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 Post subject: Valve clearances
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:25 pm 
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Ok, now this was my first attempt at doing my own valve clearances. This is done on an F1, but i believe it is exactly the same for F2 E1 and E2 and probably C models also.

I was worried. The thought of taking my engine apart (the top of it at least) had me scared :?

I knew the forum was at the other end of my keyboard, so i took the plunge anyway :D

THIS NEEDS TO BE DONE WITH A STONE COLD ENGINE!!!! So leave it at least over night before doing this, 24hrs is better.

1st step. Remove the fuel tank, airbox and carbs from the bike. (if you can't do this then you probably shouldn't be attempting your valve clearances.(No offence))

You should now be left with a nice open space to work. The next thing to remove is the baffle/cam cover. This involves unclipping the loom from its clips and taking the stick coil plugs off. This can then all be removed together.

Give the area a clean up, so that you don't lose any crap into the engine. Clean up round the stick coils and remove them.

Next step, remove a spark plug, this will enable you to turn the engine over easier when using the nut on the end of the crank. Now remove the timing cover and set the engine to TDC. (i will post a pic of this later as i haven't got one :o )

You will now have set the engine to TDC on either No.1 or No.4 piston. Next remove the cam cover, 6 bolts, be carefull not to lose any of the rubber washers. Then remove the black rubber gasket, this will probably need a wipe over and a clean, especially around the half circle tabs (2 on each end) as there should be some sealant stuck to it (this will need to be re-sealed when you put it all back together.

This is what you will now be looking at
Image

The next step is to check whether you have No.1 or No.4 at TDC. The lobes on the cams will be facing away from eachother, in the pic above, No.4 is at TDC. You can see the ends of the cam lobes pointing towards the camera.

Now to check some clearances. I wasn't sure how hard to 'push' on the feeler guages to find out the clearance, but if you start with a very thin one (out of spec by quite a way) you will feel that there is no resistance at all, and as you try a slightly thicker guage, you will feel some resistance and when it becomes difficult to push it in, then you have reached the correct clearance measurement. You basically want the highest measurement without having to force it. This will all become a lot clearer once you actally start. It is best to smear a little engine oil on the guages before feeding them in to the gaps as you want them to slide in, and not to scratch the buckets or the cam lobes.

I do not have the specs to hand, maybe someone can post these for me :D But with No.4 @ TDC you can check the Intake and exhaust of No.4, the Intake of No. 3 and the Exhaust of No. 2. These are all very well marked up, so don't panic.

Checking Exhaust clearances, I found it easiest to do it like this,
Image

Intakes,
Image

It is very important that you write everything down in an easy to read table, so that you can see clearly which measurement is for which clearance, as you don't want to cock this stage up!!! I made this. Feel free to print it out. It is drawn as if you were sitting on the bike.
Image

Turn the engine over 360 degrees to get TDC for the other end piston, (in this/my case it would be No.1) and repeat for Intake and Exhaust of No.1, Intake of No. 2 and Exhaust of No. 3.

Next I marked the cams to the chain so that when it goes back together, even an idiot like me could get it right :D There are marks on the cam sprockets, but you wont see them until you have taken the cam covers and the black rubber gasket (from earlier) off.
Image


Next I removed the CCT (cam chain tentioner). You will need to remove the centre nut first, this has the spring and pin inside, so be really carefull not to drop the pin out from inside the spring!!! Once the centre bolt and spring/pin is removed, you need to get the other 2 smaller bolts out, this is the tensioner assembly.
Image
CCT assembly
Image

You will need to count the clicks/steps on the CCT. Mine was 7 clicks out (5 visual steps iirc) then push it in and out until you are happy that it is running in and out smoothly. (There is a little clip on the top which allows you to move the tensioner) Then set it at 5 clicks out.

Now is the bit I was dreading. :roll:

The Cam shafts need to be removed. The covers are basically spring loaded whilst installed, so the untightening sequence is quite important so as not to damage the covers. If one breaks you will need to source a new cover and a matched cam shaft, so be very carefull. I'd suggest half a turn on each fixing, then move on to the next, repeat repeat repeat untill they are loose enough to undo by hand.
Image

I placed these bolts in a bit of card so i knew where they went. When these are re-installed they need to be tightened to 12NM (not 20 as I had misread in the haynes manual, because you will break the fixing off and its bound to be inside the head :o :lol: )
Image

Once removed, lift the covers off squarely so as not to damage them. Then the cam shafts need to be removed carefully. Firstly, put a cable tie or a bit of string round the chain to stop it dropping into the engine, and try and keep it taught whilst removing the cams. The cams will lift out quite easily and will need to be unhooked from the chain.
This is what you will be left looking at,
Image

Now, the little shiny circular bits are the buckets that cover the shims and tops of the valves, these are easiest removed with a decent magnet. Be gentle though, this is not a job for a big hammer!!!!! I removed them all one at a time and placed them on yet another piece of card marked up so that i knew where they came from. I was lucky and all the shims came out with the buckets, but take care that you have them all. (you can see the little shims inside the upside down buckets in the pic)
Image

You will now need a micrometer to measure the thickness of each shim. Put the measurement down on the same table as the clearance measurements.

Next, unless you are capable of working it out yourself, POST YOUR RESULTING TABLE MEASUREMENTS ON THIS SITE and you will, I'm sure, get pointed in the right direction as to what needs replacing/moving. You may not need many, I only had to replace 5, the rest were moveable.

Once you have sourced your new shims, you can start to reverse the above process.

The only bit i had worries about was getting those damn cams back in, but they were quite simple as i had the paint marks, the exhaust side needs to be replaced onto the chain, lining up the marks and 'fed' into its seat, the intake cam is a little more simple as the chain is loose. Be aware, the chain will remain loose, (even after the tentioner is replaced), so make sure the chain hasn't jumped any teeth from your marks. Once the cam covers are back on (tightened in the opposite order to loosening) and checked, refit the CCT body, then the centre bolt with the spring and pin (be carefull not to drop the pin!), you will then need to turn the engine over again at the crank to tighten the chain. You will (in my case) hear 2 clicks, and the chain will be tight. I spun the engine over a couple of times with the socket, just to confirm it was all where it should be and wasn't getting loose again. I re-checked the clearances after that, just to confirm that the work i had done was good. If they are out of spec still, then you have to do the process again, more carefully.

Then it should be a simple matter of putting everything else back together and starting her up :D


If i have missed anything, please let me know. I done this post in a bit of a rush cos i'm at work. So any tips on making life easier or any shortcuts, please let me know and i will incorperate them into this post to make things clearer.

Enjoy, and get your spanners out :D

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Last edited by BIGMat on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:43 pm 
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nice write up mat =D> =D> =D>
bet you wouldnt think twice about opening her up again now ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:49 pm 
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Location: North Nottinghamshire.....1998 ZX9r C1
=D> =D> =D> Well done Mat =D> =D> =D>

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:41 pm 
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Excellent job mate, gives me the confidence to give it a go. =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>
How long did it take you?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:10 pm 
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its a couple of hours job max,if you already got the shims required which i doubt you will have :doubt:
so your bike will probaly be off the road for a couple of days :(
oh and mat you forgot to mention that you got to check the clearances with a dead cold engine ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:52 pm 
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smear some oil on the feeler gauge also

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:08 am 
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Excellent walkthrough =D>

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:35 am 
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Good write up Matt, cam cap torque though is 11 in my manual and I'd be very wary of exceeding that. :smt089 Yorkie and Dave were telling me that getting one out that busted was no fun at all.

I also remove all the plugs before turning the engine with the crank nut as the bolt bit itself is very thin and is a mare to drill out when the head snaps off.
I would also only remove one bucket/shim at a time as by this stage I'm wearing reading glasses and kicking the buckets n shims down the garden is not a good start. #-o

I took three hours on my first go, though I did cock the measuring up twice so really stripped and rebuilt 3 times, good close quarters vision might have helped on this count so nowt really to worry about if you've got decent eyeballs. H

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:24 am 
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Hazzo wrote:
Good write up Matt, cam cap torque though is 11 in my manual .
I took three hours on my first go,


I don't know what book you have Hazzo, but in each kawasaki service manual C, E & F, it says T4 12Nm, and in both Haynes it says 12Nm.

3 Hours, fairings off, tank off, carbs off, shims measured and changed carbs back on and balanced fairings refitted, really 3 times?

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Just got yourself a ZX-9R, then do your bike, and yourself a favour, read this thread. viewtopic.php?f=21&t=28097

Please will forum members put their bike model letter, & 1 or 2 after their Profile Location. eg: Your Town & B1,2,3,4 C1,2 E1,2 F1,2
As all zx9's are all slightly different, and I get fed up having to ask which model & number, as year may not be accurate.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:20 pm 
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No mate, caps n cams on and off three times as my measurements weren't right the first two goes on the shims coming out with the micrometer, I hadn't used one before.

You're both right on the 12nm as I've just looked, its a C model one I DL, cant think why 11 stuck in my head on this. Sorry folks, pass the donkey lugs. H

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:04 pm 
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I've now come to the conclusion after a fair bit of reading and comparing between the C, E & F in the service manuals and both versions of the Haynes zx9, that the way to loosen the cam bearing bolts a 1/4 to 1/2 turn each in a spiral motion like what big mat has shown. This is just to loosen and to tighten by hand. Please refer to the diagrams below for the torque sequence as this is different.

I would also torque them down to 10Nm first, then to 12Nm but leaving the 2 or 4 silver bolts till last, as these are the ones that I've heard of, and seen snapping.

The C has a one piece bearing cap inlets and exhaust. whereas the E & F are individual cap bearings.

ZX9 C

Image Image

ZX9 E & F

Image Image Image

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Just got yourself a ZX-9R, then do your bike, and yourself a favour, read this thread. viewtopic.php?f=21&t=28097

Please will forum members put their bike model letter, & 1 or 2 after their Profile Location. eg: Your Town & B1,2,3,4 C1,2 E1,2 F1,2
As all zx9's are all slightly different, and I get fed up having to ask which model & number, as year may not be accurate.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:10 pm 
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Good write up mate, =D> =D> =D> i still don't think i can have a go at mine tho, :smt101 :smt119

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:24 pm 
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Edited to include Gary and big gavs missed points =D> =D>

Thanks for all the feedback, I can honestly say that this is a whole lot easier than it seems. If you printed this out and sat it next to you when you do your checks, i think (trying not to blow my own trumpet :? :lol: ) you would easily be able to do it. It is only a matter of undoing bolts, using feeler guages and a micrometer, and doing the bolts back up :D

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 5:15 pm 
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Bumped for the winter checkers :D

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:06 pm 
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Thanks Matt for this, I did find putting the CCT back in when I put the inlet camshaft in, made it easier to keep the chain tighter as it always wanted to roll forward. Yorkie Hint.

Followed to the letter and made things easy

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