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Cap removal

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I am trying to remove the two caps on the aleternator cover on a KLX300 to access the end of the crankshaft so I can do the valve timing. The caps have slots in them but they're on so tight I can't get them undone. I have tried every tool I own that will fit in the slot without success. Any creative ideas?

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Get the largest flat head screwdriver you can find. That's the easiest way.

When I say Large, I mean like 2ft long, handle about as thick as a can of beer, flathead tip about an inch wide.

Don't try to use a puny flathead or you'll chew the caps up.

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I only take off the smaller of the two. I use the kick start lever to rotate the crank. I have not experienced the issue you have in my application but in other circumstances like this I take the largest screwdriver that can fit in the slot and push inward as hard as I can. With a crescent wrench adjusted to the proper width I place it on the screwdriver and lift up. Do not be afraid to use a second set of hands to accomplish your task because if you strip out the metal you have a new problem.

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If you go the Paul Bunyan sized common screwdriver route, look at the design of the slot where the screwdriver end will go into the cap plug. You'll notice that it's not uniformly flat all the way across the slot. It sort of "bevels" from deep in the center to less at the edges...not like a common screw head. You have to make the tip of whatever tool you use to fit the design of the slot...slightly beveled to match. I'm not sure why, but just about all the Kawasakis I've owned since '73 had their case caps designed like this. A pure, straight screwdriver end tends to bugger up these slots. Many years ago I found a robust 3-way handled screwdriver with 3-different sizes...huge common/flat blade and 2 smaller. I beveled all 3 to fit the different sized cap slots that are out there, and it's worked great. I can't even remember where I found this tool, but there are other options just as long as you bevel the tip to fit the cap.

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I use one of those round spark plug gapping tools and hold it with some visegrips. Make sure you rotate the spark plug tool around until it fits tight in the slot. Works like a champ!

sparkpluggaptool.jpg

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