DO THE TON

Blood Sweat Tears and Grease => Projects => Cafe Racers => Topic started by: snmavridis on Aug 13, 2012, 02:29:02

Title: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Aug 13, 2012, 02:29:02
I've been browsing CL for the past 4 months looking for the perfect bike. My budget was $1200, with one CB400F recently in my sights for $1500. The past 2 weeks I've been on CL every 3 hours looking for the right bike. I checked it out today and bam, I found the bike... for $500 WITH A TITLE.

History: one owner for 40 years. Sat in a garage for ten, then his son ran it last summer. 86 year old man only maintained it. Did nothing else to it. Completely stock. Paint is in great condition. Seat is in GREAT condition. Little rust on the chrome. Fairing is broken, not that it's going to stay on the bike anyway. Rusted up baggage rails. New spark plugs. original tool kit came with it and a cover.

The bad: engine didnt start up. the starter starts turning the engine but it doesnt completely catch. It sounds like its trying, but not completely catching. And after you stop trying, fuel starts to leak. Friend said it's probably gunked up carbs. Wonder what you guys think. The front brake cable is busted. The clutch cable is a little loose.

The plan: get it running! Take off the fairing. take off the sissy bars. change air filter. fix front brake. adjust clutch cable. clean the terminals. polish polish polish. and then go from there! It's gunna be cafe'd one day like this but in British Racing Green http://imgur.com/u6uva

Tell me what you think!!! I'm super proud of this bike already!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: hillsy on Aug 13, 2012, 06:29:10
Your plan is good (IE: get it running). Too many people find these sort of bikes and strip them down to a pile of parts immediately, then never get around to actually finishing them off.


First of all, get a workshop manual. Then clean the carbs, change the fluids, etc and if it is a true barn find that has just been parked through lack of use then by all rights it should fire into life.


Oh - BTW, I'm pretty sure that fairing would fetch a few $$$ as a collectable nowadays.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: swan on Aug 13, 2012, 08:54:05
Nice bike bike at a great price! I cleaned up and rode the wheels off a blue 1975 CB550F and it was one of the best bikes I have ever owned. Lighter than a CB750, easy handling, fast, a blast to ride and it never let me down. 

Hillsy is right, just get it running. PM me with your e-mail address and I will send you PDF's of the factory service manual and parts list. Clean the carbs, buy a new battery and front brake caliper seal and you have a bike for life. I would NOT hack it up or make it a cafe racer based on my experience. Keep it stock except for lower bars, shorter cables and change the billboard sized tail light to something smaller like a Lucas. CB550F's are rare-ish bikes and original stock ones, less so. The side covers are very rare, are always cracked and broken and nobody makes replicas. Be very careful when removing them. Treat the rubber grommets with wintergreen oil or Armour All  to soften them and be careful when removing your covers. They sell for $100 and more on e-bay. Ditch the Vetter fairing and you will find a great bike underneath it. If you want to run pods I can check my notes to tell you which main jets to buy, I think they were 115's but it has been a few years.... Also hit me up if you need sources for OEM parts, paint, etc. as well as breakdown and rebuild  photos.

Be the way, I built the CB400F you want your bike to look like. I am building another at the moment (see my signature) and here is my old CB550F before and after. I paid $150, put $700 into her, rode 5000 miles then sold her for $2000. I miss that bike... My friend just dragged the carcass of one into our shop for his winter project so it is fresh in my mind.

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u272/66triton/1975%20Honda%20CB550F/DSCN4707.jpg)
(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u272/66triton/1975%20Honda%20CB550F/IMG_1363.jpg)
(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u272/66triton/1975%20Honda%20CB550F/CB550f.jpg)

It is your bike and do what you like, but I highly recommend keeping it stock at first for a baseline. The Sapphire Blue is a great color scheme, clean and and wax your tins and see what you think. Get her running well first then worry about the cosmetics. Congratulations, you are going to love your new bike.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Sep 18, 2012, 17:18:53
So here's a little update and a questions. Carbs were FUBAR. took them to a mechanic and he bent me over. He basically just did a rebuild and clean for $500. Never again to that mechanic will i go. I'll discuss the carbs in more detail when i get a chance. the bike started up and was running fine. You could definitely tell it hadnt been ridden in at least 10 years.

Heres the new problem. Tried the electric start, and it seems like it either burnt out or it got stuck. Estart doesnt work at all now and when you turn the key to ignition, i hear a high pitch bzzzzzzzz. i tried using the kick and it fired up but died soon after. my dad explained it something like this, that the electric start is stuck on the flywheel or clutch or whatever it connects to that makes it turn. now if i take off the estart, would that free the bike up and allow me to kick start it and keep it running?

I'll post a bigger update when i get back from class.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: AdrianVall on Sep 18, 2012, 23:34:47
Damn! I wish I could find a great deal like that.. very nice! Keep us updated!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Sep 19, 2012, 00:36:51
Ok so a better description of what happened to my bike.

off the bat i knew the carbs needed to built cleaned. so i opened them up, and they were terrible. Gunky as all hell. it was like someone poured thick mud into the carbs. Disgusting to say the least. Then i noticed one of the pieces (the smoothbore slide apparently) looked different than the rest. it was all chewed up. then i noticed the piece that holds the float was a NAIL. i dont know what that old man knew about the bike, but whoever was using it when he didnt ride it around screwed the carbs. It was a little overwhelming, so i took it to a mechanic. now this POS didnt give me any straight forward answers. I asked him if he could get the bike running, clean the carbs and rebuild them. he just sounded fishy as hell when i was talking to him, but the honda dealer didnt want to play with my bike and he was my only option. 4 weeks and $500 later, he got it running and the carbs rebuilt. but he didnt synch them, and it doesnt idle properly. it has no rhythm to the idle. it idles high then starts to putter. so i need to get that taken care of. im assuming its just a synchronization issue.

on to the starter issue. after toying with it a little i came upon a couple things.

1) I put the key in the ignition, turn the bike on. bzzzzzzzzz. turn it off. turn it on again. bzzzzzzzzz. i ignore it and use the kick start. it putters up and starts to run. but every so often i hear a couple squeaks. my assumption: the starter is engaged on the flywheel constantly.

2) i tried it 3 hours later. key in the ignition, turn it on. now it tries starting on its own. im not pushing the button at all, and it keeps trying to turn over. but it never takes off. the button isnt stuck. but its acting like the button is being pressed in constantly. so my assumptions now: theres an electrical fault and it's constantly trying to start. the bike isnt turning over because the battery is dying. again.

and thats whats up with this bike. until i get some help from you guys or my other motorcycle buddies, im just going to get started by taking off the fairing, bags and sissy bar tomorrow morning.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: NvgtrWiggles on Sep 19, 2012, 02:18:22
Sounds like there's a funky connection somewhere in there...
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: swan on Sep 19, 2012, 12:24:41
Unplug the starter motor for now and use the kick start to get running and ride her. Nearly every old Honda I have worked on has a bad starter button. The OEM design had the button and spring in a small plastic holder which often cracks and breaks. They do not hold up well with age and that is probably what happened with yours and is shorting, causing the starter motor to spin. I ALWAYS buy a whole new starter switch from Honda (approximately $90).
(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u272/66triton/CB400f/IMG_1271-Version2.jpg)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Sep 19, 2012, 12:45:30
So just disconnect the starter motor and only the starter motor until i can get a new switch. I'll get on that later tonight. before class today im going to take off the bags and fairings. i live in a house with 10 other rugby teammates and everyone of them came up to me and said "youre either moving that bike or taking off the crap. that thing is embarassing." all in different situations haha apparently a windjammer doesnt give you much street cred  :P
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: swan on Sep 19, 2012, 13:08:15
Yes, unplug one of or both of the wires leading to the starter motor and just use the kick starter.

I have thrown away several ugly Vetter windjammers, including one with an 8 track player.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: NvgtrWiggles on Sep 19, 2012, 17:18:52
Aww, the windjammer is cool! Makes it look like a spaceship. Rugby players love spaceships, right?
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Sep 19, 2012, 18:17:32
no, we like being reckless and inflicting as much bodily harm to ourselves as possible. i can see how you could confuse the two!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Sep 27, 2012, 23:33:27
disconnected the starting motor. tried to kick it. wouldnt start. checked the battery. it was at 10.1v. Battery was dead, so i got a new one. charged it, it's at 12.8v. still wont start off the kick. engine is turning over and i hear a low rumble in the engine when i kick. im assuming next thing to check is spark plugs? whattaya say?
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Sep 27, 2012, 23:37:01
Also, i took off all the fairings and baggage. looks a lot sharper now. i'll post a picture when i get a chance. the hedlight bucket was in but all the wiring is sitting in it and there isnt anything to hold the lamp in the bucket, so im just going to order a new bucket and such. also i need new turn signals. i want a minimalist look to my bike so i'll probably just get some small signals.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: john83 on Sep 28, 2012, 11:31:59
Cool beans. Love the 550's.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Sep 29, 2012, 19:12:33
Here's whats up.
Problems: I got the bike to run. i even took her for a spin, which ended up in me stalling at a stop sign and pushing her back to my house. she doesnt idle for more than five seconds unless i tickle the throttle. Another thing, when i release the clutch (slowly) in first gear, with a closed throttle, its supposed to start rolling a little right? well it just stalls out. So i had the day off and started working on my bike.

progress: i adjusted the clutch cable properly, because it felt loose, and checked out the throttle cables (because they would stick and wouldnt return to closed when released) with the fuel tank off. i disconnected the cables and the throttle is free and feels smooth. so what was the issue? well upon further inspection i saw that the spring that closes the throttle on the carbs is old and rusty. so i need to replace that. now that i have the fuel tank off and drained, and since she doesnt idle, ive decided to take a look at the carbs myself to see what that hack job mechanic did. i ran into the air filter though and gots a thinkin. i want to know what the best option is regarding air filtration. i dont want pods, icbf to adjust the jets that much, and the only plus side to them ive heard is that they make your bike look cool. im looking for performance first and foremost, so idgaf what my bike looks like under my seat.

edit: my right sidecover is cracked into two and my left sidecover is cracking in the top right side :( does anyone have any good resources on how to repair these? cause i have no idea what kind of material theyre made out of. or if anyone knows where i can get replacements, that would be great too!

please feel free to weigh in your opinions. until then im removing the carbs, and going to see what i can do to them to make this thing live again.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: 1fasgsxr on Sep 30, 2012, 20:27:17
Make sure the inside of your tank is not rusted up real bad...clean carbs do no good if your tank is nasty..they will get clogged up with junk from the dirty tank.....just a thought...
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Sep 30, 2012, 21:51:33
Inside of the tank, it looks great. its surprising how nice this bike is cosmetically speaking and rust-wise. but when it comes to the carbs, jesus christ... anyway on to my post

What i did today: i went down to work on the carbs. when i really took a good look at it, i realized the idle adjuster was disengaged completely. i put everything back together and adjusted the idle with the thumb screw. and whattaya know? that fixed the issue. wow. how do i miss that? now i feel like the biggest idiot. but its ok, cause she runs, the clutch works properly, and she idles well. I still need to fix the throttle though.

to do list:

Master Cylinder and brake caliper
Lights (head lamp, signals)
Wiring
throttle cables
sidecover repair


here are some pics of the bike, minus the fairing and bags. looks way better now. last picture is my putting the battery back together.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: john83 on Sep 30, 2012, 22:17:15
Man, that paint looks great for something that's been sitting around for a while. Someone took decent care of it.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Sep 30, 2012, 22:29:25
thats what im saying! so on to the fun stuff, what style bars should i get? im making one big bulk order from DCC to get everything i need to complete this bike. im torn between drag bars and clip ons. i love the look of the clip ons, but i like the ergonomics of the drag bars. im not turned on by clubmans. i feel they are hit or miss.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: BCBarker on Sep 30, 2012, 23:06:19
I have a set of Superbike Bars on by 350F and love them.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Sep 30, 2012, 23:14:25
i like super bike bars, but i want it to be low and mean. i dont feel they are low or mean enough. this is just my young misguided racing spirit speaking though. so please, allow me to be naive.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: JSJamboree on Sep 30, 2012, 23:54:51
here are some pics of the bike, minus the fairing and bags. looks way better now. last picture is my putting the battery back together.

[Homer Simpson Voice] Yum... 5 guys... [/Homer Simpson Voice]

I am currently running superbike bars on my 550 and they are not as high as yours.  I was running clubmans, and they were 'cooler', and I felt better in the twisties, but eventually my back won out.  For me personally with the stock seat you are up so high that you are extra leaning over with the clubmans.  Its all about what you want man, bars are pretty cheep, run clubmans for awhile and if your back starts hurting, spend another $25 and get some superbike bars..
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Oct 01, 2012, 00:32:32
after reading up and seeing the clubmans in a more neutral light (i hate the hipsters who slap clubmans on and say its a cafe, therefore i have a bias against clubmans. i dont want to be THAT guy.) im kinda liking them. especially right now, when my money is starting to dwindle.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Oct 01, 2012, 18:43:28
So i took her out for a good long ride. I accidentally left the petcock open last night, so i think she got a bit bogged down this morning since she didnt start up as easily as she did yesterday. the idle seemed low and started stalling out again, but i adjusted it and get her back to ~2k. after she heated up she began idling at ~3.2k so i trimmed it down a bit. this is normal on a cb right? fwiw the temperature was about 65 today. once she started running though she was running pretty smooth, except for when i put her in 1st gear and cruise around a little. it might just be my inexperience with riding, but she really doesnt have much power in 1st gear after she hits about 20mph at 5krpm. so i ended up cruising around in 2nd gear for a good bit of the ride. took her up to 40mph and went through the gears. its almost like the higher i get with the gears, the more smooth the transition. 1-2 is a little..."crunchy" 2-3 is less so, and 3-4 4-5 is smooth as butter. the exhaust gets hot though, so im considering getting wraps for it. pros and cons in this situation?
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: john83 on Oct 01, 2012, 19:36:19
For my money that exhaust is much to well preserved to hide under heat wrap. My bike had wrap on it when I bought it and I'm pretty sure what's under there is ugly so I leave it on. Don't judge me.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Oct 01, 2012, 22:01:34
the muffler is in great condition, but the 4 exhaust pipes are rusted up and have the hot metal blue stain thing going on. but, i can always polish them up over the winter!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Oct 05, 2012, 18:22:03
Just got my taillight, headlight bucket, turn signals, throttle cables, and fuel line! i know exactly what im doing all day tomorrow!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Oct 05, 2012, 21:00:23
So i got antsy and put on the rear turn signals and taillight. they look great! only problem is that i think my relay for the turn signals is bad, cause they arent blinking. oh well another issue to add to my list!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: danmpls on Oct 05, 2012, 21:58:13
Make sure all of your connections are good, before digging into your relay. If your signals worked before changing them, double check all of your connections.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Oct 05, 2012, 22:18:03
they didnt blink prior to the disassembly either. i thought i would see the issue in the wiring when i replaced them, but i couldnt see anything going wrong.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: danmpls on Oct 05, 2012, 22:22:00
make sure all of your grounds are good too.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Oct 06, 2012, 18:13:54
Replacing the throttle cables turned out to be harder than i thought. I tried to install them and this is what happened. 1st pic is closed throttle, second is WOT. No matter how i rearrange them there is too much slack. third picture is the terrible wiring mess that is my front end. just so you know what im dealing with here.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: danmpls on Oct 06, 2012, 20:41:27
Your throttle cables need to go over the headlight, down the left side of the frame through the hole by your coils, and then attach to the carbs.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Feb 26, 2013, 04:09:52
been a while since i made progress on this thing. its winter time, so i thought id go through the regular maintenance the bike would need. i plan on cleaning the carbs and getting the proper synchronization down, then check my points, timing and spark plugs. just to make sure everything is sound so it will run properly.

first picture is the bikes new home, in our basement in what we call the "rape room". no gas in the bike so the water heater issue is in check. took the seat and gas tank off to work on her with no hassle. after copious amounts of WD-40 and at least two hours of jimmying, i managed to pull out the carbs (second picture). what i noticed was that the rubber piece between the airbox and carburetors had what looks like a missing tube(third picture). it looks like it dried out and fell off. the clip is still holding some of it onto the piece. then i found a tube (fourth picture) that was disconnected from everything but was underneath the airbox through the frame aimed at the ground. now before any wise ass says anything, yes i checked if the missing tube was that loose one, but theyre different sizes. the loose tube doesnt fit the rubber piece.

thats my update for now. my schedule is much more flexible this semester, so i should be able to work on it at least once a week for a good amount of time. hopefully i'll be making progress on a weekly basis.

(http://i.imgur.com/42ir5fJ.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/kiP7HRV.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/9FKFcJd.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/Xh52g2F.jpg)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Feb 28, 2013, 02:30:47
i found some time in my day to go down to the basement and get wrenching. i pulled the spark plugs to inspect them and just see whats going on, and found that they are all dirty and sooty. definitely helping me verify my initial thoughts on the performance of the carburetor, the damn thing isnt set properly. too much gas going into the engine. or it means my timing is messed up, which i need to adjust and inspect soon anyway.

before brushing
(http://i.imgur.com/DPWyBif.jpg)

after brushing
(http://i.imgur.com/6jezOhS.jpg)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 11, 2013, 00:28:48
Got my uni carbs and new jets a couple days ago, got working on the carbs today. cleaned out the float bowls, cleared all of my little bits and pieces, replaced my jets, set the needle a little higher and found out a couple things.

the guy who worked with my bike last was supposed to set everything to factory settings. he didnt. most of the locks on the washers werent touched. the needles werent set to the middle, they were one from the top, now theyre one from the bottom to compensate for the pods per the instruction in the filter packaging and stuff ive seen on the forums. the slide on my number three is all chewed up at the bottom. someone really screwed with these carbs.

next thing i have on my list is to set the timing properly. after that, gunna start her back up again. i'll post pics later
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: swan on Mar 11, 2013, 09:23:09
DPO's, dumb previous owners. They never cease to amaze me.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: Tifun on Mar 12, 2013, 22:13:16
Subscribed for another 550 build.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 14, 2013, 03:52:07
i was going to get working on my timing today, but the screws on the left points cover are tight as hell and theyre stripped a little. im not entirely sure how to approach this one. any advice is appreciated. pics of my progress included below.


My filters from DCC, along with the jets
(http://i.imgur.com/SA6PlLC.jpg)

another shot of the filters
(http://i.imgur.com/WArwwJY.jpg)

rejetted, as you can see the housing for the jet is a little bit in disrepair. missing some chunks out of it.
(http://i.imgur.com/cS9Q3lb.jpg)

another shot of the rejetted carbs.
(http://i.imgur.com/UIHVE40.jpg)

the slide ive mentioned before that looks all chewed up. no idea why anyone would do it.
(http://i.imgur.com/2eiIAq7.jpg)

pods on the carbs
(http://i.imgur.com/czw2rZb.jpg)

carbs mounted
(http://i.imgur.com/d24XEqT.jpg)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: Kanticoy on Mar 14, 2013, 07:38:48
The chewed up slide is probably from a stuck slide that a po pried free with a screwdriver. Be careful on that one if its chewed on the cut out side. May cause some leaning out at idle and low rpm.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: Bert Jan on Mar 14, 2013, 08:07:17
Why did you not put the UNI filters all the same on, so the words UNI are all horizontal? Would be slicker ;)
I would not be too afraid of the chucks and such. I've had waaaay worse run perfectly.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 14, 2013, 22:44:01
The chewed up slide is probably from a stuck slide that a po pried free with a screwdriver. Be careful on that one if its chewed on the cut out side. May cause some leaning out at idle and low rpm.

thats what i was thinking.

Why did you not put the UNI filters all the same on, so the words UNI are all horizontal? Would be slicker ;)
I would not be too afraid of the chucks and such. I've had waaaay worse run perfectly.

didnt even realize it, i was too excited haha
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2014, 18:07:04
Finally got a decent job and put money to the side. Here's what I've got planned to get her going by May:

Clean and synchronize the carbs again; she's been sitting for almost a year now.
Replace the petcock; I took her apart and the whole thing just shit in my hand. Worn out o rings, cracked stem. What a mess.
Gotta get a new points cover; big ol' dent in the cover, figure I'd replace it.
Replace the points, condensors, and coils; redoing the ignition system just for piece of mind. I already worked on the points before, but they're all corroded now because it's missing the cover.
Replace the front brake control, including the master cylinder; when I got her, it was all locked up. I'd rather just replace the whole damn thing.

If everything works out to my advantage, I'll have her out on the road by May. Here's to deadlines!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: Tim on Apr 10, 2014, 09:52:39
Anything worth doing takes time :)  It's pretty erie how similar your bike looks now to how my 1976 CB550F looked the day I bought mine about 8 years ago.  Deja vu.  My Before and After:


Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Apr 10, 2014, 13:59:13
Cleaned her up pretty good, eh?
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MotorbikeBruno on May 08, 2016, 15:34:41
I know it's been a while, but I've got a 77' 550 F that need some putting back together (PO completely disassembled the ENTIRE THING including motor....) anyways. Where are you at with the beast?  Tim, your 550 is beautiful, the stock can is amazing! Mine's missing :( 

Hope all has gone well, glad I found this one so I can get jealous and start working on my pile of parts...  ;)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on May 08, 2016, 15:52:52
Oh god here we go... I've been planning on updating this thread but havent gotten around to it.

Cliff's notes:

Wouldn't start, checked points.
Points weren't working properly with the test light.
Stopped working on it due to moving, leaving school, crossed state borders.
Just got her back after over a year.
Just bought wire to redo the harness.
Tested the coils on a whim.
Found my sparkplug boots are toast.
Kicking myself in the ass for doing too much unnecessary crap just to get her running.

So that's where I'm at.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on May 08, 2016, 15:53:38
(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160508/505cc814b296466ba91d8276bc6cf9a2.jpg)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on May 08, 2016, 15:54:24
How she sits in the new workshop (apartment garage) woo hoo!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MotorbikeBruno on May 09, 2016, 12:00:31
Well, feel free to bug us if you need any extra help/thoughts on things.  She'll be one hell of a looker soon :)  At least your engine is together  :-\ :'(
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on May 09, 2016, 12:42:15
As soon as my wiring harness is done, I'm sure I'll be bothering you all again! Here's a question though. Should I be entertaining a Dyna s? Will it make things easier or harder when I first try to start my bike? Overall in this stage is it worth it? My goal right now is to get her running.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MotorbikeBruno on May 09, 2016, 13:20:17
I've really enjoyed the coils I bought from Dyna, I swear the bike starts more easily on my 71' CB500, but it could be placebo and I just have her dialed in properly.  As for the Dyna S, many have bad things to say about it, and then point people to the Pamco ignitions.  http://4into1.com/pamco-electronic-ignition-honda-cb500-cb550-cb750/

I for one, Love my electronic ignition on some of my other bikes, so I do believe it's a good call.  With that said, points aren't too bad once you know how to adjust them properly.  Usually You can get them close with a small 12V light setup, enough get the bike fired up and then get a timing light on it afterwards to verify you did it right.  When you do it with the light, make sure you rotate the engine a few times to check that you have it opening right at the "F" mark (NOT THE T!!!!) for the 1:4 and 2:3 sides of the plate.  And before you do any of that, make sure your advancer unit is working!!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on May 10, 2016, 10:30:09
Started laying out the wire for the harness. Trying to plan where to put what is hard! But this is a labor of love, slow and steady wins the race.

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160510/30cbd2cf9c7674db8400c7c5604d8cb7.jpg)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MotorbikeBruno on May 10, 2016, 11:41:04
Hell yeah, gotta start somewhere right!? 
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on May 10, 2016, 11:47:39
Exactly! Just laying it all down right now, then piece by piece I'll see how it fits on the bike.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on May 10, 2016, 20:58:53
Good progress today. Got most of the starting system laid out.

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160510/1a064b9bd54a9f8735aee7236181ef5c.jpg)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: advCo on May 11, 2016, 00:19:02
Looks promising. I was too cheap to buy all the colored wires :( so I just used black with different colored vinyl wrapped around the ends. That looks much nicer.

Just pulled about 150' of 16 or 18 gauge wire with diff color jackets out of the trailer frame I got, should be enough for my next build :D

What you using for connectors?
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on May 11, 2016, 09:25:23
Jeez man! Shop around! I got my wire kit from BCP Garage for $30! Worth it. But I'm sure I would have faired better with sonreirs harness...

As far as connectors go, I'm probably going to buy from cycle terminal or vintage connections. Waiting on that next paycheck to come in.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MotorbikeBruno on May 11, 2016, 12:07:53
Jeez man! Shop around! I got my wire kit from BCP Garage for $30! Worth it. But I'm sure I would have faired better with sonreirs harness...

As far as connectors go, I'm probably going to buy from cycle terminal or vintage connections. Waiting on that next paycheck to come in.

Truth.  Sonreir makes some slick harnesses. I think I'll be too lazy to build my next one and get one of his next time as well :)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: advCo on May 11, 2016, 14:16:14
Yep. I should've shopped around. But i was so far over budget by the time I got around to the wiring harness I had to make do with what I could get.

I'll overhaul the whole harness next winter probably. Or just buy one from Sparck  ;D
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: JSJamboree on May 11, 2016, 15:02:33
I'll overhaul the whole harness next winter probably. Or just buy one from Sparck  ;D

Ive had a harness from him now for 2 years waiting to go in my project, made 2 myself since then.. Looks nice, im sure it is nice.  One of these days i'll be able to review :)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on May 11, 2016, 15:08:36
Yep. I should've shopped around. But i was so far over budget by the time I got around to the wiring harness I had to make do with what I could get.

I'll overhaul the whole harness next winter probably. Or just buy one from Sparck  ;D
Save the headache. I for one am a masochist, so I did this to myself. I'm still going to pick up an R/R from him though.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: advCo on May 11, 2016, 16:39:27
I for one am a masochist, so I did this to myself.

Aren't we all? I much rather enjoy the pain of building/learning to build something myself to purchasing something already made. Accomplishment.  ;D
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Jun 10, 2016, 14:14:55
So a little update:

Started on the wiring for the starting system and hit a bit of a roadblock concerning the starter switch in regards to ground. I bought a Ulincos momentary push button switch that I plan on implementing into the dash for the starter button and a push button toggle for the kill switch. The trouble I run into with wiring my starter switch has to do with the safety switch mechanism. As of right now I'm trying to bypass it just to click the solenoid and verify it works. Here are some diagrams I'm working of off

My attempt at wiring it:
(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160610/dc3cab506ced30104c822016c501af78.jpg)

The starting motor diagram from the manual:
(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160610/8ebbec3159eeb0e7e2cfde1551208614.jpg)

Not sure why she isn't working... moving forward, I'm trying to do research on building an electronics box for under the seat to hold electronics and battery. That will give me a better idea on how to go about wiring it efficiently.

I just got these gauges in today from carbonK, great condition and easy guy to work with. Bought them on Monday, got them today Woo hoo! Yes I know they're on backwards. I was excited.

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160610/7fae11f52019fc494cff52c792ffef99.jpg)

I've settled on getting superbike bars and keeping myself upright on my bike. I don't wanna crouch. Plus I've always liked the scrambler aesthetic more than the cafe racer. I just don't want to sweep my exhaust up. Thinking of doing 4-2 exhaust... just rambling here.

Cheers!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Jun 20, 2016, 13:31:16
Sorted out the switch issue. Now I'm working on the killswitch. Just got some bars, plug caps, and headlight ears. Hopefully I'll have her started up by August. Left my pod filters in Chicago so waiting for my girlfriend to go up there for vacation and bring them down with her.

Switch issue resolved:
(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160620/bdba951214e0cd70c6a6f11c5a0b92da.jpg)

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160620/7c4475f734ee375120dd57b153e2324e.jpg)
(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160620/f916617610302c290c4ec9b55d6da091.jpg)
(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160620/a59f2dd7c78992dc6b346b7d0bd90a57.jpg)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MotorbikeBruno on Jun 20, 2016, 20:15:39
Nice work so far!  You can just toss the kill switch in-line to the coil power (black with white stripe usually) and that will take care of that while keeping your headlight etc connected.  Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: brightrider on Jun 23, 2016, 22:27:08
Commenting on your question about the Dyna-s. For me, it was the best investment I made on the 550.

Not sure if this was mentioned in this thread, but something all 500/550 owners MUST know. If you ever take the valve cover off, please check out youtube and the socomotor cb500 engine rebuild series of videos. If you do not use the rubber band method to keep your tappets "up" when putting the valve cover back on, you WILL bend valves, score pistons, break valve guides, and see all kinds of mayhem. Just file that away somewhere. The shop manual does NOT do a good job in explaining this seemingly simple, but critical aspect of 500/550 maintenance.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Jun 23, 2016, 23:56:30
Woah woah woah woah woah. I did the valve tappet adjustment like two years ago. I havent ran it yet. Are you talking about the valve tappet covers with the hex tops? Have I already screwed it up? Is this something I should check or be worried about?
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: brightrider on Jun 24, 2016, 00:03:28
Easy now...breathe....Not the 8 hex covers to adjust the tapets.I was referncing the entire cover that the tapet covers screw into (In other words, the entire valve cover). If you ever take the entire cover off to replace the valve cover gasket or do some other maintenance that requires you to expose the camshaft. THEN you need to follow the protocol when re-installing the cover. You have only been opening the individual covers. Nothing special to note about that.

Sorry for the alarm...but it something every 500/550 owner needs to have in the back of his mind to spark something when the time comes. Otherwise, there is nothing in the manual that adequately points this out.

Just looking out for fellow owners as many a valve has been needlessly destroyed.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MotorbikeBruno on Jun 24, 2016, 00:19:07
Yep. Many people use gorilla strength and you'll have a bad time.  :)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Jun 24, 2016, 09:48:12
Oh ok good. Well now I know! Thanks for the heads up! In other news, I'm going to be removing the headlight ears this weekend and attempt to make a bracket for my switches on the frontend. After that it should be easy breezy lemon polka dot bikini for the rest of the wiring harness. I'm so excited!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Jun 27, 2016, 16:24:48
Just bought these off impulse:

http://4into1.com/honda-competition-shorty-lever-assembly-set-black/

Here's a question... since I need a new master cylinder, how do I get one on the brake lever? Are they sold separate from the lever??
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: advCo on Jun 28, 2016, 00:32:18
Most masters will come with a lever, just find a used one from a modern sportbike with the same piston size and a similar lever. You probably won't be able to use a cable mount lever for the master cylinder, not without some fab work or real jerry rigging.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Jul 01, 2016, 18:03:26
Got my levers in, putting those off to the side since adventurco is right. I'll deal with those later.

Got a new ignition switch, will be working on a mount for that and the push-start and kill switch this week. Then wiring will be ready to wrap up.

In the meantime I took apart the front end to remove the gaiters and original headlight ears. Gotta say, this is the most amazing machine to work with. The forks popped off in no time. Barely any resistance. I'm super impressed with the condition of this thing. I mounted up the new headlight ears and I'm pretty pleased with the end result! New headlight bucket is in my sights now. Anyone got a 7.5" bucket lying around?

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160701/7fec4b03673aca2bc99eda1ee06542d5.jpg)

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160701/f70db5020d3f35e91bfdd1dd3796765a.jpg)

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160701/a95232eca870166c34b97c15d15c635a.jpg)

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160701/00058b8c47e154a3b8e84c52aaa7b410.jpg)

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160701/a9eafc624ea27221d1cbff1895e754fa.jpg)

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160701/6fb5673eb22f60fbbf93ec9f07c6bb65.jpg)

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160701/b17cb54bef88141672915b3f7ed4247d.jpg)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MotorbikeBruno on Jul 02, 2016, 12:02:54
Great work!  If you find that you've made your front wheel out of alignment, loosen up the top triple clamps on both sides and give the tire a good kick in the direction you need to go.  Then tighten pinch bolts again. Works well.  Looking good man!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: swan on Jul 15, 2016, 08:39:15
Looking good! Dyna ignition is worth money and makes the bike more responsive.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 05, 2018, 15:36:55
I'm back. Finally. I've still been browsing the site, just haven't been able to work on the bike. Looking back on this thread, its crazy to see how quickly time flies. Anyway, here's a little update: still in school, was gone for 8 months at an internship, money has been short, finally got things together, back to working on her. Bought a new right hand control switch, wiring harness should be good to go, gunna change the oil and try to fire her up over spring break. I'll fill you guys in when I've got some results!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MotorbikeBruno on Mar 06, 2018, 15:28:20
Excellent. Sometimes other things are more important.  Glad you are back on her.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 10, 2018, 15:23:58
Just changed the oil. This is the inside of the filter housing. I'm so sorry I did this to you baby :(
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MiniatureNinja on Mar 10, 2018, 15:43:15
what master are you looking for? I have one off my cb360 (same as factory 550) if you need it? has GP levers on it, I even have a clutch perch and GP lever for that too
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 10, 2018, 18:21:31
what master are you looking for? I have one off my cb360 (same as factory 550) if you need it? has GP levers on it, I even have a clutch perch and GP lever for that too
A 14mm for 7/8 bars, is it in good condition?
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MiniatureNinja on Mar 10, 2018, 18:28:50
A 14mm for 7/8 bars, is it in good condition?

it's in great condition (cap is that faded purpleish anodized black color) but I am not using it due to doing a remote master cylinder setup on my bike
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 11, 2018, 13:48:32
it's in great condition (cap is that faded purpleish anodized black color) but I am not using it due to doing a remote master cylinder setup on my bike
Pm me some pics!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 12, 2018, 00:40:29
Weekend update: bought an AGM Duracell battery (sick of dealing with flooded batteries), changed the oil, dropped some oil in the spark plugs holes, tested compression off the kick start just to see where we're at, mounted my wiring harness, plugged her in, pushed the starter button and got her to chooch! Not ready to do the full startup yet, I think I crossed some wires as my coils continue to get juice even when I switch the kill switch to 'off'!

As for compression: I tested it with no fuel in the carbs, throttle closed (don't have the throttle cables hooked up and didn't think to open the slides), pods on, kicked 5 times over with the kick starter. Attached are my readings. ~120psi on each cylinder. Probably going to retest with WOT and the push button start next weekend.

All in all, I think she'll be running by the end of the month. The weather is getting nice, and my friends are all riding without me. I got the bug, guys.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: Maritime on Mar 12, 2018, 09:12:28
That 120 with closed throttle is pretty good. there seems to be less than 5 psi difference between highest and lowest so that's good too. Should be at around 150 with the throttles open cold, so will be higher again on a warm engine.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 12, 2018, 12:50:08
Awesome! I tell ya, that 1970s Japanese engineering is impeccable.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using DO THE TON mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)

Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MotorbikeBruno on Mar 12, 2018, 21:49:50
That 120 with closed throttle is pretty good. there seems to be less than 5 psi difference between highest and lowest so that's good too. Should be at around 150 with the throttles open cold, so will be higher again on a warm engine.

What Maritime said ^^^  also, I've seen these engines run relatively fine even at 100psi somehow....not ideal, but it did run :)  You are so close! Keep at it!!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 14, 2018, 17:27:03
So I bought a fender eliminator from DTT user zookmoto and I'm damn glad I did. This thing is awesome. Really complements the bike!!! If you're thinking about buying one, just pull the trigger. Worth it.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using DO THE TON mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)

Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 17, 2018, 15:22:27
Fuck. Tappet cover snapped. Fuck. Do I need to get a new tappet cover before I start this up? Or can it be started without a tappet cover? Also, do I need to check for debris now?

Sent from my Pixel 2 using DO THE TON mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)

Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: john83 on Mar 17, 2018, 15:54:04
If you start it with that tappet cover missing it's gonna spray oil everywhere. I would doubt there is much, if any, debris from it. You'll have to get the remains of the broken one out of the threads. Luckily those things are a dime a dozen. Honda used them on like a dozen engines.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 17, 2018, 17:01:38
Gotcha. Ordering a set now.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using DO THE TON mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)

Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 21, 2018, 21:15:57
Well here we are. Electrical system is complete. Getting spark to all four plugs. Just add gas and shes good, yes? Nope. I had her choochin for a while and she gave up the ghost. Anyone know why I'm backfiring out of the  intake? Also seems to be a leak in the carbs. Goddammit. Suggestions? (Video below)

https://youtu.be/RwPBf_F89KU

On the plus side, got me a points cover and new tappet covers.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using DO THE TON mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)

Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: john83 on Mar 22, 2018, 00:04:15
The backfiring could be a timing issue. Or a stuck valve. Did you make sure all the valves were free and moving?


Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 12:51:43
The backfiring could be a timing issue. Or a stuck valve. Did you make sure all the valves were free and moving?


Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON
Without taking apart the engine, how do I check if they're stuck? She turns over freely, which bodes well, no?

Sent from my Pixel 2 using DO THE TON mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)

Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: Maritime on Mar 22, 2018, 13:29:58
did you check the valve clearances? a slightly over tight clearance, especially on an intake valve can cause a lot of grief. That being said you had consistant compression on all 4 cylinders so not likely to have had a stuck valve then, but once you got it warm, if there was one or 2 valve clearances too tight it will then allow a valve to stick open a little and ruin compression.  you can check your valves from the tappet covers with a feeler gauge but don't adjust them unless the engine is cold. like sat overnight cold.  If you can't get a feeler gauge of any size under the valve at TDC compression stoke, that's a problem and you can fix it after the motor is cold.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 13:54:48
did you check the valve clearances? a slightly over tight clearance, especially on an intake valve can cause a lot of grief. That being said you had consistant compression on all 4 cylinders so not likely to have had a stuck valve then, but once you got it warm, if there was one or 2 valve clearances too tight it will then allow a valve to stick open a little and ruin compression.  you can check your valves from the tappet covers with a feeler gauge but don't adjust them unless the engine is cold. like sat overnight cold.  If you can't get a feeler gauge of any size under the valve at TDC compression stoke, that's a problem and you can fix it after the motor is cold.
Will do. I just checked my timing with the points... I don't know what happened, but they're off. By alot. Im going to readjust them and try to fire her up after I check valve clearances again. Also, the bottom of my tank looks "creamy". It's a smooth even cream color. Is that normal? Almost looks like a liner maybe? I don't want to put gas in it and risk mucking up the engine. In the meantime I have a syringe hanging from the ceiling with fuelline attached to the carbs through a tee. Maybe I'm starving it of fuel too? But when I put the gas in, it seems to overflow the carbs and they start leaking. Fix one problem and 100 more show up.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using DO THE TON mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)

Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MiniatureNinja on Mar 22, 2018, 14:04:06
Will do. I just checked my timing with the points... I don't know what happened, but they're off. By alot. Im going to readjust them and try to fire her up after I check valve clearances again. Also, the bottom of my tank looks "creamy". It's a smooth even cream color. Is that normal? Almost looks like a liner maybe? I don't want to put gas in it and risk mucking up the engine. In the meantime I have a syringe hanging from the ceiling with fuelline attached to the carbs through a tee. Maybe I'm starving it of fuel too? But when I put the gas in, it seems to overflow the carbs and they start leaking. Fix one problem and 100 more show up.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using DO THE TON mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)

that's usually a symptom of a worn float needle/seat allowing the carbs to overflow like that.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 15:18:12
that's usually a symptom of a worn float needle/seat allowing the carbs to overflow like that.
Roger that. Let's see if the timing helps get it started and if not, I'm diving into the carbs again.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 15:36:40
Seems my light pops on when it shouldn't. At f2-3 there is power going to p1-4. Then it stays lit until after I pass the f1-4 mark. Any thoughts? I've tried swiveling the base plate, but nothing changes.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 15:40:41
It looks like it's in reverse order. But I have the wires connected up to the proper coils 🤔
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: Maritime on Mar 22, 2018, 16:26:12
Are any of your connections on the points making contact with the plate? I had a similar issue when timing my GL and found when I had tightened up the nut on the wire it spun a bit and bent the connector to make contact, it was grounded all the time and I spent way too long trying to get the light to go out on one cylinder until I found that, adjusted it and then everything was good.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: teazer on Mar 22, 2018, 16:27:28
You could just swap the yellow and blue leads and see if that fixes things. It is possible that the points cam is on 180 degrees out where it fits on the advance weights.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 16:32:00
Are any of your connections on the points making contact with the plate? I had a similar issue when timing my GL and found when I had tightened up the nut on the wire it spun a bit and bent the connector to make contact, it was grounded all the time and I spent way too long trying to get the light to go out on one cylinder until I found that, adjusted it and then everything was good.
It doesn't seem like it's grounding out... But I'll continue chewing on that.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 16:33:09
You could just swap the yellow and blue leads and see if that fixes things. It is possible that the points cam is on 180 degrees out where it fits on the advance weights.
I'll give that a go. The advance weights are the spring loaded bobbit behind the points plate attached to the cam right? Maybe I put it on the wrong way? How could I tell?
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: teazer on Mar 22, 2018, 16:38:12
I think they have a line on the cam that has to be up at a certain TDC.  An easier way is to bring the motor up to TDC valves closed on #1 and see where the cam is.  If the points are just breaking open for 1-4, you are OK.  If they are wide open, the cam is upside down.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 16:48:22
Do you see anything wrong with this?
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 16:53:36
Just flipped the lobe. P1-4 start the light at f1-4
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 16:54:48
Guys. I think that did it.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: john83 on Mar 22, 2018, 16:57:45
Gap too loose and points opening way too early?

Donít run fuel from that tank through your carbs until you sure if itís a liner/if itís in good shape. Pour fuel in it and run it into a bucket through a strainer or something see if there are any chunks in there. If all looks well run a good inline filter.

If theyíre over flowing then float height could be off, needle valves or seats could be bad, floats could have holes in them. Are the bowl drains closed?


Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 16:59:29
She lights up far before the f mark though. at the notches ahead of the mark. No amount of swivel seems to change it to bring it closer to the f.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 17:18:24
Gap too loose and points opening way too early?

Donít run fuel from that tank through your carbs until you sure if itís a liner/if itís in good shape. Pour fuel in it and run it into a bucket through a strainer or something see if there are any chunks in there. If all looks well run a good inline filter.

If theyíre over flowing then float height could be off, needle valves or seats could be bad, floats could have holes in them. Are the bowl drains closed?


Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)


the points are set to .35mm as indicated in the manual.

Ill double check the carb drain plugs, and ill follow your advice on the tank drain as well. Thanks!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: teazer on Mar 22, 2018, 19:51:44
Guys. I think that did it.

Good.  That cam was 180 degrees out.

Static, the light should go on at the T (TDC) mark not F (Fire/Full advance).

If that picture is just as the light goes on, it's retarded, rotate the backing plate slightly to the left so that it goes on right at the mark and then fire it up and set it at full advance with a strobe.

Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: john83 on Mar 22, 2018, 21:17:37
Good.  That cam was 180 degrees out.

Static, the light should go on at the T (TDC) mark not F (Fire/Full advance).

If that picture is just as the light goes on, it's retarded, rotate the backing plate slightly to the left so that it goes on right at the mark and then fire it up and set it at full advance with a strobe.
What he said.


Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 21:33:14
Well, now we wait for the battery to charge...
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 22, 2018, 23:14:26
Ok, it seems like my 1-4 points are not grounding properly. Light stays on over two rotations. On 2-3 they work as expected. Occasionally the light will switch off, but then the light pops on and stays on again for a few rotations. I read on another forum that one person solved it by grounding the engine. The engine is attached to my frame and I have a ground attached to the frame. Still chewing on this. But if you guys have any input it would be greatly appreciated. If anything this build thread can help out a bunch of other idiots who apparently don't know what they're doing 😂
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: teazer on Mar 23, 2018, 02:05:44
The light should come on as the points open and should go off when the points close again.  If it is staying on, that suggests that the set of points is not closing or is not making a good connection.  Try cleaning the points and make sure the ground wire from engine to frame is not on a painted part and is actually making a complete connection.

Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: john83 on Mar 23, 2018, 08:15:18
The light should come on as the points open and should go off when the points close again.  If it is staying on, that suggests that the set of points is not closing or is not making a good connection.  Try cleaning the points and make sure the ground wire from engine to frame is not on a painted part and is actually making a complete connection.
Stop me if Iím wrong but the 2/3 points working properly is a sign that the engine has a good ground. No?
I would think that the problem is isolated to the 1/4 points. As Teazer said, perhaps they are not closing or not making connections.


Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 23, 2018, 12:04:18
^^^

That makes sense. I gave the points a quick one two with 500 grit sand paper and sprayed them with contact cleaner. Maybe I left some particulates on the pads. Busy day today, will report back over the weekend. Thanks for all your help guys!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 23, 2018, 12:38:28
I said fuck it to the chores. Wiped off the pads again, cleaned the spot where the point was sitting, and she's working as expected! Not sure if it was a grounding issue persay, but a thorough cleaning did the trick. Now she's statically timed up. Oh boy!!!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 23, 2018, 12:59:48
5 YEARS. 5 YEARS OF SPORADIC WORK. SHES ALIVE!!! SHE RUNS!!!! ILL POST A VIDEO AFTER I RECHARGE THE BATTERY!!! THANK YOU GUYS!!! WILL KEEP YOU POSTED!!!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: TranceMachineVienna on Mar 23, 2018, 13:22:12
Bravo man! Well deserved trough perserverance!!!  ;D
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: john83 on Mar 23, 2018, 14:28:34
Well done man! Glad it worked out. Keep plugging away.


Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89466)
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 23, 2018, 16:00:51
She idles!!!

https://youtu.be/uKcTSmgbqJU
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: The Jimbonaut on Mar 23, 2018, 16:10:03
Hey man, must confess that I haven't read through all your thread but do see that you've been working on your ride for 5 years - congratulations on getting the old girl fired up!  Man, I know when I got my bike to fire for the first time it sounded better than Beethoven's Fifth.  Happy for you mate, hope you're riding that beauty in no time
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MiniatureNinja on Mar 23, 2018, 18:38:45
awesome man! that Master and levers went out on Wednesday (had sick kids, sorry!) you should see it soon! hope they work for ya
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 24, 2018, 18:38:10
Thank you all! And miniatureninja, I'll keep my eye out for it, appreciate ya!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Mar 31, 2018, 21:08:46
Checked the tank, she's clean as a whistle. The old gas had turned milky, but after a flush, it came out clear. Next on the list: attach the wiring harness to the frame and go through my carbs. If anyone has pictures of the way the 550 wiring harness routs, that would be invaluable. It's surprisingly difficult to find actual pictures of the harness on the bike.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: john83 on Apr 01, 2018, 14:01:33
I don't have a picture but it should be somewhat self explanatory. Should run from the headlight and handlebar stuff down the backbone to the under seat stuff.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MotorbikeBruno on Apr 02, 2018, 18:06:06
Wiring comes out of the headlight bucket and wraps around the left side of the frame, under the gas tank mount past the coils down the backbone and then splits off to all of the places in the rear of the bike mainly staying on the left side from what I remember.  The points wires and rear brake wire routs down the right side at the point where the backbone attaches to the rear section. Otherwise, you'll see where stuff fits/goes and possibly swear once or twice while you have to re-route it for some reason.  Usually not too hard or bad.  I couldn't find an in-process pic of my wiring of the last several cb500/550's I've had over the years. If I find one, I'll update this post.

Edit: I found one from an older 500 that I had.  It's not the best/cleanest pic, but hopefully it helps somewhat.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: snmavridis on Apr 03, 2018, 09:58:15
Great! That's exactly what I was looking for! Any suggestions for dealing with extra harness that hangs in front? I have a smaller headlight bucket, so I can't cram things in there.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MiniatureNinja on Apr 03, 2018, 14:23:13
I would say just fold it up and zip-tie it - maybe further back under the tank so it's less obvious
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: MotorbikeBruno on Apr 04, 2018, 11:18:10
Yeah, this is where you come into modifying the harness, or seeing if Sparck Moto could help you out. http://www.sparckmoto.com/ <---Matt is from here (DTT), cool guy. 

But otherwise, just wrap it nice and tie it out of the way like Ninja just said ^^^  You need to RIDE that mofo this season!! WOO!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: Maritime on Apr 04, 2018, 12:02:09
^^^ Sonrier (Matt) owner of Spark has great products and great customer service if you need it.  I prototype tested his FB-11 fuse block and used it to re-wire my whole bike one circuit at a time and eliminate a lot of the harness doing it on my GL1000. 2 seasons of riding later and it's still working great. He also now owns vintage connections so you can get all the bits you need to build a harness or you can have him build you one to your specs.

http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=74475.0

thats the FB11
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: CrabsAndCylinders on Apr 04, 2018, 12:43:42
^^^ Sonrier (Matt) owner of Spark has great products and great customer service if you need it.  I prototype tested his FB-11 fuse block and used it to re-wire my whole bike one circuit at a time and eliminate a lot of the harness doing it on my GL1000. 2 seasons of riding later and it's still working great. He also now owns vintage connections so you can get all the bits you need to build a harness or you can have him build you one to your specs.

http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=74475.0

thats the FB11

That fuse block looks great, I think I am going to get one for my GT500.
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F &quot;Barn Find&quot;
Post by: snmavridis on Apr 04, 2018, 14:25:15
Ive wanted one of his harnesses but they're a little out of my budget. Once it's riding and everything else is out of the way to make it safe, I'll hop on it for sure. Function over form right now. Like you guys said, I want it on the road this season!
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F &quot;Barn Find&quot;
Post by: snmavridis on Apr 04, 2018, 14:26:38
I will be redoing the electronics bay, especially now that I have access to a full machine shop, and his fusebox is number one on that list. Second is the regulator/rectifier 😁
Title: Re: 1976 CB550F "Barn Find"
Post by: Maritime on Apr 04, 2018, 14:30:11
He gives you very easy to understand instructions in hiw to wire things through it. My GL harness was wrecked completelty from a deer deciding to run into me sidelong so I had no choice but to almost start from scratch, that FB 11 made it soooo much easier for me