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Author Topic: CB550 Gulf road race build 592cc  (Read 42752 times)

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Offline Dimitri13

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CB550 Gulf road race build 592cc
« on: February 03, 2012, 01:25:49 am »
It gets sooooo much better in the later pages, I swear! I had NO idea what I was doing in the beginning. Hackjob galore.



Some directional changes since the beginning, starts on page 2.



Yeah, I saw ringo's (that's his name here, right?) 550K1 "Le Mans Special" build. But I fell in love with it and wanted to do my own take on it.

I spent about 4 months trying to find a bike (CB, GS, KZ, Triumph, etc), but literally nothing was for sale here. One day I FINALLY came across a CB, but it wasn't a 750 like I was hoping for, it was a '74 550. I didn't care too much, as I wasn't dead set on a 750.

After just a few hours of ownership, I came to find out that it was in MUCH worse condition (maintenance-wise) than I had originally thought. I'm surprised it even ran. The carbs were clogged and dirty; the air filter, battery, and a few other wear items were ancient; points, timing, valves, etc were all out of spec; wires wired outside of the harness; rats nest of wires in the headlight bucket; and the list went on.

I spent nearly two months just trying to resurrect it. The carbs were giving me problems even after a rebuild, and once I fixed one issue, another came up. What took me so long was actually GETTING the parts. Because this is Hawaii, there are 0 replacement parts on the island, so they all had to get shipped to the Honda dealer, NOS/second-hand sites, or from eBay.

I'm sure you guys would much rather see some pictures, so here they are:

The state it was in when I got it. Notice the drops of oil, missing side stand (that was a pain to deal with while waiting for one), and seemingly low-quality aftermarket exhaust. The paintjob is horrible, and covers up the beautiful maroon it was originally.



Here it is with the icky bars and grips that don't really match, and probably won't match by the time I'm done (what a waste :()



Hard to see, but this is how I had to get towed when it still wasn't running :(



The final step of getting it in proper working order; the carb sync. Take note of the funky tank stand and extended fuel lines :P



Bad news, someone cut me off in the rain and slammed on their brakes. Down I went. Dented the tank, scratched up the alternator cover, broke the mirror and clutch lever, and ruined my brand new visor (stupid thing was expensive, too >:| )



Painted pieces, the side cover still needs a bit of work.



Properly fixed wiring.



Rewrapped main wiring harness, looks a million times better than the old one.



The tank still needs painting, but first I need to get the dent out.
I just rebuilt and polished the forks. Once I get them on, and the bike off a jack for the first time in a month, I'll be replacing the oil pump seals, shifter seal, and clutch plates, and see what I can do about drilling my clutch basket.

That'll all be finished by this weekend. I'm dying not being able to ride already ~_~
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 07:42:14 pm by Dimitri13 »

Offline Steve_K

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 02:34:03 pm »
Looks to be  good project.  The 550 are fun bikes,
Steve
Steve_K

76 CB 550, 73CB750, 86 GSX-R750, 16 Slingshot
Old rides:305 Honda, CL350, 74 CB550
 05 SV1000S, 88 CBR600,92 VFR, 88 Hawk GT, 96 Ducati 900SS, 98 Kaw ZX6R, SV650

Offline wedoo2

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2012, 04:58:45 pm »
Can you put holes in the clutch basket?  Thars oil in dem there baskits.  Sorry about the tank slapper.  Glad you're okay.
Some days the sun is too loud.

Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2012, 01:05:49 am »
Well, I did a little asking around, and drilling the clutch basket on the 550 isn't a great idea.

Wedoo, it wasn't a tank-slapper (and I'm very thankful for that), rather the rear locking up in the rain and fishtailing, and it's always a good day when you can walk away from something like that.

Sometime in the last month when my bike was out of commission, I rebuilt the brake system. New caliper housing (the old one was cracked and the bleeder screw bore damaged), MC rebuilt, and new pads. I got to find out the hard way that my MC bore is no good. So I'll be getting a replacement from mikesxs.

Rebuilt the clutch, but one of the discs the tabs on the outside were too big.. I don't think that's normal, so I didn't use it, and instead used the best looking old one I had. Stopped the oil leak from the oil pump by replacing the o-rings there, as well as the shifter seal. Now I just have the tappet o-rings to replace and I should be leak-free. The guy I ordered them from though has been slacking or something, since it's been nearly a month since I bought that and he only shipped them out recently. He's had a bunch of bad feedback for that lately, as well.

Got my side covers back on. They don't quite match the tank (still the previous color), but they don't clash. I'll get the tank done one day. I didn't get any pictures yet, but I will tomorrow.


Offline TS250

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2012, 01:28:53 am »
Subscribed.  I'm "Ringo" by the way.  I deleted my account in semi-drunken exasperation after several members that I respect greatly took a post of mine way too personal and way out of context.  Yeah, stupid move on my part, oh well...fresh start!

I'm quite humbled though, my friend.  And glad you walked away from the crash.  If you need anything, let me know.

I'm giving my 550 a little makeover this winter, but won't be chronicling the build on sohc4 anymore.  You can follow here if you like (and post yours up too!!):
www. dwmsracing .com/forum/index.php
(take the spaces out...apparently I can't post links as a newbie...)

Not trying to take people away from sohc4, but Joe's new forum is a great tight little community...with zero bs.


Good luck!

« Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 01:33:24 am by TS250 »

Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2012, 11:11:54 am »
Hey Ringo! Glad you found this :) Sorry about that incident, stuff happens though.

I won't disappoint you with how this turns out. It'll be slow though, as it's my daily rider, and I need to build up funds as I go along.

I'll definitely check out that site.

Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 11:42:49 pm »


Replaced the boy racer grips, and there's my new master cylinder from mikesxs.

Offline Bluegreen

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550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 12:40:43 am »
Subscribed :)

Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2012, 08:55:08 pm »
FINALLY did something worth posting :) I bought CycleX's $59 clip ons. Great value, they look great, and the best part is they're not made in china ebay crap.

You can either view the images and descriptions on imgur here: http://imgur.com/a/5z53J

Or read my post below.

Forks off


Turns out I had to take the forks off, because I had some serious clearance issues with the stock headlight ears. Waiting on a set of aftermarket ones, but I NEEDED to change the bars. The clubmans were destroying me.

Chopping up the ears.


One down, one to go. I have no regrets doing this because they were dented beyond repair, and riddled with rust on the inside and out.

Cleared


Here's the preliminary clearance check. Yep, cleared... Or so I thought. Once I got everything back on, turns out the master cylinder was contacting it, so I had to chop more off.

1" drop.


I decided to play around with a drop in the front. Only an inch, I thought. Once I got it out (in the rain, no less), it was WAY less stable in wet corners, but it turned into those corners a LOT more easily. Once I get a feel for it in the dry, I'll decide whether I want to go back to stock height, UNTIL I drop the rear. By then, it might be a 2" drop, because it looks soooooo good.

Done.


Yep, that's how it looks in the front. I'll try finding a picture to compare the clubman bars with.

Side view.


Here, you can see the drop in the front. Normally the tank and seat are perpendicular with the ground. Funny story, too. I go to test-ride and fill it up. Because of the angle of the tank, what little fuel I had left in there couldn't make it to the petcock, so I ended up pushing it half a mile to the gas station :P


Offline Really?

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2012, 10:23:46 am »
Thanks for linking me here Jaymie.  I had considered this myself.

Were you able to keep the ears somewhat snug to the clip-ons?

Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2012, 10:46:43 am »
Yes. The clip-ons can go about 1/4" down and the bottom of the clamp plus the bar itself will generally keep it in place. You can kinda see how that works in the 1" drop picture.

Offline Really?

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2012, 10:48:49 am »
zkewl, thanks Jaymie!

Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2012, 11:54:07 am »
No problem. It's really more effort than it's worth, but the clubmans were contributing to my carpel tunnel, so I had to change them out asap.

Offline Bluegreen

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2012, 10:45:21 pm »
Why drop the rear? I think it's going the wrong way  ;)

Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2012, 12:00:55 am »
Dropping the rear to match the front's drop.

Offline Bluegreen

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2012, 01:16:54 am »
Dropping the rear to match the front's drop.

You're going to lose a bunch of clearance that way, and the bike will turn faster if you jack the back end 1" and lower the front just a little, like 1/2". Just my .02 cents.

Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2012, 10:27:30 am »
I don't mind the clearance loss. I just want a bike that looks great. Once I'm done with it it's going to be my weekend cruiser and such. I made a post in the Other Bikes section about getting another bike, which will be my daily rider.

Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2012, 11:03:46 pm »
Oh damn I completely forgot about this thread. Most of the stuff I've done has been posted in the "what did you do to your bike today" thread, or various "help me I'm retarded" threads.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a few things I did:

1. New tires. Bridgestone Spitfire S11s, 110 front 120 rear (way too wide on both counts).
2. Aftermarket fork ears.
3. Tarozzi rearsets.
4. Broke my battery side cover, still too lazy to fix it.
5. Stopped a lot of leaks. Currently leaking from oil passage plugs/cap.
6. Lots of exhaust/carb/intake changes.
6a. Currently a carbon weave Two Brothers exhaust (salvaged from a wrecked CBR1000).
6b. Currently velocity stacks from Steel Dragon.
6c. Improperly jetted carbs (can be seen in the video).
7. Still haven't done any more painting. Still have the dent in my tank.
8. Replaced the valve guide seals.
8a. While I had the head off, stupid me, I didn't remove any carbon, lap or grind the valves, etc. Basically I put it back together with all the crap still on it.
8b. Still leaking oil past the valve guides and burning lots of oil.
9. Cracked the oil pump cover plate with a gasket that was too fat. Replaced it with one that didn't feel like it spun as freely.
10. Jumped it 3' off a retaining wall (accidentally, of course). Didn't go down but likely bent or taco'd the rim slightly.
11. Cafe seat mounted sloppily with the stock seat hinge.
12. Still needs springs and shocks.

Today I finished installing a Vapor digital tach/speedo dash.



Dyno'd my bike for fun. Points are shot and that's what gave a majority of the stumbling.

[Motovid] CB550 Dyno Pulls

Here's what it looks like as of now (sans the gauges).



Still LOTS of work to do:

1. Complete engine rebuild and paint with several options:
a. Stock bore, clean everything up, maybe mild porting.
b. Ebay big bore kit, mild porting, mild cam.
c. Reliable big bore kit (Dynoman's 592cc), hot street cam, porting, valve springs, studs, etc.
2. Relocate the electrics, have an empty "triangle."
3. Better seat.
4. Rebuild/replace wheels.
5. Strip frame down, PC everything, assemble with shiny new hardware.
6. New tank, or fix tank and put some knee dents in.
7. MotoGP Werks Yoshimura replica exhaust.

Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2012, 03:20:48 am »
Haven't done any of my to-do list yet.

Here's a picture instead.


Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2012, 04:58:39 am »
Welp, spun a bearing.



Was hoping I wouldn't need to do any work to it, as I'm currently out of a job. But, #$%* happens I guess. I'm just glad it only didn't do more damage than it did. Only spun a bearing, but those shavings clogged up the oil passage and starved the top end, but didn't do any permanent damage. Only thing I could see on the top end was the cam lobes were a bit burnt up, but nothing a little polishing couldn't fix.

This was a blessing in disguise though, since it prompted me to do a complete teardown and rebuild, and since I can't afford any of it, my parents offered to front me the money and I'll be paying them back as soon as I get a steady paycheck (I've been living off sold parts, doing work around the neighborhood, and my parents' kindness). Since they're willing to help me out, and my mom used to drag race way back when, and my dad is always preaching if you're going to do a project, do it right, we're going all out on this.

The plan:

Dynoman's stage 2 big bore kit:
-61mm pistons for 592cc and 10.5:1 compression
-Hot street cam at .330 lift and 290° duration
-Heavy duty valve springs, clutch kit, and APE studs
-All necessary gaskets
Headwork from MRieck
Oil seal kit
Primary chain
SS allen head bolt kit
Progressive fork springs
Hagon shocks
SS brake lines and hard line from Slingshot-Cycles
Rear hoop
And whatever else that'll need replacing that I'm forgetting

Powdercoating:
-Frame
-Swingarm
-Engine
-Wheels
-Tank (maybe)

I'm considering de-tabbing the frame and relocating the electrics for an empty triangle, but I'm STILL not sure if I want to do that, or keep the side covers. I still have a while to decide because I haven't purchased any parts yet (sending in my cam core to WebCam before I buy the DynoMan stuff to avoid having do to a core deposit).

I'm also unsure if I want to follow through with my original plan of the gulf color scheme. Not that I don't like it (because I LOVE the gulf livery), but because it doesn't quite "fit" me.

I've been leaning more towards either:
Cobalt (electric blue, similar to anodized blue) wheels and bodywork with a gunmetal frame (or vice versa), and a standard black, aluminum, and polished engine.

Something like this, but with a gloss gunmetal tank:



Black bodywork with gold accents, polished (or black rim and SS spokes) wheels and gold frame, with a matching black and gold engine, similar to this,



but with something like this,



This also looks pretty badass (found it after the previous ones)



Current state of it:


Offline RAF122S

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2012, 02:51:28 am »
CycleX does performance coatings for rocker arms, shafts, and other engine parts. You may want to consider that during your rebuild.

MRiech also can source parts for your motor at his prices from Ape and other sources. He has hard welding sources for rocker parts and could probably do/source the coating work if you go that route.
If you are going to go with Stage 2 you should discuss it with Mike so everything comes out as you hope and you match up other components that make sense for the cash outlay. Mike knows his stuff.

David
David stuck in the curvy back roads of "Upper East" TN

Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2012, 03:44:42 am »
Thanks for the tips David. I've gone back and forth with Mike a couple times but I'm awaiting his next reply, and hopefully he'll give me some insight on what direction I should be going with the engine.

Offline BruceDeuce

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2012, 05:23:02 pm »
Subscribed!
78 Honda 550 Four (K)
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Offline Bluegreen

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2012, 05:54:48 pm »
That blue frame is the cat's pajamas !! Cobalt frame with a gunmetal tank get's my vote!

Offline Dimitri13

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Re: 550K0 Gulf cafe build.
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2012, 02:02:21 am »
Yeah, the cobalt frame really catches my eye. I feel like I want the cobalt frame and rims, with SS spokes, and cobalt or black hubs, with a standard black/alu/polished engine.

 

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