Tips on Adjusting Valves...

I have been searching on the database on how to adjust your valves and have found many useful hints and tips!

My only concern is whenever I take my cams out is it hard to get back in line?? I saw where someone posted that they ziptied the cams to the cam chain (so they would stay together)...I also saw where someone said to make marks with a dremel tool on the cam chain (which supposedly makes it easier to line back up)! I have adjusted valves on many XR's before and it is real easy, I just am a little concerned about getting 2 cams back in on the YZ!

I generally ride my bike (on average) 1 time a week! I tend to rev my bike higher than most YZF owners, so im thinking it is about time they need to be checked? Also are the shims the same size in every 01' model or does it vary from bike to bike? And have any of you guys experienced excessive tightening with the Titanium valves? I plan on adjusting my valves over spring break (1 more week), and any info you guys have I would appreciate it a bunch! Thanks,



I get my kicks on a 2001' YZ426!

Friendswood, TX

Garrett, first you measure your valve clearance before removing the cams. Chances are very good that you can ride your bike for a year, and they will still be in spec. They were on my three YZF's, and I moto'd twice a week, year round. But, I didn't do 100+ miles per weekend on trails either.

Check your valve clearance to ease your mind. Then check it again in 3-6 months. Then you will know if they are changing. Shims vary from bike to bike, and are set up at the factory.


I agree w/ Scott, I doubt seriously that they are already out of spec.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check them, I think it is a good idea to keep track, more or less, of where they are at.

When you do adjust them, getting both cams back on is easy. I think the best way is to count the # of links (13 I think) between both outside marks before you remove anything, then when you are replacing the cams install and time just one of them, don’t matter which. Then tilt it back off the head, find the 13th link and install the second. If you miss it, just tilt ‘em both back up again and adjust the chain placement.

The chain can’t skip a tooth on the crank, and don’t worry so much about dropping it, just buy one of those magnets, they work good for removing the big circlips that locate the bearings in the caps too. Double check your crank and cam position before you put everything back together.

Hope this helps.

I was the one who made the suggestion about making the mark on the cam chain with a Dremel engraving bit. The reason I used this method is that I found it to be the easiest way to make a quick sighting where the cam sprocket punch marks line up in position in relationship with the cam chain. If I didn't do it this way, I found that I couldn't avoid turning the crank off it's timing mark by tugging on the cam chain. Invariably, I would slip the cam into postion and then have to check to make sure the crank was still on the mark. Making a tiny "V" mark on the cam chain sideplate directly about the 12 o'clock punch mark allowed me to slip the cam right into place and know that I am in proper timing. As Hick described, counting the links between the top center of the cam sprockets is equally as accurate for timing purposes. That's the way my KLX manual describes it.

There is a drawback to my method. Once you make these marks, you must remember that they won't line up every time you get ready to check the lash. I mean that these two marks won't align with the crank mark every 720 degrees of the crank every single time. If you want to re-use these marks, you would have to be patient enough to keep turning the crank until they DO line up again. To do this, you would get to TDC of compression and check to see if the marks are at 12 o'clock on the cam sprockets. If not, rotate 720 degrees and check again. You keep doing this until they do get to 12 o'clock. Eventually, they WILL line up at 12 o'clock. This is where the patience comes in. Since I have already made these marks, I WILL keep turning the crank until they DO line up properly. I'm not going to keep making new marks and end up with a bunch of marks that will confuse me.

Whichever method you decide to use, doublecheck your work, like Hick said. It's so easy to miss a sprocket tooth here. It's better to catch at this time than to get everything back together only to find the engine is way down on power....or worse.

[This message has been edited by Boit (edited 03-06-2001).]

Thansk a bunch Hick...I will print this out and have it by my side when I check the clearnaces/adjust them!

Instead of making a mark w/a dremel (which is permanent) uses on dab of fingernail polish (which can be removed after adjustment) I always use fingernail polish on stuff like this because it stays on unless you want it off! Thanks,



I get my kicks on a 2001' YZ426!

Friendswood, TX

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