind a week later the CX was gone. It was starting to look like I wouldn't find anything in time to get it ready. Then I saw an ad in a local online classified ads for a really cheap CX650E The seller sent me these pics:
To be continued....
You are such a great writer, Bob. Thank you.
Joel in the Couve
May the myriad of wheels in your head, keep the two wheels between your legs rubber side down.
No more stable, no more ride for me.
Forum Settings that everyone should make
Photo posting tips!
The WIKI link for all the good tech stuff. including free FSM's with addendums
Larry's most excellent CX/GL Carb book link
07-24-2006, 7:44 PM I'm Baaaaack!!!! - Honda CX500 & GL500 ForumOn Saturday I bought an '84 CX650E for $400. The fairing & one mirror are smashed, and 3 of the 4 turn signals are wonky or broken, the battery is dead, the back wheel has a flat spot, and the petcock needs re-building.
I will be removing the rear right & both front turnsignals & the mirrors & fairing anyway when I put the sidecar & the big fairing on, and I will set it up with the lawn tractor battery (cold cranking amps are important in January). I put a kit in the Nighthawk's petcock, and I should be able to move it (or maybe the whole petcock) to the CX.
I will have to get a wheel, and maybe a left side cover. And I will need to buy the fairing bracket back from Drew.
Bonus: It will be a LOT easier to get snow tires for the CX than the Nighthawk.
The NH has 16" wheels front & back, and the only dual purpose or enduro tires I could find were a Kenda front & a Bridgestone rear, both a size smaller than spec. They cost me a bit over $200. I almost got 1 winter out of the Bridgestone (it lasted about 5,000 Km). The Kenda has more than 1/2 of it's tread left - I will keep it for the sidecar wheel.
The CX650 takes 18" tires front & back. There are a lot of suitable 18" tires available in the $55 - $75 range.
08-23-2006, 12:05 PM Re: CX650E or CX650T rear end & shaft needed - Honda CX500 & GL500 ForumOddly enough, my local Honda dealer could get me the shaft but without the joint it was worthless. I called around to all the wreckers again and nobody had a wheel, final drive or joint.CX650E or CX650T rear end & shaft needed urgently.
I figured out why the oil was dripping where the rear end meets the swingarm. The splines on the rear end driveshaft and in the pinion joint (the cup shaped part on the final drive that the driveshaft engages with) are worn out and the damper seal was shot.
I figure it will probably be better to replace the whole rear end if I can find one.
As far as I can tell (my eyes are going bleary from looking at parts drawings) the CX650E & the CX650T take the same parts.
If anyone has what I need, please let me know.
Then I got an email from a forum member....
I had intended to put Eccles together over my vacation but it was becoming increasingly obvious that I wouldn't be able to. In fact, my chances of getting this wreck on the road in time for winter were diminishing rapidly and I had started looking at want ads again. If I could find a ratty looking but sound GL500/650 soon enough I could still attach the sidecar and get its lights working and do the rest as time allowed.
But in my scramble for information I had askedand RichNCT (now richnct) had replieddoes anyone know if a CX500 wheel will work in with a GL650 rear endIt was tempting but the GL650 has a 16" wheel (assuming I could get one), I didn't know whether I could mate a CX500 wheel to it and I really didn't want to be restricted to using the Bridgestone Trail-Wing tire that I had found unsatisfactory in the past (I think there are more options now).Answer, no, the GL650 axle is larger diameter. Actually, I only know for sure that the GL500 axle is smaller, but I believe the CX500 to be smaller too. I did some tape measure comparisions between the GL650 and CX650E rear swing arms last night. I said tape measure, no calipers The length, width and clamp side axle hole all appear to be the same dimensions. The brake stay mount is on top on the E, as you know. It's on the bottom on the GL. No problem if you're changing wheels/brakes, but then you're going to have to change other brake parts as well (mechanical GL vs hydraulic E). I have a good low mileage rear swing and prop shaft assy from a GL650I if you can use it.
So Rich let me know that had a CX650E, several other twisted twins in various states of assembly and some spare parts and was willing to spend a lot of time helping me out. At that time Rich only had web access at work (I think he only had time for the forum because he's the boss) and, of course, all of his CX stuff was at home. So instead of assembling Eccles I spent my vacation emailing back & forth with Rich. I would spend the morning poring over online parts fiches(this it was before we had the really good PDF parts manuals that we have now, let alone the CX wiki so that we can find them when we need to) and send Rich an email with correlations I had found (if any) and questions I needed answered. Rich would take a printout home, spend the evening in the shed measuring parts, email the results to me 1st thing in the morning and start it all over again. Within a week we had gathered enough information for me to start gathering up parts.
If I worked really hard and my son Matt did some while I was at work we might get it done in time after all.
After it was all done and I had time to catch up a bit I put the following together:
RichNCT & I researched what would fit together when I was putting my frankenbike together & we have figured out the following:
NOTE: We didn't research the turbo models and couldn't find information for the GL400, so if anyone knows about them please let us know.
- There are several rear end configurations in this family of bikes.
- the original CX500 type
- the GL500 type
- the GL650 type
- the 2 piece propeller shaft/4 stud final drive design
- The part of the frame where the swingarm attaches & the width of the linkage where it attaches to the swingarm is the same for all of the Pro Link models. This means that the swingarm from any GL500, GL650, CX650C or CX650E will fit the frame of any other GL500, GL650, CX650C or CX650E.
- There are 2 different types of propeller shaft.
- The original 1 piece type has one part of the u-joint machined as part of the shaft. In spite of the fact that the online parts fiches call for different numbers, the ones for the GL500 & GL600 are identical. I'm not sure if the one for the CX500 is the same, but it looks different in the fiche drawing.
- The 2 piece type has a separate propeller shaft & u-joint. This type was used in the CX650E, CX650C, & GL700
- There are 2 different types of final shaft (the shaft that sticks out of the engine that the u-joint attaches to).
- The original type has a groove around the end to accomodate the bolt that attaches the u-joint to it and was used on all CX500, GL500, & GL650 models.
- The 2 piece propeller shaft type which has a tapered end was used on the CX650c, CX650E, & GL700.
- There are 4 different final drives.
- The original CX500 type has a stud for attaching the shock absorber & splines on the pinion gear shaft (input of the final drive) to engage with the splines inside the joint that is pinned to the propeller shaft. It is attached to the swingarm by 3 studs.
- The GL500 type is similar to the original CX500 type except that it doesn't have the shock stud.
- The GL650 type is similar to the GL500 type except that the raised centering ring on the swingarm that engages with the opening in the final drive housing has a larger diameter.
- The 4 stud type (CX650E, CX650C, GL700) has a large "pinion joint" mounted to the pinion gear shaft which engages with the splines on the propeller shaft.
For Tips & Tricks section: CX & GL 500 & 650 drive train train comparisons - Honda CX500 & GL500 Forum
So in order to have an 18" wheel I would need to use a CX500 or GL500 final drive. That would mate to a GL500 swingarm which would in turn mate to the CX650E frame and work with its suspension linkage. But the CX500 wheel would be drum brake so what would I have to do to make that work on a bike that originally had a rear disc? It would be relatively easy if the brake on the wheel was on the right side of the bike like the brake pedal but on these bikes the final drive was on the right so the brake pedal had to operate a brake on the other side of the bike.
Honda's engineers to the rescue! For some odd reason, even though the E frame has a number of differences from the GL frame (including lugs for the aluminum footpeg brackets, master cylinder &c) they included the tube for the shaft that transferred the drum brake's pedal movement across to the other side of the frame.
In the meantime Matt & I had stripped the 650 to the frame so we were ready to start as soon as we had the parts. Rich had offered to send me a lot of what I needed for the cost of shipping. I had sold my GL500 to a forum member called Vitter for parts and since I was going to a completely different bike that would not need them I hadn't bothered to keep the fairing bracket and sidecar subframe. I knew he had put my engine & CX500 wheel into his GL500 but still had the rest of it stashed away so I got in touch with him and bought back the bracket, subframe, front seat, tank, sidecovers and a few other odds & ends. Then I made up my shopping list and headed for Cycle Salvage for the rest.
When I added it all up afterward I had used parts from at least 13 individual bikes. Maybe more - it is possible that some of the parts had been on more than one bike before I got them.
I know most of you already know what a CX650E is and a handful might even own one, but for those who aren't familiar with the E, here is what Eccles looked like in 1984
I wanted to have time to play around with the sidecar setup and become thoroughly used to the new machine before the first snowfall so I needed to have it roadworthy by mid October. Here's what the engine looked like in Sept. 2006. All I had time to do to it was pull the rear cover off and swap in the original type final shaft needed to mate with the GL500 driveshaft.
Assorted rear end parts for the project
30 Sept. (morning)
30 Sept (evening)
What an awesome story!
I like the ad too...you've either got it or you haven't
1980 CX500 Custom
Restoration contributors -- Swervin, ahcolburn and flyinelvis!
Yeah. Its sort of ironic that I have eliminated or changed more than half of the features mentioned in the brochure.
I probably should have mentioned that the month between figuring out how to turn it into a rolling chassis and the start of actual assembly was spent on details.
I learned years ago that too much front brake on a sidecar machine used in winter is not an advantage. A significant percentage of the front tire's traction is needed to keep the mass of the sidecar from pushing the outfit into the lane to your left so if you apply the front brake too hard on snow/ice the front wheel locks, the handlebars snap to the right and you loose the ability to steer. Because of that I always convert winter machines to single disc. When I got the Nighthawk its front brakes had the original rubber lines so I removed the 500's master cylinder, braided stainless brake line and caliper as an assembly, moved it to the NH and removed one disc. A year later I did the same with the 650.
The Nighthawk's original low bars would have hit the big fairing so I had also installed the handlebars (with heaters already installed) from the 500, which also let me sit up straight. So I moved them to the 650 too.
Matt cleaned up the frame and gave everything a fresh coat of paint.
In the brochure picture it looks like the handlebar is a casting with no visible means of attachment. But what you are seeing is just a plastic cover over regular tubular handlebars and a fusebox with integral handlebar clamps just like all the other models in the CX/GL500/650 family. Except that the handlebar cover was also the fusebox cover and mine looked like this
And even with the "wings" hacked off like that it wouldn't work with the higher handlebars so I had to figure out a way of covering the fusebox. While digging through stuff to find something suitable I came across a fusebox from a GL1000. Hmm... That would give me 2 more fuses for future accessories... But it won't fit on the handlebars so where? There's just about enough room on top of the airbox so all I need to do is extend the wires...
I did it all by soldering new wires to the old fusebox and the original terminals from the connector after I fished the wires through a piece of 3/8" clear tubing. It is still working well 8 years later but if I was doing it now and i had the time I would order a fusebox, some terminals and a roll of heatshrink.
When we test fitted the big fairing we discovered that the instrument panel hit so I had to modify the bracket to tilt it up a bit to clear
And I needed somewhere to put all the wires that used to be in the original small fairing. I found this at the $1 store.
BTW: 6 years alter I finally got around to mounting it properly