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I have a 88 EX500 and there’s an oil leak at my valve cover. Guy at the shop quoted me and I was trying to save money to fix this myself and clean it all up. Is this an easy fix?
Thanks in advance
 

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POC, GO FOR IT. 1 wrench and a bit of RTV

FOG
 

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POC, GO FOR IT. 1 wrench and a bit of RTV

FOG
A little more than 1 wrench ....reality dictates tank, air filter, battery, PCV system, hoses, etc are removed to gain clear access to cover. A carb pull (and move to the side) gets the throttle cables out of the way. Spark plug wires and caps and the coolant tubes pulled too....to do that the coolant should be drained. Exact same procedure leading right up to a valve clearance check...which would be asinine NOT to do in the case of pulling the cover.

OP has concealed mileage, an important little tidbit too. I'd go on to ask when last valve clearance check was done and at what mileage...., eh???????
 

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A little more than 1 wrench ....reality dictates tank, air filter, battery, PCV system, hoses, etc are removed to gain clear access to cover. A carb pull (and move to the side) gets the throttle cables out of the way. Spark plug wires and caps and the coolant tubes pulled too....to do that the coolant should be drained. Exact same procedure leading right up to a valve clearance check...which would be asinine NOT to do in the case of pulling the cover.

OP has concealed mileage, an important little tidbit too. I'd go on to ask when last valve clearance check was done and at what mileage...., eh???????
Plus 1 on all that, although I seem to remember somehow being able to get the cables off the carbs and out of the way without actually having to remove the carbs which is a real PITA. (But mine is a Gen 2, not a Gen 1.) Its also a good opportunity to change the coolant (it doesn't take that much so its cheap). I highly recommend having new coolant tube o-rings (also cheap) already in hand, otherwise you risk putting it back together only to have to take it apart again chasing an annoying coolant leak. And have at least figured out where to source a new valve cover gasket if the original turns out to be unserviceable. (They aren't cheap and can usually be reused.)

Also an opportunity to do the PAIR delete if that hasn't been done already. In other words, this isn't exactly a ten minute job but is a chance to get a lot of things done in one operation. Basically the lion's share of important EX500 maintenance all done in one shot.
 

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valid additions....the ball now clearly in OP's court......
 

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true ,true, but count the different wrenches. I think you'l find only 1, 10 mm. didn't say how many pliers.screw drivers act.
Wanted to keep the typing simple

FOG
 

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Discussion Starter #7
POC, GO FOR IT. 1 wrench and a bit of RTV

FOG
A little more than 1 wrench ....reality dictates tank, air filter, battery, PCV system, hoses, etc are removed to gain clear access to cover. A carb pull (and move to the side) gets the throttle cables out of the way. Spark plug wires and caps and the coolant tubes pulled too....to do that the coolant should be drained. Exact same procedure leading right up to a valve clearance check...which would be asinine NOT to do in the case of pulling the cover.

OP has concealed mileage, an important little tidbit too. I'd go on to ask when last valve clearance check was done and at what mileage...., eh
?
Well.. the bike currently has 19k on it.. Don’t know how true that is and I bought it from a guy that let it just sit and rot. I’ve already dropped $800 to get it running again, which it runs good! Just noticing other things on this bike that need TLC. As for valve check.. No clue.. I didn’t think to ask this at the time of buying nor do I have contact with this buyer anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
A little more than 1 wrench ....reality dictates tank, air filter, battery, PCV system, hoses, etc are removed to gain clear access to cover. A carb pull (and move to the side) gets the throttle cables out of the way. Spark plug wires and caps and the coolant tubes pulled too....to do that the coolant should be drained. Exact same procedure leading right up to a valve clearance check...which would be asinine NOT to do in the case of pulling the cover.

OP has concealed mileage, an important little tidbit too. I'd go on to ask when last valve clearance check was done and at what mileage...., eh
?
Plus 1 on all that, although I seem to remember somehow being able to get the cables off the carbs and out of the way without actually having to remove the carbs which is a real PITA. (But mine is a Gen 2, not a Gen 1.) Its also a good opportunity to change the coolant (it doesn't take that much so its cheap). I highly recommend having new coolant tube o-rings (also cheap) already in hand, otherwise you risk putting it back together only to have to take it apart again chasing an annoying coolant leak. And have at least figured out where to source a new valve cover gasket if the original turns out to be unserviceable. (They aren't cheap and can usually be reused.)

Also an opportunity to do the PAIR delete if that hasn't been done already. In other words, this isn't exactly a ten minute job but is a chance to get a lot of things done in one operation. Basically the lion's share of important EX500 maintenance all done in one shot.
Interesting.. Any wiki on this? Best way to label all the hoses when putting back together? As this would be my first time doing something beyond turning a wrench.
 

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According to Clymer manual, valve clearance checks are called for every 6000 on a Gen 1, it should have had its 3rd check.

I'd submit it didn't. And further....I'd automatically check clearances on *any* bike "new to me", unless the prior owner could provide valid documentation it was done at a dealer, though I'd take his word on a DIY if he were a mechanical type.

As you are unable to document in any way, shape or form.....its an unknown if it was done at any time.....this bike is a perfect candidate for a clearance check.

A required valve clearance check comes within the territory of motorcycle ownership, whether it be Hon Zuk Kaw Yamacati.....it is important and can lead to engine degradation or even catastrophic failure if "blown off". Needless to say, myriad of different models/brands have differing valvetrains, mileage requirements. But come hell or high water, unless hydraulic lash adjusters are present, will require this vital service.

The EX exhaust valves, FYI, tend to tighten beyond specs in alarming short interval.

In your best interests, a service manual (Haynes, Clymer, factory) a great investment.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
According to Clymer manual, valve clearance checks are called for every 6000 on a Gen 1, it should have had its 3rd check.

I'd submit it didn't. And further....I'd automatically check clearances on *any* bike "new to me", unless the prior owner could provide valid documentation it was done at a dealer, though I'd take his word on a DIY if he were a mechanical type.

As you are unable to document in any way, shape or form.....its an unknown if it was done at any time.....this bike is a perfect candidate for a clearance check.

A required valve clearance check comes within the territory of motorcycle ownership, whether it be Hon Zuk Kaw Yamacati.....it is important and can lead to engine degradation or even catastrophic failure if "blown off". Needless to say, myriad of different models/brands have differing valvetrains, mileage requirements. But come hell or high water, unless hydraulic lash adjusters are present, will require this vital service.

The EX exhaust valves, FYI, tend to tighten beyond specs in alarming short interval.

In your best interests, a service manual (Haynes, Clymer, factory) a great investment.
I do have a manual (cyclepedia) Totally agree with you though. This forum is worth every bit of time.
 

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There's some good news here, though. Its very easy to check the valve clearances once the cover is off, and you have to take it off anyway in order to fix the leak. If the clearances are within spec, great. Button it up knowing that all's good for a long while. If the clearances are not in spec, at least the EX500 valves are a screw adjustment and can be easily set without having to buy a bunch of expensive shims like most modern overhead cam bikes. Whichever way it goes, when its finally back together you will know for certain you are good to go for many miles.
 

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There's some good news here, though. Its very easy to check the valve clearances once the cover is off, and you have to take it off anyway in order to fix the leak. If the clearances are within spec, great. Button it up knowing that all's good for a long while. If the clearances are not in spec, at least the EX500 valves are a screw adjustment and can be easily set without having to buy a bunch of expensive shims like most modern overhead cam bikes. Whichever way it goes, when its finally back together you will know for certain you are good to go for many miles.
Amen.
 
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