Motor Related

Replacing A Clutch Pushrod Seal and Countershaft Seal

October 11, 2009

During the latter part of the 2009 riding season, the clutch push rod seal of my motorcycle began leaking. I was not ready to tackle replacing the seal, so a little online research gave me a “quick fix” to hold me until I was ready to tackle this job.

1- Remove the clutch release mechanism.
2- Pull the clutch push rod out of the motor.
3- Squirt a little high quality grease through the push rod hole in the seal.
4- Reassemble everything.

It worked! Eventually though, I knew that I needed to replace the clutch push rod seal, clutch push rod, and a worn clutch release mechanism.

And, I figured that if I was going to take the time to replace the clutch push rod oil seal, I might as well replace the countershaft seal, and the sprocket spacer o-ring, while I was right there. At the point that I did this job, my motorcycle had 62,441 miles on it.

This was not a really difficult job to do. However, there is one bolt that I did not have the right tool for. I couldn’t get the bolt loose with the tools that I owned, so I ended up fabricating a special wrench to get at this bolt.

The parts that I will be referring to can be viewed in the below diagrams.

#15 = Clutch Push Rod.
#23 = Clutch Push Rod Seal.
#17 = Clutch Release Mechanism.

#48 = Sprocket Spacer.
#51 = Sprocket Spacer O-Ring.
#37 = Countershaft Seal.
#40 = Seal Retainer Plate, (The Seal Retainer Plate did not have to be replaced on my bike.)

To get at the area of the motor, where the work needed to be done, I had to remove the countersprocket from the motor’s countershaft. This is where I started the job; mapping out my steps forward below.

1- I placed the transmission in neutral.

2- Then, I rolled the motorcycle up on to its centerstand..

3- I removed the countersprocket cover. (Three 8mm bolts.)

4- Next, I removed the clutch release mechanism.

4a- Using 10mm and 12mm open end wrenches, I unscrewed the clutch cable adjusting lock nut all the way off of its threads, (this is the bottom most nut on the clutch cable.). The 10mm wrench is used on the cable sheathing to keep it from spinning. I used the 12mm wrench to loosen and remove the lock nut at the bottom end of the threaded adjuster.

4b- Next, I loosened the two 10mm bolts that hold the clutch release mechanism to the motor bracket. Wrapping my fingers around the release mechanism, (to keep it from falling apart), I pulled the clutch cable and the threaded adjuster up out of its bracket. I taped all of parts of the clutch release mechanism together, and then draped it out of the work area.

5- Using my fingers, I pulled the clutch push rod out of the motor. This was kind of cool to do!

I am pointing to the clutch pushrod in the photograph below.

Next, I focused on removing the countersprocket nut.

6- I used a piece of metal tubing that I slide across both sides of my swingarm, and through the rear wheel. I rotated the rear wheel so that, one of the wheel’s spokes fetched up against the steel tubing to prevent the wheel from turning when I loosened the countersprocket nut.

7- Using a hammer and the flat blade of a screwdriver, I lightly tapped and bent upright, the bent down portion of the lock washer that is folded down on to one face of the countersprocket nut. The washer is made of relatively soft metal. It bent fairly easily.

8- I used a propane torch to heat up the countershaft nut. Suzuki uses a “red” thread-locker during the OEM installation of the countershaft nut. It’s tough stuff! During re-installation, I planned on using a “blue” thread-locker.

8a- I heated up the countersprocket nut.

8b- Using a 1 1/4″ socket, I removed the countershaft nut. My 1 1/4″ socket is for a 1/2″ drive ratchet. To add leverage, I slid a piece of metal tubing over the end of the handle of the ratchet. Because the countersprocket is “married” to the rear sprocket by the drive chain, and the motorcycle’s transmission is in neutral, when I loosen the countershaft nut, a spoke of the rear wheel will fetch itself up against the metal tubing I placed across the swingarm members; preventing the countershaft from turning while I tug on the countershaft nut, (The nut was installed with 105ft-lbs of torque pressure and red thread-locker. It takes effort to break this big nut free!)

While the above was cooling off:

9- I loosened the rear wheel axel, and the chain adjusters at either ends of the swingarm. Doing this will make it easier to remove and reinstall the drive chain and the countersprocket.

10- Next, I removed the lock washer, countersprocket and chain by sliding it off of the countershaft. I draped the chain over the swingarm and “benched” the countersprocket, lock washer and countershaft nut, so as not to lose them!

11- The photograph below illustrates what the seal retainer plate looks like; the part that needs to be removed next. There are three, 10mm bolts that are holding the plate in place. Before I removed it, I made a note of how the kickstand safety switch wire and the gear indicator wire were routed.  The gear indicator wire is led behind the “ear” of the seal retainer plate.

The two aft, “exposed” bolts to the seal retainer plate are very easy to remove. The forward one, that is located above the “ear” on the seal retainer, was very difficult for me to remove and reinstall. A 1/4″ drive, 10mm socket will fit on to the bolt. But, there is not enough space to also fit a ratchet on to the socket to remove the bolt. A 3/8″ drive, 10mm socket is too large of a diameter, plus there is still the issue of not enough space for a ratchet. I could slide the “open end” of a mechanic’s wrench on to the bolt, but I could not get enough leverage to turn it in the tight quarters. The “closed” end of the wrench was like the 3/8″ drive socket, there wasn’t enough clearance room.

The “difficult” bolt, is the one above the clutch push rod opening in the seal retainer plate.  (In the image below, you can see the “temporary fix” of grease being used on the clutch pushrod to stem off the tide of leaking motor oil.)

Finally, out of frustration, I made my own wrench! I borrowed my landlord’s truck and I drove to my local Napa store and purchased a cheap 10mm, 1/4″ drive socket. Back home, I cut the socket in half, “height-wise” with a hacksaw, and welded it to some scrap, angle steel that I fabricated as a handle. My homemade wrench worked like a charm!

With the seal retainer plate removed, I was now able to remove the clutch push rod seal. Here again, I didn’t have a proper tool, so I modified an old, flat-blade screwdriver into a “seal remover tool”. I formed a “hook” out of the blade by heating it up red hot and twisting it with my Leatherman, needle nose pliers.

12- Using my seal remover tool, I reached through the clutch push rod hole and began to pull, (I had to be careful not to pull the motorcycle over on top of me!). I learned that I can’t get the seal in one yank. It took several attempts to get the seal out of the motor. I shifted the seal removal tool around to different locations and applied pressure to the seal by pulling it towards me. The seal eventually “popped” out.

13- While I was right there, I installed the new clutch pushrod seal. At the bottom of the opening where the seal fits into the motor, there is a small “weep hole” for motor oil to pass through. If the push rod seal is seated too far into its opening, the “weep hole” will be blocked. Oil will leak out of the seal if the seal is seated too far in; blocking off this hole. The exposed face of the clutch push rod seal must be installed “flush” with the face of the seal opening.

Now, it was time for me to move on to the countershaft seal and the sprocket spacer o-ring.

14- First, I removed the sprocket spacer. I wrapped a strip of rubber around the spacer, to protect the surface, from marring it with a pair of channel-lock pliers. The action that I used to remove the spacer was to “twist, counterclockwise” while pulling towards me with the pliers. Once the spacer started to slide, it pulled easily. When I got the spacer out towards the countershaft splines, I was able to remove the spacer from the shaft with my fingers.

The sprocket spacer was pretty grungy, so I cleaned it up with some Scotchbrite.

15- Next, I used my seal remover tool that I made for my push rod seal to remove the countershaft seal. I had to move the location of the tool and pull, several times to free up the seal.

16- When I installed the new seal, I lightly coated the seal with fresh motor oil.

17- I used a 2″ PVC coupling joint as my “seal driver”. I did part of the job very cautiously. I tapped once; checked. Tapped again; checked. I had to “tilt” the PVC adaptor, and tap “locally” a few times at different locations because the seal started to install crooked. The final resting place of the seal was just inside from the radius of the seal opening.

18- I removed the old o-ring from inside the sprocket spacer. I had to clean out the o-ring groove of crud. I used a rag and the end of a welding rod. While doing this, I was very, very careful that I didn’t mar the groove surface. It would cause an oil leak if I did scratch it. Then, I lightly coated the new o-ring with motor oil before installing it into the sprocket spacer.

19- Next, I slid the sprocket spacer on to the countershaft with a twisting motion. I pushed it all the way in with my fingers until I could feel it bottom out against the countershaft bearing seal.

Now, it was time to leak test my work!

20- I slid the clutch push rod into place.

21- With the bike in neutral, I started the motor.
Even though the countershaft nut isn’t in place and the clutch release mechanism isn’t installed, there shouldn’t be any leaks out of either seal. I shifted through some gears, (Yes, you can use your gear shift lever without your clutch.), and I gave the bike some throttle. I shifted through gears and revved the motor to put some pressure on the seals.

I was satisfied that there weren’t any leaks. It was time to button things up. Placed the transmission in neutral, and I shut the bike off.

22- To give myself some working room, I removed the clutch push rod. Some motor oil dribbled out of the push rod hole, due to the motor being warmed up during my leak test. I wiped it up with a rag.

23- I installed the seal retainer plate. I had so much trouble trying to get the difficult bolt back into its hole that, I ground a slot for a screwdriver into its head with my Dremel tool.

(I could not find any torque values for these three bolts. Other bolts of similar size, in this area required 7ft-lbs of torque. That is the amount I used.)

24- When I installed the retainer plate, I remembered to place the gear indicator wire lead behind the “ear” of the plate. The kickstand safety switch wire went over the plate.

25- Next, I slid the countersprocket and chain back on to the countershaft.

26- I added the locking washer, (I used a new washer due to the several times I have removed the OEM washer for sprocket changes.).

27- Then I squirted some “blue” thread-locker on to the threads of the countershaft, then screwed the nut on.

28- I removed the metal tubing from on top of the swingarm, and slid it underneath the swingarm,then back through the rear wheel. I rotated the rear wheel so that a spoke fetched up against the metal tube.

29- I used my torque wrench to tighten the countersprocket nut to a value of, 105ft-lbs.

30- Using a hammer, and a flat-blade screwdriver, rebent the countershaft washer down on to the countershaft nut to lock it into place.

31- Next, I adjusted the chain to the tension that I like, and I tightened up the rear axle bolt.

32- Then, I slid the clutch cable back into its bracket and tightened up the locking nut.

33- I decided to install a new clutch release mechanism. My original one was quite worn, and was missing some of its internal ball bearings, (I lost them during subsequent maintenance…..)

Here are some photographs of the old clutch release mechanism.

And, the inside of it, with the ball bearings missing.

When I mounted up the new clutch release, I had to set the proper clutch adjustment for the mechanism. Before bolting the new release mechanism into place, I loosened the lock nut, and backed off the adjusting screw. Once the release was mounted into place, I tightened the adjusting screw until it bottomed out on the clutch push rod, and then I backed the screw off 1/4 turn and tightened the lock nut. (This adjustment is per the Suzuki Service Manual.). I had to make cable adjustments once I had reassembled all of the clutch related components.

33- I conducted a “leak test” on the bike again. I ran through the gears, and I tested my clutch cable adjustments. No Leaks!

But, because I have never done a job like this before, I was concerned that I may have missed something while doing the work. So, I decided to ride my motorcycle around for a couple of days, before installing the sprocket cover. Doing this allowed me to inspect both seal areas, from time to time, to check for leaks. There weren’t any, so after about three days of riding, I reinstalled the sprocket cover.

Categories: Motor Related, Replacing A Clutch Pushrod Seal and Countershaft Seal | 20 Comments

Rebuilding The Water Pump

April 03, 2011

(This article has been excerpted from my much longer, “2011 Bike Modifications” journal entry.)

Sunday morning, April 3, 2011, I began my dash for the finish line of my modifications and repairs for the upcoming riding season.  With the fuel pump completed, it was time to dig into the water pump.

Because the clutch cover has to be removed to access the “guts” of the water pump, I wanted to make sure that all of the surfaces around the “split” in the engine case were clean, and free of sand and dirt, that might fall into the motor during the process of dissembling it.

I gave the area a good shot of engine degreaser.

With much poking around with a toothbrush, and a screwdriver wrapped in a rag, I ended up with a motor that looked clean enough to be presented to the headmaster of a Catholic school.

I needed to drain all of the coolant out of the radiator and the motor.  I started with the removal of the radiator.

I disconnected the radiator fan switch….

…….the overflow tube…..

…..and the fan’s electrical connection.

I loosened and removed the hose from the left side of the radiator.

I also removed the WTIC hose from the water pump housing. (WTIC = Whatever This Is Called)

Then, I removed the thermostat housing cover underneath the airbox…….

….and the old thermostat.

While there, I installed a new thermostat and refastened the thermostat housing.

Finally, I removed the radiator from the bike.  I held it over a bucket and flushed it out with well water.

Next, I drained the motor oil from the crankcase.

When that was complete, I dumped the old oil into one of my collection containers……

….and reinstalled the oil drain plug into the bottom of the crankcase housing.

With the engine coolant and engine oil drained out of the motor, I could now move on to removing the clutch cover from the side of the motor.  After studying what needed to be done, I decided to tackle what looked like the most difficult bolt to remove first.  It is the one that is behind the right driver’s footrest.

My flexible extension would not do the trick.

However, I found that if I removed the forward footrest bracket screw, and loosened the aft one, there was enough “play” in the bracket to position it out of the way, to allow a regular 6″ ratchet extension to make it to the “hidden” bolt.

I worked my way around the clutch cover, loosening all its fasteners.

Before actually removing the clutch cover bolts, I scrounged up a scrap piece of foam I had lying around, and traced out a very rough illustration of the clutch cover with a Magic Marker.

Then, I began to remove the bolts, one by one, and as I did so, I jammed them into the block of foam; roughly in the location that corresponded to their “home” in the clutch cover.

In case I kicked the block of foam with the toe of my boot……., I decided to add more description to it.

I then removed WTIC #2 drain tube from its clamp near the oil sensor.

With all of the fastenings removed, along with any remaining WTIC items, I grabbed one of my wooden wedges and a hammer, and “rapped” on the clutch cover to jar it free from the engine case.

(Please keep in mind, that I haven’t a clue as to what I am doing, and I have never done this type of stuff before!).

Beating on the clutch cover with a hammer seemed to work.  It is always surprising to me just how many “broken” things can be fixed by beating on them with a hammer.  Screaming and swearing at them also works from time to time, but not as good as beating them with a hammer.

I discovered that I could not get the clutch cover out past the right footrest, so I ended up removing the aft bracket screw as well, and tying the bracket/footrest clear of the clutch cover.

Tadah!  There is the clutch cover sitting on my garage floor.  The “brownish” colored cog is the gear that operates the water pump.  To access the “guts” of the pump, you have to do it from the engine side.  To rebuild a water pump, this is why the clutch cover has to be removed from the engine housing.

(And, here is the clutch to my bike.  As I mentioned previously, you can see that there is NO “chudder” present as there apparently is with this bike’s larger brother; the DL-1000.)

Using a brand new, utility knife blade, I very carefully “shaved” off what few bits of gasket remained stuck to the motor housing.

Of course, there is always a bolt, or a piece of gasket that is nearly impossible to remove when you are working on motors.  This section of gasket was very difficult to get at!  I had to break off pieces of utility knife blade to sneak in there to do my “shaving”.

Getting light into that little “cave” area was also difficult.  I slid my halogen light closer for better illumination.  I slid it closer…….and closer……

Screaming and swearing at myself, over the years just hasn’t “fixed” me yet.  Next time, (And, oh there will be a next time!  I can always count on myself for being a dumb dork!), I think I will skip the screaming and swearing at myself, and just go right for the hammer……..

I will fix it later.  Probably with some more steel.

With the excess gasket shaved off of the engine, and clutch cover surfaces, (there was not much), I could now tend to removing the water pump from the clutch cover.

The first item that needs to be removed is a circlip from the end of the water pump shaft.  Removing it, allows you to remove the gear, the pin, the washer, etc.  I have long since lost my circlip pliers.  So, I made some……

I found two annular ringed, “panel nails” on one of my storage shelves.

I placed the tips of the nails into each hole of the circlip, and then “crushed” the heads of the nails together using a pair of vise grips.

I jammed a flat blade screwdriver between the two nails, and twisted the screwdriver “flat”; spreading the nails apart and forcing the circlip off of the pump shaft.

I lifted off the pump gear…..

……slid the shaft pin out……

…and removed the washer.

Next, I pried off the snap ring from the pump shaft….

….then, flipped the clutch cover over and removed the water pump from the clutch cover.

After successfully removing the water pump from the clutch cover, I decided to take a break from forward movement, to buy me some time to think about the next few steps I was going to take.

So, I picked up a piece of utility knife blade, and began to clean the area of the clutch cover where the water pump mates to it.  This task allowed me some mental “down time”.  (Or, stress relief…….).

What you are looking at here are TWO water pumps.  The one that I am holding in my hand belongs to a riding friend of mine; a GOOD Friend!  He donated an old DL-650 water pump that he had on hand, to my cause.  The water pump sitting on the bench top, in the background, belongs to me.

As I have previously stated, I have never done this type of work before.  I decided to “experiment” with my pump first……

There are two phillips head screws, that need to be removed, to enable you to split the pump housing apart.  Of course, the screws are steel and the pump housing is soft aluminum.  That often is a bad combination!  I believe the torque specification for these two screws is 3 lbs.  I will tell you right now, the screws may have been tightened with 3 lbs of torque, but they loosen with about 70 lbs of grunt!  I was SO scared of stripping out the heads of the screws.  I don’t have an impact driver, so I relied on the old fashioned way; a hammer and a phillips screwdriver.  I tapped the screwdriver with the hammer, and “twisted” the screwdriver as I did so.

I ended up putting nearly all the muscle I had into breaking these two screws free!

Here is the pump housing being separated.

Once separated, I removed the impeller to have a “look see”.

So, now it was time to split my friend’s water pump housing apart.  The first screw came out after some difficult persuading.  The second screw……..

Here is the “buggered” screw.

I chucked up a drill bit into my drill and cut my way down to approximately the base of the head of the screw.

Then, I chucked up a drill bit that was about the same diameter as the body of the screw, and drilled down some more.  The “V” of the larger bit, became the “centerpunch” guide for the smaller bit.

After guessing that I had drilled far enough, I slid a screw driver between the two halves of the pump housing, at the end that had the screw already removed.  I pried up with the screwdriver just enough so that I could spin the two halves of the pump housing past each other; clearing the o-ring gasket that seals the two halves together.

Once apart, I could unthread the offending screw with my fingertips.  The problem with the stuck screw is underneath the screw’s head and not with the threaded portion.

There is a mechanical seal that is pressed into the pump housing.  When removing an old one, you are only going to be able to “pull out” the “rubber” portion with your fingers.  I know, because I tested the removal of it on both water pumps.  In the photo below, what I am holding between my fingers is a new mechanical seal.  What is resting on top of the pump housing is the “rubber” portion that I am talking about.  The “metal” portion of the seal is still pressed into the housing.

The only way that I could figure out how to remove the metal portion, was to do it VERY carefully with a screwdriver and a hammer.  I practiced on my pump housing/mechanical seal first.

Then I made my attempt at the new pump’s mechanical seal.

I was successful.  But, the aluminum housing is VERY soft!!!  I did make some slight nicks in it, so I dressed up the area with a mill file.

I removed the old oil seal and installed a new oil seal.

Next, I needed to install the new mechanical seal on top of the oil seal.

A 7/8″ socket fits nicely over the mechanical seal.

Before removing the mechanical seals from BOTH pump housings, I studied their orientation before removal.  Both seals have a “keyhole” shape to the inside of them.  The “slot” is aimed towards the hole that my pencil is pointed to.

I placed the new mechanical seal into its opening, spun it until the “slot” lined up with the above mentioned hole, slipped the 7/8″ socket over the seal……

…and tapped the seal home.

I slipped the WTIC #2 hose onto the pump housing.

I slid the impeller through the seal and bearing.

I snapped the e-clip on to the impeller shaft.

I removed the old pump housing o-ring…..

….and installed a new one.

I coated the smaller o-rings with motor oil and installed them into the housing.

I smeared coolant over the o-ring that provides the seal to the two halves of the pump housing.

I put a little “anti-seize” underneath the heads of the two difficult to remove screws.

I placed the two halves of the water pump housing together…..

…and fastened them down tight.

I “snapped” the water pump into the clutch cover.

I filled the water pump bearing with motor oil.

I slipped the flat washer over the impeller shaft.

I slid the shaft pin through the shaft.

The underside of the pump gear has a slot that corresponds to the shaft pin.  They lock together.

Using the same method that I used to remove the circlip, I reinstalled the circlip on to the end of the impeller shaft.

I placed a new gasket over the “drift pins” of the motor housing.

I installed the clutch cover to the motor housing, and hand tightened the screws.

Once all of the screws were tight, I torqued them to the 7lb spec called for in the service manual.

From this point, I added coolant, engine oil, installed my crashbars and skidplate.

This is what the bike looks like fully back together.

And, that’s it!

Barry B.

“Black Lab”

Categories: Rebuilding The Water Pump | 5 Comments

2007 DL-650 Valve Check and Adjustment

March 15, 2010

I really can’t improve upon what the Suzuki Service Manual explains as, how to perform a valve check, and valve adjustment on the DL-650.  However, my situation is a little different then the average DL-650 owner.  That’s because I don’t have any fairings on my bike anymore.  If I want to check my valves, I just drop the radiator, remove the fuel tank, and I am ready to go.

But, I had to gather up quite a bit of confidence to get myself to the point of, removing the front and rear cylinder covers!  I had never done a job as technical as this before, and admittedly, I was fearful of what problems I would encounter, and also what possible damage that I might do to my motorcycle’s motor.

In contemplating doing this work, had to inventory the tools that I had on hand, and I purchased a few others to ensure that the project went smoothly.  For the brunt of the work, I used a simple set of mechanic wrenches, and a 3/8″ drive, “hobbyist”, metric socket set, (They are “Husky” brand.  I bought them at Home Depot.).

Additional tools that were beneficial to have on hand, were a metric set of Allen/socket wrenches, a 3/8″ drive torque wrench, a set of feeler gauges, a 3/8″ drive “universal joint adaptor”…..

……a micrometer, or something like this device that I purchased at Home Depot for about $36.  It worked surprisingly well!!!

First, I removed the spark plugs, the PAIR valves and the three allen bolts that hold the cylinder covers to the motor.  I was careful when I gently removed the rubber gasket that sits between the cylinder cover, and the motor.  Of course, the Service Manual is going to recommend that, “Always use new gaskets when reinstalling the cylinder covers”.  My cylinder covers have been removed three times, and I am still using the original gaskets; no leaks!  (I WILL replace the gaskets during my next valve check.).

This is what the front cylinder/cam journal area looks like, (the cam chain guide is on the right in the photo; or left side of the bike.)

Here is the rear cylinder/cam journal area exposed.

I believe the Service Manual suggests that the valves be checked at the 600 mile service and then every 15,000 miles thereafter.  My dealership recommended skipping the 600 mile valve check, but doing a check at the 15,000 mile service.  I didn’t get to the first valve check until March of 2008 at 22,000 miles………

Back in 2008, I started to do the first valve check myself.  When I determined that the valves did indeed need to be adjusted, I got scared because it was more work then I felt capable of doing.  I had never done work like a valve adjustment before, and I didn’t have anyone close by to show me how to do it.  I ended up taking the bike to my local dealer and had them finish the job for me.

BUT!!!  I knew that eventually, I was going to get up the courage to do the job myself, so I wanted to “track” what work was being done to the valves, whether I did it, or not.  When I took my bike to the dealership, I also took along the below chart I made up:

I asked the technician to please fill out the spaces for me so that I could keep a record of what work he had done.  Below is what the chart looked like after it was filled out.

At 63,000, (40,000 miles since the last valve check….), I decided to give a valve check/adjustment a go by myself.  Using the instructions in the “Periodic Maintenance” section of the Suzuki Service Manual, (Pages 2-8 thru 2-12 in my manual), I set the front cylinder to, “Top Dead Center”.  I made sure that the “F” was lined up properly on the generator rotor….

….and that the cam “lobes” were pointing according to the diagram on page 2 – 8 of the manual.

The specified valve clearances for the intake valves are:  [B]0.004 – 0.008 [/B]inches.

The specified valve clearances for the exhaust valves are: [B]0.008 – 0.012[/B] inches.

I measured the four valve clearances on the front cylinder and then I rotated the motor, (Using a 17mm socket on the generator rotor nut), to get the rear cylinder to TDC as per the diagram of the lobe positions in the Service Manual, [page 2 – 8], and measured the rear cylinder valve clearances.

This is what I found for my valve clearance measurements:

The front cylinder intake valves were too tight and the rear exhaust valves were too loose.

I would like to share some thoughts about the experience I had in using the feeler gauges to check the valve clearances.

1 – When using my feeler gauges to measure the valve clearances, I found it easiest to slide the feeler gauge, underneath the cam lobe, by working from the center of the cylinder, pushing “out” towards the edge of the motor case.

2 – It does take some “pressure” to push the feeler gauge underneath the cam lobe.

3 – Because the intake tolerances are so small, the feeler gauge for the intakes is quite thin; it can bend easily under the pressure necessary to slide it into position.  I had to go slowly and smoothly.

4 – If you look carefully at my chart, you will see that the spaces, to be filled out, for the valves are in different locations for each cylinder.  Here is why: To me, the left side of the bike is the “left side” as you face forward.  The same is true for the right side.  However, when working on the front cylinder, I was sitting on the floor, (I don’t have a lift……..), facing “aft”; looking at the front cylinder.  I decided to set up my chart with the locations of the left and right, “intake” and “exhaust” valve measurements as exactly as I am looking at the cylinder and the paper chart.  This is why the front cylinder and rear cylinder labels are in the positions that they are.  They are set up on paper exactly the same way as how I look at the actual cylinder.

I needed to loosen up, (use a thinner shim), on the front intake valves and I needed to tighten up, (use a thicker shim), on the rear exhaust valves.

I decided to start with the front cylinder because there is so much room to work around, (which eased my mind because I was scaring the crap out of myself because I have never done work like this before!).

I removed the three bolts that fasten down cam chain guide.

I also removed the cam chain tension bolt from the “top” side of the cylinder.  The assembly is actually, a bolt, washer and spring.  It looks like this:

Other then the actual journal cover, there is nothing else to remove, to get the cam shaft out.

Because I was nervous as all get out at doing what I was doing, I kept photographs to a minimum on the front cylinder while doing the work there so that I could maintain “focus”.

However, the following photographs illustrate how I released the tension on the cam chain so that I could remove the cam shaft.  These photographs areALLfrom the rear cylinder.  They are applicable to the front cylinder.

First, I would like to explain something.

The cam chain tensioner works much like a jackstand.  The only difference is, the jackstand isn’t “spring-loaded”, but the cam chain tensioner is.  There are “notches” and “pawls” involved in both.

Here is a jackstand fully extended:

If I lift up on the handle, the “pawl” disengages from the “notches” and gravity causes the stand to drop down, (and taking a chunk of skin off of a finger if you aren’t careful!!!).

To get a cam shaft out, I needed to release the “pawl” from the “notches” in the motor case.

Looking down inside, near the cam sprocket, that is closest to where I removed the cam tensioner bolt, I was just able to make out the “pawl” that I was looking for.  This is what the pawl looks like, with the cam shaft removed, and a screwdriver in the proper position, to be able to release the tension of the pawl, from the notches in the side of the motor case.

With one hand, I slid a long, slotted screwdriver down to the pawl.  With your other hand, I pulled upward on the cam chain giving it some firm tension.  Like the photo below.

With one hand applying tension to the cam chain, (pulling upward), I pressed downward with the screwdriver on the part of the pawl that is closest to the motor case.


I now had enough slack….

…to remove the journal cover…

….. and to slide the camshaft out of the journals.

Here it is!

Slick, huh?

I slid a screwdriver through the cam chain, and across the subframe, so that the cam chain wouldn’t slide back down into the case.

To remove the “bucket” from the tappet sleeve, I used a “magnetic wand” and withdrew the bucket.

Underneath the bucket, is where the shim is located.

And, here is what a shim looks like removed from the bucket.

This is why this system is called, “Shim Under Bucket”, style valve adjustment.

I am not going to bore you with how many trips I made to my local dealership to obtain, (they swapped shims with me), the proper sized shims I needed.  I can tell you that the chart in the Service Manual is to be used as a guide only!!!

An example of this is, my original front intake valve shims were labled, “175”, (or 1.75mm thick).  Using my measurements of .004 and .003, the chart suggested that I needed 165 shims.  I made the trip to my dealership to swap my 175 shims for new 165 shims and came back home and installed them……  Only to find that the 165 shims put me right at the other end of the recommended specification!  I made a trip back to the dealership to pick up 170 shims.  I installed them and they put me right at a .006″ clearance; perfect.

Here is a sidebar note about something I learned:  When selecting shims, from whatever source, MEASURE them to make sure they are the right thickness that you need.  Swapped shims often have the printed numbers worn off of their faces.  Don’t take it for granted that shims coming out of the “170” section of the shim box are actually “170” shims!

That’s where the digital calipers came in handy.  I took them with me to my dealership to ensure I was picking up the right shims.

When I installed the new shims, I gave them a light coat of oil and set them in the matching sized “divot” in the head of the tappet.

Here is a shim installed into its proper place with the Service Manual recommended, “numbers faced down”, position.

Sliding the bucket back over the shim.

I reinstalled the cam shaft, as per the alignment instructions on page 3-100 of the Suzuki Service Manual.

Here is what the markings of the cam sprockets looked like for the front cylinder.

This is the exhaust cam sprocket:

This is the intake cam sprocket:

I took plenty of time with this!  The diagram that is on page 3-100, of the Service Manual, has to be followed to a “T”.  I discovered, when installing the cam shafts and the cam chain is not aligning correctly with the cam sprocket teeth, something is wrong.  I was smart about this, and did not turn the motor!

When the cams were installed correctly, I installed the journal cover, and torqued the bolts to 7ft lbs.

Then, I rotated the motor a couple of times to set the shim and squeeze out excess oil, then set the motor back up to TDC, and I checked my measurements again.

When the measurements were good, I moved to the rear cylinder.

If by chance, someone else is attempting to do their own valve adjustments, on their own DL-650, and using this journal entry as a rough guide, I would like to offer up a few comments that I learned through my experiences:

1- Work on the front cylinder first.

2- Follow the photographs above, (even though they are from the Rear Cylinder), to make your valve adjustment.

3-  When the valve adjustment is complete, LEAVE THE CYLINDER COVER OFF.

You will need to see the front cylinder cam shaft lobes for reference in regards to the Rear Cylinder.

That is how I messed up my valve adjustment!  No damage was done, I just lost a bunch of time because of the following facts:

The front cylinder measurement is taken at TDC.  The realignment of the front cylinder cam sprockets, (using the markings on the cam sprockets in conjunction with the Service Manual diagram), is  ALSO done at TDC.

The rear cylinder isn’t done that way……  That was how I made my mistake.

I completed the front cylinder job fairly quickly.  I figured that I would blow through the rear cylinder and go for a ride.  I spun the motor so the rear cylinder was at TDC, just like the front cylinder.  I quadruple checked my measurements on the rear exhaust valves, then released the pawl on the cam tensioner, removed the journal cover, removed the cam shaft, withdrew the buckets, pulled the old shims, measured them, made a trip to my dealer to swap for new shims……..

…..installed the new shims, installed the buckets, installed the cam shafts……..


Guess what, the rear cylinder cam shafts are not installed at TDC like the front cylinder cam shafts are installed!

[At this point, I strung together a whole new set of swear words that I have never used before.]

I returned to the Service Manual, (Page 3-103), and studied the diagram on that page.  I discovered that, the lobes of the rear cam shafts are NOT installed with them set at TDC.

The rear valve clearances are measured at TDC, but I had to rotate the motor so that the cam sprocket markings were aligned for installation, (like the diagram on page 3-103 of the Service Manual), before I removed them.

So, (This is the, “Important Step”), the front cylinder valves are measured and adjusted at TDC.  The rear cylinder valves are measured at TDC but adjusted at, (I haven’t a friggin’ clue), just use the diagram on page 3-103.

I got out of my mess by studying the diagrams in the Service Manual, (Pages 3-100, 3-103, and 3-105), and by looking at the positions of the lobes of the front cylinder, (that’s why you shouldn’t install the cylinder cover.  You may need to see the cam lobe positions for reference.), and by carefully spinning the motor until I could tell that the rear cams were back in sync with each other and with the front cams.

The bike runs fine.

A couple of final notes:

I could not find a torque specification for the cam chain guide in the Service Manual.  However, there is a “torque guide” on page 9 – 43 in the manual.  I measured the diameter of one of the chain guide bolts; 5.86mm, using my digital calipers.  I rounded that size up to 6mm and, using the chart, that led me to a torque specification of 7ft lbs for the cam chain guide bolts.  That is also the same torque specification for the journal cover bolts.  I felt okay about that.

Here was my method of getting to the, “all-hard-to-get-at” the rear cylinder, cam tensioner bolt for removal.

Here is the head of the tensioner bolt as seen by sighting down the right side of my motorcycle’s swingarm.

I did not remove my exhaust.

I did not remove my rear tire.

The dealership never installed the plastic “mud flap” that some of you riders have installed on the swingarm.

I do not have anABSbike.

Because I had previously replaced my worn out OEM rear shock, with a HyperPro shock, with NO remote preload valve installed, I could……

….remove the right rear passenger footrest bracket…..

…then I reached in with my 6″ long ratchet extension, equipped with the 3/8″ universal adaptor….

….and easily removed the tensioner bolt.

Piece of cake!

It is now late Winter 2012.  I need to do this job again; to check the valve clearances before I start another season.  If I learn anything new and exciting, I will update this post with that information!

Barry B.

“Black Lab”

Categories: Valve Check and Adjustment | 29 Comments

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