Author Topic: 1977 CB550  (Read 21321 times)

Offline Valentinik

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1977 CB550
« on: January 09, 2016, 10:51:13 PM »
Some will have seen my introduction post but if you haven't, First of all, this is the first bike i've owned and its a big learning experience more than anything for me, i've had numerous cars and I'm currently build a turbo westfield but bikes are something i have never worked on. So please excuse what some may feel are stupid questions.

Today i went and collected a new project. Its a 1977 CB550 K3, it looks like someone has changed the forks to super dream items as well as the wheels. Im hoping to find some good used items, refurbish them and replace them. As can be seen from the pictures, some bits are missing and its not in too good a state but something i thought was suitable to work on.

I went and collected the bike from leominster this afternoon. To pay my wife back for coming with me i had to take her out to dinner so wasn't able to start until we got back (she wasn't pleased).

Here it is before it was put in the garage:


I've removed the seat, tank and exhaust and just had a look at what exactly is missing and what i need to do:



One thing I'm not sure of what it is/where it is meant to fit is this:


Could anyone give me a pointer on what it is?

Mike
« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 10:53:13 PM by Valentinik »

Offline Norniron

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2016, 11:24:58 PM »
Brake light switch that attaches to the rear brake lever
1977 400 cafe
1972 500/4
2013 triumph STR675

Offline Oddjob

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2016, 02:29:16 AM »
The brake light switch attaches to a bracket, on the 500 and I'm fairly sure the 550F it's a bracket welded to the frame, on the 550K however it went into a bracket which was separate and attached to the upper rear engine bolt, probably why it's loose as on the 500 and 550F you wouldn't really need to remove it. It's missing a long thin spring which goes through the hole in the pin you can see protruding from the switch.

If the carbs are missing I'd fit the carbs off either the 500 or the 550F as the 550K carbs were much different and TBH are pretty pants in comparison. You'd also need the airbox to match but it's a worthwhile change as the 550K carbs really are that bad.
Don't play stupid with me, I'm better at it

Offline Chris400F

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2016, 11:29:33 AM »
If you haven't already got hold of them I'd suggest getting a copy of the Parts List and Workshop Manual from here:
http://www.sohc.co.uk/index.php/topic,8884.0.html
Personally I have found a parts List to be far more useful than its name might suggest.

Online mickwinf

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2016, 12:24:23 PM »
if you need a bracket and spring I have new ones I was going to put on ebay.
Love the 500/4 and 550 own 2 at the moment.

Offline Norniron

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2016, 02:17:41 PM »
The brake light switch attaches to a bracket, on the 500 and I'm fairly sure the 550F it's a bracket welded to the frame, on the 550K however it went into a bracket which was separate and attached to the upper rear engine bolt, probably why it's loose as on the 500 and 550F you wouldn't really need to remove it. It's missing a long thin spring which goes through the hole in the pin you can see protruding from the switch.

If the carbs are missing I'd fit the carbs off either the 500 or the 550F as the 550K carbs were much different and TBH are pretty pants in comparison. You'd also need the airbox to match but it's a worthwhile change as the 550K carbs really are that bad.

Good advice from oddjob about the carbs.But u also have to change the intake manifolds on the back of the head.Your intakes wont line up with the older style carbs
1977 400 cafe
1972 500/4
2013 triumph STR675

Offline Valentinik

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2016, 03:50:25 PM »
Thanks everyone, its all really useful information to me, i've learnt so much already. Il keep an eye out for some carbs, the frame is the first thing I'm going to be working on though. So i've got plenty of time to gather the bits together.

I made a little bit of progress this morning. Both wheels are off, the engine is out and i've taken a look at the forks. The chrome seems to be pretty rusty and I'm not a fan of the wheels, so i may see if i can source a set of original forks and spoked wheels.



Before i took the engine out though i wanted to check it turns over as i didnt know what state it was in. The good news was it turned over quite freely. The less pleasing news was when i drained the oil, 2 litres of water came out before the oil.

As you can see from the picture theres a bit of rust on the camshaft and tops of the valves but I'm hoping its still useable. Im planning on a full engine rebuild anyway.



Mike

Offline matthewmosse

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2016, 05:30:35 PM »
Once you get inside the engine, check the journal bearings under that camshaft, have you got a rocker cover? Also check the valves are seated and not bent, Hopefully the water will not have been in there too long. I would think the twin disk setup and superdream front forks should be easy to re home.
Got a 500/4 with rust and a sidecar and loadsa bits. nice and original and been round the clock

Offline Oddjob

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2016, 07:08:44 PM »
The brake light switch attaches to a bracket, on the 500 and I'm fairly sure the 550F it's a bracket welded to the frame, on the 550K however it went into a bracket which was separate and attached to the upper rear engine bolt, probably why it's loose as on the 500 and 550F you wouldn't really need to remove it. It's missing a long thin spring which goes through the hole in the pin you can see protruding from the switch.

If the carbs are missing I'd fit the carbs off either the 500 or the 550F as the 550K carbs were much different and TBH are pretty pants in comparison. You'd also need the airbox to match but it's a worthwhile change as the 550K carbs really are that bad.

Good advice from oddjob about the carbs.But u also have to change the intake manifolds on the back of the head.Your intakes wont line up with the older style carbs

Yep forgotten about that mate, never used the 550 head myself without swapping over the inlet manifolds so maybe that's why I forgot that bit.

Water is probably from condensation, I built one of my engines and it stood in a warm room for about 3 months, I found about a half pint of water in the sump when I drained the flushing oil I'd filled the engine with, ended up stripping it all down again to ensure I got all the water out.
Don't play stupid with me, I'm better at it

Offline Valentinik

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2016, 09:31:20 PM »
Thanks guys, Is there a specific year of carbs/inlet I would be looking for?

Unfortunately I don't have the rocker cover. I think that is the reason for all of the water ingress, it seems like it has been left outside for a while.

Are the rockers and cover specific to the 550, or would a 500 set work if i can get them?

As I'm not going to get around to the engine build yet, i wondered if it would benefit at all to fill the engine with some fresh oil that i've got spare?

Mike

Offline Norniron

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2016, 10:57:30 PM »
http://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/311516677219
These are the carbs you want!
Im not personally recommending this set btw
1977 400 cafe
1972 500/4
2013 triumph STR675

Offline Oddjob

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2016, 12:02:15 AM »
The rocker cover---- look for a rocker cover that has 4 extra bolts under where the top cover would fit. These are the modification that Honda did on the 550, it stops the rocker shafts from rotating, a fault that causes them to wear an oval hole in the cover. If possible get that version, they can be hard to find however and is probably why yours is missing as the K3 bike (which yours is) got that mod as standard. Sure someone will be able to post a picture of what to look for. 500 rocker cover will work but won't have the mod, however I've never had any problems with the shafts spinning myself and they will probably be cheaper to buy.

I prefer the 500 carbs as they used 100 main jets instead of the 98 the 550F got, they are probably more common and easy to source as well. Get the 500 inlet manifolds as well and you'll be sure they are correct, the 550F ones will be fine but if someone lists them as 550 your unsure if it's the 550F or the 550K which is the ones you don't want.

If the engine had that much water in it your going to have to dismantle it to see what damage that did, might have rusted the primary chain for example and you REALLY do not want that breaking when under load.
Don't play stupid with me, I'm better at it

Offline Valentinik

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2016, 03:41:42 PM »
That's great thank you. Il keep a look out for them.

Before I remove the wiring loom I'd like to test that everything works. However the ignition switch is faulty ( it's held together with a cable tie).  Is there a brand of switch that's ok to use? Or should I go with a genuine Honda item?

Offline Norniron

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2016, 05:41:06 PM »
1977 400 cafe
1972 500/4
2013 triumph STR675

Offline Valentinik

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Re: 1977 CB550
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2016, 08:44:33 PM »
This will do u Mike!
https://www.davidsilverspares.co.uk/CB550K3/part_28995/

Brilliant, ordered along with a spark plug spanner. I've decided to strip the engine down now and clean all the parts. Hopefully to try to protect them from any further damage. Just incase the water hadn't been in there too long.

Mike