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Discussion Starter #1
I know its been talked about quite a bit, but I have just a couple small questions before I dive in.

In the picture I included, note the red marks. Would that be sufficient in being able to re-time the cams? As in a mark across the chain where it sits on the cam shaft sprocket. Is there any reason other then the chain moving on the bottom sprocket that would cause this method to be faulty?
Also, can I remove just one camshaft and adjust those valves while keeping the chain on the other installed camshaft?
I was thinking of also using a zip tie to hold the chain in place on the still installed camshaft while I remove the other one to perform adjustments.

This whole process scares me a bit, but I wont learn unless I try and no better time to do it then now while the season is winding down up here.

Curious to hear other methods of doing the timing or if I'm just over thinking the process. :feedback:
 

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I don't think you are over-thinking it. I mark my chain and cams the same way so that I put them back in the same exact position. I got my Honda ST1300 out of time the first time I adjusted the valves and it was a real PITA.
I take a small bungee cord or similar tie and keep tension on the chain so that the chain stays in the same position on the lower crank sprocket.
Stuff rags in the opening to the engine, as anything dropped in there could be a real problem to retrieve. Don't ask me how I know this!! :)
Good night and good luck!!
 

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You might want to take a series of photos as you proceed to refer back to when you put it all back together. I bought an assortment kit of shims from Bike Bandit so I did not need to run around town looking for shims to fit.
 

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The cam chain can't come off the lower sprocket: there isn't enough room in the case for that to happen.

Yes, you can remove one cam, switch shims, put the cam back, then do the other one.

One trick I read about is to zip tie the cam sprocket to the chain then move it out of the way to get at the buckets. I've always used a sharpie pen to mark the chain and sprocket so I get them lined up right when I'm putting things back together, but I'm going to try the zip tie idea next time.

The buckets are slippery as hell and hard to get a good grip on with your fingers. Last time I put some electrical tape over the jaws of some small channel locks and gently gripped the bucket that way. That worked really well.

Good for you for trying this. I've inspected the valves every winter for the last six years, and adjusted them a few times, and the first time was definitely the most stressful. Best of luck,

Doug
 

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The cam chain can't come off the lower sprocket: there isn't enough room in the case for that to happen.

Yes, you can remove one cam, switch shims, put the cam back, then do the other one.

One trick I read about is to zip tie the cam sprocket to the chain then move it out of the way to get at the buckets. I've always used a sharpie pen to mark the chain and sprocket so I get them lined up right when I'm putting things back together, but I'm going to try the zip tie idea next time.

The buckets are slippery as hell and hard to get a good grip on with your fingers. Last time I put some electrical tape over the jaws of some small channel locks and gently gripped the bucket that way. That worked really well.

Good for you for trying this. I've inspected the valves every winter for the last six years, and adjusted them a few times, and the first time was definitely the most stressful. Best of luck,

Doug
A lot of good points here and the people here can back you up if you need help. On the cam buckets, I use a small telescoping rod with a 1/2 inch magnet to pull the buckets off. Sometimes the shim comes off with the bucket, sometimes it stays on the valve stem.
 

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The first time I used a 1/2" round magnet also, but like olegeezer posted, be careful because the shims may not come up with the bucket, so go slow. I had better luck with a larger magnet. It was something like 2" x 1" x 1/2".
 

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Yeah, a magnetic pick-up tool works well... The camshaft gears are in pictured position at every two turns of the crankshaft. You don't have to unbolt them from camshafts to remove. You'll need a feeler gauge to measure valve lash clearances, and a micrometer to measure shims and determine replacement shim thickness, both preferably metric. I managed to thin a few shims by hand and switched some around to set my inlet valve clearances at 0.18mm, and exhausts at 0.26mm, all equally and near middle of spec range. I used wet fine emery cloth on a flat wood surface to thin some of my original shims.

If you're not up to the task, you can get 7.48mm diameter shims (same as Versys) in 0.025mm increments (instead of only 0.050mm increments) in 2.50mm to 3.50mm thicknesses.

Suzuki 2004-2005 RM-Z250 shims $8.47
Kawasaki 2006-2011 KX-250F shims $8.96
(Versys shims 0.050mm increments $11.78)

Shim ------- Suzuki # ----- Kawasaki #

2.800mm - K9218-00179 - 92180-0179
2.825mm - K9218-00180 - 92180-0180
2.850mm - K9218-00181 - 92180-0181
2.875mm - K9218-00182 - 92180-0182
2.900mm - K9218-00183 - 92180-0183
2.925mm - K9218-00184 - 92180-0184
2.950mm - K9218-00185 - 92180-0185
2.975mm - K9218-00186 - 92180-0186
3.000mm - K9218-00187 - 92180-0187
3.025mm - K9218-00188 - 92180-0188
3.050mm - K9218-00189 - 92180-0189
3.075mm - K9218-00190 - 92180-0190
3.100mm - K9218-00191 - 92180-0191
 

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If you are considering buying a shim kit (I think about $80) to get the shims you need there are cheaper options out there.
I borrowed a shim kit from a guy on the STOwners forum and put my old shims back in the kit and just covered all the shipping charges.
Then when I adjusted my Versys I found good prices for just the shims I needed at my local Kawi dealers shop. They sold them to me individually out of their kit !
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies guys, I have read all the other threads concerning this procedure as well, just had a couple small questions. Wont be for another month or two as I have my old honda torn down at the moment.
:cheers:
 

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I TOO use the magnet trick to remove my buckets, and the shims have come up each time (so far :goodluck:), and since invader posted a few years ago how to "grind" them down, I TOO just use wet emery cloth to 'work' the shims to whatever size I need (and I DON'T remove the cams! - just 'move' them).
:topsecret:

:thanx:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Got everything back together yesterday and went to start the bike. It kicked over, fired and then promptly stalled. I hit it again and it fired up and was running sorta ok.. then I shut it off and the motor stopped immediately. I know they stop quicker then say a car engine, but man it was quick. Tried starting again after and it sputtered and stalled again. This time I saw oil leaking out and noticed I pinched the gasket on the cover in one spot behind the radiator and I also pinched a spark plug gasket. Had to order two new gaskets for there, head cover gasket is ok. But now I'm wondering what the hell made it run like that, one spark plug boot was really hard to get on like it was binding, which I think it was on the crushed gasket, it was that cylinder as well. Maybe it wasn't seated making it run on one cylinder? Waiting on parts to try again, I tripled checked the cam timing and the valve clearances, all tolerable now. No FI light either, other then the normal coming on when you first turn the key and start.
 

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...This time I saw oil leaking out and noticed I pinched the gasket on the cover in one spot behind the radiator....
FWIW... been there, done that...!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Figured it out.. to much oil on the air filter. Man I'm surprised how screwed up that made the bike run, but of course I guess it couldn't breath. Seems like the cam chain is a little noisier, not sure though.
 

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Good job Wallcrawl. I would like do to this whole process for the first time as well myself. The 2008 Versys is new to me this year. It has 18000km and adjustment is most likely needed. Do you know if there is a service manual available that details the whole inspection/re-shim process?

This thread is great, but any additional info or resource you have would be helpfull. The bike is away for the winter in my heated garage/workshop, so now is the time. I have 4 months to get er dun.
 

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Check thru the threads on doing the valve adjustment for where 'invader' talks about 'sanding' down the shims to the size needed. Since reading that, that is what I do too. (You ALWAYS need thinner....)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Figured out the cam chain noise very shortly aswell, I had to hit myself in the head, I never reset the tensioner for the cam chain. Good thing I caught it very soon. That is something not to forget. :eek:
 
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