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Honda Dream CA160 The old black horse

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  #1  
Unread 12-25-2013, 03:21 PM
marctroy marctroy is offline
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Hi,

I’m new to both this forum and vintage Honda motorcycles so I thought I’d introduce myself. I’m in my early sixties, and, if I remember correctly, I enjoyed the late 60’s and early 70’s and now I have the resources to have what I couldn’t have back then. I’ve spent the past few years enjoying the camaraderie of good friends while restoring British bikes that I longed-for back then, primarily Norton Commandos and Triumph Bonnevilles. Last week I had the honor of purchasing a ’66 CA160 with 5,4XX miles on it from a deceased friend’s widow at a reasonable price. He last registered it in 2004 and, before putting it in storage in a shed with many other Hondas, he “pickled” the engine. Although I haven’t had the time to prep it to run, it does turn over nicely with the kick-start, the transmission shifts through all gears, both front and rear brakes operate. There’s only minimal cosmetic rust but I haven’t had time to check the frame but ,based on it’s overall condition, I don’t expect there to be any issues there..

Currently it’s sitting with Marvel Mystery Oil sprayed into the cylinders and penetrating oil on all accessible bolts, nuts and screws. Other than a Honda shop manual which I can’t locate anywhere, I ordered a Wisco battery, NGK plugs, points, condenser and various gaskets and o-rings for the oil filter and I intend to try to start it when I return from a short vacation. If that goes well, I’ll clean and line the gas tank, replace the cables and the brakes and rebuild the carburettor. I’ve read horror posts about the petcock and, hopefully, there won’t be a problem with it.

There are numerous posts chronicling frame-up restorations with spectacular results but I think I’d like to keep this as a genuine survivor since it can only be original once, however, I haven’t decided whether I should polish the chrome, mildly polish the aluminum and restore the existing paint. I know it’s a personal decision but please share your thoughts.

I haven't had a problem sourcing the parts that I presently need but I can't find the one item I'm in desperate need of - a factory shop manual or a .pdf of it. All of the links I've found have "expired". Also, while know it’s a ’66 CA160, I’ve also heard it referred to as a “Baby Dream”, a “Benly”; and a different “C”XX model number; which is correct?

Last edited by marctroy; 01-01-2014 at 06:01 PM. Reason: stoopid spelling
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  #2  
Unread 12-25-2013, 07:16 PM
Spokes Spokes is offline
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Welcome to the Forum! I have restored several CA160's and CA95's and it sounds like you have a gem! I would like to answer a few of your concerns/questions.

"I intend to try to start it when I return from a short vacation."

"I’ve read horror posts about the petcock and, hopefully, there won’t be a problem with it.


One of the first common issues with these old bikes starts with the fuel petcock. Inside the petcock is a cork seal. When the seal dries from age or sitting with an empty tank, it fails, thus giving your first disappointment. I suggest starting the bike for the first time using a makeshift separate fuel source.

On occasion the carburetor may leak. So doing the above will save you a potential mess.

Speaking of the Petcock. You can buy nice aftermarket tank adapters and Harley style modern petcocks for the CA160 & CA95's. I use one on my CA95. You don't have to modify the tank and you can keep the old one in case you want to sell the bike as "original"

"but I think I’d like to keep this as a genuine survivor since it can only be original once, however, I haven’t decided whether I should polish the chrome, mildly polish the aluminum and restore the existing paint. I know it’s a personal decision but please share your thoughts."

Shiny original chrome rules (IMO) The aluminum control housings will clean up nicely with some quality aluminum polish. The controls were not mirror polished when new.

Keeping the original paint is always a good idea.

"I’ll clean and line the gas tank",

First thing to remember is to protect the paint. A light coat of Vaseline on the paint will ward off cleaner or chemical attack.

Since the bike was maintained you may not need to line it. I highly recommend a product called "Evapo-Rust". It's a great neutralized acid product that removes rust without damaging metal. I use this product exclusively on my restores.

Getting the petcock screws loose is another potential issue. Soaking the inside with Evapo-Rust will greatly increase the chances of getting them loose.

"Also, while know it’s a ’66 CA160, I’ve also heard it referred to as a “Baby Dream”, a “Benly”; and a different “C”XX model number; which is correct?"

The CA160 is an upgrade of the CA95. CA95's were named as "Baby Dreams" as they were the smallest of the stamped frame models as compared to the CA77. 305 Dream. The "Benly" is a historical name meaning "convenience" and dates back to the 50's. The use of these terms seem to apply interchangeable for both models. I am not sure if a deeply knowledgeable Honda historian would agree.

"I haven't had a problem sourcing the parts that I presently need but I can't find the one item I'm in desperate need of - a factory shop manual"

Once in a while you will find an owners manual like below.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Honda-CA160-...34b662&vxp=mtr

The manual below will cover your bike and ones similar.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1965-1978-Ho...70cebe&vxp=mtr

Good luck with your project. When you ride it you will always have folks asking you about it.
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Unread 01-01-2014, 06:00 PM
marctroy marctroy is offline
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01.24.13
Thanks so much for your reply and good wishes Spokes. I finally had some time to spend with my recent acquisition and a quick inspection revealed that a) The tank was probably drained when it was stored since it was perfectly clean and rust-free. Since I'm only using ethanol-free gas there doesn't seem to be a reason to line it. b) There wasn't a petcock problem since there wasn't a petcock. Seriously, the original was removed, the 4 holes were plugged, a balance hose was fitted and a "T" fitting and inline petcock were added - Rube Goldberg style. It's not pretty but it doesn't leak.

I changed the oil and plugs, installed the charged battery and, with help from a friend and a little fiddling of the choke and the throttle, she started and ran well. Not wanting to push my luck, I let it warm up enough to check for oil leaks (there weren't any) and I shut her down.

My next step was assessment and, of course, everything that was made of rubber (front & rear footrest rubber, kickstart rubber, shifter rubber, fuel tank mounts, fuel lines, and tires) was dry-rotted. I was able to source almost everything stateside, received some of it already and I'm waiting for the rest. The only rubber part I haven't been able to locate here or in Thailand is the front rubber mudguard. It was missing and I'd greatly appreciate it if anyone knows of a source or can help with a photo or template.

The other problem I'm having is with the centrifugal oil strainer. I (think I) located it next to the stator but I'll be damned if I can remove it and the Clymer manual is of no help; any suggestions?
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Unread 01-01-2014, 07:55 PM
Spokes Spokes is offline
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The other problem I'm having is with the centrifugal oil strainer. I (think I) located it next to the stator but I'll be damned if I can remove it and the Clymer manual is of no help; any suggestions?

Actually the spinner is opposite the stator (right side looking down from the seat)

My suggestion is to not touch it. The spinner cover is fastened in with a nut in the depression of the cover. If your able to get the nut off your left with the challenge of removing the cover by tapping the tabs. You have a good chance of busting the tabs off. Then you will need to chisel out the cover as
the spinner cover has an "o" ring that swells tight and hard....and then find a used replacement.

Change the oil every 50 miles a couple of times and don't worry about it. IMO

The mud guard is the rarest of the rare for the CA95 & CA160, which btw share the same front fender. The lower flare of the fender usually met curbs and chuck holes which removed the mud guard and mushroomed the flare.

I have seem them occasionally on eBay, but if your fender flare is mushroomed then it won't fit anyway. I have never reinstalled the mudguard, for what its worth.

It's great to hear the bike runs and you have a clean tank with no leaks! That's a big plus! Also you will find that the CA160 has a really great engine and you will enjoy riding her.
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  #5  
Unread 01-02-2014, 05:48 AM
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Larzfromarz Larzfromarz is offline
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Greetings as well Marc and Welcome! Plus 1 on everything Spokes has said. This has been a great resource for a bunch of folks for these little bikes.
We also look forward to your pictures as we are a visual bunch around here...seems we can't enough of looking at "the same old bikes"..
Larz
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Last edited by Larzfromarz; 01-02-2014 at 05:51 AM.
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  #6  
Unread 02-23-2014, 05:48 AM
marctroy marctroy is offline
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Thanks for all your replies. I've taken many "progress photos" and I intend to post some once I learn how to do it.
This is my current problem and I'm hoping someone has experience with this: I soaked my carburetor and petcock in Berryman Dip-It cleaner and, while it removed all traces of fuel deposits, it left a "calcium-like" deposit. Does anyone have an idea of what's happening and how to remove it other than with a wire wheel/brush?
UPDATE: I just held the lower part of the petcock up to the light and there's a pinhole where the largest deposit was. I checked the other parts and there's also a pinhole in the carburetor fuel bowl. Now I have two ruined parts that'll only delay my project. Can't find them on ebay; does anyone have these parts available for me to purchase?

Last edited by marctroy; 02-23-2014 at 06:05 AM. Reason: update, spelling, grammar
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  #7  
Unread 02-23-2014, 02:24 PM
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Larzfromarz Larzfromarz is offline
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Postin pics isn't too bad here. You just need to watch the file sizes.
From the screen where you compose your post just scroll down a little bit and you'll see the Manage Attachments button. Click here to up load your files.

Your petcock problem should probably be best solved with the Harley plate conversion to replace the stock style and use a standard harley style. The are kits on ebay. If you post a pic of the fuel bowl I can probably come up with one.
Larz
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Unread 02-24-2014, 02:35 PM
marctroy marctroy is offline
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Hi Larz,
I received the following reply from Berryman Products today:
Marc,
We’re sorry to hear of the problem you described. Chem-Dip Carburetor and Parts Cleaner (part #0996) is safe on for use on plastic, rubber, and most paints and metals but can react with some grades of aluminum and aluminum alloys. For that reason, the product has warnings on the can specifying modest soak times for aluminum and aluminum-based parts, which is likely what your carburetor is made of. The white spots you saw were likely aluminum hydroxide or aluminum oxide—reaction products from extended soaking. For aluminum and aluminum alloy parts, we recommend that soak times be limited to 15-30 minutes per dip with a total soak time not to exceed 4 hours.
Dan

Yes, I did leave the carburetor bowl in for a few days (my bad!) but the petcock bowl was only in the "Chem Dip" for less than 10 minutes. Up until this happened I only used it for cleaning steel hardware and parts and the results have been amazing. I'm not trying to determine guilt here; my goal is to find out if the metal was already compromised before I dipped it or was the metal was adversely affected by the cleaning solution.
I can easily live without the fuel bowl since it's for a spare carburetor but I'd prefer to maintain the originality of my CA160 and not to use a modified petcock. Thanks for the offer and I'll forward some pics of the affected petcock bowl this weekend...

Last edited by marctroy; 02-24-2014 at 02:42 PM. Reason: added info
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Unread 02-24-2014, 03:12 PM
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Larzfromarz Larzfromarz is offline
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Of you are looking for a sediment bowl for a stock petcock I can cover you. I bought a few from a guy who had some sediment bowls made up. I have one I would spare but I'd have to ask for money for it $50 shipped anywhere in the states. I'll try to post a pic but these are nice turned from round billet AL stock.
I've found much of the period (mid 60s Al) to be very porous and I'd suspect the alloy contents are fairly low. You can search for a thread for the one I rigged before I found my new billet ones.
Larz

Last edited by Larzfromarz; 02-24-2014 at 03:18 PM.
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Unread 02-24-2014, 03:19 PM
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Larzfromarz Larzfromarz is offline
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http://www.fourwheelforum.com/showthread.php?t=1713
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  #11  
Unread 02-26-2014, 08:40 PM
Spokes Spokes is offline
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I have a good used fuel petcock bowl. The nut is a buggered a bit by someone grabbing the nut with pliers. It also has a small dent. PM me if interested as it will work until you find a nice one.

I don't intend to use the original petcocks on my builds going forward. Those machined petcocks are really sweet I must say.
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Unread 02-27-2014, 05:51 PM
marctroy marctroy is offline
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I appreciate your offer Spokes but I'll pass since I already bought a billet sediment bowl from Larzfromars. I should have it along with a rebuild kit tomorrow and my petcock problems should be over. Once that's done I'm going to take a break and concentrate on trying to post full-size pics. Best I could do so far are just thumbnails...
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