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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Carlsbad, CA
    Posts
    7
    Hey everyone,



    Long time lurker, first time poster. I tend to ramble so I'll try to keep this to the point. I bought an 81 CX500 in November and it was in running order. It's my first bike and I ran out of gas a few times and had to switch to the res to get home. It was running fine until a few weeks ago when I was on a ride and the bike cut out on the freeway after riding for about 30 mins. I had learned my lesson and had a full tank. Pulled over, looked at the bike in confusion, and it started back up. This happened 4 times but I finally got it home. Looked up symptoms on the forum and I'm thinking there might be some crud in the carbs. Last night I finally figured out how to take the seat off (yay me!) and got the tank emptied and off.



    I have a pretty long list of things I want to do to the bike and I feel like most of them are within my skill level. I am really just afraid of attempting something that will leave the bike inoperable, but I guess there's only one way to learn. Here's the list of things I've noticed:



    -Tank has some rust but doesn't look terrible. I will be rinsing it out as best I can with vinegar and some screws (unless there is caution against vinegar). Also I'm wondering if I NEED to coat the tank after cleaning it. I'm trying to do it without any really harsh chemicals (vinegar then rubbing alcohol to dry it out) but think I've read that you have to neutralize the metal at some point. Is that only for sealants or will I have to prime before adding gas?



    -Carbs are the scariest thing for me simply because of the multitude of issues one can face when working on them. I am going to drain the bowls today and see if I get any rust out but I'm thinking about just going for it and attempting a full cleaning. I've seen a bunch of success stories and there doesn't seem to be an issue that hasn't already come up that I could reference, so I might give it a go.



    -Forks have no spring to them. If I lift the front end up they move a little but for the most part they are not bouncing like they should. I have no idea how they work so the threads haven't helped me a whole lot. From what I've gathered there are springs... and oil... and air inside?



    -Cables: I bought throttle, brake, and clutch cables and these seem like they aren't too difficult to replace but I'm not sure about the fine tuning adjustments.



    -Brakes: I want to replace these soon.



    -Radiator has half a dragon fly sticking out of it and there is a very small coolant leak coming from an undetermined source. I noticed some smoke coming from underneath the engine block and later found a small puddle of coolant under the bike. I couldnt see where the coolant was coming from but now with the tank off that might be a little easier. I'm not sure what condition the radiator is in but I haven't read up too much on the topic so I'll wait until I'm more informed to ask about it.



    Anyhow, that's my current list. Tank should be mostly ready by tomorrow night and I'm hoping the carb drain will help some. I really try to read as much as I can before posting (I've been reading since November!) but I apologize if repeat some questions. I'm really excited to get this thing back up and running, especially with all this San Diego sun! Thanks for all the help you guys have already provided!!
    1981 CX-500

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ranger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Posts
    724
    Check out the quick reference guide in the General Discussion area of the forum.

    This is a good link to start with Bike checklist

    HTH



    Ride Safe
    1981 Honda GL500I
    1982 Honda GL500I


    ********

    Semper Ride



    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" -
    Edmund Burke



  3. #3
    Senior Member bandit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    espania
    Posts
    5,572
    welcome from spain....what a great first post

    1981 GL500 , UK MODEL,needing a bit of tender loving care

    1982 GL500 , UK MODEL,my daily ride.



    Andalucia,in the south of spain

    aka spanish bandit

  4. #4
    Senior Member Blue Fox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,134
    Welcome to the forum. We will take good care of you here. And don't worry about your skill level right now, start simple and work your way up.



    It could be your tank causing your stalling issue. Or a multitude of other things. The very first thing I would do would be to do the main fuse modification. Very simple, very inexpensive to do. Since your bike is a 81, the ignition doesn't depend on the main fuse for getting power. So that probably isn't your stalling issue.



    I would suggest visiting the Wiki site. It contains the Quick Reference section of the forum plus many other topics regarding our bikes. Take your time in there, there is much to learn. From carb cleaning to Zerk fitting.
    1983 GL650I, 1980 CX500, 1979 CX500, 1982 GL500I, 1978 CB550, 1974 CB350F, 1973 CT90

    Need information? Try our new Wiki site: http://cxgl.wikispaces.com/

  5. #5
    Triple 0 - Licensed to Kibitz fibonacci's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    2,620
    Welcome aboard. You've come to the right place and it sounds like you have a pretty good list. There is lots of help to be found here, as you already know.



    Fib
    Wiki link

    '83 GL650 ("Beatrix) Kiddo"

    Who is John Galt?

    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"

    "Don't worry about it, I'll worry about it - I'm gonna be up anyway" Joe Walsh


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Carlsbad, CA
    Posts
    7
    Vinegar in the tank actually seemed to do a pretty god job of getting that rust out. The tank wasn't in horrible condition but I'm glad I could skip using those crazy chemicals. Rinsed with water, then rubbing alcohol, then some gas. Popped the tank back on but battery had been sitting for too long so I'm trying it today after charging it.



    I tend to just get into some things without the proper research (while other things I overdo) and I pulled the brake cable without realizing the line is full of fluid! I have a new brake cable I want to put in so I'm thinking I'll reverse fill it from the bleeder valve and then bleed it a few times with new fluid. Does anyone know what size hose fits on the bleeder nipple?
    1981 CX-500

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
    Posts
    483
    I would just get a new battery. They don't always last that long, and who knows how old that one is or what its been through.



    My order goes:



    Running

    Safety

    Mods/Looks



    So make it run first (carbs cleaned, tappets adjusted, carbs synced, cooling system flushed/descaled, a pass of clean oil).



    If its running pretty well, work on safety (Front end. Brakes, Forks, Steering Bearings, wheel bearings, Tires)



    Then do mods and bling it out (Electric fan mod, fork preload spacers, shock)

  8. #8
    TXDrummer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cowtown, Texas
    Posts
    286
    Welcome aboard! Glad to have you with us!



    Quote Originally Posted by elgaot5 View Post
    -Tank has some rust but doesn't look terrible. I will be rinsing it out as best I can with vinegar and some screws (unless there is caution against vinegar). Also I'm wondering if I NEED to coat the tank after cleaning it. I'm trying to do it without any really harsh chemicals (vinegar then rubbing alcohol to dry it out) but think I've read that you have to neutralize the metal at some point. Is that only for sealants or will I have to prime before adding gas?



    -Carbs are the scariest thing for me simply because of the multitude of issues one can face when working on them. I am going to drain the bowls today and see if I get any rust out but I'm thinking about just going for it and attempting a full cleaning. I've seen a bunch of success stories and there doesn't seem to be an issue that hasn't already come up that I could reference, so I might give it a go.



    -Forks have no spring to them. If I lift the front end up they move a little but for the most part they are not bouncing like they should. I have no idea how they work so the threads haven't helped me a whole lot. From what I've gathered there are springs... and oil... and air inside?



    -Cables: I bought throttle, brake, and clutch cables and these seem like they aren't too difficult to replace but I'm not sure about the fine tuning adjustments.



    -Brakes: I want to replace these soon.



    -Radiator has half a dragon fly sticking out of it and there is a very small coolant leak coming from an undetermined source. I noticed some smoke coming from underneath the engine block and later found a small puddle of coolant under the bike. I couldn't see where the coolant was coming from but now with the tank off that might be a little easier. I'm not sure what condition the radiator is in but I haven't read up too much on the topic so I'll wait until I'm more informed to ask about it.


    Fuel tank - IMHO these tanks are three decades old and have had who knows what kind of gunk and crud in them in the past. While it is good to clean it out and get the rust knocked down, you'll continue having problems until you do a proper coating inside the tank. I just finished doing mine, and have more of the sealant coming for other fuel tanks I have on some equipment. I used POR-15 on the bike and will use it for the other stuff. The kit came with water soluble chemicals and as long as you are careful, is isn't a huge deal to coat your tank. I think it cost me $50 for the whole job (including new fuel line and filter). With the methanol in fuels these days, moisture is only going to be harder to control in the tanks and thus there will be more opportunity for rust. Do it right; do it once.



    Carbs - Order the carb book from Larry. It will walk you through the whole process step by step and very well done. You can order it right here. Plan on this taking a few days to do properly. It can be a tedious and slow process to do well and do correctly, but the results are very much worth the effort. If you'd rather have him do it, PM him for the details. His screen name is LCRXed.



    Forks - Without seeing it first hand, I can't comment on the shape of your bike. Maybe you can get an opinion from someone local and go from there. The forks likely need to have the seals replaced and oil changed. Not hard to do, just pay attention to the details.



    Cables - Good plan. Follow the instructions in the service manual for installation. Make sure that they are free in movement once installed, and if not work with them until they are. Ask if you need guidance.



    Brakes - If you can't steer or stop, your screwed. Rebuilding the brakes on the bike isn't a hard task. Plenty of info here on rebuilds. Some are replacing their master cylinders and going to dual disk set ups on the front. Myself, I rebuilt the master cylinder and caliper, then replaced the brake line with a stainless braided hose. I'm not racing around and find the brakes more than adequate. I think the parts and all were about $100 or so.



    Radiator - You would probably do well to flush it out and get it clean. Drain your coolant and flush the engine as well. As for the leak, there are plenty of places that can leak, you;ll just have to locate the source and make the appropriate fix. Again, this is not a hard task.





    Outside of that, go the Wiki site (link in my signature) and find the new owner's checklist, and start through that stuff. You'll spend some time and some money getting things up to par, but you'll also have a very reliable (and easy to work on) bike in the end.





    Don't be afraid to do this stuff. All you have to do is ask, and the guys here will chime in and help. Pictures are your friend (ours, too) when it comes time for assistance! In a few weeks, you'll know your bike and won't be afraid to turn a wrench or two on it. That is a lot of the fun, at least for me!
    1979 CX500 Custom 26k Miles -One Previous Owner



    In need of CX/GL info? Try the CX/GL Wiki Site



    Safe Riding:The trophy for being safe is arriving the same way you departed; except for a little less fuel in the tank and a larger number on the odometer.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    467
    Did you check that the air admission hole in the tank cap was clear? If not the bike will run until the vacuum in the tank overcomes the gravitation weight of the petrol in the fuel line and the petrol stops flowing - which sounds like your symptoms. BTDT.....
    In New Zealand

    1979 CX500 cafe - it lives!

    1983 CX650ED

    1983 CX650 uber modernist cafe project bike

  10. #10
    Senior Member murrayf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Lexington NC
    Posts
    9,926
    you cleaned the tank but did you clean the petcock and the fuel filter screen in the petcock?



    also do you have the vacuum petcock it will have 3 lines going to it vent vacuum to the intake manifold and fuel if so it may be causing your problem
    GET AN OIL FILTER ADAPTER

    Order The Quick Build Exhaust Pipes


    Way to many bikes to maintain this list LOL !!!!

    email me at murray at murrayscarbs.com

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