Valve Shim Calculations - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 12-04-2011, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Valve Shim Calculations

I'm getting ready to do my first-ever valve check this month at 6,000 miles and was wondering if any of you guys have any kind of shim calculator you think works best.

Do you use paper and pencil or one of them there ee-lectronic offerings?

Also, anybody ever heard of the trick for using your old doohickey for a timing plug wrench? Saw it on one of the calculator sites and it makes sense.



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post #2 of 33 Old 12-05-2011, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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If you have 10 minutes to watch this video and you've done a valve check before, does the advice in this seem sound? Trying to gain as much knowledge as I can on this procedure before giving it a go. For me, there's a big difference between seeing somebody actually doing something instead of just reading the manual.

He's got another video that gets me up to this point: this just covers checking and re-shimming if necessary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?src_vid...otation_121993



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post #3 of 33 Old 12-05-2011, 12:02 PM
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Valve Adj. video comment

The video is spot on. I'm just going to add:

Clean the engine and top end before working on it. The cam bearing to cam shaft fit is very close and demands absolutely no contamination.

There are two dowels in every cam cap assembly, either cam cap or engine cam journal side will hold the dowels, account for them and be aware of them as you are removing the cam caps, gently rock the cam caps off the camshaft, work front to back to front, try to ensure that the caps come straight up. Never never never pry the mating (engine cam journal/cam cap mating surfaces). Raising a burr here will make it impossible to get a proper measurement.

If would be a good idea to have assembly lube handy and use this on the cam journals and lobes, otherwise clean oil will do on re-assembly.

To take the top valve cover off, the fan needs to come off, use wire, string, or ty-wrap to secure the fan out of the way, this is to prevent damage to the radiator when the fan assembly falls on it. Note the radiator is ridiculously easy to screw up and it's $630 dollars to replace.

You need to use Yamabond or Hondabond hitemp silicone gasket goo ever so lightly around the left side of the rubber valve cover gasket, esp. the half round sections. (did I say light application? there, I said it again, a little goes a long way, make sure you clean everything with clean solvent

The valve cover screws (two of which thread into a cam cap) are actually shoulder screws, the thickness of the rubber gasket and the machining determine how tight the seal is. These bolts can easily be stripped out of the head/cam cap so pay attention to the manual torque values. You can re-use the rubber valve cover gasket.

Always rotate the engine counter clockwise as stated in the video. The T mark can be in the hole and the cam lobes in (wrong set up), just go around again and the next time the T mark arrives the lobes will be out. (correct)

After you torque the cam caps, rotate the engine several times to get things settled/ oil film set then reset the T mark as above and make your final clearance checks. Try to keep the clearance to the middle to sloppy end of the clearance.

You must record the values in your cam sheet and save it for reference the next time, this info will give you a clue as to what size shim to have on hand in the future. Don't forget that you may be able to simply swap you existing shims around to get your clearance set up. The shim numbers go toward the valve bucket, not because it won't work, but the numbers will be wiped off if you can see them, then the next poor sob will need to mike each shim to know it's size.

By the way, the shims just lay in the bucket, but the oil between the shim and bucket act like glue. And yes, the buckets should all turn in place if all is good. You can rotate the buckets to get the slot in a good position for you to pry the shim from the bucket. I will assume you followed the video and have clean rags in the cam chain galley, if you don't, you will suffer badly.

Finally, I print out two cam sheets, one while I'm working, and it gets very dirty, then the final one I make later, transcribing the info carefully for the keeper copy.
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post #4 of 33 Old 12-05-2011, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, Stubby! It seemed the guy in the video knew what he was doing and it was nice to actually watch somebody doing this stuff. I will be sure to note all the good tips you gave me as well. I appreciate it!



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post #5 of 33 Old 12-05-2011, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
If you have 10 minutes to watch this video and you've done a valve check before, does the advice in this seem sound? Trying to gain as much knowledge as I can on this procedure before giving it a go. For me, there's a big difference between seeing somebody actually doing something instead of just reading the manual.

He's got another video that gets me up to this point: this just covers checking and re-shimming if necessary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?src_vid...otation_121993


You check the clearance before you pull the caps! Chances are at 6k miles you don't need to re-shim. If you do go for the max end of the spec, the KLR likes loose valves.

The valve cover is a tight fit to get out.

I've had the caps hard to get off. What I did was pull the cam chain and wiggled the cams back and forth to get the caps off the dowells. Don't pry on the mating surfaces with anything.

You can use a good magnet to get the shims out of the bucket.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9

Last edited by Spec; 12-05-2011 at 01:07 PM.
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post #6 of 33 Old 12-05-2011, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec View Post
Chances are at 6k miles you don't need to re-shim.
Thanks for the tips, Spec.

Any advice on what clearance constitutes a re-shim or not if I'm going to check them again, say, in another 6,000 miles? Clymer manual calls for clearances of:

Intake: .10-.20 mm
Exhaust: .15-.25 mm

My understanding is that the more the clearance leans toward the loose side, the better. I'm used to doing this stuff in thousands of an inch, but since the shims are in mm's, I'm planning on using metric since my feeler gauges use both mm and in.

Say, for the intake, if another check will be done in another 6K miles would a reading of, say, .12 on one of the intakes be acceptable or is that to the point where I might as well re-shim?

Any advice would be appreciated.



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post #7 of 33 Old 12-05-2011, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
Thanks for the tips, Spec.

Any advice on what clearance constitutes a re-shim or not if I'm going to check them again, say, in another 6,000 miles? Clymer manual calls for clearances of:

Intake: .10-.20 mm
Exhaust: .15-.25 mm

My understanding is that the more the clearance leans toward the loose side, the better. I'm used to doing this stuff in thousands of an inch, but since the shims are in mm's, I'm planning on using metric since my feeler gauges use both mm and in.

Say, for the intake, if another check will be done in another 6K miles would a reading of, say, .12 on one of the intakes be acceptable or is that to the point where I might as well re-shim?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Well you're allready in there so if the clearance is 1/2 or less re-shim.

I changed shims 3 times (if I remember right) each time out to the max. The motor really does run better with loose valves, noisier but better!

My valves stopped tightening after about 20k miles and that was about 25k ago. I did check them a couple of times in between, probably won't check them again unless symptoms show up.

As Stubby points out you can re-arrange the shims somewhat but usually you still need to buy a couple. Rocky Mt. has them for $6 ea

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #8 of 33 Old 12-05-2011, 05:28 PM
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Valve adj.

Motor needs to be stone cold when making measurements.
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post #9 of 33 Old 12-05-2011, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubby View Post
Motor needs to be stone cold when making measurements.
It's been sitting in a 65-degree basement for a month so I should be good. I'm planning on starting on it next week as I think I've got a pretty good handle on the process. I think I'm going to get some new feeler guages and either a micrometer or dial caliper to confirm the thickness of the old shims and any new ones I might need to get. Again, thanks for the advice. I appreciate it.



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post #10 of 33 Old 12-05-2011, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec View Post
Well you're allready in there so if the clearance is 1/2 or less re-shim.

I changed shims 3 times (if I remember right) each time out to the max. The motor really does run better with loose valves, noisier but better!

My valves stopped tightening after about 20k miles and that was about 25k ago. I did check them a couple of times in between, probably won't check them again unless symptoms show up.

As Stubby points out you can re-arrange the shims somewhat but usually you still need to buy a couple. Rocky Mt. has them for $6 ea
Thanks, Spec. Half or less sounds like good advice to me. Like you said, already in there. Thanks for the link on where to procure shims if needed, also.



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