Author Topic: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore  (Read 14843 times)

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Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2012, 12:54:48 pm »
I had considered clearcoating, but no i am not.  for now i'm just giving them a final polish with Blue Magic, which is supposed to leave a "protective silicon coating" behind - seems to be pretty water-resistant, but i still plan on polishing them up once every couple of weeks with the stuff just to keep corrosion away.


Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2012, 01:21:29 pm »
not a very exciting update, but some forward motion at least towards reconstruction!  last night i put the trees back on and repacked my (round) bearings - they were in nice shape (very round lol) and i hadn't noticed any problems with steering, so i figured i'd just reuse them as opposed to buying new tapered bearings.  anyways, they went in fine and allow a nice smooth travel.  I took a tip i saw somewhere in this forum and kept them moving while i tightened them up to prevent notching the races.  seemed to work well.  also got one fork arm on, but need to finish polishing the other one up. before I can install it.

also stopped by a local bike shop i found online yesterday - Motorcycle Solutions, LLC - they specialize in vintage jap bikes, which is nice.  i thought they had the clutch cover gasket i need, but apparently the '75 550K gaskets are discont'd and he had nothing that was cross-fittable.  luckily another MC shop owner (from across the street) stopped in and gave me the heads up about yet another MC shop down the road a ways that has a laser-cutter and has all of the templates for every gasket you can think of.  said he could knock me one out in 5 mins for $15-20.  gonna try to check them out instead of cutting my own.  while i was at Motorcycle Solutions, I ordered a 4-1 MAC chrome exhaust - paid about $40 over ebay price, but i got some good advice while i was there and made some valuable contacts, so i thought it would be worth the extra $$ to support someone local.  gotta keep this guy in biz!

anyhoo, here's a pic since i know that's all you guys really care about ;)  haha

Offline TwoTired

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2012, 01:57:01 pm »
I had considered clearcoating, but no i am not.  for now i'm just giving them a final polish with Blue Magic, which is supposed to leave a "protective silicon coating" behind - seems to be pretty water-resistant, but i still plan on polishing them up once every couple of weeks with the stuff just to keep corrosion away.

I speculate that a reason why one can polish up the metal is BECAUSE of the clear coat applied 30 years ago.

I note there is nothing in the owners manual that specifies polishing every two weeks.  Good thing.  I simply don't have that much free time.

Anyway, you won't keep corrosion away.  You'll just be scraping/abrading it off with each "polishing".  Wax might help, though.

Good luck!

Lloyd... (SOHC4 #11 Original Mail List)
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Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2012, 02:08:02 pm »
well, it seems like little nicks all over the clearcoat allowed moisture in and of course that's going to cause oxidation.  if you look at the pics you can see that the oxidation was pretty heavy all over the aluminum side cases, even with the clear - but yeah i t has been 38 years, so hey i expect nothing less.  i had to sand quite a bit to get the oxide stains out, and even in some places it still has slight staining.  and of course the original clear ended up discoloring into a beautiful yellow :P

and yes, of course you're right.  any metal in contact with oxygen is going to oxidize, but if i polish it regularly i should scrub off any microscopic accumulation of AlO2 molecules, and the light silicon film will help prevent air+moisture from getting to it in between times.

i MAY give them a true mirror finish have them professionally clearcoated the next time i take her apart (don't trust rattlecan clearcoat), but right now i don't have the cash for pro paint, and TLC is free :)  just workin' with what i have.

Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2012, 08:53:23 am »
well, no pics just yet (OK fine i'll get my phone and post one)...

as you can see i've been putting her back together - been making good progress for the last couple weeks even though i've been busy.  it's been amazing to watch my shelf full of ziploc bags and parts slowly get more and more empty -- i'm almost out of parts to put back on!

so far i'm only missing 2 bolts and one washer.
- the bolt for the banjo connected on the MC
- the bolt that holds the splash guard on for the front brake
- one of my washers for the swingarm "axle".

as i've been reassembling i've had to sand/paint and/or polish nearly everything.  it's more work than i thought it would be when i started, but wow is it paying off.  it's already looking like a totally different bike than when i bought it.  i know i'm going to be so thrilled with the results.  it's not going to be a garage princess, but it's going to look 50x better than when i got it!  :)

OK actually i don't have an updated pic of the bike, so here's a pic of a crazy siamese mushroom i came across the other day when i was cooking -- hahaha:

Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2012, 07:55:55 am »
got some more done on the the bike last night... put the rear brake stuff on it, then realized that i've got it upside down!  ah well, gonna switch it tonight.  i got lucky and found 3 bolts i thought i had lost - one to mount the keyed ignition, my MC banjo bolt, and the bolt that connects to the bottom of the front brake assembly and holds the splash guard in place.

also got the footpegs on, adjusted the rear wheel and tensioned the chain, got the headlight on, etc.  at this point i'm just going through and making sure all my bolts are tightened down.  i think tonight the new 4-1 MAC exhaust is going on (after i redo the rear brake and adjust it).  oh, and i have to paint my speedo housing and install it... which means taking off the headlight again!  d'oH!!  lol.

after that, it's just a matter of putting the seat back on, rebuilding the carbs and tuning them up!

here she is thus far:

Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2012, 08:00:37 am »
a question of wiring:

i forget what hooks up to this thing - let me know?  i'm going to consult diagram again, but confirmation is good!

Offline OneWheelDrive

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2012, 08:25:15 am »
a question of wiring:

i forget what hooks up to this thing - let me know?  i'm going to consult diagram again, but confirmation is good!

That's your starter solenoid.  Looks like you have the positive terminal from the battery already hooked up to it.  The left terminal connects to the starter, should have a large gauge wire with a round washer on it.
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Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2012, 08:32:03 am »
i thought i was doing the right thing with the positive wire -- does it look like it's in the right place?  it seems like the thin yellow/red wire that leaves the solenoid is probably connected to that terminal and i'm assuming the red/yel represents positive as the other one is black.

Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2012, 11:03:15 am »
well, over the last few days i'm pretty sure i got my wiring correct - the only "maybe" is the L and R turn signals.  I swapped the sides that they were on because the top of the turn signal housings were pitted, but the bottoms were nice.  So i flipped them and they look great unless you lay on the ground  ;D

since my battery is totally shot (i could not get it to take any charge - no surprise there, it was on its way out when i got the bike) i'm just putting on some final touches while i wait until i get a new battery.  thought i'd spend some time finishing painting up the side covers and tank emblems.  it's a long process to do the tank emblems, since i did not remove them from the tank.  i can paint 2 letters, then have to let them dry and paint the next 2, flip, and repaint (it's taking multiple layers of paint.  i'm filling in the raised lettering with oil-based paint marker paint (the white Sharpies are nice and glossy, and look like the original enamel.  Enamel....I guess i should have just used Testors... crap lol -- i may start over).

but for the side covers, only spraying the outside border seemed to produce a good, even paint job.  i used an extra fine point black Sharpie oil marker for in between the lettering, and a Markall-brand white industrial oil paint marker for the lettering.  I did remove the emblems from the side covers since that was easy, and used turtle wax automotive polish to shine up the covers.  really brought them back to life. :)

the sun was strong this afternoon when i took the pic, so sorry for the glare:

Offline Mcwilliams570

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #35 on: May 15, 2012, 11:21:39 am »
Those sidecovers look very nice great job on those..

Matt
My CB550 project http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=101182.0

Project UFB Cb550 http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=112143.0

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Offline goldarrow

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #36 on: May 15, 2012, 11:35:04 am »
+1 on the side cover.

did you also remove engine and restore the frame?
Life Is Full Of Challenges - And My Backyard Is Full Of SOHC4's

CB550 K0
CB750 K0, K2, K23 JDM, K45, K5
And the little ones z50r, xr50r, st90


750k5 http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=114817.0

Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #37 on: May 15, 2012, 12:15:41 pm »
+1 on the side cover.

did you also remove engine and restore the frame?

thanks!  and no, i did not pull the engine.  i wanted to get the frame powdercoated over the winter, but my budget just would not allow for it.  i did end up masking off the engine and smoothed out some ugly welds and also sanded off a lot of rust and spot painted with rust-neutralizing primer and then shooting some satin black rustoleum over it.  even though it was a half-a$$ed paint job, it looks far better than it did.  it'll last me a couple years until i feel like taking it apart again.

not getting the engine repainted was both a budgetary and fear issue.  the bike only has 10K on it and didn't have any engine probs before teardown, and i don't know a thing about engine work, so i didn't think that taking it apart for a cosmetic reason was justified.  i did take the side covers off the engine and polish the heck out of them.  the engine itself got a light wire brushing to remove flaky paint, a lot of detailing with Q-tips and degreaser, then hand-painted with "bare aluminum" colored 2000 degree paint, which really just looks like a light grey.  the new paint does not look good up close, but again - it looks way better than it did.

Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2012, 04:51:35 am »
Dear Motorcycle Diary,

last night i decided to tackle cleaning/rebuilding my carbs, since i haven't been able to get together with my buddy who is knowledgeable about this aspect of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  i had taken the carbs apart many months ago and had everything organized in a very orderly fashion, but having nearly nothing left to do on my rebuild, i decided i may as well get my feet wet and just do this thing.

so i went by harbor frieght to get an o-ring kit.  while i was there browsing around, my eye caught sight of (attached pic) a set of airbrush cleaning brushes.  BAM!  just what the doctor ordered.  $2.29, and they looked perfect for cleaning carbs. 

i had already given the carbs a good bath in cleaner when i took them off initially, but last night i tore them all down and scrubbed all the nooks, crannies, and orifices.  those little brushes worked so amazingly well.  blasted cleaner through all the holes and everything seems to be flowing well and unclogged.  they're still grey and sh**ty looking, but i'm confident they are gunk-free.  i cleaned 'em twice.  the rebuilding was quite easy --- i did skip replacing the long needles, mainly because they were still shiny and new looking, and partly because they looked like a beotch to get out.  also, with the new exhaust, i am betting i'll probably have to  change the position they're in, so i figured "WTH i'll just leave it alone and if i need to move the needles they'll get replaced".

all in all, i think they'll perform much better now.  all the old bits were heavily gunked up, gaskets were all dry-rotted and smashed, float levels were all over the map -- i don't even know how the bike ran (OK it didn't run WELL.  i had to leave it on 1/3 choke while riding it!)

so tonight after work i'm going to bench-synch them.    starting a new thread to get opinions on bench syncing.

Offline LesterPiglet

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2012, 06:52:08 am »
I think you forgot something..................the attached pic.   ;D
'Then' and 'than' are completely different words and have completely different meanings. Same with 'of' and 'have'. Set and sit. There, their and they're. Draw and drawer. Could care less/couldn't care less. Bought/brought FFS.


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Offline SF

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2012, 07:09:18 am »
NICE JOB, I USED A SILVER CERAMIC PC ON MY 350 HUBS. SO FAR SO GOOD
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Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2012, 07:34:15 am »
I think you forgot something..................the attached pic.   ;D


Offline Flying J

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2012, 10:45:33 am »
Nice bike. I think 75 is my favorite year yet.

Offline goldarrow

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2012, 06:42:27 pm »
i might try to immitate you catching those airbrushes with my eye sight  ::)
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 07:35:43 pm by goldarrow »
Life Is Full Of Challenges - And My Backyard Is Full Of SOHC4's

CB550 K0
CB750 K0, K2, K23 JDM, K45, K5
And the little ones z50r, xr50r, st90


750k5 http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=114817.0

Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #44 on: May 17, 2012, 08:53:23 pm »
LOL :P --- i saw them out of the corner of my eye and whipped around real quick like "OH HELLZ YEAH!".  people looked at me funny... well, funnier than usual.

Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #45 on: May 17, 2012, 08:57:51 pm »
well, i got my carbs finalized - went through the settings again and thanks to some advice here earlier, used the drill bit trick to bench sync them --- looks pretty spot-on.

unfortunately, whoever designed that airbox is a straight a$$h0le.   google provided a good solution, but after futzing with them for 40 minutes and waking the neighbors with my swearing, i'm done for the night.  it's beer o'clock.

good news is that the electrical checked out - i have turnies, headlight, horn, starter motor, and brake lights!  i'm also hoping the flux capacitor isn't too much of a power drain at 88 MPH, but i've got the plutonium core set to kick in at 7500 RPMs, so it should compensate with ONE POINT TWO ONE JIGAWATTS !!!!

ugh what a day.  11 hour shift at work, then i just spent 6 hours on the bike.

red solo cup, i fill you up.

Offline mono

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Re: FINSHED: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2012, 07:57:12 pm »
just finsihed getting everything back together.  still needs the front brake adjusted, but everthing is on it.

tried to start it, but no go yet.  starter cranks.  any suggestions for 1st start?  i'm guessing gas has to work its way back in.

Offline Tews19

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #47 on: May 18, 2012, 08:11:25 pm »
Check for spark on all 4 cylinders? Points have spark? Battery fully charged? Bike looks really good!
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Offline Flying J

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #48 on: May 18, 2012, 08:18:56 pm »
YOu need 3 things to start. Fuel to the cylinders, Air, and spark. I usually start  by checking the spark. If thats good. Crank it over for a little while. Then i pull the plugs and see if they are wet or dry. I also like to sniff the exhaust if possible to see if im pumping gas through or not. Then you  sort out if your getting to much fuel or to little. Its just constantly diagnosing issues and then fixing them so you can move on to the next issue.

Offline mono

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Re: Mono's '75 CB550 Restore
« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2012, 08:47:27 pm »
UPDATE:  well, it's got spark and stuff -- got her going after about 10 mins of trying.   new 4-1 sounds GOOD :)  got it to idle really evenly with the choke off and i adjusted the main idle screw.  floated good at about 1300.   then i decided to drive it - got me to the end of my street (about 1/2 mile) and then died on me.  it was then that i noticed that i must have wired something wrong in the back end - the tail light is on full power and both the rear indicator lights are on!  so that probably killed my battery.   pushed it back up the 2% incline all the way home (owww) and she's recharging now.  i'll work out the wired in the AM.

time for a celebratory beer!  WHOOOHOOO!!

PS i noticed a rattle, which i may have noticed last season, but i didn't know anything when i 1st got the bike.  cam chain or valves need adjusting.  prolly both.

I COULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT YOU GUYS !!! :)