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Sourcing a CB400t engine in Melbourne?

Discussion in 'Businesses and Service Providers' at netrider.net.au started by Thejosharcanum, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Hi guys,

    Just wondering if anyone knows of wreckers in Vic that might have parts for an old girl like the cb400t?

    I just bought one as my first project bike. The main aim of it is to learn as much as I can about bikes, I imagine I will be making a whole lot of mistakes but I enjoy learning and I won't have lost much even if I never get the thing going.

    So I've got this cb400t frame with a cb250t engine fitted, I'll probably stuff around with it as is and try to get it going anway, but ideally I'd like to restore it with a 400. I see from some research that an old 450 will bolt right on as well, just wondering what I might expect to pay for a complete or semi complete engine from a wreckers? Do some wreckers have a better reputation than others?

    I just applied for a netrider membership so once that's sorted I will post in the wanted section as well.

    Any insights would be appreciated.

  2. Having been through this exercise in the UK 20 years ago, a time and a place where such things were far more common than here and now, I'd advise forgetting it.

    When my horrible CB400N seized its crank I rang every wrecker in the country trying to source an engine or, at least, a serviceable bottom end. Most of them pissed themselves laughing because, unknown to me when I bought the revolting thing, the 400s all seize their cranks sooner or later and decent used engines just didn't exist. Eventually I tracked down a low mileage 400T lump that required a several hundred mile round trip to collect it. Bought it, installed it, serviced it lovingly. Six months later it seized its crank too.

    So I'd advise not touching a 400T or 400N engine with a bargepole. I don't know if the later 450 development was any better, but, given that it was built in Brazil, I wouldn't be terribly hopeful.

    If you're really determined to do something with the bike, keep the 250 lump and use the bike as a cheap hack and a learning experience. They're slow but they at least make all the right noises, rev reasonably freely and last OK for a 1970s cheapie. If you want to go to the effort and expense of a full-blown restoration there many, many bikes (and even some Hondas) more worthy of your attentions.
  3. righto, thanks heaps for the heads up. i rang around some wreckers and got the impression it will be a fairly hard task finding one. might just rebuild the thing as a 250, unless a 400 magically appears along the way. should be fun anyway!
  4. I forgot to point out that I received further corroboration of the 400's bottom end issues when I was trying to offload some of the remains via the local free ads paper. I received quite a number of calls from others who were trying to obtain a useable crank. Interestingly, I also received a call from a bloke who was worryingly knowledgable about SuprDreams (he was after parts for a restoration) and also knew about the crank problems. He reckoned that a fix existed (although I never bothered to get details of what it was) but that it cost about 350 GBP (this in 1992) for the necessary machineing work, in addition to the labour of an engine strip and rebuild.

    Given that, at the time, 350 quid represented about 10% of my gross annual income and could (and subsequently did) buy me any number of bikes that weren't c1980 Hondas it didn't take me long to do that little cost-benefit analysis.