As I mentioned previously, it is clear the CB350 went down at some point in its past. The damage I have identified consists of dents to both fork covers, scuffed speedometer, a scrape along the stator cover and a broken shift lever.
The fork covers present a problem. I could repair the dents, but paint is an issue. I’ve found a source for the original Honda three stage paint, but it is a bit pricey. Plan “A” called for replacing the damaged fork covers with a rubber boot common to later bikes and the CL350.
I did come across a couple of OK condition fork covers on ebay, and spent a few dollars on them as a “hail mary” or Plan “B”. I thought if I could bypass the immediate need to repaint I could save some effort.
The end result is entirely acceptable, and while the replacement fork covers are not 100%, they are certainly close enough for government work. I’ll finish reassembling the front forks and wheel, and if the damn carb kits arrive I can actually see if we can get this thing running!
I’ve never had trouble taking things apart, but getting them back together was always a challenge. This morning I put the rear wheel back on the bike, and after some false starts (related to an incorrectly installed part) it is back on the bike, spinning beautifully and stopping sharply when the brake is applied.
Unrelated to the wheels I’ve replaced all of the engine bolts with their hex headed counterparts (total casualty count on removing the original bolts was a shocking 30% – where I need to use the GrabIt bit), am still waiting on the gaskets to put the carbs back together, and I found a relatively inexpensive set of the correct colored fork covers on Ebay in “good” condition.
I’ve swapped in LED bulbs for the instrumentation (except for the turn signal indicator), as they seem to provide substantially more light than their incandescent counterparts.
While the CB350 was in excellent condition for its age when I got it the elements had clearly taken a toll, and rust was evident in a number of places. As parts come off I’m making an effort to clean them up or replace them (chrome clean up is, at present, restricted to the “aluminum foil” method discussed earlier followed by elbow grease and Autosol).
This is a picture of the rear wheel, the left side of the image shows the condition of the chrome as I found it, while the right side shows the chrome once I’ve gone at it with the aluminum foil (autosol to follow, but you get the idea).
And while the results are not 100%, they are sufficently impressive that I don’t feel any of the major chrome bits need replacement.
There is a fair amount of rust on the bike, most noticably on the chrome bits. As I’ve now removed the exhaust I’ve spent a little time polishing the chrome bits and trying to restore it’s former glory.
A little googling suggested rubbing the rusty portions with aluminum foil. It actually seems to work, and as I’ve got some time waiting for the first wave of replacement parts to arrive I’ll get a jump on cleaning the exhaust and the wheels.