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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, I decided to replace the OEM cylinder coolant seal with the Norton seal because of green piss. I started this on Monday and assembled everything by Saturday. That is 6 days plus add another 3 days for the liquid gasket sealant of the cylinder head cover to fully cure (as per instructions). Finally, add one more day to flush and replace the coolant with test ride. In total, it would take an amateur like me 9 days to complete this job solo. Sure a pro garage could do it in half the time if they got all the replacement parts readily available. Presently, I have not fired it up yet, I'll wait till next weekend to flush and add coolant and the long awaited test ride. So if you want to tackle this job be prepared! Have all the proper tools, garage, parts, and patience beforehand. This is a one time deal, so replace all the parts that call for replacement according to the service manual. Hence, I didn't reuse anything like o-rings and seals, because I would probably cry if I had to tear into it again should a seal immediately fail.

I won't go into a step by step DIY, as you'll find all that in the service manual. I will highlight some of the quirks and observations that I ran into.

1. Before disassembly, always CLEAN the exterior of the engine thoroughly, especially around the throttle-body to head coupling. You do not want any debris falling into the valves. I used a mild spray cleaner like Simple Green and Maxima Suspension Kleen for those hard to reach spots. It's not as harsh as brake cleaner and safer for some rubber parts. Spent a good amount of time cleaning debris that fell into the valves, lol. I have no air compressor, so I had to suck debris out, using a vacuum.

2. Spark plug with over 10000 km. With about 4000 km stock tune and 6000 km with the Norton Power Package (filter, exhaust, v-stacks, ECU flash). Poor lighting, it's actually a much lighter brown colour than what is pictured.
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3. I used a Canadian Toonie to open the two sight caps of the left side generator cover. A thick enough washer with a vise grip will suffice. Align the crank as best you can at the "|" mark. If you overshoot this mark, DO NOT turn the crank clockwise. I don't know the technical reason, but I heard bad things could happen. Simply turn it counterclockwise again till you reach it.
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4. Cover intake holes with clean rags or plastic and rubber bands.
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5. Be sure your crank position is still lined up at the "|" mark. Your cam timing marks should be here before removal. Mark them with paint or a sharpie, so they can be installed the same way. Take pics if you have to.
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6. I took good bit of time removing/scraping the carbon buildup at the piston crowns and combustion chamber. At the combustion chamber, there was about a 2 to 3 mm thick layer of carbon around the left and right edges.
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after cleaning
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after cleaning
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7. The dreaded OEM rubber coolant seal. Notice the aluminum gasket has an adhesive coating on both sides. Be careful when handling the new gasket as not to contaminate the coating.
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continued...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
continued...

8. Be sure to clean all mating surfaces and remove all the residual oil in the screw holes as not to induce hydro-lock when re-tightening.
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9. Kawasaki recommends molybdenum disulfide oil solution to coat the piston skirts, rings, cylinders, bolt threads, washers, cam lobes, journals. Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) oil solution is a mixture of engine oil with molybdenum disulfide grease in a 10:1 ratio, respectively. That is 10 parts engine oil and 1 part MoS2 grease. Mos2 grease is a dark gray almost black pasty material used in lubrication to parts such as the clutch pull rod to pull arm lever joint, also in final output drive shaft splines, etc. You can get moly grease from flea-bay. Yamaha's product line of Yamalube carries the moly grease. Or, I used a product called Red Line's Assembly Lube Liquid Formula. It has the liquid like viscosity of oil with the added moly. You'll have to order 2 head bolts, so you could cut their heads off to produce guide lines for cylinder assembly. At this stage, you'll need a helping hand to guide the cylinder to the block as you press the rings into the pistons to the cylinder. This was probably the hardest part of the job. Just be sure the cylinder is level as it is mated to the block.
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10. My OCD has forced me to use both a clicker and beam torque wrench to get the correct torque values, lol.
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Be sure the camshaft cap bolts AND screw holes (12 of them) are clean, dry and free of residual oil. The specs here call for a dry torque value!! I used brake cleaner. I would have replaced these bolts if I had to do it again, even though the manual does not specify to, because they looked and smelled burned. They have a brown, charred colour to them and smelled really bad, like cooked all to h e l l.
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11. Bought this nifty torque angle clocking tool from flea-bay or scamazon? It is needed to clock the 6 headbolts.
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12. Kawa sells the liquid gasket sealants but are way overpriced, and backordered. I used threebond silicone liquid gasket sealant 1211 (white colour) and Hondabond HT for the cylinder head cover. It is way too easy to use too much sealant. All that is needed is a 1 mm bead. It's a 3 day curing time.
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Like I said I will add the coolant and fire it up this weeknd. I turned the crank and verified it was ok upon assembly. Fingers crossed. TBC.

EDIT: Almost forgot to mention regarding the valve shims and buckets. Be sure to secure them, in that they don't fall out of the valves or you may lose the shims or get them mixed up when installing. Never mix up the shims and buckets or your valve clearances will be skewed. When I decided to clean the combustion cylinder, I forgot to remove the valve shims and buckets. Some fell out. Luckily they were returned to their correct valves.

For fun, you can decide to check your valve clearances if you got feeler gauges at hand.
 

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OK, good job and thank you for sharing this info. I have 2 questions.

1 - The service manual shows an alignment of the camshaft sprockets that is different from the alignment in your pictures, i assume that in your picture is how it came from the factory, are we supposed to install with the alignment of the service manual or as it came from the shop? Because it looks to me to be different from the instructions in the service manual.

2 - We tighten the cylinder head bolts first to 20 Nm and then use the torque angle gauge to tighten them to 120º even tho we already tightened them to 20Nm ?
 

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OK, good job and thank you for sharing this info. I have 2 questions.

1 - The service manual shows an alignment of the camshaft sprockets that is different from the alignment in your pictures, i assume that in your picture is how it came from the factory, are we supposed to install with the alignment of the service manual or as it came from the shop? Because it looks to me to be different from the instructions in the service manual.

2 - We tighten the cylinder head bolts first to 20 Nm and then use the torque angle gauge to tighten them to 120º even tho we already tightened them to 20Nm ?
1. The drawing in the manual is looking at them from the other side. That confused me a bit at first as well.

2. Correct. Torque first, then turn another 120 degrees.
 

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continued...

8. Be sure to clean all mating surfaces and remove all the residual oil in the screw holes as not to induce hydro-lock when re-tightening.


9. Kawasaki recommends molybdenum disulfide oil solution to coat the piston skirts, rings, cylinders, bolt threads, washers, cam lobes, journals. Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) oil solution is a mixture of engine oil with molybdenum disulfide grease in a 10:1 ratio, respectively. That is 10 parts engine oil and 1 part MoS2 grease. Mos2 grease is a dark gray almost black pasty material used in lubrication to parts such as the clutch pull rod to pull arm lever joint, also in final output drive shaft splines, etc. You can get moly grease from flea-bay. Yamaha's product line of Yamalube carries the moly grease. Or, I used a product called Red Line's Assembly Lube Liquid Formula. It has the liquid like viscosity of oil with the added moly. You'll have to order 2 head bolts, so you could cut their heads off to produce guide lines for cylinder assembly. At this stage, you'll need a helping hand to guide the cylinder to the block as you press the rings into the pistons to the cylinder. This was probably the hardest part of the job. Just be sure the cylinder is level as it is mated to the block.


10. My OCD has forced me to use both a clicker and beam torque wrench to get the correct torque values, lol.




11. Bought this nifty torque clocking tool from flea-bay or scamazon? Needed to clock the 6 headbolts.


12. Kawa sells the liquid gasket sealants but are way overpriced, and backordered. I used threebond silicone liquid gasket sealant 1211 (white colour) and Hondabond HT for the cylinder head cover. It is way too easy to use too much sealant. All that is needed is a 1 mm bead. It's a 3 day curing time.
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That's all I got for now. Like I said I will add the coolant and fire it up this weeknd. I turned the crank and verified it was ok upon assembly. Fingers crossed. TBC.
That cover should have a rubber gasket on it too and the liquid gasket (Kawabond or whatever you choose) goes on that, basically between the rubber gasket and the cover. Or was it just still on the cylinder head when you took the picture hence it's not on here?

You were very thorough though with the work. You can save a lot of time by not taking the cylinders off, I just lifted it about an inch, pulled the seal out and put the new one back in then dropped it down. That way I didn't need to replace the gasket in between deal with cleaning the surfaces, aligning, etc. Also can save a lot of time if you don't clean the pistons off, although yours looked to have a lot more build up. How many miles on it when you did this?

I pretty much re-used like everything, except the head gasket since I was planning on replacing that anyway. Re-used all the bolts, washers, spark plug, cylinder gasket, valve cover gasket and the o-rings in the cover. Took me a long time from start to finish but just because I waited like 4 weeks for all the parts to arrive. One day to take everything apart, and 2 days to put it back together because I had a **** of a hard time degreeing the cams.
 

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1. The drawing in the manual is looking at them from the other side. That confused me a bit at first as well.
So this picture is looking at the engine from the left side of the bike, correct!? To me it looks like it is looking at it from the right!
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@sbk1198 I just did my head gasket on the new build and when I did the cams, they were already marked so I put it back as the manual states and the lines just lined up ! but double check to make sure everything was good...2x around everything was a little easier
 

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@sbk1198 I just did my head gasket on the new build and when I did the cams, they were already marked so I put it back as the manual states and the lines just lined up ! but double check to make sure everything was good...2x around everything was a little easier
Yeah that's what I ended up doing too in the end. Just did it per the manual which was easy. But before I tried to set them at the degrees recommended by Norton since I got their reground cams. I only got the intake cam to be at the specified degrees, the exhaust came is off by 4 degrees, so it's likely not optimal as far as peak power and where the peak is but I didn't want to mess with it any longer. I didn't realize until afterwards that I was supposed to use the slots in the cam gears instead of the holes used from the factory. Oh well....next time. Didn't feel like taking everything apart and redoing it to gain maybe like half a horsepower.
 

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@sbk1198 as I was writing I was like...I wounder of hes having a hard time because hes changed something from stock...guess right !!! half HP could be what it takes to get ya down the home stretch !!! LOL
 

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@sbk1198 as I was writing I was like...I wounder of hes having a hard time because hes changed something from stock...guess right !!! half HP could be what it takes to get ya down the home stretch !!! LOL
I mean...while I was in there digging through to get to that **** coolant seal, I figured....might as well send out the cams for regrinding....and the head for porting and a valve job...and get a thinner head gasket. You know....when in Rome ;)
 

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Thanks for the detailed info! But here's hoping I never have to do this...
Wonder if this is something the warranty would cover if it craps out within the first couple of years.
 

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Thanks for the detailed pics. I hope I never have to this job...

I’m with SBK, If I ever have to do this I’m definitely going with the thinner head gasket...

 

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Thanks for the detailed info! But here's hoping I never have to do this...
Wonder if this is something the warranty would cover if it craps out within the first couple of years.
If the green piss happens under warranty this job should be covered by the dealer!
 

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Watcher905, did you get the rubber seal for the reservoir tank cap? I haven't changed my coolant yet, been raining non stop here all month :(
 

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Great write up. Doing my first valve check soon and was reading up on that gasket issue. Until it starts squirting, that seems like a lot of work in preventative. Did you have coolant leak into the cylinders?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
OK, good job and thank you for sharing this info. I have 2 questions.

1 - The service manual shows an alignment of the camshaft sprockets that is different from the alignment in your pictures, i assume that in your picture is how it came from the factory, are we supposed to install with the alignment of the service manual or as it came from the shop? Because it looks to me to be different from the instructions in the service manual.

2 - We tighten the cylinder head bolts first to 20 Nm and then use the torque angle gauge to tighten them to 120º even tho we already tightened them to 20Nm ?
Those pics of the cam gears I posted was upon removal of the camshafts, when the crank was at the straight line position. Forgot to take pics of the cams when I installed them. It did match the diagrams in the manual.

Lo and behold, the coolant reservoir cap does have the rubber gasket. I'm going to try and reinforce the connections of the two connecting hoses from the radiator to the reserve tank with zip ties. Those little wire pinch clips are probably the problem. Hopefully, it should stop the leak.
 
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Those pics of the cam gears I posted was upon removal of the camshafts, when the crank was at the straight line position. Forgot to take pics of the cams when I installed them. It did match the diagrams in the manual.

Lo and behold, the coolant reservoir cap does have the rubber gasket. I'm going to try and reinforce the connections of the two connecting hoses from the radiator to the reserve tank with zip ties. Those little wire pinch clips are probably the problem. Hopefully, it should stop the leak.
Oh I see, when we assemble the engine we use "2 | T" mark in the crank and align the marks in the cams accordingly to the manual, that was my misunderstanding.

Maybe buy new wire clamps or get some normal small clamps for the reservoir. The wire clamps should be fine, i dont see people with a leak in that place, just assemble it normal and see if it leaks, if so, change it or MacGyver it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That cover should have a rubber gasket on it too and the liquid gasket (Kawabond or whatever you choose) goes on that, basically between the rubber gasket and the cover. Or was it just still on the cylinder head when you took the picture hence it's not on here?

You were very thorough though with the work. You can save a lot of time by not taking the cylinders off, I just lifted it about an inch, pulled the seal out and put the new one back in then dropped it down. That way I didn't need to replace the gasket in between deal with cleaning the surfaces, aligning, etc. Also can save a lot of time if you don't clean the pistons off, although yours looked to have a lot more build up. How many miles on it when you did this?

I pretty much re-used like everything, except the head gasket since I was planning on replacing that anyway. Re-used all the bolts, washers, spark plug, cylinder gasket, valve cover gasket and the o-rings in the cover. Took me a long time from start to finish but just because I waited like 4 weeks for all the parts to arrive. One day to take everything apart, and 2 days to put it back together because I had a **** of a hard time degreeing the cams.
It has over 10,000 km. 99% of the time I use non ethanol premium fuel. With a richer tune, I was expecting some carbon buildup in the piston crowns and combustion chamber. Granted it's a street bike. It's seen a lot of idling and cold starts here. But you have a good point, in that it may be quite excessive in the amount of carbon buildup. I've never used any kind of fuel system cleaners like seafoam. Maybe I should try something like that?

I wanted to do the job right, and not take any shortcuts. Besides, after taking a closer look at that aluminum base gasket, it does have some type of adhesive coating on both sides of the gasket. It has a stickiness to it and once it is compressed and removed, the coating will get mangled. So that may compromise its purpose. Nevertheless, it appears yours worked out, with zero leaks.
 
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