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Cylinder head removal. 1 month 2 weeks ago #29693

  • McZee
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I’m removing the head on my KZ1300 to replace the valve stem oil seals, I also want to check the valves are seating properly, and generally clean things up while I’m in there. The problem I have is, I cant see how to take out the cam chain wheel and guides. I’ve marked them with yellow dots on the photo. I don’t want to force anything as I have a long and illustrious history for breaking things. Can any of the boffins on here point me in the right direction.  
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Cylinder head removal. 1 month 2 weeks ago #29694

  • biltonjim
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Whilst I haven't removed the cylinder head from one of these engines, glancing through the service manual it would seem that the head has to be removed first in order to release both  the captive ends of the cam chain guides, and the plastic cam chain sprocket in the tensioner arm.. 
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Cylinder head removal. 1 month 2 weeks ago #29695

  • Lucien-Harpress
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It's been a second since I've had my head off, but I remember it being fairly straightforward.  Both guides are just sorta clipped on to indents milled/cast (forget which) into the sides of the head.  In fact, I think the rear guide is the only one in the head, while the front is mostly down in the bores.  They way it's put together, you can't get either of those out until the head comes off, because the indents in the head are capped off by the engine case part of the bores.  In all honesty, if you're not replacing them, you can just leave them alone- the front one will stay put, and the rear one will stay with the head.

Similar story with the cam chain wheel- the wheel doubles as the top pivot of the arm that the cam chain routes though, and the cam chain tensioner pushes against- deeper in you should see a guide roller that runs along the outside of the chain.  The pivot pin sits in a couple indents on the bores, and it held captive by the head. 

So long as you don't have anything else connecting the two, you're good to pull the head- once you do how everything goes together will make sense.

(I'll give Kawasaki this- there's a lot to this motor, but everything is put together in a way that oddly straightforward.  It's pretty slick.)
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Cylinder head removal. 1 month 2 weeks ago #29698

  • Kawboy
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I agree with Jim and Lucien. Once the cams are removed, you can drop the cam chain down in the cavity and remove the head. The tensioner is held in by the head  and the guides are removable once the head is off.
Good of you to question something before breaking something. This job is straight forward and the manual covers it nicely.
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Cylinder head removal. 1 month 2 weeks ago #29699

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Thank you all for the replies.As I said I have an unfortunate proclivity for breaking things and I was a bit wary of going any further without seeking advice. It’s the first time I’ve had the head off this engine and I was quite surprised by how clean the internals are. What do think of the cam chain tensioner wheel? It looks ok to me, but I am by no means an expert. 

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Cylinder head removal. 1 month 2 weeks ago #29700

  • Lucien-Harpress
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From your pic, the gear looks fine.  Can't tell about the wheel farther in until you pull it out.

That said, if you're not the most mechanically inclined (and trust me, I'm right there with you), I would whole-heartedly recommend grabbing a service manual if you can.  I was lucky enough to get one with my bike when I bought it, and it is VERY comprehensive.  Clymer's manuals (for instance) tend to skip steps or gloss over certain details, but not only does the service manual tell you how to take things apart, it also explains WHY it was put together that way in the first place.

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