Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

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Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

Postby Mudshovel » Tue Feb 21, 2017 0:10 00

I've recently purchased a 05 Yamaha Majesty 400. I have no history on the maintenance of this machine and she has 40k miles exactly on the clock! I stripped the bike of all it's plastic for a full inspection and maintenance. Well I have everything done except the oil change and valve lash adjustment, I obviously held off on the oil change since I was going to open the engine. I've been all over the web and on this forum and have not found one post, video or picture of anybody doing this. I did however find many people discussing taking them into the dealer, trading or selling them off and down-rite being scared of purchasing on of these machines used or advising people to stay away do to "it's due for a valve lash adjustment". Nobody has really mentioned exact cost at the dealer but has stated the dealer said "it's a big expensive job", and "the engine has to come out' etc, etc, etc.
Well I will tell you it's not very hard at all, in fact I had the lash measured in about 15 min and had the cams out only 20 min after that, a little math on what shims I need and all that under an hour.
I will state I'm not going to show you how to remove the plastic and I'm showing this step by step presuming you already have the plastic off. Valve lash can be checked through the access cover but adjustment will require removing the trunk (and what's necessary to remove that) and either way you need t have the belt cover off to access the nut on the crank.
This may take a few days to post, so bare with me :D
Let's get started.....
NOTE: if you just want to check lash it can be checked through the access door in the storage. For adjustment you WILL have to remove the rear body plastic.
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The storage box needs to be removed as well as any parts to get said storage box out. The factory manual lists in order of removal and shows where the fasteners are located. Keep your hardware in order for each part, I find this is best done with paper cups. Remove a part and set the cup with the hardware together and so on.
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Remove belt cover and filter etc. to access the front variator nut. This is needed so you can turn the engine over by hand.
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Remove spark plug wire, spark plug and cylinder head cover. CAUTION: I'd advise washing cylinder head cover area and spark plug hole with brake cleaner and compressed etc. before removing the spark plug or any cover bolts. This will prevent debris from entering engine upon removal.
My engine was absolutely filthy under the plastic. I assume previous owner did a lot of rain riding so I opted to wash entire engine.
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This is what you're going to see after the cover is off, not to scary huh? Be cautious of any RTV sealant that may have been used and remove it so it doesn't get into the engine. It's not factory practice to use sealant on this gasket and I don't recommend it.
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Remove timing plug. Note: you will need to remove dipstick first.
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Now you need to put the motor at TDC (top dead center) By rotating the engine counter-clockwise from the variator nut. This is not hard but since the timing window is on one side of the bike and the nuts on the other, use two people if needed.
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This is what you're looking for and you need to verify that you're TDC on compression stroke and not exhaust. This is done by visually looking at the camshaft lobes, they should be facing AWAY from each other and NOT at each other. I neglected to take a photo detailing that and if you need help explaining this just ask.

Now we're going to check the lash.....
You're going to need a feeler gauge set and these come in many different ways and size range and can be purchased just about anywhere. I like the angled end ones and they are ideal for this job. I recommend using metric scale (easier to do math IMO) but that's up to you and almost all are marked both.
The need to be ABSOLUTELY clean! and you need to keep them clean the entire time! Use a lint free cloth to wipe the one you're using before you use it.
No RUSTY or DAMAGED in any way.
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Now let's do some measuring!!!
Let's look at the book.....
Starting with the intake valve (top cam) the book says 0.15~0.20 mm cold (I forgot to mention the engine needs to be cold) so find the feeler gauge that says 0.15 mm
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or the closest size to 0.15 mm. This is where things get weird. Since standard and metric don't exactly match up you will find that feeler gauge marked both will favor one over the other such as mine in the picture favoring standard so the closest I can get is 0.127 mm, we will round this to 0.13 and if you had a strictly metric set you would find 0.15 exactly.
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NOTE: I'm showing the exhaust cam in the picture, procedure is the same for both cams.
Now insert the gauge between the cam and the lifter. It's hard to teach the "feel" but your looking to find the gauge that fits snug without having to force it between. Check several times and to both intake valves. If the first gauge is too thick (won't fit) go to the next size thinner and if the gauge is too thin (loose) go to the next thicker etc. until you find the gauge that fits perfectly. Record this number for each intake valve like shown in the next photo. This will be your valve lash.
Repeat the process to the exhaust valves. The book says 0.25~0.30 mm, record these numbers too.
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Pay no attention to my numbers shown. I wrote the standard number here for whatever reason.
My measurements came out to:
Intake - 0.13
Exhaust - 0.23
So my intake valves are .02 too tight
and my exhaust is .03 too tight
So this means I need to ADJUST valve lash.
You may be asking yourself why are the valves too tight? shouldn't they get loose at the engine wears? Yes and no, lol the valve over time wear into their seat (valve seat) and this causes the stem (valve stem) to get closer to the cam (lifter and shim between the two) and making valve lash tighter. Does this matter? yep! sure does. As the engine heats up metal parts expand from heat (some more than others dependent on material etc.) and the valves get quite hot especially the exhaust valve. If your valve lash gets too tight the valve can actually stay open a bit and cause problems such as loss of running compression and burnt seats causing loss of compression valve float is increased and of course poor performance and likewise if if your valve lash is too loose, this increases wear to valve stem tip, shim, lifter and camshaft and of course valve "ticking" noise.
You really don't want to see your valve lash increase as that usually indicates lifter and/ or camshaft wear and you may have bigger problems.
In short terms, you want to be a touch too loose than a touch too tight.
Well if your valve lash is in range then you're good to go, reverse the disassembly and get riding. Replace cylinder head cover gasket as needed. Check the half moons too. If your head area was not all oily indicating gasket was leaking you can reuse it as long as the rubber is still soft. The gasket is about 13.00 online, no biggy.
If your valve lash is out of range, temporarily install the cylinder head cover, spark plug, timing plug and dipstick so when you're removing the plastic for adjustment, debris don't get into engine.

Next we need to take the cams shafts out and remove the lifter buckets to obtain current shim number so we can order some parts!
I'll give you sometime to get the plastic's off...............
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Re: Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

Postby Mudshovel » Wed Feb 22, 2017 22:47 22

Alright, getting back to it. Removing the camshafts is really not difficult but your going to need a couple tools that most people may not have in there box and you're going to need them to get the chain tensioner out and it's a tight fit.
You're going to need a 5mm ball head allen socket and/ or a short 10mm socket. You'll want these in a 1/4 drive and you need a universal. That's it, no factory tools or anything crazy that cost big bucks.
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AND no you don't have buy a whole set or spend the big cheese with Snap-On and get the one's in the photo, I'm a professional and just already have this kind of stuff.
First you you need to loosen the cam gear bolt, don't remove them just break them free. There was no Yamaha tool or procedure to do this in the manual and I found by just using a phillips screwdriver wedged in through one of the cam gear holes and a long 10mm box end wrench worked just fine. Just be cautious how you wedge the gear as not to damage anything. The bolts aren't stupid tight so it was fairly easy. Now I did it to both cams but found later when I removed the chain, you really only need to do it to the intake cam. If you choose to remove the exhaust gear, you will need to rotate the engine a bit to move the decompression to better position to let you loosen the exhaust cam gear bolts. Just remember to line up TDC again before you move on.
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I suggest using something smooth and round like the phillips show vrs. a flat head. Even better would be a pin wrench, and I tried that but mine are larger for automotive use and did not fit.
Now we need to work are way to the cam chain tensioner. You'll need to move the MAP sensor out of your way, one breather hose and push some wiring aside.
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Now from the other side, disconnect the IAC and move the connector along with wiring/ plug for MAP sensor out of your way a bit. Just wedge them above the throttle body. Only disconnect the breather hose from the RH air box and move out and away, I pulled it out and under the frame and it stayed out of my way.
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This what we are going after!
Like before with the cylinder head cover, you need to make sure the area is clean so debris don't get into the motor and even though I washed the engine before hand I still needed to hit it up with some brake wash and compressed air.
First loosen the center bolt on the tensioner. Don't remove it at this time. Next remove the two 5mm allen bolts.
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Now you need to reach down in there and pull out the chain tensioner. This may be difficult with large hands and you may have to remove IAC motor or possibly the RH airbox.
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Now remove the bolts for the intake camshaft and pull chain off and don't panic if you let it slide into the engine!
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Now remove the camshaft cap bolts in reverse order as there numbered.
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Now remove the bearing cap with both cams, you need to hold it all and be sure you don't drop them! and don't worry there is no small parts that are going to fall or anything like that. Set them aside on a clean surface or rag.
Now you going to see all the lifter buckets, and this is what we're after.
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Now you want to grab a piece of cardboard and make something like this.
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It is VERY important these part be keeped in order.
Now we need to remove the buckets and place them respectively in the cardboard. The book shows using a valve lapping tool as a suction cup, but I was able to just grab them with my fingers and pull them out. Now this is VERY important, when you pull the lifter bucket out hold your hand under it and keep your eye on it and turn it upward and don't drop/ lose the shim. If you do it's not the end of the world as long as you find it and it didn't fall into the open engine.
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These buckets are very slippery.
Now once you have them all out, remove and/ or flip shims over so you can obtain the size off them.
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And you'll want to record this numbers.
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Now we need to figure out what shims are needed. Start by rounding the installed shim numbers to the nearest .5 increment as shown.
Mine are:
Intake installed 189 and 190 rounded 190 and 190
Exhaust installed 184 and 186 rounded 185 and 185
This millimeters 189 = 1.89mm etc.
Now you need you lash measurement from earlier and you can either do the math or use the chart as shown in the book.
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The chart tells me I need 185 shims for the intake and 180 shims for the exhaust.
You can order any of the sizes need through your dealer or there are shim sets you can buy but why pay for what you don't need so I'm just going to buy only the size I need from Yamaha.
At this time you should inspect your lifter cup surface for any abnormal wear. The surface should be smooth and flat with a faint circular wear in the center. These cups rotate in there bore and if one shows a rectangular pattern in the center that means it hasn't been rotating and will need replacement and the camshaft would need close inspection or replacement. All of my cams, lifters and bearing journals look fantastic and at 40k I can tell this engine had good regular oil changes not to mention how clean the inside of the engine is.
Now I wait for parts. I ordered the four shims from Yamaha online for $6 a piece and a new tensioner gasket, already have a new rocker cover gasket on the old one is still nice and looked like somebody had just changed it I'll likely reuse it.
So order you parts, don't forget to get a filter and some oil. And we'll get back to this soon as the parts get in.
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Re: Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

Postby RJ64 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:49 05

Very nice write up and thanx for the pics! I was wondering what the shims actually looked like. Drawings in the service manual don't quite get it. One question though: do you know what the shims are made of? Like stainless steel or cold rolled steel, etc? Kinda curious about that.
2005 Yamaha Majesty "Blue Streak" - Darksiding since 11-02-2016
2007 Honda VTX 1800 N "The Beast" - Darksiding since 11-25-2016
2013 Triumph Bonneville "Black Beauty"
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Re: Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

Postby Mudshovel » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:55 10

RJ64 wrote:Very nice write up and thanx for the pics! I was wondering what the shims actually looked like. Drawings in the service manual don't quite get it. One question though: do you know what the shims are made of? Like stainless steel or cold rolled steel, etc? Kinda curious about that.


Not sure of what the shims are made of, I'd assume hardened steel like the lifters. This would make the most since, otherwise if made from a softer steel they would just wear out. I didn't show it in any picture but the shims have no wear on them such as a dimple from the valve stem tip etc.

And yeah the service manual really doesn't depict the process very well. They we're probably assuming as a tech using the factory manual you would be somewhat familiar with lash adjustment.
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Re: Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

Postby Mudshovel » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:56 10

Just got a emailed tracking number, parts should be here on the first! Can't wait! :bounce:
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Re: Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

Postby gruntled » Sat Feb 25, 2017 13:12 13

One hour's labor PLUS the time to remove & replace the Tupperware & at nearly $100/hr that is pretty expensive if done by the dealer. I've been told not to bother as long as there are no starting problems. I only had it done the first time & now I have well over 90,000 miles on my Majesty.
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Re: Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

Postby Mudshovel » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:25 10

gruntled wrote:One hour's labor PLUS the time to remove & replace the Tupperware & at nearly $100/hr that is pretty expensive if done by the dealer. I've been told not to bother as long as there are no starting problems. I only had it done the first time & now I have well over 90,000 miles on my Majesty.


I've thought about how often this is really needed and I'd assume after the initial check at 26k, it may not be needed ever again unless your engine is wearing itself out fast.
I'd love to find out what your lash is at 90K, it may just prove that if it gets done once, won't have to do it again for the rest of the bikes life. Mine has 40K and it's seems it has never been done. I'll be honest I probably could have ignored it and not have had any problems but I'm glad I checked, was a bit on the tight side.
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Re: Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

Postby Mudshovel » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:40 10

Grrrr, I messed up and only ordered 1 shim of each size instead of two each size, dang now I got to wait another week for the other two shims.
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Re: Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

Postby tonymarchman » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:39 06

It is these little details that cause much pain. Why do our dealers not stock these shims? Surely they are used in many other bikes.
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Re: Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

Postby minimac » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:02 10

Great write up and the pictures sure take the fear out of it. Waiting to see the conclusion and driving impressions.
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Re: Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

Postby Mudshovel » Tue Apr 18, 2017 16:23 16

I bet some of you may think I've gave up and just pushed this bike into the corner of the garage, lol. I did finish this and hopefully will get it posted sometime this week!
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Re: Majesty valve lash check and adjustment

Postby Mudshovel » Sun Apr 23, 2017 22:13 22

OK, I left off with ordering one shim each size instead of two each. My buddy who was coming down to visit me hooked me up by running to a dealer and was able to get the two more shims I needed.
So now I got everything and it's time to get this job done!
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Now I keeped my removed engine parts i.e. camshaft, lifter etc clean and covered so I'll just be giving them a brake wash rinse followed by some oil squirted on them from my oil can as I assemble them. My sealing surface has been cleaned free of silicon. I didn't remove the half moons but you can if you want as they just pop out. Since mine looked to have been recently installed, i'm going to leave mine alone.
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Now instal the appropriate shims onto the valve stem, place the size number facing toward you, this is done so the number doesn't get worn off by the valve stem. The shims will stay in place, I used a drop of oil to stick them.
For my machine 185 went on the intake and 180 for exhaust. Note: one of mine shown in the picture was not sized marked.
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Next coat your lifter buckets with oil and instal them back in there original locations, make sure the surface of the lifter is respectively even with camshaft journals. TIP: if all for lifter buckets are not at the same height, the shim as fell down on the higher ones. Don't worry it's really obvious and easy to correct. I will say I didn't have any trouble with it at all, none of mine fell down as their in there pretty good.
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Next install the camshafts. Instal the exhaust camshaft with it's gear installed and the intake camshaft without it's gear on. The cam lobes should be facing away from each other as shown in the picture. I never removed my exhaust gear but did loosen the bolts and need to remember such. Also if you removed your exhaust gear it doesn't seem to matter the position of the spring and weight as long as the gear is bolted using the same holes as it was the same 180 degrees timing marks and all. We will discuss the intake gear later.
Keep things still and hold a finger on the cams to make sure they don't roll out. I didn't have any trouble with this but I could see it happinging if say you jumped up and bumped the bike etc.
Now apply some oil to the cam lobes and journals and instal the cam ladder and all the bolts, tighten these to snug by fingers. Torque to 10 Nm in numerical order as indicated on the bearing ladder.
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Now at this point you should be able with your fingers rotate the intake and exhaust cams back and forth, there should be minimal resistance. If you can't move them slightly in both directions, something is wrong and you'll need to look into it.
Now level out you timing mark on the exhaust gear, the timing mark should be parallel to the sealing surface. You will only be able to see one of the marks as the decompression mechanics are in the way of the other.
Now we have two ways of dealing with the intake cam. 1, you can put the gear on it loosely and line the timing mark or 2, you can just eyeball it in to somewhat the same but opposite lobe position as the exhaust, we just need to check valve lash and make sure it's set correctly before we time the engine. The book says to completely assemble the engine and rotate it several times and the check, I'm not seeing a good reason for that and if it's not correct I want less work to readjust. Also the chain tensioner is a pain in the butT as we will talk about later and I definitely don't want to do that over again!
I rechecked my valve lash and was in the "loser" side of the range, perfect! In theory I will never have to do this again!
If yours is not correct you will need to remeasure and try again. Realistically I was just on the edge of too tight, so I just needed to drop down a thickness. Pretty strait forward.
That's it for now, next we'll get that chain on and timing set!
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