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Discussion Starter #1
Buddy Ron and I just did valve adjustment on both our '07 900LT's. It's a major plus having two working on this job, with one on each side of the bike. I decided to go this route when local Kaw shop quoted $8.25 per shim. A local general bike shop quoted $80 plus parts to adjust valves. That, combined with uncertainty about whether they'd have the shims I needed, and possible multiple trips to buy them, motivated us to do it ourselves.

Tools:
Hotcams shim kit $81, ebay;
Swivel head pencil magnet $3, Harbor Freight.
Zero to one inch micrometer if you need one, $20, Harbor Freight.
Time: About 3.5 hours on first bike, 1.5 hours on second, not including mounting on the lift and removing the tank.

Comments:
1. OEM shims didn't have dimension on them, had some other number, like part number, that was partially washed out by contact with valve stem and rocker arm. Having a micrometer is essential, so you can measure what you removed, and adjust accordingly.

2. Little buggers are tiny, hard to reach, sit in a slip fit pocket, kind of held in by oil, so a pencil magnet is essential. The swivel end is necessary so you can lift the shim straight out, and keep it level to the valve to reinsert. We didn't have one of these for the first bike; removal with a straight pencil magnet was a major pain.

3. Pack the cam chain area with shop towel, in case one gets away.

The good news is, for two bikes, none were tight and only about two exhaust valves were under spec, none more than about 001 or 002 under spec, and all had clearance when the rocker arm was moved by hand.

Also, the sliding rocker arm is pure genius--measure the valve clearance, slide the rocker arm, lift out the shim, measure it, put in the next size down to increase clearance, reinstall, and measure to confirm.

Finally, I can't emphasize this enough--don't start this project until you have a micrometer and a swivel head pencil magnet, or you'll make yourself nuts (a short trip for me, I know).

If you decide to go the do-it-yourself method with a shim kit in hand, know that you'll pay for the kit, mic and magnet with the first adjustment, and you're paid up for the life of the bike. Also, this same shim kit is used for many makes and models, so it has utility beyond the VN900.
 

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Thanks mbwarner, just had mine checked at 15k but it was under a service plan. Didn't need any shims. I'm sure I'll be doing them myself once the plan expires.
 

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2. Little buggers are tiny, hard to reach, sit in a slip fit pocket, kind of held in by oil, so a pencil magnet is essential. The swivel end is necessary so you can lift the shim straight out, and keep it level to the valve to reinsert. We didn't have one of these for the first bike; removal with a straight pencil magnet was a major pain.
No joke, gotta get me one of the swivel types. Other than that, a third hand the size of a 5 year olds with the strength of a circus freak wouldn't hurt.
 

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No joke, gotta get me one of the swivel types. Other than that, a third hand the size of a 5 year olds with the strength of a circus freak wouldn't hurt.
So you're saying that my size 13 sausages attached to a pork chop palm will hinder my ability to complete this job without an extra measure of cursing!:eek:
 

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It makes it interesting. Work someplace with some good light cuzz theres no room for light in there and the only way to get light on the subject is to have it bright above it and let it seep in. Then, the pulling the rocker arm over thing is slick. It also needs to be held over while you work. You might pick up a C clamp with a 4 or 6 inch opening and try pulling the rocker over and holding it open with that, why I didn't think about that till now I don't know. I used a wooden wedge except I couldn't get it right and had to bump the rocker open the last little bit everytime. Which of course jiggles the wood block out of the way. Thats the place where the third hand would come in handy cuzz there's little room for anything besides your two hands.

Eh, practice makes perfect. It's not hard, you just have to hold your tongue right.
 

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OK on eBay they have some pits listed generically, and some for specific models. Which kit is the right kit for the VN900?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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mbwarner,Thanks for the link to the valve shim kit eBay site. I just ordered the kit and hope to attempt the valve adjustment in a couple of weeks. BTW, the mustang seat is wonderful, I just completed a 400 mile ride down to southern Illinois for Hog Rock MC rally, and it was just a joy to ride with no butt issues. Trees were turning an artist's pallet of colors, cool crisp mornings, and a great bike to ride. Doesn't get any better....Walt E.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
My pleasure on the seat, Walt. I'm glad it arrived okay, and is working out well for you. And good luck with the valve adjustment. Be patient, and get the swivel head magnet...Mark
 

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Additional Information?

So, I just received my shim kit. (2 plastic container shipped with 3 shims of each size in each partition. One lid was open upon receipt, which caused some frustration with older eyes trying to reorganize them in the correct sequence). I have a micrometer for measuring and will pick up a pencil swivel magnet before attempting next weekend to adjust. Do I need any gaskets or rubber O rings just in case I bugger up one during disassemble? I have noticed some posts where there was an oil leak after reassembly, so I want to be prepared for the worst, and experience the best...:D.
One other question, will 3 shims of each dimension be enough to support the adjustment? 2 valves per cylinder equates to possibly 4 shims needed if all require the same dimension for change out. The dealer I spoke to before deciding to do this myself said that there were 8 shims possible for replacement? Do you stack shims one on top of the other to get up to the required dimension? Probably dumb questions, but I hope to be prepared with most of my questions answered before tearing it apart.
Thanks in advance for your help.....Walt E.
 

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Do you stack shims one on top of the other to get up to the required dimension? Probably dumb questions, but I hope to be prepared with most of my questions answered before tearing it apart.
Thanks in advance for your help.....Walt E.
It's more probable that the shims that you have in the bike will be of different sizes. And usually, you will be able to move them from one place to another before even getting into your shim kit. But when you run out of swaps, you move on to news. I wouldn't stack them. The interference between them will change.
 

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O rings for the spark plug tubes are what cause the oil leak. I haven't done the job myself, but the "pro" at the Kaw shop managed to mess one up and I've been dripping oil ever since. Apparently it's easy to slice the bottom rings if you're not careful. The manual tells you to be sure you don't remove the tubes when you lift off the valve cover. I'm not sure how that's accomplished since the tubes are under the cover. Good luck and let us know how it went.
 

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I don't think that's possible unless you have the engine out of the bike and can put pressure on the tube. Lubricate them and gently press the top plate down on the tube and it should go right. I'd hate to say that you have to hold your tongue right, but not being ham fisted and on the clock probably will save more o-rings than anything else.

Lubrication however is I think the major key.
 

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I know all about the Kawasaki Tick but did your valve adj quiet things down at all?
 

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I'm getting ready to adjust them this weekend. But from everything I read, as far as quieting down is just the opposite from what I should expect. My information to date suggests that the valves get tighter over the long period so I should be expecting to be loosening them up with smaller shims, which would make things gear up on the more noisy side..... I may be wrong, as this is my first time adjusting the valves, so we will see. Getting excited to tear into Agnes and see what she is made of.......
 

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I know all about the Kawasaki Tick but did your valve adj quiet things down at all?
I went to adjust my valves and all mine were well within tolerances WHICH was kinda dis-appointing as I was hoping to get rid of some clickity clack.

Oh well, worse now because I went back to stealth (oem pipes) mode. Yes, I hit the gas today and yes, I noticed it OR rather the lack of it. Not much difference but you know what it's like when everything isn't quite up to snuff. Probably only a couple horses less but when you only have under 50.

Then again, I was doing 80 without noticing it because I didn't hear the roar of the pipes at that speed. I lost my 'Bullit' sound effects.
 
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