Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: South of England
I did mine the other day after having the cases apart to renew all the water pump stuff + the oil pump rotors and chain. Also fitted the uprated tensioner. My bike is a neglected 1985 VN700, yet the marks were all there after I cleaned the area and used a good light source. Here is what I did if it helps. Start on the front cylinder. Have the alternator side facing you.Turn engine in normal direction only (anticlockwise on alternator rotor, rotor facing you) set front piston at TDC (top dead centre) I used the rotor, just pushed it on with the woodruff key in place and hand turned the engine. remove rotor and verify timing mark on crank sprocket is next to "pip" on casing. The lower cam chain is the narrow one, it may have no paint marks on it. Take the chain and mark a pin with tippex or similar, count that pin as "1", count up the chain in a clockwise direction and mark pin number 38. Place the chain over the idler sprocket with the timing mark tooth in the space next on from the 38th marked pin. loop the upper chain over the idler. Feed the idler sprocket down and loop the lower chain onto the crank sprocket with the timing mark on the sprocket tooth going into the space one below the pin marked as "1". You should now have the crank sprocket marked tooth with a white marked chain pin one up from it, 38 pins later up the chain you should have the idler sprocket with its mark vertical (reference the cylinder) and the 38th marked pin just before this vertical mark. Place the exhaust cam with its mark to the left and level with the top surface of the head,make sure you don,t have slack on the left side of the chains (opposite side to the cam chain tensioner). Install the left inlet cam with its timing mark to the right and level with the cylinder head top surface. Count the number of pins starting from the first pin level with the timing mark on the exhaust cam, call that pin one and count along to the pin in line with the mark on the inlet cam, should be pin 24. Install the guides etc and double check all the slack is on the right side and that all these marks and number are correct. that is the front one timed. bolt down the front cylinder cams. Turn the engine again in the anti clock direction using the alternator rotor until the rear cylinder comes NEARLY up to top dead centre. Physically spin the whole assembly on the bench so the clutch side is now facing you. Reach round and continue turning the crank until the rear piston is at TDC and the timing mark on the sprocket (Clutch side) is in alignment. Remember that the crank sprocket you are now looking at turns clockwise because you are now facing the other side of the engine. do exactly the same on this side as you did on the other, BUT the counting of the 38 pins on the lower chain and the 24 on the top chain are done starting from the right side and round anticlockwise on the chains and the slack must be on the left side of the chains. Also remember that the inlet cam is still on your right and the exhaust cam is still to your left. Do not mix the cams up and do not mix the front and rear cams. Double check everything. It takes longer to write this than it does to do it for real. That's it done.
One can never have too many alternative forms of transport.