Motorcycle Repair/1976 cb 550


firing order for 1976 cb 550 and 2&4 are firing but 1&3 are not

It sounds like you have the wrong wires on the plugs, for starters.

Coils fire both plugs at the same time, one coil for 1-4 cylinders and one coil for 2-3 cylinders.

Test the coils for primary winding resistance... somewhere about 4.5 ohms, both coil sets should be very close to the same readings.

After that, test the spark plug caps for about 5k ohm resistance. Make sure that the caps are screwed into the plug wires tightly.

Clean and adjust the point contacts so they have about .014"-.016" gap, then set the backing plates so the 1-4 points just open at the 1-4 F mark and the 2-3 points open at the 2-3 F mark. Best to check full spark advance using a dynamic automotive timing light when the engine is revved up to about 3k rpms.

If you see any excessive point arcing, then the condenser for that set of points may be failing.

Always start testing with a fully-charged, load tested 12v battery.

Bill Silver

Motorcycle Repair

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Bill Silver


Need help with vintage Hondas from the 1960s? I am an expert with 250-305cc bikes in particular and most all of the other pre-91 models, in general. I do NOT claim to have a great deal of experience on Gold Wings, Cruisers, ATC/ATVs and dirt bikes.


I have owned/ridden/maintained Honda motorcycles for 35 years. I have written five books on Honda repairs and collecting. I was a service manager for two Honda shops back in the 1980s.

VJMC (Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club) of North America

VJMC newsletter, as editor for two years and as contributing editor currently.

3 years auto shop in high school, teacher's aide in Automotive Technology in Jr. College, Diesel mechanic course in college, self-taught mechanic and automotive writer.

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