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Old 09-23-2007, 03:29 PM   #1
Squeaky
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Long Overdue Wrenching On My Strom

I was lucky to have people helping with mechanicals (thanks Javi and John!), offering up shop space and tools (thanks Javi and Tom!) and taking pictures and keeping me company (thanks Deb!). It was a great day in the garage.

We washed the bikes

199087963 M

Then we got Deb's SV up on the lift first, since her to do list was much shorter than my own. I guess Javi knows me better than I thought, because his reasoning was "if you don't finish yours today, it can stay on the lift so we can finish tomorrow". :/:

Her tank is held aloft by a very convenient bar. We got the air filter cleaned and oiled, her oil changed, and then pulled her spark plugs.

199087977 M

The plugs were the main reason for her visit to the garage. The SV has been starting and running fine except for a somewhat random and occasional stalling. Some web searches told her the plugs could be the issue, and that it's a fairly common one.

Someone want to "read" her plugs for us?

199088015 M

With the SV done but for the re-insertion of the air filter (it was still too wet) we took it down off the lift and got the Strom loaded. First step was just taking off the fairings, belly pan, and crash bars. The last time I took the crash bars off, the right one was cracked but Biwwy welded it on the spot for me.

Well guess what - this time the left one was cracked, and in a similar location. The base area that has the bolt hole had cracked off. Uh oh. A quick run a few doors down to a machine shop in the same complex, and Javi had me welded back in one piece. Whew! (both bars need to be run over with a wire wheel and then re-painted)

Oh, and the bolt holding the left and right side bars was missing. Must have rattled off somewhere since February when I remember seeing it last, so I'll be heading to the hardware store to find a replacement soon.

Got Wilbur Nekkid...

199088023 M

John fired up the laptop for instructions and web resources while Deb made quick work of my oil and filter change. I cleaned out my air filter and installed the gasket I'd had to order because it was missing the last time I'd changed the filter.

199088026 M

Is it possible for an ugly bike to get even uglier?

199088030 M

Wanna read mine?

199088038 M

The valve clearances. Ugh. This is the part of the job I was dreading, and it didn't let me down. Just having the bike's motor open like that, vulnerable and exposed, makes me nervous. Getting your head into the bike far enough to see where you've cranked the motor is hard but not impossible. What the instructions DIDN'T say was that (according to Chris "The Big Spank Daddy") I have a 180-degre flip (?name), and that while the R/T indicator is clearly lined up in the window, it might just be halfway there. When I'd lined it up, not a single feeler gauge would go in, not even the thinnest of the complete set.

With this new knowledge acquired, I turned it around until the R/T lined up again. I knew the clearances were on the tight side last time I'd peeked, so I started with the gauge for the minimum clearance, .004. It fit under one of the two intakes. Uh oh. The other was a .003 - and I've been warned that leaving it at just shy of clearance is a better move than opening it up and chancing something major going wrong. This was much-needed advice, and I wasn't going to chance it. On the exhaust side, the minimum clearance is .008 and both came in at .007 - good enough for me. Quick, let's button him back up before that Murphy guy gets here with all his 'laws'.

Throttle body sync. Paging mister throttle body sync...

Checking for placement of the TwinMax hoses.

199088048 M

These are not easy. I had every tool at my fingertips, and it was still tough. I had the 8" offset needle nose, and 8" straight needle nose, and 8" offset needle nose a weird hose-puller-looking bend on the end! It came down to finding whose hands could actually get in there at that angle while another held the tank out of the way and yet a third held the flashlight on the area. THIS is why it's so $$$ at the bike shops - if my hourly was the same as theirs, I'd have to charge $600 for the day of work. For me, there's no option - I will have to endure the mechanical labor and learn what I'm doing if I'm going to afford this sport/hobby/therapy machine of mine. Friends like Javi that make this possible are invaluable.

In the end, we got both rubber caps off and the TM tubes on. The result was a ripped cap, which the bike cannot be run without. More on that later.

The TB sync had me baffled at first. As instructed, I zero'd it out after attaching the lines but before the bike was started. We started the bike, adjusted it to "fast idle", and let it warm up to three bars on the temp gauge per the tech document Chuck "Gilk51" provided almost a year ago when this was supposed to be done.

I kept the sensitivity low so we could start to dial it in, turn up the sensitivity, rinse and repeat. At low sensitivity, it didn't really move. It looked spot-on at zero. As we raised the sensitivity, the needle didn't really begin to move until we were close to max. Once we found them, we adjusted the TB screws (VERY difficult to get to without burning your hand) until it was close to zero. Just to see if we could get closer, we went for one more twist - but we retracted that and went back to where we were.

Max and Spank came with us to 'hang out'. They're both trying to kiss up to me in an effort to reserve a seat on the bike for my upcoming trip to Alabama. Not sure there's room for both of them.

199088060 M

Javi came over to help me figure out how to get the brake pads out, and why we were having trouble getting the new brake pads to go back in. As it turns out, the left side and right side pads have different part numbers. I'd gotten two of the same part number. In essence, I was trying to give myself two left feet. The old pads still have life left in them, so they went back in until I get the right replacements.

{anyone need a set of left-side EBC HH pads?}

199088067 M

Can't start the bike back up until we gets the rubber caps back on the tubing ends. AutoZOne here we come.

While there, I picked up a bottle of Marvel Mystery Oil that was highly recommended by Chris over the phone while reviewing my valve clearances. For those who might be interested, I found a page where you can request a free sample. They had a package of rubber caps in different sizes, and made long so you could cut what you needed down to size. $3. Not a horrible mistake.

We got back, fit the new cap, and started the bike. The idle was high, but we adjusted it back down to ~1300 RPM and topped off the oil level. By this time we were all in need of a break so we went outside to play for a bit.

Man, that shiny chopper goes fast!

199088081 M

Although not my style, the bike was gorgeous.

199088089 M

John packed up his bikes and headed out, and Mike took the chopper home. We decided it was worth taking a few minutes to install my stanless brake lines before putting the bike back together. He has a pneumatic bleeder that worked so fast, it was astounding. I've previously bled brakes both by hand and with a little hand pump, and this certainly tops them all.

Tank, fairings, nose piece, crash bars, seat. Wow, it goes back together much easier when you really just want to be DONE!

The internet is my log book. Major maintenance done @ 44556, 9/22/07.

199088115 M

After letting it run a few minutes, it needed more oil to finish topping it off, and a quick adjustment of the idle. Javi took it for a spin around the block, and 'tested' my brakes for me quite a few times. He seemed pleased with "the tractor".

HUGE thanks again to everone, and especially Javi and his garage True Methodz. He's truly a class act.
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"Forget not that the Earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." -Kahlil Gibran
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:50 PM   #2
Cornbread
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It's always nice to get some good work done.


Now who do I have to schmooze for the same priveleges?
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:31 AM   #3
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Nice work! I just did my first valve clearance check and found everything above spec on the tight side. Phew! My 9 yo daughter wanted me to explain all the shiny parts that became visible when the cover was off. Future wrencher in the family?

Then, Murphy showed up in the form of (1) a rubber spacer dropping to the garage floor, going unnoticed until everything was back together and (2) cover gasket popping out on the first crank. To do things right, I do it thrice.

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Originally Posted by Cornbread View Post
It's always nice to get some good work done.

Now who do I have to schmooze for the same priveleges?
Go to http://www.yzf600r.com for some excellent info on your bike. I've got just about every tool you need to work on the 600R if you're wanting to do it yourself. Then there's my 600R to serve as a go-by. I also have the service manual. You bring oil / plugs / your bike and I can probably make room for you to work in my garage.
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Old 09-24-2007, 02:57 PM   #4
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Awesome!

I'm taking it to Motorcycles Unlimited to get it looked at in two weeks. It won't start right now. I haven't been able to track down the problem yet. Once I get it running, I'll be ready to change all the fluids, check the clearances and put in new plugs.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:09 PM   #5
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FYI to anyone attempting this themselves - I'm getting a lot of feedback from other forums that leaving the valve clearances too tight is bad news. I know it's not in spec, but I accept where it is for now and I'll be back in there before too long to shim it up back to within spec.

I don't own a shim kit, and I was afraid of getting farther into the motor than absolutely necessary.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:37 PM   #6
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If they were all tight Becca, you could have taken them out measured them and moved them around. Like musical chairs so to speak and you can grind them down slowly and measure them until you get them right. Gees...newbies....and yes tight clearances on a bike are bad news. You can slap a piston if they get too tight and you could start to mess the seats up due to the valve not closing all of the way.
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