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Friday, March 15th 2013

Rebuild Journal: KLR650 Day 5

Hey everyone! I'm finally back at the build. It took almost two months to get a head and some cams, but they arrived last week!

In case you missed them, here's day 1, day 2, day 3 and day 4.

Time to get to work.

I think I have everything together to get this build back on track. I picked up a decent Craftsman torque wrench that would read in inch pounds and help with the smaller torque ratings for the various ancillary head bolts and nuts.

Here's the new head. Eagle Mike said that it probably has less than 2000 miles on it. I believe him. It's incredibly clean out of the box.

Just needs a little bit of cleanup.

Cams look great too!

After a little bit of time cleaning off the leftover gasket residue and carbon build up, it was looking pretty damn good. Eagle Mike suggested just wiping it down with some carb cleaner.

Not pictured, I also did a quick and dirty check if it was warped at all with a metal square and a feeler gauge. I also checked the valve lash with my feeler gauge before I took off the cams. They look in spec, but I'll double check again once they're reinstalled and write down the values for future reference.

Next I took off the cam caps and cams. I'll need these out of the way to get the head installed back on.

These cam caps are considerably better looking than the previous ones!

I know this is up for a bit of debate in certain communities, but I've used copper head gasket spray before without any issues. I put a light coat on the head gasket. I think the tackiness of the copper spray also helps on placement. I don't think it's an issue on the KLR, but it helps in certain other applications.

Here I am sliding the cam chain through the gasket and placing the gasket on the cylinder jug.

The head, dowels, and studs are in place with the head gasket!

Starting to look engine like.

Finger tightening the head bolts in the torque pattern.

And then torquing the bolts down! I was incredibly nervous for this phase. I hate torquing down bolts into aluminum! It took awhile to build up an appreciable amount of ft/lbs. The whole time my heart was beating pretty hard. I could visualize the head bolt just ripping apart the threads in the bottom end. But nothing of the sort happened. The resistance finally began building and my torque wrench clicked.

Not much of a visual difference, but the bolts are in!

I then worked my way around getting the nuts torqued down and the single allen bolt in. The crow's foot was definitely a necessity here.

Now, on to resetting the cam chain tensioner.

Popping out the bolt, washer and spring.

And then resetting it by pushing down the small lever to release the ratcheting mechanism.

Unfortunately, this was all I was able to do tonight. I had work today, and I work tomorrow as well. The weekend is coming up, and I'm extremely hopeful that I might be able to start the bike up soon. Knock on wood…

Be sure to read the final day.

Updated on Sunday, March 29th 2020