KTM 250 SX-F timing is off. help please.....

have an 06 sxf 250, I had to remove the right inner (clutch side) engine cover. As I removed the cover the water pump shaft (which also is the bottom timing chain sprocket got moved a few teeth off because I was tired and not really paying attention. I am in the process of trying to figure out how to reset the timing on it. As of now I set the intake and exhaust cams so the two dots align with the horizontal line on the cylinder. I am trying to figure out how to make sure the crank (piston) are in the proper position in relation to the cams. My son and I have quite a bit of experience with 2 smokes but this is my first time inside a 4 strk and just want to make sure I don't make an expensive mistake.

are you all set with this problem or still need help?

somehow get the piston in TDC, one way to do this is taking out the lockbolt in the engine and look trough it with a flashlight and find the hole in de crank. then install the bolt w/o the copper washer.

with the cams lined up, it should fall into place.

The bolt that indexes the crank at Top Dead Center (lets call it the TDC indexing bolt) is on the right side of the engine below and forward of the clutch cover and goes in toward the right side of the crank, it is a 6 or 8mm allan head and has a thick copper washer, remove the bolt.

Remove the left side case/magneto cover, the flywheel has a small block of steel welded to its outer edge. Turn the crank so that blocks right edge matches the left edge of the pulse coil (small black box). That is TDC. Now go back to the right and shine a flash light in the hole, move the crank very slightly if needed to get the notch in the crank right under the hole, now screw the bolt it without the washer until it contacts the crank, unscrew it very slightly, like 1/8 turn, now rock the crank forward & back to find the middle, turn the bolt in while a helper rocks the crank, Now you are indexed at TDC and can proceed with cam timing marks.

As you work on this avoid removing the cam chain tensioner! That is another whole level of instructions that if botched it will cost you a grand plus to start the engine

I would be very surprised if you can re-time this without removing the cam chain tensioner. If the water pump shaft cam out, the tensioner will more than likely have extended most/all the way out, even if you do manage to get the water pump shaft back in and timed the chain tension should be set correctly.

Ps, if your left hand casing gasket is missing, the bike will not start even though it turns over (stiffly). So you'll need to save your old gasket or get a new one.

To do the cam chain tensioner correcty.

Take a 21mm ring spanner and remove the nut that face forward on the outside of the cyclinder head on its right hand side.(slightly covered by rad hose). When you have the tensioner out, you compress it the whole way so only about 2mm of the inner shaft are showing.

It should stay like this.(its got a ratchet system)

When you are reinstalling the tensioner put it back in (fully compressed) and tighten the nut not forgetting the o-ring and copper washer make sure the timing is spot on, and with a long flat head screw driver push against the tensioner. It will release and extend to the correct tension against the cam chain.

Thanks, I found that indexing bolt on the bottom right side once I got the bolt into the hole in the crank, the rest was a breeze. Had her running in about an hour.

Thanks everyone! once I figured out the indexing bolt for the crank I had everything back together and had it running in about one hour. The cam chain tensioner had to be removed (that had me nervous) but I called my dealer and their mechanic told me I had the cam chain tensioner installed corectly, so I crossed my fingers, turned on the fuel petcock pulled the choke and gave a little twist of the throttle and a light kick and she fired right up. Thanks again!!!


First time I had an sxf cam chain tensioner out i was sure it was broken because of the way it was clicking and sticking! Little did I know that was the norm.

Glad you got is sorted, they're a great motor, I can only hope my new kxf 450 will be as good.

I'd 100 hours on the ktm an never adjusted as much as a shim!

Hey guy Im having a problem. I took the copper washer out and put the screw in on top dead center the adjusted the timing but with the screw in I checked the piston and it was all the way down. Bike wont turn over now. Please help!!!

Yea it's a 4 stroke!! So you do need to make sure it's acrually at TDC before screwing the lock in. So find dtc, lock the pin in and then set the cams again.

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