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Old 05-07-2016, 01:34 PM
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Default CR500 Steelie update turned full restoration

     

Well, I'd have thought I would have learned my lesson after my 93 CR250 restore but apparently not. After realizing a couple weeks ago that buying Dogger's CR500 wasn't in my budget I decided I'd start looking for a steelie in decent shape that I could just update a little and then go have a some fun.

I found a real gem on craigslist. The ad stated that the motor was recently rebuilt and had less than 20 hours on it. They also said the bike needed NO work. Well...I guess that's a matter of opinion. How does a person ride a bike in this condition and think it's ok?? 3 big lessons this thing has taught me: 1. Any references to paddle tires in the ad is a bad sign. 2. If someone claims work has been performed, ask for receipts. 3. Whatever you think it will cost to restore these older bikes, just double it and then add a couple thousand bucks....haha.

Anyway, the deal is done and I've already started ordering parts which of course is a ridiculously huge list. I've got stuff on the way to completely rebuild the motor with everything that is worn or borderline. This included a new cylinder and wiseco piston. This one was bored 2mm over already, so yeah, I guess you could say it's had some work done.

I've never owned a 500 before so I'd love some feedback as to what you guys have done to yours to make them fun to ride. I'd love to go to the level dogger did but I think I'd better draw the line somewhere

I'm planning on keeping it as close to OEM as possible other than some minor performance upgrades like maybe a PWK and Vforce. The crank is still usable but I'm debating on sending it to crank works for balancing. Does it really make that big of difference? The end goal is to use the bike with a Timbersled in the winter and then more open trail riding in the summer.

I'm still trying to decide on which year of plastics/graphics to go with too. The bike is a 97 so I'm leaning toward maybe a McGrath 95 style? Feel free to post some pics of anything cool you've seen.




No mud guard is probably not a good sign


When started the bike up the pipe was rattling like crazy, maybe this is why.


"Aftermarket" engine mount bolts and plenty of sandy spooge on the front of the cylinder.



Up until I saw this I still just figured the previous owner just let bolts rattle loose. Once I pulled the pipe off and saw this I knew my budget just doubled.


Inside the air boot. Oh and BTW the filter had no oil on it.


The piston actually looked fairly new other than the exhaust side looking like this and the fact it was a 91mm. Any ideas what would cause this on the exhaust side? I would have figured the intake would be bad with all the sand.


Attention to detail.


That's all for now. I'll post some more after I spend some more money

Last edited by MtBiker14; 05-07-2016 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 05-07-2016, 02:09 PM
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JMV JMV is offline
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Looks like you have your work cut out for you there. I'd say the balancing is worth the money. Also, doing a fork conversion is pretty easy and worth the effort as well. Guess it just depends on your budget. I've been getting the cylinders plated to maintain the bore size so the balance doesn't get thrown off with a bore later. They can plate right onto the sleeve. I guess it's not as durable as plating straight onto aluminum but having an aluminum sleeve pressed in is pretty expensive.
Edit: Allot of people talk about tossing the PJ carb for a PWK. I'd say if it's running fine with the PJ, I'd spend that $200 elsewhere. I have 2 running on PJ's and 2 running on PWKs and I can't honestly say that the PJ carbed bikes run significantly worse and vice versa.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:51 AM
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Should be a fun project. I would get the crank balanced for sure, makes a noticeable difference. I would love to see a McGrath 500! That would be awesome. Looking forward to following this as mine gets closer to being completed.
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Old 05-08-2016, 11:20 AM
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Thanks for the input guys. JMV, I had talked to millennium about plating the stock cylinder but I wasn't sure how much it would help the durability. Good to hear you have some experience with it. Sounds like a good idea. Same with the balancing. Is crankworks still a good place to send the crank?

As for the carb, maybe I'll keep the PJ for now and see how it runs since its an easy thing to change later. Would you mind posting your jetting at some point so I have some baseline?

Bulldog, I can't wait to see your bike completed. All those teaser pics are killing me ;P

Last edited by MtBiker14; 05-09-2016 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:46 AM
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The jetting for my PJs will be different because they are older, 85 and 87. FMF has good starting points on their website you can use.
Rider Support - Jetting Center - FMF Racing
I have had all my stuff done at crankworks. I haven't had great experiences the last few times though, having to send stuff back and very long lead times. A few guys have mentioned using this place:
Home
But I don't have any experience with them. Happy to help with any other questions. I've done a few of these now.
JMV
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:58 AM
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That exhaust side scuffing is probably because the bridge in the cylinder wasn't relieved properly.
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:39 PM
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I had my Cylinder done at Millenium per Doggers suggestion and it came out great.
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:16 PM
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A couple more surprises when I was cleaning the cases today. Both the countershaft and shift drum bearings in the right side case pushed out by hand relatively easily. All the others needed heat to come out.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Both the left countershaft and main shaft bearing seats are chewed up a bit. Maybe from sand or vibration, I'm not really sure.




At this point, I'm a little nervous about using these cases as the engine has obviously had some abuse. I think I could clean up the left bearing seats and use a punch and a little jb weld to keep the right side bearings tight but I'm curious to know what you guys think. Maybe they'll be fine, maybe they won't.

Since the Left case is NLA, I'll have to resort to ebay which of course is a coin flip at best for finding anything in better condition.
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Old 05-12-2016, 05:53 AM
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I would knurl the inside with a punch and use high temp silicone instead of jb weld. You would be surprised at the holding power of the silicone. Plus, it's easier to clean off than the jb weld.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:52 AM
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I would just use some of the green colored Lock-Tite to help keep the bearings in place, it's designed specifically for that purpose.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:36 AM
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+1 on the loctite.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:09 AM
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That model CR 500 is a blast, probably the most fun to ride of all the CRs, IMHO. I raced one for several years, they are just a hoot to ride just be careful with the "whiskey throttle."

I just checked, East Toledo Honda has a new oem cylinder for your bike for $365.00.
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Old 05-12-2016, 05:40 PM
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Bearing spin is a common problem with 500 cases. The Loctite
bearing retainer is a good solution as others have suggested. If
you go to the Loctite website, you will see they market several
"colors" of the retainer ranging from mild to permanent. Stay
away from the more extreme grades (and "fixes" like JB Weld),
because they truly are permanent and you are going to have
to replace these bearings again at some point in the future.

You don't have much of a choice except to fix what you have in
this situation. Buying brand new cases from Honda (if that was
still possible), would net you brand new spinning bearings. I
have had to remove the bearings from many new cases and
Loctite them. What's more important here is checking the
cases for cracks. Check the area around the CS bearing on the
Right side case and radiating outward from there. If it's not
cracked, consider yourself lucky, especially on an abused
engine like you have there. There are a couple of ways to NDI
the cases. I use a specially designed aerosol that seeks cracks
and then highlights them under a black light. Kits are available
from aircraft supply stores. Another is to immerse the cases in
oil overnight, remove and clean them in a solvent bath, then
dry with compressed air. Then place the "clean" case in an
oven at 350 degrees for an hour. If there are any cracks, the
oil will find them and soak in. The oven will outgas the oil and
the cracks will become evident as smoke sources.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:53 PM
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Thanks guys! Sounds like I'll give some loctite bearing retainer a shot and just clean up those other seats a bit. I've got a massive OEM parts order on the way, but if anyone know's where I can get some medication for my OCD I'd love to find some

I've sent the crank and piston off to crankworks for balancing too so we'll see if they can stick to their 1-2 week turnaround they quoted me. I'm still on the fence about getting the new stock cylinder plated since they are still available and relatively inexpensive. How many hours do you think I can get out of a new unplated cylinder before having to get it bored? Conservatively, since I know there are a ton of variables.

Dogger, thanks for the reminder about the NDI to check for cracks. I remembered reading about you having that issue in your 500 build so I actually ordered that aerosol kit last week. Still waiting for it to show up.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:19 AM
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Since you already sent your piston to crankworks, you are going to want to use that piston regardless of what cylinder option you choose. Hope you didn't send them a 2 over piston and decide you are going to run a new, 89mm bore. That totally negates the purpose of the balancing.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:00 AM
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Haha, nope, I sent in a brand new 89mm wiseco piston with the crank. That's why I was curious about the durability of the new stock cylinders, since I will want to stay with the same size piston every time I have to change one.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:27 AM
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So you are going to have to either buy a new cylinder or sleeve the one you have. you can run it unplated until it needs a bore, than plate at that time.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:11 PM
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Did a little pre-cautionary NDI using the Magnaflux Spotcheck on the cases last night per Dogger's suggestion. I think the suspicious areas look ok from what I can tell. I'll be testing the transmission gears today.


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Old 05-19-2016, 01:34 PM
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I'm pretty stoked about this. I've been working with Wes over at Throttle Jockey on some 95 era team Honda graphics. Those guys are awesome! He basically redesigned the layout to match the 250's and tweaked the red a bit to match the UFO fenders a little better. I'll be going with yellow number backgrounds too. Can't wait to see them in person.

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Old 10-20-2016, 02:13 PM
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Wow, apparently I got distracted for 5 months and didn't do much of anything on this project. Finally got motivated a couple weeks ago and built the engine.

I had ordered all new hardware, new cylinder, head and Wiseco piston, Hinson basket and a bunch of other stuff. Also had sent the crank off to crankworks to have it balanced. I vapor blasted the cases and even the new cylinder to smooth out the finish a little. The casting was really rough out of the box. I also cleaned up the ports a bit too. I ended up replacing several of the transmission gears and all the washers and clips just to be safe.

It feels good to finally make some progress with this thing.

The clutch basket was toast so I replaced with a Hinson.



Powder coated the side cover.



Rebuilt and balanced crank from Crankworks


Brand new cylinder and piston



All built up




Frame powder coated and ready to start bolting parts on
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