How To: Degree camshafts - Kawasaki
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post #1 of 67 Old 01-23-2010, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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How To: Degree camshafts

Hey guys, well I had to go ahead and re-degree my cams. I had tried a set of cam numbers but it felt a little bit flat up top so I went back with some numbers I know work very well with my head combo so 106/106 was the goal.

OK, first off you will need to get the bike stripped down to the cam’s obviously if you’re trying to degree your cams you know how to remove fairings, fuel tank, TB’s, valve cover and so forth.

What your going to have to do is remove both side engine case covers and the valve cover. The right side cover you will be removing the bolt that holds the ignition rotor on which has a 17mm head on it, It has a 8mm bolt that holds this on. You are going to have to find a bolt that same exact size but longer (I’ll explain more later) Now on the left hand side of the motor there is a 14mm bolt that holds the start clutch on, this is the side you will be moving the crankshaft with….

Now for tools… you will need some I guess you could say “specialty” tools. Other than the normal tools you could need to get to the valve cover you will need a dial indicator, a degree wheel, a piece of wire, a longer 8mm bolt, some misc. spacers and an optional piston stop tool. On the note of the piston stop tool, you can buy a APE one for about 30 bucks OR you can go to home depot and pick up for an aluminum 3/8” rod, than take a 10 x 1.00 Die and thread the pole. I made mine a little pointy on the end for ease of install. I then took a old 9mm 12 point socket I had laying around and pressed it on the other end of it…. Finished product… a piston stop tool to make sure you’re EXACTLY on TDC…. IF anyone wants me to make them one contact me...... BUT after finding my TDC I checked it with the mark on the ignition rotor and it was pretty much spot on. I’ll go into more detail about that later. Here’s a picture of the tools.

The dial indicator I picked up from harbor freight for I think 20 bucks, easy to move around and works great, just don’t torque it too much.
IF your degreeing your cams you should know how to remove the cams in the first place which means position the #1,4 on TDC, remove cam chain tensioner and all cam caps, remove cams. OK kawi blessed us with being able to move the cams to a slotted position, they can only really fit one way so you won’t mess that up there but it’s always nice to have accurate cam position lines on the sprockets but since your rotating the sprockets you’re going to have to make new lines on the sprocket. I usually will mark the center of the cam shaft with a market and then rotate the camshaft sprocket and then mark the sprocket according to the other line. Also LEAVE one of the sprocket bolts loose for now not way loose just enough to not be tight.

OK now it’s time to get to work… Remove the #1 spark plug and its preferred to remove the other plugs as well or at least loosen them up so you’re not fighting the engines compression while your turning the motor over. Install the TDC tool…

Now you’re going to want to get the degree wheel on the bike. The 17mm bolt is easy to take off with an impact or since you have the TDC tool in there it will stop the piston from moving so you can put a breaker bar on her. Remove the nut leaving the rotor on the bike

Using a longer bolt and some spacers laying around you can install the degree wheel on to the right side of the motor. You have to space it far enough off the motor so it doesn’t hit anything while its turning. I had some wheel spacers and some other things laying around that I could space it off, Also while you’re doing that you can loosen one of the 10mm bolts on the RH side of the head and (I’m using a coat hanger wire) install the wire that will be the mark of the TDC on her.

OK now its time to install the dial indicator. As you can see I mounted it on #4’s far valve bucket. This place seems to have the best reach for the dial indicator pin and you can position it good enough to clear the cam’s as its spinning around, I usually always clamp on to the thermostat housing with the base and this is where you really just have to spend a lil time setting it up so it does not hit anywhere while the cams are spinning AND making sure the needle has full length of travel.

Now that we have everything in place its time to find TDC and position your wire for TDC. Using the piston stop method what you’re going to do is while the tool is installed, rotate the motor clockwise until the piston stop tool does not allow you to turn the motor over anymore. Take a look at the degree wheel and take note of where the wire is pointing to for example you get a number of 20* NOW rotate the motor counter clockwise until the motor stops and read the number. What you’re looking for here is have the same number on both sides. So using the 20* example above say we get o the counterclockwise spin a number of 28* go ahead and move the wire pointing exactly to 24* to meet in the middle. Once you move the needle to 24* go ahead and double check your clockwise number and it should be 24 as well now. Now if you don’t have a piston stop tool yes you can use a good eye and the TDC mark on the crank ign rotor. BUT you must be able to line that mark up perfectly, you’re going to line up the split in the cases with the TDC mark. I have done this many times and the numbers always seem to be perfect so yes its do-able I just prefer the piston stop method.

OK now before you get everything going on moving cam numbers you are going to want to give the motor a few spins with your 14mm tool on the left hand side of the motor and get your dial indicator to read 0 with the cam lobes not touching the bucket meaning the cam is under no lift. You want to make sure that the dial indicator always comes back to 0. It will sometimes move maybe one click to the left or right but it usually won’t make a drastic affect on the numbers you will get.

Now its time to grab a reading… What your going to do is crank the motor over by hand slowely until the needle starts to move. You are going to turn the motor until you make the needle drop .040” Now you will take your reading off your degree wheel.

We will use the numbers in the pictures I got for reference…. I got a number of 48*

Now you will continue to turn the motor until you get back to closing over the valve at .040” Here’s where it pays to pay attention to where the smaller needle is on the dial indicator that way you don’t pass it and go back to Zero (0) Now go ahead and take that reading Mine was at 16.5*

Here is the math lesson for the day… to get your cam degree you’re going to add the 2 numbers you got plus 180 then divide by 2 and then subtract the smaller number… so

48 + 16.5 + 180 = 244.5 / 2 = 122.25 – 16.5 = 105.75

I was shooting for 106 so this will be great. Now for the guys how have had trouble getting the numbers close enough here’s a tip. No matter what numbers you get you will always end up with that 244.5 so if you want to get your cams spot on what you can do is figure out what number needs to be where for what cam numbers you want. Using the numbers above I’ll tell you how to find out what numbers you need a .040” lift.

If you wanted to move that that cam to let’s say 101* What you will do is take the 244.5 / 2 = 122.25 NOW you subtract your target cam number 101 so 122.25 – 101 = 21.25 so keep that number in mind…. Now you’re going to rotate the motor back to a valve CLOSING where you had the previous number of 16.5 on the degree wheel you’re going to loosen the cam bolt and rotate the motor until the number 21.25 comes up on the degree wheel…. Tighten cam sprocket bolt and double check everything, this takes some getting used to and it’s a lil tricky but its a lot easier than just guessing how much you nudged the motor.

After you get your desired cam numbers you can go ahead and tighten the other cam bolt you loosened from earlier. Than go ahead and move the dial indicator over to the exhaust side and do the exact same thing.

Total time around 2.5 hrs

Now is obviously a good time to check over things like how the plugs are burning and valve clearances. and make everything all nice and tidy and cleaned up inside her.

Now I know this was done on a 04-05 the same basic's will apply to the other GEN's just a matter of setting up the degree wheel really, the 06-07 uses a TORX I believe T-45 to hold the ign rotor on but its all just a matter of setting things up.

I did all this last night so doing everything off memory and the pics above so if I left anything out or you have any questions let me know!
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post #2 of 67 Old 01-23-2010, 01:20 PM
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And this is the reason you're the peoples choice here.
Sent from your mom's IPhone using dirty fingers
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post #3 of 67 Old 01-23-2010, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SUPER K View Post
And this is the reason you're the peoples choice here.
Yeah I know it lol, as I Was in the process of taking pictures I realized I wanted to spread the info. Like I said in my other post, I'm not here to make a living I just really like helping people out with their projects.
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post #4 of 67 Old 01-23-2010, 01:41 PM
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luv it when a guy knows his shit. Thanks for comin back.

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post #5 of 67 Old 01-23-2010, 08:08 PM
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great how to garth!!
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post #6 of 67 Old 01-23-2010, 08:17 PM
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Hey i notice that you pictures are turning out alot clearer now a days!
You get a better camera?

Marchesini Magnesiums,Nassert beet,kawi cam,.45 headgasket,DJ PC/Ig.M/QS,velocity stacks,bmc race,gipro,sato rearsets,helibars,throttlemeisters,pazzo shorties,speedohealer,520 renthal sprockets,penske 8393 double clicker,traxxion dynamic springs,scotts stabilizer,lsl frame sliders,cox radiator guard,powerbronze hugger,puig DB,solo seat cover,Valentine1,dual low beam projectors,55w.hids, brembo superbike rotors,Goodridge superbike lines,nissin calipers and rizoma mirrors,mda123 battery.
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post #7 of 67 Old 01-23-2010, 08:42 PM
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you da man garth. Nice write up. Sticky worthy. Rep sent.
(even if I knew how to do it already)

I wonder how many people shittley's helped today?
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post #8 of 67 Old 01-23-2010, 08:56 PM
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Thanks! This helps me a ton.

Also, are the stock cam sprockets adjustable? I haven't seen any aftermarket adjustable cam sprockets for the 10.
Seen the answer after rereading your post...

Last edited by TENN10; 01-24-2010 at 06:46 AM.
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post #9 of 67 Old 01-23-2010, 08:56 PM
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Great post Garth! Maybe I will look into this after all...

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post #10 of 67 Old 01-24-2010, 03:51 AM
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Thanks for sharing garth. I appreciate a lot of your work.
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