KZ1000 valve adjustment

Discussion in 'Motorbike Technical Discussion' started by Tom Wait, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. Tom Wait

    Tom Wait Guest

    I recently aquired a '78 Kawasaki KZ1000 LTD. It cost me a buck. (GLOAT!!)
    The bike runs OK but not great. The Clymer book that came with it sez not to
    grind the shims to adjust the valves. Is this because the shims might be
    plated or case-hardened? I've got a surface grinder in my shop and can
    probably make the old ones flatter than new ones. I'm afraid to ask what new
    ones will cost, and am considering the grinding alternative.
    Tom Wait, Aug 20, 2003
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  2. Tom Wait

    Charlie Gary Guest

    It's possibly because the shims have the size etched into them, but the
    case-hardening may also be why. Find a dealer that will swap straight
    across, and you won't have to buy any.




    fix the e-mail address and it will get to me
    Charlie Gary, Aug 20, 2003
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  3. Tom Wait

    Popeye Guest

    I bought some for my KZ550 and they were only about $8Cdn if I recall.
    A lot of times you can swap around shims and only need to purchase one
    or two.

    No idea why they say not to grind them, states the same thing for my

    Popeye, Aug 20, 2003
  4. Jesus H. Christ.

    OK, you've got a cam lobe slamming down on the valve shim surface
    anything up to 4500 times a minute. Of course the bloody things are

    You're worried at how much they'll cost? A few bucks each. And there are
    only eight of them. And the chances are that if you're re-shimming the
    valves, that you can swap some around to get the right clearances. It's
    also highly unlikely that all eight will need replacement, but even if
    they do, you're looking at 40 bucks or so.

    If you really, really don't know this much, I'd suggest that you're
    probably not the best person to undertake a renovation of a motorcycle.
    The Older Gentleman, Aug 20, 2003
  5. Tom Wait

    Tom Wait Guest

    True, I'm not the best person to undertake this project, but then neither
    are you. However, I'm going to do it and the bike will be fine when I'm
    done. I've never owned or worked on a KZ1000 before, but I had good results
    overhauling my 650 Yamaha twin 20 years ago. There are things I don't know
    about this bike, so I ask questions and read the books and I'll ask some
    more questions and when I get some good info I'll proceed.

    Thanks for the tip on swapping shims. I hadn't considered that, tho I might
    have thought about about it when I got into the project.

    I figured the shims were hard, I thought they might be plated or case
    hardened which would preclude grinding.

    I doubt my local dealer has anything for a few bucks. Hell, parts for my
    airplane cost less than the same parts for this bike.
    Tom Wait, Aug 20, 2003
  6. Tom Wait

    Tom Wait Guest

    Maybe he's cranky cuz he paid more for his bike than I did?
    Tom Wait, Aug 20, 2003
  7. Tom Wait

    sammmm Guest

    few people have the equipment and the know-how to do a flat grind.
    i suspect that you'd be ok to grind them but i don't think it would be too
    many pieces you'd need to do it right.
    measure the clearance on each of them and then check the thickness of the
    shims. it's often you can mix and
    match to get most of them set properly and buy the few you really need. good
    luck, samm
    sammmm, Aug 21, 2003
  8. Tom Wait

    Mark Olson Guest

    sammmm wrote: [top posting fixed]
    The genuine Kawasaki manual says not to grind them, that is
    authoritative enough for me. They are hardened.

    You can buy replacements (used to be Dennis Kirk sold them but I don't
    see them listed in their catalog now) from aftermarket suppliers,
    or from the dealer. As samm says, most of the time you don't need to
    buy very many of them, you can move around the eight you've got now,
    and whichever ones are wrong can usually be exchanged at a friendly
    Kawa dealer for a nominal fee or even free.

    If you bring your own micrometer or dial calipers to measure them
    yourself, they're more likely to swap them even up, than if you
    ask them to do the measuring, obviously. Shims are supposed to be
    marked with their thickness but frequently the marks are worn off
    or illegible.
    Mark Olson, Aug 21, 2003
  9. Tom Wait

    Michael Guest

    Shims are cheap. I bought an assortment of new shims from
    Ron Ayers[1] for my ZR7 (KZ750). They were about $2.50

    -- Michael

    Michael, Aug 21, 2003
  10. Heh. Well, envy has a little to do with it....
    The Older Gentleman, Aug 21, 2003
  11. Last Kawasaki I re-shimmed, a couple of years back, the shims were a
    couple of UK pounds each, from a Kawasaki dealer. They really aren't

    Tips: always use a micrometer to check their diameters, and if they have
    the sizes stamnped into the face, install that face downwards.
    The Older Gentleman, Aug 21, 2003
  12. Tom Wait

    Tom Wait Guest

    Thanks to everyone who replied with helpful advice. I'll probably wind up
    buying a few shims. The Kaw dealer close to home wants $356.00 for a new
    front master cylinder not including the clamp, reservoir, piston etc., hence
    my reluctance to go to him for shims. I'll start looking for a different
    dealer to shop for parts.
    Tom Wait, Aug 21, 2003
  13. Items like that *will* be expensive.
    The Older Gentleman, Aug 21, 2003
  14. Tom Wait

    Tom Wait Guest

    The $356 was for just the cyl. casting, not the whole assy! The cycle
    salvage yard quoted me $100 for the whole assembly and might be the way to
    go if its the right size.But he wouldn't gauranty the cylinder bore wasn't
    pitted and it will still need new seals. I bought a new piston assembly and
    dust cover for $45 at the dealer.He won't sell just the cups. Unfortunatly
    it is a large bore piston and the one on the bike is a smaller bore so the
    new piston won't fit the cylinder I have on hand. The one on the bike was
    pitted so I polished it out and it's only .004" larger than before. This
    would work ok with new piston seals but it's the wrong size bore. It's back
    on the bike now with the old piston and seals and working, but the brake is
    soft. There's just not enough volume with the 14mm cylinder bore to pull a
    panic stop. I have a box of old parts that came off the bike after a crash.
    In it is a broken front master cyl. with a 5/8" bore. So I know the original
    was the larger one. It makes sense, it has two calipers in front, the
    standard model had one. Mine's the LTD.

    I've already rebuilt the calipers. $65 for the new seals! The pads were $56
    for both sides. So if I bought the new cylinder I've invested $517 just for
    the front brakes.

    I'm suffering from sticker shock. By comparison I bought brand new
    magnesium wheels with bearings, brake discs and calipers made in the USA for
    an airplane I'm building, for under $400. Toss in a pair of used but perfect
    master cylinders for $25 and I've got money left over for tires and tubes
    before I spent as much as parts for a front brake overhaul for a Japanese
    motorcycle. Airplane parts are notoriously expensive but this bike biz is

    Plan A on the master is bite the bullet and buy the used one for a $100 and
    rebuild it with the new piston assy. if it's the right size. Plan B is bore
    out the small cylinder to accept the 5/8" piston. Plan B will take a few
    hours on the lathe but that justifies the cost of the lathe doesn't it?

    Maybe I shouldn't complain so much. All those Harley riders coming here this
    week are being gouged for everything they buy.

    Thanks for the audience.
    Tom in Milwaukee
    Tom Wait, Aug 22, 2003
  15. Tom Wait

    Tom Wait Guest

    What is it?

    It's Wag-Areo 2+2. A fat Super Cub with 4 seats, copy of a Piper PA-14. It's
    a plans built plane, and a whole lot of work.
    Tom Wait, Aug 22, 2003
  16. Blame your country's product liability laws for that.
    The Older Gentleman, Aug 22, 2003
  17. Tom Wait

    Tom Wait Guest

    That's a big part of the equation. As long as lawyers are writing the laws
    not much will be done to ease the situation.

    I've selected a V-6 out of a Ford Thunderbird for my powerplant. A little
    heavy but a good 180 horses and about $5K complete with a Propeller speed
    reducer and an overhaul. Also a lot less money for parts.
    Tom Wait, Aug 23, 2003
  18. Tom Wait

    Charlie Gary Guest

    Does anybody have a good track record with those engines? How does the
    crank do when you're pulling Gs? I know it's cheaper, but how long will the
    Ford hold up at 80-100% power all the time?




    fix the e-mail address and it will get to me
    Charlie Gary, Aug 23, 2003
  19. Tom Wait

    Charlie Gary Guest

    Have you seen what's been done with Subaru 4 cylinders? Look for a press
    release mentioning video of the Hummingbird at . A guy I know tells me it's powered
    by a modified Subaru 4 banger cranking out better than 400 hp. I thought
    that was pretty impressive, but it can't be done for the same low price as
    some other alternatives.




    fix the e-mail address and it will get to me
    Charlie Gary, Aug 23, 2003
  20. Tom Wait

    Tom Wait Guest

    The Ford V-6 has a very good record. A lot of them are flying safely and
    reliably. V-6 Chebbies are also good candidates for conversions.The crank
    and rods are quite robust in the Ford, and forged pistons are swapped in
    along with a reground cam. Ignition and carburetors are modified also. The
    engines don't fly as they come out of the cars. Many mods and a careful
    rebuilding are required to make them reliable enough for aircraft.

    The G loads on an aircraft engine aren't as severe as the gyroscopic load
    on the crank from the prop when a turn or a zoom or dive is initiated.
    Straight G's aren't a problem. The gyro loads on the Ford conversion will be
    felt by the PSRU.(propellor speed reduction unit). In my plane it is a Gates
    type belt drive.
    Some Fords are approaching 2000 hours in the air with no major problems.
    Tom Wait, Aug 23, 2003
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