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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI all, just took it out to check the tensioner, put it back in as all looked good. Torqued the header nuts to spec and now the bike won't start. Any ideas?
thanks ;in advance,
michel
 

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SO, could I have messed something up here? Maybe when the weather is nasty I'll do the
Servicing the infamous Kawa cam-chain tensioner
as it seems to be well written and I'll need to buy that special tool.
There are dimensions for that tool in the manual and a procedure for resetting the tensioner.
If you have a pair of tin snips and a thinish piece of aluminum, you can cut one by eye in about 30 seconds. That's what I did.
Whenever you remove a tensioner they extend fully and MUST be reset before reinstalling or damage can be done. There are different methods for different tensioners.
At the very least you should unbolt your tensioner right now to relieve the tension on your timing chain. You're lucky the engine didn't start as you most likely would have ground right through the chain guide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It did start the second time, but did not run right. Shut it down and will be checking to see if I did any damage. Damn it! Will be trying a 3rd time if there is no damage.
 

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It did start the second time, but did not run right. Shut it down and will be checking to see if I did any damage. Damn it! Will be trying a 3rd time if there is no damage.
You must have met up with more resistance turning the bolts in on the tensioner with it fully extended.
What you do, on the workbench, prior to installing, is retract the tension rod by turning the screw then hold it in place with the tool. Install tensioner. Then remove tool, which allows the tension rod to spring out and press against the cam chain guide.

If the engine was running fine prior to removing the tensioner (meaning no other reason for it to not) then the excessive pressure on the cam chain must have caused the valve timing to skew. That's just my guess, I dont know for sure.

Best case is the guide is a little more worn but still ok.
Middle case is the chain has stretched a little but still within spec.
Worst case is the chain has stretched beyond service limit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Whew! Got everything back together again about 2 hours ago. Started right up and sounds good now. Last 2 times the remove tool must have slipped .... Made a better tool, shorter than the one in the pictures And took off the #4 carb to airbox funnel which made using the ratchet much easier ( I have a custom airbox I made ).

"If the engine was running fine prior to removing the tensioner (meaning no other reason for it to not) then the excessive pressure on the cam chain must have caused the valve timing to skew. That's just my guess, I dont know for sure. "

I'll find out later, but right now I don't hear the ticking that was present earlier. I'll check the compression in all cylinders to make sure before a ride.

The problems I encountered was caused by me Not following the instructions properly the 1st and 2nd time.
thanks all,
michel
 

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Ok. Sometimes the tensioner is reluctant to make another click. To help it along you can put your bike in 2nd or 3d gear with the engine OFF. Rock your bike back and fourth 2 or 3 times. This causes the cam chain to go slack then tighten and the tensioner will move out a click.
Post up your compression numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
oh oh, not good.even though I measured them w/o the throttle fully opened these are the numbers I got:
cylinder 1-4, 90psi, 30, 90, 120. Now I'll try w/ the throttle fully opened. Manual says should be 109-170psi.
I'm thinking leakage around cylinder head, or bad valve clearance.

Strange, but when I took it out for a spin it felt ok.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
with throttle fully open, cylinder 1-4 were: 140psi, 40,120, 130
 

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Without knowing the readings before you took out the tensioner, it could be a burnt exhaust valve, or you might have bent a valve when you replaced the tensioner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
yeah, could be very likely. With the situation around here getting parts (3 weeks for a directional) gong on 4 weeks waiting for an exhuast collar....I wonder how long it would be to get both intake and exhaust valves. Then I'd have to also reseat the valves. Quite a job I know.

Do you know if the engine has to be pulled out to accomplish this?
 

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Do you know if the engine has to be pulled out to accomplish this?
Obo and Zed7 can advise you on this. Valve lapping really isn't a major job, especially if it is only one or two valves. The main issue is if the valve seat has been damaged - that's an entirely different story. Keep us posted.
 

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Any work on the head and cylinders can be done with the engine in the frame.
Did you happen to feel #2 header pipe? 40psi is low and may not ignite.

But first, what type of gauge did you use? If it's the type with a long hose, does it have the valve stem at the spark plug hole or at the gauge? If it's at the gauge, the hose adds to the volume of the cylinder and will give low readings.
The best for this engine is the small hand held type with the rubber cone. Throttle open, all plugs out.

I too had a low reading on my compression when I recently bought the bike but the valves were way out of spec. The bike runs perfectly now so I buried my head in the sand and did not take a second reading. There's no smoke on acceleration or deceleration, no noise at idle, the engine pulls good and holds 90mph just fine. I'm sure all the numbers went up.

When was the last valve adjustment? It would be a good time to check.
Also, did you check the petcock for leaking and possible oil dilution? There's been some of that going on around here.
 

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It may just be a stuck ring due to the fuel passing thru the piston into the engine. I'd give that a go before tearing the engine apart.

See here: Carbs and cold start question
and the link in that post to here: ZR7 compression

Shakey should still be around if you PM him.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Any work on the head and cylinders can be done with the engine in the frame.
Did you happen to feel #2 header pipe? 40psi is low and may not ignite.

But first, what type of gauge did you use? If it's the type with a long hose, does it have the valve stem at the spark plug hole or at the gauge? If it's at the gauge, the hose adds to the volume of the cylinder and will give low readings.
The best for this engine is the small hand held type with the rubber cone. Throttle open, all plugs out.

I too had a low reading on my compression when I recently bought the bike but the valves were way out of spec. The bike runs perfectly now so I buried my head in the sand and did not take a second reading. There's no smoke on acceleration or deceleration, no noise at idle, the engine pulls good and holds 90mph just fine. I'm sure all the numbers went up.

When was the last valve adjustment? It would be a good time to check.
Also, did you check the petcock for leaking and possible oil dilution? There's been some of that going on around here.
Thank you. No i didn't feel the header pipe will do that soon.

Added oil to cylinders, only #2 went up 10psi. Must be valves.
Guess it's time to bite the bullet, take out the manual and check the valves clearances.

"
But first, what type of gauge did you use? If it's the type with a long hose, does it have the valve stem at the spark plug hole or at the gauge? If it's at the gauge, the hose adds to the volume of the cylinder and will give low readings.
The best for this engine is the small hand held type with the rubber cone. Throttle open, all plugs out."

compession tester as the stem at the spark plug.

"When was the last valve adjustment? It would be a good time to check."
Knowing the previous owner, probably 30K miles ago, when it was brand new. Sad, non?

A question: Does Kawasaki sell the valve compression tool, or can I get one somewhere else.?

Again, thanks everyone for your help. It's really appreciated.
 

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I bought my 2001 zr7s last December with 19,000 miles on it and I was the FIRST to adjust the valves. Mine gave very uneven and some low compression readings that all went up with oil in the cylinders. I posted somewhere on here.
When I checked the valves they were either below spec or too tight to get my smallest feeler gauge in. Not good. But after changing all eight shims the motor runs like a champ. Internally it's very quiet even though I adjusted to the loose end of the spec. So, no damage done by the long adjustment interval.
That's why I didn't check the compression afterwards. I'm sure their all good. The bike runs perfect.

There is an excellent pinned thread here for adjusting the valves with great instruction. I followed it and didn't have a problem. It's better than the manual.
The worst of it was scraping the old gasket without getting crap in the head. I'm serious, that was worst part. (Go to the Home Depot and buy a few .79 cent plastic throw away paint scrapers. They are sharp and won't damage the aluminum like a razor can.)

The easiest thing to do is buy a shim kit and have them at hand. Also buy a new cam cover gasket.
You can buy a valve spring compression tool anywhere or make your own but I doubt you'll need it.
Also, after decades I finally bought a feeler gauge set in METRIC. Wow, best thing ever, no more math conversions. Tusk brand, goes down real small.
 
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