cb500t – engine rebuild – Part 3

2021 update – click here. Below is deprecated info…

Hey guys.
Here’s an update on my cb475 supersport build.

The engine is basically finished.
All that’s left is to put on my high polished engine covers and I’m putting in a new clutch.

I installed new valves seals.

Below pic –
I installed the rest of the cylinder head. I didn’t get to officially test the torsion bars. I used NOS for side B, and the two firmest ones I had out of about 6 possible for side A. It was overly apparent which were within spec and which weren’t based on preload tension. If you can push the valve open with your finger… it’s worn. If you don’t have to pre-load… it’s worn. I also polished the cam lobes and cam follower lobes with metal polish to ensure they’re super slick. It should prevent future wear issues I hope. And… assembly lube is your friend. Loctite everything. Axial cam clearance – check. Cylinder head done.

Installed new pistons. Rings positioned correctly. Slid the cylinders over.

~10.7 compression – 550cc – Boom

Below pic –
I hate a leaking head gasket. The absolute worst. It seems every jap bike head gasket will eventually leak oil. Indian-Head gasket stuff is supposed to be the best, so I used a thin coating on each side of my head gasket. Fucker better never leak or i’ll ride the bike off a cliff.

Engine all assembled. All torqued to spec. In time. Valve clearance done. All loctite’d. Turns over nice and tight and smooth. Also installed a new cam chain and cam chain tensioner.

Not related to the engine…
Devyn from Urban Cycle Works painted my side covers to match my NOS tank. They match damn near perfect. I’m pumped. The 450 is going to look sick as shit.

So –
I’m on the last stretch. This is what I have left. It’ll go quick:
– clean up my frame, and spot paint it
– put engine back in frame
– put on my polished engine covers
– install the new clutch kit
– install the electronic ignition
– polish up everything else that’s gross right now
– put on the new “used” awesome condition OEM mufflers
– put on the new “used” awesome condition OEM gauges
– probably fix and paint my headlight bucket
– clean my carbs again. Increase my main jet to a 150 or 155
– I have all new cables too and all that dumb little shit

12 responses to “cb500t – engine rebuild – Part 3”

  1. Richard says:

    Yeah, man. Your bike is going to be slick.

  2. Ron says:

    That paint set is ridiculous. I can’t wait to see how this bike turns out.

    Great work!

  3. Taylor says:

    Lurker from Phoenix,AZ here. Great work on that engine, looks like that bike is going to be clean and mean. I’m working on building a 550/650 hybrid at the moment. Picked up some 836cc pistons and gonna have the 650 block machined to accept 750 liners.

    Anyways… great work and keep it up. You guys are inspirational for this lone rider out here in Phoenix.

  4. ed says:

    thanks man.
    your build sounds rad too.

  5. poop says:

    @ed, great job, thanks for the info. were you able to find stiffer clutch springs for the 500t? if so, where? if not, is your clutch holding up to ask that, keeping its grab? thanks again for the info.

  6. ed says:

    I installed another set of new oem clutch springs and clutch plates that I bought from dime-city.
    It holds up well.

    Before the rebuild, the clutch used to slip a tiny bit at high-rpm and now it holds.
    Also… make sure you use actual motorcycle oil and not car oil. Car oil will contribute to the clutch slipping on a motorcycle.

    The engine now makes a tiny bit more power. I’m kind of about as fast as a cb550 four. Which is def faster than before.

  7. willie says:

    First of all….Nice work! I am currently working on a cb500T. I am rebuilding the engine….painting the case and polishing the end pieces. I tried putting the exhaust cam shaft in the head tonight and could not get the timing marks to line up. The intake side is alined perfectly. Any advice?

  8. Ed says:

    If I remember correctly it is a pain in the ass but I used a pair of channel locks to rotate the cam a little until the cam chain grabbed it and held it in the right place.

  9. Great website! I keep reading about how bad the stock CB500Ts vibrate above 60 mph. So is yours even worse? If so, could you get it balanced by drilling holes in the flywheel etc.?
    I am buying a 1976 CB500T with 11,000 miles. Supposedly runs well. I am in Western NY. Due to time constraints am wondering if you would be interested in doing my engine into a 550 cc just like yours. Except I don’t want 11 to 1 C.R. or more, a bit less for modern fuel and less vibration and less strain on the engine. (I will concentrate on the engine first, worry about new tank, seat, bars and mufflers later, or maybe leave it stock looking as a “sleeper”.) Could you provide a guesstimate of the price? I could bring the engine to you or ride the bike down and get a ride back in my car with a friend. P.S. Instead of that old school Indian Head gasket shellac, spray on modern copper based sealant. I guess the main obstacle is sourcing the 73 or 74 mm pistons?

  10. ed says:

    Mine vibrates the same as it always did.
    Sorry, I don’t work on other people’s bikes.
    You can do it yourself. It’s really not hard. It just takes time.

  11. steven says:

    Do you have an adress for piston ans rings 0.25/0.50 for cb 500 t 1974 . Thanks

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From Past

Published - May 19, 2011

Helmet Shirt & Tracker Racer Shirt

Get in contact with Devyn if you want to buy a shirt: Email Devyn HERE. click image for color If you want to get your hands on these, either come to RIDE TO SKATE or you can get whatever’s left over at our Thursday night rides. These prints are produced in the bowels of Kensington […]