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Discussion Starter #1
Hello ex500 forum members!
I was recently inspired to enter the world of motorcycling and talked to a few friends. One happened to be selling an 06 ex500 with 26k for a reasonable price. I figured why not it looked to be in excellent condition.
I recently purchased and brought it home. With the whole pandemic thing I can't take classes to get liscenced for some time so I figured I'd do some maintenance.
The overwhelming recommendation to check valve clearances was where i set my sights and started after stripping the fairings off etc. The prior owner took great care of routine oil changes etc and other maintenance but never clearances.

This is where the fun began, removing the cover wasn't too bad. But what I saw under left me a little dissapointed.
Intake valves were in spec at 0.006 but the exhaust... Oh the exhaust. I was unable to fit a 0.0015 feeler under it. So all intensive purposes none. It was running pretty good before disassembly. Adjustments were made.

The reason why I'm posting other than to thank you all for this tremendous resource and wealth of knowledge here.
There's significant pitting on one of the exhaust fans. And wear and pitting on others to a lesser degree. After searching forum posts and realizing it's a time bomb (fuse length?)

Where might one find new cams?
Other potential hurdles?

I am very mechanically inclined and this is my first bike which I'd like to last a few years. With my understanding of what is lurking under the valve cover I come to you seeking future guidance.
IMG_20200507_180551.jpg
IMG_20200507_164905.jpg
 

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You should be able to get used ones on ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I appreciate the speedy reply bpe. :)
What about rocker arms?
Just on that one lobe?
 

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Oh man, that's some gnarly pitting. I recently rebuilt a 50,000 mile EX engine and only one cam lobe had very minor pitting. The associated rocker had pitting as well. I'd be willing to bet all of your rockers are pitted as well, it's best to replace both cams and all 4 rockers to be safe.

I can root through my supply of spare cams and rockers this evening after I get home from work, though I recently went through both when organizing my spares and many were pitted with some worse than others. You can get away with minor pitting, but what you have is definitely not minor.

If I can't find any I'd be comfortable putting on an engine, you can find good ones on ebay. Be very picky though, make sure there are clear photos of the cam lobes and the bearing bores and that you cannot see any damage.
 

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Yes, both generation cams are identical. Intake and exhaust are of course not interchangeable, though the cam gears are universal between the two.
 

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Man, that's ugly. The original owner must have been running that Walmart diesel oil. (Just kidding, I couldn't resist a forum oil thread joke.) But you do have to wonder how the cams got that beat up.

If a forum member can't supply the pieces you need (which is probably the best option), I'd search Ebay for a complete used head in good shape. You wouldn't necessarily need to use the entire head, but that's the easiest way to gather up all the parts and might even be cheaper than buying everything individually. A lot of m/c shops supplement their regular business by parting out bikes and selling on Ebay. The reputable ones know the difference between good used stuff and junk and guarantee their parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I certainly appreciate your dedication to the ex group. When I had it apart I never really looked in depth at the rockers. I kinda panic ordered a set of cams before I jumped on here which are coming in next week. I'll be sure to at least run a few pics by you to ensure they are worthy.

Any other things I should inspect on this bike? As a note it lived inside unless it was ridden.
 

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Nothing else on the top end has a tendency to wear, cams and rockers are it.
 

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Any other things I should inspect on this bike?
tank vent function
petcock ditto
fuel line age/condition
speedo cable top fitting screwed on tight
rear wheel damper rubbers loose

all I can think of right now specific to EX
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Ok so the cams I panic ordered came in. They came off a 94 with 5k mi. They are a 95% improvement over the old ones. All of mine currently have some degree of pitting far worse than the new ones. So I was going to install them keeping an eye one that one lobe.

The exhaust is clean with no pitting all is smooth. Lobes and where it rests. Intake has one tiny mark on one lobe otherwise good.
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Today's weather is meh so tomorrow I was going to change them out and inspect rockers while I'm there. If I find pitting on the rockers I'll reach out here for replacements.

Any special notes on installing them beyond the manuals instructions? Just checking all bases before I dive in.

You guys have been great.

PS. I finally found an archived version of the wiki which has been super useful. I had trouble finding it for a while.

Edit: found this Installing Cam Shaft

Still current?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update! The patient is alive and well. Better faster stronger! Rockers looked ok amazingly...
Thanks for all the tidbits and guidance. I'll continue going through it all and make an introductory post at some point.

So now I just need to get liscenced... Damn covid.
 

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So now I just need to get liscenced... Damn covid.
You should come to Georgia to get licensed. Because of the corona, they're not requiring a road test to get a first time license.
Brilliant, I don't see no down side in this decision.
 

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^ Yeah, but there has been an update. You can still get your license with out a road test, but once the DDS (our version of the DMV) opens (whenever that is) you have to take the road test before September 30 to keep your license.
On average 20% fail the test
 
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