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 Little Dream 07 - 'the Corporal'

1986 Honda CB125TD-C, Steamy DialsPart

Renovating the Dials

From the 'Before' Photo's, steamed up instruments, suggested that the seal in the glass had, as is common, 'gone'. Fact the glass rattled in the case was a fair clue, too! what the pictures don't show so well, though is that the needles, like the paint on the petrol tank had suffered chronic UV degradation, faded, cracked and when the clocks were stripped, crumbled! Oh dear!

But, lets get on with it! Because a lot of this was 'experimental', and I had to invent ways to fix stuff!

Actually, the first thing I had to do was invent a tool, to get the casing apart, and get the glass out in one piece!

 1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

The instrument assembly as removed from the bike. Conveniently there are eight easily identified cross head screws on the back, and you undo the four in the recessed holes, FIRST. A lesson learned doing the Pup's clocks. Other four screws hold the actual dial assemblies in the box, and IF you undo them before undoing the case half screws, they fall out and rattle around inside!

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

Right casing split, that was the easy bit. The back and the dials can be put aside for a moment, for other attention, if needed, the 'problem' that needed fixing here was the glass rattling in the case front remember. Trouble is, that the top of the instrument case is listed as a single part! As made, the glass, and its seal are sandwiched into the upper case half, with the idiot-light panel welded on behind. THIS is the tricky bit, because you have to break the plastic welding between the case top and the lamp panel, but NOT break either, OR the glass whilst doing it! NOT FUN!

Enter Specialist Tool, BK01-001-001! Other wise known as a bent butter knife!

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation 

Conveniently when the Ex blessedly buggered off, I had a big clear-out, and one of the things that had perplexed me, was WHY I could never find a fork in the cutlery draw, yet there were about a dozen or more dinner knives! Solution? I chucked the entire contents of the cutlery draw in a card-board box, and bought two new cutlery sets AND a set of tea-spoons. I didn't throw the cutlery away, I put it in the shed, figuring that at some point, I might have an 'ah' moment and realise I had thrown away something important; BUT those knives have proved quite useful for making scrapie things, and in this case, Specialist Tool, BK01-001-001!

Difficulty splitting these case pieces, is that there is only a very small gap between them, and little room to get something in to pry them apart. So, putting about a 1/4" 90degree bend on the tip of a butter knife I had a sort of hook come pry-bar to get in and carefully jemmy the two pieces apart, without risking breaking the edge of the outer case, or snapping the light panel.

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation 

So, after much wriggling, and incing, I managed the feat, and salvaged the glass without breaking it!

  1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

So time to turn my attention to the back of the case. That second set of four screws could now be removed to release the dial assemblies, and leave the case back, which had a large crack in it, that needed plastic welding. The needles pull off the gauge pins fairly easily, and so far didn't crumble! The dial faces, though were not very nice, but before trying anything more drastic, as we did on 'The-Pup', they were removed and polished with Solvol, to see if they would come back clean.

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

Now you will notice, that in the last two pictures, that the needles are still intact, and I even managed to get them off the dials without damage. But they were a bit 'dull'.... so I tired polishing them the same as the dial faces..... this did NOT go so well!

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

What followed was a lot of experimentation to try and reclaim cracked needles, or remake new ones, in parallel with those from 'The Pup' which Dona had snapped being a little heavy handed, trying to copy what I was doing with these! So, first experiment, the needles were supported in plasticine and the bits super glued back in place. This did not go well, and the needles needed more support; so experiment 2; Upside down in plasticine, araldite was cast on the back of the needle to give it some support. When set, the needles were removed. Unfortunately, the plastic behind the needle caught on the screws that hold the dial face on! Back to the drawing board!

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation 1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

It seemed a good idea at the time........ use the broken needles with the backing to make a mould in plasticine, then cast new needles in grp resin.... it didn't go so well! Got 'something' out of the mould.... and trimmed flash roughly to shape...

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation 1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

Then fettled & filed to size and shape. Ish. Very 'ish'. and getting the pair to look the same was trickier than expected, AND the centre had 'sunk' on one of them, so the needle bit over the top was rather thin.

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

So the results, ultimately were deemed... a right abortion! But HEY; as Thomas Eddison said, he had ten thousand attempts at making an electric light-bulb, before he got one to work. He did not 'fail' to invent the light-bulb 9,999 times, he discovered 9,999 ways NOT to make a light bulb!

So, pressing on.... and taking hint from some-one who had successfully invented a light-bulb.... sorry, replacement speedo-needle... using drinking straws....

Remember all those butter knives? Yup, I bought two new cuttlery sets to replace everything in the draw, didn't I? Well, they were separated in the box with twistie ties and these sort of thin stiff plastic pipes. These looked FAR more suitable than thicker, flimsy drinking straws, and were conveniently found in the cutlery draw! They are 'about' the size and stiffness of the straw on a can of WD-40.

And the 'Trick'? Well, rather than trying to slice one ipen and use a 'half' straw, or to try and balance a whole straw on the round end on the needle 'hub', while it glues..... I cut a notch in the straw for the hub, then trimmed the ends to length / shape.

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

Next, primered grey, then painted white

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

And finished, painting fluorescent orange, leaving the tips white!

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

And I OUGHT to have a photo of them stuck on the hubs, and in the clocks when finished.... but I don't! But hey, it worked!

OK, so back to the box. I was fitting an alarm to this bike, and after struggling to find somewhere 'neat' to put the LED's on 'The-Pup', decided while I had the clocks apart, I would try fitting the LED's in the actual dash-panel. Conveniently, in 'The Heap' I had a spare, broken box lid, so I thought I would give it a go, cracking out the panel as before, then drilling holes in it for the LED bexels.

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

Then aralditing them in place.

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

This worked very well, although routing the wires in for them was a little more tricky... and..... and... all the photo's I took have gone AWOL! So, stealing some from 'The-Pup'....

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation 1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation 1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

Replacing the perished seal, the glass was 'bedded' into RTV silicone, and weighted while the silicone set.

The light box was set in with silicone as an anti rattle measure, and the fascia screwed in, lwaving the cover & glass to be glued in place & the box sealed witrh silicone.

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation 1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation

1986 Honda CB125TD-C - Renovation 

Job done.

NEXT: Part 8 - Back into Action

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