Compliments of Arrowhead Motorsports:
The torsion spring has a longer adjustment life then an extension spring. It is also captured by the balancer lever.
This could be done as part of the balancer lever upgrade process. The factory springs are known to break fairly often. They run out of tension, usually by 5000 miles or less. The body of the torsion wraps around the balancer lever, making it pretty much impossible for it to get loose and go through the engine. The factory spring has been known to cause damage from time to time. Sometimes it causes the cam chain to jump time.
You can click on the photo's below to enlarge them. Just click on your back arrow when you are finished viewing them. The pictures shown here were taken using an early 1996 engine. This engine has the early idler shaft - the shaft the balancer lever fits onto. Engines from 1987 into 1996 used this shorter shaft. Later in 1996 Kawasaki went to a longer shaft and bearing.
You'll start by opening up the left side of the bike. Use the balancer upgrade instructions to help you do this. You'll need to go all the way to the part where you're ready to install a new extension spring to replace the factory part. IMPORTANT: Be absolutely sure you don't drop any parts into the engine during the process. A flexible magnet (the kind with a magnet on the end of a flexible aluminum wire is best) can be a big help. If you find the factory spring or lever is broken, fish around in the engine case until you get the parts. Broken parts are often found on the oil intake screen, found behind the clutch cover. Parts in this oil intake area cannot be fished out from the left side of the engine- you have to take apart the right side of the engine. When removing the left side inner case to get to the factory spring, keep pressure on the idler shaft - the part the balancer lever aka doohickey - fits onto. Don't let this shaft slide out with the inner case as you remove it. If you do, you can drop the thrust washer behind the idler sprocket. If you drop it, find it and put it back, no problem. If you drop it and don't fix it, the potential for catastrophic engine damage is there!
You can also always reverse the install, going back to a factory style extension spring any time you like.
So - you've read all this, followed the instructions, and you're ready to remove the factory spring. The engine gasket might deceive you here, as there is an extra tab that hides the peg the spring slides onto. If you can't see the end of the peg gently pull the gasket away from the crankcase, or trim it back to the edge of the boss for the adjacent screw.
You'll need to leave the factory spring lever in place. It will act as a spacer, keeping the end play correct in the assembly.
You'll need to drill a 1/16" hole in the inner case as shown. It's better if the case is off the engine (of course) to keep the aluminum chips from getting into the engine. If you want to change the spring tension in the future, you can drill another hole leaving at least 1/8" inch of material between the edges of the hole - 3/16" at least would be better. You could also fill the old hole with an epoxy after thoroughly degreasing it with brake parts cleaner, or something similar. Keep it as straight (square to the surface) as you can. A number 52 or 51 drill could also be used (a little larger), but the best fit possible is the goal. There is a little tolerance on the hole location. The hole shown in the pic could be moved about 1/32 of an inch or so towards the idler shaft - the shaft the balancer levers fits onto. 1.jpg
Put the inner case back on. Sometimes it helps to spread the case a little at the 5 o'clock position to get it over the dowel pin. Install and torque all the bolts to 69 inch-lbs.
Put the spring in place. The straight short leg goes into the hole you just drilled.2.jpg
Put the lever in place.
Put the lever adjustment bolt in place, but don't tighten yet. Push the right had side of the lever towards the front of the engine, and tighten the adjustment enough to hold the lever in this position. This will hold the lever in place while you install the other end of the spring.3.jpg
Now install the other end of the spring. Don't use pliers or vise grips. I use a small spring hook, or screwdriver. This will probably take a few minutes, as you will be fighting the spring tension as you put the hook in place.4.jpg
After you have installed the spring, push the top portion of the body - the part you can see, towards the center of the engine. Now loosen the adjustment bolt about 1/2 turn. Push the left hand edge back against the spring tension and let it return to be sure it's working properly. Be sure to push the coils towards the center of the engine so they will lay as flat as possible. These stayed in place like this on the bikes I've done. This makes sure the big starter gear will not hit them. This big gear only rotates when you are starting the big - unless something is quite wrong - it's connected to the starter, with no clutch.
Leave the bolt about 1/2 turn loose to make it easier to install the outer case. Tighten this bolt when you tighten the outer case bolts.
Return to the balancer lever instructions for the rest of this process.