The first time I did a valve clearance check it took me most of a day.I followed the instructions in both the Kawasaki and Clymer manuals.Now that I have done it a few times I can do the procedure in a couple of hours,still referring to the manuals now and then.
The first thing I did was to remove the luggage rack,back rest, and seat.
The seat removed.
The next thing I did was to remove the speedometer unit.I used rags placed on the tank to prevent scratching the tank.
Tank before removal.
Speedometer lying on top of tank.
Another look at the connector.
Tank minus speedometer.
Tank on top of frame.
Tank and seat removed.
Somewhere I read that it wasn't necessary to drain the anti-freeze to do this procedure. Not true. I got anti- freeze all over the floor when I did it.You don't have to drain it all though. A couple of cups will do.
Draining the anti-freeze.
Now I'll just go in sequence with the procedure.
Air filter removed.
Air filter chamber. Clymers calls in the surge tank.
Surge tank removed and air cleaner backing plate unbolted.
Backing plate secured out of the way.
Cooling system plumbing.
On this particular occasion I started work in my drive way, but it got to be in the 100 degree range, so I moved inside my shop.
My shop is a converted one car garage. I installed a 36" door, but it is a tight squeeze to get the bike inside.
Inside my shop.
My Vulcan in the shop.
At this time I put my bike on a motorcycle jack, because it is easier for me to work on.
Bike on jack.
Now I have to remove stuff to get to where I can remove the valve covers.
Choke handle/cable assembly.
Choke assembly removed.
Next I removed the spark plugs, because it is easier to turn the engine over with them out.The best tool to do this is the spark plug wrench in the Kawasaki tool kit.
Removing the spark plugs.
Now comes the removal of the rocker arm covers.There are three bolts holding each cover on, and of course they must be removed. The front cover is easy, because there is nothing near it to obstruct its removal. But the rear one is a whole different ball game. The bottom of the top frame is very close to the cover, and this makes it difficult to remove.There is no way to describe its removal except the grunt and cuss method. You must be very careful so you don't damage the gasket.
Rocker arm covers removed.
The next step is to remove the timing inspection plate. This is necessary, because it provides access to the crank shaft which must be turned to TDC for each cylinder on which you are working.(Actually you are turning the alternator rotor, but the engine turns over as wanted.)
Timing inspection cover removed.
Socket wrench on crank shaft.
Timing mark on TDC for rear cylinder.
When you have found the TDC mark on the cylinder on which you are working you must be sure that the index line is aligned with the top of the cylinder head.
Now you can check the valve clearances with a feeler gauge.
Checking clearances with a feeler gauge.
If adjustments are required the shims must be removed and replaced with shims that will bring the clearances to within tolerances.The safest way to remove shims is with a magnet. I have found that to replace the shims it is easiest to use your fingers.Be sure to stuff rags into all of the holes in the top of the cylinder head so if you drop something it won't drop down inside the engine.
Using a magnet to remove a shim.
After you have adjusted the valves just reverse order the process you used to remove everything.As I mentioned before be very careful with the valve cover gaskets, especially the rear one. It is a very tight fit, and it could be damaged if you aren't careful.Take you time!
Everything you need to know cam be found in either or both the Kawasaki and Clymers manuals.
As with any other project count you left over parts.
Two winters ago during my valve clearance check I lost a shim. Check this out.
Odds and ends:I run some Sea Foam through the gas tank every so often. I use 20/50 synthetic oil year around with a WalMart ST 7317 filter.At 25,000 miles I flushed the radiator, and replaced the coolant with Honda HP coolant.I use teflon based lubricant on the drive chain.
I guess that about covers it all. If I remember something or do something additional I'll add it.
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