I've gone and bought this crappy CX500, with the intention of making something that looks a bit better! Hopefully the maggot won't turn into a fly!

Not only is this my first attempt at a blog! but it's also my first attempt at creating a"custom" motorcycle!! I don't really know what I'm doing in either case, so we'll see how it goes.

You'll have to look at the photo below to see why I chose the 'maggot'!.........see something good can be found in everything!!

Wrenchmonkees CX

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Seasons Greetings!!

 Bloody hell, it's nearly Christmas again! 
Hope you all have a good one!!
(maybe I can get a bit more done in the next year then!!)

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Possible way forward!

Having received comments from some of the guys on the CX forum, who thought my frame could actually be saveable! I got back in touch with the guy that had the scrap frames & picked them up at the weekend FOC! I'm going to cut out the bad sections from my frame & weld in patches cut from good parts of the scrap frames (well I'll probably just tack them in place & get somebody that can weld to do it properly!!) So we'll see how that goes!


Monday, 19 November 2012

No Go

Didn't even get to look at the frames! I called the guy to see what they were like & how much, he told me he'd had a closer look & they were both destined for the scrap yard! Bugger!!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Fingers crossed!

Going to look at a couple of frames this weekend, so here's hoping that they won't be as bad as mine!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Looks like goodnight nurse!!

I took the sharp bit of a claw hammer to the more dodgey looking parts on the frame earlier, with these results:

not good! So unless I can source a better frame then it looks like I'm fucked on this!

Anyone got a frame for sale!!

Cheers for now.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

It's starting to fightback hard!

Have come up against a possible major problem! 

I had the frame & a few other bits & bobs shot blasted so that I could get them painted & start the build-up, but when I got them back the frame & swinging arm now resemble Swiss cheese in some places! 

You may remember that I found some holes in one of the pressed steel brackets on the lower frame which I had repaired & that the swinging arm had been poorly patched. Well more holes have appeared in the same bracket & the cross brace on the swinging arm will need replacing. The swinging arm isn't too much of an issue but the frame could be.

I am going to see if the frame can be further repaired at the weekend but I have a horrible feeling it may be too far gone! If it is it will mean sourcing another frame, or possibly another bike in better nick, but don't know if I can run to the cost of another bike!. 
I know that is what I should have done originally but I hadn't appreciated just how shagged this one was!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

I wish....

....I had my own welder! A friend kindly did some welding to the frame, unfortunately due to insufficient weld penetration one of the frame end plates came off after cleaning up & the other one looks a bit flakey! Feel a bit awkward telling him, hopefully will get it sorted this weekend with another mate!!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Now where was I?!!

I know, I know! what have you been doing? I hear you ask!!

Well you know how it goes, all that sunny weather, holidays & hi-days & before you know it bloody months have passed & it look's like I've done bugger all! 

Well I have been tickling things along a little...

Got a replacement radiator cheap as one side had become un-soldered at the top..

..easily sorted with the blowtorch & a bit of pumbers solder...

Do you think I need to make a start on sorting out the wiring loom!!

Painted the engine...

..am going to paint rocker boxes, water pipes & a couple of other bits with wrinkle black VHT paint so the motor should look quite nice!

Thats not everything, in case you're thinking 'is that all!!' 

The frame is currently away haveing a few final touches before it is cleaned & prepped for paint / powder coat. A new battery box is under construction for the new gel battery to be fitted under the engine, among other little bits & bobs.

So there you go, I'm back at it & am aiming to crack on with it in the next few months.


Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Starting point...

I've been waiting to get a small diameter flap wheel so that I can open up the hole for the mechanical seal. In the meantime I stripped, cleaned & carried out the earth strap mod to the starter motor.

Got into the unit to find a little accumulated crud!!

You can see the corroded & burnt tabs at 12, 4 & 8 o'clock.

So I made up an earth strap to connect to the endcap..

drilled & tapped the endcap for a 4BA screw...

which was cut flush on the outside, this will be hidden from view when fitted anyway.

Another part to add to the sorted pile!!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Rebuild & distraction

It was Bank Holiday last weekend & I made a start on getting the engine buttoned up, as the new oilseals had arrived. Got most of it done but I need to  slightly relieve the hole that takes the mechanical seal, as the ones supplied nowadays are fractionally larger than the originals.

We also have a new addition to the family!!

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Good the Bad & the Ugly!

The Good - I went round to my chum Les's over the weekend to start on some of the little welding jobs, we fixed the seat strap to the frame, filled in the small slit in the seat pan & plated the cut frame rails, although we will need to come back to some of it as we ran out of time.

The Bad - When trimming & cleaning the frame plates I turned the frame upside down to get better access & discovered some rusted out holes in the frame & a shitty repair patch on the underside of the swinging arm! More fixing up required then!!

The Ugly - Thought I'd start cleaning up the surplus to requirements tabs & brackets whilst I was at it! The inside of the pillion footrest hangers look like they've come up from the fugging Titanic!!

 Oh well, onwards & sideways as they say!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Slow again!

Things have slowed down again! but I have received a few goodies recently! 

I decided to include a couple of sensible upgrades, one is to convert to an electric fan instead of the direct bolt on fan, to release loads of extra horses!! (yeah right!) so a fan from a VFR750 has duly been purchased, and is waiting to be bolted to the radiator. 

I also decided to replace the aged CDI unit with a modern replcement. Thanks goes to Cobram of the CX/GL Forum http://cx500forum.com/ who organised a group buy at a good discount from the standard price, although I did get stiffed by customs for an extra 20 quid tax!

There is a connection that allows you to plug the unit into your PC & screw up the progamming/mapping or whatever you call it!! They even provide the software on a CD that lets you screw it up!! LOL

This weekend I'm hopefully visiting a mate round the corner who is going to let me loose with his MIG welder, & try to do a couple of the little welding jobs that need doing to frame!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

New Seat Mk2

I was never entirely happy with the seat base I made from the old Enfield seat, no matter how much it appealed to my sense of re-cycling!!

I was able to get a sheet of 16g steel from a friend, so I decided I'd have another bash at making a seat base.

Started off by making a cardboard template:

Then transferred the shape to the steel...

....& trim to shape with the angle grinder:

After putting a couple of bends in to follow the frame line, the fun started. Using my trusty claw hammer I started beating the shit out of the blank, to get the front end formed & create a turndown edge:

I ended up having to drill a hole & slit the edge to get the final shape to the rear end:

I bit more hammering & trimming & I am pretty satisfied with the result:

I will get the cut welded up to finish it off, & do a little more finessing & it'll be ready for painting & upholstery.

Update 3

Well, I let things slip again blogwise, & didn't get round to the third update! Breifly then, I have started to build up the front end as I finish cleaning & refurbishing parts, think it starting to come together:

The stantions actually look a lot better than I thought they were going to, so I'll probably dispense with the old shrouds & leave them 'nekkid!!'

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Update 2

I wanted to clean up the switch gear as I'm reusing what I've got. Of the two sets I have one has an on/off switch for the lights & one didn't, of course the set I wanted to use (with the on/off switch) was the crappier of the two!! This bike is nothing if not a challenge!!

To remove the anodising which had faded badly I ended up resorting to some oven cleaner:

After about 45mins the anodised finish was all but gone, just needed to be scotchbrighted to get rid of the oxidised finish. Haven't got a photo so will need to get one of the finished item & upload it later!!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Update 1

Been a bit of a lazy git and not updated the blog for a while, but it doesn't mean that I've not been chipping away at things! While theres not heaps & heaps to report I'll break it into a couple of chuncks, for ease.

While I'm waiting for the engine seals I thought I'd press on with the front end. The brake calipers were as you might guess pretty crappy looking:

but a couple of hours with the paint stripper & wire wheel got it looking much better:

Even managed to get the bleed nipples out without snapping them off! Plenty of penetrating oil, gently heated the caliper body, & several sharp taps from Mr Hammer saw them out!

What is it with Japanese spares!!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Some engine progress

Finally managed to get back to the shed & do a few more bits & bobs!

Replacement cam & oil pump chains arrived....

It says on the box not to install by yourself!! Bloody hell there 'aint no one else going to do it!! anyway it was suprisingly straight forward to do. Both were fitted within a couple of hours. Now waiting for a set of oil seals then I can finished re-assembling the motor.

Have decided to paint the engine cases now, the wired finish is just too patchy looking. I bought a tin of Hi-temp 'metallic black' engine paint which should look quite nice, more understated than the original bright silver, & a change from all black.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

More clean & shiney

I bought a cheap random orbital sander yesterday, less than 30 quid complete with various grade sanding discs, a set of scotchbrite type discs & a set of polishing discs !

I was getting a bit bored with rubbing down & trying to get a good finsh to the alloy parts by hand, so had a go with the new toy...

came out sweet!! I have decided to leave the matt scotchbrited finish rather than bling polish. Wont be quite so demanding to keep clean either!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Shiny bits!

Spent some time cleaning & smoothing  the top & bottom yokes:

I polished the top by hand, wish I had some polishing mops! but it has come out quite well considering!!

The pitted cast finish to the bottom yoke was smoothed off, ready for either paint or powdercoat:

 Also have received the new tapered roller bearing headset.

I decided to have had a go at using electrolysis to remove rust using a solution of sodium bicarbonate, & a battery charger. I understand washing soda is a bit better, but I don't have any washing soda & have a big bag of bicarb!

The first part to be treated is the front mudguard, as you can see the underside is quite heavily corroded!!

 It was left fizzing away overnight, & it ended up like this:

Not too bad, quite pleased!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Christmas progress

Well having the Christmas week off meant that not only did I have to suffer the ususal trials of the festive period, but I was able to get some time on the project!

The engine is now cleaned & waiting for the new cam & oil pump chains & a set of seals, so while I wait for them to arrive I thought I'd start sorting out some of the bits & bobs on the forks.

I made brackets for both the Bates type headlight & the mini speedo that I'm using & sorted the mounting positions etc. 

I decided to utilise the old top fork shrouds that also originally supported the headlight, the headlight brackets were cut off as they are surplus to requirements, part of the base was trimmed off & the remaining shrouds cleaned up, they don't look too bad in the rough finish state.

I also have done the first rough pass in cleaning up the top yoke, chopping off the original handlebar mounts & cleaning off the casting line that ran around it.



At the moment I'm not final finishing things until I complete the dry assembly of everything. I don't want to put a whole load of work into something that may get trashed! So don't think that crap look is what I'm going to end up with!