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Author Topic: Help the new guy build a LSR Honda CB550f!  (Read 4771 times)
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wobblywalrus
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« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2011, 01:09:25 AM »

Trevor, it was experience with those old Hondas that taught me to pay attention to valve spring tension.  A strong spring will make the rocker follow the cam and the valve will close gently.  The rocker will not follow the cam if the spring is weak and the valve will slam shut.  Eventually something will break.  Excessive heat will partially anneal a spring and make it weak.  I carefully checked the springs during every tear down.  I still do on all engines I take apart.

Our shop bought big barrels of 20-50 Castrol GTX mineral oil.  It went into all of the Hondas.  We did not have any oil related troubles with the street and dirt bikes, with two exceptions.  A couple of fellows ran the Honda 350 fours as production road racers.  There were a lot of problems with the top ends.  Cams, rockers, and cam bearings as I remember.  The problems went away when we tried synthetic oil.  An expert with engines and oils helped us figure this out.  One thing he mentioned was to use a thinner oil.  He said the engines would run cooler.  His reasoning was that there is less heat producing internal shear in the oil as it is moves about and there is greater oil flow to carry heat away from critical parts.  We switched from 20-50 to 10-40 or 20-40.  This was a long time ago and I do not remember exactly.  This is something I do to this day.  I avoid excessively thick oils.

Synthetics are not all equivalent, I learned the expensive way.  The oil in a Honda needs to have an additive package for the transmission gears and minerals to keep the cams in good shape such as zinc and phosphorous.  A lot of car synthetics do not have these additives.  An oil made for motorcycles with integral transmissions is best.  Those Hondas worked well after we figured out their quirks. 
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kerncountykid
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« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2011, 08:54:31 PM »

Didn't wan't anyone to think I fell off the map. I have a blog....

kerncountykid.blogspot.com

... that covers about the first year with my travel bike Dee Dee. There was another whole cross country trip and thousands of miles through the south. That bike was stolen a couple weeks ago and it has grinded the bonnie bike to a halt. No racing on the salt with my grandpa this year, no cross country trip. Can't even get around as I don't have a car during the day. I'll come back to this in a couple months when I find a replacement (not that that is really possible) and begin duplicating all the custom travel items I had on Deed's. Thanks for all the help so far.
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wobblywalrus
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« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2011, 12:53:05 AM »

Sorry to hear this.  I was in the same situation at 27.  I had my bike that was all.  Hopefully you will get some nice street wheels soon.
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