Ninja 400 Riders Forum banner

41 - 60 of 97 Posts

·
Director of Moderation
Joined
·
2,311 Posts
Am I right that the middle part of the cap doesn't actually touch anything? It just controls spray/drip around the cams? Seeing your crack now, I am wondering if you can't just take it to a weld shop and tack the top together and be good... The actual journals are far left and far right and still solid, nowhere near the crack -- I don't think the crack is under any real stress in operation -- which might explain why that section was so delicate... Did I misunderstand what is where?
I believe you're right, and had the same thought as well. Basically as long as that piece that bridges the journals isn't hanging down and interferes with the cam lobe, it should be fine. So either weld from the top or if welding from the bottom, need to grind off the bead. Then of course once the cams and cap are in place, turn the motor over a few times to make sure there's no interference. That's why I was interested in maybe buying his used cylinder head assembly if he buys a new one :)
 

·
Registered
2019 Ninja 400 ABS, Pearl Storm Gray
Joined
·
227 Posts
My gut feel is a line of (inert gas) welds on the joint would be fine if you can get the pieces lined up fairly well -- you might just ask a shop...

The only risk I see is if you move the cap ends laterally -- you could measure and compare the repaired side with the unbroken side...

Then just make sure you seat it gently -- that's probably the only time that particular joint is under any stress!

It's a bit of a crapshoot -- I wouldn't try it without a weld though -- cantilevered as it is now.

(With harmonic engine vibrations and such.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I'm also learning to wrench, so this is good info to share. Thank you for letting us other newbs in on your mistakes so we might avoid the same ones. I'll be doing my clutch springs and plates soon and will also be installing and exhaust and the velocity stacks. I'd like to avoid mistakes so I'm not missing prime riding time.

Hope you get this situation figured out quickly so you can also get back in the saddle.
Good to hear this thread is helping other people! And good luck on your clutch springs and plates! Post when you get your upgrades installed.


It's a bit of a crapshoot -- I wouldn't try it without a weld though -- cantilevered as it is now.

(With harmonic engine vibrations and such.)
I can't get it to line back up with hand pressure-- a rubber mallet might do the trick, assuming nothing else chips off.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ninja 400 ABS, Pearl Storm Gray
Joined
·
227 Posts
I can't get it to line back up with hand pressure-- a rubber mallet might do the trick, assuming nothing else chips off.
I don't recall this being hard -- you should get it seated well over the dowel pins (half way?) with just your hands and a bit of rocking, and then snugging the bolts in order with minimal torque (!) seats it the rest of the way, before you torque for real... If you're still up as high as I saw in one picture, you probably want to look for what's catching it up... I would not do the mallet. :)
 

·
Director of Moderation
Joined
·
2,311 Posts
Good to hear this thread is helping other people! And good luck on your clutch springs and plates! Post when you get your upgrades installed.

I can't get it to line back up with hand pressure-- a rubber mallet might do the trick, assuming nothing else chips off.
Something's not right. I would definitely not use a mallet. It should go on by hand with barely any effort if you line everything up. If the chain tensioner is removed, the cams should stay in place and you can put the cap on easily. The valve springs are only going to push the cams a bit up, assuming you have the engine turned at the point mentioned in the service manual. Here is mine when I was doing this stuff, the cams sitting in place without the cap on.

18227


18228
 

·
Director of Moderation
Joined
·
2,311 Posts
I can't get it to line back up with hand pressure-- a rubber mallet might do the trick, assuming nothing else chips off.
Also, a bit hard to tell from your previous pics, but it doesn't look to me like your exhaust cam is turned the way it's supposed to be in the manual. The intake looks correct, but the exhaust lobes aren't pointing in the same direction as mine. You sure you put that in right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #48 ·
I don't recall this being hard -- you should get it seated well over the dowel pins (half way?) with just your hands and a bit of rocking, and then snugging the bolts in order with minimal torque (!) seats it the rest of the way, before you torque for real... If you're still up as high as I saw in one picture, you probably want to look for what's catching it up... I would not do the mallet. :)
Something's not right. I would definitely not use a mallet. It should go on by hand with barely any effort if you line everything up. If the chain tensioner is removed, the cams should stay in place and you can put the cap on easily. The valve springs are only going to push the cams a bit up, assuming you have the engine turned at the point mentioned in the service manual. Here is mine when I was doing this stuff, the cams sitting in place without the cap on.
Sorry for the confusion--I meant that I could not get the camshaft cap to line itself back up where it cracked. Referring to the picture below. I have not tried re-seating the camshaft cap since it broke.

18229



You Guys!! I Figured it out!!

I took another look at my Cams trying to compare to @sbk1198's cams in the previous post, when I noticed there was a gap between the exhaust side cam and the cam support---and I could not press the cam into it's own support(!). After a little investigation, I realized that I somehow hooked the cam gear into the cam chain about one link lower than it was supposed to be. So the cam chain was pulling down on the cam gear, see-sawing the other end up in the air and preventing everything from properly seating!
18233
 

·
Registered
2019 Ninja 400 ABS, Pearl Storm Gray
Joined
·
227 Posts
Yay! Glad you figured it out! Was the cap crack caddy-corner to point #3 (i.e., on the right side/middle of the opposite camshaft)?

PS I would not use a mallet on the cap, either -- if you can open the crack a tiny amount and get pieces to re-align, that might be best for welding, if you go that route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Yay! Glad you figured it out! Was the cap crack caddy-corner to point #3 (i.e., on the right side/middle of the opposite camshaft)?
Yes, cap crack is caddy corner to lifted cam. Cam lifting at bolt #3, crack occurred when tightening down bolt #2

PS I would not use a mallet on the cap, either -- if you can open the crack a tiny amount and get pieces to re-align, that might be best for welding, if you go that route.
Agreed. Opening the crack a little, then trying to get the pieces to re-align sounds like a much better method.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Thinking back to last weekend, there were two contributing factors that lead to the cracked camshaft cap, in addition to not knowing what I was doing: Headspace and Workspace.

I was in a poor head space. I already felt nervous taking off the gas tank and airbox for the first time. Then when I snapped the spark plug, I put a huge amount of pressure on myself to fix it. Fix it because I had a ride planned the next day, fix it to prove that I didn't break my own motorcycle, and fix it to prove to myself that I could change a spark plug.

The workspace contributed, too. My small workbench quickly filled with the gas tank, fairings, and airbox, leaving everything else to accumulate on the ground around the motorcycle. Trying to not step on, and keep track of, all the bike parts while searching for scattered tools, contributed to a worsening head space, and not stepping back and pausing when I really needed to.

I took some time this week to clean everything up, and set up a folding picnic table as a proper work bench. My tool box, torque wrenches, towels, and degreaser are set out along the back half of the table. Blue shops towels are taped down as a clean work pad where items won't roll away. When the blue towels get dirty, I can change them out for clean ones. I also cut out a few lengths of painters tarp to cover parts that have to sit over night.

Underneath the table is a trash can and extra towels (low lint cotton, and blue towels). I have a chair so I can sit down and comfortably read the service manual or inspect a part, rather than hunch or squat. Lighting is decent.

Looking forward to when the parts arrive so I can work a little more clear headed, and a lot more organized

18320
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #54 ·
I can reccomened getting a tool cart in addition to the worktable. Makes working on the bike and in general alot more easy.

Thanks for the suggestion! Right now garage space is pretty tight (temporary storage while a bunch of work is happening on the basement), but I will remember to pick one up in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
The company who can do this repair properly is Millennium Technologies. They repair or can make almost anything related to heads or cylinders. They are used by Barber Museum to repair engine parts no longer available and will be much cheaper. You can check them out online.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #56 ·
The company who can do this repair properly is Millennium Technologies. They repair or can make almost anything related to heads or cylinders. They are used by Barber Museum to repair engine parts no longer available and will be much cheaper. You can check them out online.

Thanks. I'll check them out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #57 ·
@Billy Red I called Millennium Technologies, and they do not work on Camshaft caps. Millennium referred me to Point View Cycles. I called Point View and they do not repair camshaft caps anymore. Sounds like they used to repair camshaft caps, but it's hard to guarantee a perfect repair. They had a few unhappy customers, and decided that it was no longer worth their trouble. So I will be installing the brand new engine top end from Kawi.

Good news is that the last part (New head gasket) should be arriving from Norton Motorsports tomorrow.

Any suggestions on liquid gasket for the cylinder head cover?

Autozone has over a dozen different liquid gasket options to choose from. I was thinking of getting one that says it is designed to work with rubber gaskets like this one: Permatex® Ultra Rubber Gasket Sealant & Dressing Will that work, or should I go with something else?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Sorry to hear they did not want to repair that. Maybe they thought it was worse than other repairs I have seen them do or maybe the casting is too porous. I would not use anything on the head gasket and only a very small amount of the sealer you mentioned on the top cover. Some people like to use a spray sealer on the head gasket but composite gaskets don’t need it. Don’t use much sealer because it can squeeze out and end up clogging your oil pickup in the bottom of the engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I forgot to tell you we used a sealer years ago called Gaskacinch when we needed to hold a gasket in place. I am sure they still make it but local parts stores probably won’t have it and the other sealer will work but use it sparingly.
 
41 - 60 of 97 Posts
Top