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VALVE ADJUSTMENT
FOR THE EX 500 AND NINJA 500
Bill F.O.G. Martovich 08/13/03

(Provided by Oberlinja)

This procedure is very simple and applies to almost any rocker arm engine. Few tools are required and they are simple ones at that.

Why: Valves are adjusted to maintain some clearance between the operating mechanism and the valve seat, to assure the valve closes on the seat for a good seal. If this fails to happen the engine will run poorly and damage could result. The amount of clearance is determined by the design of the valve train and the mfg. Experience as to wear life. Wear will usually decrease the clearance. (tighten) as the valve sinks deeper into the seat.

Generally the settings are done cold and allowance for heat expansion is included in the recommended settings. Deviating from these settings is a bad move, unless you know more than the manufacturer does (you don’t)

Tools required:
10 mm box wrench
Medium flat blade screwdriver
Feeler shims .005 .007 .009 two of each recommended

Procedure for EX500:
Drain the coolant (oils ok)
Remove the tank, right side coil, coolant pipes (the hoses can be left on).
Note: the carbs can be left on but it’s a lot easier if you remove them too.

Remove the cam valve cover
Remove the two copper oil lines
Remove the plugs in the left side engine cover
Remove the spark plugs (put a wad of paper towel in the cavity to prevent dropping something into the plugholes (this is a bad thing).

Using a 14mm socket wrench turn the engine over in a clockwise direction until the “C” mark on the flywheel is visible in the small inspection port and the cam lobes on the #1 cylinder face away from the rocker arms. (#1 is the right side as on the bike).
Note at this point the cam wheels will show the “IN” mark and the “EX” mark level with the cam box outboard surface (approx.)

Now to adjust the valves check with the feeler gages the space between the Adjusting screw and the top of the valve Intakes between .005-.007 Exhausts .007- .009 if they are within that range your golden (footsing around to make the perfect will gain you nothing).

The next cylinder: Rotate the crankshaft clockwise until the second piston is TDC and the cam lobes are pointing away from the valves. And check cyl#2.

If they are not: loosen the ten mm lock nuts (both) slip 2 feelers under each Screw and adjust hold the adjustment with the Screwdriver and tighten with the box wrench. This can cause the adjustment to change so check again. Using two feelers cancels any wear on the rocker arm to its shaft.

Turn the engine until the other cylinders cam lobes are pointing away from its valves and repeat steps above.

Recommended at this time to re torque the head bolts to 35 lbs. Also remove and clean the “O” rings from the water pipes and the hole in the head they came out of. Reassemble with grease or RTV to prevent leaks

Tips: Setting the valves on the tight side will improve the engines performance and make it quieter, but shorten the inspection interval by ½

Reassemble.
 

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now find my article on Caliper service.
FOG
 

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still working on that fog, and yes the valve job is terribly easy, once you get into it. Dont make this a bigger issue than needed. You can save yourself a good $200 by doing it yourself.

Janinja
 

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There was a nice write up on this on ex500riders.com with picture. Made it look real easy. If we can get that, I think that would help a lot of people.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oberlinja said:
I have the one with pictures too,
It's just a little big (8.2mb)

working on how to get it to the admin
Thanks, got it Oberlinja... formatting up now, hope to have it posted and stickied tonight.
 

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Are there any signs or hints that your bike needs the valves adjusted? I bought my 03 bike with 7200 miles on it...it now has ~ 9800 and purrs like a kitten...60 mpg, smooth acceleration, no hiccups. Of course the owners manual says they should be adjusted at 7500 mile intervals. It is really going to p___ me off if I take it in for the valve service and it's not running as good as before. What do ye experts think?
 

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to heck with dealers.
 

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Don't forget to make sure that the two tiny spacers/tubes for the crankcase breather/air valve stay in the head. One of mine fell down into the timing chain gallery - into the engine! Luckily I noticed it and plucked it out. It could have eaten the engine!
 

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MaximX said:
Don't forget to make sure that the two tiny spacers/tubes for the crankcase breather/air valve stay in the head. One of mine fell down into the timing chain gallery - into the engine! Luckily I noticed it and plucked it out. It could have eaten the engine!
I did the same exact thing you did,one of mine fell out when I was putting it back together, and it ended up in the same place yours did :mad:. I know next time I wont forget to take out of the valve cover and put it back in the head.
 

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In reason to avoid removing the carburetors during valve adjustment, I disconnected the choke cable and unbolted the right handlebar riser. This gave me more than enough clearance to re-install the valve cover.
 

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ilya said:
In reason to avoid removing the carburetors during valve adjustment, I disconnected the choke cable and unbolted the right handlebar riser. This gave me more than enough clearance to re-install the valve cover.
It's less work to pull the carbs, I'd fire you for wasting time like that in my shop.

FOG
 

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Well, I guess I'm lucky I'm employed as a programmer, not as a mechanic :).

From looking at the carburetor removal steps in the Clymer manual it appeared that unbolting two riser bolts and unhooking a choke cable was an easier approach.

1. Loosen all front carburetor boot clamps and remove rear tensions springs from grooves.
2. Remove the carburetor-to-air filter rubber boots.
3. Label and disconnect all hoses at the carburetor (I guess this step is optional).
4. Disconnect the accelerator and decelerator throttle cables and the choke cable.
5. Slide the carburetors downward and to the right to disconnect them from the intake boots.
 

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Don't do steps 3,4,&5
Let the carbs dangle by the cables out of the way.

FOG
 

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FOG said:
Don't do steps 3,4,&5
Let the carbs dangle by the cables out of the way.

FOG
This is a classic example of how being shown how to do something in a shop is HUGELY more beneficial than trying to learn how from the manuals for the very first time.
 
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