Preparing the bike
1. Put the bike on the bike jack.
2. Raise all the way up
3. Lower the jack's safety rod and lower the bike onto the highest stop point.
4. Secure the bike to to the jack with straps
Things I had to remove from the bike
4. Both the Left and right side covers
5. Right side neck cover (key cover)
6. Air filter box and snorkel (every thing) - Follow service manual procedure
7. Throttle Body - Completely remove, and let it hang over the frame on the throttle wires. - Follow service manual procedure.
8. Rear cylinder, left side chrome cover
9. Front cylinder, right side chrome cover
10. Both spark plugs
11. Pair valve chrome tube attached to the rear cylinder, 2 small bolts on the rear of the rear cylinders.
12. All the valve covers. This was tricky, I hand to make a trip to Sears to get a Metric Flex socket set because I couldn't figure and other way to remove a few of the cover bolts.
13. Both the crank cover and the flywheel inspection window.
I used the feeler gauge method, and didn't have a problem getting the feeler gauge to get in under the tappets. I had to bend them into a "z" to get them to fit, but that was no big deal. And with the throttle body removed, I had more room to work. I wouldn't think twice about removing the throttle body again. It was easy off and easy on.
Also, I have read that many people here have been having trouble finding top dead center. This confused me too at first, so here is what I have learned.
To find Top dead center you fist have to know which are the exhaust and which are the intake valves. Pretty easy, exhaust valves are near the exhaust pipes, and the intake valves are near the center of the cylinder. So the outer most set of valves on both cylinders are the exhaust valves.
Next you have to know the sequence of the firing cycle. Also easy:
1. Exhaust valves open (valves go down)
2. Exhaust valves close (valves goes up)
3. Intake valves open (intake valves go down)
4. Intake Valves close ( intake valves go up)
As the intake valves are coming up (closing) the cylinder is approaching Top Dead Center.
What the book says, and what everyone has writing on this subject, is that once you see the intake valves coming up look into the flywheel inspection window and turn the engine slowly to look for the RT or the FT mark (depending on which cylinder you are working on). Although this is correct, people have failed to mention that if you start looking as soon as you see the intake valves coming up you still have to crank the engine a good deal to get to the proper mark.
This through me, I guess because I wasn't expecting it to be so long. So I came up with this:
***At the time this was totally original on my part and I was patting myself on the back for coming up with it, but I have since learned it's an old trick, bummer, but it works.***
When the intake valve were starting to close, I took a very long, very thin screwdriver and stuck it into the spark plug whole and felt the top of the piston, (BTW, the top of the piston was pretty black, but I have also learned that's normal) as I cranked the engine toward Top Dead Center I was able to watch the screw driver rise out of the spark plus hole. When the proper mark (either RT or FT) showed up in the window, the screwdriver was all the up, out of the spark plug whole. Thus I have found Top Dead Center on the compression stroke and was able to make my adjustments.
For the adjustments I followed OregonLAN's Guide How to guide: Adjusting your valves 101 with pics and vid
in the sticky section of this part of the board. He did a great job, and his work really helped me a great deal, Thank you.
So after I finished the rear cylinders adjustment, I buttoned everything up, because I'm a little anal and I didn't want to forget where things went. I put the valves covers back on, put the new spark plug in, and put the the chrome covers back before moving over to the other side of the bike to start the adjustments on the front cylinder.
MISTAKE.... You can't put either of the sparks plug back until you are finished with the valve adjustments. Why?, because you wont be able to turn the engine over with one the sparks plugs in. The compression air needs needs someplace to go, and it goes out the spake plug hole.
I didn't realize that, live and learn, and now maybe the next member here will.
My adjustment turned out just fine, no problems, but it took me all afternoon, about 5 hours. I think next time it will go much quicker now that i know what to expect. I hope others who sit through this post can learn from some of my mistakes, benefit from some of my experiences, and realize that this necessary maintenance procedure is very doable by anybody.
Thanks for reading, James.