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Installing the Lifters and Rocker Bases
Note: The term lifter is synonymous with tappet.
Remove rags/gloves from the lifter block area.
Unless you’ve done this previously, do the following:
- Install O-rings (each lifter block gets one thick, one thin, and one tiny one for the lifter block base) in the lifter-blocks. See first photo below. Tip: I use silicone grease on this little guy, to keep it in place during installation.
- Take picts.
- Install the lifter-blocks.
- Put a light coat of assembly lube in the lifter barrels--the two holes in each lifter-block where the lifters will go.
- Look to see which lifter-block goes where. They can only go on one way. Then push them down in place.
- If your engine uses lifter-block caps, put them in place now. They can only go on one way. See note below.
- Finally, bolt and torque the lifter-blocks with the lifter-block caps in place. Use 7.2 ft-lbs, which is 86.4 in-lbs. See note and second photo below.
Note: If your engine is a 2004 or newer, or you have roller lifters, you will not have lifter-block caps.
If you are reusing your lifters, have adjustable pushrods you wish to adjust, and have not flushed the oil from the lifter resevoirs (per the service manual), you must bleed down the lifters per the service manual.
Tip: Actually, I recommend bleeding down the lifters in any case. If you do not bleed your lifters, you will need to use a crescent type wrench on the rocker barrel, per the tip given in the Installing Pushrods section of this article.
Important Tip: If you choose not to bleed down your lifters, I highly recommend you use a wrench on the crank (in the timing cover on the engine's left side) to manually turn the engine over several revolutions (with a spark plug out of each cylinder) BEFORE STARTING THE ENGINE. This way, you can carefully feel for any obstructions to smooth operation of the valve train. Otherwise, you risk hyper-extending a valve which might hit a piston before the hydraulics in the lifters can normalize.
Take one of the lifters, and liberally coat its bottom with assembly lube. Leave its sides dry. Put a single drop of motor oil into its pushrod cup.
If reusing your original lifters, be very certain of which barrel it goes into. If you have any doubt, replace them.
Now insert the lifter. It just slides down its barrel--flat side down, for flat tappet lifters.
Note: If you have roller cams, note the following:
- The lifter should be installed roller-end first.
- Rotate the lifters so their 'anti-rotation ears' are to the center of the lifter blocks.
- Install the 'anti-rotation bars' (using the hex screws) so that the arrows are visible and oriented toward the engine's center. See photo below.
- Torque the hex screws to 5 ft-lbs (60 in-lbs), using thread-lock.
Repeat this process for the other lifters.
Tip: I use a little 'L'-hook tool I made from wire to grab the lifter top on flat tappet lifters. That way, I can lower the lifter onto the cam lobe without letting it hit too hard. The lube on the lifter barrels would probably slow its descent anyway, but my tool ensured total control.
Clean, lube and install the oil seals (tensioners) and O-rings onto the pushrod tubes--top and bottom. Note: If your engine is a 2004 or newer, the top and bottom oil seals (tensioners) are not the same. Refer to the service manual or the Yamaha parts explosions to be sure you get them in correctly.
Carefully push the chrome pushrod tubes firmly down into the lifter blocks.
Insert two alignment dowels into the top of each head.
Cost Saving Tip: If your metal, rocker gaskets aren't perfectly covered w/black sealer, you can 'Paint' them with Yamabond thinned with Xylene, just prior to installing the rocker base.
Install the rocker-base gaskets over the alignment dowels on the heads.
Install both of the rocker-bases on the heads and over the pushrod tubes. Then bolt them up. Each base (for 1999-2003 engine, anyway) uses:
- Two black, M6x20mm bolts, with washers
- Two M6x45mm bolts
- 7.2 ft-lbs of torque, which is 86.4 in-lbs.
Tip: If you are uncertain of which rocker bolts go where, refer to the Deciphering Yamaha Bolt Part Numbers section in the Parts and Tools article in this website. Then you can look up the location of where each bolt goes, by reviewing the parts explosion drawings and part number listings at Yamaha's Star motorcycle website, at Star Parts Catalog.