Author Topic: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F  (Read 3880 times)

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Offline MotorFist

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Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« on: April 29, 2013, 07:35:35 am »
Over the years I've learned a lot from reading other people's project threads so I thought I'd post a project I'm currently working on.

I bought this 400 from a guy in Salt Lake City, UT about three or four years ago. The bike wasn't beautiful but it ran well and was intended to be rebuilt for my wife. Shortly after, we divorced. About a year after that, we realized we had it pretty good and got back together. (Counseling really does help sometimes!)

Anyway, once she learned to ride the bike and took a safety course, we started making plans for the rebuild. Since the bike was in decent condition, I never really had much interesting stuff to base a build thread on! Well we just started going back together with it last night and figured I'd start now :)

Here it is the moment I took ownership :)

« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 07:41:04 am by MotorFist »
77 CB400 (Hers)
68 CB160
72 CL350
70 A65 Lightning
72 DT250
16 TE300

Offline MotorFist

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2013, 08:01:13 am »
The PO had way oversized tires on it.  So much so that the front tire rubbed on one of the fork lowers and grooved the tire.  Got rid of those and installed some Avon AM26's so the bike would handle better and safer!

Current purchased parts/work completed list includes:
Tires R&R
Side panels
framed de-tabbed and looped
powder coated frame
motor gone through and new gaskets and a couple seals installed
Motor soda blasted, washed, dried, acetone rub, and painted with VHT engine primer and a week later, enamel
smaller gauges
headlight ears
bum stop seat
fork seals
swing arm bushings
new chain, filters and other "tune up" items
lots of other stuff I know I am forgetting!


Still to purchase/do:
new muffler (keeping stock header)
build custom muffler hanger
polish fork lowers
build gauge mounts
Paint the tins matte black with cream accents to match the frame but first: finish cleaning out the inside of the fuel tank.  It's been terrible and I seem to be at a standstill.  One of the PO's improperly installed a tank liner and parts of it came off due to rust underneath it.  Other parts of it do not want to come off.  It has been full of acetone for a week, then drained.  Lots of milky rusty sludge came out so it did work to an extent but there are still a lot of spots in the tank where the line is present.
We then filled back up half full with the same acetone that was strained when we drained it the first time. I threw in a couple handfuls of 1/4" nuts and bolts and have been shaking it once a day in the evening.  This second step has been going on for a week.  I am becoming a bit annoyed with it as it is holding up getting the tins taken to the painter.  My painter buddy does amazing work but doesn't have a very fast turn around ;) so the longer it takes to get him the tank and other bits, the longer the bike will sit unridden.  Does anyone have any other suggestions on this tank?  I have contemplated draining the acetone out and using the Kreem Tank Prep A rust remover to see what that will do to it.

Here is where I am at as of last night. Pretty exciting to be going back together with it!




« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 08:04:43 am by MotorFist »
77 CB400 (Hers)
68 CB160
72 CL350
70 A65 Lightning
72 DT250
16 TE300

Offline Mugen_Stumpo

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2013, 10:43:29 am »
great progress and fantastic base to start with :P 8)

Offline SOHC4 Cafe Racer Fan

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 11:33:58 am »
Looking good.  :D
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Offline MotorFist

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 05:29:00 pm »
Replacing fork seals and doing some polishing today. Nice and shiny :)
77 CB400 (Hers)
68 CB160
72 CL350
70 A65 Lightning
72 DT250
16 TE300

Offline MotorFist

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2013, 10:57:36 pm »
Made some more progress over the week and weekend. Had the brake disc drilled and then I painted it with VHT epoxy paint. Also painted the steering stem with the same stuff. It seems to dry very hard.

Anyway, did a ton of polishing and new brake shoes for the back. It's great to have it back on some wheels!
77 CB400 (Hers)
68 CB160
72 CL350
70 A65 Lightning
72 DT250
16 TE300

Offline Mugen_Stumpo

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2013, 11:32:42 pm »
nice drilling pattern :)

Offline MotorFist

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 07:44:55 am »
nice drilling pattern :)
Thanks! I got the pattern off of this forum :)
77 CB400 (Hers)
68 CB160
72 CL350
70 A65 Lightning
72 DT250
16 TE300

Offline Powderman

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 09:06:35 am »
What are your intentions for body color to go with the white frame? I stole your white frame idea as soon as I saw it.

Offline MotorFist

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2013, 09:10:34 am »
The body parts will be matte black with a little bit of the white/cream on the fuel tank. And to be quite honest, I stole the paint scheme from someone else too :-)

I think the powder coater said the color was yolk white. Which is an odd name for the color since all the egg yolks I have seen are yellow. :-)
77 CB400 (Hers)
68 CB160
72 CL350
70 A65 Lightning
72 DT250
16 TE300

Offline Powderman

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2013, 11:08:51 am »
The body parts will be matte black with a little bit of the white/cream on the fuel tank. And to be quite honest, I stole the paint scheme from someone else too :-)

I think the powder coater said the color was yolk white. Which is an odd name for the color since all the egg yolks I have seen are yellow. :-)
Good point on the Yolk White color. I am doing mine in a Pearlescent White similar to whats on the Cadillac Escalades.
Can you really steal a color from someone else?

Offline kyre

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2013, 11:22:01 am »
Looking sharp!
CB400F / 466 Build Thread (currently in progress)
http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=105027.0

Offline MotorFist

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2013, 11:33:26 am »
I have been so busy and bad about taking photos and updating! Got the paint back and had some clear coat issues so it is going back to make it all match better. Otherwise what do you think of the paint scheme?
77 CB400 (Hers)
68 CB160
72 CL350
70 A65 Lightning
72 DT250
16 TE300

Offline Mugen_Stumpo

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2013, 04:44:34 am »
brilliant!!! 8)

Offline MotorFist

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2013, 08:41:07 pm »
It's on the road as of today! Still have a couple tweaks to dial in but we leave for the SOHC relay in the morning!
77 CB400 (Hers)
68 CB160
72 CL350
70 A65 Lightning
72 DT250
16 TE300

Offline Bankerdanny

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2013, 09:05:58 pm »
Beautiful bike and beautiful lady
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Current: '76 CB750F. Previous:  '75 CB550F, 2007 Yamaha Vino 125 Scooter, '75 Harley FXE Superglide, '77 GL1000, '77 CB550k, '68 Suzuki 80 (K11 probably, it's been 30 years), '68 Yamaha YR2, '69 BMW R69S, '71 Honda SL175, '02 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, '89 Yamaha FJ1200

Offline EnvinoVeritas

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2013, 05:24:56 pm »
Saw "Little Betty" in person today, and even got to take a spin around the block on it, and I must say, what a nice show of craftsmanship...very very nice.

Offline MotorFist

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2013, 05:48:30 pm »
Thanks guys! I love them both ;)
77 CB400 (Hers)
68 CB160
72 CL350
70 A65 Lightning
72 DT250
16 TE300

Offline Vinhead1957

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Re: Project "Little Betty" 1977 CB400F
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2013, 03:03:24 pm »
Very nice!