Shims and valves and camchains, oh my

Blah, it’s 10:37am and I’m already bored with today. I’ve been on the phone all morning, trying to find a bike shop in town that stocks shims and valve cover gaskets, to no avail. I understand that shops keep their inventory low intentionally, but yeesh, gaskets and shims take up no room at all. Pout pout pout. Or perhaps they all know something I didn’t (but do now), which is that doing a valve adjustment on an SV is a huge pain in the ass.

Derek, he of recent Bandit 400 acquisition, came over yesterday to oversee the big mess I’d made of my bike — he owns a shop in Oklahoma City and generally Has A Clue about these sorts of things. I made a great impression right off the bat by immediately dropping one of the shims down into the bowels of the bike somewhere. Not into the engine, thank god, so thwapping around with the extendable magnetic pointer eventually found it. Can’t take me anywhere.

I’d already measured the valve clearances and found that my rear cylinder’s exhaust valves were too tight. I took off the camshafts, found the shim to note its measurement, blah blah. I was nervous about putting everything back together, though, so Derek walked me through doing that until the cams were back on and the timing was set, etc. Obviously, I have to take it apart again to actually fit the new shim, but now that I’ve done it once before, I’m not downing Xanax over it.

So, yeah. Now I just have to find a shim and some gaskets in stock. Oh, and the *&@^! Suzuki special tool for locking the cam chain tensioner adjuster thingamabob in place while I re-install it.

Yes, there’ll eventually be a write-up so that this whole rigamarole is explained clearly and concisely.

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