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Old 11-10-2008, 06:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb DIY - Checking valve lash on '08+ 250r (WITH pictures)

I think most of the write-ups on checking the lash on the 250's are kind of weak and there are pretty much none for the 08+ 250r's... So here goes

Step 1 - First you need to remove the front fairings, gas tank (and consequently the seat)


Step 2 - Get your bearings and take a note of what you're dealing with:

The valve cover has to come off (which in itself isn't too complicated as only 4 bolts secure it). It's the crap around it that makes it a little more complicated to remove...

Step 3 -
Pull the spark plug boots

They can be a little tricky to get OUT and around the frame. Just be gentle and try to not rip them out. Simply set both boots out of the way... You don't HAVE to remove the spark plugs in this step (It's easier to wait actually). I don't have the Kleen-air system hooked up on my bike, but if you do on yours you need to move the hose. The one hose that connects in the middle of the valve cover is it and simply needs to be pulled and set aside.

Step 4 - Remove valve cover bolts

There are (4) 10mm perimeter bolts securing the valve cover. Remove them and try to get the washers underneath them out as well. Otherwise they'll fall off when you remove the valve cover and possibly get lost.

Step 5 - Now you need to LOOSEN the upper radiator hose and thermostat housing.

Start with the thermostat housing. There are (2) 8mm bolts (one has a grounding wire attached).

Step 6 - Remove the radiator cap mount.

The circled 10mm bolt should be removed freeing the radiator cap. I also point out that whenever you can try to hand thead removed fasteners so you don't lose them and know EXACTLY where they belong. That's why I circled the previously removed bolts from the thermostat housing. Notice how I put them BACK into the thermostat housing and simply hand threaded them? Don't be that person with a 'bolt bin' with random nuts, bolts, and washers.

Step 7 - Remove the radiator reservoir mount.


There should be a little more room between the thermostat housing and the frame to remove the 10mm bolt that the radiator reservoir mount attaches to. Remove that and the long 8mm bolt that goes through the radiator reservoir INTO the mount. The reservoir is now free to swing around.

Step 8 - Remove the engine support...

There are (2) 14mm bolts threading into matching 14mm nuts. The two in this picture go through the engine support and through the frame (for reference you can see they are RIGHT above the right side coil). I used a 14mm closed wrench and a 14mm socket wrench to remove these bastards. At the bottom of this mount is one more 14mm nut. THAT nut needs to be removed, but not the bolt. The bolt is a through-bolt that goes from one side of the from, through the engine mounts, out this side. So after you remove the nut simply PUSH the bolt about 2 inches in so that the support is free.

Step 9 -
Finish removing bolts attached to the support.

So let me break this picture down. The two side-by-side holes were the nuts/bolts I just removed. Where my hand is is the nut I removed and pushed the bolt in about 2". Above and below the radiator are 8mm bolts. Don't be confused by the picture. I removed them and HERE I've put them into the back of the bracket (again so I don't lose them). They aren't securing anything in this picture! Lastly make sure you pull the red and green wires from the coil...

Step 10 - Pull the engine support mount

GENTLY shimmy the support mount down. You should have to apply a little pressure to push the radiator forward to help this along. The mount should slide down and it along with the attached coil can safely be removed. I point out to exercise caution here. If you're careless you can easilly bend fins or even puncture the core on the radiator. That'd be bad

Step 11 - Remove valve cover.

The valve cover is kind of tricky to get out, but with a little loving will come up and out. Notice how the reservoir swings upward along with the hoses.

Step 12 - LOOSEN the spark plugs.

With a 5/8" spark plug socket loosen each of the spark plugs (It helps when you turn the engine over so that there is no compression present). You don't need to fully pull the plugs out, just loosen them and let them chill down there.

Step 13 - Remove inspection plugs.


It's noted on the faq at Ninja250.org to use a nickle on these plugs, but I had a silver dollar which works even better. It is NOT recommended to use a flat blade screwdriver as this can damage the little plastic covers.
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Step 14 - Check the lash!


The service manual says to turn the engine over (Putting a 14mm socket wrench on the crankshaft bolt that you removed the cover from accomplishes this) until you see (in the upper sight hole that you accessed in the last step) shows a "2|T" marking. This annoyed me as it's 'pretty' accurate, as you can check the intake/exhaust valves on a single cylinder in one step. This method doesn't garauntee the camshaft is perfectly closed IMO...

For absolute accuracy (you can kind of see it in the pictures above) I'd turn the engine until the lobes for that cylinders valves (on the camshaft) were pointing opposite the lifter. So for example in the cylinder above the camshaft lobe is opposite the lifter and I was able to check that and and lifter next to it (since there are 2 intake and 2 exhaust valves per cylinder). Stick the feeler gauge between the camshaft and the lifter and keep stepping up the thickness until you simply can't stick the feeler gauge between the two (If you're really having to force it, then that feeler gauge is TOO thick). Then write down the maximum thickness feeler gauge you could fit. Write each of these numbers down for EACH valve.

With the further cylinder it's hard to see the lobes of the camshaft as that side of the engine is obscurred by the timing chain and sprockets. To find each of those valves closed points you can look closely and see the lifters move. NOTE when the lifters are completely open (down) and take a look at the position of the camshaft ends. Then just turn the engine until the camshaft has turned 180 degrees. Then measure those two lifter's gaps . It might sound overly complicated, but once you SEE it for yourself it should make more sense. For an example here are my final results:

Exhaust valves (the camshaft at the front of the engine)
#1 = .0065" #2 = .0080" #3 = .0070" #4 = .0060"

Intake valves (the camshaft at the back of the engine closest to the carburetors)
#5 = .0095" #6 = .0070" #7 = .0075" #8 = .0080"

Edit: All the exhaust valves are below minimum tolerance

The MINIMUM spec for the exhaust valves is .0087" and the maximum .0114" . So only ONE valve was showing within the recommended tolerances.

As for the intake valves the specifications are a minimum of .0059" - .0094" . For the intakes every one was in spec (valve #5 was close enough ). I'll have to now remove the cam chain cover, cam chain, and cams to access the lifters. From here you have to measure each shim and find a new shim that brings you to the desired spec...


Once you're satisfied everything goes back together in reverse of how you took it apart. Take note that I recommend using blue loctite on all bolt threads and anti-sieze on the spark plugs.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice write up. But I'm pretty sure the clearances get smaller, not larger as the valve seats wear. As the seats wear thinner, it allows the valves stem to push closer to the camshaft reducing your clearance. So if Minimum spec for the exhaust valves is .0087", then you're already .002 under minimum spec. You could start burning the valves. Remember, as the valves heat up they expand, reducing the clearances even further.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Very nice, Vex. I'd been hoping you or Kelly would do a valve adjustment thread, since it's one of the more complicated-seeming proceedures for the 250R. I'm sure a lot of folks who would never attempt this in the past might just take a stab at it after seeing this. Takes a lot of the mystery out of a somewhat scary subject for some of us backyard mechanics. Of course I'd rep you if I could, but you know how that goes...
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yea, between you and Kkim... we wont need to buy th repair manual... you guys rock! Thanks and keep it up!!!
~And as always with y'alls great work... REP!
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you, sir! Awesome write up, as usual. Better you than me on this one. Looks like a bitch just to get in there and to get started.

I agree with Bluevitz-rs regarding the tight clearance... this best explains it off the web... and what I've known for years, but couldn't remember.

Valve Clearances: Differences between Excessive Clearance and Lack of Clearance

Two things can happen to a valve train as it wears. Either the seat can wear, causing the valve clearance to decrease, or the cam lobe or bucket can wear, causing clearance to increase.

In the former case, the clearance will eventually reach zero if left unattended, and then the valve will actually be held open slightly when it should be closed. This allows hot gases to swirl around the valve at all times, and prevents the heat transfer to the head that would occur if the valve was properly seated. Eventually the steel will burn, causing permanent and relatively expensive damage.

In the latter case, performance will be reduced slightly (not enough that you'll notice, since it happens gradually) but no permanent damage will be done. You MAY hear a slight ticking noise coming from the head, or you may not.


So, it sounds like all the high revving fun we've been having have pounded the valves harder onto the exhaust valve seats. Maybe you should consider shimming the valves for mid value? I don't think they were set tight from the factory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeX View Post
Exhaust valves (the camshaft at the front of the engine)
#1 = .0065" #2 = .0080" #3 = .0070" #4 = .0060"


The MINIMUM spec for the exhaust valves is .0087" and the maximum .0114" . So only ONE valve was showing within the recommended tolerances.
If what I'm reading is correct, none of your exhaust valves are within spec.


I'll be sure to rep you when the damn rep system lets me... that's 3 or 4 that I need to catch up with you on.

Good job, man!

Mahalo


ps- If anyone is considering doing this, or any of the other DIYs presented by people in the forum, please buy a service manual before you start. As detailed as we like to be doing these, you will need the manual for something not covered... and usually that will be late at night when no one is around. If your interest takes you this far into your bike, buy a manual. These DIYs are not meant to be a substitute for an accurate, definitive, technical reference.

pss- any chance of upping the size of your pics?? ... hard on the eyes for us old folk.

Last edited by kkim; 11-10-2008 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Holly crap.....I'm glad I bought an '06 250R instead of the new Gen. I just did my valve adjustment and it was way easier.....or at least it look's that way. All of mine were very tight .003 too tight. First adjustment was done at the dealership @ 500 miles. I did my 6000 mile adjustmen early @ 4800 miles. Now the bike runs like new also seemed to have a better power band across the board.
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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very nice write up. Well done.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluevitz-rs View Post
Nice write up. But I'm pretty sure the clearances get smaller, not larger as the valve seats wear. As the seats wear thinner, it allows the valves stem to push closer to the camshaft reducing your clearance. So if Minimum spec for the exhaust valves is .0087", then you're already .002 under minimum spec. You could start burning the valves. Remember, as the valves heat up they expand, reducing the clearances even further.
Damn, yeah I just read that. Nuts I'm used to adjusting the lash on car engines where the other is true. Looks like I'll be doing a write-up here sooner on shimming the valves on these . And yes NONE of the exhaust valves were in spec (all were below the minimum) so I'll be tackling this very soon.
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the post with pictures. But I'll have to say that looks like a real pain. I just finished checking and adjusting the 16 valves on my 1200 Bandit and it was WAY easier than the 250. I hate working in tight spaces with hoses etc in the way. Me thinks I'll let the dealer do my valve check and adjustment. Anyone know what they might charge?
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