How to prepare for KTM500 valve job

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by luke!, May 18, 2017.

  1. luke!

    luke! Adventurer

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    I got a 2017 KTM 500 EXC-F a few weeks back and I need to do a valve inspection. I live in a van and I only go 'home' where I can do major repair and maintenance about two days a month, so I need to make sure I have everything needed to inspect and adjust the valves in one day with no surprise ordering of parts or tools once started - if I rip the bike apart and don't get it re-assembled in good time then I have to leave it in a garage collecting dust where I can't use it for weeks instead of keeping it with me on the road.

    I purchased a copy of the Service Manual for the bike to plan for the task, it says I need a special spark plug wrench which ktm dealers sell for about 100 bucks: pn 77229172000 Is this necessary? I have normal deepwell sockets and swivel attachments already.

    I am ordering a lift stand and feeler gauges, I don't know what kind of valve shim assortment to order to be ready. Also the manual doesn't mention anything unusual but do you need anything special to remove the timing chain tensioner and the camshaft?

    So the manual says to install 'suitable shims' - I will probably be home on a day when the dealer is closed and I usually get burnt when I am hoping they have something in stock anyway so what 'suitable shims' should I buy to be prepared?

    Thanks so much,
    Luke
    #1
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  2. ChromeSux

    ChromeSux Un-plated and Unscrewed

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    #2
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  3. ride2little

    ride2little Riding Like the Wind

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    You'll need some of these:
    upload_2017-5-18_21-58-4.png
    #3
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  4. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    How many hours on it? I probably can't talk you out of it but I'd leave it until I was someplace for awhile and snowed in or whatever. Fwiw my 16 FC450 has 40+ on it 20 of pretty much WFO in deep sand tracks and
    I'm not even thinking about checking them until I'm really bored or injured!

    Oh, and to just check them? Basic tools and a feeler guage. Don't prep to reshim, it's a 30 minute affair to just check them. No big deal. They are most likely just fine.
    #4
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  5. luke!

    luke! Adventurer

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    I'm at 15hrs mostly sand riding as well, I can just check them like you say but I just hate to crack anything open without a thorough cleaning - and it takes me some time to get everything spotless.
    #5
  6. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    Well, wash it. Pull tank, seat, valve cover after washing that area whilst bare. That's 15/20 minutes. Check em. That's 10 minutes. If you need to adjust anything, (you won't) your out 30-40 minutes and you do it again when you have a shim kit. And you do it even faster.

    I'd still say leave it for now. My 16 RC390 had 2200 all highway break in miles on it and was a nightmare to check, and surprisingly it was fine. They are known to be out brand new though.

    The EXC 500 has a pretty good record on valves being ok. Many will risk doing more harm than good to even venture there.....

    Not sayin you but many.
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  7. luke!

    luke! Adventurer

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    Took your advice Navin and waited till I ended up with a good area to work on things .Decided to check my valves today, the bike will stall sometimes when trying to take off slowly on a cold motor. I'm now at 45hours and 1149 miles, and I had bought the KTM feeler gauge suggested in the service manual.... Should have bought a generic one, because I feel this one doesn't have enough increments. ( Missing a way to measure .16mm, .18mm, .19mm .

    Specs in my manual for clearance;
    Exhaust: .12 - .17mm
    Intake: .1 - .15mm

    Well this feeler gauge can only measure .1, .12, .15, .17, and .2

    Two of the valves I can fit the feeler for max spec but not the next size larger, so I have an intake valve that is either at the upper end of range on spec or potentially .01mm over. and an exhaust valve that is at the upper end of range or up to .02mm over. Gonna order a feeler gauge off amazon that will give me more details.

    Should I re-shim if I am .01mm off lol?

    Oh yeah I bought that spark-plug socket you recommended, ChromeSux - glad I didn't spend 80 more for a KTM socket.
    #7
  8. mylsmkj

    mylsmkj Long timer

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    @Navin @ChromeSux

    I'm guessing your valves just haven't moved at all since new. That seems to be the way with the 500's
    #8
  9. miksu

    miksu Been here awhile

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    You can combine the feelers, like 0.01mm and 0.10mm make 0.11mm but that really is not necessary. Sounds like they are like they were set at the factory. On the 500 it is very easy to use feeler gauge, but just wiggling the around can sort of accurately tell if it has 0.1mm or more. Or less, in which case it is time to do something about it.
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  10. godwinmt

    godwinmt They call me Crash

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    Valve shims come in increments of .05mm, so you're in very good shape with those at the max spec.

    Ktm has figured out how to make cylinder heads and valves, that's for sure...my 09 450 which is the first iteration of your cylinder head has about 7500 miles of very hard riding/rally racing on it. I replaced the rocker arms once as I had worn through the hardened layer on them and reshimmed at that time. Valves are original, and still have not moved.
    #10
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  11. wiswoodsguy

    wiswoodsguy Hickster

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    Mine never moved on my 15
    #11
  12. wiswoodsguy

    wiswoodsguy Hickster

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    how many miles on your 500 ??

    Mine wasnt a highway queen like you

    And how many 500s have you owned ?? I dont even have to guess that its a big ZERO !!
    #12
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  13. EastBoundAndDown

    EastBoundAndDown Ron - 300XC-W DR650 FZ1

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    Yes, they moved everytime the engine was run.
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  14. wiswoodsguy

    wiswoodsguy Hickster

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    Mine never got out of spec when checked :ken
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  15. ChromeSux

    ChromeSux Un-plated and Unscrewed

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    My 2014 has only needed adjusting 1 time in 200 hours. I do keep my air filter clean, very clean.
    #15
  16. Nesquik

    Nesquik Long timer

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    Do you have a blog or a thread about this living in a van situation?

    :lurk

    Sounds amazing
    #16
  17. wizz

    wizz Up a creek......

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    Its gotta be , being down by the river and all.
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  18. Nesquik

    Nesquik Long timer

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    Man


    I gotta go watch Tommy Boy for the 10000 time

    I love Chris Farley
    #18
  19. luke!

    luke! Adventurer

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    Thanks, I got a different feeler gauge for next checkup that will let me add up to .16, .18, .19mm etc. Gonna call it good for now. Finally used one of my metric torque adapters torquing the valve cover screws back on. (10mm for right-hand rear screw on valve cover - no clearance above for torque wrench with normal socket ).

    Nope! Didn't know anyone would be interested.

    The last place I was working is in Western Kansas, a 'semi arid' climate. The Arkansas river is usually dry in the area I was in, which allowed me to actually live in a van in the river. Working right by miles and miles of dry sand riverbed with nothing else to do for fun is actually what pushed me to get a big burly KTM.
    #19
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