Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Dandridge (Near Knoxville), TN, USA
To unload the tensioner, you use a long screwdriver, inserted so that the end of it is resting on top of the lower run of the chain, then use it to pry the lower run of the chain, and it's tensioner rail, DOWN, until the holding tool (a 1/8", or 3MM, or just about anything about that size) that will slip readily into the hole. There is a groove in the end of the tensioner piston that the tool will slip into when the tensioner is depressed down far enough.
IF you have taken all the measurements, then it is OK to remove the spark plug, just be aware that you should not re-check the measurements after all the work is done, as an incorrect reading may be obtained.
It is not really all that important where the engine is when you remove the cams, as you should not turn it any while they are off, then they should go back onto the cams and align with the alignment pins easily. Be sure you get the cams pushed all the way back against the cams BEFORE tightening the sprocket retaining bolts! Some have sheared off part of the pins or the sprocket holes when they were not fully aligned when the bolt is tightened.
There is no position of the engine where the cams are fully "unloaded", as there is no point in engine rotation where all valves are fully closed. There will always be some valves partially open. When removing the caps, do so by only turning each nut no more than a couple turns, doing this to each in order until all are loose, then spin them off. Same way going back on, only tighten each one a couple of turns in order until the cams are pulled back down. If you tighten one or two too much, the cam can be "sprung", and it can be warped or the bearing caps damaged. The idea is to keep the cams straight when removing and re-installing them.
You cannot tell if you can swap lifters or not to adjust the clearances until you find what ones are in place. If for instance the two you need to loosen 0.002" happen to be a 2.85 and a 2.80, you can put the 2.80 where the 2.85 was and buy a 2.75 to put where the 2.80 was. (Each 0.05 MM step in lifter sizes is 0.002", or close enough, as it is actually 0.0019685)
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.