TDC? Top end rebuild - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

  • 1 Post By Vaportrail
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-01-2017, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 13
Smile TDC? Top end rebuild

Hi all,

It's been awhile since I last posted but it been a busy last year. Aren't they all?

Anywho, I'm rebuilding the top end on my 2002 (long story, but ended up checking compression, and a whopping 58 meant tear down time)

My issue is that it the timing marks aren't even close. The flywheel's mark is directly in line with the notch on the case but, if you look at the pic, the cam marks look to be a good 2-3 notches off mark...then when I got it down to the sleeve the piston doesn't look TDC to me. It's a good cm before reaching the top.

It looks like someone took off the flywheel, (prob for doohickey adjustment) and stuck it back on 1-2 notches off.

Images: V.b wouldn't let me upload any pics so I used imagur...I hope that's okay.

Im asking if anyone knows if this looks correct for TDC for the piston or was the cam timing just that far off? The carbon build up makes it look correct but I want to make sure.

The cams being so far off I would think that the bike wouldn't have been able to run. (She was a PiTA to start though).

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post #2 of 4 Old 04-01-2017, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Posts: 6,224
First I will ask you to look into the timing window in the LH engine cover and see if maybe you are actually seeing a /"F" instead of a Lazy "T"!

Ignition timing is 'x' number of degrees Before TDC! You wouldn't be the 1st to make this error.

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-02-2017, 02:16 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,593
+ 1 on PDW's post above.

The straight line next to the "T lying on its side," indicates TDC when aligned with the slot at the bottom of the "timing hole." Since the flywheel/rotor is anchored to the crankshaft rotation with a Woodruff key, this indication is absolute and intact, unless the Woodruff key is sheared/missing. The cam chain/sprocket alignment has nothing to do with TDC (although valve (camshaft) timing and valve clearance must be set at TDC between compression and power strokes, when all valves are completely closed and camshaft lobes point away from the center of the engine).

There are TWO piston TDC positions each four-stroke cycle; you want the one mentioned for examination/adjustment.

The "F" mark is used to monitor ignition timing. At idle, the straight line next to the F is illuminated by a timing light at the center of the slot at the bottom of the timing hole; as rpm increases, the F mark and the line "move" clockwise. The F mark line appears before the T lying on its side line as the engine is rotated counter-clockwise when viewed from the engine left side.

Last edited by Damocles; 04-02-2017 at 02:18 AM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-02-2017, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 13
Huge thank you for both of you.

Apparently what I was seeing was a line on the flywheel and not on the "lower" (smaller diameter) ring. /facepalm

I used my extra set of hands to hold up the timing/cam chain as I slowly turned the motor. Up came the "F" then came the "T". The piston is damn near flush. Awesome.

Now off to the machine shop!

I know this was a noobish question. Sorry about that, but sometimes when you know things are off, you need a few more pairs of eyes.

pdwestman likes this.
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