quick discussion about valve shims - Suzuki Z400 Forum : Z400 Forums
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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quick discussion about valve shims

well, my 2003 is a bear to start in the cold. had it since last spring, ran great... this is the first winter ive had it and i sit there on the starter for a LONG time, just cranking away and jusssst barely feathering the throttle and itll eventually start... so that generally tells me its the shims... maybe the carb, but most likely shims....

so... im new to valve shims. im used to my quads having adjustments and lock nuts. eazy peazy... i think im understanding the shim situation... basically takes the place of the adjustment... but what shims do i need? i dont really want to wait till after i have the engine apart to look for the exact shim size i need, so i guess i need a "kit"? but the hot cams shim kit seems to be like $65... and others are like 30ish? how much difference could there be? ive got a $3000 timing job to do on my truck right now, so im a bit strapped.

so... any acceptable brands other than hot-cams?

do i need a certain size? diameter, etc?


im not even sure if that is for the ltz400, but it looks like a similar process.... at 5:10 he pulls out a curved piece of metal and says... dont drop that down the engine. where does that come from? and how many are there? its hard to make sure something doesnt fall into the engine if i dont know when its going to want to fall down the engine! haha.

thanks!!!!
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 01:39 PM
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Just use the search function.
I learnt how to do it from there, it's easier than you think.
To be honest 3 hours from start to finish plus a cup of coffee for the first time is about the right time.
Clymer manual ??
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 01:57 PM
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For 4-strokes, there are sets of shims for 250cc and under and there are sets for above 250's (I'm talking diameter). So, the size for your Z are the same as any 450, 500, 510, etc. As far as what thickness you'll need, it depends on what gap you measure and what it'll take to get it back into spec. Search for valve shimming how-to and it should have a link to a valve shim calculator. Just take your measurements and enter them into the calculator along with the shim sizes you currently have, and it'll tell you what you need. Most local mechanics will let you trade shims with them for free.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapes View Post
Just use the search function.
I learnt how to do it from there, it's easier than you think.
To be honest 3 hours from start to finish plus a cup of coffee for the first time is about the right time.
Clymer manual ??
i have searched around plenty. my questions are a bit more specific than, "how do i adjust the valves?" they are questions i didnt see answered in the 20 or so threads i read on the subject.

Last edited by idiggplants; 03-06-2017 at 02:03 PM.
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetmech25 View Post
For 4-strokes, there are sets of shims for 250cc and under and there are sets for above 250's (I'm talking diameter). So, the size for your Z are the same as any 450, 500, 510, etc. As far as what thickness you'll need, it depends on what gap you measure and what it'll take to get it back into spec. Search for valve shimming how-to and it should have a link to a valve shim calculator. Just take your measurements and enter them into the calculator along with the shim sizes you currently have, and it'll tell you what you need. Most local mechanics will let you trade shims with them for free.
perfect, thanks.

i saw the shim calculator. was hoping to pull it apart and put it together right away, rather than check the spacing and then order/pick up the parts and wait to put it together. but that might be the best way to go. im totally used to just doing everything online... i forget that i have the option of going to a local place to get parts.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 02:58 PM
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It wasn't meant as a diss, this thread covers how to do it and explains well how to make sure you have the correct shim size to install without buying a full set.

Checking Valve Lash/changing Shims

Shine diameter is 9.6mm


It's all in the clymer book.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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read that whole thing. missed the 250cc over under thing.

so brand vs brand of shims... does that matter or not? cause these:
https://www.amazon.com/AHL-Motorcycl...rds=valve+shim
are about 1/2 the price of hot cam brand.... there are under half as many shims included, but im thinking that wont matter? and its cheap enough that im cool with buying it ahead of the swap. maybe i should just wait till after my ride in a couple weekends and give myself plenty of time to get to the shop while doing it. kind of thinking out loud now.

that video above... at 5:10 you see that small part he pulls out... is there anything on the ltz like that that i have to worry about falling into the engine when i pull stuff off?

thanks.
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 09:19 PM
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That thing at 5:10 is not a part that is included in your Z head. There is nothing to drop. The only place you could drop anything that would fit anywhere would be down inside where the cam chain is.
Some local shops will just swap you shims if you go out back and shoot the shat with the mechanic and they will certainly sell you individual shims.
It is nice to have the kit and truly less shims will be fine. You rarely repeat a shim size.

My write up details the Z shim job pretty well and you shouldn't have any problems.

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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 09:24 PM
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one other thing to note that if you have to remove the exhaust cam cap there are 2 bolts that are longer then the other 2 (actually 6 including the intake side).
Make sure these bolts go back in the right holes.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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nice, thanks spize. i was hoping you would chime in here. im going to tear into this tomorrow evening and find out what size shims i need. i dont ride the 400 enough to worry about having to do this numerous times a year or anything...
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 02:12 PM
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IMO,This isn't a general maintenance thing. It is usually a sign that your valves are wearing into the seats, and it is not a good thing, as the hardness has gone out of them..
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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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ok, tearing into this tonight. pretty confident in everything now. just had one question... for timing.. the crank will obviously have a mark to put it at tdc... compression stroke is easy enough to figure out by lobe direction... right? cant mess that up? im used to putting a pencil in the spark plug hole to confirm...

when i pull the cams and sprockets, will there be marks on the sprockets that make it obvious where they go back in? i know in this thread spize mentions

Quote:
take a look at exactly how the sprockets look on the other side. Take a picture so you can remember how those arrows went.
just double checking that those arrows point to something definitive? i dont want to be a tooth off...

sorry... that should be my last question. want to make sure i have everything figured out... hopefully i can get to a harbor freight for a 1/4" torque wrench. only size i dont have. and i might as well use it as an excuse to get a micrometer while im there!
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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 01:43 PM
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Turn it over until the crank mark next to the T (not the actual T) is centered in the inspection hole. Verify the cam lobes are pointed at 10 and 2, then take a picture of the sprockets. Take the picture before removing the tensioner. Note the position of the exhaust cam sprocket marks and count pins on the chain between the marks on each sprocket.

When you put it back together, make sure the chain has no slack in it between the crank and exhaust cam when you set it in place. Then remove slack when installing intake cam. You want any slack to be where the tensioner is, otherwise it'll change your positioning when you reinstall the tensioner.

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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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ok cool. that pretty much makes sense. i saw someone doing a timing on a drz 400, and it seemed to make sense. i was surprised to see that you dont need a gasket.

90% sure the previous owner(a friend of mine) put on a new tensioner within the past couple years, so i should be good there..
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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 02:37 PM
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You also need an an adapter for the Allen key that you will use with the 1/4 inch torque wrench, btw..

2007 LTZ 400.. 94mm J&E piston, +4mm hotrods crank, 536webb cams,wiseco valves, 39mm fcr, tokyo mods throttle spring, honda thumb throttle,spring removed. yoshimura full exhaust, honda 400ex intake tube, no air box
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