In over my head?

7 replies to this topic
  • YZGazza

Posted December 15, 2009 - 01:58 AM


I recently got back into riding and bought my first decent bike (had an old ag bike on the farm when i was a kid) 99 YZ400F about 6 months ago and it has been great so far apart from a few minor hick-ups (countershaft seal and water pump seal) but i have done 20 odd hours without checking valves. It died on me on the trail last weekend so i got it home and pulled off the head cover to try and check the valves and found the cam chain has stretched and one of the camshafts has slipped around 4 teeth. I've read through the manual and it doesn't seem to complicated to replace the cam chain but i'm a newbie with little motor knowlege. Is there more damage that I'm not aware of? Am I up for big $$$ ?

  • Smokeslider

Posted December 15, 2009 - 06:19 AM


Since your going to pull the cams to replace the camchain, it's not much harder to pull the head and check your valves. While you have it apart, it might be a good idea to replace valve seals. Those should be SS Valves so even if you dinged a couple, they shouldn't be too much to replace compared to the titanium valves of the newer years.
The biggest thing before starting this project is to make sure you have the right tools handy. A good torque wrench, feeler gauges, and some good measuring tools will make your adventure a lot easier.

PS- of course, if you run into any hiccups, just post on here and somebody should be able to walk you through things.

  • matt4x4

Posted December 15, 2009 - 06:21 AM


4 teeth is a lot - you could have valve/head/cylinder you still have compression and does it turn over completely?
Replacing the cam chain is no big deal but if you're going to do that, I would DEFINITELY take the head off and verify you didn't have a valve kiss the piston - even just for the extra piece of mind.

  • l_campionero

Posted December 15, 2009 - 06:35 AM


....pull the head and check your valves....

....take the head off and verify you didn't have a valve kiss the piston....

Check the valves.:moon:

P.S. Check the tensioner, or have a dealer do it, to make sure it is functioning properly.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • grayracer513

Posted December 15, 2009 - 08:05 AM


Setting the cam timing is an operation that requires careful attention to detail and two specialized tools:


What I would do to address the damage question is to first find out why the cams slipped (chain too old or cam seized in the head?), replace the chain, time the cams, and then have a leak down test done. This will likely show a little ring leakage, but you'll be able to listen down the pipe and air box for valves leaking excessively, which would indicate they were possibly bent.

  • YZGazza

Posted December 16, 2009 - 12:54 AM


I had a look this arvo and it seems like the tensioner is at full extension and the cam chain still has a lot of slack and movement side to side. The engine still turns over completely and has good compression. Am i right in thinking that an old, tired cam chain is the culprit and the tensioner doesn't need replacing as it is still trying to work? The bike was running a little rough and hard to start before the cam chain slipped. Would this just mean the valves also need adjusting? Cheers

  • l_campionero

Posted December 16, 2009 - 05:45 AM


Don't 'assume' know what that does....make absolutely sure, even if you have to remove the head, which won't be difficult, since you are in the area anyway.

  • grayracer513

Posted December 16, 2009 - 08:05 AM


Would this just mean the valves also need adjusting? Cheers

Why don't you check the clearances when you get the cam cover off and find out?

Related Content


Snake pit oct 30th by The Anvil

Dirt Bike   Dirt Bike Regional Discussion   California
  • Hot  293 replies


Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Yamaha   YZ 400/426/450
  • Hot  30 replies
WR Camshaft Swap Info - last post by jamesm113

WR Camshaft Swap Info

  • 0 replies

James Stewart back on a YZ450F by YamaLink

Dirt Bike   Special Interest Forums   Pro Racing
  • Hot  47 replies

BIGBORE FOR YZ450F 2006? by Taattie94

Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Yamaha   YZ 400/426/450
  • 5 replies

Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.