To prepare for your cam chain and valve adjustments: remove the spark plugs, gas tank, tappet (valve) covers, and points cover. As this instructional goes on it is important to know how the cylinders are numbered so you can better understand these tips, the instructional video, and the Honda service manual. Please refer to the photo below:
Cam Chain Adjustment
The cam chain tension is the second standard tune-up procedure done every 1,500 m (2,400 km) on the CB500K and CB550 family of motorcycles. Adjust the cam chain tension by rotating the engine to just past top dead center on the compression stroke for cylinder #1. Once the engine is set in the correct location, find your cam chain tensioner adjustment screw and locknut. On the CB500K and CB550, it is under the carburetors on the cylinders. Loosen the locknut with a 10mm socket and back it off a few turns. The CB500K and CB550 adjustment screw is spring-loaded and will automatically find its tightest position. Retightened the locknut with your fingers and then, while holding the adjustment screw in its position with a flat head screwdriver, tighten the 10mm locknut with a wrench. Be sure to watch the video above for the complete instructions, tips, and tricks for making the adjustment.
Valve / Tappet Adjustment
Valve clearances are the 3rd task in your standard tune-up procedures on the CB500K and CB550 family of motorcycles. These need to be adjusted every 1,500 m (2,400 km) following your oil change, and cam chain adjustments. Over here at Common Motor Collective, when setting the valves we like to use what we call the overshoot method.
CB500K and CB550 Valve Clearances:
Intake - 0.05mm (0.002 in)
Exhaust - 0.08mm (0.003 in)
When setting the valves we use one size bigger on the feeler gauges to ensure the valves are not set too tight. Tight valves break parts, loose valves just make noise.
CB500K and CB550 Overshoot Method Values:
Intake - 0.08mm (0.003 in)
Exhaust - 0.10mm (0.004 in)
Be sure to watch our instructional video above for the complete instructions on setting your valve clearances including positioning your engine for adjusting the valves for each cylinder, utilizing the overshoot method, and rechecking your values to make sure your tappet adjustment screws are spot on.
Parts you may need:
CB500K / CB550 Valve Adjustment Screw
CB500K / CB550 Spark Plug Socket
Learn Your Other Standard Tune-Up Procedures:
How to change the oil and oil filter on the Honda CB500K and CB550
How to set the ignition timing on the Honda CB500K / CB550
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