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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Update. This problem resolved. I'm blaming it on sketchy documentation and an inability for the technical writers to differentiate between timing marks "2T" and "2T" where the two is sideways on the second mark. Blame to both Kawasaki, Haynes and myself for a less than thorough reading of the procedure. Technical writers refer to 2T but it's always printed as the vertical one probably because they had no way to type out a sideways 2. That ultimately leads to installing cams 90 degrees out of phase.

This might require a careful reading to digest. A quick summary: I shimmed the valves but installed cams with cylinder #2 90 degrees past TDC (there are two 2T marks and I had the wrong one). Had valve to piston contact rotating the engine (no damage done though). Remedied the cam timing problem and reassembled properly. Afterwards, I encountered a hard lock rotating the engine past TDC on cylinder #2 and 180 degrees backwards from there. I assumed a valve had lost a keeper and was contacting a piston. The cylinder head was removed and no damage found. A low miles replacement head was installed. Cams not installed. Rotated engine while holding camchain. Hard lock problem still there ruling out valve to piston interference. Played around with shift lever and temporarily resolved the lock; could rotate the engine freely in both directions. Installed cams, camchain and tensioner as per service manual. Noted that the lock problem returned a second time. (hard lock when rotating engine; lock points are 180 degrees apart).

Conclusion - disregard "problem" and assume it's cause is the neutral finder. Install engine and resolve issue using the neutral light, clutch and shift lever. I invite anyone who has experienced this issue to opine on the matter. I'd like to resolve it with the engine on my workbench just to be sure. I spent 20 minutes working the shift lever last night and could not clear the lock.
 

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I appreciate your being willing to share your mistakes. This happens all the time.

People don't have a lot of experience with shim under bucket valves and assume they need to be adjusted due to a slightly tight measurement. Although the process is simple, there are a hundred things that can go wrong to where you end up in a way, way worse position than a slightly tight valve would have ever caused. I compliment you for seriously sharing the info.....very few do that.

Here's a great description of what the neutral finder does do....and doesn't do. It has no ability to lock your engine....it can only prevent you from 2nd gear unless you are in motion.

 
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