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For what it’s worth I shelled a good piece out to get the stator replaced last summer. Yes it’s an old bike but it is also from what I understand, the type of bike that if properly maintained will basically last and last. Of course I’m not telling someone how to spend their money, but if you like the bike then you decide what it’s worth. Nobody wants to take care of a money pit but if you got the motor open and can fix all the major issues once in for all it’s almost like starting fresh. But! If you’re eyeing a different bike and this is your way out then by all means have at it lol
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Thanks everyone for the help and advice!
I do love this bike. I don't have a clue what I would even replace it with. I take test rides on anything I can, and nothing has been quite like this! I just needed reassurance that it's worth it.

I am tackling the flywheel today, so I will add more pictures to the album along the way. If all goes well, I should be fully disassembled!
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I can get over my fear of eBay I suppose. I found a set of 8 used rocker arms for $24.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/94-Kawasaki-Vulcan-VN-750-VN750-8-ROCKER-ARMS/283749456350?hash=item4210c919de:g:Re4AAOSwWkdeJGMW

Other than the one I have that is obviously worn (mated with the worn cam lobe), are the rest of mine showing significant wear? I don't know what new ones look like. For this price, I might as well replace all 8, and pick the best 8 out of the set of 16.

Do the cams and rockers have to wear in together, or can I mate new(ish) rockers with my old cams (the three camshaft that don't seem to be worn out)?

I will upload some close up pictures of mine, later this morning.
 

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Ideally, and according to the manuals, rockers should be kept in their original positions. However, when parts must be replaced, there's no way to avoid mismatching the parts.

I would say as long as there aren't deep grooves or divots worn into the surface, it should be ok. Deep groove is one that catches your fingernail.

I have mixed used cams, rockers, and lifters from different engines and never had a problem. As long as there are no abnormal wear patterns mating, you should be good.

Noticed one or two rockers in the ebay listing, and your engine, have the rocker pad worn to one side. If you can match that to the lobe causing that, you may be better off. Seems to be a common wear pattern in this engine. It depends on the wear pattern seen on your replacement cam. edit: Just remembered, you're getting one new cam? If so, I think would choose a rocker with even wear on the pad. Are all those rockers the same size/shape, or are there differences like left/right, intake/exhaust?

Don't get the cams mixed up, that makes a huge headache.
 

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I would get a small container of cam assembly lube, the paste type, not the liquid. Apply it liberally to the rockers, cam lobes, and cam journals. The paste will cling to those spots for as long as it takes until the engine gets fired up the first time.
 

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In a perfect world, you could assemble the parts in the head, apply lapping compound, then spin the assembly with an electric motor until the surfaces are mated.

In that same perfect world, you could buy everything new.

I think I when I first fire it up, I'd try to keep the idle no lower or higher than 1500-1800rpm for the first 10-15 min., steady and moderately fast during the first warmup. Assuming there are no problems to handle, like leaks, running rough, etc. This should help with the surfaces mating. Break-in period for a new cam/lifters is usually 20-30 minutes at around 2000rpm, then allow the engine to cool completely.

You can probably just use the choke to manage rpm, but if it warms up quick, you'll have to twist the idle setting.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Disassembly is now complete!

A few words of advice to anyone who is looking to do this.

The flywheel removal tool is not needed. You can put a penny in the gears to lock the crankshaft. You can use an 18mm bolt to pry off the flywheel. I tried using the bolt that was suggested by other members of this forum. It probably would have worked, but the socket that I used as a spacer, was cheap and Chinese and it crushed my socket rather than pulling the flywheel off. Instead, I bought a 18 mm bolt. These bolts, coincidentally have a 27 mm head, which are perfect for removing the spark plug socket. I would have used the one that I purchased last week, but my Vise grips had destroyed the thread on that bolt (my local hardware store doesn't carry nuts for M18 bolts, oddly enough). So now I have two 18 mm bolts.

I recommend removing the rear cylinder before the front. When it came time to remove the cam gear for the rear cylinder, it was easiest to partially reassemble the front cam gear, so that I could mesh a penny in the gears to hold everything in place. Otherwise, it was very difficult to take the bolt off of the cam gear for the rear cylinder, without spinning the crankshaft. The book lists the front cylinder first.

For removing the clutch assembly, I put the transmission in gear, and held the bolt on the drive shaft output, while loosening the clutch assembly bolt.

The book is NOT clear about the clutch side cover bolts. There is quite a few. I didn't bother removing the circular cover, as I had to pull the whole side off anyways. I removed the bolts clockwise and laid them out left to right, for proper reassembly.

The 6mm head bolts are perfect for removing the cam mid gear idler shaft.

For both the clutch bolt, and the rear cam gear bolt, I used an impact wrench to loosen them.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I would get a small container of cam assembly lube, the paste type, not the liquid. Apply it liberally to the rockers, cam lobes, and cam journals. The paste will cling to those spots for as long as it takes until the engine gets fired up the first time.
I didn't want to quote your longer post. 🙂

Thank you so much!
 

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Discussion Starter #29
How does the clutch wear look? I took a close up picture of it. I know it's something that can be done with the engine in...but while I am here...

Same with water pump. Replace now? I am going to do the tuxedo mod, so I'm not worried about the stator at this time.

I had no issues with the clutch, water pump/cooling (other than leak) or stator when it was last runn
 

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I didn't want to quote your longer post. 🙂

Thank you so much!
You're welcome. Yeah I got a bit windy earlier. :grin2:

Clutch plate looks usable, no too hard to replace later.

Considerable buildup of carbon on the pistons and combustion chambers, I would clean all that off, gently. Pretty thick on top of the piston.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Removing old gaskets sucks!
 

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Thinking someone ran premium gas judging by the carbon, if it wasn't burning oil.
 

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When I pulled the engine out of mine to replace the stator, I left the front bevel gearcase in place. I had it off a couple years before, and found it very difficult to install with the engine and final drive in place. You have to line it up with the driveshaft AND the engine, and there is a spring between it and the engine that makes it hard to hold in place while putting the bolts in. I went through three gaskets (which are very thin and easily damaged) before finally getting it. But when I pulled the engine, I practically had the entire bike apart, including the rear wheel and final drive. I did have to remove the radiator and front exhaust manifold, but I was able to turn it enough, with about 1/16" to spare, to get the engine out. I took it completely out to give me plenty of room to work on it. I'd much rather do a lot of easy but time consuming disassembly than having to deal with the frustration of fighting with things where you really don't have enough access to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Did I mention how much I hate old gaskets? I bought a drill attachment to grind away the old gaskets carefully. Its slow going, even with a power tool. AND I have to make sure not to take any aluminum away.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I took the engine in to have the gaskets professionally cleaned. After factoring time vs money vs sanity, I figured I had already lost two of those... It set me back about $100, but its worth me not messing up the block!

In the mean time, I am drilling the clutch basket for the coffee grinder symptom. I haven't had any issues, but I have the part out so I might as well. In another thread, I asked if the direction of the spiral mattered, and it seemed that it doesn't. Since I had only marked the spots with marker, I went ahead and remarked it.

My drill bit wondered a little, so it ended up not being a neat spiral, but a drunk spiral. Each hole is within +/- 1mm from ideal, so it shouldn't be an issue. At the time of posting, I haven't cleaned the shavings yet, but I'll do that and add more pictures to the shared album.

March is here! Assembly should start next weekend, if all goes to plan!
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I got the engine back from having the gaskets scraped and cleaned. They also honed the cylinders (pictures coming soon).

Now, they removed the cylinder studs. They also removed the pistons from the con rods. I am really starting to feel over my head with this project!

I don't see the torque values for the studs in the manual. They aren't pictured in the exploded view on either chapter 4 or 8. Any idea where I might find it?
 

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Discussion Starter #37
The engine dampers look good, and feel flexible. I'm surprised, for 27k miles and 31 years! I might replace them anyways.
 

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The engine dampers look good, and feel flexible. I'm surprised, for 27k miles and 31 years! I might replace them anyways.
Mine were good at 14,000mi, but I replaced them anyway since I was already in there. Wasn't sure what good ones were actually like until I got the new ones. About $40 back then.

I replaced them because I didn't want to tilt the engine again later, and ended up immediately doing it a second time because I screwed up the gear placement on the damper weight. It shook so bad you couldn't see the handgrips, so make sure everything is installed correctly. Largest post on the damper weight goes into the smallest hole on the damper gear.

Gave the originals to a member here.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
When I was pulling the balancer, I missed where it said "left-handed thread" and put 400 ft-lbs of torque wrench torque on it...THE WRONG WAY!!!

Nothing appeared to break, stretch or strip. Should I be worried?
 

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When I was pulling the balancer, I missed where it said "left-handed thread" and put 400 ft-lbs of torque wrench torque on it...THE WRONG WAY!!!

Nothing appeared to break, stretch or strip. Should I be worried?
Should be ok if you don't think the bolt is damaged.

Seems like 400lbs should have sheared the penny. :surprise: Or what method were you using to hold the crank from moving? Potential damage there depending on the method used.

Doesn't at least one of those bolts, balancer/rotor call for thread locker? Could be wrong, but pretty sure I used blue Loctite.
 
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