Author Topic: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build  (Read 37285 times)

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Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #50 on: October 08, 2009, 08:28:29 pm »
i believe the final quality of the fiberglass is directly related to how much work you put into it.

I haven't had a chance to touch the bike in a while, but it's on my to-do list. I have new steering head bearings and new fork seals to go in, some plans for the rims, a new master cylinder, and a friend that offered to paint it. If only I could get my other bikes and car running right...

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2010, 09:35:52 am »
Well, it appears that since Dropbox changed the way they support linked URLs, all of my pictures are broken. Once I have some spare time I'll have to go back through and fix them, but I'll just post a quick update for now.

I've been able to get out to the bike about once a week to sand and slap some bondo on it, so progress has been slow. I finally got a break in the budget, though, so I ordered a bunch of stuff:
- Tires
- Tubes/rim strips
- CB400f stock rearsets
- CB750 fork dust caps

and a few other things.

I disassembled the rearsets and stripped, cleaned, and painted them.



These should move the pegs back about three or four inches, which should be great. I'll have to figure something out with the brake pedal, but it shouldn't be bad.

Here's what the tank looks like at this point:



And on the bike:









And to those that said a temperature swing or shock would crack the bondo, how's this for a temperature swing?



Among other things, on the to-do list I have a fork rebuild, steering bearings, get tires/tubes installed, get the tank and seat ready for paint, mount the license plate, figure out the turn signals, get a headlight (in progress), and chop the front fender.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 09:39:20 am by Laminar »

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #52 on: January 31, 2010, 06:43:12 am »
Okay, I believe I have all of the pictures fixed now.

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #53 on: January 31, 2010, 02:05:56 pm »
Made some real progress today. Sanding and Bondo once a week was really killing the project for me. It felt good to do something "real."

Right side, old vs. new:


Left side, new shift linkage:




Brake pedal cut and welded:


Brake pedal installed:


Riding position, MUCH improved.


Final state:




I still need to fab up a brake light switch for the rear to call this portion complete.

Offline Kemp

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #54 on: February 01, 2010, 08:27:47 pm »
Nice mods, is the kickstart still useable?

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #55 on: February 02, 2010, 05:05:54 am »
The right CB400f peg is designed to fold up and a small spring holds it in place to kickstart, then it can be popped back down to ride.

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #56 on: February 12, 2010, 04:34:52 pm »
Goodies! Pictured are new steering bearings and washers, CB750 fork dust caps, new tank rubber, and a set of tires. Not pictured are new fork seals.





I'm also looking into stealing Industrial Cafe's idea of using CB900f shocks to raise the rear end about a half inch or so. It's just a matter of selling off some stuff I have lying around to put together the funds to pick up a set.

I'm headed overseas in a couple days, but once I get back I'm hoping to take a couple of days to tear the whole thing apart, rebuild the front end, drill the brake rotor, get the tires and shocks (if I get them) mounted, spiff up the rims a bit, chop the front fender, and remove any rust from the frame and center stand.

Tonight I'm hoping to hit the tank and seat with a tad more bondo and sand them a bit. Bodywork has been by far the worst part of this conversion. In hindsight, I should have saved the hours of labor and just shelled out for something premade.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 03:08:03 pm by Laminar »

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2010, 01:07:56 pm »
I believe you could almost call this progress.

I started drilling the front rotor - I made a pattern in Autodesk Inventor, printed it out, then centerpunched where each of the holes will go. Unfortunately, my 1/4" bit was only good for 10 holes or so before it did more screeching than cutting.



Then I went ahead and chopped the front fender. I'll leave the back brace on for stability but that front part had to go:


And a partial mockup:

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #58 on: February 17, 2010, 02:16:02 am »
Nice mods, is the kickstart still useable?

I actually tried this, and it is not. The stock CB550K lever still hits the folded up peg. I'm betting the CB550f lever would work though.

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #59 on: February 27, 2010, 03:08:19 pm »
Progress!

Since initially doing the exhaust I picked up welder, so I decided to redo the exhaust, welding it this time.


I also decided it was time to strip down the bike and build it back up right.


I got the tires mounted at my local Honda dealership. They mentioned that the front wheel bearings are toast, so I'll need to add those to the list. I noticed them starting to make a lot of noise on that -8 degree run. Oops.


I picked up supplies for a soda-blasting cabinet a la TorchMonkey and theofam.


I pulled the forks off to get them ready for a rebuild. The upper sections are pretty dirty and pitted. Hopefully they can be cleaned up.


Draining the oil in preparation for pulling the engine.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 03:11:06 pm by Laminar »

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2010, 05:46:58 pm »
Good day - I got a good 7 hours in the garage. Before deciding I should eat something.

I'm planning on putting the ignition and headlight switches on the side, here I'm mocking it up:


Getting it all stripped down:


This was AFTER I vacuumed all of the garbage out.


Yuck.


Suspended.


On its side.


Separated. After doing this I realized my spare key was sitting in the seat lock and was bent but not broken...oops.


Up on the work bench...gotta save my back.


Clean...er


And then all real progress was stopped because I foolishly decided to try my hand and polishing up the covers:

Initially:


Wetsanding with 800 grit:


Hit with two levels of polishing/buffing compound. The little "cuts" you see are actually bits of fluff from the polishing wheel:


Much improved:


Stator cover:


Right side:


And started on the valve cover:

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #61 on: March 04, 2010, 05:32:02 pm »
Work was getting boring, so I took a couple of days off to have some fun with the bike. I went and picked up a bunch of stuff this morning (woo tax return!) including a gas cylinder for my welder so I can finally MIG weld, along with some paint, new case screws, heat gun, media blast gun, etc. Also a nifty 1500lb. motorcycle lift. It came in handy already.

I cut off the rear peg holders and welded on new tabs for holding the exhaust, along with the ignition/headlight switch mount.


I added some square tubing as a brace on the back.


I bent up some sheet metal to serve as my electrics box. Not bad for my first day ever MIG welding.


I welded in a new square tube brace between the shock mounts and cut out the old brace.


I added some Bondo to the rough places on the frame. Tomorrow I'll sand it down and hopefully lay down my first coat of paint.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 06:03:09 pm by Laminar »

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #62 on: March 05, 2010, 02:13:09 pm »
Today was a day of paint.

I got the frame cleaned up, degreased, primed, and got the first coat of RED paint.







Then I started in on the wheels. I got the rear one cleaned up and degreased for the most part.



But I ran into problems with the front wheel. I have new bearings to install, but I can't get the retainer out. I've read tons of threads on how to do it, but I can't seem to get it loose. I drilled out the two punched spots about 1/4" deep with a 1/8" drill bit, then I made a tool to turn the retainer.







But the retainer isn't budging at all, I'm just chewing it up and ruining the screws on the tool. Suggestions?

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #63 on: March 06, 2010, 08:26:59 am »
order a new retaining nut, and cut the old one out with your dremel.

~Joe

Offline theofam

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #64 on: March 06, 2010, 08:42:31 am »
I just got my retaining nut out Thursday.  It was indeed a booger to remove!  Maybe we can go in on a group buy of those things to get a cheaper price. ;D

I followed what a few others have done, which was to use penetrating fluid and heat.  I have a cheapo propane torch from Lowes/HD that I used to head the aluminum.  I had four punch marks on mine, so I drilled each one. I found you don't have to go too deep (like I did on one hole).  1/16" on each of the four punch marks should do it, otherwise you start to drill through the top thread.  Yours is already beat up, so you might try a hammer/punch combo.  That's how I got mine removed.

Good luck - I certainly feel for ya!

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #65 on: March 07, 2010, 08:02:53 pm »
Plenty of good progress today. I cleaned and polished up the handlebar controls.

I degreased and cleaned up the rear sprocket and sprocket cover.

I pulled apart the brake caliper and got those parts painted.

I finished drilling the rotor (Milwaukee drill bits are the ticket), then got the center painted.



I got my new bearings installed in the front rim, a new retainer is on its way. I ended up cutting the old one out.



I finished painting the rear rim.


I cleaned up and polished the rear brake drum.

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #66 on: March 09, 2010, 01:49:17 pm »
Not a ton of progress yesterday, had to do some grocery shopping and help the wife's friend install a shelf.

I got one fork torn down, cleaned up, polished, and rebuilt with a new oil seal. Also, I used dust covers/caps for a '77-78 750K from David Silver Spares instead of the ugly fork gaiters.



There's some pitting on the top of the fork tube but that will be hidden by the headlight ears.


And I got a coat of paint on the triple trees. I put another coat on this morning and a third over lunch break today.



And my plan for the gauges, made in Autodesk Inventor and Gimp:



I'm thinking of taking the Honda logo off of the speedo and just leaving it on the tach. The speedo will look busy enough with the odometers. Right now the priority is getting the bike rolling again by Thursday night, as I'm leaving Friday for Arizona and Tuesday for Venezuela, and I'd like to get my car into the garage while I'm gone. The gauges were easy to design during work though, which is why that much is done. My old roommate does screen printing and vinyl cutting so we'll see if he has a nice, durable solution for applying these designs to the gauge faces.

I'm hoping to finish the other fork tonight, and hopefully get the front rim masked/painted. Obligations keep me busy but I'm trying to work around them.

Work left before it's rolling again:
- Finish second fork tube
- Finish polishing valve cover
- Put engine back into frame
- Paint front rim
- Install new steering bearings
- Sand spot putty on headlight ears (filled in old reflector holes) and paint black
- Reassemble front end (triple trees, brake, wheel, fender, etc.)
- Reinstall swingarm (still waiting on some CB900f shocks)
- Reinstall centerstand (sure it's ugly and heavy, but damn it's useful)
- Finish cleaning chain (it's been soaking in Simple Green) and install new master link (lucky find at the hardware store)
- Reinstall handlebars

I can get that much done in three evenings, right?

After that I need to:
- Finish up the exhaust
- Run the wiring harness
- Mount all of the electrical pieces in the new box
- Mount the battery (we'll see if I can do this without ruining the frame paint)
- Install some sort of splash guard between the rear tire and the rest of the bike
- Install headlight (waiting on this to arrive)
- Install turn signals

And at this point it's a runner. All that should be left is bodywork. Right now I'm thinking hammered black paint on the seat and tank with silver or white racing stripes down the middle. My mom does upholstery work so she can handle the seat. Wal-Mart has Stadium seat pads for $5 that should work for padding.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 02:08:22 pm by Laminar »

Offline The_Crippler

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #67 on: March 09, 2010, 05:08:02 pm »
Looking good.  +1 for the Gimp.

Offline b82ta

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #68 on: March 09, 2010, 09:33:45 pm »
For the gauge faces, I don't know if you ever saw the other thread I had made, but I will be eventually (sometime within the next couple weeks...hopefully) be cutting a set of transparent face plates, inside of which can be sandwiched any sort of printed face designs.  These will be a replacement to the ones that I had on mine but will be made from a thinner material to allow light to reflect around the face and light the needle.  Of course these are not durability tested, so I'd understand if you don't want to be in on it, but if you did want to get your hands on a set, let me know.  I will be making my actual faces on just printed vellum for the time being. Time will tell if it actually holds up! 

Here's my thread if you hadn't see it

http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=60571.0

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #69 on: March 10, 2010, 06:29:12 am »
Looking good.  +1 for the Gimp.

If only the Mac version didn't suck a big one. The current version requires clicking inside of a window to make it active before I can do anything in that window, so every time I switch tools I have to double click in the tool box to first make the window active and then select the tools. Then I have to do the same in the image window. And the same with the layers.

I've found methods to fix that so window focus moves with the mouse, but for some reason the fixes aren't working in Snow Leopard. The Windows version is fine though. It's no Photoshop, but it works.

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #70 on: March 10, 2010, 06:30:35 am »
Here's my thread if you hadn't see it

http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=60571.0

Thanks for the info, I'm subscribed to your thread now. If nothing else, shipping would be cheap, right?  ;)

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #71 on: March 10, 2010, 06:38:11 am »
Progress from last night:

Quote
Work left before it's rolling again:
- Finish second fork tube
- Finish polishing valve cover
- Put engine back into frame
- Paint front rim

- Install new steering bearings
- Sand spot putty on headlight ears (filled in old reflector holes) and paint black
- Reassemble front end (triple trees, brake, wheel, fender, etc.)
- Reinstall swingarm (still waiting on some CB900f shocks)
- Reinstall centerstand (sure it's ugly and heavy, but damn it's useful)
- Finish cleaning chain (it's been soaking in Simple Green) and install new master link (lucky find at the hardware store)
- Reinstall handlebars

Done vs. not done:


New fork seal:


Cleaned up:


The recipe calls for 165cc of the red stuff:


Four coats on the front rim:


Both done:


Bolting the engine back in:


Together again!


I'm just missing the bolt that secures the upper rear hanger bolt to the clutch cable plate. It's gotta be around here somewhere. I put every nut, bolt, and piece of hardware in a labeled Ziploc bag, except that I used that upper rear hanger bolt to hold the frame up for painting, so somewhere along the line I lost the nut.

One thing not pictured is all new case/valve cover screws. They were cheap at the hardware store and a big improvement over the old, stuck, melt-in-your-hand case screws.

Getting the engine back in the frame required ignoring a request from the wife to come to bed early. Gotta have priorities, right?

Right now getting it rolling by Thursday night doesn't look promising, as my new front bearing retainer just shipped yesterday. I still haven't received any parts that I ordered last week. I'm waiting on:
- CB900f shocks
- Sealed battery
- CB550f kickstart lever
- Headlight bucket/ring
- 35W HID kit (woooo)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 06:57:00 am by Laminar »

Offline Laminar

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #72 on: March 10, 2010, 11:15:05 am »
First off, I apologize for the cell phone pics. I know you have come to expect better from me.

The UPS man brought my new battery over lunch:



Professionally mocked up (pay no attention to the hand under the frame):

Offline theofam

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #73 on: March 10, 2010, 08:30:43 pm »
Where did you order your hub retaining nut from? I need one, too, after chewing mine up!

traveler

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Re: Laminar's CB550 Cafe Build
« Reply #74 on: March 11, 2010, 03:48:34 am »
The dealer, or David Silver, or just do a google search for "vintage Honda motorcycle parts" will get you to a site that has them!

~Joe
« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 03:50:35 am by traveler »

 

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