Valve Adjustment....difficulty? - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-30-2007, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

I'm contemplating adjusting the valves on my 95 ex500 myself. The bike has about 13k miles on it and the valves have never been adjusted. I checked with my local kawi dealer and they wanted $250 to do the valves and a standard oil change, $45 of that was to cover a new valve cover gasket which they said was required to do a valve adjustment....

I am very mechanically inclined, i've worked on all of my cars, swapped motors, changed clutches in awd cars, etc, but I've never worked on a motorcycle before. I don't assume it can be much different.

How difficult is this to do? I read both write-ups, and they both made it seem like a very very easy process. I have the garage and all the tools necessary, I'm just worried its a bit more difficult than the write-ups make it out to be....

I figure I can easily save myself $200 or so dollars by doing it myself. About how long does the whole process take? Is the valve cover gasket an absolute necessity when do the adjustments or can the old one be re-used?

Any tips/tricks I should know about before I tackle this myself?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-30-2007, 11:17 PM
fog
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

Go for it, and forget the new gasket. The old one will be re-usable. In fact many times over. You might pick up a small tube of RTV sealant. for the water tubes on top.

FOG

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-31-2007, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

ok, one last question before I start on this tonight.....

is the how-to for a 2006 going to be just about the same for a 95? Any major differences? Are the clearances still the same?

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-31-2007, 11:26 AM
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

As far as I know, the engines haven't been changed between these years.

But wait for FOG's answer, just in case I'm wrong here

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-31-2007, 1:47 PM
ZEDhead
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

I just adjusted the valves on my wife's bike.

Go to this thread if you want to see it... http://www.ex-500.com/index.php/topic,82.165.html

I did notice one major difference between the manual and the instructions on this site. I have the "real" Kawasaki shop manual for the EN400/450 and the supplement for the EX500.

The manual says to turn the crank to the T or C mark for TDC and the lobes should be pointing up and away from the rocker depending on which cyclinder you are working on. The site instructions say turn it to T or F. I used the F mark and not the C because the lobes were pointing in the right direction using the F.

Also, I noticed when setting the crank at the F mark to do the valves on cylinder #1 (cylinder on the right when sitting on the bike but the manual says this is cylinder #2!!), it had a tendancy to want to roll easily past the F. Wasn't too difficult to hold it on the F, but more of an annoyance. Easy to do though.

Oh, one more thing; maybe call it a tip or hint. Since the valves have a range of clearances pretty close to each other, you will only need 3 feeler gauges - .005", .007", .009". I loosened the adjuster and inserted the larger of the 2 feelers required (depending on intake or exhaust), adjusted until there was very, very slight resistance on the feeler when trying to remove it and tightened the screw and locknut with the feeler still in place. I did this because I noticed when tightening the lock nut there is a slight tendancy to "turn in" or decrease the clearance. Once adjusted and locked in, I removed the larger feeler and remeasured with the smaller of the 2 feeler gauges - it slid right in as expected.

This saved me a load of time and was able to do the valves in about an hour.
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-31-2007, 1:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

awesome! thanks for the tips!

It sounds easy enough so I will be tackling this tonight, i'll let everyone know how it goes.

Thanks again.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-31-2007, 3:05 PM
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by username182
ok, one last question before I start on this tonight.....

is the how-to for a 2006 going to be just about the same for a 95? Any major differences? Are the clearances still the same?


Alle sama tinga.

FOG

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-31-2007, 5:40 PM
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

Be careful of the little "tubes" that go between the head and the cover for the breather tubes. One of these fell inside my engine, and I had to fish it out. These are not mentioned in the manual. Just make sure you know where they are when you take the cover off.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-31-2007, 6:54 PM
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

It takes a few hours, and is really simple once you actually get into the valves. As for the gasket, check to make sure there are no creases in it, then I'd recommend the Loc-tite Blue sealant (apply to gasket to make a better seal). Another tool to get is the Motion Pro "Tappet Tool Set"

http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/...ppet_tool_set/

I also found it easier to check the clearances if you either A) Buy angled feeler gauges, or B) Bend you feeler gauges to a right angle.
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-31-2007, 7:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

great! thanks for the helpful tips.

I'm going tonight to pick up a set of the angled feeler gauges.

I'm hoping I can have this done in a few hours, I guess we'll see......

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-31-2007, 7:31 PM
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smithmax
It takes a few hours, and is really simple once you actually get into the valves. As for the gasket, check to make sure there are no creases in it, then I'd recommend the Loc-tite Blue sealant (apply to gasket to make a better seal). Another tool to get is the Motion Pro "Tappet Tool Set"

http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/...ppet_tool_set/

I also found it easier to check the clearances if you either A) Buy angled feeler gauges, or B) Bend you feeler gauges to a right angle.
Generally a rubber gasket requires no sealant of any kind. I have found that glueing the gasket to the cover on the cam cover can make life a bit simpler. But just cleaning the gasket sealing surface will sufice for "Rubber" gaskets. All Other gaskets are discardable and replaceable with RTV.

FOG

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-31-2007, 10:00 PM
smithmax
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

I didn't use a sealer the first time, and there was some oil seepage around the head cover. My gasket had no damaged to it, and I didn't want to shell out $80 for a new one, so I picked up some sealer and now it doesn't leak any.
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-31-2007, 11:08 PM
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?


I never adjusted the valves on my EX500 that I used to have, but did it a couple of times on my 2001 KLR250, whuch has the same setup with one less cylinder.Most of the work, probably on either bikes, is removing stuff for access.The actual adjustment is straightforward.Just be sure you adjust on the right stroke i.e. when both rocker arms are loose on a cylinder, you are at tdc on the firing stroke.If you have one rocker/valve that is has no play, your either on the wrong stroke or your valve is way out of adjustmentin which case the engine probably wouldn't even run.

jon
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 1-31-2007, 11:11 PM
fog
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Re: Valve Adjustment....difficulty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smithmax
I didn't use a sealer the first time, and there was some oil seepage around the head cover. My gasket had no damaged to it, and I didn't want to shell out $80 for a new one, so I picked up some sealer and now it doesn't leak any.
The next time you need to work on the valves. That sealer is apt to be a PIA. This is the reason that a reusable gasket of rubber is provided in the first place. Your leaks were most likely cause by something unwanted in the way.

FOG

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