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Author Topic: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue  (Read 398 times)

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Offline BallAquatics

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1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« on: October 23, 2019, 02:38:20 pm »
Is there a ballpark mileage figure for when I can expect to start having problems adjusting the valves on this bike?  Currently has 23000 and no sign of a problem.

Cheers - Dennis

Offline BomberMann650

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2019, 05:07:38 pm »
The 550 rockerbox wear problem depends on the usage more than the mileage.

Quality oil and a gentle right hand will extend the life the rocker shaft bores. 
Redlining it and reticent oil changes, could see conditions deteriorate rather quick like. 

The lowest effort preventative measure discussed has been to squish a few o-rings between the inspection cap holes and the rocker shaft ends.

The Honda solution was to pin a full length rocker arm shaft in place.  The 77 update.  Unfortunately the available rocker arm shaft part from 77 does not fit into the valve covers of previous the generation. 

To secure the multitude of rocker arm shafts in the early model rockerbox would require a bit of time at the milling machine and drill press.

Repairing worn rockerboxes may be more trouble than it's worth.
75 CB550F codename Bloo
76/78 XS750 triple; trash can.
07 FJR1300; Longma
73 Norton Commando 850 Cafe Racer

Offline BallAquatics

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2019, 04:46:12 am »
Thanks BomberMann.  Is the o-ring fix worth the effort, or is it better to just replace with a '77-'78 cover?

Cheers - Dennis

Offline flatlander

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2019, 05:13:29 am »
if your cover is not yet worn, then definitely it's worth the effort. especially because the effort and cost is almost 0.

Offline BallAquatics

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2019, 01:03:25 pm »
if your cover is not yet worn, then definitely it's worth the effort. especially because the effort and cost is almost 0.

Is there a thread on here about the o-ring procedure?  Size of o-rings, inspection cap removal, etc?

Thanks again - Dennis

Offline flatlander

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2019, 12:20:47 am »
use the same o-rings as on the end cap, no. 20 in the diagram.
you just take off the end cap itself, insert 4 additional o-rings in the holes where the rocker shafts are, then put the end cap back on. done.


Offline BallAquatics

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2019, 08:00:57 am »
use the same o-rings as on the end cap, no. 20 in the diagram.
you just take off the end cap itself, insert 4 additional o-rings in the holes where the rocker shafts are, then put the end cap back on. done.

Perfect!  Thank you flatlander.  =;-)

Cheers - Dennis

Offline flatlander

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2019, 02:08:02 am »
use the same o-rings as on the end cap, no. 20 in the diagram.
you just take off the end cap itself, insert 4 additional o-rings in the holes where the rocker shafts are, then put the end cap back on. done.

just re-read that and realise it could be misunderstood. you need 4 o-rings total, and put 1 in each hole. not 4 per hole ;)

Offline BallAquatics

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2019, 11:44:27 am »
Okay, so I just broke down and purchased a late model rocker cover.  It looks like the seller removed the nuts on the studs holding the rocker shafts in place.....





Do these have washers under them?  Looking at a parts diagram, it looks like the diagram shows bolts and not nuts and washers???



Dennis

Offline jakec

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2019, 12:05:24 pm »
use the same o-rings as on the end cap, no. 20 in the diagram.
you just take off the end cap itself, insert 4 additional o-rings in the holes where the rocker shafts are, then put the end cap back on. done.

just re-read that and realise it could be misunderstood. you need 4 o-rings total, and put 1 in each hole. not 4 per hole ;)

So you're just doubling up all the O rings?
1974 CB550 K0 "Chopper"
1975 CB400 F0 Stock
1976 CB400 F1 Stock
1970 CL350 K2 Stock

Offline bryanj

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2019, 01:33:47 pm »
Wrong parts diagram, you need to look at the one with rockers shafts and arms for the 77 550 or the technical bulletin in the manals section
Semi Geriatric ex-Honda mechanic and MOT tester (UK version of annual inspection). Garage full of "projects" mostly 500/4 from pre 73 (no road tax in UK).

Remember "Its always in the last place you look" COURSE IT IS YOU STOP LOOKIN THEN!

Offline BallAquatics

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2019, 02:10:33 pm »
Wrong parts diagram, you need to look at the one with rockers shafts and arms for the 77 550 or the technical bulletin in the manals section

Thanks Bryan, it was in the bulletin.



Cheers - Dennis

Offline Erny

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2019, 01:56:00 am »
I'm thinking about the same "retrofit" in the future.

There are quite some on ebay etc but I don't know how it should look like to avoid purchasing old version.

Can someone post photo how new improved version of cyl head cover looks like?

CB750K K7 USA model (1977)
CB550K1 USA model (1975)

Offline middletons

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2019, 07:23:02 am »
A good picture is already posted above (reply #8). The newer rocker cover has 8 bolt holes in the middle section instead of 4.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 07:26:04 am by middletons »

Offline BallAquatics

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2019, 08:48:32 am »
Can someone post photo how new improved version of cyl head cover looks like?

New style...



Old style...



Cheers - Dennis

Offline Stev-o

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2019, 09:32:27 am »
I'm thinking about the same "retrofit" in the future.


You have a 550?
'74 "Big Bang" Honda 750K [836].....'71 Honda 750K project.....'76 Honda 550F.....K3 Park Racer.....K5 Fiddy Dolla Special!......CB500 Fiddy Dolla Special too!!............plus plus plus.........

Offline Erny

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2019, 12:12:52 pm »
Yes I have 550K1 model year 1975, built 10/1974. By engine number I shall have old style cover. Engine has never been opened... But I'll check before buying. The point is that I hear ticking noise from top (valves are set correctly), so suspect shaft/cover wear

This one
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 12:14:44 pm by Erny »
CB750K K7 USA model (1977)
CB550K1 USA model (1975)

Offline bryanj

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2019, 02:16:53 pm »
Before you comdem the valve cover check the exhaust gaskets as a slight blow sounds exactly like a loose tappet,  believe me i have the tee shirt AND video for that one (not literaly before somebody asks for a copy!)
Semi Geriatric ex-Honda mechanic and MOT tester (UK version of annual inspection). Garage full of "projects" mostly 500/4 from pre 73 (no road tax in UK).

Remember "Its always in the last place you look" COURSE IT IS YOU STOP LOOKIN THEN!

Offline Stev-o

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Re: 1974 CB550 Valve Cover Issue
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2019, 04:47:52 pm »
Yes I have 550K1 model year 1975, built 10/1974. By engine number I shall have old style cover. Engine has never been opened... But I'll check before buying. The point is that I hear ticking noise from top (valves are set correctly), so suspect shaft/cover wear

This one

Very nice!
'74 "Big Bang" Honda 750K [836].....'71 Honda 750K project.....'76 Honda 550F.....K3 Park Racer.....K5 Fiddy Dolla Special!......CB500 Fiddy Dolla Special too!!............plus plus plus.........

 

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