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Sorry to probably ask a stupid question 18 Feb 2021 10:33 #843666

  • Curtismty
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I apologize to any of you kz and gpz veterans on my stupid question. I’m getting ready to put my engine back together (really just the cylinder head back on) and I’m looking for some shims online right now and I’ve looked at my service manual chart for valve clearance and can’t seem to understand exactly what it means, I need things spelled out for me cause of my slow brain. Anyways.... my bike is a 82’ gpz550 H1 and I’m just curious what a good clearance would be? I know it’s difficult to know through a computer but I’ve read 2.30-2.50 is a good size. I’ll assume they all can’t be the same and I won’t know what my feeler guage says until I put my cam shafts in, just trying to get a head start! Thanks!

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Sorry to probably ask a stupid question 18 Feb 2021 11:24 #843668

  • 73z1
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.006" to .010"

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Sorry to probably ask a stupid question 18 Feb 2021 12:49 #843671

  • hardrockminer
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No question is stupid when you don't know the answer.

It looks from your question that you're looking for a metric answer. Your minimum clearance is 0.15 mm and maximum is 0.25 mm. You should shoot for the high side of the mid point. It's OK to be slightly more than the max but not OK to be less than the min.
I have a couple of Z1B's restored, an '80 KZ1000LTD restored, a 1981 KZ550 restored and a 2008 KLR 650 for off road fun. My wife has a 2019 Suzuki DR 650 for on and off road.

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Sorry to probably ask a stupid question 18 Feb 2021 16:00 #843679

  • Curtismty
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Thanks for the info! I really appreciate it

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Sorry to probably ask a stupid question 18 Feb 2021 16:07 #843680

  • TexasKZ
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2.30 - 2.50 looks like shim thickness.
1982 KZ1000 LTD parts donor
1981 KZ1000 LTD awaiting resurrection
2000 ZRX1100 not ridden enough

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Sorry to probably ask a stupid question 18 Feb 2021 16:20 #843683

  • Nessism
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This snip is from the service manual. Measurements in mm.



Imperial measurements:
Intake: .004" - .008"
Exhaust: .006" - .010"
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Sorry to probably ask a stupid question 18 Feb 2021 17:46 #843691

  • Irish Yobbo
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Curtismty wrote: I’m just curious what a good clearance would be? I know it’s difficult to know through a computer but I’ve read 2.30-2.50 is a good size.


This might be the source of your confusion. Shims tend to be around 2.00 - 2.50mm in thickness, and you choose the correct shim to bring your valve clearance to around 0.15mm for the inlet, and around 0.2mm for the Exhaust.

By way of example, lets say you measure the clearance of an Inlet Valve. Using your feeler gauges you measure 0.05. To get it within tolerance (0.10-0.20mm for the Inlet), you need to take off around 0.10mm from your shim (that would then bring your feeler gauge measurement to 0.15.

When you get your shim out for that valve, you measure it's thickness. Lets say it measures 2.30mm. You already know it needs to be reduced by 0.10mm, so you need to replace it with a 2.20mm shim.

When it's all back together, your clearance for that value should now read 0.15mm - right in the middle of the valve clearance specs.

When doing the valves the best way is to measure all the valve clearances and write them down. Then take off your cams, replace the shims that need replacing with the correct size, then re-assemble. Then measure again.
1981 KZ750 LTD
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Sorry to probably ask a stupid question 19 Feb 2021 03:49 #843704

  • Polish
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Here is what I found from previous post and from a way more experience dude than me. Original post is for a 750, but the procedures make it more understandable for the less experience people, like me anyway. Keep in mind that the clearance for the 750 is .10-.15mm for the example, but yours, like Nessisim says, is .10-.20mm for inlet and .15-.25mm for outlet..

There are two ways at least to check clearances. I don't have a KZ550 manual either, but the first thing to do is lock your automatic tensioner so it stays adjusted throughout the procedure.

The first procedure that is the generally accepted method you'll need the manual. You align a timing mark a certain way and check 2 valves. You need every available feeler gauge size from .01 to .25mm. Insert each feeler until you measure the exact clearance. Move the engine to the next specified mark and repeat on 2 valves, and so on until all 8 are measured, then take your readings and add or subtract shim sizes that are available in .05mm increments to get the correct clearances.

The other method that I was taught 30 yrs ago from a factory Kawasaki mechanic is you basically only need 4 feelers, a .05mm, .10mm, .15mm, .20mm. Lock your tensioner as in the other procedure before beginning work, then pick a valve to check. Turn the engine over slowly by the 17mm nut on the right end of the crank while you contantly try to stuff a .10mm feeler between the bucket and cam. If it goes, try a .15mm, if not try a .05mm. Find the largest in these feeler sizes that will insert during any spot in the rotation of the cam and call that your clearance. Repeat on each valve. Now you have all your clearances checked and all numbers make sense in shim sizes available, so calculating is no problem. So if you measured for an example .10, .10, .05, .15, 0, .10, .10, .10 you would see that chances are swapping a 1 size smaller shim in #3 would bring it to spec and increasing one size on #4 would do it there. #5 is the question mark and probably going down 2 sizes on it would do the trick.
The same engine checked by method #1 may read for example .12, .11. .08, .16, .02, .14, .13, .10 This just is checking too close as since the shims are only available in .05mm increments, the same exact swaps would be needed, just a different way to accomplish the same thing.
1979 Honda CB400T Cafe Racer (current ride)
1982 KZ750 LTD (current project)

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Last edit: by Polish.

Sorry to probably ask a stupid question 19 Feb 2021 05:43 #843706

  • ThatGPzGuy
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Irish Yobbo wrote: When doing the valves the best way is to measure all the valve clearances and write them down. Then take off your cams, replace the shims that need replacing with the correct size, then re-assemble. Then measure again.


This. You can move shims around and you won't know what shims you need until you are done measuring all of the valves. You may only need a few...
Don't worry about the dumb questions, most of us were in that position one time or another.
Jim
North GA
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1982 GPz750 R1
1974 Kawasaki H1
1976 Kawasaki KZ400
1979 Yamaha XS650 cafe'
2001 KZ1000P
2001 Yamaha YZ426
1981 Honda XR200 stroked in an '89 CR125 chassis
1965 Mustang
1967 Triumph GT6
1976 Bronco
"If you didn't build it, it's not really yours"

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Sorry to probably ask a stupid question 19 Feb 2021 06:55 #843710

  • martin_csr
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By Curtismty: ... I know it’s difficult to know through a computer but I’ve read 2.30-2.50 is a good size. I’ll assume they all can’t be the same and I won’t know what my feeler guage says until I put my cam shafts in, just trying to get a head start! ...

It sounds like you're wanting to pre-purchase some shims. Probably the best course of action is to check the clearances first, then if you have to change shims, figure out what's needed, then get the shims. This causes delays, but it's probably the best way to proceed.

I don't know that much about the 550. loudhvx has a valve train warning in his signature. just find any of his posts. Lou is kind of expert about the model line & has collected a bunch of info on his motorcycle stuff page. that valve clearance page is not for the faint of heart. :ohmy:

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Last edit: by martin_csr.

Sorry to probably ask a stupid question 19 Feb 2021 08:35 #843715

  • Kaylinator
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This might help. Just fill in the target tolerances info on the left, and your current tolerances and shims on the right. It will tell you what shims you need to hit the target.

1drv.ms/x/s!AutDGwoZ68krr4ERMcpyl0zC2QWuaw?e=vVYopp
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