Insidebikes’ resident wheeler dealer, Scott Redmond, is bringing a cruddy old Honda CBR400RR NC29 back to life this winter. This week he’s been looking at the fuel system, one of the first thing that usually needs looked at on any bike that’s been laid up for a while.
My freshly cleaned carbs from the NC29 have taken up pride of place on top of the drawers of my desk – after all, it’s probably the safest place inside my multi purpose garage/office/man cave. Of course, where they should be is back on the bike. With a free Saturday afternoon, I thought the time was right to slide them back on the four inlet rubbers and reunite them with the engine.
Lifting the loosely fitted petrol tank from the frame, I was greeted by the sorry state that is the engine bay. I had considered early on taking the engine out of the frame to give it a good scrub up, but after taking a proper look, I realised that I can reach a majority of the motor with it still in situ, so guess what option I opted for?
I’ve never seriously set about cleaning an engine up before, despite suddenly being overcome with a wave of enthusiasm to do so. I know that to do the job justice I’d need to invest in some specialist cleaning products. All I have to hand is some cheapo maintenance spray from a well-known cheapy shop on the High Street, as well as a selection of old T shirts that I’ve recently decided to stop wearing. This might not be enough to tub up the four cylinder engine, but it is just about all I needed to do another classic five minute job on the CBR. Despite looking like it shouldn’t work, the fuel pump is in full working order. I doubt that it’s the original one, after all according to the DVLA MOT online , my bike may well have done nigh on 100,000 miles!
These fuel pumps are pretty robust. They go on for yonks, delivering unleaded to the bowels of the carbs. I have had a few issues with them in the past, mostly down to them being left unused for long periods of time. This allows the metal contacts to fester together and stop them operating properly. Simply tapping the black plastic cap at the top is enough usually to free them off. I decided to take the pump off and give it a good clean, inside and out.
One 10mm nut and two rather dried out rubber mounts is all that holds the pump in place, it takes longer to think about it than it actually does to get the pump off. Both of the fuel hoses look proper mucky, but more importantly they feel supple, so nothing to get concerned about there. The inline fuel filter looks past its best, that won’t be going back on. The pump itself is solid and supplied in one unit, so if any part does fail you’ll have no choice other than to buy a full replacement. The good news is they aren’t overly expensive to buy. There are plenty of cheap pattern items on the market and a good clean used one in full working order shouldn’t set you back more than £20 from eBay. The pumps are a universal fit across many models. You might just need to use your existing fuel pipes if the replacement started life on a different model.
My budget maintenance spray helped to bring the outside up a treat, a liberal squirt that I allowed to soak in came off with nowt more than a rub with some cloth. I took the plastic cap off, which was only held on with one tiny screw. The cap covers the contacts and, other than some dust, it all looked ok. Besides, I know that my pump was working ok prior to removing the carbs. Another dose of spray and a wipe was all it took. I will get a replacement fuel filter before refitting the pump, for the moment though, it can sit with the carbs on my desk!
What we’ve learnt?
The fuel pump is worth a check now and again to see what state the fuel filter is in, and it takes a few minutes to give the pump a clean inside and out.