Author Topic: My First Valve Adjustment on any MC - this is an attempt on a 2008 NINJA 500  (Read 3439 times)

Offline PAULRIDES

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I say attempt  :groan  because I am not done yet.

I just got the cover off today. So, check clearance and adjust (fortunate it has lock nut and screw vs shim). Then still have to put it together again.  ???

I am picturing and doing a wriite up as I will probably post it on the EX500 Web Site Forum. There is a procedure on WIKI (I used it with some deviations) and others have posted info on the FORUM also. Guess more info will not hurt (If I get around to posting on that Forum).

OK Here we go to this point (Valve Cover off is as far as I am today, FRI the 19th). With XMAS coming and needing some parts ('O Ring on water tubes, gasket for cover, spark plugs, and repair of the broken frame on the front fairing, a weld job I guess - I don't know when I will finish)  ???)

Scheduled maintenance is every 7500 Miles, I think a bit less than my 53K Miles.  :groan
 
I knew it was a difficult time consuming job ( to say the least) and carried some risk.  :(
 
The main serious risk is the Guide Pins pins for attaching the Valve Cover to the Engine Head. They can (often do) remain in the Valve Cover as you remove it VS staying in the Engine Head. THEN, worst case is the Guide Pins fall out of the cover and down into the engine valve train while wiggling and jiggling the cover to get it out of the frame. Double  ;D

I am not sure what happens then - reckon have to take engine out and take it apart somewhat to get to the pins.
 
I LUCKED OUT - The Guide Pins did stay in the Valve Cover and DID NOT FALL OUT. I did dream up one precaution part way thru the process of removing the cover (I put a rag over the Engine Valve Train between it and the partial removed Valve Cover). Turns out, not needed as the pins stayed in the cover, but had they fallen out after that the rag would have kept them from falling into the engine.
 
I AM SO SMART   ::)  Actually, if I was smart, I probably would have not started this process the BEGIN WITH. :banghead It is a job, spent about 8 hours so far and have not started valve adjustment - then have to put all this back together.  Guess better than sitting watching TV.
 
I hate a bunch of fairing (to remove). Had noticed for some time a rattle up front after a rough ride (dirt/ gravel). Perhaps because the tubular bracket is broken both sides (Note the two holes up by the dash instruments used to attach to the fairing and the mirror). Both sides are broken just above the cross piece that runs from  left to right under the dash displays). Anybody have a portable welder?
 
Pictrures;
1) Front Fairing off, Gas Tank off, Seat off - not ride able.   :(
2 & 3) Show water lines removed and Air Lies from the PAIR Valve removed. PAIR is some sort of environmental thing (I think)   
4, 5, 6)  Continued today (FRI). Note: Vacumn used to clean out Spark Plug Well (worked good with breaking stuff up with screw driver and then applying vacumn). Attachement barely went down in the well, but would fit over the spark plug and suck stuff out. Finally, got things real clean. The item at low end of picture (Marked FRONT) was removed to allow the wire harness to be pulled over to the frame to provide clearance to get the Valve Cover out thru the top of the frame. The Throttle and Choke Cables are still a big problem.   
7) Not clean yet - but much better than it was. Would not want that stuff (some of it like ard black rock) down in the cylinder.
8 & 9) Removing the Water Tubes (Aluminum about 3 inches long) that go down in the head and have a hold down screw (Phillips) at the Valve Cover. I could not turn the Phillips by hand and went to the Vice Grip Screw Driver method. (I love that flat bladed Vice grip). Then I could not pull out the tubes - they have an O Ring at the bottom and were stuck tight. I wiggled and jiggled and pulled before resorting to a screw driver pry bar. I was worried about breaking the flange, but kept at it by bumping and applying pressure and all of a sudden it POPPED out.  ;D
10, 11, 12) A MEDLEY PLAN to deviate from the procedure I was using as a guide (WIKI Posted). I repositioned the Radiator (Hang it) to give more forward room for the Valve Cover and allow me to bring the Valve Cover out the side of the right frame VS the top frame where the throttle cables interfere. So, here is the radiator reposition part of that idea.
13, 14) Have to remove (Hang It) the Coil Pack on right to get Valve Cover out the right side (later, realized I would also have to remove the Coil Pack on the left side for clerance to move Valve Cover around). The left Coil Pack especailly when I found out MEDLEY PLAN would not work and I would have  to come out the top frame.  :groan
15, 16) Remove the Valve Cover is where I found out MEDLEY PLAN will not work. Cannot get Valve Cover out the right side frame because the Valley in the cover that goes over the Cam Chain on engine prevents sideway motion of the Valve Cover even as you move the Valve Cover FWD.
ANOTHER Major Worry was: I noted the Guide Pins stayed in the Valve Cover and was worried they would fall out and into the engine valve train assembly. Worry led to a sort of solution att eh time I got to the position of picture 14, I sliped a blue cloth between the engine and the Valve Cover.
17) SO, BACK TO ORIGINAL PROCEDURE - take Valve Cover out the top. I removed the right handle bar and slid it to the left as far as I could to get more slack for the Throttle Cables.
18) Note the Valve Cover is still in position to front (as it was in last side view picture). The Throttle Cables are located near center over the engine and make it difficult if not impossible to get the Valve Cover out the top. Some folks said they removed the Throttle Aseembly and some removed the Carbs. The procedure I used as  a guide just said wiggle it around and get it out the elft side (NO WAY). I did not want to remove the Carbs and did not usderstand or see how to remove the Throttle Assembly. So, after moving the Handle Bar in last picture, I pulled the cables over to the left as far as I could (more than the tied back shows). Then worked the Valve Cover out at an angle under the cables and then slid the right side out over the right frame. Barely made it, but it worked.  ;D
19) Valve Cover turned upside down. NOTE: the Guide Pins in center either side of the valley. They stick up about 1/4 inch. They did not fall out (amazing as they pull out very easily). I wonder if the Guide Pins are really needed as there are 6 bolts that hold the cover on the engine. Guess I will need a new Oil Gasket for the cover. 
20) Engine Valve Assembly.
21, 22, 23) Right Cylinder only (left is same) shows the Spark Plug Well cleaned up, then Spark Plug removed (note dirty looking seat area), then shows the seat area after I used the vacumn one more time. I do not know what the deeper area around the flat ring that is around the hole for the Saprk plug (anyone know???)
24) A 53,000 mile Spark plug on a High Reving engine (I wonder how many times that thing has fired in 53,000 miles at say 3500 to 5500 during normal acceleration, 5000 to 7000 during fun acceleration and up to 8000 or 9000 if you really want fun, then cruise at 50 MPH at 4500 RPM , etc. Lot of spark plug firing.   
   
   
 
   
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline skeeter

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dad blame. what a mess. i would check them vavles twice ,just to make sure  ,before you put all that mess back. :groan
if you are gonna go,go old school.

Offline Sarge

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Better you than me. No valve adjustment needed on my Honda.
Semper Fi

Offline MikelJay

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I'm like the rest, better you than me!  Although, you ARE learning something about your bike. As for me, I don't mind wrenching on my bike BUT, I will not attempt to adjust the valves. I leave most of the work to the mechanics who know what they are doing, PLUS they can do it in 1/4 of the time that it would take me!  :n21

But good on you, Paul.

Mike

2006 Yamaha Roadstar Silverado

Offline Chris

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Paul,

Great job so far.  I like that you took precautions to prevent FOD entering your engine like the rag to keep parts from falling in and cleaning out the spark plug wells before removing the plugs.  I usually use an air compressor to blow out debris from the spark plug wells but I like your use of the vacuum cleaner since as long as you get all the loose stuff cleaned out before removing the plugs you're doing fine.  I also like how clean your engine is inside which is a sign of conscientious oil changes.  As you take care of the valves you'll be able to check the cams and followers for damage.  I would be surprised if there were any since the little Ninja engine is very robust and in fact is very much two cylinders off the classic 900 Ninja as far as engine architecture goes.  Still, with 53K on the clock it won't hurt to check.

Resist the temptation to discard any guide pins.  They locate the valve cover much more positively than the mounting bolts which would allow more side play than the guide pins allow.  This side play would probably guarantee oil seepage from the cover o ring gasket.

The o ring gasket on your valve cover is probably fine.  Unless I saw something that made me think it wasn't going to seal, like a nick or gouge or possibly a very flattened area I'd reuse it.

Doesn't that spark plug look great for having 53K on it?  Just goes to show you how much spark plugs have improved since the old days.

Remember, when setting the valve lash it's better to err slightly on the loose side than tight.  So, if you have trouble getting the clearances spot on a little loose won't hurt a thing whereas a little too tight could be a problem.

Keep up the good work.


Chris

PS:  About the broken fairing mount:   I think the easier route would be to try and source a used replacement mount from ebay or a used bike parts place rather than having the existing one welded.  Welding will work though.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 11:26:27 pm by Chris »
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Offline PAULRIDES

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Chris -- EXCELLENT response.  :21

I am new to this - so any GOOD inputs help.

I have a Mech Engr buddy into fixing the tuibe frame (probably sue a cut in half pipe around the outside (his pipe ID is very close to my tube OD). He has a small welder and can come over here to do it.

Valve Cover Gasket -- As you say and another friend (who was a certified HONDA Mechanic and Service Manager for a dealer in IN) said - use if it looks OK. It looks OK to me. I will keep the guide pins (glue them into the engine head to preevent any future problems with them falling into the engine).

Planning to set on loose side of spec (.009 for EX and .007 for IN) as tehy get tighter (all say). So, I am using say the .009 and sitting the gap to drag pretty good.

Did the right side EX (two valves). I was stymied by the Oil Line to get the open end wrench on the lock nut to loosen or tighten it, OIL LINE interferes - see picture). Thought I might have to remove OIL Line. The valve was somethiong less than .003 after 53K Miles (spec is .007 low end). Finally found a way to get open end wrench under the oil line (pushing up on the line a little) and got it adjsuted.

The right side IN (two valves) are OK as far as I am concerend. One is tight at .006 near low end of spec of .005, the other is a loose on feeler gauge at .007 at high end of spec of .007. The one that is a bit tight (middle of spec) would be very hard if not impsossible to get an open end wrench on the lock nut witout a lot of pressure on the Ouil Line.  So, I am not going to mess with it. 

Guys on NINJA FORUM say they do it with Oil Line on (one takes it off): One says tweak it a little, another uses a socket to break it loose (I can't get a socket in mine and it would be hard to hold the screw and tighten the lock nut, so still need a open end wrench or some tool, another guy says he always removes his oil line (has one screw and the two places it goes into the engine has O Rings on each end). I hate removing stuff if I can avoid it.

Some Tool My Honda Mechanic buddy says they had a tool (like a socket with a handle on it to fit down over the lock nut in between oil lines - tool had opening for srew driver). In my case, the tool would have to be thinner wall that a socket or it would not go between the oil line and the lock nut.

Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline Sarge

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Looks like you are doing a great job. It is always nice to have a skill like this to fall back on in case you loose your job. Ian could probably get you hired as a mechanic at the Harley shop.

 :whistle
Semper Fi

Offline IanC

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I have the valve tool you need if you'd like to borrow it.
1978 Suzuki GS1000EC - Completely custom.
2012 Triumph Daytona 675R

Offline Chris

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Some Tool My Honda Mechanic buddy says they had a tool (like a socket with a handle on it to fit down over the lock nut in between oil lines - tool had opening for srew driver). In my case, the tool would have to be thinner wall that a socket or it would not go between the oil line and the lock nut.




The tools he's referring to are available from any dealership that sells Motion Pro tools, which would be all of them.  Here's a link to one vendor and a pic so you can see what they look like.  They make the job easier but really, you can do the job just as well with a combination wrench and screwdriver.   Another possible tool is the Motion Pro carb adjustment tool but that only works with 8mm locknuts.  I'm  a tool junky but I haven't gotten around to buying the valve adjustment tools yet after 40 years of wrenching on bikes which tells you how vital they are.  In your case a small and slim open end like you'd find in a set of ignition wrenches might fit under or around the oil line easier.  Or you could hit a pawn shop or two and look for a cheap used wrench that could be ground down and / or bent to shape. It's a good excuse to sift though a pawn shops used wrenches which are usually mostly crap but every once in a while you'll find a craftsman or snap on gem hidden in the trash.

https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/989/17138/Motion-Pro-Tappet-Adjustment-Wrench-Set



« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 06:45:35 pm by Chris »
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Offline PAULRIDES

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So much THANKS to everyone regarding this detailed discussion (Me Cry) about the job and problems (Blame it on a learning process and engineering backgorund - details).  ::)

I get in a hurry on projects more than I should and often need help because of some fear of screwing things up royally (FUBAR).  :banghead

As it turned out, from some replies I recieved on the NINJA FORUM (after a few wise guys made some comments - a different attitude from some on there than you find on ETB). Some were meaningfiul and helpfull and got me back at the actual Valve Adjustment Part of the job (last night). 

One guy suggested he used a Socket, it turns out that was only to break the Lock Nut loose. Then he managed the adjustment and retightening of Lock Nut in usual manner (Open End Wrench and Screw Driver). Sometimes a box end works I found out. Anyway, I tried putting a Socket (10MM) on the one that was bothering me (Exhaust Right Out Side Valve that is in the corner with the curved oil line (repeat picture 1). I was not sure how I was going to retighten it. Found out, I could not  get a socket in there either (would need one with real narrow wall).

Chris, doubt that tool would work for the same reason. 

Another guy said he always removed the oil line. That would definitely work and might not be hard to do (emove one screw and pull the tube out of the hole on each end). O Ring Seal on the Oil Line down in the hole, I just did not want to stick my neck out (FEAR of messing that up and needing a new oil line and / or O Rings). HOWEVER, if I could not do it any other way - I WOULD have despite the FEAR. Can always take it to someopne and let them fix my Mess Ups. CURTIE - where are you  ???  :banghead O)   

OK - this helped me get it done. One guy (one of the somewhat nasty responses) had suggested as part of his "It Is Simple Task" reply mentioned to "tweak" the Oil Lines. Meaning what? I took it to mean - A little presure here and there. SO, t I did - kind of forced the oil line out of the way a little bit in order to get the Open End Wrench on the Lock Nut. DONE DEAL.   :happypep  ::)

A couple others valves were similar and one ended up working better using a Box End Wrench on the Lock Nut.   :pop

I adjusted all the valves (almost decided to let the Intakes go as they were in spec). I wonder why the EX would be tighter than the Intake (heat make the seats and valves wear faster?) 

Exhaust were very tight - Maybe .002 or less vs .007 lower limit. I set them to a tight drag on the feller gauge .009 (upper limit). So, now they are like a tight .009, but well over the .007 minimum.

Intakes were actually in the spec of .005 to .007 - That after 53K miles vs 7500 recommended interval. A couple were pushing the .005 area. Anyway, I adjusted them to a tight .007.

Have most of it all back together: Picture 2 shows I pulled more slack in the cables by moving ghe disconnected Hanfdle abr more to the left, so the Valve Cover went back in realtively easy from right to left. You still have to wiggle it around.

Waiting parts - Ordered Water Tube O Rings, Spark Plugs NHK Iridium at only $7.20 plus tax each, One Philips Head Screw (usable, but will replace), and also need Anti Freeze & Anti Sieze for plugs. I glued (a little touch of JB Weld) those nuisance GUIDE PINS into the head.  >:D

Waiting Holidays (Christmas with Family) and not sure after that. Maybe finish it betweeen XMAS and New Years, but may have family stuff then also.


 
 
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline PAULRIDES

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One other problem to be resolved before it is ready to ride is a Broken Tube Frame (part that supports the fairing windshield and mirror). I kind of think the extra windshield (Madstad) I installed onto the normal OEM windshield puts more force on the fairing frame. Plus it is not a dirt bike, but I ride some pretty rough roads at times not trails, but gravel washboard and chug holes.  I had noticed a rattle lately and seemed the windshield had more deflection.

A friend has a fix -- He thinks he can cut a pipe in half long ways and fit it around the break and weld it. ID of his pipe is close to OD of the tube (.032 difference).  Me I would probably wrap it with Duct Tape (thickly).    

Pictures:
Overall view of frame (break is about six inches down from the flat area with tw screw holes where the upper faiting and mirrors mount).  
Right side and Left side showing the breaks in the tube frame. (moved the break sections for a beter idea of he break)


 
« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 08:12:55 pm by PAULRIDES »
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline skeeter

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vavles stretch from heat ,that's why ex vavles are always more closed up. & that's why it's always an ex vavle that drops.i learned this working on air cooled vws. but vws were the worst about valves.when i saw an ex vavle closed up ,usually no.3 cyl on 1969 back,because cooler was in the way, i would tell the customer " you are right before dropping a vavle" . some would say "fix it ". the ones that knew. the ones that didn't would be bad in a little needing a motor job. this was in the 70s & there was no metal to speak of in a vw . welding the fairing deal looks good to me . wounder how it broke that way? looks like it's been cut. if it won't take a weld , maybe a pipe splice with u-bolts. like little muffler clamps.  :pop 
if you are gonna go,go old school.

Offline PAULRIDES

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 welding the fairing deal looks good to me . wounder how it broke that way? looks like it's been cut. if it won't take a weld , maybe a pipe splice with u-bolts. like little muffler clamps.  :pop 

That Tube Fram (perpendicular) behind the break and just below it creates a bit of a problem with most easy fixes.

Once the fairing is installed and bolted to the two holes (where the mirror also goes), it kind of stiffens things up. I think it has been broke for sometime as I had some rattle and think the windshield might have been moving more).   
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline Chris

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CHRIS
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Offline gl1dinorider

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Remember paul, delicate jobs like that require small hammers.

Looking good paul,

What does "riding season" mean?

Offline PAULRIDES

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http://www.dansmc.com/valveclearence.htm

Chris  -- DGI (Dang Good Information). Wish I would have had it before starting. I just hope I did not burn or damage EX Valves by waiting so long. They were very tight. It was running OK.

I pretty well followed most of the link procedure when doing the actual adjustment, except I did not check with larger gauge. I set to maximum feeler gauge wih some drag as I moved gauge back and forth and then checked with a smaller one (less or no drag). So, I think I am very near Max Gap. I did check again when done by rotating engine a couple revolutions and then rechecked.

I like the find Dead Center Combustion Stroke Piston position using a screw driver in spark plug hole as in the Link provided.

OFF THE SUBJECT A BIT. I should have thought of that as I did it one time on a Dodge Van when changing the Valve Seals (little bell shaped rubber things that went over the valve stem). Wasted my time it dd not stop excessive oil usgae. It was ig old One Ton 15 Passenger Van used to carry construction workers around to work sites. Ran good, smoked very little, but used a quart every 250 miles. I use to carry a case with me on trips.  I took the seats out of and convered it to a camper arrangement - built a bed in back and still ahe one seat behind the driver passentger single seat. 

I just watched cams for UP Position (maks on engine and crank very confusing desription in the Internet WIKI Procedure for the NINJA 500)

Once I had both Cam Lobes pointing up, I did slip a feller gauge between the Cam Lobe and what I call the Rocker ("thing" Lobe pushes against - mine has one Rocker "thing" that controls the two EX and another that contorls the two IN). It is a two valve on each cylinder, that is two EX and two IN valves per cylinder.

I also did not do both valves (the two EX or two IN) at the same time as suggested in the Link you sent (not sure I could have, hard enough getting one at a time).     
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline PAULRIDES

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NINJA Valve Job done, I think.

I started it up in driveway on center stand this morning, finished topping off coolant as it warmed up and rev'ed once or twice to 9000 rpm. No leaks yet and seems to be A OK.
 
I went ahead and did a Temporary Repair on Broken Fairing Tube Frame (Gorrila Tape), so I could put fairing on which has the headlight and mirrors. Who knows temporary repair might end up being final repair, see how it looks when I take front fairing off again. I will be taking the fairing off sometime soon (need fork leak fixed).
 
TerrE  --- Hang onto the 1/2 pipe sections you made in case it needs a weld later. IF NOT NEEDED - save sanding paint off, welding, repainting, etc.   
 
PS WASTE OF TIME MON EVE.
I had reinstalled the Valve Cover before XMAS trip, just needed to get O Rings for water tubes that go into the engine for the water lines to connect to, and get Spark Plugs (ordered them last week and picked up Monday while on a short ride). Then finish install, add water, test engine, etc.
 
LAST EVENING -- I got worried (DGWW - Worry Wart)  about the Valve Cover gasket not being installed properly per some advice from guys on FORUM. I decided to take the valve cover off again to check.   :groan - WASTE OF TIME and  EFFORT.
 
Had a heck of a time getting valve cover back in there, got valve cover gasket more loose from the valve cover than it had been. Anyway, finally got it back on. A bunch of effort for nothing - coil packs had to be removed again, radiator loosened and hug away from frame  Blah Blah Blah. (&)(^#^$+)+^*$&))_(
 
Had it ready to start last night (Midnight) with minimum stuff installed including the gas tank, no seat or front fairing. The darn battery was down (I hoped it was battery as it cranked a bit, but did not start). I charged battery over night and that was the problem (started OK this morning).
 
IF THIS LOUSY WEATHER GETS A BIT BETTER (reasonably dry roads) - I am going to Test Ride a NINJA.  TODAY - SOON. :happypep  It is near 1PM now.   
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline Sarge

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Congratulations.

 :21
Semper Fi

Offline Chris

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Paul,

Well Done!

 :21

Chris
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Offline PAULRIDES

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Thanks Guys.  O)

I made a big deal of a small job (per some of the Smart Butts - Smart A___  on the NINJA 500 FORUM). But, that is me not wanting to mess up too bad. I still do dumb things - like put plugs in and just tightened them as I usually have for years (no torque wrench and jsut tighten things up - not over tighten).  Then I thought after I had the plugs in, should see what the torque is since I now have a torque wrench.  YIKES - book says 10 ft lbs -- darn that is not much more than finger tight. I probbaly did 30 or 40 ft lbs.

The FORUM guys did give some worth while advice also, but made a few comments about my cautions and details and pictures that I posted.  ::)

I rode about 75 miles yesterday afternoon and 40 miles or so today. All seems OK. Idles is up 200 RPM from past, need to set idle screw.

Maybe the NEW Air Filter that is Not 53K Miles Dirty, or the Iridium Spark Plugs, or Valve Adjustment is making it run better (faster idle).

I hate to admit I put off air filter change until 53K Miles. It was DIRTY DIRTY.  When things run good, gas mileage is steady, etc. I am bad for not messing with it. In other words, I am not a Preventive Maintenace Garu. Change oil and that is about it.  :groan

 
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline PAULRIDES

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Cranked Idle Speed back to 1100 rpm.

Big change in gas mileage since Valve job, New Air Filter (replaced one that was 53K mile used - my bad to go that long), and installed Iridium Spark Plugs. Pretty sure getting 60 MPG +/- a little after a 1000 miles of use.  ;D I was down to 53 to 57 MPG before with valves needing adjustment, air filter really dirty, and OEM Plugs.  :groan

I think I had better MPG (57 mpg range) when I first bought in 2011 the 2008 NINJA 500 with 1000 miles use on it. Now have near 54,000 on it.

Anyway -- What makes the change? Valves, New Air Filter, and/or Iridium Spark plugs.  I suspect all had some effect, but I have heard the better spark from Iridium Plugs add performance. Those things have a itty bitty tip (about like a paper clip).

FOG (Post Name) on EX.500 Forum posted some info on Spark Plugs and the Spark. There are a number of replies. Some of the replies deal with using Iridium (no specifics on gas milesge or performance, but one guy is set on using them).

http://www.ex-500.com/index.php/topic,341.0.html

   

Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)