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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Has the replacement head been delivered? Hopefully it is as expected for you. Also, if upon removal of the head and you see the valves are seated as they should, would you correct what you saw from the top side and reinstall it?
The head is on the way and currently in Troutdale, OR. ETA is the 27th. Judging from the pictures the incoming EBay head might be preferable with only 3k miles although the old one was probably sealing perfectly. I'm inclined to install the replacement (as it was prepped by Kawasaki and not me) and fix/sell the old one. Below are pics of the incoming head.
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Does it come with the cam blocks too? They are supposed to be a match set due to the line-boring.
I'm so glad you raised that point. Pictures show a head, valves and even shims on the valves. No buckets. The piece that bolts down over the two cam gears is there. Is that what you mean by cam blocks?
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I can inquire to the seller but you're saying not to install the new head if I can't also get the missing intake and exhaust blocks/caps?
The heads are sold with the blocks and there is no part number for the blocks.

There's a possibility that your head and the one being shipped were bored with the same boring bar; so, maybe the bore diameters are the same. Next would be to ensure the alignment of your cam blocks to the new head and how to do that would take a few minutes of thought. Then, to ensure enough clearance for oil, Plastigauge should be used. That will tell you the clearance. You could even check what your current head has for clearance and compare to the head enroute. Would have to reference a manual for a clearance range.

Or, you could get a valve spring compressor and simply use the parts from the arriving head and repair what your current head needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
The heads are sold with the blocks and there is no part number for the blocks.

There's a possibility that your head and the one being shipped were bored with the same boring bar; so, maybe the bore diameters are the same. Next would be to ensure the alignment of your cam blocks to the new head and how to do that would take a few minutes of thought. Then, to ensure enough clearance for oil, Plastigauge should be used. That will tell you the clearance. You could even check what your current head has for clearance and compare to the head enroute. Would have to reference a manual for a clearance range.

Or, you could get a valve spring compressor and simply use the parts from the arriving head and repair what your current head needs.
I like the idea of using parts from the new head to fix the old and am leaning towards that. I had looked at the cost of valves and associated parts before ordering the head and factored that in. I'll have all the spares I need without any worry about alignment, clearances, etc. Thanks again for the input. You may have saved me a lot of additional grief.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
The heads are sold with the blocks and there is no part number for the blocks.

There's a possibility that your head and the one being shipped were bored with the same boring bar; so, maybe the bore diameters are the same. Next would be to ensure the alignment of your cam blocks to the new head and how to do that would take a few minutes of thought. Then, to ensure enough clearance for oil, Plastigauge should be used. That will tell you the clearance. You could even check what your current head has for clearance and compare to the head enroute. Would have to reference a manual for a clearance range.

Or, you could get a valve spring compressor and simply use the parts from the arriving head and repair what your current head needs.
Page 250, section 5-26 of the Kawasaki service manual, "The camshaft cap is machined with the cylinder head, so if a new cylinder head is installed, use the cap that is supplied with the new head." I am asking my EBay supplier about that. Worst case scenario is I fix the old head and possibly buy some tools to do it. One way or another I dodged a bullet thanks to you for pointing out the necessity of matchings caps to the head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Followup: I received a clean 3k mile head yesterday via Fedex The engine was on the bench waiting so I pulled the old head and took a look. The delay was due to a mickey mouse set of ratchet adapters and reducers that absorbed the torque from my air ratchet. As soon as I changed to half inch parts the final toughest head bolt spun out. Back to the old head - I can't find anything wrong! All valves are fully seated and can be pushed down from the top side with normal resistance. I'm going to reassemble with the new used head and a fresh head gasket. The replacement head came with the necessary caps to function as a unit. The parts being reused are cams, cam chain and guides. I expect to be able to rotate the engine normally after reassembly. Whatever was causing the lock seems destined to remain a mystery.

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Problem now resolved. I bolted the new head onto the block. At this point of testing cams are not installed. Next, I took up all the camchain slack with my free hand and rotated forward a full revolution. All good. What the hell, I wanted to try and replicate the problem so I rotated backwards while maintaining tension on the camchain. Rotated forward and encountered the hard lock. At that point I knew the transmission (or my idiocy) was at fault. I installed the shift lever, played around with it and got a nice big click. The engine now rotates freely in both directions. Conclusion: I have more to learn about the neutral finding mechanism. I hope fresher valves, decarboned head, clean connections, new gaskets, etc are worth the effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Also curious to see how this goes / went ?
It's all resolved now. Most of the blame is on me for skimming Kawasaki and Haynes documentation. There are duplicate marks on the lowest camchain gear for positioning the engine. There's 1T and 1T, 2T and 2T where the second of each mark is sideways indicating 90 degrees past BTDC for #1 or #2. The view port is tiny enough that you can be unaware of the duplication. Documentation is unable to print the sideways mark and refers to either mark as simply 1T or 2T where the number is always vertical. Bottom line is it's possible to postion the engine 90 degrees off TDC when you mount the cams. A sharp eye reader on this forum pointed that out and cams were installed properly. I'm waiting for a missing fuel line clip to arrive but otherwise am ready for the first startup. This bike was stripped to the frame and I've got a real appreciation for it's design and build quality. Every molecule of dirt or corrosion has been cleaned, bolts refinished, brakes rebuilt, wheels painted, parts lubed, adjusted and torqued, touchup applied. Last night I sanded and painted a bracket supporting the instruments which would never have happened otherwise. Right now the only task undone is repainting the footpeg support pieces to hide minor heel scratches.
 

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It's all resolved now. Most of the blame is on me for skimming Kawasaki and Haynes documentation. There are duplicate marks on the lowest camchain gear for positioning the engine. There's 1T and 1T, 2T and 2T where the second of each mark is sideways indicating 90 degrees past BTDC for #1 or #2.
Sorry to hear of the troubles TMF, but thank you for sharing and documenting here. I've done one valve adjustment in my life, on my last bike (Ninja 500R). This thread has encouraged me to be extra attentive whenever I do my next one, on the 650R or whatever bike it ends up being.

I'll need to read through the full procedure - but man, two identical marks on the gear sounds like asking for trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Sorry to hear of the troubles TMF, but thank you for sharing and documenting here. I've done one valve adjustment in my life, on my last bike (Ninja 500R). This thread has encouraged me to be extra attentive whenever I do my next one, on the 650R or whatever bike it ends up being.

I'll need to read through the full procedure - but man, two identical marks on the gear sounds like asking for trouble.
I do admit screwing this one up with an explanation. Maybe I'm the only one to make the mistake but it's good to have the warning out there. Don't fear the valve adjustment. Watch a lot of videos and review the procedure 3 or 4 times in print. Cross reference the OEM service manual with Haynes or Clymer. Overall, I'm almost glad it happened. I had the bike stripped to the frame and know every nut and bolt on it now. Most every service and adjustment has been done so I can be confident going forward. I had it out today and it's my favorite bike and that's over my '03 SV1000S, Triumph TT600, Honda ST1100, Honda Transalp and Triumph Trident! Love that light feel, easy steering, riding position, smooth motor, easy shifting, torque with some fun when you rev it out.

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TMF.....LOL......Yes, YOU and only YOU.....

YOU are the only person who ever made a costly mechanical mistake fixing something that probably never needed to be fixed in the first place, but in your mind, you had to. I wish.

The biggest difference between you and many other people is you were willing to share the gory, expensive details and you never once blamed cheap parts, cheap bike, or cheap tools. You took responsibility for your work. I'm glad the outcome was good, but you wouldn't have stopped until it was. Overall what you posted was outstanding.

I remember when my mom told me I couldn't put metal in the toaster when it was plugged in. That bothered me and I wasn't happy until I found a way that I could. I'm guessing you did the same sort of thing?
 
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