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Valve clearance check and shim swap

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Mori Man
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Valve clearance check and shim swap

Post by Mori Man » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:36 pm

A few of you may be tackling this over the winter so here is a guide to help you along. Use this in conjunction with the "top end" part of the workshop manual.

I've used the engine still in the frame to see what you'll be up against and I'm glad i did as it certainly needs a few done :smt001

Your going to have to get access to the pulsar cover for removal and of course remove the fuel tank,airbox and disconnecting the carb's from the inlet rubbers makes the Cam cover off a bit easier too. ( My initial reaction was remove the engine too ! :smt005 )
Image

Recommended / Necessary tools:
Magnet pick up tool - as pictured.
Angled feeler gauges - you'll see my new flat set is already bent !
Micrometer.
Inspection mirror.
Flat leg pliers.
Small long handled screwdriver.
8 & 10mm small sockets
19mm medium socket
Box for shims.
Arm yourself with a sheet of paper and a pen too :
ImageImageImageImageImage

Pulsar Cover:Remove pulsar cover by undoing 6 x 8mm hex heads.
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Pulsar/rotor set on "T" mark for measuring valve clearance: You'll need a 19mm socket on a ratchet for spinning the engine to set up the timing marks.
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Cam cover has side vibration dampers that need removed:You'll also need a 10mm socket for removing the rocker cover.
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Cam cover:
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Coolant hoses get in the way but don't need removed: I also dangled the HT leads over the side of the frame beams (not so much dangled as they are stiff as a board with age)
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Lifting cam cover and holding hoses out of the way:
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It's a bit of a wrestle but the cover eventually comes away:
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Make sure you have the four oil seals that sit on top of the spark plug tunnels:
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With the pulsar set up on it's "T" marks you need to identify what valves can be checked.
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The camshaft sprockets have alignment marks on them for reference but the frame beam pretty much obliques it so this is where the inspection mirror comes in handy . In this position :
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The following valves can be checked adjusted, #2 Inlet , #3 Exhaust , #4 Inlet & #4 Exhaust

The cam lobes for #4 cylinder will look like this:
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If you look to left hand side of the cam's you'll also notice they have deep notches in them at this setting they will be pointing away from each other:
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Once you have finished doing these valves you then spin the timing mark 360' so that the sprocket marks oppose each other and the notches on the other end will look like this:
ImageImage
The T mark will still be like this:
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The following valves can be checked adjusted, #1 Exhaust , #1 Inlet , #2 Exhaust & #3 Inlet

Another reference is the actual camshaft lobes themselves. On each timing setting the lobes for cylinders 2&3 always point straight up:
ImageImageImage

On one cycle the exhaust of cylinder 3 is pointing up and the Inlet of cylinder 2 is also the same (their counterpart is fully compressing the valve open). On the next set-up cycle then Inlet on cyclinder 3 is pointing up and Exhaust on cylinder 2 is also the same.
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The cam lobes for #1 cylinder will look like this:
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Measure between rocker and cam lobe. Don't place the feeler directly onto the shim - you may get a false reading !
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As you check each valve write down it's gap, I start with a feeler guage about the middle of the tolerance ie. .15mm for inlet and .19mm for the exhaust from there you work up or down to find it's exact measurement. NB: A shop will only use the upper and lower tolerance sizes to check that it is in within tolerance. Once you;ve got all the sizes down, you maybe lucky and none need done.
ImageImage

If you have valves at the lowest tolerance - change the shims. Tight valves will damage your engine and they don't have much to go! To make measuring the gaps easier you can remove the spark plug tunnels that plug into the cylinder head, they are held in place by "O" rings so be aware that ideally these should be replaced ("O"ring) with new ones, personally i recommend every time :
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Regardless of whether you need to adjust shims or not, use this opportunity to make a shim chart for yourself. This will make your next valve clearance / shim swap an absolute doddle ! Each shim needs to be removed and it's number noted down, hence the need for a micrometer.
Mark the sizes along side your clearances on the sheet, you'll then use this to work out what new shims you need and what shims can be re-used.
Image


REMOVING SHIMS:

The rocker arms are spring loaded so the camshafts do not need to be removed :smt004 , some can be accessed from the back of the camshaft shrouds but most you need to slide a fine screwdriver at the front of them and move them away from the cam cap. Once you have cleared the valve spring you can then press them down and let the spring hold them out of the way exposing the shim:
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These shims are tricky to get out as they are held in place by oil suction so this is where the magnetic pick up tool comes into play. I found one with a short head that could also be angled and is perfect for the job. The magnet removes the shim with no problem and also prevents it from falling into the cylinder head:
ImageImage

After measuring replace the shim, it may require being removed later on once you know all the measurements (a shop wouldn't do this as they generally have a stash of shims and just change it there and then). Before fitting the shim back in place pack around the area with clean rags - if you've removed the spark plug tunnels/wells pack inside there too, using your finger add a small drip of clean engine oil into the shim seat if it's dry:
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I have flat fine pliers for refitting (as not to damage the surface of the shim) and once I have them sitting in place push them down into the seat with my finger. Then you release the rocker and guide it back across to it's home sitting on top of the shim - avoid allowing to snap back across under the tension of the spring. While fitting the shims back in using the pliers a couple got poorly placed hence the need for packing around the area so i developed a new method which made them so much easier to get back in and sped up the job too :smt004
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What I done is used the magnetic tool to place the shim back on top of the valve and used the screwdriver to hold it in place while removing the magnetic tip. I then used the screwdriver to place the shim back into it's well and i also gave them a press with my finger to make sure they were fully seated:
ImageImage

As pointed out on the discussion thread the outer rocker arms on each camshaft have a shorter travel to move out of the way and can not be rested on the valve spring. What you can do is slide it across and lift it up so that it is resting on the cam lobe:
ImageImageImage
You can also use the pliers sitting in at the back of the cam to keep it pushed over and i used this method on a couple, once the packing is in it jamb's it too.

Exhaust tolerance runs from 0.16~0.21mm
Inlet tolerance runs from 0.12~0.17mm

GOLDEN RULE:
Big gap needs Bigger shim
Small gap needs Smaller shim


Anything your unsure about or I haven't explained well let me know and I'll try to get the info up. Of course you should be using this guide along with the workshop manual about this procedure.
Last edited by Mori Man on Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:11 pm, edited 6 times in total.


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Re: Valve clearance check and shim swap

Post by RedexRobB » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:05 am

Quality thread MM! Excellent!



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Re: Valve clearance check and shim swap

Post by masterofinsanity » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:06 am

seconded!! please... no posts in this thread i have started another thread to discuss this to keep this one clean. discuss here


Don't forget people there is more to the zxr400 than this forum... check out www.zxrworld.co.uk also.

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Mori Man
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Updated

Post by Mori Man » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:54 am

Have now added additional images and a bit more speal :smt002

next is in frame cam chain replacing !! Watch out......

Proposal:

If the exchange rate hadn't freakin collapsed so much i would of been happy to supply shims at cost to make a forum "Stash" . They only cost 704 Yen here which used to be under £3 but that's now £5.42 shocking

So,

Gather names up on who does their own servicing and rather than you all have a box of shims each, make a collective set. At times you'll need to top up the most popular sizes that are used and you'll end up with bundles of another size - can't be avoided!

But over all you should all save on servicing costs. You can make a rule that when you have the stash and after completing servicing you empty a particular size of shim you replace them with two the same size ensuring that when it's passed on there is always a full set of numbers.

From my own measurements it seems 2.90 , 2.95 & 3.00 are the most common so doing a group buy on a bundle of 2.85 & 3.05 might be helpful. In my shim box I already have a collection of 3.15 & 3.10 so expect these to be the growing number in your stash

Just a thought!


Nothing worse than having an H and not being able to scratch it !
Living life on the edge, SuPposedly

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Re: Valve clearance check and shim swap

Post by Fatspanner #44 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:42 am

For shims call Elite MX & Quads. All sizes kept and delivered for £2.45 per shim :excited Not found anyone cheaper. Number is 05600 253 049. Tell him that Colin Murray gave you the number :smt006



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Re: Valve clearance check and shim swap

Post by mikey_m » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:37 am

How do i know what size shim i need? i know it sounds stupid.

cheers, michael.



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Mori Man
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Re: Valve clearance check and shim swap

Post by Mori Man » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:37 am

mikey_m wrote:How do i know what size shim i need? i know it sounds stupid.

cheers, michael.
Measure the clearance (gap) - if it out of spec then -

Remove that shim and measure it , if the gap was too tight you need a smaller shim to make the gap bigger.

If the gap was too big you need a bigger shim to make the gap smaller

These numbers are all determined by the figures you get when measuring.

Use the table in the worshop manual that your meant to be using along with guide (available on front page of this website) too.

If unsure just write all the gap sizes down and all your shim sizes and I will work the rest out for you. Do not mix your shims up !!!

MM!


Nothing worse than having an H and not being able to scratch it !
Living life on the edge, SuPposedly

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Re: Valve clearance check and shim swap

Post by ccubed » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:11 am

Here is the spreadsheet featured in this thread presented fully working by the magic of Google Docs.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key ... l=en#gid=0

You can download it to Excel or Open Office.



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