Shim history, range, and questions - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-20-2014, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Shim history, range, and questions

I wanted to keep track of how my valves change over time, so each time I swap shims I record them in a spreadsheet. It includes beginning measurement, and final measurement as well as shim thickness.

For this chart I used only thickness and mileage. (Some mileages fudged a bit, e.g. the odo shows 49,030, but there are really over 50,000 miles.)


The chart ends with today's measurements and what I SHOULD put in the left exhaust: a 2.30 shim. I actually have a 2.35 there and it measures at .20 mm -- right in the middle of the spec range. I COULD close the engine with the 2.35 in place and the shim history says I'm 30,000 miles from being too tight.

What I want to do is put the thinner shim in so it's at the wide side of the spec and I am farther from a too-tight valve.

Am I nuts?

Do you shim for the middle of the range or toward the wide side?

Do your valves change or are they pretty stable?

Have you seen valves close up for 20k miles then stabilize?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-20-2014, 04:15 PM
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Myself if it was that close I would just leave it. Chances are you'll be in the area again doing other maintenance before the 30,000 comes up. If I've got the tank off and it's been awhile since I checked valves I'll pop the cover to have a quick measure.


I like the idea of your graph. I'll have to plot mine out like that.

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post #3 of 7 Old 01-20-2014, 04:48 PM
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Kudos on the graph. That's pretty nifty.



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post #4 of 7 Old 01-21-2014, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks klr4evr for your advice and planalp for your comment.

Now that the valves have stopped moving much I will aim for the middle of the spec.

I also figured out that adding the shim size to the gap measurement makes a chart that tells more precisely about valve motion instead of telling only shim progression.

Valves (shim thickness + gap measurement):


This chart really is slightly different from the one in the opening post.

Thanks.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-23-2014, 11:30 PM
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Hi Grinnin!
Just curious what you are measuring the shim thickness with. It should measure dead on 2.35 if you are using a micrometer. If you are using a caliper it is easy to get a bad measurement. The caliper measurement can vary .05mm or more just by changing the force used to hold the caliper while measuring.
I would trust the indicated size on the shim long before a measurement using a caliper.
Edit: Love your chart !!

Regards....justjeff

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post #6 of 7 Old 01-24-2014, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justjeff View Post
Just curious what you are measuring the shim thickness with. It should measure dead on 2.35 if you are using a micrometer.
. . .
I would trust the indicated size on the shim long before a measurement using a caliper.
The shim thicknesses in my spreadsheet are the marked thicknesses. That's one reason I chart the beginning measurement and ending measurement because the shims DO differ from what is marked. I've never found one so far off that it's a problem, but you can see that my experience with shims is kinda thin.

A dealer in Ellsworth, Friend & Friend, will swap shims with home mechanics. Sometimes they'll just grab a shim with the right size marked, but they sometimes put a micrometer on which is handy if you need a slightly thin shim. Or don't want a slightly thin one.

Apparently not every mechanic puts the shims in with the marking down. That keeps the wear on the unmarked side and preserves the marking longer.

My micrometers were my grandfathers and the U.S. was not all-metric in the '40s the way we are now. Don't get me wrong -- I love having my grandfather's micrometers. And they're accurate. And I'm always practicing my conversions. But I don't check shims at home, only the gap, before and after.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-24-2014, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinnin View Post
The shim thicknesses in my spreadsheet are the marked thicknesses. That's one reason I chart the beginning measurement and ending measurement because the shims DO differ from what is marked. I've never found one so far off that it's a problem, but you can see that my experience with shims is kinda thin.

A dealer in Ellsworth, Friend & Friend, will swap shims with home mechanics. Sometimes they'll just grab a shim with the right size marked, but they sometimes put a micrometer on which is handy if you need a slightly thin shim. Or don't want a slightly thin one.

Apparently not every mechanic puts the shims in with the marking down. That keeps the wear on the unmarked side and preserves the marking longer.

My micrometers were my grandfathers and the U.S. was not all-metric in the '40s the way we are now. Don't get me wrong -- I love having my grandfather's micrometers. And they're accurate. And I'm always practicing my conversions. But I don't check shims at home, only the gap, before and after.
Sounds like you have it nailed !
I also have my Grandfathers micrometers. The 0 to 1" I use nearly every day. None of them are metric either. Most of our machines are dual scale. I think only one mill is straight metric. People don't realize that even though Canada has been metrificated since the late 70s, Imperial measurement is still very much alive.

The shims are numbered in .05mm increments which is .002" if anyone is wondering.

Regards....justjeff

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