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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been a long time since I used this site for asking a question......but I'm once again here asking for some help and advice before I pull my hair out.

Over the lockdown period I decided to give the 954 a complete makeover. Repainted the frame ,swingarm....u name it its been painted, including the engine which was an absolute nightmare as it was in the worst of states due to riding all weathers to and from work on the docks....say no more.

Now ever since I built it back up I've been having troubles,Mainly timing issues at the moment. When it was fully rebuild and turned over by hand I was ready to start the bike, eager and excited to hear it fire for the first time in ...well nearly a year.... it never did. It gave me a back fire load enough to think any minute now all the neighbours are going to assume there's some nutter out shooting people. Wasn't the case!

Now upon closer inspection it would seen I accidently timed it up on the exhaust stroke. Now when ur working in the kitchen with nagging kids I guess it was easy enough to take your eyes of the job and forget where you were. A 50 50 chance either way.

So I had to fix the problem and delv right in...wasn't happy but shit happens....now with the frame in the way it was a Ballache checking intake cam properly. It looked level to exhaust so I turned by hand a few revolutions and all felt fine. Put it all back together and low and behold I have another back fire and no start.....I thought oh ffs what now.

Stumped and frustrated I literally stripped the bike down,engines in the kitchen as we speak checking everything over.

I'm having a job getting all marking to align. Now my question is this. I am timed on the T/I marking. The bottom marking perfectly lined to the case marking and I have even checked the cam positions with are bother equal to 1 another,even stuck a ruler over them both to check the lobes before the ruler runs of them, there both equal...I know ANAL right! But It was needed trust me arghhhh.

I have taken pictures of what I'm dealing with.
I must say the cam chain is probably the original 1, I've never changed it in the 4 years ive had it. I have also had the head skimmed due to being warped 0.18. I needed 8 exhaust guides installing, reason being I had side to side valve movement. Figured it needed doing, the machine shop installed the new guides,recut the seats and recut the exhaust valves to match the seats.

Figured I'd give you that info incase something any adjustment was needed,thought I'd assume the cam chain would take up the extra slack in cylinder head skim

I need someone to say yep,that's fine.....so I can continue and move on from this terrible experience with the whole build. Trust me it's been one of those EVERYTHING WENT WRONG builds. It has tested my absolute patience, to the point my brain has stopped working...maybe they've put something in the water....hmmmm

Sorry for the long post guys. I hope 1 of you can help me on this please
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It has been a long time since I used this site for asking a question......but I'm once again here asking for some help and advice before I pull my hair out.

Over the lockdown period I decided to give the 954 a complete makeover. Repainted the frame ,swingarm....u name it its been painted, including the engine which was an absolute nightmare as it was in the worst of states due to riding all weathers to and from work on the docks....say no more.

Now ever since I built it back up I've been having troubles,Mainly timing issues at the moment. When it was fully rebuild and turned over by hand I was ready to start the bike, eager and excited to hear it fire for the first time in ...well nearly a year.... it never did. It gave me a back fire load enough to think any minute now all the neighbours are going to assume there's some nutter out shooting people. Wasn't the case!

Now upon closer inspection it would seen I accidently timed it up on the exhaust stroke. Now when ur working in the kitchen with nagging kids I guess it was easy enough to take your eyes of the job and forget where you were. A 50 50 chance either way.

So I had to fix the problem and delv right in...wasn't happy but shit happens....now with the frame in the way it was a Ballache checking intake cam properly. It looked level to exhaust so I turned by hand a few revolutions and all felt fine. Put it all back together and low and behold I have another back fire and no start.....I thought oh ffs what now.

Stumped and frustrated I literally stripped the bike down,engines in the kitchen as we speak checking everything over.

I'm having a job getting all marking to align. Now my question is this. I am timed on the T/I marking. The bottom marking perfectly lined to the case marking and I have even checked the cam positions with are bother equal to 1 another,even stuck a ruler over them both to check the lobes before the ruler runs of them, there both equal...I know ANAL right! But It was needed trust me arghhhh.

I have taken pictures of what I'm dealing with.
I must say the cam chain is probably the original 1, I've never changed it in the 4 years ive had it. I have also had the head skimmed due to being warped 0.18. I needed 8 exhaust guides installing, reason being I had side to side valve movement. Figured it needed doing, the machine shop installed the new guides,recut the seats and recut the exhaust valves to match the seats.

Figured I'd give you that info incase something any adjustment was needed,thought I'd assume the cam chain would take up the extra slack in cylinder head skim

I need someone to say yep,that's fine.....so I can continue and move on from this terrible experience with the whole build. Trust me it's been one of those EVERYTHING WENT WRONG builds. It has tested my absolute patience, to the point my brain has stopped working...maybe they've put something in the water....hmmmm

Sorry for the long post guys. I hope 1 of you can help me on this please View attachment 109518
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just wondering why the actual cam marks are not aligned to the head though. Its doing my nut in big time.....I really want to make sure its spot on before I put it all back together for the 3rd time. What gets me is I have looked in the manual and noticed there's 15 double chain links from exhaust to intake, are the #1 lobes sitting right and Is the exhaust pickup in the right position.....should it be pointing directly up?
 

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Looks to me that you are 1 tooth off on the intake cam. You can't see the line on the intake cam in the last pic. The intake line and exhaust line need to be in the exact same spot level with top of the head. Also did you happen to remove the signal generator from the right side engine cover? Even the smallest misalignment of the signal generator with the ignition rotor can cause problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If your talking about this inside the casing, yes I had to take it off because I was painting the cases, now what I don't understand is this....if I move the intake cam up, the #1 intake and exhaust lobes will not be level with each other which is why its not making sense to me, also looking in the Haynes manual it is clearly showing 15 links from exhaust to intake. This has been set exactly....now if I move the intake cam up 1 to try and get them level, it will them be on 14 links and then the intake cam will be higher than the exhaust cam, what's weird is they are on there right links....they just don't line up correctly. If I turn the motor a tad so its on the initial T mark....ie just after the (I) everything's sitting flush. I do remember having this exact problem 4 years ago too, its got me stumped,paranoid and losing sleep....I'm just having a hell of a time getting this set in stone for what shoukd seem like a simple enough task. The bikes done 53,000 miles....is this a problem with the cam chain elongated at all.

Another thing that's giving me anxiety issues is another topic that's in the back of my mind.
THE HEAD SKIM....1 guy did a cut rough enough to not want to seal the brand new....now wasted head gasket. Not what I wanted.upon closer inspection on tear down it was present as the gasket had the markings. I had to there for take it to another shop for them to fix the problem again. I think there's been about (5 to 6 thou) now skimmed off and honda only make 1 size head gasket 0.76mm which is on there now. Is it going to cope with that at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Now it's all nice and smooth on the 2nd time.....as I have never had a head skimmed I wasn't to know until I ran my finger over it all and noticed the head gasket. I was dribbling coolant out the front end of the cylinder head....lesson learnt on that 1.
 

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Do you have the Honda service manual? When I had my old 954 engine apart fixing the transmission I put a new cam chain and tensioner in it. Following the Honda service manual I didn't have any issues. Do remember the cams looked misaligned when you first start to tighten down the cam covers but once all caps were installed the lines on each cam were level with the head.
 

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If your talking about this inside the casing, yes I had to take it off because I was painting the cases, now what I don't understand is this....if I move the intake cam up, the #1 intake and exhaust lobes will not be level with each other which is why its not making sense to me, also looking in the Haynes manual it is clearly showing 15 links from exhaust to intake. This has been set exactly....now if I move the intake cam up 1 to try and get them level, it will them be on 14 links and then the intake cam will be higher than the exhaust cam, what's weird is they are on there right links....they just don't line up correctly. If I turn the motor a tad so its on the initial T mark....ie just after the (I) everything's sitting flush. I do remember having this exact problem 4 years ago too, its got me stumped,paranoid and losing sleep....I'm just having a hell of a time getting this set in stone for what shoukd seem like a simple enough task. The bikes done 53,000 miles....is this a problem with the cam chain elongated at all.

Another thing that's giving me anxiety issues is another topic that's in the back of my mind.
THE HEAD SKIM....1 guy did a cut rough enough to not want to seal the brand new....now wasted head gasket. Not what I wanted.upon closer inspection on tear down it was present as the gasket had the markings. I had to there for take it to another shop for them to fix the problem again. I think there's been about (5 to 6 thou) now skimmed off and honda only make 1 size head gasket 0.76mm which is on there now. Is it going to cope with that at all.
The cam lobes will not be level.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank-you for the reply, the Haynes manual is what I have, I have also downloaded a service manual, I'm guessing my chain is either the problem or something else is, when I mentioned level on cylinder 1 I meant 10 o'clock - 2 o'clock level across a ruler on the lobes. I have now stripped the tensioner guides and chain to inspect them. Nothing out of the ordinary from the looks of things. Any idea how long a new chain should be so I can measure this 1 against it.. I will try again with this for the 100th time lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I still can not get this thing sorted. What I am noticing is once I set the cams and install the holders back on I will then turn the motor by hand, I did manage to get them a little better inline but still not straight with the head, I also noticed that when I was turning by hand the chain went super tight, I wound the cam chain tensioner out with the key and the chain was still super tight, I managed to get a long screw driver down there to pull the chain back loose again, ive took it all apart to inspect things over. My guess is the chain has actually elongated enough so that it's been pushed out too far by the tensioner causing the lock up. What's your opinions on this.....its a weird 1. Also included pics of the chain and chain guides to see if I need to replace these along with the chain.
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If the cam chain is stock now would be a good time to replace it. The guides look fine but the first cam sprocket pics (post#15) show an unusual amount of wear on that sprocket. Take the cam chain tensioner out completely. Once you have cams installed and aligned properly with the head then reinstall the cam chain tensioner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yer I did notice the marks on the cam sprockets late last night. It's a strange one indeed. I have rang honda today and explained my problem and to order a cam chain .he said the main guy is here tomorrow so it'd be best you speak to him before you go wasting money as he can give you some insight. I explained the chain was super tight even after unwinding the cct and thwt I had to put a long screw driver down to push back on the intake guide to release the tension. Its rather indeed, you would think the guide would just drop back to the back of the cylinder head and give me the slack back but no it just stays there....
 
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