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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This past weekend, in-between celebrating my graduation from CU Boulder with a BA in Media Studies (Journalism), I decided to adjust my valve clearances. Coming up on 15,000 miles (I don't even know what the factory adjustment time period is), but hearing some valves clicking, it was time. :p Feel free to chime in any time GummyBear, I know you've been planning on doing this for a while.

Here are the rules for this post:

1.) Please read everything. This is an INVOLVED maintenance procedure. We now have a PDF of the maintenance manual. There are many threads on here I will reference. I will not answer a question that has already been answered somewhere else. Keep in mind, it usually takes me 2 days to check back and catch up on all the traffic... there are much more detailed instructions in the manual. This is simply meant to give you a feel for how it will go.
http://www.newninja.com/general-tech/(carbureted-version)-ninja-250r-service-manual/

2.) IF you have advice, please share! This was my FIRST time undertaking a task of this nature, EVER. If you know of a way this would be easier, please let me know. Since it was my first, and my bike is still running, I feel confident that anyone who believes in their abilities, has patience, and the right tools, can do this.

3.) I reserve full rights to change/edit this post as I remember things, or errors are pointed out to me. I want to make it a clean, good, helpful post.

BASIC INFO:
TIME: 6 hours, this could probably decrease to about 2 hours the second time around
COST: $6.00/shim - shims needed (4), with my discount, and tax it came to about $26.
GLASSES OF JACK AND COKE CONSUMED: 3

So, let's get started, eh?

1.) Remove the fairings: http://www.newninja.com/how-to/removing-the-fairings-(plastic)/

2.) Drain the oil: http://www.newninja.com/general-tech/oil-change/30/

3.) Drain the coolant:




4.) This is what you're left with:


5.) Remove the spark coils, and the valve cover vent tube:




6.) Remove the valve cover. This is what you'll see, from a few different angles:







7.) Remove the crankshaft bolt cover


8.) Check to see if cylinder 2 is at TDC (TOP DEAD CENTER)


9.) THIS IS A CRUCIAL STEP!!!!! MEASURE THE VALVE CLEARANCES Measure the clearance between each valve lobe, and the "bucket" underneath it.


This is the table I came up with (all values are in millimeters -mm):
Known: Intake clearance range - .17-.24 Optimum (.195 ~ .20)
Exhaust clearance range - .22 - .29 Optimum (.255 ~.25)
Shims come from the factory in demoninations of .05 (EX: 2.75, 2.80, 2.85)
Measured:
Cylinder: 1 2
Valves: Intake Exhaust Intake Exhaust
Side: Left Right Left Right Left Right Left Right
Clearance: .17 .21 .28 .25 .21 .20 .23 .24

The ones in red are close to the boundaries, so I thought I'd adjust those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
10.) Remove cams - The manual does a great job pointing out which bolts need to be removed in order, and I will just do a worse job. Section 5-17 and 5-18 in the factory manual You can remember which one is the exhaust, and which one is the intake, but they're the same, and just use different timing marks when they get reinstalled, so not too much to worry here...


11.) Remove the buckets - I preferred using my handy dandy magnet on a stick, but you can remove them with your fingers.


12.) There is the shim - NOTE: These shims actually stuck to the underside of the buckets - but I removed this one and put it back to show where they go, and how big they are. Remove the shims from the valves that are out of alignment - measure them with a caliper.


This is the table I came up with.
Cylinder: 1 2
Valves: Intake Exhaust Intake Exhaust
Side: Left Right Left Right Left Right Left Right
Clearance: 2.75 2.80 2.85 2.85

13.) Figure out the adjusting shim. I will use Cylinder 1, Intake, Left valve as an example. Generally, a rule of erroring on the loose side is better. A valve that doesn't open all the way will cause you to loose power, but a valve that doesn't close all the way will burn up, and cause A LOT OF DAMAGE TO YOUR ENGINE.

So, we know the shim is 2.75mm.

We know that the valve clearance of 0.17mm is on the TIGHT side of the range, thus we have to loosen it up. To loosen it up, we DECREASE the thickness of the shim. To INCREASE clearance, you also INCREASE the space between the cam and the bucket, which means the thickness of the shim has to DECREASE.

We know that the next step down in shim increments is a 2.70mm. That will INCREASE clearance by 0.05mm, which will bring out 0.17mm measurement to 0.22mm. That is OK, since this valve is wearing tight - we will give it a 0.02mm grace space for it to wear tight and be PERFECT!

Do this for each of the valves out of adjustment:

Cylinder: 1 2
Valves: Intake Exhaust Intake Exhaust
Side: Left Right Left Right Left Right Left Right
Clearance: 2.70 2.75 2.80 2.80

These are the new shims we purchase.

14.) Install the new shims by placing them on top of the valve.


15.) Install the buckets over them:


16.) Install the came - reverse of step 10, and such forth putting back each part in the same order as you put them back on. THIS IS MASSIVELY IMPORTANT - USE A TORQUE WRENCH TO TIGHTEN THE BOLTS BACK DOWN TO SPEC, OTHERWISE YOU WON'T GET THEM OFF THE SECOND TIME AROUND.... :p

To make sure I'm not forgetting any parts, I usually check all the bolt holes without bolts, and make sure they don't need a part or bolts to screw in there before I put on the fairings.

Also make sure to put your oil back in before you fire up the bike.
Make sure to put the coolant back in before you put back on the fairings.
Make sure to bleed the cooling system.
Make sure all the bolts are properly tightened to the correct torque-specification. (I actually just crank them until I feel the part they're holding together won't shake it loose)
 

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Wow,what a super write up.6hrs of job and properply 12 for prepareing this article.Very nice spooph,very nice.Glass up to you.

As you are on this already you might aswell point out how to put back the cam.The timing is very critical here.Miss aligned just one tooth on sprocket and drivebelt and the hell will break loose.I know.Done it before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Eric, you are correct. I edited my post to reflect the correct section in the factory manual, and quite honestly, it much more clearly describes how to align the cams. Plus, I didn't take pictures of it, knowing that we now have the manual online, and that people can access it.

What is very important, also stated in the manual, is to tension the chain on the exhaust cams first, and line it up, and then the intake cams. Once they are lined up, you put in the cam chain tensioner, and everything should be groovy.

Something interesting here, is that the cams for intake and exhaust are the same, THE EXACT SAME, they even have both intake and exhaust timing marks on both of them. So it doesn't matter which goes where, as long as the one one the exhaust valves is lined up with the exhaust index mark, and the intake with the intake mark.

At first, I put them on one tooth off, but the error was glaringly obvious. The factory timing marks are easy to see, and dead on, so I think it would be hard to screw up...
 

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wow spooph great writeup! so did this completely take care of the valve tapping?

also, when I took mine apart, one part that was left out of the manual, and that made me stop, was that i didnt take off the tank. stupid, right? i didnt see anywhere that said take off the tank... so i was struggling getting the valve cover off with the tank on, and finally gave up and put it back together when i ran out of time.
im definitely following this guide when i do my valves, sometime this summer.

oh and spooph, congrats on graduating!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ghost, that is a sweet write up! Much more thorough than mine. I said I'd post one when I did it, so I did, but that one is sweet! Where do you get all this good info?
 

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The Yeager's DIY, he mentioned to remove the front engine support bolt.  What is the purpose of this?  Will taking out the bolt causes the engine to fall off? Also he mentioned to take out the radiator support bracket and tons of other stuffs...are they necessary to be removed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
gummybear, no, it did not COMPLETELY eliminate the valve chatter. It quieted it A LOT though. There is a saying in the Moto world here that goes: "a flappy valve is a happy valve". Meaning, a valve that too loose rather than too tight is a good thing. I measured all of them, and I know they're all within spec, so I'm not worried. Quite honestly, I could have easily gone anther 5,000 miles before doing it, they were all within range, so.... But I had an itchy finger. :p

Randomwalk - I didn't remove the engine bolt, I was able to get to everything just fine. I'm assuming it's to make it easier to get to everything, but is not NECESSARY. And no, your engine won't fall out if you remove the top mounting bolt. There are a total of 3, so you will still have 2 holding the engine to the bike... If you want some reference picture, check out the "frame sliders, ie-hopefully only highway pegs" thread in Mods.
 

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Thanks spooph.

btw, I guess this will take at least a week or two? You'd have to open it up to do the measurements, then order the parts/shims (online or whatever) and wait for delivery then finish it up? wow.
 

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i thnk you can juust order a kit of shims that has a bunch of different size shims, so you dont have to order specific sizes...

@spooph where did you get the shims from?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Random, I did over the coarse of three days, Fri-Sun, buying the shims on Saturday when my dealer was open. I could have done it in 1.5 days, but I had my graduation party to attend and other such nonsense which demanded my attention from my lady. :p I'm sure the next time will go much faster, I'm thinking 1 day. One day I hope to be able to get it down to half a day...

Gummybear, I just drove down to my local dealer and asked them for the right ones. They sold to me for like $6.00 a piece. Yes, you can get a kit, but I'm thinking since my dealer is so close, I'll just build my kit on my own as I need to replace shims....
 
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