1190 Valve Shim DIY

Discussion in 'Hard. Core. (1090/1190/1290)' started by wilmar13, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. wilmar13

    wilmar13 Long timer

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    After ingesting some dirt I found my intake valves were too tight and exhaust was right on low side so I pulled the cams. Here are some pics with some very basic DIY info that may help those who are on the fence of doing it themselves. I do not have many of the photos I thought I took, for some reason, but I share what I did have on the memory card.

    A more detailed DIY guide can be found on the 950HOW that I actually found googling for alternative sources of shims:
    http://www.ktm950.info/how/Orange Garage/Valves/ktm_950_990_valve_adjustment.html

    First step is to remove airbox lower.
    Then remove the center spark coil and spark plug. I was able to use a standard 14mm socket for the plugs with some various extensions added on and removed while socket was in hole (not much upper clearance for access on front cylinder) then use a magnet to pull the plug. For the rear you will have to cut the zip ties that hold the tray for wiring harness and move that out of the way.

    I did one cyl at a time and started with the front.

    Then remove the valve cover (4 10mm bolts) and behold the lungs of your 1190:
    IMG_0021_zps91324e2d.JPG

    To measure the valve lash or clearance you need to have the engine at Top Dead Center (TDC). This will be indicated by the two dots on your cams lining up with the top side of the head:
    IMG_0020_zps51ff49a7.JPG

    To turn the engine you can just put it in 6th gear on the center stand and rotate the wheel forward (do not turn in reverse!), but it is easier to do it right and remove the cap on the alternator cover to manually turn the crank. Remove the plastic plug in the stator case (14mm allen) to access:
    IMG_0027_zpsc8dc342a.JPG

    Always turn it counterclockwise (with bike in gear wheel should turn forward), and turn until the two dots on the cams line up as shown above. If it is hard to turn, you forgot to take the spark plugs out!

    Now with engine at TDC for front cylinder, you are ready to measure the clearance between the cam base circle and the finger follower that actuates the valve by using a feeler gauge. The actual clearance is somewhere between the size that fits and the one that doesn't. :D
    Specs are:
    Intake: .10mm-.15mm (.0039"-.0059")
    Exhaust: .25mm-.30mm (.0098"-.0118")
    (this is at 68F/20C degrees with engine normalized to ambient temp, so if you are in Dubai in July or Calgary in January you may want to adjust slightly)
    IMG_0025_zps4a81aeac.JPG
    #1
  2. wilmar13

    wilmar13 Long timer

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    If all are in spec on front cyl, now position rear cyl at TDC (line up dots on cams) same way and repeat.

    ktm.jpg

    If all are in spec, congratulations! Now button it all back up and be on your way. If not, now the work begins. In my case my intake valves were all .001"-.003" and exhaust was all at low side. I noticed some harder starting only with engine hot so it made sense(intake valves not fully closed when hot). It is good to record the baseline even if it is in spec to monitor going forward.

    OK, so you have to remove the cams in order to access the shims. First thing to do is make sure you have a way to lock crank in position before you do so. There is a KTM tool for this
    ktm2.jpg

    I made my own with a M8x1.25 bolt and ground a blunt point on the end at roughly 30deg. Just make sure you have at least 2"/50mm of thread and it will work. There are is a ~3mm milled groove in the crank at each position of TDC which is why you want it to be somewhat pointy and tapered.

    IMG_0026_zps44046a97.JPG

    An unmodified bolt will be better than nothing if you have no means to buy the tool or grind a bolt. You just want to make sure the crank doesn't turn (much) while you have the cams out. If it moves slightly it will be OK as it will have to move a few degrees before you end up re-timing on the wrong link of chain. Best to lock it tight though obviously.

    The lockpin hole is located below the clutch/waterpump cover, remove the screw and you should be able to see the groove on the crank when at TDC using a flashlight (groove is not visible in hole in this picture, but you can see it IRL)

    ktm3.jpg
    #2
  3. wilmar13

    wilmar13 Long timer

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    Then screw your lockpin in until it butts up against crank. No need for gorilla torque here, just snug.

    ktm4.jpg

    You will note I have removed the coolant line. I removed the radiator to make access easier. You may be able to get by just loosening it, but I needed to drain my coolant anyway and it is a lot easier to work and see without the radiator blocking. I think the effort removing radiator is a good investment if you have to pull the front cams, but I won't say it is necessary.

    Now with crank locked at TDC, we are ready to remove the cams.

    Remove the spark plug hole bushing and set aside with the valve cover. It may be a bitch to get out, but it will come by hand. It is held tightly by a snug fit and a viton o-ring. Using latex gloves helps to twist as you pull straight up. Prepare for bruised knuckles when it comes free.
    ktm5.jpg
    ktm6.jpg

    OK, now you need to remove the cam chain tensioner and set it aside. This is located to the right of exhaust port when facing exhaust valve side (front is on left side of bike, rear on the right as seated on bike).
    ktm7.jpg
    #3
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  4. scudrunner82

    scudrunner82 combustion addict

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    Cool info :freaky

    How was it to access the valve covers on the 1190? Is it a big ordeal to get to everything?
    #4
  5. wilmar13

    wilmar13 Long timer

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    Now you are ready to remove the cam bridge. Start by loosening the inner bolts a quarter turn or so, then same on outer, and repeat until no preload remains in cap screws, then remove inner bolts, followed by outer bolts. It may not be necessary to do it in steps, but it is better if there is any stress on the bridge you could crack it. Pull off bridge by wiggling cams to loosen, then set aside. Make sure you take care with the mating surfaces as they are aluminum so keep it clean and put it somewhere you won't ding it. Now you can remove the cams. I only did one cam at a time at first, but then realized it was easier to remove both and place something like a plastic pry bar under chain to keep it from falling down in timing channel.
    ktm8.jpg

    It is very important that you keep good documentation of what clearance was where. I make up a chart on graph paper with a sketch of the valve layout with columns for: before lash, before shim, desired shim (calculate based on delta from nominal spec), actual shim used, and final clearance. Whatever method you use to keep it all straight, make sure it is simple and hard to screw-up. This will be very important especially if you are like me and work on this here and there as time allows. Don't rely on memory, or have shitty notes that can get lost or transposed. I say this as someone who has learned from past experience it is actually easier to document things you are sure you will remember anyway, because sometimes you won't.

    The shims are under the finger followers, pull them up and there they are. Shim is removed on left intake and remains on right in this photo:
    ktm9.jpg

    Remove the shims and measure them with a micrometer and record it's thickness. If you don't have one, buy one and learn to use it. I guess a digital caliper will work if you are a hand grenades and horseshoes type of person, but if you are going to do it may as well be anal so that you can set it as close to nominal as possible. I am old school machinist and all my stuff is in inches, if you buy something in metric it will save you all the conversions.
    ktm10.jpg

    Use a magnet to remove shims and replace. Removing is easy, replacing is just a bit more delicate. I found the best technique is to place shim in pocket and slide magnet off shim. A weaker magnet will actually be easier to do this with provided it is strong enough to not drop the shim before you intend to. Dropping the shim will require your more powerful magnet to recover and is no fun if it just falls next to the valve. If you drop it in the spark plug hole or the timing chain channel, it will be an exponentially higher level of PITA so don't do that.

    If you are smart you will have bought a 10mm shim kit and have a whole lot of shims to choose from and can replace as you go to get desired lash. Or you can (maybe) save money by measuring each one and then buying the specific ones you need. You will not need to buy many as you will find shifting them around will be the rule rather than the exception, especially if you are a close enough type of person. In hindsight I would have bought a kit, but I found the intake valves tight and just tore into it. I think it is nuts that the total range is .05mm (.002") and shims from KTM are sized in .05mm increments. Same for hotcams kits, which is why I didn't order a kit. For reference I adjusted all 8 valves and purchased 5 shims, but I could have been in spec only buying 2 had I been trying for between the goalposts instead of bulls-eye of target.

    I found (in one of the links above from the 950HOW) that you can get 10mm shims from Harley Davidson dealers in .025mm increments and they are half the cost, so this is what I did and is nice when you want immediate gratification and don't want to wait several days for your kit to arrive (if this is unplanned). But when you go to the HD parts guy make sure you take your mic. I had to make two trips because I found that the printed size had variance of +/-.025mm which was rather annoying as I wanted to set everything as close to dead-nuts as possible, if you are going to do it do it right (.005" for intake and .011" for exhaust). I pulled out some hotcams shims I have leftover from an Aprilia SXV which were 9.48mm dia so wouldn't work but just to see how they compared to HD shims (Aprilia dealers will also have 10mm shims BTW) and same thing. Disgusting how poor quality control is, especially as these shims are ground on equipment that can hold .0025mm (.0001") all day long. At any rate, either at the HD parts counter, or size matching what comes in the Hotcams kit choose the shim size closest to ideal calculated size an install in corresponding valve. Bonus points if you have your own surface grinder and can custom grind shims to ideal size. (I wish I did).

    Then reinstall the cams making sure to line up timing mark again (it is easier than you think as one tooth off is very far) making sure everything is totally clean. I use a bit of redline assembly paste on the cam lobes and journals, but light engine oil is fine too. When installing bridge make sure to tighten in stepped pattern from inside out again reverse of installing and don't over torque. Final torque of the smaller bolts is only 14Nm and the larger 18Nm. I used my calibrated wrist, but remember this is aluminum.

    Now reinstall the cam chain tensioner, and here is where I have to admit I converted to manual tensioners. The stock hydraulic tensioners are used because they are self adjusting and more importantly cheaper but also prone to failure. At least I know this to be true from the RC8 world. I would rather adjust tension myself occasionally as it is very easy and not deal with cam chain noise at best, or cams skipping a tooth etc. when they get stuck due to many different failure modes. So I am not up on the procedure to reinstall the hydraulic's and set tension. I can tell you ideal tension should have about 2mm of play in the chain between the cam sprockets, so if you just reinstall them and this is about what it is your set. If not maybe someone else will chime in with this part for those that want to keep the stock tensioners.

    Back the lockpin off several threads so that the engine can turn freely, then crank the engine over by hand several complete revolutions to make sure everything is seated and settled. Now measure lash again. If it is not ideal repeat the process until it is. But if it is off more than .001" this is where you need to look at your calcs and figure out if you made an error either in math, or measurement. If you can't see how you could have made a mistake that means something is not assembled right, either debris under the cam bridge, or shim or follower or something else. Once lash is where you want it, move on to the rear cyl and repeat the whole process. If you have a shim kit with sufficient shims you only need remove the cams once. I did it twice (once to measure shims and once to replace them).

    The rear cyl is just a repeat of the front with different access issues and better visibility, I loosened the right side engine mount for better access to the cam chain tensioner but again I don't think this is necessary.
    ktm11.jpg
    #5
  6. scudrunner82

    scudrunner82 combustion addict

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    Awesome to hear its easy to get at. I've done the valves on several different bikes so this looks pretty straight forward. I had a Super Tenere that was a cluster f*ck of a design to get to the valve cover. So far I'm impressed how easy KTMs are to work on.
    #6
  7. wilmar13

    wilmar13 Long timer

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    Also while you have the rear valve cover off, it is a good idea to replace both o-rings of the breather fitting as they seem to break down and leak. I ordered some from o-rings.com both in Viton and hopefully it will last longer.
    ktm12.jpg

    To be sure buying a kitted assortment of shims will make sure you have what you need. Problem is it will cost more and you will have a lot of shims in sizes you will never ever use, and use up the 3 of each size allotted you need and have to replace them anyway. Once you have the engine broken in, it is likely you won't have to adjust for many many miles. And once you know what size shims are in there, you can be 99% sure that going forward for the life of the engine, all adjustments will require a thinner shim (as valve/seat sealing area wears, valve retracts further into head when closed) which are probably the same ones you already used from your shim kit, so one can argue it makes more sense to just buy the ones you need. Either way buying the shims is a PITA and not ideal.

    With this type of valvetrain setup it is unlikely you find the gap getting larger with engine life as there is nothing on top to really wear. The cam lobes will certainly wear reducing the amount the valve opens, but the base circle should not be rubbing anything unless you have bigger problems. The fingers are made of very high carbon steel, heat treated, and then have an even harder coating on top of that, so unlikely to wear there either. The shims themselves are hardened but also are subjected to minimal friction so should be minimal there too. The wear you will see when checking valve lash will be most likely to occur on the valve/seat sealing interface which will be helped along rapidly with dust inhalation of course, but also occurs with normal use. But there may be a few thousandths just due to initial break-in wear. My valves being tight at 7.5k miles could have been new break-in wear more than dust damage. Since this is the first time it was checked and I have no idea what it was when new, or at 600mi, or at 3k mi. There is a very small area that actually makes contact between the valve and the seat in the head when closed and are compound angles. While precision machined to mate perfectly in theory in practice they are ever so slightly mismatched so as they wear perfectly to mate across the entire band the valve will rise higher when closed. After this happens (which is minimal but will happen quickly) most wear still occurs here but will be much slower and stable.

    This initial break-in wear may be nothing or it may be enough to go out of spec. And really, you don't know if it actually left the factory in spec to begin with. Trust but verify and all that applies here. I think the factory service recommendations for first valve check are probably set valuing the ownership cost metric for the moto journal review comparison over what they would actually do with their own bikes. It prudent to check the valve lash once your bike is fully broken in and THEN follow the factory intervals if you want to stretch it out. It isn't necessary, but it provides some level of certainty in a world of uncertainty. 18k mi or 30k km is way too far to go before a first check, just my opinion.
    If you can access the airbox on your own, then you can access the valve covers no problem assuming you have a modicum of mechanical inclination. Pulling the cams is more intimidating than it is difficult. I am no mechanic but you learn as you go. I would not attempt this if I had no idea how an engine works and no experience working on my own stuff, but you don't need specialized tools or technical training.

    That said, this is all the responsibility of the owner to undertake or follow. I am certainly forgetting some things and glossing over others. My intent is just to help those that have a good idea of what needs to be done, but not sure if they should attempt it, figure out if they want to do it themselves or pay someone to do it for them. [​IMG]

    Yeah if you have adjusted valves before then this bike will be no issue. Removing the lower airbox is simple; remove the bolts on the intake trumpets, disconnect SAS hoses and connection, then lift off and voila. there may be a couple things more to it than that, but it is easy.

    Biggest issue I had to be honest was reinstalling the wire harness tray. I didn't take a good photo of it and everything going back was intuitive except the wire from rear brake (ABS sensor I guess). The connection looks like it was slid into something and I spent way too long trying to figure out where it went. I ended up just laying it in there out of the way. Maybe it was like that to begin with, but until someone enlightens me I will leave it as is.
    #7
  8. fast4d

    fast4d Long timer

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    #8
  9. wilmar13

    wilmar13 Long timer

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    Nope, those are going in the bin with the evap canister. I installed manual tensioners.


    Hidden in all the blah blah blah was:
    :D
    #9
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  10. Mowster

    Mowster Stressed Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to write-up :freaky

    Good to know the shims are common to other bikes.....:clap
    #10
  11. uk_mouse

    uk_mouse Aquatic adventurer

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    Interesting that the 1190 engine doesn't have the gear driven cams of the 950/990. Makes getting the cams out slightly more complicated I suppose, but I wonder what the technical reason behind this is? Cost perhaps?

    Thanks for posting, even though I don't have an 1190 I still like looking at pictures of engines :)
    #11
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  12. wilmar13

    wilmar13 Long timer

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    You know, I was browsing around the 950HOW site after discovering it recently (good stuff there!), and I saw a few mentions of issues with cam chain tensioners but nothing like "throw those POS in the trash and install manual ones" consensus I expected to see. I didn't notice the 950/990 had gear driven cams until you mentioned it, but that at least in part explains why the 950/990 seemingly has less issues with the hydraulic tensioners. If the cam chain tension is varying, the timing of the cams will be less affected with a gear driving both cams. And with the simpler chain path and more complete wraparound it is far less likely to jump a tooth.

    As far as why it was changed to chain drive on the 1190, no clue. I barely know enough to be dangerous when it comes to valvetrain design, but it is a good question. The engine was originally developed for RC8 and the RC8 has adjustable cam timing via the sprocket being bolted to cam with slots to allow radial adjustment. Maybe the runout of the adjustable sprocket is too much for a direct gear drive to mesh well? Just a SWAG. Also it is cheaper and maybe that is only reason that mattered. IDK
    #12
  13. kag

    kag Wander Lust

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    Very solid work man. Thank you for the write up. Did this before but never on a KTM and your write up was truly very well done and needs to be placed in the Knowledge vault :thumb:thumb I really prefer to do most of my own work...OCD and all :rofl
    #13
  14. CamelBill

    CamelBill Ride It!

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    Thanks for the excellent write-up! Good to know it is very similar to the 950 other than chain vs gear driven cams, and that the 1190 uses the same shims. Subscribing to this thread for future use. Cheers! :freaky
    #14
  15. pwh

    pwh Just Farkin' GO

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    this is awesome! thanks for taking the time to do this. i need to adjust mine this winter. hopefully i didn't wait too long at 13k miles.:hmmmmm
    #15
  16. Corsica101

    Corsica101 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Excellent posts mate! Thanks for sharing:clap

    #16
  17. inkendave

    inkendave Adventurer

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    Thanks for a great write up, really appreciate it! I may have missed it in you documentation, but what brand/source did you get your manual tensioners from?

    Thank again!
    #17
  18. wilmar13

    wilmar13 Long timer

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    Got mine from KTM Twins... There are other options though, see post #11 and after:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=25609375#post25609375
    #18
  19. scudrunner82

    scudrunner82 combustion addict

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    Thanks again for this write up. I referred to it several times this winter during my scheduled "zen" time.

    I was able to unbolt the radiator and move it forward enough to do this without having to drain the coolant FYI.

    Also, 4 out of 8 valves were out of spec on the tight side, but by no more than only .001".

    I decided to reuse the OEM cam tensioners this time around. I might go manual at the next service.

    This bike is such a pleasure to work on, very easy compared to other bikes!!
    #19
  20. Oaktree

    Oaktree A bit tetched

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    Is it a good idea or a bad idea to manually grind down a shim on a fine tool polishing/grinding stone to get the thickness you need if it's not too far off on the high side?
    #20