76 500/550 Project

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by riverfever, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,128
    Location:
    Tennessee
    You are doing an awesome job! I can't wait to see the finished product. Being a school teacher, you must be busy. How do you find the time?
    #21
  2. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Thanks very much. My job is incredibly busy and most nights I'm at school until 6 so I don't get a whole lot done on the project during the week but do find time on the weekends to get into the garage. I did manage to run down to our metals classroom right after school to add a little tab to the plate relocation bracket so that if the one bolt holding it on comes loose the bracket and plate won't end up in the spokes. This only took about 20 minutes and then...time to make more donuts.

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    #22
  3. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    I decided to start working on this project again. Here's how things looked this morning. Kind of a catastrophe.

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    I got new gauges from Dime City Cycles. These will be a lot nicer than the big green stock ones.

    Because these gauges are smaller, I had to re-work the ignition plate that I made a while ago. Looks better this way. Eventually I will paint it.

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    I got the gauges wired up and they seem to be fine. I don't have turn signals right now so I capped the wire for that led.

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    I aso ordered a left side control because the previous owner stripped this bike pretty well. I was going to drill the bars and run the wires through it but the harness is rather big and I didn't think it would be all that safe.

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    Wiring up this switch has been a pain. I do have a diagram for the 550 and I have a diagram for the switch but things are still a bit unclear for me. This is the diagram on the package.

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    When I got the bike, the headlight would turn on with the key but I did not have a hi beam. I got the horn mounted and wired up (that was easy). It doesn't work yet but I think that's because the switch itself doesn't have power yet. I have no clue what T/S main wire means (#5). Maybe this is the wire that powers the entire switch? I also have no clue what the H/L (headlight?) main wire would connect to. Coming off the headlight is just a low beam wire, hi beam wire, and a ground. Parking light? Can I assume that I don't have these because I don't have blinkers? That leaves the kill switch main and ground which I really don't care about hooking up as I'm fine with just turning off the key. Can anyone be of help here?
    #23
  4. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave blame Reaver...

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    594
    Location:
    Drumbo, Ontario, Canada
    T/S Main would typically be connected to the wire from the flasher relay.
    H/L Main would be from the headlight fuse, and this provides power to either the low or high beam depending on the switch position.
    Kill switch may be required for your local safety inspection. It usually also kills the electric start and may cause you grief if not hooked up. Good idea to connect it up now while you are there.

    You are making great progress, keep at it and you will be riding soon! :clap
    #24
  5. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    OK...I do see a gray wire in the headlight bucket that comes from the turn signal relay that has nothing connected to it which makes sense but since I don't have turn signals yet I'll just sit on it.

    I'm confused on the H/L main though. Both wires at the fuse that controls the HL are red and there is nothing red in the headlight bucket. This is frustrating.
    #25
  6. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    And I just realized you were 16VGTI. One of my favorite motors. My brother and I had an N/A one set up with SDS EFI. That thing was silly. And we had it in a 4 door Golf.
    #26
  7. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Well I finally got most of the wiring figured out. All that's left is to run wires for the turn signals and figure out how to wire the kill switch. I also need to remove the left side cover and verify that the wire for the oil pressure sensor is connected. I think the sensor is bad though. Next up is repairing all of the wiring harness and then re-wrapping it.

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    #27
  8. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Been a while since I updated this thread.

    Here is the tank after a lot of work.

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    Bikes been sitting a while but the other day I went in the garage and turned the key on and had nothing. No lights at all. Motor wouldn't crank. After some looking, it appeared to be a bad battery. I installed a new Yuasa and it fixed the problem. I also got more Works toilet bowl cleaner, acetone and denatured alcohol. Hopefully this weaken I'll get the inside of the tank cleaned again and then I'll line it with Red Kote. Hope to paint soon.

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    #28
  9. baldman1

    baldman1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Oddometer:
    276
    I like it, what brand and where did you get those gauges, really like them too.
    #29
  10. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    After a lot of looking I finally found a decent set of fender struts and jumped on them. They showed up today. I love the way they transformed the front end. I had considered bobbing the fender but really didn't want to. I dig it.

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    Baldman...the gauges are from Dime City Cycles.
    #30
  11. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Today I cleaned out the inside of the gas tank in preparation for Red Kote liner. This is the second time I've done this job. The first time I used two boxes of drywall screws before going with chemicals and it did a wonderful job. There was only minimal flash rust this time so I went straight to The Works toilet bowl cleaner and several gallons of hot water. I corked both holes and let it sit for an hour while periodically swishing it around. Drained that out and rinsed it with soap and water then blew it out with air. Added several pints of denatured alcohol and worked it around and then blew it all out. Finally, I carefully added several pints of acetone and swished that around and blew it out. Now the tank will sit for 5 hours or so and really dry out before I line it.
    #31
  12. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Been staying busy with this project. I was able to track down an alternator cover that had 2 small scratches in it so I've been sanding on it and it will replace my destroyed one. I did some repairs to my stock side covers and got them primed. They still need a bit of sanding but they look much better. I'm pretty sure I have some weak spark issues right now so I have Dyna coils, wires, and NGK caps on the way. Hopefully this will cure the problem and make the motor run a bit more lean as it's still pretty rich. Here's the bike as of today.

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    #32
  13. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Figured I would update this. After installing Dyna coils, new wires, and fresh plugs the motor was running great. It last about two weeks and then I started losing power. Cylinder 4 went dead. I finally traced it back to the points. I'm having a real hard time locating genuine Honda points but now I'm leaning towards just going with Dyna electronic ignition because this is not a bike that I'll flip. I may have to leave town for business soon so I'm holding off ordering so I can think about it so the bike's gonna sit for bit now. In the meantime I started working on the stator cover. Mine was in horrible condition and was not something that was going to be able to salvage. I was able to find one on the east coast that had a few scratches on it. Here is mine.

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    Here's the replacement after a bit of work on the worst scratches.

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    Here's where it is after a few more hours today. I've lost count of the hours of sanding on this piece. At some point I will take this piece and the left side cover and put it to a buffing wheel and see if I can't get it better.

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    #33
  14. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Really makes the rest of the motor look like shite.
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    #34
  15. icekube1

    icekube1 Middle aged git

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,868
    Location:
    Can'tberra, Australia
    Nice work and a nice old bike :thumbup

    I hope you enjoy riding it; more so than your previous one.

    Oh, and post more pics please :deal
    #35
  16. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Thank you. I've definitely done things differently (smarter) this time around. I took a 2 day safety class. I haven't ridden this any more than around the neighborhood yet. My new helmet showed up today.

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    #36
  17. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    I don't know that I've shared this before but I think one of the reasons that this experience has been so different (and more positive) than the last motorcycle experience is because, unlike then, I can't really ride a bicycle any longer. I mean I can ride but I'm used to doing long distance, self-supported rides. That's what I can't really do any longer. I don't have much interest in riding for an hour or two. I want to ride for 10 hours. Or 20 hours. For a week straight. So...this experience has been different because I'm hoping that maybe I can do similar adventures with this machine.

    One of the things I've been thinking about lately is how to carry gear. One thing I've learned through years and years of self-supported bike packing is that I do not need much to be comfortable. I use a very minimal bivy, bag, and pad and can be quite comfortable to 32 degrees. So recently I've been trying to think about how to carry gear. I've thought of using ammo cans, or old hard cases but just wasn't thrilled with the idea. The other night at dinner I came up with an idea and sketched it. Here it is.

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    My idea is to use 1/4" steel rod and bend it and then weld it together with cross braces. These will mount to the sides of the bike and cradle sea to summit waterproof bags. Once the bags are installed and lashed down, you'll never even see the framework and they'll be easy to remove.
    #37
  18. jellycow

    jellycow Back on track!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,019
    Location:
    South side of the Netherlands
    I have no idea where you are located, but since you drew your bike laded with travel gear om an yellowstone map you'll have no choice but to make a trip to visit it. And as always: pics or it didn't happen!
    But first get a round tire and stay on the small roads, this one tire is square.
    #38
  19. lesman

    lesman Live easy, Brake Hard

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    I had a cb500 in 1975 or 1976. So many Hondas ago. There were guys converting GM points/plates to Hondas back then. The GM points were cheap and superior to Honda points. I've read of a few people running a relay or a dual relay setup to their points. You get full 12 volts to the coils.

    Two "cheap" and easy alternatives.



    Best Regards,
    Les
    #39
  20. riverfever

    riverfever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Thanks gents. I have to leave town for a bit but Dyna ignition is getting installed when I return so I won't have to deal with the points any more.

    I live in a small town in Colorado just under 9,000'. I'm hoping the altitude doesn't make this bike a bear to get jetted properly. In the end I will likely take it somewhere and have it tuned by someone who knows what they're doing. I hope to be able to do some mild touring with this bike once it's more reliable. Tires get put on after I get back as well. Bike should be in decent shape after that.
    #40