Project Honda CB450 Cafe Racer: Chugging along and DIY Plier Clip Tool.
I haven’t updated in about two weeks now. Work on the bike has been coming in waves, but continuing on.
I got my forks back from Frank’s Maintenance and Engineering (Forking by Frank). After receiving my forks there, Mary picked up on the fact that they were from another model CB450, a K5 atleast. My bike is definitely a K3. She confirmed the stock lengths for those tubes and had them cut to that size, 22.25″. I recieved them back on my doorstep in New Hampshire exactly a week after they had arrived in Evanston, Illinois. Not a bad turn around time for $40 plus shipping both ways!
I have not yet put them on the bike to check the ride height yet. I’m praying that it works out for me. I rebuilt the forks over the weekend and am waiting for new dust seals to come in from Dime City Cycles today. I also need to pick up fork oil on my way home from work tonight to refill the forks with.
A word of advice for removing fork oil seals. Mine were damn near welded in place. I struggled trying to pry them out with a rag-covered screwdriver after resorting to google for advice. I didn’t try everything that I read online, including filling them up with water and pumping the tubes to drive them out via pressure. The first and easiest thing I tried worked like a charm. Remove the damper rod and assembly and just soak the fork bottoms/seals in hot water for 5 minutes. They popped out like they were covered in bacon flavored butter. Do it. Don’t waste your time.
But before you can remove the fork seals, you need to remove the little c-clip holding the fork seals in place. You could do it with needle nose pliers I’m guessing, if you had a set with a fine enough point, but i didn’t. And rather than spending $30 on a clip plier tool, I took a nail, ground off the head and dulled the point down and shoved it in my vise. I then bent the nail in half into a V, then bent each leg of the V in half again to make legs. The resulting tool looked roughly like the wish-bone in a turkey. I then just spread it so the ends would fit in the holes of the clip, and squeezed them together with pliers. The C-clips came out like a charm. Try it before you go and buy a specialized tool. They went back in just as easy.
I doodled up a picture of how I did it, I didn’t take any photos while I was making it since I was on a roll.