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What I learned from a 49 year-old virgin (Dream)…

Engine assembly as received after years of waiting for attention.
Engine assembly as received after years of waiting for attention.
Bill Silver

The caller explained that he had been dragging his father’s CA77 Dream around for about thirty years and wanting to get it running again. So far, the bike had been disassembled for painting, and then left in boxes for many years. He claimed that the bike only had one thousand miles on it and that his dad had bought it new, when they lived back east.

The owner had recently relocated to the San Diego area and was referred to me by a local bike shop who knew that I was “MrHonda” and could help him get the project jump-started again. The bike, in parts, was located up in San Diego’s north county region about forty miles from me, near my sister’s place, so I combined a chiropractor visit with the Dream evaluation and a visit with my sister.

The painted parts were stashed up in the garage rafter storage, but there were boxes full of the rest of the bike, looking dirty, corroded, rusty and generally in need of restoration or repair. From the looks of the loose pieces, the bike seemed to have had a bit of a hard life in its past, but the tread wear on the original whitewall tires did indicate a very low miles bike. The prominent piece in the garage was the engine assembly, sitting upon a work table in all of its somewhat dull glory. The serial numbers (CA77E-1001723) indicated an early 1965 production year, but I was struck by some features on the engine that I didn’t expect to see on a 1965 edition engine.

In most of my gathered history with these bikes, the tappet covers were the rounded, dome-shape style which came with the -259 product code. This engine had flat, -268 code CB/CL 72-77-style tappet covers, instead. Looking at the front of the engine, the inverted fin pattern between the two exhaust ports was still the “early” U-shape fin pattern, rather than the “new” (1965-on) V-shaped pattern seen on the 1965-later CB72-77s. You DO learn something new every day, don’t you?

Checking the wiring harness, which was still attached to the engine at the stator wiring connectors, the white tag on the harness had a 1964 date on it, instead of 1965. I separated the wiring connectors and we loaded the engine into the back of my PT Cruiser, with a tie-down strap anchored at both ends to the seat support brackets. I enlisted a neighbor to help me lift the engine back out of the car and onto a dolly for transport back to the workshop bench. From there I relocated the engine to a bike lifting tool, which I use to remove and install CB/CA engines from their chassis. I can jack it up a couple of feet, towards the bench top and work on it in either location. I did remove the carburetor for cleaning and discovered that the carburetor main jet was#125, instead of the normal #120 size, normally seen on a stock CA77. I am not opposed to using a #125 main jet now; due to the fuel quality issues associated with today’s alcohol-added fuels, but am surprised to see a 49 year old Dream with a #125 main jet in place.

The carburetor was a “square bowl” type, which is generally seen on 1965-later models, so nothing was amiss there, beyond the main jet number. The brass float, itself, had some odd dents and damage on the inner surfaces of the float ends, so perhaps someone was into the carburetor previously and damaged the floats while changing the main jet. I guess we will never know for sure…

Synchronistically, another Honda Dream owner, living in San Diego, contacted me with some questions about reviving his CA77 and then mentioned that he could do video production work and wondered if I wanted to do an engine teardown video for future reference. So, it seems that this engine will be immortalized in video, as the subject of a CIS-style dissection soon. Then, there may be even more information to be learned from this 49-year old virgin Dream.

Bill “MrHonda” Silver

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