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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What started as a winter break overhaul, towards the end of December, ended up taking much... much longer than I anticipated. 6 1/2 weeks later, the bike is back together (mostly, just needs the fairings) and ready to head out for a test ride on the next non-wet, 40+ degree day! With just over 21,000 on the odo, I did the following:

Replaced stock chain and sprockets with a 520 conversion and -1 tooth on the front sprocket. Stock chain is a 525 but the new one is rated for hp well over my 90 or so...
Put 4mm of shims on the rear shock mount to increase quickness of turn-in a bit.
Replaced the FPR in the hopes of getting my mpg back where it used to be.
Performed a valve clearance check which then morphed into a valve shim replacement for all of 'em... which then turned into a game of "how many times can I take the camshaft cover off?" Answer: 9. I'm really, really good at getting those 20 bolts in and out now!
Synched the throttle bodies but, weirdly enough, the only one that needed any adjustment was #2 and just barely.

You may be asking "Doc, why so much camshaft cover work?" If you aren't asking, well, then no need to read anymore! If you are, well, I didn't seat the shims correctly on two of the valves and I was terrified of getting the timing marks wrong. With the engine case at an angle, the frame making it very difficult to view at an even level, my failing close up vision, the fact that when I rotated the intake cam one way it was too low but going the other way looked too high, and the life sucking cold of my garage, I mentally froze for a while. In addition, when I was replacing the shims, I started by putting them in the buckets and then lowering them into their seat with a magnet (Pro Tip: Don't! Use your fingers to set them in their seat!), resulting in zero clearance on two of the intake valves. Took me awhile to figure that one out, too! Fortunately, after I got the shims seated correctly, the wife helped out with a straight edge on the case while I fiddled with the chain and cams until they lined up. Still didn't look like I thought they had before I started but I just couldn't keep stressing over it and went ahead and buttoned it up this past Sunday.

So, all that sh!t's done! I started her up and she sounded just fine! I'm still too close to say it was a good learning experience but I'm sure I'll feel differently after getting her and me out of the cold garage and onto the cold pavement! :LOL:
 

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Sounds like you had 'fun' with the project! Nice work completing it!
Working in the cold makes everything tougher, is there any way that you can heat up the garage for the next project? The best thing I did was to add heat to mine, I didn't get fancy, just a ceiling mounted 5 kw fan forced electric but it does wonders, I leave it set at 40F all the time and the garage and tools never are ice cold, and when I'm going to work in there I turn it up and it warms the place right up. I was going to wait until I had the time to trench and run a gas line out to the garage but decided I wanted the heat this winter and went with the quick and cheap to install electric, and accepted the higher operating costs, which turned out to not be all that bad anyway.
If you don't have natural gas or enough power in the garage how about kerosene or propane?
 
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Doc, I believe you may have acquired some skills you did not have before starting this winter project. Good for you, now if only the weather would cooperate...
 

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What kind of bike? When replacing shims on my old Suzuki GS550 I used a tool that hooks around the camshaft and depresses the tappet, allowing me to pluck out the shim with tweezers. No need to remove cams.
 

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I have never heard of anyone, anywhere having to replace that many SHIMS but I'm sure you did it correctly:)
Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sounds like you had 'fun' with the project! Nice work completing it!
Working in the cold makes everything tougher, is there any way that you can heat up the garage for the next project?
If you don't have natural gas or enough power in the garage how about kerosene or propane?
I do have heat (kero and propane!) but was really feeling overwhelmed at times and the heat didn't seem to help with cold, greasy cams, covers, and bolts, or the concrete floor. Also, I've just become a bit of a wuss when it comes to the cold the last few years...

What kind of bike? When replacing shims on my old Suzuki GS550 I used a tool that hooks around the camshaft and depresses the tappet, allowing me to pluck out the shim with tweezers. No need to remove cams.
CBR F4i with buckets over the shims. If I do this again, I plan on zip-tying the chain and cams together and getting someone (aka my wife) to lift the cams while I pull the buckets out. I probably could have pulled all of them but the two closest to the chain on my own, but two sets of hands would've made it much easier.

I have never heard of anyone, anywhere having to replace that many SHIMS but I'm sure you did it correctly:)
Sam
Well, to be fair, if I went by the book, only 5 needed to be replaced. The others were in spec but only just, so I figured I might as well go ahead with them while I had it open! I'm hoping that if I have the bike 20,000 miles from now, it'll be within spec when I get back in there...
 
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