1967 Honda C77 "Dream"
have always loved old motorcycles but could never afford a true antique
but classic bikes fall into the range I could afford. My first bikes
where a Honda 50 and then a Superhawk CB77. I already have a 1962 Honda
50 in the garage awaiting restoration but CB77s seem to be quite
rare. While looking for a CB77, I ran into a pair of 1967 Honda Dream
CA77 at a reasonable price so I picked them up.
One bike is reasonably complete and the other is a "parts bike".
immediate objective is to get the red bike running so work started with
the fuel tank. The tank is quite rusty inside so it will be cleaned and
sealed. It appears to have been leaking and someone did a repair by
brazing. It was then over-coated with contact cement so cleaning up the
repaired area was a pain. Using a fuel tank sealer will take care of
The pet cock was dismantled, cleaned, and repaired. It was quite gummed up and the reserve pickup tube was missing so a replacement part was ordered.
picked up a KBS tank cleaning and coating kit but when I started
preparing the tank I found that it had been previously coated. The
coating was either inferior or the preparation insufficient as rust had
gotten behind the coating in many places. An application of paint
stripper softened the coating but it still required 2 hours of scraping
to loosen the old coating (which was like elastic!) Scraping
through the filler hole is a P.I.T.A.! With a 12v light bulb inside for
light and brass and steel rods bent to creative shapes, progress was
slow but noticeable. I also found the spot where the tank had been
leaking - a pin hole through the bronze repair on the cross-over fitting.
a few more hours doing a second coat of paint stripper, then rinse,
then "Marine Clean", and rinse again before doing the brazing
repair - simple fix: heat it up to melt the brass and scratch it up
with a welding rod to float out the contaminant. After the repair, I
went on to the KSB etchant.
(While I was at it, I also decided to coat the tank for the Honda 50 since it was showing light rust.)
etching and rinsing again, it was time to put the thanks to dry. Both
were heated up well with the heat gun and then connected to a
jury-rigged blower to keep steady air flow going to finish the drying
process. The blower consisted of a duct fan, a cardboard box, and a
couple of pieces of hose, all from the "scrap box".
VERY handy gadget for working inside any small space is a 12 volt bulb
soldered to a pair of 18 Ga. solid wires and connected to a power
supply (or battery). The bulb can be slipped in through the filler
hole, the wires bent to keep the bulb out of the way, and it lights up
the inside like flood lights! It leaves the opening unobstructed so you
can still work through the filler neck.
drying nicely - time to put the tanks back on the bikes.
With the brazed repair and some other paint damage, it seemed a good
idea to prime the tank for the 305.
Got the keys for the Honda Dream so I was anxious to check
out the electrical - there always seems to be electrical problems on old bikes.
I hooked an old head lamp in series with the battery as short-circuit
protection, made sure the ignition points were open, and connected my volt
meter across the points to see if there was power to the ignition circuit.
There was only power in ONE
of the six positions of the ignition switch! WTF??? In a different position, the headlight came
on, but I never seemed to get power to everything.
Since the bike had been sitting for god-knows how long, I
decided to clean the ignition switch. I noticed, as I was about to open it,
that it had been opened before but I opened it, cleaned out the old grease, and polished all the connections
before putting it back together. Still strange behaviour! I took the switch off
the bike and checked it with a continuity tester and it didn't match the 'switch
matrix' published on the web. Again, WTF????
I opened the switch again and studied the layout of the
copper traces on the back plate (where the wires attach) and compared them to
the spring loaded contacts in the plastic plate that is rotated by the key and it began to look
like the plastic plate needed to be rotated 180 degrees - the way it was, the
battery wire was only connected to other circuits in two positions.
Is it possible that the plastic plate carrying the contacts
could be out 180 degrees? I carefully lifted the plastic plate out, turned it
180 degrees, and sure enough it mated with the key lock in EITHER position! I
temporarily clamped the switch back together and did the continuity test in
each switch position again. Sure enough it matched the switch matrix diagram
SON OF A BEECH! Who'd'a
thought of such a problem! It took me 3.5 hours to figure it out and I am
supposed to be "an electronics wizz".
I closed up the switch, bent the locking tabs down tight,
and re-installed the switch . NOW it works properly and everything has power when it should.
The clip was missing from the headlamp socket (black tape used instead) so a new snap-on clip was made from high-tensile wire.
selenium rectifier was replaced with a silicon bridge rectifier (which
is more efficient and not subject to age-related failure).
battery was reconnected and the ignition was tested for spark - it
sparks sometimes (LOL!) but I have yet to set the points.
Looked at the points from the other engine and they were in even worse shape that the 'primary bike'.
I cleaned the points, installed them on the engine, and set the gap,
the points were never closing! Finally figure out that the cam (that
operates the points) was badly worn and didn't give the points enough
movement. Reduced the gap enough that the points close and now have
spark on both plugs. That will make the dwell angle too large but
it will do for now. The cam on the spare engine is as bad or worse than
on the 'main bike'. The proper repair would be to replace the cam shaft
but the chance of finding a cam shaft that isn't worn is small and the
price would be very high so the logical "work-around' is to replace the
points with an electronic ignition (which doesn't use the cam). That will come soon.
also installed the replacement part in the fuel petcock and gave the
tank a coat of dark blue paint. I decided to go with a "celestial
theme" for my hippie bike with stars and planets, etc. on a dark
Took the carburetor off and brought it in the house to rebuild.Fixed
horn circuit - the wires were disconnected and too short. Also fixed
the turn signals - turned out to be bad bulbs. Checked out electric
start - starter clutch not engaging - that's a job for the winter,
"engine overhaul time". Electrical complete!
I installed the newly lined and painted fuel tank and connected all the fuel tubing (to carb, filter, and crossover)
Changed oil - no idea how old the oil was that was in it.
Everything seems to be in order and all that was left was to add fuel, turn on the switch, and jump on the kick-start!It fired on the 3rd kick but when it fired, the kick starter disengaged
and wouldn't catch again. Tried the electric starter and it caught this
time until the engine kicked again and then it wouldn't catch again either. Going to have to pull the right side cover off the engine and clean and lube both mechanisms so they both work properly.
At least it tried to start!
at least ONE starting method that is reliable so I decided to have a
look at the electric starter clutch. I couldn't budge the alternator
rotor with a gear puller but a 16 mm 1.5 pitch bolt worked like a charm.
was one missing spring, one broken spring, and one weak spring in the
starter clutch so I cleaned and repaired everything - will do a proper
rebuild at engine overhaul - and the electric start catches every time
out that I am not getting any fuel through the petcock since I replaced
the internal rubber part. Had to pull the tank again (a couple of
times) and play around with 'the internals' to get the valve working
right and fuel flowing, then deal with a sticky needle valve in the
carburetor to get fuel in the bowl.
THEN IT STARTED!
For the first time in gawd-knows how many years it fired right up!
the right hand seal on the crank shaft is done - it left oil on the
floor - but it is running. The compression came up quite a bit after
its first run as well.
a part of the day trying to get the throttle in the '67 Honda Dream to
move smoothly and return to idle when the grip is released - didn't
happen - not sure why - but did get it to close to a reliable idle
position. There just seems to be too much friction in the twist-grip.
a tiny steel ball from the signal light switch when it came apart
unexpectedly - had an inexperienced helper who 'bumped' the switch
lever while working on the grip. I have a spare hand grip so I will
have to steal the ball from it (when I am alone in the shop LOL!)
a LOT of time fiddling with the fuel valve and had to pull the tank for
the 100th time! The replacement rubber pieces I got for it swells in
contact with gasoline and the valve becomes unmovable! :frown: Dressed
the rubber piece down a bit on glass with sandpaper and it seemed
better now - works without leaking.
Also found an electrical problem - battery + post shorting on side cover - and fabricated a battery hold-down strap to fix that.
The bike is coming right along! It starts easily and reliably every time now.
Fixed the signal lamp switch and replaced the oil seal on the crank shaft.
In stalled Emgo 80-84034 mufflers - only took an hour. It sounds good!
having the bike running a couple of times, it refused to start AT ALL
48 hours later! Nothing I tried could bring her back to life (and I
tried every trick in the book).
While contemplating what to do
next, I decided to try to get the original ignition switch working (so
the key doesn't fall out!) Someone had taken the switch apart and
"gutted" the lock - ALL the pins were missing! I took it to the best
local locksmith and they said they couldn't help me, that they had no
parts to fit, so I studied the lock and determined that I really only
needed one pin (out of the three) so maybe I could make the required
I found that 12 Ga. electrical wire was just the right
size for the pins and I had the proper key so I set about making the
actually worked out okay but I needed TWO sets of spring-loaded
top pins but only had one tiny spring so I set that aside for the time
being. The temporary "universal ignition switch" that I installed is
good enough for now.
Continued on page 2
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