Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Honda CB500F Rebuild Part 4 - Teardown, Gathering Parts, And Modifications

I left the bike in the back of a friend's garage for over a year before revisiting it. At this point, she was a complete mess. The original rebuild was nearly a decade old and had not held up well. Because of my low budget and inexperience in high school, many worn-out parts had been reused or poorly fixed. Ignoring the wrecked engine, the rest of the bike was almost unusable.

The rattle-can paint had flaked and the entire frame required a full repaint. The seat foam and cover were disintegrating, many parts were rusting, the charging circuit barely worked, the suspension bushings were worn....the list was endless. Basically every piece needed attention.

The first step was a complete nut-and-bolt teardown, inspection, and locating the major replacement pieces.

At this time, I decided that the original engine was beyond saving, so I began looking for replacements. The CB650 SOHC from the early 80's was the final evolution of the orignal 1971 CB500 block, and used identical dimensions and bolt patterns, so I decided to upgrade the power and reliability, rather than returning to stock. I was finally able to locate a replacement engine in western Maryland, and road-tripped with my grandfather to recover it.

The CB650 engine will "just" fit into an unmodified CB500 frame, but the underside of the frame backbone needs to be slightly shaved in order to remove the middle valve cover for maintenance.

Finally, I had the frame stripped and professionally powder-coated, and could begin reassembly.

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