The Mongrel - Scrambler Build
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Thread: The Mongrel - Scrambler Build

  1. #1
    Member espi118's Avatar
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    The Mongrel - Scrambler Build

    This journey began in October 2015. I watched the ad on CL for about 2 weeks, the offering was $500. From the pics, the bike looked to be in rough shape but ran. I saw it drop to $400 one afternoon, so I decided to inquire. Guy told me he was going to Florida at the end of the week and didn't want to pay for storage. He was very eager to get rid of it. Talked with my wife and she shot me down. Told the guy that if he still had it at the end of the week to give me a call. He calls me the next morning and says "$300 by the end of the day and its yours!" Plead with the wife, but got shot down again. I went about my day, little pissed off that I was not able to take advantage of this awesome deal. Later in the afternoon he calls me again, tells me that he has had 2 no shows through out the day. "I tell you what, if you come and get it right now, $200." So I took off work an hour early, grabbed my dad's trailer, dropped by the ATM, and went to pick up my new CX500 for $200!!! (I did't ask the wife this time )

    My daughter sitting on the beast when I brought it home.


    She didn't start the greatest and the battery did not stay charged. I was only able to put on about 5 miles before I put her away for the winter and started tearing into it. I did a bunch of research on the forum and was able to find out that my stator charging coils were shot and I needed an Ignitech CDI. Also, the rear shocks were toast, needed new tires all around, and I was not a fan of the fairing, so I would need a new headlight and turn signals.

    After obsessively looking at other CX's for a few days, I decided that I wanted to do a scrambler. I grew up on dirt bikes and live next to a bunch of woods, so I thought having a road bike that could also go off-road would be perfect.

    Here she is with everything tore off


    Took a little doing to get to that point. Who knows how many PO's this thing has had. I found out that most of the parts that were on the bike were from other years. The only thing from '78 on the bike is the motor and frame, everything else had been "upgraded." Even a little rebar welded to the frame to mount the fairing


    That's it for this first post, I will be adding more in the next few days.
    1978 Honda CX500 Deluxe?
    1980 Yamaha XS650

  2. #2
    JC
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    Super Moderator JC's Avatar
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    First time I've seen rebar on a CX.....

    Watching this to see where it goes? Or went - is it all done now?

  3. #3
    Member espi118's Avatar
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    Not done yet. Ill have another update tonight.
    1978 Honda CX500 Deluxe?
    1980 Yamaha XS650

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  5. #4
    Member espi118's Avatar
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    The purpose of this build is to have a reliable, daily driver that I can have a little off-raod fun on when possible. Not looking to do heavy modifications, just enough to make it my own. Plan on keeping it stock with no frame modifications. Oh, it also has to be 2 up so I can give rides to the wife and kids.

    She just sat through December, January, Febuary, and March. Too cold and I didn't have any motivation. I am kicking myself for that now, now that its warm and I still don't have a ridable bike. Toward the end of March, I finally got my wood burner installed in my shop, so I got working on her again.

    While she sat though, I bought parts:

    Duro HF 90 Median Dual Sport rear tire - 16"
    Shinko 705 front tire - 19"
    Rear shocks off ebay - 13.5"
    New hoses for radiator
    New radiator bolts


    I had the tires installed on the wheels by a local shop. Front tire ended up needing a tube, I was a little confused because I thought they were tubeless. Rear didn't need a tube, guy at the shop said they were from different year bikes. I decided on these tires becuase I will mostly be on the street, but I live on a dirt road and want to be able to do a little off-roading as well.

    The radiator was a headache. On the last ride before I put her away for the winter, I noticed something coming out the radiator overflow hose. Didn't look like that was suppose to be coming out, so figured the radiator will need flushed as well.


    The PO had installed the wrong size hoses , so the bolts didn't line up with the holes on the frame. Their solution, tap new holes into the frame about 1/4" away from the original holes. These tapped holes royally messed up the bolt threads. I found some hose from my local NAPA store that was similar in size and had similar bends. I was able to get everything lined up properly and new coolant installed.


    Front shocks were a little soft. I dont want to rebuild them right now, so while I had the front tire off, I went ahead and replaced the fluid with actual shock oil. Hopefully that will last me through this summer and then I can rebuild next winter.


    On April 1st, I was able to get the old rear shocks off and new ones installed. I wanted a little more height in the rear and also some more travel when I do take her off-road, that's why I decided to go with little bit bigger shock. I hope they work out alright, I have read really good reviews and really bad reviews, guess we will wait and see.




    Here she is with the new tires, radiator, and rear shocks installed.


    Mid April I finally decided on a front light and turn signals. I went with a set of dual head lights and small bullet style turn signals, both from ebay. The electronics are my biggest fear. I don't have a lot of experience and it just seems daunting. I put off doing anything to the bike for about a month.

    I started a help thread HERE to get some advice on the wiring of the headlights and turn signals. The PO had really done a number to the wiring harness to get that fairing rigged up, another reason I was nervous. After the help through the thread I started and staring at the '78 wiring diagram until my head was going to explode, there was light!!


    That is currently where the bike stands. The goal is to get it in ridable conditon this summer. I will take care of cosmetics in the winter.

    To-Do List:
    Purchase rear brake light
    Purchase new turn signal flasher relay
    Purchase new battery
    Permanatly wire lights and turn signals
    Purchase carb kit
    Clean carbs and install
    Modify seat pan and make new seat

    Future mods:
    Renthal 7/8" handlebars
    New exhaust
    Custom "number plate" to hide headlight wiring
    New paint
    DRIVEN likes this.
    1978 Honda CX500 Deluxe?
    1980 Yamaha XS650

  6. #5
    Senior Member howitzer21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by espi118 View Post
    I thought they were tubeless. Rear didn't need a tube, guy at the shop said they were from different year bikes.
    Wheels are from the same model year(s). Those are "reverse Comstars" - stock Deluxe / Custom wheels.

    The interesting bit is you say you have a 1978 Deluxe, except that model wasn't available until '79. You likely have a '79 (or later) Deluxe, as I don't reckon they would have put the reverse comstars (19" F, 16"/18" R) from '79-'81 on a '78 Standard, which had Comstars (19" F, 18" R).

    https://motofaction.org/motorcycles/...00-cx650-gl650
    Current:
    '81 CX-V Build ('81 CX500 Deluxe)

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    '78 CX500 Parting Out - STILL PARTS LEFT
    '09 Kawasaki Ninja 250r

  7. #6
    Senior Member Randall-in-Mpls's Avatar
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    It may be a frankenbike. Perhaps a PO had a titled '78 frame and a complete, but untitled, Deluxe.


    R
    10th Annual Minnesota Spring Ride and Barbecue - Saturday, May 13, 2017
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1978 CX500 Standard - The Grub


    1981 GL500 Basket case -> AdventureWing (Dual-sport conversion in progress) - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3


    1979 CX500 Deluxe rolling chassis -> Hmm?

  8. #7
    Member espi118's Avatar
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    You're right Randall, that's why she's call The Mongrel.

    HERE is my introduction thread where I talk about it. Frame and engine serial numbers are '78. Someone swapped out all kinds of parts on this thing and then someone else added more.
    1978 Honda CX500 Deluxe?
    1980 Yamaha XS650

  9. #8
    Member espi118's Avatar
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    Finally a little progress

    http://imgur.com/ktTtrpc
    1978 Honda CX500 Deluxe?
    1980 Yamaha XS650

  10. #9
    Member espi118's Avatar
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    Past due update:

    In mid August I finished cleaning the carbs and got them back on the bike. Thank you Larry for your awesome carb guide!



    Here she is running after getting the carbs installed



    In early September I got the turn signals installed and turn signal wiring routed. I could not get the signals to flash,so I figured I needed a new relay. Took forever to find a decently priced "original" relay that I thought I needed. After finally getting it, I hooked it up and no still no flash. I was pissed because the relay was like $30. Asked around on the forum a bit and someone suggested a cheap relay from Autozone. Would you believe it, the $5 aftermarket relay did the trick! I was a very happy man when those signals started flashing.

    At this point The Mongrel was ridable!!! She doesn't look pretty, but thats why she's called The Mongrel.



    First couple rides were only 5-10 miles. I would bring her home and put her right on the battery tender. I decided to take her on a longer ride, about 30 miles. Everything was running great until I got about 5 miles from home. I went to signal a turn and got nothing. No signal, no dash indicator, nothing. She started to run weird and thats when I knew, no juice. Didn't make it home and had to call my dad to come pick me up with the trailer. Stator is bad. Time for a triple bypass.
    1978 Honda CX500 Deluxe?
    1980 Yamaha XS650

  11. #10
    Member espi118's Avatar
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    The Mongrel sat for all of November and December as I collected parts for the bypass. I am lucky to have a pretty awesome father-in-law who was kind enough to get me 90% of the parts I needed for the bypass. He got me a new G8 stator, cam chain, mechanical seal, thermostat, tensioner, and most gaskets and seals!

    Teardown started on 12-27-16






    Some yummyness







    And we are in! For the most part, everything looked to be in decent shape.



    Got the flywheel off and was able to get a good look at the cam chain and tensioner. I would say tensioner and chain are shot!








    Turned her around and took off the fan. This "washer" was sitting just like this when I pulled the fan off.



    What the hell!?!?!?



    Went ahead and ordered a new fan and fan bolt, the old one is in bad shape, surprised it was still in 1 piece.
    Last edited by espi118; 02-06-2017 at 10:18 AM. Reason: spelling
    1978 Honda CX500 Deluxe?
    1980 Yamaha XS650

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