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Discussion Starter #1
Two weeks ago, I started my own project and I'm totally new at this, so I need some help. I heard a clunk sound every time I started the bike and it would go away once the engine warmed up. Talking to some neighbours, they said it could be the valves. I also noticed a leak and thought the cylinder head gasket was cracked. So, with the manual in my hand and some new tools I took on the task of taking the engine apart. Now, here's the weird thing. I checked the valves and the clearance was fine, so I took them off to get to the gasket. Unfortunately, the new gasket didn't come in on time, so I had to wait a week. During this time, the valves were just sitting in my shed. Once I got the gasket, I started putting everything back together. Before putting the cover back on the valves, I thought I would check the valves again and ... there was no clearance anymore, nihil, nada, zero, nothing. They were all slammed close to the cams at TDC ... I talked to the neighbourhood mechanic and he thinks it's because they sat in my shed without pressure from the top, that the "springs" expanded, and/or that the oil pressure was gone ... I find this very weird. Plan is now to continue putting everything back together and turn the camshaft a couple time to get the oil topped up in the engine.
Anybody have any ideas?
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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OK, lets start with better explanations.

You removed the cylinder head cover and checked the valve clearances. Then what? You waited for a cylinder head cover gasket for 2 weeks or did you remove more?

If you checked the valve clearances correctly they will not have changed while waiting for a gasket.

Valves will not make your engine clunk. If you mean it makes a noise on accelereation until it warms up check the exhaust collar nuts. Does it make a rythmic noise that increases with engine speed and mostly on acceleration? It may be an exhaust leak. Tightening the exhaust collar nuts may fix it. There is no torque spec in the manual for those so try 15 ft lbs. Only tighten them with the engine cold.
 

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I think...

Jon, read the original post again. I believe he said that he checked the valves.... Then he pulled everything to change the Cylinder Head Gasket (not the valve cover gasket)....

I don't know enough about the internals of an engine to pass judgment on his issue. But, you probably do.... :agree:
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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Jon, read the original post again. I believe he said that he checked the valves.... Then he pulled everything to change the Cylinder Head Gasket (not the valve cover gasket)....

I don't know enough about the internals of an engine to pass judgment on his issue. But, you probably do.... :agree:
The more I read it the more confused I get. It sounds like maybe he took more apart but... I dont know...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First, I'm a "she" but that shouldn't make a difference ... I hope :)
Sorry to confuse you. I don't know the exact wording of all the parts. So here goes:
1. I took of the top/valve cover
2. Checked the valve clearance and it was fine (TDC)
3. I removed cams, carbs, exhaust, etc to get to the next engine part - I followed the manual and found http://www.zr-7.com/valves.htm to be very helpful!!
4. I removed the part with the valves and just set that all down in my shed
5. Now, I was at the piston section and there I removed the gasket. The shop promised it to me within a week, and then 2 and ended up to be longer than I expected, so the valves were sitting there without the pressure from the cams. If it's possible that the "springs" expand, that where/when it probably happened, but I find that such a weird explanation.
6. Replaced the gasket.
7. Put the valves back on top.
8. Installed the cams and that's when I checked the clearance and none of my feeler gauges fit, so it was zero clearance.
THANK YOU in advance for replying. I really appreciate it, as I'm trying to learn.
PS: thanks about the advice about the exhaust. When I bought this bike, it came with a performance exhaust, but I didn't like the noise, so when I took the exhaust off for this procedure, I replaced it with the original exhaust, which means I tightened the nuts. Hopefully the noise will be gone.
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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A woman rider that works on her own bike. Awesome!

OK. You did take the cylinder head off. I wasn't sure if that is what you meant. The valves will not change from sitting or from just removing the head. The first thing that comes to mind is make sure the camshaft and crankshaft timing marks are aligned properly. If the timing is off it will give you inaccurate valve clearance readings. If that is the case it is good that you checked because if you crank the engine the valves could contact the pistons and cause damage. (bent valves) The timing marks on the camshaft gears can be misleading. If I remember correctly there is more than one mark on the gears.
 

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Next time ask here before tearing it apart..

Valves seat against the cylinder head so the springs are not going to stretch them without the cams.....Make sure you followe the torque procedure correctly and have the cams aligned properly before you turn it over...

don't want the valves to hit a piston......
 

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I'm just really impressed when someone gets elbow deap into their engine.

Sounds to me like you've missed a step when putting the thing back together.

??
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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I'm actually off work today... for once... and for some reason I thought about this before I got out of bed. Make sure you have the crankshaft and valves set properly before checking the valve clearances. The crankshaft turns 2 revolutions for every one revolution of the camshafts. Make sure you are at the correct points before measuring.

Hopefully it will be that simple!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm going to work on it again today. I've set the timing twice to make sure. I'll check again today.
Thank you for all your advice and support :)
Nicky
 

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West Coast Moderator
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Hey Nicky, what lead you to believe the head gasket was cracked? (just wondering for no special reason)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There were oil/dirt marks on the side of the cylinder and when I started the bike when it was cold, I saw a plum of exhaust/gas come out on the left side.
 

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Thanks!

With the age of these bikes starting to get up there to 10-11-12 years old, I thought it may be important to let owners know what maybe to look for if they suspect a blown head gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
FOUND THE PROBLEM

I went and checked everything again and you're not going to believe this, but I was using the wrong feeler gauge (F&@#%^). Once I figured that out and used the right one, everything is just perfect.
Now, back to putting it all back together without any spare parts left over :)
Cheers!!
 

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Johnny Blue Lightnin'
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Yay! :bud:

Now is that the kind of language a lady should use? lol
 

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I love it when what seems to be a big, massive, unsolvable problem turns out to be something cheap, nice and easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
LOL
Well, I just finished putting everything back together and ... all is working and no spare parts left :) I'm a happy trooper.
 

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Nice

LOL
Well, I just finished putting everything back together and ... all is working and no spare parts left :) I'm a happy trooper.
Nicely Done Nicky!!! :alcy:
Glad it was a simple solution.
I'm impress with your willingness to get that far into the engine!
Again, Nicely done. And .... :welcome: to the forum.
 
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