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Thread: Rant: Rebuilding top end on a '79 CB750L

  1. #1

    Angry Rant: Rebuilding top end on a '79 CB750L

    So, a customer brought in his bike because it was bogging out.
    it's a 79 honda cb 750 in great condition. only 8100 miles on it.
    It had been garaged for a while, and another shop 'did some work to it' to get it up and running. I found a really bad intake leak because the carburetor set was installed crooked and while the intake boots were replaced, the 33 year old clamps however, were not. Did a compression check, failed. leak down test, leaking head gasket... boo.
    This other "shop" rebuilt the top end... but they sent out the head work to a machine shop... i know, because the head rebuild is the only thing that was done properly on it. Head gasket was improperly seated (read: they didn't. just torqued it and sent it off), cam cover gasket leaked around the caps at the end of the cams, carburetors installed crooked so they leak, and when they adjusted the cam chain tensioners they didn't tighten the adjuster lock nuts down, do they've constantly been pushing too hard into the cam chains. luckily, there's only a couple hundred miles on it, so no real damage done.

    It's not hard to do good mechanic work. You just do it right... that simple... it's not like it 'may or may not' work. when you do the steps to fix something, do *all* of them, in the right order, and in the correct way, it works. Simple as that.

    irks me, is all. On this particular type of motorcycle, removing the head means pulling the whole engine out of the bike because it lacks about 1/4" of clearance to get the head off the studs with the motor in the bike. Now there's a bike with the motor pulled out, with the top end disassembled, having nearly brand new gaskets and parts taken off of it and replaced all because some ham-fisted mechanic decided to cut all the corners they could and shafted their customer... for what?
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  2. #2

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    Some pictures of the aftermath.
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    Spike Customs, Inc.
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    ph- 559-549-RIDE(7433)
    -------------------------------------------
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  3. #3

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    If you need any parts or build advice on them, Contact Jay Esbach at APE Race Parts. He started his business on early 70's CB's. I'm sure he still has parts for them and would love to help bring one back to life. That one looks to be pretty straight forward, but if you need anything hit him up. www.aperaceparts.com
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  4. #4

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    oh, this is an easy bike to work on. Made even easier by the fact that the dealership screwed up the head gasket when they replaced it, so it came right off in one piece. No gasket scraping required... The copper compression rings weren't even set right so it looks like it had never been used.
    No, it just makes me mad when a shop, especially a dealership, does bad work and charges someone an exorbitant amount of money for it.
    -------------------------------------------
    Spike Customs, Inc.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spike View Post
    oh, this is an easy bike to work on. Made even easier by the fact that the dealership screwed up the head gasket when they replaced it, so it came right off in one piece. No gasket scraping required... The copper compression rings weren't even set right so it looks like it had never been used.
    No, it just makes me mad when a shop, especially a dealership, does bad work and charges someone an exorbitant amount of money for it.
    Did the bike owner seek compensation from the dealer ?
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoama585 View Post
    Did the bike owner seek compensation from the dealer ?
    I don't know. I didn't ask. The owner now is a kid, and i think he's a new owner, so the last one may have had the dealership fix it... but with this dealership getting them to fix bad work is near impossible. Lot's of bad stories. This is not nearly the first customer of theirs i've gotten like this. One customer had a new fatboy with a stripped transmission drain plug, and they told them it needed a whole new transmission case and rebuild.... thousands of dollars. I tapped out the drain plug hole to the next bigger size drain plug. easy peasy. $60.
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    -------------------------------------------
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  7. #7
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    That looks like a real clean example. Glad to see you are making it right. Brings back some memories, I put over 100k miles on my 76 CB back in the day, first as a 750, then an 836 and finally a 1000. Never connected with another bike like that one. Happy to see there are still some nice ones around. I often think about finding another one, someday.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spike View Post
    but with this dealership getting them to fix bad work is near impossible. Lot's of bad stories. This is not nearly the first customer of theirs i've gotten like this. One customer had a new fatboy with a stripped transmission drain plug, and they told them it needed a whole new transmission case and rebuild.... thousands of dollars. I tapped out the drain plug hole to the next bigger size drain plug.
    I thought you were going to say it was some dork working out of his garage- to hear it's a dealership is surprising.

    Stripped drain plugs mystify me. Come on, it's a bolt. Put it in the hole, turn left until it clicks, turn right to tighten. How do they screw that up?
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveO View Post
    I thought you were going to say it was some dork working out of his garage- to hear it's a dealership is surprising.

    Stripped drain plugs mystify me. Come on, it's a bolt. Put it in the hole, turn left until it clicks, turn right to tighten. How do they screw that up?
    How do they screw that up,,,lol,,,,plenty of ways,,,reminds me of an incident in 1967,,,,the boys got a new crewcab,,,decided to change the oil on it,,,had 1350 miles on the speedo,,,,they took it out on the job,,,the drain plug fell out and no one noticed,,,the engine started to sound like a bucket of loose gravel rattling around,,try and explain that to the person incharge of supplying new vehicles to idiots...
    Some of those lies people tell about me, are true

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveO View Post
    I thought you were going to say it was some dork working out of his garage- to hear it's a dealership is surprising.

    Stripped drain plugs mystify me. Come on, it's a bolt. Put it in the hole, turn left until it clicks, turn right to tighten. How do they screw that up?
    because a stainless bolt into an aluminum pan doesn't need 20 lbs/ft of torque on it... especially on a plug that comes in and out constantly. It wears the threads a little every time it's torqued. The drain plug just needs to go tight enough to not leak, and not fall out. If you use teflon tape on it, it's really not that tight because the tape will work like a threadlocker.
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    Spike Customs, Inc.
    Fresno, CA 93727
    ph- 559-549-RIDE(7433)
    -------------------------------------------
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spike View Post
    because a stainless bolt into an aluminum pan doesn't need 20 lbs/ft of torque on it... especially on a plug that comes in and out constantly. It wears the threads a little every time it's torqued. The drain plug just needs to go tight enough to not leak, and not fall out. If you use teflon tape on it, it's really not that tight because the tape will work like a threadlocker.
    After I posted I thought about some guy with an air wrench and too much time on his hands, says something to the effect of "hey y'all, watch this!" and spins the bolt in at high speed. Forgot we were talking about aluminum, I'm only used to working on steel. How much torque does aluminum tolerate?
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spike View Post
    I don't know. I didn't ask. The owner now is a kid, and i think he's a new owner, so the last one may have had the dealership fix it... but with this dealership getting them to fix bad work is near impossible. Lot's of bad stories. This is not nearly the first customer of theirs i've gotten like this. One customer had a new fatboy with a stripped transmission drain plug, and they told them it needed a whole new transmission case and rebuild.... thousands of dollars. I tapped out the drain plug hole to the next bigger size drain plug. easy peasy. $60.
    This same thing happens in the car area of the world to. Dealerships seem to be the worst about making them fix something they did wrong. I had a head done at a reputable shop here and with less than 20K on it I found that 5 of 6 cylinders are leaking at the valve seats. I didn't even try to take it back because I have no faith that they will do anything about it. Instead I am now talking to another shop. I also took my car to large chain service center to have the AC tested for leaks and charged this last summer. All they did was charge it and put in some dye and told me to bring it back in a couple days to check for leaks. 2 days later my AC was blowing warm again and when I took it back, they argued about it and told me I would have to pay all over again. What a waist of over $100. I had to argue with them to even look for the leak which they told me they couldn't find. When I got home, I charge it enough to get pressure into the system and the dye left a puddle in my drive way after about 3 minutes of running. I don't know how they missed this when they filled it the first time. I ended up buying a pump and a new set of gauges and doing it all myself which I should have done in the first place. No one would capture the system, let me fix it and then bring it back without paying $60-$80 for each time I went in even though its all included in the same price if they fixed the problem. I couldn't even provide O-rings I had that came from the dealer. Usually I do all my own work anyhow so thats what I ended up doing.
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  13. #13

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    Ooh yeah, I do custom car and hot rod work too, and I've seen that story over and over. A snakey mechanic messed up the engine in my dads wrx a couple of years ago. I ended up having to replace the engine. It makes me so mad to hear about this stuff... Raises my blood pressure just sitting here thinking about it!
    -------------------------------------------
    Spike Customs, Inc.
    Fresno, CA 93727
    ph- 559-549-RIDE(7433)
    -------------------------------------------
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  14. #14

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    Update...
    Got back into the rebuild on this guy today after the long weekend and realized that the previous "tech" used rtv on the head gasket around the cam chain housing between the 2nd and 3rd cylinders...
    Guess which cylinders were leaking compression into the crank case: 2 and 3.
    Rtv is not for head gaskets.
    -------------------------------------------
    Spike Customs, Inc.
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    ph- 559-549-RIDE(7433)
    -------------------------------------------
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    This same thing happens in the car area of the world to. Dealerships seem to be the worst about making them fix something they did wrong. .
    That's because they are paid on commission (book time) per job! I had a friend that was starting out as a mechanic, and worked for a local Mazda dealership. He was fresh out of trade school and the low man on the totem pole; he did warranty work which I'm told pays less. My buddy worked 10 hours one Saturday and got paid book time 3 hours for the day. I think if a car come's back they deduct the commission, or you don't get paid for fixing your mistake.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanMurphy265 View Post
    That's because they are paid on commission (book time) per job! I had a friend that was starting out as a mechanic, and worked for a local Mazda dealership. He was fresh out of trade school and the low man on the totem pole; he did warranty work which I'm told pays less. My buddy worked 10 hours one Saturday and got paid book time 3 hours for the day. I think if a car come's back they deduct the commission, or you don't get paid for fixing your mistake.
    This is true, but book time for most jobs is way over what it takes a good mechanic to do the job. And as you mentioned come-backs are freebies, so there is a good incentive not to screw up. Dealerships do pay shorter time for warranty and I never understood that or liked it. One reason I never wrenched for a dealership. But it's not hard to bill 12 hours or more in an 8 hour day, as long as the shop is well run and you don't have to wait on parts and such. Like every trade there are good people and bad. Some people just don't take pride in good workmanship anymore. The sad part is it seems like the bad ones are increasing in number, while the good one are dwindling, or not even going into the trades anymore.
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  17. #17

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    I have charged book time with better rates than the dealership to do some work privately and I agree that someone who knows what they are doing and someone who is good at it can shave a bit time off the book/billed time. I took a 8-10 hour job and did it in 5. I got paid for 3 to 5 hours that I did not have to work but even though I cut the time, I did not screw it up and the customer did not need to have the work done over. I get this and think that its ok to charge this way but they need to understand that they may have made the mistake and chalk it up eating the profits. This goes further into other types of businesses to. I give credit to the guys here at Everlast as they seem to do everything that they can to make things right when customers come here with a problem.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    I have charged book time with better rates than the dealership to do some work privately and I agree that someone who knows what they are doing and someone who is good at it can shave a bit time off the book/billed time. I took a 8-10 hour job and did it in 5. I got paid for 3 to 5 hours that I did not have to work but even though I cut the time, I did not screw it up and the customer did not need to have the work done over. I get this and think that its ok to charge this way but they need to understand that they may have made the mistake and chalk it up eating the profits. This goes further into other types of businesses to. I give credit to the guys here at Everlast as they seem to do everything that they can to make things right when customers come here with a problem.
    You did not screw it up... that is the key part of that statement. =) Being able to shave time off of flat rate time is the reward for being a technician for a long time and becoming very good at your job... It's not being lazy when you go through everything and you're just better at it. It's the difference between learning to run around a race track instead of walking around it... versus walking through the middle to get to the other side.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    This same thing happens in the car area of the world to. Dealerships seem to be the worst about making them fix something they did wrong. I had a head done at a reputable shop here and with less than 20K on it I found that 5 of 6 cylinders are leaking at the valve seats. I didn't even try to take it back because I have no faith that they will do anything about it. Instead I am now talking to another shop. I also took my car to large chain service center to have the AC tested for leaks and charged this last summer. All they did was charge it and put in some dye and told me to bring it back in a couple days to check for leaks. 2 days later my AC was blowing warm again and when I took it back, they argued about it and told me I would have to pay all over again. What a waist of over $100. I had to argue with them to even look for the leak which they told me they couldn't find. When I got home, I charge it enough to get pressure into the system and the dye left a puddle in my drive way after about 3 minutes of running. I don't know how they missed this when they filled it the first time. I ended up buying a pump and a new set of gauges and doing it all myself which I should have done in the first place. No one would capture the system, let me fix it and then bring it back without paying $60-$80 for each time I went in even though its all included in the same price if they fixed the problem. I couldn't even provide O-rings I had that came from the dealer. Usually I do all my own work anyhow so thats what I ended up doing.
    Reminds me of the troubles my dad had on his brand new Jeep with the local dealership. It had a vibration at speed that would go away if the clutch pedal was depressed (the problem developed at around 4,000 miles). I offered the suggestion that the dealership check out the input shaft of the transmission, while my father came to a possible conclusion of the damper/harmonic balancer being the culprit (past experience with a small block chevy in his teen years). The dealership put 2 of the youngest "kids" in the shop on his Jeep to fix the problem, and pretty soon we find out that they're swapping out the driveline out with another brand new Jeep off the lot, then the wheels are being swapped from the other Jeep, then they're talking about possible brake issues (etc., etc.).

    My father finally got fed up and went over there to set them straight (after a week of them "throwing" parts at his new Jeep aimlessly!). He chatted with the head mechanic at the dealership, explained the situation, and the next day the dealership called and informed him that the transmission was the cause. During their first conversation in the shop, the head mechanic stated that those transmissions were proving to be problematic and that they would more than likely have to get a factory replacement. They ordered it, installed it, and the problem magically went away.

    I agree with trying to do as much of your own work as you can, when possible. Others simply can't be trusted, and nobody cares more about your car or truck than you do! I wish I was able to do the repair work on my car! Nothing worse than having a degree in automotive repair but having to pay others to fix your vehicle! At least I found a knowledgeable repair shop that is honest, with a reasonable hourly rate.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    Like every trade there are good people and bad. Some people just don't take pride in good workmanship anymore. The sad part is it seems like the bad ones are increasing in number, while the good one are dwindling, or not even going into the trades anymore.

    Most of the older guys in the trade are retiring out (leaving a void) and a lot of younger people that get into the trade have no prior experience working on cars. They aren't mechanically inclined and they can't troubleshoot even simple issues with a basic (older) vehicle unless they can scan for codes. Plus a lot of today's generation is treating work strictly as income. They have no pride, respect, or drive for anything. What's worse, they lack respect for other people's talents, abilities, and accomplishments.
    Andy
    New Everlast PowerTig 250EX that is begging for me to come up with a few welding projects so it can stretch it's legs. Did someone say aluminum???

    MISC. TOOLS:
    Atlas 618 lathe
    Milwaukee Porta Band with custom made stand
    Dewalt 4-1/2" angle grinder
    Dewalt 14" chop saw

    Strong Hand Nomad portable table
    Juki sewing machine I've had for years (yes I know sewing is for girls)

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