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Welcome to Transworld Motocross “How To” presented by BikeBandit. Hi, I’m Steve Matthes, Transworld Motocross, editor at large and winner of the 2005 Orlando Supercross MMI Top Tech award.This week on the Transworld motocross “How To”, presented by BikeBandit, I’m gonna show you on a Kawi 450, how to install a top-end, let’s get busy.

All right, so what we’re going to do is the Top End Rebuild here. I’ve taken the sub-frame off, the shock off, at least removed the shock a little bit. I’ve taken the carburetor off, you can let it hang down here. I’ve drained the coolant, taken the motor mounts off, tank obviously you wanna get everything as much out of the way as you can to start. It makes it a whole lot easier coming down the road What you can do now is simply remove the valve cover, be careful of that gasket on the top. Usually, you can reuse this top gasket, it just stays on there.

Come around to this side of the bike, you’re gonna have the time it, so remove your timing covers, here and here, as well your cam chain tensioner bolt and there is always a little O-ring in there, I’ll get that in a second. And then now you’re ready to actually start taking it apart, but first, you must find Top Dead Center.

All right, so another good trick is to take the spark plug out, I’ve learned that over the years. Take out the spark plug cap rubber dampener out. Now we got to find Top Dead Center, it’s always a place to start and finish when you’re installing a new Top End or cams either one. So what you wanna do is basically, a good rule of thumb, kick the bike over, when the lobes are facing opposite of each other that is one you know you’re close to being top dead center. What I like to do is just stick a screwdriver down in there or something like that, come back around here. You’re gonna have timing marks right here to line up but every manufacturer is a little different, some are right in the center, some are off to the side a little bit, but you’ll see a mark that will be on the starter, and there will be one on the flywheel and you line that up. As you can see the screwdriver is going down so that was not top dead center and we’re back up again. The cam lobes are facing apart from one another. All right, so I’ve put a T-handle on here because I missed top dead center. Kicking it over and I just brought it up. You can feel the screwdriver moving up and down so you have a good gauge on where the top dead center is and it’s right there. And just to make sure there’s marks on the camshaft as well that lineup horizontal with the top of the cylinder head, so now I have top dead center and now what I wanna do is take the screwdriver and turn the cam chain tensioner all the way in and you have to put a little bit of force on it to make it stick. But once you do that you should be good to go.

Take the cam caps off and begin the real dis-assembly. All right, I’ve got the cam chain tensioner in, the tension is off the chain here, I’ve released the camp cap bolts, what you want to do with these is loosen and tighten in a specific pattern, so go crossways, start from the inside. Every model is a little different. On the Kawi here they have oil passages between the cam caps to keep everything lubricated and so on this particular model you gonna wanna be very careful as you take the cam caps off. You wanna take them off as a set and that you want them to come together and come off the same. And sometimes they’re a little tight so just simply take a T-handle and knock it a little bit. Again, be careful when you’re taking these off, there’s dowels, there’s pins. This one didn’t come off the way I wanted it to, as one piece but I have the oil passageways. Again there’s dowels in there be careful over those, don’t drop nothing in the motor.

A real good way to do things is to simply put them back on the bench the way you took them off. All right, the cams are off. I removed the two bolts on this side here, cylinder bolts as well as cylinder head bolts. I’ve taken these cylinder…the long cylinder head bolts out, you wanna tighten them in a crisscross pattern, as well you wanna loosen them in a crisscross pattern. I’ve got three of them out, heres my last one. Pay attention to the washer that’s on them as well there will be a washer down each one. As well, pay attention to the length of these and make sure you put the right length into the right hole when you go put them back together, so that’s that and now the cylinder head itself is ready for removal.

You’re gonna have a chain tensioner there and just simply take it out. Again, pay attention to your dowels. This one here I got lucky they’re in the bottom of the head so I don’t have to worry about it. We’ve had Top dead center so we’re not gonna drop nothing down there and now we’re able to take the cylinder off.

All right, the heads off. Take the cam chain guide off. There’s always one that comes out that’s marked, the other one is bolted to the bottom, remove that. Take the gasket out, all right. Just slowly work your cylinder back and forth, like so again, be weary of your dowels, this one… I have one in the case, one on the cylinder and voila! The cylinder comes out.

Always a good idea to take some paper towel as soon as you get the cylinder out and stick it on down there, so anything that potentially could drop down there stays on a paper towel and then you don’t display your cases.

All right, I’ve got a screwdriver in there, I pop the circlip out on one side. You don’t need to do both sides because you’re taking it off and sometimes these wrist pins are a little touchy, sometimes they’re little sticky so just get a mallet and a T-handle, punch it out and now the piston has come out of the bike. All right, so what we’ve done is we’ve cleaned the surface here, we’ve installed new gaskets, put the dowels in, here’s the piston. Always look for the mark that tells you which side of the exhaust, this is a four valve motor, so easy to mix up so put the marking on the piston towards the exhaust, as well when you install the rings and the oil rings, there is a mark on the ring, put that facing upwards to the top. And the oil rings…there’s two oil rings and then a seal ring and what I like to do is put the openings across from each other, so you’ll see one is here and one is there. Don’t try to mix them up, it hurts the oil flow. So, yeah basically, we’re ready to install so line up your ring, I always put it at the back. Now one thing you’ll notice through this whole install is that lubrication is your friend, so I’ve got the maxima oil on here and basically gonna drop this in here.

Something I forgot to mention was I installed the circlip while the piston was on the bench so that’ll save you some time as well as in case you drop it or whatever it lessens your odds of that. One circlip is installed, the left-hand side one is and I just put some lube on the wrist pin and voila! I’ve worked both sides in there and I’m looking for a click, which I just heard. And now you know that the circlip is installed correctly all the way in.

All right, it’s cleared the rings, I’ve use my fingers to hold the rings and slowly work the cylinder down on the gaskets. Make sure your cam chain isn’t tight, isn’t caught and make sure your dowels are in place and cylinder is on. Wipe off your excess oil and it’s time to install the cylinder head. All right cylinder is getting ready, very important tip here, Bob Oliver at Yamaha taught me this, and he’s put together enough of these. Lube the walls of the cylinder upon install, it will always help out. That is done and now we will put it on the machine.

All right, what I’ve done here is I clean the surface, clean the oil off, picked the cam chain up, laid it to the side. Got a new gasket here and the gasket can only go one way, so you will see by the notch on it which way goes to the forward, and the dowels are in and voila! Some people worry about the cam chain and getting it caught with a clothes hanger or something but you can reach down there and get it with an Allen key, I’ll show you in a second. So I just leave that thing in there, I let it just fall down but you do want to put the other guide in. That just slips in, grab the chain, here we go. Drop the other guide, right in there you’ll feel it, it will notch in there and sit in the bottom. Put the cam chain like so, make sure you have the gasket on the right way.

Time for the install of the cylinder head now. Make sure your guides are good, oh and here’s a little tip too, folks, when you cleaning a shim and bucket system cylinder head and you’re scraping the gasket off and your tilting it, don’t tilt it too far otherwise you’ll find those buckets could fall out on you and the shims could fall out and then you’re lost so, FYI on that. Line this up like so and now you’re ready for the bolts.

Okay, cylinder head is on, I went down to grabbed the cam chain with an Allen key. I just reached down there and grabbed it, pulled the cam chain up. Again we’re at top dead center, just slide a screwdriver something in there to hold it for a little bit and now it’s time for the bolts. Remember I said pay attention to the washers? Pay attention to the length of the bolts? Well, that’s why it all comes in handy right now. What you want to do is drop the bolts in, clean them, lube them up with a little bit of Moly lube so that they are nice and good to screw into the threads and drop them in there. All right, the bolts are down and just like I said take them apart in a crisscross manner, you wanna tighten them in a crisscross manner. Now, the correct torque for this is 46 foot-pounds but you don’t just want to torque one 46 and the other 46, it is very important that the cylinder head and the cylinder go down equally, so I’ve set my torque wrench at 23 foot-pound which is half the torque that I need and I will now attempt to…keyword attempt, to torque them. All right, bolts are torqued, lube is your friend always so we’ve got some Moly lube in here. Put it all in the channels where the cams are gonna sit and then will help it on braking, its Lucas Oil lubrication. Cam chain is being held in torque close, tension is off, I always start with the exhaust cam, I think you probably should too. See the line right there? Well, we’re at top dead center in the piston we know and that lining should be horizontal with the top of the cylinder head. Let’s attempt to do this here. It’s weird with a camera right here but basically, pull up the cam chain as taut as you can get it and drop the cam into the channel. You see right there? I’m a little high so what I’m gonna do is back the cam chain off one, go down to the next to tooth on the chain and that mark is horizontal to the top of the cylinder head.

We’ve got the exhaust in, now it’s time for the intake and again put the cam lobes at about 3:00 o’clock, line it up with the mark on the exhaust and you can see that I’m off quite a bit there. So what I’m gonna do, readjust. This is very important folks so make sure, drop it in there, see I’m about a tooth high, you see that little mark in there? Right about where my thumb is? I’m off one tooth. So simply take it apart, drop the intake, one tooth like so and there we go. We’re level with the part, with the top of the cylinder head, both parts are level, and I’m top dead center on my piston so now it’s time for tightening the cam caps. I’m gonna put the retainer clips in for centering the cams. Again, my dowels are in, good to put them all into the cylinder head before you put the cam caps on. And a Kawasaki, as we spoke about in the intro, has the oil passage lines running through it and it’s best to install it all as one set. So simply push them together like so and drop them in together onto the cams. Be careful when you’re doing this, you got the clips, you got the oil lines, and you got the dowels, make sure everything is lined up. Okay, the cam caps have gone on and now put the cam bolts back in, and again pay attention to which ones go where. All right, cam cap cover bolts are finger tight, torque on those eight foot-pounds same thing as the cylinder base bolts. I went half at first and I’m gonna go in a crisscross pattern, so four-foot pounds, crisscross, tighten everything down equally and I have nice symmetry and I will go, now eight.

Cam caps are tight, always a good idea to kick it over. Of course as spark plug out right now and then we found top dead center as you know but I always want to check before I go in, so I’ll just get a T-handle or a screwdriver, something drop it down in there and I’ll find top dead center with it and I’ll double check my marks which we’re good. Top Dead Center has been found, everything is tight, now to finish the job. All right, spark plug is in, don’t forget the spark plug cap, fits on over top. We’ve got a new gasket here, you can put a little bit of silicon on that gasket if you want to help it stay in place but it finds a home pretty easy. Drop the valve cover on and that’s it. You’ve now done a top end on your 454 Stroke and that has been Transworld Motocross’ “How To” presented by BikeBandit.

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