Re: Illustrated Valve Clearance Adjustment
I made some changes to the procedure that worked for me. Might not work for everyone.
I just did my valves yesterday, and this time I made some changes to the procedure presented here that made it a lot easier, if maybe a little more time consuming. I completely removed the upper fairing and lower cowl. Once you have all the bolts out, and have it slid forward, all you have to do is disconnect that one red connector, and slip it right off.
1. First, I do not have the EPAIR valve system anymore, so that was not an issue. If you have this system, and choose to keep it, I discovered that it would be a lot easier to remove the hoses AT THE REED VALVE COVERS, rather than at the 3 way valve itself. Then remove the small vacuum line from the right carb at the 3 way valve, and pull the hose that goes into the grommet in the airbox out. That way you can get the whole assembly off the engine and out of your way.
2. In addition to the right coil and bracket, also remove the left coil and bracket, and tie them out of the way. I used a mini bungee cord. I also tied that bundle of wiring by the steering head up and out of the way. Before removing the bolts securing the coil brackets, first loosen the acorn nut on the center fairing mount bracket right in front of the steering head, to take the tension off the coil bracket front bolts that also go through the fairing bracket.
3. Then, after removing the screws that hold the coolant tubes to the valve cover, and carefully pulling them out, remove the entire coolant fill neck/thermostat housing, with the 2 hoses attached to it. This will get the whole thing out of the way. It is only held in place by 2 10mm bolts. It will be necessary to remove the radiator hose and coolant overflow hose from the fill neck/thermostat, and disconnect the temp sensor wire.
4. It is not necessary to remove the spark plugs, and I do not recommend doing so, as it makes it more likely dirt could get down inside the cylinders. The engine turns over very easy with them in place. ONLY turn the engine clockwise.
5. It has already been mentioned that you do not need to worry about any timing marks, just get the piston to TDC on the compression stroke on the cylinder you are working on. You will know when it is, because the "bump" on both the intake and exhaust cams will be pointing straight up. You can do all 4 valves on that cylinder, then rotate the crankshaft CLOCKWISE until the other cylinder is in the same position, and do those 4 valves.
6. Now here is the BIG one, that makes it MUCH easier to get the cover off and back on. It was already mentioned about removing the choke cable from the carbs. This time I also removed the throttle assembly, and both cables at the throttle sleeve. I pulled them completely back out of the way of the cover, and laid them where the seat goes, so you do not have to try to wiggle the cover out from underneath them, as it is a VERY TIGHT fit. It is such a tight fit, that if the little dowels are in the valve cover, they could fall out while you are fighting with it. Both mine were in the cover. I removed them and placed them in the head before replacing the cover. Once you have the EPAIR system, coolant hoses, and throttle cables completely out of the way, the cover just lifts right off, with nothing for it to hang up on. This eliminates a lot of frustration. I took the opportunity to lube both throttle cables before putting them back.
7. I have adjusted valves on a lot of engines, some seem to stay adjusted forever (like on my Vino 125, 15,000 miles with no adjustment and still in spec) and some don't, like the EX500. All valves I have ever adjusted have tightened up as the valve/seat wears, decreasing the clearance. On the EX, I recommend setting the valves to the loose side of spec. .009 0n the exhaust, and .007 on the intake. This will increase the mileage before they become out of spec (too tight) again.
The valve cover bolts are shoulder bolts, and bottom out, so there is no need to torque them. You can feel them bottom out, at that point, STOP. I have never needed to use a torque wrench to do valves. I used a small stubby screwdriver and a small box end 10mm end wrench to adjust the valves and tighten the locknuts, then snugged up the locknuts a little bit more with a 10mm socket, extension, and 1/4" drive ratchet, and rechecked the clearances. A couple had tightened slightly, I did them over again. I made one last check of all valves before putting the cover back, then reinstalled the throttle cables, choke cable, filler neck/thermostat housing/coolant hoses/tubes, and coil/bracket assemblies. Don't forget to tighten the acorn nut by the steering head. If you are going to keep it, put the EPAIR system back last. It just slips in place, no tools are needed. Turned engine one complete revolution with the 14mm socket to make sure nothing was binding, started it up, and filled it up with new coolant. Went for a 10 mile ride, everything felt and sounded fine, brought it back, changed oil and filter, put lower cowl back on.
I refuse to give up the thrill of living for the relative safety of existing. Nick Ienatsch