With 34500 miles on the odometer and nearly 25000 miles on the spark plugs I decided to check the valve clearances and change the coolant for the first time. To prepare for the job I ordered the oem o rings, valve cover gasket, rotor cover gasket, and picked up a gallon of Prestone coolant and Permatex gasket something or other. Spark plugs and air filter too.
SIDE COWLINGS AND DASH PANEL
Since I was changing the coolant the first thing I did was to remove the dash panel and both side cowlings. To stay organized I put each component's fasteners into separate bags or boxes. On the left side I removed the cowling with the lock box still attached, and on the right side I left the bottom panel attached. Just remember where the fasteners go during reassembly.
REMOVING THE FUEL TANK
A straight forward process that includes the T bar and heat shield held in place with a single screw rivet. For me the fuel line always leaks a little so a rag would be in order to avoid gas spills.
GETTING TO THE VALVE COVER
Remove spark plug wires.
Remove air inlet and hoses still attached.
Now we are ready to remove the coolant pipe, but first we must drain the coolant. There was also a fair amount of grit and dirt in the recesses that I spent an hour or so cleaning with q tips and rubbing alcohol, my preferred cleaner.
To remove the coolant pipe the electrical lead must be disconnected and the hose removed completely. Putting the hose back on during reassembly is the hard part. I did it by putting the hose more or less in place and smearing a small amount of silicone grease on/in both ends of the hose to ease getting the pipe started. There are only two bolts that attach the pipe to the cover.
Showing the coolant pipe, hose, electrical, and the white connector.
Pull plug caps and clean the area with a vacuum if possible.
Disconnect electrical leads and leave the sensor near the left front and the bolted in brace near the right rear alone. The wiring harness may then be pried from the brace and also pried from the base that also serves to support the throttle cables. By freeing the harness this way we will gain enough clearance to remove the cover itself.
REMOVING THE VALVE COVER
Now we remove the spark plugs and the eight bolts that hold the cover. In addition we remove the two screws that hold the throttle cables, we pull the cables from their support near the right fork and then turn the handlebars to the right.
With the wiring harness pried loose in two places and the throttle cables unbolted and pushed to the outside the cover is easy to take out and put back in.
CHECKING VALVE CLEARANCE
Using a couple of feeler gauges I rotated each cylinder to TDC by turning the nut clockwise that is found inside of the rotor cover and connected to the cam chain. I got the following readings:
EX (.18 -.25mm) .23 .23, .22 .23, .23 .23, .21 .22
IN (.15 -.22mm) .17.16,.13 .14, .14 .14, .16 .16
The exhaust valve clearances are somewhat loose while the intake clearances are somewhat tight or under spec. I initially thought I would try and shim them, but after consulting with the Mechanic at the Yahama dealer from where I purchased the bike I decided to follow his recommendation to leave them for now. He advised me to rotate the cams a bit 10 oclock and 2 oclock and check them again. When I did I gained .1mm on the number 2 and 3 cylinders (I did not check the others) and so I changed the .13 to .14 and the .14 to .15mm. The mechanic also stated that he does not bother adjusting the intakes unless they are .10mm or less. Not sure what he does with the exhaust numbers. Of course it could have gone the other way and I could have lost a .1mm or 2. The lesson is maybe we should always check other parts of the cam because the real clearance may not be what we get at the recommended place to check them.
The only tricky part for me was keeping the valve cover gasket in place during the install. I used the original gasket saving the one I bought for next time maybe. So I smeared a very small amount of the permatex form a gasket sealant around the outside (but on the inside) edge of the cover to help hold it in place. It is pretty easy to determine if it will work or not simply by looking at it. Let us not forget that there are actually two pieces and that the inside ones may be checked by looking into the recesses where they sit. They did not require anything to hold them. Also if it does not seem to sit right it probably isn't. Finally make sure the tabs on the two ends lay flat against the head.
For the coolant pipe I used a small amount of lithium grease as specified in the manual. I used Prestone Concentrated and on the freeway the temp reads 160. On the streets it reads 170 or so. In traffic it climbs to 220 or so before dropping slowly until moving again.