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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is to show how to do a valve adjustment with out removing the carburetors. Removing the carbs will make it easier to remove the valve cover. But this method works out fine also.


Remove all fairings and gas tank. Although the rear fairings are not technically required to be removed for this procedure, I like to take them off at this point for inspection purposes.



Remove the front and rear tank brackets. Disconnect the PAIR system hoses at the reed valve cover and move it over to the right.
Side note: When ever I remove a part, I like to put the fasteners back in place. This makes it easier to not loose them, and to use to correct ones for reassembly.


Remove the drain plug at the bottom of the water pump and drain the coolant. Once the plug is removed loosen the radiator cap to let it drain. About 1/2 gallon of coolant will drain.

Remove the over flow tank. Easiest way is to disconnect the upper over flow tube. Then remove the 2 bolts, and pull it out a bit to access the lower tube. Then remove and empty.

Disconnect the upper radiator hose at the thermostat. Disconnect the lower radiator hose at the water pump. Disconnect the 2 thermostat hoses at the water pipes located next to the spark plugs.


Disconnect the thermostat wire lead, and the radiator wire lead.

Side note: I like to tape and mark all disconnected wire leads. This not only helps on showing where to reconnect them upon reinstallation, but also acts as a "flag", showing that something still needs to be reconnected.


Disconnect the fan motor wire lead.

Remove the radiator.
Remove the thermostat housing.


There is a ground wire that is on the forward mounting bolt.
Once the mounting bolts are removed, you can flip the housing around in a fashion that will allow the hoses connected to it to feed through the wiring harness.



I like to remove the cooling system parts first, so that any spilled coolant won't find it's way to somewhere you don't want.


Remove the reed valve covers.

Pull the spark plug leads off the spark plugs.


Remove the coils. You can just remove the brackets and keep the coils attached to them. One of the mounting bolts also doubles as a mounting bolt for the fairing stay. You can just reattach the fairing stay (finger tight) to keep it from flopping around.




The coil bracket on the right will have a clutch cable guide on it. You can just slide the coil and bracket down the clutch cable to get it out of the way. I have a rag behind it, to keep from scratching the clutch cover.


Remove the water pipes. Careful with these mounting screws, they can be tight and easy to strip. Using a quality and proper size screw driver. I use one that can fit a wrench on it to aid in breaking the screw loose. Put a lot of weight into the downward pressure on the screwdriver and use the wrench to break the screw loose.
It's often suggested to replace these screws with bolts once they're removed, to make it easier to remove in the future.

Remove the spark plugs.


Remove the zip tie going around the wiring harness near the front of the bike.
Remove the upper left diaphragm cap screw on the right hand carb.
Take the cable bracket off and remove the choke cable.

Should probably finger tighten the cable bracket back on the carb, as to not loose it.


Tie the choke, throttle cables, and wiring harness over to the left. Turning the handle bar to the left will gain more clearance. Also tie the wires up front a bit.

Remove the valve cover bolts.
Remove the valve cover.


You can use a large flat head screwdriver to place in this area and twist to break the seal on the gasket.


Remove the oil pipes.
Use the same procedure as with the water pipes to remove the hold down screws.

Once the hold down screws are removed, grab the pipes as close as possible to the ends and just lift up. Do only one connection at a time.

Valve lash specs are:
.005" - .007" for the intakes
.007" - .009" for the exhaust

So I set intakes to .006", and exhaust to .008"
The 4 valves closest to the exhaust are the exhaust valves.
The 4 valves closest to the carbs are the intake valves.




Remove the caps off the left side engine cover.


Use a socket to turn the engine over. Only turn it clockwise.


When the "C" on the flywheel is lined up with the notch, the #2 cylinder (the one on the right) is ready for the valves to be checked.


Use the proper size feeler gage to check the valve clearance. The gage should slip on top of the valve, below the adjusting nut, and you should feel a slight resistance when moving the gage back and forth.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)

When the "T" on the flywheel is at the notch, the #1 cylinder is at TDC and is ready for the valves to be checked. This is about as close as you can get with the "T" mark, try to get any closer and the engine spins past it.
Side note: The only important part to consider is, as long as the cam lobes are pointing up and away from the rocker arms, you are good to go with the clearance check.


If a valve is out of spec, adjust it by loosening the lock nut with a wrench, and turning the adjustment screw with a screwdriver. Then retighten the lock nut. The torque on these nuts are 18ft.lbs. Recheck the clearance after the lock nut has been torqued.

After all the valves have been checked I like to rotate the engine over a couple of revolutions by hand to see if everything is working smoothly. Then recheck all the clearances again.


Replace the O-rings on the end of the oil pipes with new ones. Install the oil pipes. The hold down screw just needs to be slightly snug. (It will be tight again on the next valve adjustment, after going through all the heat cycles).

Install new spark plugs.


There are 2 knock pins (guide pins) you need to locate and make sure haven't been lost. Here is one in place in the valve cover. A loose one at the bottom of the picture next to a penny for size reference.


This is where they go in the head. Since they are loose, they could come out during disassembly and fall into the crankcase.
It's recommended to put a dab of JB weld on them and place in the valve cover to insure they won't fall off during any future valve adjustments. Placing them in the cover (as opposed to the head) would also make it easier to hold the gasket in place during installation.

Clean the valve cover gasket mating surfaces.


You will need to apply some RTV sealant to the areas where the gasket dips.
I just apply it to the out side portion as to not get any excess in the valve train.

Side note: If your not using JB weld on the knock pins, then those will need to be put in place on the head.

Install the gasket on place on the cover.
You can usually reuse the gasket about 6 times before needing replacement. Once the groove of the gasket is in the cover, you should be able to hold the cover right side up with the gasket on the bottom.

Install the cover. The cover bolts just need to be slightly snug.

Remove the O-rings on the water pipes. Clean the water pipes, paying special attention to the O-ring area. Replace the O-rings with new ones. Install the water pipes.

The rest of assembly is in the reverse order of disassembly.


Tips:
This is the best time to do all of the basic required maintenance. When filling the cooling system, if you squeeze the thermostat hoses, it will remove some of the air to reduce how much coolant top off you will have to do later.


If all goes well, we should be good to go for another 7,500 miles before we do it all over again.
 

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Nicely done! Especially valuable for folks new to this model, since it covers so many pitfalls, really saves a lot of time, aggravation, increases confidence.

You also are teaching an attitude that I find essential to motorcycle repair. You always think ahead to how this part will go back together, and that's the right way to go. Sure, I can rip any motorcycle system apart in short order, and spread the parts across the floor, then later puzzle out how it reassembles by spending hours looking at parts diagrams and service manual, and online videos. But the better approach is to notice the detail of how each part works, while in the process of teardown. Sometimes, you should reinstall a part right after taking it out, just to see how and why it fits. Very thoughtful approach to motorcycle maintenance.

Cheers!

P.S.: I didn'tknow the oil pipe removal was required.
Isn't there a special tall 10mm wrench that can sneak past the oil pipe to loosen the locknut?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think the bigger issue with leaving the oil pipes in, is getting the feeler gage in place on some of the valves.
 

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It really is best to remove the oil pipes above the camshafts, it makes checking the clearances that much easier, most importantly getting a wrench on the locknut, and it takes virtually no time to remove them.

Speaking of the oil pipes, I know you've owned your bike since new bpe, but somewhere, somehow, your bike got the incorrect oil hold down bolts. It is NOT supposed to be phillips (or whatever the Japanese variant of phillips is) head screws. Rather, it is supposed to be an m6 bolt with an 8mm head. I recommend replacing them with the correct bolt. I know you like part numbers, so the part number for that bolt is 132BA0620.

Another technically note, what you refer to as a knock/guide pin is most commonly referred to as a dowel pin. It's how it is referred to in the parts fiche, so that's probably an important distinction to make in case someone is trying to search for a replacement.

A couple of points I'm curious about as I do not find it to be required.
Why do you remove the radiator?
Why do you say to replace the spark plug? Plugs don't wear out in 7,000 miles, but they do need to have the gap checked.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Speaking of the oil pipes, I know you've owned your bike since new bpe, but somewhere, somehow, your bike got the incorrect oil hold down bolts. It is NOT supposed to be phillips (or whatever the Japanese variant of phillips is) head screws. Rather, it is supposed to be an m6 bolt with an 8mm head. I recommend replacing them with the correct bolt. I know you like part numbers, so the part number for that bolt is 132BA0620.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

I can see on my unused Virgin engine that bolts were used. But none the less the Phillips screws on my '06 are in fact factory originals. Why Kawasaki used them, who's to say. Economy was doing pretty good in '06, at least the first half of the year when the bike was manufactured. Maybe they ran short during production and just temporarily switched to screws.
Bottom line:
They're not "incorrect", just different.
Another technically note, what you refer to as a knock/guide pin is most commonly referred to as a dowel pin. It's how it is referred to in the parts fiche, so that's probably an important distinction to make in case someone is trying to search for a replacement.
I call it a knock pin, because that is what it is called in the service manual. That puts me on the same page as anyone reading their manual. I would suggest to anyone looking in a parts fiche for it, to go back and concentrate on looking in their crankcase for the one they lost.
Bottom line:
I put a clear picture of what I was talking about. I doubt anyone will get confused.

A couple of points I'm curious about as I do not find it to be required.
Why do you remove the radiator?
Why do you say to replace the spark plug? Plugs don't wear out in 7,000 miles, but they do need to have the gap checked.
I like to remove the radiator for a couple of reasons.
First off, it's pretty easy to do. no real time involved. Next, it gains access to parts of the frame (and other areas), for behind the scenes cleaning and inspecting. One of my favorite reasons, to be able to completely drain the coolant. Which can not be done without removing.
Spark plugs: I gave up on cleaning and re-gapping those decades ago. As far as I'm concerned, any time a plug comes out, a new one goes in. FYI, I change those once also between valve adjustments.
Bottom line:
My goal is not to do the bare minimum, only what is necessary, least expensive way.
But rather shoot for:
A: What is going to get me completely through a riding season, not having to stop and do maintenance that could have been avoided by putting extra effort in it during winter shut down.
B: To do whatever is necessary to get my engine to go the most possible miles, and again, to do that while keeping riding season maintenance to a minimum.
 
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Really very nice write-up with pics and discussion, all around. So nice to see actual routing, position and order of disassembly for the best results during maintenance.
When I put the head back on my 89 EX in 98 after having the shop put the helicoil in the right spark plug hole, when it was all wrapped back up, it wouldn't start.
It would try to catch but no go. I went back and looked closer at the disassembly pics and couldn't tell with direction my cam chain was off by a tooth.
I fretted while pulling the parts again, put the pics right up against the cams. Said to myself, if I get this wrong this time, I'm screwed.... Luckily I guessed which direction to mate the chain to the cam sprocket.
I stretched a few of the volve cover bolts during reassembly, scratched my head a bit and got some new ones.
I've been hesitant about digging into that area since.
Now with your tutorial I'll be less hesitant. Thanks bpe
 

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Great write up!

I think this is a great example of a full service valve adjustment. For newer riders to the bike, this could seem like a lot of parts to remove.

It is possible to do the adjustment and all other work with only hanging the coils and pulling the choke cable. I do end up having to do this a couple times a year so I guess I just do the quickest way so I'm only out for an hour or so, sometimes had to do it on the road.

Easy to say though another thing to write up 😂 ... Killer information and pics, Thanks bpe
 
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Thumbup! But, some remove the carbs? The rad? No way! With a little thought and maneuvering, the cam cover will slip right out. I must be really lucky, as my '87 has the original cam cover gasket, no silicone and it does not leak. HOWEVER, I do put a dab of 3M weatherstrip and gasket adhesive (#8008) in the corners of the half moons. At next tear down, it just rolls off with a finger or thumb. So thin that there are no worries about extruding excess into the internals.

Once I get the just right tension on the feeler, I make certain that it did not change in tightening the locknut. I roll the engine around two revolutions and re-check. No one wants to pull it down again because one rocker is tapping. Neither do I want to pull the head due to a tight exhaust valve burning.

Plugs? I know that some will object, but I popped for ND Iridium plugs at Seattle Ducati (before they were seized by the bank). $15 the pair and, unless they become fouled, will last longer than the bike. Slightly faster starting, as the spark is substantially less shrouded. Iridium is the most erosion resistant metal known. Thus, the electical arc has very little effect on it and Iridium plugs hold their gap for a very long time.

Coil on plug is coming and ignition woes will be a thing of the past.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Once I get the just right tension on the feeler, I make certain that it did not change in tightening the locknut. I roll the engine around two revolutions and re-check.
Thanks for this information. I actually always do this also and neglected to mention it in the tutorial. It will be edited in later.
 
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Plugs? I know that some will object, but I popped for ND Iridium plugs at Seattle Ducati (before they were seized by the bank). $15 the pair and, unless they become fouled, will last longer than the bike. Slightly faster starting, as the spark is substantially less shrouded. Iridium is the most erosion resistant metal known. Thus, the electical arc has very little effect on it and Iridium plugs hold their gap for a very long time.
I've been running Iridiums now for several years and the gab virtually never changes. I must have 50,000 miles on the plugs now. Worth every penny I didn't actually spend on them, acquired brand new in a truckload of spares from a retiring racer.
 

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Luck over skill any day! DW's '01 IS300 went 250K on the original Iridiums. New ones made not a bit of difference.
 
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