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1983 Honda vt500c Shadow
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Due to a screwup on a broken spark plug (see “broken plug/ helicoil screw up post) I’ll be replacing the rear cylinder head on my 83 vt500c. Just a few questions and if anyone has any tips or suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.

-Most of the used heads ive found are just the head. Can I just swap over my camshaft, rockers, valves etc?

-I’ll be replacing the head gasket but can I reuse the existing valve cover gasket?

- is there anything else in there that absolutely has to be replaced? I’m sure there’s some o rings or seals or bolts that could be replaced but availability seems questionable for those types of parts.

-will timing, valves or anything need to be adjusted after?
Thanks everyone
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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17,463 Posts
Follow the instructions in the manual for valve timing and adjustment.
Those don't have hydraulic lifters so that is simpler. The cams should be OK to use.
If the valve cover gasket is fairly new, you might use it, but you may have to take the cover off again if it leaks.

You can get the Honda manual here=
 

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'83 VT750C
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1,800 Posts
I’d just get the head or engine gasket ‘kit’. Wouldn’t hurt to have everything handy. If you’re hard up for cash, you could use something like PermaTex UltraBlack to make your own gaskets when reassembling. That engine has been together for almost forty years. Some things don’t like to be separated after that much time…
 

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1983 Honda vt500c Shadow
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Does anyone know if the rear cylinder is the same for an 84?
 

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1983 Honda vt500c Shadow
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I removed the engine and replaced the rear cylinder. I can’t believe how much has to come off the bike to get the engine out. The only thing left intact was the front wheel/forks. I now know my bike intimately... everything went back together without too many issues. Bike is running great! Here’s a few pics in case anyone else needs to take their vt500 apart
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Auto part Gas
Tire Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive tire Vehicle
Automotive tire Gear Motor vehicle Crankset Automotive design
 

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'83 VT750C
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1,800 Posts
Err… you didn’t have to remove the rear wheel. 😉 For the 750 it’s seat, tank, radiator, coolant and fuel lines and wiring... right-side coil, then right side subframe. Jack, engine bolts, pull/pivot, and success!

You want to get intimate with the bike? Do this SEVERAL times… 🤦‍♂️
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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4,118 Posts
Congratulations!
Glad it's back together and working well.
Thanks for the pictures, we like pics. (-;
 

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'97 Spirit 1100 - Chandler, AZ
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267 Posts
Very glad you have her back together and she's running well! Enjoy some good rides... you've definitely earned them! :cool:
 

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1983 Honda vt500c Shadow
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Err… you didn’t have to remove the rear wheel. 😉 For the 750 it’s seat, tank, radiator, coolant and fuel lines and wiring... right-side coil, then right side subframe. Jack, engine bolts, pull/pivot, and success!

You want to get intimate with the bike? Do this SEVERAL times… 🤦‍♂️
Could do it without removing rear wheel but the manual says to remove it so I followed. Did make it easier to line up the drive shaft and at least I know how everything comes apart.
 

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'83 VT750C
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1,800 Posts
Well, if the manual specified it, that’s usually the most efficient way. Didn’t think it was that much more ‘compact’ than the 750. An old friend of mine is selling his 500, but if I buy another bike, it’d be a current one, I think…
 
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