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Discussion Starter #1
To all who are mechanically inclined and experienced: I'm in the middle of a valve adjustment for my 2014 ZX-6R.

TLDR: Where do you guys buy your shims for a reasonable price (not 15$ per shim)? Other than Hotcams... as I don't want to buy subpar quality.

I've just measured my current shims with a caliper but am waiting on my micrometer to arrive to remeasure.

In the meantime, I've called Carter Honda and Burnaby Kawasaki to ask about Shim prices. BK said they sell shims for 15$ each.

That sounds like a rip off, it'd cost me hundreds if I were to replace all 16 shims just to be exactly in spec.

Any suggestions on where I should buy my shims?




Side Notes:
1) I measured my shims to have a diameter of 7.42, can someone please confirm the diameter of my bike's shim (I think it should be 7.48mm)

2) When I was hand-cranking the bike to align with top dead center for valve clearances, I felt some very tight spots while rotating. Any thoughts on why this could be and how to diagnose? Perhaps it's just due to the couple of overly out-of-spec valves I have.


Thanks for reading >:]


I've attached some pics of my measurements and bike job. She has about 20, 000km on her. I'm a little concerned about how one of my intake valves and one of my exhaust valves are grossly out of spec compared to the rest that are consistent.
 

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I've used both 7.48mm Hot Cams and Moose branded shims for the 2 valve services I've done to my ZX10R and they all measured out to within +0.02mm of the width they were supposed to be. I never measured the diameter though. Even if they were actually up to 0.02mm off the width spec (and not just my cheap poorly calibrated caliper), I just worked around the differences by targeting the high end of the gap range.

To get started on my 1st service, I bought a large Hot Cams kit off Ebay with a very, very wide range of sizes. That was a rookie mistake since 90% were useless for my bike and the kit only came with 5 of each size and I ran out of the sizes that I needed most. I subsequently had to take the typical route and played musical shims between all 16 valves to get all towards the high end of the gap range. Prior to my 2nd service, I bought several bunches of Moose shims (Fortnine.ca) to re-stock my big kit with extras of the sizes I was going need more of. It's been awhile, but I seem to vaguely recall going through a lot of 1.70mm - 1.85mm or something like that. Judging by your chart, the 6R valves seem to require a similar range. If you have time, just buy the ones you need in singles or batches from Fortnine.ca. They'll get here in about a week.

It looks to me like you can swap a lot of your shims between the exhaust and the intake side and bring a lot of your valves into range. You may only be left with a few required shims after you're done that process.

If you're in a rush for some particular sizes, send me a PM and I'll see if I can help you out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Porchenut, it's good to hear that Hotcams and Moose worked fine for you. Did you use a micrometer for this or a caliper? I measured my current shims with a caliper but I'm looking to find a decent micrometer right now to do it again.

Problems is, I don't want to break my bank on a micrometer either, so I'm exploring some options:


That is the cheapest one I can find but you never know if they're quality as it's a precision tool, thoughts?

No rush for valve adj right now, just need to have my bike together by May 12th so I think I'll finish my calculations and find some deals on either Moose or Hotcams then.

On another note, you sort of answered the next question I was going to ask and it's about where on the "in-spec" range you suggest I adjust my clearances to. Are you saying that BOTH intake and exhaust should be adjusted to the looser end of the range? (as opposed to the midpoint in the manual)

Thanks again for the reply!
 

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I have 2 different cheap Chinese calipers and they read very similarly.

Gaps get smaller as the valves seat deeper into the head over time. The 1st service will have the greatest number of adjustments required and over time the wear slows down and future services required fewer adjustments.

This being the case, if any of your gaps are already on the high end of the range (or even just a bit too large) then leave them alone and they'll close up on their own.

I'm no expert but my research indicates that the danger comes more from exhaust gaps being too small (valves may not completely close and can lead to burnt valves) rather than too large (non-damaging loss in power).
 

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I'm no expert but my research indicates that the danger comes more from exhaust gaps being too small (valves may not completely close and can lead to burnt valves) rather than too large (non-damaging loss in power).
yep. all my exhaust gaps were tight. i had a hard time getting bike to idle.

headwork showed what was wrong, had seats cut-in done, replaced all exhaust valves, got clearances
and will require 9 shims myself. But not all required shims are for the exhaust side, its kind of random really.

I suspect going forward with all the head-work done its gonna be easier and less adjustment required.
 

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Valve clearances a bit on the loose side are infinitely more acceptable than tight clearances. Especially exhaust valve clearances, where heat concentration on exhaust valves cause more expansion. I've always done all my own valve work over the decades. 24 valve CBX's, Laverdas, all the weird stuff.
Regarding the shim costs, remember that buying a shim straight up is not really a rip off at $12-15 each. Most all dealers do a shim trade from their own inventory, if they are doing the work for you at their shop, in fact buying your old shim back, selling you a new shim, kind of like wholesale/retail. Shims are expensive. I recently sold a Honda factory workshop stocked Honda CB900F/CB1100F/CBX shim kit inventory for $750, and that was a deal.
 

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To answer your original question about rotating the motor by hand, yes the tighter spots you're feeling are normal. I'm just speculating, but I think it could be when one of the pistons switches direction from a compression to expansion stroke.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
To answer your original question about rotating the motor by hand, yes the tighter spots you're feeling are normal. I'm just speculating, but I think it could be when one of the pistons switches direction from a compression to expansion stroke.
Ah thank you, that puts me to ease a little more.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Valve clearances a bit on the loose side are infinitely more acceptable than tight clearances. Especially exhaust valve clearances, where heat concentration on exhaust valves cause more expansion. I've always done all my own valve work over the decades. 24 valve CBX's, Laverdas, all the weird stuff.
Regarding the shim costs, remember that buying a shim straight up is not really a rip off at $12-15 each. Most all dealers do a shim trade from their own inventory, if they are doing the work for you at their shop, in fact buying your old shim back, selling you a new shim, kind of like wholesale/retail. Shims are expensive. I recently sold a Honda factory workshop stocked Honda CB900F/CB1100F/CBX shim kit inventory for $750, and that was a deal.
Fair enough, I just remember reading on forums about shims being around 3$, probably in the states though. Thanks for the reassurance on the prices Steve.
 

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some aftermarket shim kits are cheap yes, but OEM stuff is a little more.. the problem is most kits
out there dont always have the right shim size required. I could not find one for the R1 so i'll
be purchasing from a certified shop..

Valve clearances a bit on the loose side are infinitely more acceptable than tight clearances. Especially exhaust valve clearances, where heat concentration on exhaust valves cause more expansion.
correct, i cant get the proper shim for one of my exhaust valves and dont want to run it tight..

i'll stick with the lose fit for now as it will surely tighten a little bit going forward. i'm not worried.
 
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