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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I would like to start off by saying this is simply a guide. I am not a certified mechanic nor do I claim to be one. In other words, *WORK AT YOUR OWN RISK*
With that out of the way, Welcome to my Ninja 650R Valve Clearance Adjustment Guide. My bike is a Passion Red 07. I know 06-08 bikes should be identical. The 09 bikes may differ in some ways. I don’t have an 09, so I don’t know. If you don’t have the tools listed below or are not mechanically inclined go ahead a turn back because this is not a task for the faint hearted. You also need a working knowledge of how the motor in our bike runs, as this guide will not explain every last bit to you. I recommend going to HowItWorks.com are reviewing four stroke engines before starting on this project. If you are unsure about doing this procedure take it to a mechanic. You may run into trouble, if parts are damaged, cam chain timing is off (not likely) etc. then you are on your own. You can send me a private message and I can help to the best of my knowledge but as I stated I am not a mechanic.
It is important to have the service manual for the bike that can be found at http://homepages.slingshot.co.nz/~shanetp/Index.html#_Manuals_&_Parts_1
If you are uncertain about anything look at the shop manual for further instruction.

Here are some rules to live by:
1. Always start off with less force then proceed to use more force, you can’t unstrip bolts, unshear bolt caps, and put marred metal back together.
2. Always plug holes that things can fall down and mark spots that tubes go with masking tape.
3. Rescrew in bolts when you can. Make sure to keep the bolts and screws with the pieces they go with otherwise you’re going to end up with extra parts when you finish and that can end up nasty.
4. In light of rule 3, try to put the bolts into the same holes they came from. Bolts tend to imprint themselves into where they are mounted and work best in the original hole they were in.
5. Be patient. If you get rushed you are more likely to screw things up. This project took me a good 8 hours (including a parts run and breaks).
6. Work parts out slowly. Never yank on things or apply large amounts of pressure.
7. Read ahead few steps before proceeding, I try to organize this the best I can but I am not perfect.
I would like to point out that I have highlighted things in the pictures. Blue means remove, Red means beware (if you drop things down these holes you will have to take the whole engine apart to get them back), Green means pay attention, Turquoise means retighten to spec. Some things will need specific tightening amounts, some can be felt. I will site the amount of ft lbs of torque when it is required. Threadlocker is good to use on stress bearing parts that are non greasy.
Your bike must be cold in order to do this project. Make sure that it has been sitting overnight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
First, Check to make sure you have the tools shown below:

Torque Wrench, Screwdrivers (including 1 large flathead), Allen Keys, a socket set, flashlight, rubber mallet, pliers, rubber gloves (not necessary but will make things cleaner), masking tape, zip ties, threadlocker, spark plug wrench, feeler gauge (get one that goes down to 0.002 inches), wrenches size 8, 10, and 12, breaker bar, and a caliper that measures to 1/1000th of an inch (0.001). Not pictured: Shop Towels and Clean Rags

A rear stand is also necessary

You need a shim kit. I ordered mine from Procycle in Oregon for $80. There are actually two boxes, but this box pictured has the sizes you will need for the project. The diameter on our bikes is 7.48mm

This is not necessarily necessary, but can help. Get a friend, preferably one with mechanical knowledge. In my case, I got my buddy Tico who owned a motorcycle shop and is a certified crusty biker dude.
Now lets begin!
At this point its not a bad idea to take of the left and right fairings just to give yourself extra work room. You don’t have to take off the left fairing, but it will make things a hell of a lot easier. The right fairing does have to come off in order to check the cam chain timing later on.
Now, Take off the seat then the gas tank.

You need to take off the outer hex keys in order to get the black paneling off. Use a socket to take off the rear part of the gas tank. When this is done, disconnect the gas sensor, the black tube from under the gas tank, and the fuel line with the red clip (a small amount of fuel may leak). See below for a view of said hoses and wires.

Now you can use a screwdriver to open the air box. With the airbox open beware the throttle bodies. If you drop something in there your SOL. Your best bet is to tape them up. Remove the four hex bolts in the picture below.

And here is a picture with the throttle bodies covered
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Before removing the air box, you need to open up the wiring harness straps using a knife.

With the wiring harness undone you can life the air box up. It is in their tight but just work it out slowly. There will be two lines connect to the bottom of the air box. One should be rather nasty and larger. The other is a drain line that will need to be rerouted behind the engine block during reinstall.
With the airbox out of the way, you can remove the tube picture below as well at the firing mechanisms for the spark plugs. In order to remove the spark plug firing mechanisms you must undue the bolt holding them in place.

Unplug the hose behind the engine and cover the whole with tape.


Next, remove the mud guard. There is a rubber lip on the front that is removable. If you take it off it will make it easier to take it out and put it back in. Remove the two bolts in the picture below to remove the mudguard.

You can now remove the four bolts on the engine cover.

Now to remove the throttle cables it is easiest the give yourself slack by opening up the throttle housing and undoing the cables.


Now that you have some slack pull off the cables and tape them to the frame. You will need to use a knife to undue the clip on the clutch cable.


Now use your rubber mallet to gently tap the engine cover till it loosens and can be pulled off. You may not actually need to use the mallet if yours is loose from the get go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
IMG]http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e220/Sebastian656/ValveAdjustment/19.jpg[/IMG]
The engine cover removed

Beware the four red holes and most importantly beware the cam chain shaft. If you drop something down that shaft or in the holes your SOL. You will have to take the engine apart. So take your time and be careful.

You can now undo the timing plugs on the clutch case. BE VERY CAREFUL. I managed to mar the smaller plug with a screwdriver and now I have to order a new one. Use a large flathead for the large plug and a small one for the small plug.

How the plugs look removed.

You will use your breaker bar with these holes at a later point to bring the engine to TDC.
You can now remove the spark plugs.

This is how the spark plugs look removed. If you want to change out your spark plugs, then put new ones in when we put them in later. Beware if you drop something into the spark plugs holes it will be in the piston and once again you will be SOL. (Before anyone says anything yes he has a gun and yes we live in Texas where everyone carries).

Pictured below are the cam lobes. To the front is the exhaust cam and the four exhaust valves. To the rear is the intake cam and the four intake valves. The cylinder on the left is cylinder 1, the cylinder on the right is cylinder 2. We used a piece of a bamboo (because it is soft and won’t scar any metal) to make sure if the pistons are going up or down (you can also use a straw for this). You can actually tell which way the engine is going by looking at the cam lobes. See the picture after the next.

In the below picture you can see how the intake valve is open which means that Cylinder 1 is about to go into compression stroke. The little silver circular thing under the cam lobe is the shim bucket. This is what we are going to need to get to in order to change the shims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now using a breaker bar, an extension, and a 17mm socket you can turn the pistons. You do this by putting the socket on the nut in the big timing hole (In the picture after the next). You progress the engine by rotating it clockwise (DO NOT ROTATE COUNTER-CLOCKWISE).


In the above picture you will look through the small timing hole while rotating the breaker bar. You want the notch in the timing hole to line up with the mark in between 1 and T on the gear inside. The gear should have marking like this: 1 I T (it is the mark in between that you want lined up). You must make sure that the engine is on the compression stroke. This means that the cam lobe has just come off of the intake valve (cam on intake valve was pictured 3 pictures back). If you are correctly at the timing mark this means the piston is at Top Dead Center (TDC). I would also like to point out that in the picture where Tico is using the breaker bar he is lightly tapping it with his left hand to slightly move the engine closer to TDC. This is a better method than using the full force of your hand if your close to the timing mark.
You may want to cycle the engine through a few times using the breaker bar just to get a feel for the way the cams and the four stroke process works. It is imperative that you measure when the engine is at TDC on compression stroke, NOT EXHAUST STROKE. If your having trouble finding the compression stroke consult the manual or just PM me.
With the first cylinder at TDC on compression stroke remove the breaker bar, so you don’t accidentally knock the bike out of where it needs to be. It is now time to bust out the feeler gauge.

The exhaust standard clearance is between 0.22 and 0.31mm (0.0087 and 0.0122 inches)
The intake standard clearance is between 0.15 and 0.21mm (0.0059 and 0.0083 inches)
Start with the feeler in the middle of these clearances (Your best bet is to measure in mm since the chart in the manual is in mm). Wet it with oil (there should be some sitting in the engine case) and slip it between the cam lobe and the valve lifter as pictured below.

You should be able to feel a slight bit of friction. If the feeler doesn’t fit go smaller, if it slides through easily go bigger (Caution: Make sure your feeler gauges aren’t doubled up, it happens easily with the smaller gauges). This part is more art than science. For instance, if one slides right through, but the next size up doesn’t fit then I would mark it as the average of the two (i.e. one is 6 the other is 7 so mark it 6.5). Record your measurement and repeat this for each intake and exhaust valve (there is two of each) for cylinder 1.
With cylinder 1 completed. Bring the engine to TDC on the compression stroke on cylinder 2. You will use the same method shown above only this time you will bring the gear to the bar in the middle of the
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
2 I T mark. Again measure and record all of the clearances. If all of your clearances are within spec than you can skip cam removal / changing shims and put the top end back together. If not proceed through the manual.
At this point I realized I was missing a tool so I headed to my favorite place.

That’s my girlfriend Crystal on her SV650, I was riding passenger on Tico’s Shadow. I put this in because by now your probably pretty weary. Take a break grab a drink or go get something to eat then come back ready for more fun.
With my short intermission done and the 8mm, 10mm, and 12mm wrenches I needed in hand, I proceeded.
It is now time to remove the cams. Before you remove the cams you need to make sure that the engine is at TDC on the compression stroke for Cylinder 2. The cams should only be removed at this position because the timing marks will be visible.
Unscrew the cam chain tensioner. It is a 12mm bolt with two 8mm mounting bolts (this is where the wrench becomes handy).

First loosen the larger 12mm cap bolt. Then remove the 8mm mounting bolts to remove it. This is what the cam chain tensioner looks like when removed VVV

Now the cam chain should be loose. It is imperative that you zip tie this so it won’t fall. It just so happens there is a handy little fairing mount that you can zip tie it to. If you don’t secure the chain and it falls down the hole you are SOL (taking the bottom end apart will suck).

I now recommend you take a picture of your Cam sprocket positions just so you can put them back exactly as they were when you are done. I took two just to be sure.


Now remove the 12 bolts pictured below.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
With the bolts removed gently wiggle the metal pieces they were holding till the pieces come loose and can be removed. You may want to use your rubber mallet to give them a light tap if they are being stubborn.
With the metal covers removed you can now take out the intake cam (only remove one cam at a time this will allow the chain to have extra support, as well as keep you from putting the wrong cam in the wrong spot).
Cam removed you can see the four valve buckets for the intake valves. Three of them are in the picture below.

I recommend you only remove one bucket at a time, otherwise things can get confusing. Pull your first bucket with needle nose pliers as pictured below (yes that’s the second bucket in the picture, I am just giving a visual example).

As soon as the bucket lifts up turn it over so that you don’t accidentally drop the shim. You can see the shim in the bucket in the picture below.

You are now going to measure the shim with your caliper. Record the shim measurement than look at the service manuals chart on page 2-24 (63 in the PDF). Match up your valve measurement with your shim size to get the size of the shim you need. Place the new shim on the top of the valve as pictured in the two photos below.


Put some oil from the engine top end on the new shim, then put some on the bucket and replace the bucket. Repeat the above process for all intake valves that were out of spec.
With the intake valves finished, you can put the intake cam back in than remove the exhaust cam.

Replace the shims as outlined above, except this time use the chart in the service manual on page 2-25 (64 in the PDF).
CONGRATULATIONS! You just changed out the shims! Now let’s put this thing back together and make sure it doesn’t esplode.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now replace the exhaust cam. With the exhaust and intake cams in place you can adjust the chain to the original location as outlined in the photo you took. You can use the yardstick to make a right angle to make sure that the angle you’re standing at is not throwing off the measurement.

Incorrect timing may cause engine damage, so make sure that the sprockets and chain are at the correct position.
With the chain ready you can go ahead and snip the zip tie.

The first thing you are going to want to replace is the chain cover. Torque the bolts down to 9 ft/lbs.

Next do the main cam covers (The covers are marked make sure to put them back on the proper cams). Again 9 ft/lbs


With the cams properly locked back down its times to put the chain tensioner back in. First tighten the mounting bolts (the smaller ones) to about 7.5 ft/lbs. Next tighten the larger cap bolt to 15 ft/lbs.

Use the breaker bar to turn over the pistons through 2 cycles. Then once again bring them to TDC on the compression stroke for Cylinder 2. Make sure the timing is correct. If so proceed, if not go back and try again.


Now you measure the valve clearences again. Since the engine is at TDC Compression Cylinder 2 you can go ahead and check the Cylinder 2 valves. Then go to TDC Compression Cylinder 1 and check those clearances.

If all the valves are within range (they should be) then proceed to closing the engine back up.
Make sure the rubber gasket has been put properly into the ridge in the cover and place the cover back on. Before tightening anything down, do a visual inspection to make sure the gasket is not pinched at any point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)

Now tighten the case bolts to 7.5 ft/lbs. Replace the mudguard (remember that taking the rubber lip off will allow you to place it more easily). Also put the spark plugs back in (if you want to put in new ones now is the time).

Replace the throttle and clutch cables

Replace the throttle on the handlebars

Replace the rubber hose that runs behind the engine and place the spark plug firing assembly back into place and tighten the nut the holds the wires (I just did this one by feel but it’s safe to say around 7.5 ft/lbs).

Place the rubber hose that runs to the airbox back in place.

Replace the airbox taking care to make sure that you’re the gas tank connections do not get trapped underneath. It is also important that you place the small drain hose behind the engine so it pours out towards your swingarm (This hose is showed in the second picture below).


The rubber hose you placed two steps back should be coming up the front of the airbox.

Now reach underneath and clamp down the greasy hose. You may need to use pliers if you don’t have thin hands like me. Guide the hose with your hands / pliers while pressing down on the rear of the airbox. Make sure the pinch clip is holding the greasy hose down to its connection. (Its kind of hard to see from the picture below but its from the left side behind the engine block)

Tighten the four airbox hex bolts then remove the tape from the throttle bodies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Place the electronic unit down on the hose at the front of the airbox as shown in the picture below. There is another rubber hose connected to the airbox panel that will run down the conduit on the airbox.

Clip in the cable to the side of the airbox. And replace the airbox opening panel and rubber hose.

Clip the wiring harness back in. Make sure to do the zip ties so that you can open them up with a knife next time you need to.

Now replace the gas tank and reconnect the wires. The fuel line is a pain if you don’t know how to do it. The red clip has two parts. The inner parts slide in and the outer parts go around.

Now replace the timing cover caps. Remember to be careful. They don’t have to go on extremely tight and you don’t want to mar the metal caps.

Now you can start the bike up and make sure everything seems to be running fine. The engine may make slightly different noises because you have been messing with the internals. Tico recommends you change the oil and filter after about 100 miles of riding after adjustment. The new adjustment will cause wear on new parts of the system and may cause some small metal shavings. Nothing to worry about just the engine breaking in the new parts of the system.
Congratulations you are done!
Just put the fairings on and she is ready to go!

BTW here were my clearances. I am not sure how it was running tight, but its now been adjusted to meet spec.

Valve Specs
Cylinder 1 Outer Exhaust – Before: 0.009; After: 0.009 (No Adjustment)
Cylinder 1 Inner Exhaust – Before: 0.010; After: 0.010 (No Adjustment)
Cylinder 1 Outer Intake – Before: 0.0035 / 3.00 Shim; After: 0.007 / 2.90 Shim
Cylinder 1 Inner Intake – Before: 0.0025 / 3.00 Shim; After: 0.0075 / 2.85 Shim
Cylinder 2 Outer Exhaust – Before: 0.0073 / 3.00 Shim; After: 0.009 / 2.90 Shim
Cylinder 2 Inner Exhaust – Before: 0.008 / 2.95 Shim; After: 0.009 / 2.90 Shim
Cylinder 2 Outer Intake – Before: < 0.002 / 2.95 Shim; After: 0.007 / 2.80 Shim
Cylinder 2 Inner Intake – Before: 0.0025 / 3.00 Shim; After: 0.006 / 2.85 Shim
 

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Really nice job Seb! This thread needs to be a sticky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
At the time I did the inspeciton 24,689 miles =) I keep a log of all the serivce I do on the bike with exact milage of when I do it. The way the shim and bucket system works its strange for something to get tighter, you would expect it to just get looser since there is nothing that could cause the shim to expand (only shrink). None the less, everything is back in spec.
 

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How do we make this a sticky?

Also, might want to submit to the Ninja site in New Zealand so we don't loose it like when Ninja650.com disapeared
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Kiwi already messaged me and the guide should be up on the site soon.
 

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umm... I think I'll take it to the shop. yikes
 
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