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Old 05-04-2006, 12:25 PM   #1
sailah OP
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Valve job tips?

Thanks to the knowledge here, I am about to undertake the valves on the 950 for the first time. I read the valve threads over many times and have printed out copies for reference. I have purchased the locking bolt, have the time and inclination. Monday is the day w/ tues as a backup.

I have become proficient at undressing the old girl, just have a few questions before I begin. I will be assembling a photo shoot after I have completed the job for those to follow.
  • Can I do both heads at once? My shim source is over an hour away, they will do exchanges, however if an out of spec valve will work on the other head, that would save time and money. Sorry if this is a basic question, first timer. When I say at once, I realize the motor will need to be set at TDC for each cyl. Yay or nay?
  • I'm planning on the magnet shim/bucket trick.
  • I have lapping tools if shims are slightly out.
  • Any other tips and suggestions before I get underway?
Wish me luck.
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Old 05-04-2006, 12:54 PM   #2
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Good luck!

And, you can't do them exactly at the same time but the minor work involved in checking to see if you can re-use shims on the other head isn't that bad. Other wise you are on track and ready to go!
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:06 PM   #3
sailah OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Weber
And, you can't do them exactly at the same time but the minor work involved in checking to see if you can re-use shims on the other head isn't that bad.
Care to elaborate? I'm worried about the timing gear getting all frigged up. I have no trepidation about the job, just want to know what to do.
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:57 PM   #4
BigDogAdventures
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Forget about buying shims

Forget about buying shims----why you ask ????

You can use the old ones and sand them down with something gritty--I started with a diamond knife sharpener---but ended up ending with a very fine stone on my grinder. You can pretty much bet all will need to be thinner.

The advantages ??
1. You won't have to go anywhere to get the ones you need.
2 If you bought new ones--you may find there not just right and have to go back for more--and you can't adjust the clearances exactly the way you want---you can just get close.
3. No cost to you.
4. You can get the clearances exactly what you want---------I always go to the maximum clearance recommendation so as to prolong further valve clearance checkings or adjustments.

I simply measure the clearance---figured out how much thinner a shim I needed----took the old one out---measure it with a caliper and sanded it down to the thickness needed--checking with the caliper---put the shims back in------everything was perfect------perfect is adequate !!!!

The cams don't rub the shims---you are not degrading the metal of the shim.

Take your time---it's an all day job.

If you get frustrated----quit--take a break--come back the next day if necessary.

Drop a part down the motor ??? slit your throat with one of those Rambo knives.
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures.com
Forget about buying shims----why you ask ????

You can use the old ones and sand them down with something gritty--I started with a diamond knife sharpener---but ended up ending with a very fine stone on my grinder. You can pretty much bet all will need to be thinner.

The advantages ??
1. You won't have to go anywhere to get the ones you need.
2 If you bought new ones--you may find there not just right and have to go back for more--and you can't adjust the clearances exactly the way you want---you can just get close.
3. No cost to you.
4. You can get the clearances exactly what you want---------I always go to the maximum clearance recommendation so as to prolong further valve clearance checkings or adjustments.

I simply measure the clearance---figured out how much thinner a shim I needed----took the old one out---measure it with a caliper and sanded it down to the thickness needed--checking with the caliper---put the shims back in------everything was perfect------perfect is adequate !!!!

The cams don't rub the shims---you are not degrading the metal of the shim.

Take your time---it's an all day job.

If you get frustrated----quit--take a break--come back the next day if necessary.

Drop a part down the motor ??? slit your throat with one of those Rambo knives.
Mark,

Thanks. I plan on reusing shims to correct other valves. A musical chairs of shims if you will. It would be great if I could have them all out at the same time, mic 'em, and swap around until I got it all right. What are the chances I can reuse every single one??? Slim as a shim methinks.

I plan on reusing as many as possible and swap out those I can't find a home for. My point in the original post was to find out if I need to put the front head back together before tackling the rear i.e open up 4 new possible canidates for musical shims.

EDIT: Just reread your post. Likely that all shims will be thinner? Can I get a comeback on that? That would be good news. I have float glass and honing compunds for my Japanese chisels if I get really anal.



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Old 05-04-2006, 02:42 PM   #6
BigDogAdventures
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Shims

You can forget about swapping around shims and getting the results you want. It just won't happen.

Just do one head at a time----get the old shims down to where they need to be---you don't want to be turning the motor with one head apart.
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:57 PM   #7
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Do you have the bolt to hold the cylinders at TDC? This is the one that screws in under the water pump? It really is necessary. You can make one your self. Also do you have the Workshop Manual downloaded from this site?

You can do both at once. You could just replace the rockers without the shims, or just turn it. A screwdriver through the spark plug hole is good enough for TDC. This is where the bolt really helps.

I would advise you to remove the radiator for this job and don't forget to re torque the head. You need a special tool for this also as there is a hard to get at nut. These tools are not expensive as there is not much to them so they may be easier to buy than to make. Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:28 PM   #8
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way back when shims were new to most techs, sanding (or whatever method used) was thought to be okay, but as metallurgy progressed, we learned that the hardened surface of the shim is very thin, sometimes microns, and thinning the shim removed this layer. Result? shims that wore abnormally, unevenly and prematurely. We won't even discuss the whole perfectly flat thing. MHO? just swap the damn things out! They're not that expensive!
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K2m
Do you have the bolt to hold the cylinders at TDC? This is the one that screws in under the water pump? It really is necessary. You can make one your self. Also do you have the Workshop Manual downloaded from this site?
Not to hijack the thread, but I bought the KTM "tool" (threaded rod) for this and was afraid to lose it in the engine! I double checked and it was at TDC but the bolt wanted to just keep going into the case; I stopped when it was flush with the surface. ...has anyone else had this problem?

I only bring it up, because I know how much it sucks to have everything apart and become confused as to what you are doing wrong!

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Old 05-04-2006, 10:00 PM   #10
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Zen you were maybe TDC on the Exhaust stroke
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Old 05-05-2006, 03:43 AM   #11
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Laping the shims worked for me & a regular bolt works fine as a tdc tool.

Take special care as to have each cam in it`s proper place & position (front/rear exhaust/intake); they may not be in their proper place initially & it is of importance. If so , find the last guy who did the valve job on your ride & kick him in the balls; it may not solve the problem but you`ll feel better & then procede to disassemble the cams and reassemble in their proper position, run the engine & then take the valve clearance measurements & do adjustments. You can pretty much add a day to the job waiting for the engine to cool off completely before starting over again so you might want to kick the guy twice while your at it!
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Old 05-05-2006, 05:28 AM   #12
sailah OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures.com
You can forget about swapping around shims and getting the results you want. It just won't happen.

Right. I meant swapping after they have been lapped and honed. I get your drift.

Just do one head at a time----get the old shims down to where they need to be---you don't want to be turning the motor with one head apart.

That's the answer I was looking for, thanks.
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Old 05-05-2006, 05:34 AM   #13
sailah OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K2m
Do you have the bolt to hold the cylinders at TDC? This is the one that screws in under the water pump? It really is necessary. You can make one your self. Also do you have the Workshop Manual downloaded from this site?

Got both, thanks.

You can do both at once. You could just replace the rockers without the shims, or just turn it. A screwdriver through the spark plug hole is good enough for TDC. This is where the bolt really helps.

I would advise you to remove the radiator for this job and don't forget to re torque the head. You need a special tool for this also as there is a hard to get at nut.

The cyl. head update has been done. Are you speaking of just retightening since I am in there? My assumption is that I would not be touching those nuts. I do not have that tool...
These tools are not expensive as there is not much to them so they may be easier to buy than to make. Good luck.
Thanks
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Old 05-05-2006, 05:45 AM   #14
sailah OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K2ride
Laping the shims worked for me & a regular bolt works fine as a tdc tool.

Take special care as to have each cam in it`s proper place & position (front/rear exhaust/intake); they may not be in their proper place initially & it is of importance. If so , find the last guy who did the valve job on your ride & kick him in the balls; it may not solve the problem but you`ll feel better & then procede to disassemble the cams and reassemble in their proper position, run the engine & then take the valve clearance measurements & do adjustments. You can pretty much add a day to the job waiting for the engine to cool off completely before starting over again so you might want to kick the guy twice while your at it!
Hey K2,

Since I'm going to be at your house at 4 am on Saturday for my tire change, why don't you just knock out his little project while you are in there? I'll buy the donuts...


Thanks to everyone's reply, I really appreciate the hints and tips. I think I will be doing one head at a time, replacing the cams without shims, so I have all out at the same time, but not two heads apart at the same time. If that makes any sense.

I will try to locate the cyl head nut tool, but unlikely with my timeframe. Anyone want to send me theirs for future beer IOUs?

I am actually looking forward to this job. I dove into the bike two weeks ago to ascertain the status of the water pump, been into the side covers and under the fuel tanks so many times I could do it blindfolded. While I do have a nice extended warranty, the feeling of empowerment knowing the internal workings of the bike makes me love it even more. And certainly quells the queasiness when little gremlins crop up.

Full write up & pics with everyones commentary should provide a nice hall of wisdom submittal. You're a good group, Charlie Browns.
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Old 05-05-2006, 09:39 AM   #15
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It might be a bit of overkill but I always re torque Mi heads when doing valves. That way you never have a blown head gasket. The trick is to just do one bolt at a time. Good preventive maintenance. Get the tool for next time
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