Dumb question of the day regarding shims - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-29-2017, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Dumb question of the day regarding shims

O/K I have a 2010 KLR 650 I bought used with 2000 miles on it 4800 now and I am for the first time that I have done this adjusting the valves so I got my shims out and trying to record the numbers that look more like an ink stamp, I was thinking the numbers would be stamped or engraved anyhow I am having trouble reading one of them it looks like 278 but so far everything I have read they only come in increments of five hundredths of a millimeter from the factory. My question is would any of the aftermarket companies make odd shims like this or am I just reading it wrong and it is a 275? I had rather be safe than sorry. Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-29-2017, 06:45 PM
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It's probably a 275 but I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the numbers printed on the shims. Better to measure them with a micrometer to be sure what you really have.

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-30-2017, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks KLR4evr why didn't I think of that. Good advice that is what I will do when I get to work to use the tools. Have you seen many that are out of spec from the markings?
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-30-2017, 11:10 AM
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That would be extremely unlikely but it isn't a big deal anyway. I always recheck my clearance after installing a shim so any irregular shim thickness would be caught at that time if it ever happened.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-30-2017, 12:49 PM
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I have found OEM shims can vary a little bit from #. Say + or - .0005 inch, so not much. But like klr4evr, if in doubt break-out the mic. or dial caliper. And confirm the clearance before re-installing the cover.

It could potentially be possible for say a BMW shim to be numbered 278. Would actually represent #2.775mm. Sort of like our Keihin carb jets. 140, 142, 145, 148.

Some of the tiny KX and ZX shims are available in 1/2 sizes. So I'll suggest it could be possible.

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Last edited by pdwestman; 01-30-2017 at 07:39 PM. Reason: Just realized that I had the decimal point in the wrong position! 2.775mm
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-31-2017, 12:06 PM
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Since you got it at 2,000 miles, it is not like to have a non OEM shim in it. So, the only choices for the third digit are 0 and 5. Looking at some of my take outs, some of the blurry 5s could mistaken for an 8.

I had one with a number stamp to blurry to read. The cheap caliper at the auto parts store didn't help at all. I bought a good micrometer and pegged the size. Then I marked it with a vibrating engraver for future reference.

Make sure you install the shims with the numbers down so the cams don't rub them off.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-02-2017, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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O/K got to work Tuesday got the mic out and checked the shim it is a 275 I had a few people look at it and all said looks like 278 guess it was a flaw in the stamping. Thanks for everyone helping.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-07-2017, 09:58 PM
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That is a good point about not trusting what it says on the shim. I never buy new shims I just put them on the surface grinder and take them down to where they need to be. I do have the human decency however to grind off the side that has the numbers on it so any potential future owner does not get confused.

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