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Front to Back - Honda CB500

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Ayrton F
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Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Ayrton F on Thu 18 Dec 2014, 9:49 pm

Hey!

So as a few of you know already I was recently given a CB500 01 and am planning to completely overhaul the thing from front to back. My dad picked it up off an old friend of his for 300 euros. Pretty cheap if you ask me but it comes with a catch! The bike itself is in pretty poor shape. A lot of it was held together with cable ties, different nuts and bolts, a fire log wedging the battery in place, broken fairings and it even has the front sprocket welded onto it (pics to come). Anyways I know it sounds like a big challenge and it is, but I've got great help from my dad who knows bikes/engines inside and out.

It might be worth throwing in that the front is off a CB400 super four while the rear shocks are off a CB1000. Im pretty sure Im gonna keep both of these. The front shocks are supposed to be a lot better than the stock CB 500 ones but using the super four ones means ill have to make brackets for thinks like the clocks etc. The rear shocks are supposed to raise the bike a bit at the rear which is perfect for me as Im 6 foot 3!

So the plan so far is to work on the front end, strip that, see what needs to be done, and work our way backwards from there.  As I'm a full time student doing it on a part-time wage, we will be focusing on getting the bike running perfectly and then looking at aesthetics after. 

Id like to try and do some painting myself to try and save money. Small things like the brake Calipers, Front Forks, clock casing etc so Im thinking it would be best to paint them while I have them off the bike ? Anybody with experience painting bike parts ?

Ill be posting pictures and commenting on everything along the way. If you have any questions for me please feel free to ask away! As your all CB500 heads, any tips/tricks/advice that you may have for me along the way please feel free to throw it in.

Also, whats the best way to upload pictures to the forums ? Should I use the forum gallery or an external website like photobucket ?
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badseeds
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by badseeds on Fri 19 Dec 2014, 12:36 am

Yeah, Photobucket is best. I'm considering the CB400SF for parts. I particularly fancy the front end and swinging arm with some piggy-back shocks.
Pics please!
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jerryfudd
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by jerryfudd on Fri 19 Dec 2014, 7:24 am

Sounds........... expensive, especially if you get allot of the buggered up parts replaced new rather than from a doner bike.

Good luck!

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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by sullivj on Fri 19 Dec 2014, 7:40 am

@jerryfudd wrote:Sounds........... expensive, especially if you get allot of the buggered up parts replaced new rather than from a doner bike.

Good luck!
Are you worried he'll be a contender against your 'most expensive CB500 on the planet' bike?!
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eternally_troubled
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by eternally_troubled on Fri 19 Dec 2014, 9:19 am

@Ayrton F wrote:

...

Id like to try and do some painting myself to try and save money. Small things like the brake Calipers, Front Forks, clock casing etc so Im thinking it would be best to paint them while I have them off the bike ? Anybody with experience painting bike parts?...

Can't claim to be any kind of expert, but generally the key to painting anything is preparation, generally in this order -

*sanding stuff that needs flattening out, usually using increasingly find grades of sandpaper to remove surface marks

*washing and rinsing stuff well (washing up liquid is fine) to get rid of any sanding residue and then drying stuff.

* using a de-greaser (such as cellulose thinners) to ensure the surface has no greasy contamination (including things like finger marks)

You can then use whatever kind of paint you like - the preparation is pretty much the same.

With most paints, unless otherwise specified, it is best to do two or more thin coats rather than one thick coat - this is certainly the case with almost all aerosol spray paints.

The big advantage of most paint is that if you get it wrong (or you don't like the effect) then you can just sand it off and have another go or try a different colour.

Generally don't make your mind up about wether you need to start again until you have applied at least two coats (unless it is absolutely disasterous).

There are 'special' paints you can buy (at least in the UK - from Halfords, for example) for painting calipers that will stand up to the high temperatures they can reach when braking hard. There are also 'very high temperature' paints for exhaust pipes.
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Gonzumzum
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Gonzumzum on Fri 19 Dec 2014, 10:06 am

Exactly what ET said.
Waiting for the pics though.
Smile
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jerryfudd
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by jerryfudd on Fri 19 Dec 2014, 10:44 am

@Gonzumzum wrote:Exactly what ET said.

phone home? Laughing



I've sprayed various things but looking back on it its always very time consuming, more expensive than you think and never comes out as well as you'd hoped.... and still while I'll still be doing the odd bit on mine and I wouldn't discourage anyone from having a go after the hassle of stripping down say the fork legs where you want a nice hard wearing finish id say see what you can get powder coated (cheaper than wet spraying but can only be metal) and have a go on the smaller sections plastics/fibreglass.
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Beresford on Fri 19 Dec 2014, 11:43 am

I got a nice effect on the fork sliders by going over them with a mild abrasive buffing wheel in an electric drill and then coating with 'Diamond Hard' gloss clear floor varnish. It is tough stuff and durable. The end result is a reasonable imitation of the original factory finish.
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Ayrton F
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Ayrton F on Fri 19 Dec 2014, 1:29 pm

@jerryfudd wrote:Sounds........... expensive, especially if you get allot of the buggered up parts replaced new rather than from a doner bike.

Good luck!

Hahahaha! Thats what I thought as well. Im trying to source as many parts as I can second-hand (except for the ones that are worth replacing) to keep the cost down. Do you have a rough figure of how much yours cost ?

@eternally_troubled wrote:There are 'special' paints you can buy (at least in the UK - from Halfords, for example) for painting calipers that will stand up to the high temperatures they can reach when braking hard. There are also 'very high temperature' paints for exhaust pipes.

Thats brilliant man, thanks for the tips on the prep. Would the Calipers and the Exhaust be the only thing I need to use specialised paint on ? We have a Halfords here so Ill probably pick up the majority of my spray there.

@Jerryfudd wrote:id say see what you can get powder coated (cheaper than wet spraying but can only be metal) and have a go on the smaller sections plastics/fibreglass.

I was thinking of leaving all the panels/tank/mudguard (Maybe the front forks too if you rekon there a nightmare) to be done by a professional. All the smaller parts though I'll do myself as I wont be too worried about a perfect finish on them

@Beresford wrote:I got a nice effect on the fork sliders by going over them with a mild abrasive buffing wheel in an electric drill and then coating with 'Diamond Hard' gloss clear floor varnish. It is tough stuff and durable. The end result is a reasonable imitation of the original factory finish.

Hmm and they look pretty similar to what came out of the factory ? The front forks on mine have one or two crevices taken out of them although there not to bad and there on the inside so not really noticeable (ill get a pic over the weekend) Do you have a pic of your finished forks ?
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by jerryfudd on Fri 19 Dec 2014, 1:52 pm

noooooooooooo don't ask! - in all seriousness I do have a spreadsheet detailing every nut, screw, bolt & fairing I've bought and why i.e. damage repair, rebuild costs or just because I wanted to tart it up lol Embarassed
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Ayrton F
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Ayrton F on Fri 19 Dec 2014, 2:31 pm

Okay so I better start throwing up some pictures before you all start chasing me with pitchforks and torches! 

Anyway's the pictures below are taken over the past few days. Ill try in the future to make a post for each day, just to make things a bit easier and provide a day-by-day structure to the blog!

So to start with, here is the bike as is.





I should've gotta a few shots from different angles but we had it tucked in against the wall because space is pretty limited in the garage at the moment.

So as I mentioned earlier we had decided to tackle the front end first. There was some serious wobble from the front forks. So I began by taking off the clocks, then just worked my way down from there. It was easy enough as I had literally only done the same thing to my CB250 a few days ago when I had to replace the headlamp bracket because of a crash I had had a few months ago. The clocks and mudguard were cable-tied on because the previous owner hadnt been arsed to get SuperFour parts to go with the forks. I took a video or two just to make sure I knew where each wire was going. The picture below is off the choke cable.



Here is a picture with the front end completely off. I have to say the bike looked a lot better without it haha.



As mentioned earlier there was some serious wobbling going on with the front forks. We thought it could be the bearings but after looking at at the bottom yoke/steering stem we soon realised that the previous owner had actually used a disk grinder of some sorts to modify the steering stem to get it to fit into the frame. You can see it on the picture, the shiner metal is where he ground it down. Very very messy finish with no care taken. Not really sure how he rode it every day to be honest.



So with the whole thing stripped we started looking at what parts we were going to replace. The steering stem seems to be the only major component at the moment but I am also thinking about replacing the front axle bolt as there is the tinniest bit of wear on it where the bearings sit. I'm going to need a Superfour mudguard to fit the forks. The clocks were in good nick so were thinking of just making a bracket to make them fit the forks properly. While I'm waiting for the new parts I decided to start cleaning some of the stuff we took off. Here is a few pictures of the parts I've cleaned so far.




I couldn't believe the difference in the front forks after a few minutes of elbow grease and de-greaser. I removed the sticker using a hair-dryer and a sharp knife.

Here is the front wheel. I've tried using WD40, de-greaser and just some old fashioned hot water and fairy washing up liquid but nothing seems to be shifting the dirt. You guys have any suggestions ? Im pretty sure the wheel is supposed to have a boltgun metal finish so it may just be that the wheel isnt supposed to look brand new and shiny. either way ill be repainting them.



I found the Radiator grill in a box of spare parts that was given to me with the bike so I also cleaned that up and just got rid of all the built up crap that was stuck between the fins.



Next I moved onto cleaning up the headlamp. It was only minor rust so I used a sheet of tinfoil with some water to take that off easily enough. There are a few blotches though (as you can see in the last pictures) that I just cant seem to shift. I'm not sure what they are. It doesn't appear to be rust as I went over them a few times with the tinfoil and nothing happened. Perhaps it could've been some brake fluid or petrol that was spilled on them by mistake ? I'm happy with how the headlamp turned out besides these and will defiantly be sticking it back on.










I gave the front axle a pretty good clean too, using just hot water and washing up liquid.




Finally! Here is the real reason I wanted to keep the Superfour front. 



Two discs on the front sounds pretty good to me. I'm pretty sure we have another calliper in the box of parts so Ill have to find it and give both of them a good servicing. Ill be taking more pictures once I get to that stage.

Yeh so that's pretty much it at the moment with regards to work done.  

My dad picked up a right hand side footrest assembly along with rear brakelever the other day on Ebay. It was the only one he has seen so far and we paid nearly 51 euros for it so its a bit pricey.

Im in contact with a guy from Ireland who is breaking a Superfour at the moment so Im going to try and pick up the axle and mudguard off that before Christmas rolls around the corner. He also has a CB500 seat and side stand which I need as well.

Let me know what you guys think! Both with the work being done and the layout of the post. Anything I can do to make it more read-able or anything youd like to hear/see more about please let me know! Thanks!
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Ayrton F
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Ayrton F on Fri 19 Dec 2014, 2:32 pm

@jerryfudd wrote:noooooooooooo don't ask! - in all seriousness I do have a spreadsheet detailing every nut, screw, bolt & fairing I've bought and why i.e. damage repair, rebuild costs or just because I wanted to tart it up lol Embarassed

Hmm! Might be an idea for me to keep a similar log. As I said, were not going to replace everything thats on it, just whats broken. Anything that can be salvaged and serviced will be!
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Basil Moss on Fri 19 Dec 2014, 4:25 pm

Wow. I must say this is a noble project.

I was looking at your photos thinking how much fun it would be to turn it into a "rat" like the one from that Brazilian CB500 group. Certainly would keep cosmetic costs at zero, since any cosmetic work would be done using scrap odds & ends, and would allow you to focus financial resources on the engine, and getting that running as sweet as it can.
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Ayrton F
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Ayrton F on Sat 20 Dec 2014, 3:47 am

@Basil Moss wrote:Wow. I must say this is a noble project.

I was looking at your photos thinking how much fun it would be to turn it into a "rat" like the one from that Brazilian CB500 group. Certainly would keep cosmetic costs at zero, since any cosmetic work would be done using scrap odds & ends, and would allow you to focus financial resources on the engine, and getting that running as sweet as it can.

Was that the black, kinda of mad Maxey looking one that was up the other day ? Yeh there pretty nice looking! That one looked the bomb now that I think of it. I dunnk I love the look of the rat bikes but I'm not sure if I'd ride one if that makes sense ?
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Beresford on Sat 20 Dec 2014, 2:36 pm

@Ayrton F wrote:Hmm and they look pretty similar to what came out of the factory ? The front forks on mine have one or two crevices taken out of them although there not to bad and there on the inside so not really noticeable (ill get a pic over the weekend) Do you have a pic of your finished forks ?
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by jerryfudd on Sat 20 Dec 2014, 3:35 pm

Likewise on the Rat bike, they look the part but don't think I could bring myself to own one


Last edited by jerryfudd on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 7:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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badseeds
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by badseeds on Sat 20 Dec 2014, 11:44 pm

Those forks look spanking gorgeous!
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Ayrton F
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Ayrton F on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 6:35 pm

@Beresford wrote:

Wow they look pretty good man. How is the finish holding up ? Easy to keep clean ?
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by eternally_troubled on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 11:00 pm

.... I've tried using WD40, de-greaser and just some old fashioned hot water and fairy washing up liquid but nothing seems to be shifting the dirt. You guys have any suggestions ? Im pretty sure the wheel is supposed to have a boltgun metal finish so it may just be that the wheel isnt supposed to look brand new and shiny. either way ill be repainting them.

No particular suggestions, other than more elbow grease!

I think you are probably right: I suspect that the wheel had some kind of textured finish originally.

About the twin disc thing: yes, it might well increase the total amount of braking available however you might not notice the difference (over the standard setup) as the standard setup is more than capable of locking up the front wheel in most circumstances. The downside is that twin-discs increase the weight...

Anyway, it is what you have got, so I'm sure it will be fine :)

Good luck with the rest of it!
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Alvi on Mon 22 Dec 2014, 7:30 pm

I polished up the forks on my previous CB500 to a reasonable with wet & dry paper, working up to 1200 grit then a polish with autosol. I tried the same with my current bike, but the castings weren't as good. I've found this before on my 2 Superdreams - one pair polished up, the others were too rough to get a good finish by hand. I ended up painting them with silver wheel paint & lacquering over that with Autotek gloss lacquer. That was about 2 years ago & they still look ok, so I've done my CB500 the same.
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Ayrton F
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Ayrton F on Tue 07 Apr 2015, 1:02 pm

Wow ... It feels like its been months since I've posted on this. Oh wait ... Anyways my apologies! I've been bogged down with college work and just work in general. The cold winter nights didn't help at all. Now that the sun is finally starting to shine though I can feel a lot of progress heading my way!

A quick update (with pics to follow tonight).

Swapping the front end has caused me more trouble than I care to think about. Its so much more work than I had expected, but the majority of it is done now and it just needs a couple more bits and bobs to finish it up. In the end we had to replace the steering stem off the SF bottom yoke with the CB500 steering stem. This was press fitted then welded into place! Now the SF forks fit perfectly onto the CB500 frame! As its a new front end none of the original CB500 parts fit it (clocks, headlight etc). 

We are thinking about getting some sort of streefighter headlight kit which actually clips onto the forks. For the clocks then we will probably end up making some sort of bracket to mount it so we dont have to go messing with electrical connections.

Last week my dad picked up a CB500S for around €300. Its actually in better condition than the original so we are thinking of using the original 500 as parts and actually transferring all of our new parts onto the 500s. The only problem with the 500s is that there is no compression in the engine. But we have a total of three engines so last night we started to remove the engine from the S-model. Of course we hit a road block when we got to the notourious engine mounting bolt. 

The plan for tonight is to drill the bolt out. After reading how much time some people have spent trying to work it free I think its the best option! 

Will post a few pics of the front end and the 500s tonight!

Its good to be back!
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by eternally_troubled on Tue 07 Apr 2015, 2:26 pm

Good luck with the engine bolt, it is hard work. You need to buy a good set of sharp, hard drills and be prepared to blunt them.

Sounds like you have enough engines/bikes to manage to make at least one that works!

Once you've got a bike to ride you could take the 'broken' engine apart and try and fix it Smile
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Ayrton F
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Ayrton F on Tue 07 Apr 2015, 2:29 pm

@eternally_troubled wrote:Good luck with the engine bolt, it is hard work.  You need to buy a good set of sharp, hard drills and be prepared to blunt them.

Sounds like you have enough engines/bikes to manage to make at least one that works!

Once you've got a bike to ride you could take the 'broken' engine apart and try and fix it Smile

My dad has an abundance of knowledge when it comes to this sort of stuff so I know he will pick up the right bits! I think while he is drilling the bolt tonight I will be replacing the fork seals off the CB500S front end (we are going to use the stock front end until we have the SF front end completely finished).

Yup I think between the three engines we can at least make one good one! 

I cant even describe how eager I am to get it on the road haha. The CB250 nighthawk is just not doing it for me anymore! I need some more power!
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by Ayrton F on Wed 08 Apr 2015, 4:30 pm

So last night we went at the infamous engine mounting bolt. Well he did ... I held a torch and sprayed the odd bit of cutting fluid while he slowly but surly drilled his way through it! 

It began by drilling a small pilot hole either side. The first one went in no problem but the second went a bit off centre and eventually bit into the aluminium. Luckily my dad realised straight away and stopped so it didnt go too deep at all. Next we widened the holes up a bit using a larger drill bit. We then cut the bolt in the middle using a cutting wheel to ensure we were only dealing with one side at a time. The right side came out easy enough we didnt even have to fully drill it. My dad had noticed it move slight so just start hitting it with a drift + hammer. A few whacks later and it fell to the ground. The otherside was a little bit more tricky. As there was a Nut on the end of it we used a 1/2" socket and a power bar to get it turning. Once we had it spinning we knew it was only a matter of time before the thing came loose or snapped (which wouldn't have been to bad as we could've just kept drilling)!! Eventually just like the first one we got the drift and the hammer at it and knocked it out!

Its some amount of work for 1 bolt!!!

So the plan for tonight is to finish removing the old engine (that has no compression) and try to get one of the other engines turning over. Once it turns well throw it into the bike, connect up the sparks and fuel and then hopefully we will have some combustion! Smile We just want to hear the sound of it before we commit to using it.

I don't want to have to drill one of those bolts out again so any advice people have would be welcome!

My dad reckons if we get some sort of mudguard extension, combined with a lot of grease on the bolt, and regular maintenance (taking it on and off again every month or so) it should be grand.

Few pics from last night as well! (I was working on removing the old engine while he worked on the mounting bolt for the replacement)

[img=(200px,300px)]http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif[/img]


I removed the radiator and all its hosing. Just took extra care this time as the first time I had tried removing it I had snapped one of the bolts due to it overheating.

[img=(200px,300px)]http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif[/img]

Removed the gear selector, chain and front sprocket! Again easy enough just taking my time with any stiff bolts, only turning maybe a 1/2 turn before leaving it for a minute or two before going back at it! Dunno if people have used them before that blue torch stuck to the frame is probably the best €6 I've spent in a while! Super bright LED lights, magnetic strip to hold it in place, can clip onto your overalls if needed and it can rotate ! Ideal if your working anywhere with poor lighting! 

[img=(200px,300px)]http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif[/img]

Disconnected the airbox from the carbs and removed the hosing and spark plug sockets above the engine. Let go of the clutch cable and a few other cables!

Not sure why my picture links arnt showing as they are coming up in the preview ? Maybe a mod can check it out for me thanks.
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Re: Front to Back - Honda CB500

Post by eternally_troubled on Thu 09 Apr 2015, 2:23 pm

Excellent - you bike looks in as much of a state as mine Smile

Well done on getting the bolt out, it is a pain in the backside.

Yes, a mudguard extension will help, combined with a mud-flap (like on the lorries) on the bottom should stop the worst of it hitting that area.


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