Project Cafe: Roadblocks
Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of buying an old house will know all too well that fixing one things usually leads to breaking another. It was only recently I was tearing out wardrobes without a care in the world, only to find half of the wall came off with said furniture. A plasterer, electrician and many paint pots later and I now live in an abode that resembles a proper house.
The same can’t be said for the CB400 Four. What went into Big Jim’s Rims (the chosen biker garage in Ealing) for a routine timing belt change and a bit of tarting up has now ended up needing an engine rebuild. The slack chain that was causing the irritating rattle has also cause a whole heap of damage inside the powerplant
The lads at Big Jim’s stuck to their word and sent me through images of the work undertaken, but rather than seeing a sexy pair of drop bars being fitted or a new seat being meticulously hand sculpted, I was treated to pictures of oily bits of metal with big holes in.
Big Jim explains…
“In this picture you can see that there is no plastic bit on the end of the cam chain tensioner. Because there is no plastic piece here, the cam chain tensioner blade is free to move in the engine thus causing it to catch on the engine cases, scoring them, which is something you really don’t want. We also noticed that the cam chain tensioner blade is highly scored from the chain not being adjusted correctly at some point.”
“Finally, the cams themselves are damaged. They have formed a lip from general wear and will probably need replacing”.
I have images of all of the latter issues but to be honest, my heart was broken after the very first email hit my inbox.
Project Cafe Racer has now become a project to completely rebuild the top half of an engine something I’m not too familiar with. A few phonecalls have been put in to men with old CB400s in boxes and the bike will be trailered to Suffolk where we plan to find a man with enough time on his hands to take on a project of this magnitude. Hopefully she will find a new lease of life in the rump of the UK.