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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright fellas,

I started working on this post on ZX Forums but would like to be as involved in the Kawi sport bike community as much as possible as thats how you learn and I'd like to help people out if I can so here it goes...

As promised I started the process of tearing my bike down to check/reshim my valves if needed as well as to install a new manual cam chain tensioner that showed up in the mail today. Some of you may have read posts I have put up the last few weeks but I have a pretty noticable tick coming from what I believe to be the head or the cam chain. Because I just bought the bike and it has about 10,000 miles on it I feel like the only way I will feel good about things is checking them myself. So here it goes...

Immediately ran into a problem. I have no garage to work in and I live on the second floor of an apartment building. So, me and a friend just carried the bike up the stairs and put it in the dining room.



I got a sheet of plywood to throw down on the floor to give me a nice hard working surface and threw a sheet of plastic underneath to catch any fluid spills. I rolled the edges up to make a square bowl shape in case things really go bad lol

After I got all that set up I started on getting the seat, tank, and all the plastics off.



Still dont have the tank off, had to leave to grab some grub but I'll be back in the shop...er...I mean dining room all night. More to come soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Came back from dinner and got back after it. Three bolts hold the tank on. Two up by the triple trees and one at the rear of the tank. took 'em all out, labeled 'em. You need to disconnect the tank vent line, just pull it off. Then peek around to the bottom of the tank with a little screw driver pry the red fuel line connector up to release the fuel line from the bottom of the tank and pull it off. Not a bad idea to have a rag laying down there as a little fuel comes out. Next disconnect the fuel pump along the left side of the bike and the tank can come up and off the bike. The bolts for the tank are pretty self explanatory but here is the fuel line connector that is hidden under the tank...

and here is the fuel pump electrical connection...

after the fuel tank is off you can go after the air box. there is one bolt towards the front of the bike....

then pull out the two plugs in the frame, after removing theses plugs slide an allen wrench in and loosed the clamps that hold the airbox on to the throttle bodies...

the airbox is physically loose but there are a few hoses and electrical connections to get out...
air temp sensor and map sensor i believe these are....

injector wire connectors....

and several vent hoses and a vacuum line that are connected to the bottom, just lower the clamps and pull them off...


before pulling the airbox out disconnect the fuel line that connects the two fuel rails and you can pull 'er up and out

now you can pull off and inspect the airbox and holy wah did i find something interesting, i would say something was living in this airbox at one point in time...

this is a good reason to do your own work right here!!

after the air box is off its time for the air switching valve, one electrical connection and two hoses and out she comes...


welp, took a little break to write this and post it up but gonna get back to 'er right now!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alright I got back to it and it was time for the throttle bodies, there are three electrical connections to get, one in the center shown here….

And two on the right side shown here….

After that you can disconnect all the injectors under each throttle body as well as the coolant temp sensor….
Injectors...

coolant temp sensor

Then you can loosen the four clamps that hold the throttle bodies on and give them a pull off. I didn’t disconnect the throttle cable I just hung them off of the handlebars with a zip tie loop. The clamp is seen to the left of where the coolant temp sensor it...


After getting the throttle bodies off the hose can be pulled of the breather vent on the valve cover….

The coil wires can be disconnected and the coils can be pulled out….

Then finally the valve cover bolts can be pulled out and the valve cover can finally be removed!!

and now we are ready to take some measurements!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, its time to take some measurements but before that there are a few things to do. First you want to take the two timing plugs out of the side cover on the right side of the bike, just grab a screwdriver and pull them out, make sure you don't lose the o-rings that are with them...


Now you can take a ratchet with a torx bit on the end and use it to turn the motor over to get the #1 piston at TDC...

Now, it is important to use some common sense here and go slow to get good measurements. Turn the motor over counter-clockwise with the ratchet until the timing scribe line in the timing hole on the left is lined up with the notches in the hole on the cover (sounds confusing but you will see them). go slow because the scribe line can be tough to see it is not on the gear that you will see it is kind of behind it....(this picture doesnt do it a ton of justice i know)

Just take your time and get it good and lined up but keep in mind it is a dash, not a dot or double dot like I have seen before, A DASH.
After you have the dash lined up you could be in one of two positions, either at TDC on piston 1 or TDC for piston 4. This is important because it determines what valve clearances you can measure. Here is how you tell.
You can look at the cam sprockets and the labels on them but in my opinion the manual uses a real ass backwards way of depicting the timing. So line up the timing mark, if the 1 cylinder has all valves on the base circle of the cam then it is at TDC, if the 4 piston has all valves on the base circle of the cam then it is at TDC. If you want to use the labels on the cam sprockets here is another way we checked against the service manual. If the "IN" stamping is at the 3:00 position on the back of the intake cam like this...

then piston 4 is at TDC. If you have the timing marks lined up and you see "EX" in the 12:00 position on the back side of the sprocket on the intake cam then piston 1 is at TDC
*Disclaimer: this is THE FIRST TIME I HAVE DEALT WITH ANY TIMING ON THIS ENGINE. By using a combination of the manual (which VERY poorly pictures how to position the cams as it transposes the stamping from the front of the cam to the back) and common sense a friend and I deemed this method to be correct. Put much more simply, dont measure valve clearance if the lobe of the cam is pushing on the bucket obviously because this doesnt make sense :banghead.

Okay so now we have the marks lined up its time to measure, If you have piston 1 at TDC you can measure all cylinder 1 clearances, exhaust valves on cylinder 2, and intake valves on cylinder three. Put piston 4 at TDC and you can do the remaining valves.

To make the measurements easier I bent some of my feeler gauges like so...

and then just went to it sliding in feelers one by one. as soon as i got to the point where a feeler need lots of force to push in i called the previous feeler that went in good. So for instance, if a .007 goes in nice and smooth with a moderate amount of resistance to pull in and out and a .008 takes a significantly greater amount of force to get in and out i called .007 the measurment.

*Take your time here people!! It was a lot of work to get to this point so dont make it a waste by rush through these steps. Get a good angle on the valve and go in nice and flat so you get a good measurement, the exhaust side is tough so be patient, the intake side however is pretty easy as seen here...


What I did was invite a friend over and we both took measurements but did not tell each other what we measured in order to not bias each other. This gave us a blind test for comparison. After we both took our measurement I plugged them into a spreadsheet and notived that they were all within one half of a thousandth of each other except for two, one was off by one thousandth and another was off by one and a quarter thousandths. So this is a way of throwing up a red flag. We both went back and measured that valve and turns out I was off by .002 on both of them. That is why you should measure more than once and if at all possible have someone else make the measurements as well! Here is what I have for valve clearances...

To me it looks like all the exhaust valves are WAY too tight and that I have a couple intake valves that could be adjusted a little. I'd like a little input on what you guys think I should do. I think all the exhaust valves need work they are not even close but what intake valves should I reshim? I think I want to shim on the loose side as they tighten up over time?

What do you guys think??
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Let me know what you guys think!!

My biggest concerns as of right now are which valves you guys think really need to be shimmed and which ones do you think are okay? I think all the exhausts need work and a couple intakes, its mostly the intake valves that I'd like input on which ones are okay and which need work so let me know what you think!

The other big question is what is the best way to time this thing when the cams come out?? I was gonna mark the cam sprockets and chain with a paint marker and keep tension up on the cam chain to make sure it doesn't move on the bottom then the chain up. Then just line up my paint marks when the cams go back in and tighten up the chain?

I'm a new guy so feel free to let me know what you think!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alright its the moment of truth, time to pull the cams out. Before doing anything I wanted to take some measures to make timing the cam as easy as possible when it goes back in. I took three different colored paint pens and marked both cam sprockets and the chain to help me realign the cams when they go in. Now, remember that this method only works IF you keep the cam chain from moving on the bottom sprocket so I also used a boot lace to tie the chain up and keep tension on it.






Now we can label the cam caps and start loosening up all the cam cap bolts....



Then pull off the cam caps....



Okay now with all the cam caps off I pulled out the cam chain tensioner and tightened up the 'ol boot lace a little...



Now you can finagle the chain of the cam sprocket and pull the cams out. I don't really have pictures of this because I had one hand pulling the cam out and the other holding the cam chain tight on the bottom but its pretty self explanatory, take your time here!!



Now you can grab your magnet and pull all the buckets and shims out making sure the shim doesn't fall out of the bucket as you pull them out and making sure you know what bucket and shim go to what valve!! I took a little plastic organizer and labeled the bins like this. I'll be taking the shims into work tomorrow to measure them and then hopefully making and order for my new shims tomorrow night!








More to come!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Measured all the current shims tonight, placing an order for a shim kit tomorrow! Hopefully they get here fast so it can go back together soon!
 

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The Indifference Engine
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Good post, I feel like I should point out that both 1 and 4 are at TDC at the same time. Just on different strokes. You need compression stroke on whichever cylinder you are checking.

Though honestly we were just taught at school that so long as the valve isn't being depressed by the cam you can check it.
 

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i hope you marked the cams before you removed them. makes it much easier to get the timing right when you reinstall them.
 

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Sticky? Great writeup
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Shims will be in in the next couple days, expect more on how it goes when I reshim and remeasure clearances.

Any advice or comments on how to get the timing right would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

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Very thorough..reps to you for posting this up for us all. Thanks and hope the remaining work goes smoothly.
 

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That Fighter Guy
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Subscribed. I need to learn to do this myself. Rep'd as well.
 

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So are valve shims essentially caps that fit over the valve there? Just different thicknesses to create the gap the bike calls for? Are there some there from the factory? I paid to have this done last time (~14,000 miles ago or so), but I hate paying someone to do something that I can do myself with some know how. I know my way around a tool box, I know how to read (service manual), and I learn very quickly, so I don't see this job being something that's beyond my capability.
 

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watch the cam chain when you are puttin it all back together it likes to jump a tooth or two when you are tighting everything up, after about my 8th time of taking everything apart and putting it back together i finally noticed it
 

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So are valve shims essentially caps that fit over the valve there? Just different thicknesses to create the gap the bike calls for? Are there some there from the factory? I paid to have this done last time (~14,000 miles ago or so), but I hate paying someone to do something that I can do myself with some know how. I know my way around a tool box, I know how to read (service manual), and I learn very quickly, so I don't see this job being something that's beyond my capability.
the shims sit directly on top of the valve stem in the recess of the valve spring retainer. the buckets then go over the top of the shims/valve springs. the shim moves the bucket closer to(thicker shim) or farther away from(thinner shim) the cam resulting in more(thinner shim) or less cold clearance(thicker shim).

yes there are shims in from the factory.



the main problem with doing them yourself is if you fuck up the repair bill is on you. if you have a shop do them and they fuck up, then they have to eat the cost of the repairs.



zip tie the cam chain down so it cant move, if you turn it on and you dont have it timed right you have the chance of bending a rod
zip ties don't work on all bikes, as all bikes do not have holes in the cam sprockets. fortunately for you guys, the 07/08 does.

you'll bend valves and put a nice divot in the piston, btw, not as likely you're going to bend a rod.
 

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i turned my bike on probably about 6 or 7 times and didnt fuck anything up, others arent so lucky though, after the 5th time i took it to a shop and they quoted me like 2000 to find out what was wrong, i told them to go fuck themselves and had her puring later that night
 
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