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I have a Vulcan 900 that should get its first maintenence check soon. I went down to a dealer to find out exactly what they are going to be doing and the kid told me that they change the oil and then just take a quick look over the bike. I know that I could do this myself and it would save me money$. Does anyone know exactly what they would be checking and is there a reason that I should not just do it on my own?
 

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First spend the $10 and go to Ebay and buy the pdf. format Maint Manual and then do it.... it will tell you everything.... and do not forget to check the screen and the manual will also explain that...:)Depending on your dealership it will save you 125.00 to 200.00
 

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http://personal.linkline.com/rlockyer/vulcan/900-1.jpg
http://personal.linkline.com/rlockyer/vulcan/900-2.jpg
http://personal.linkline.com/rlockyer/vulcan/900-3.jpg

Other than the oil and filter, it's just a lot of inspections. Don't skip the fastener torque check... one of my floorboard bolts was loose.
Also be sure to check the hose clamps on the cooling system... they are a common source of leaks on new Kawis.

The oil filter is going to be a ROYAL pain to remove. They've got a gorilla installing them at the factory.



You can and should learn to work on your own bike. You may not always be close to a dealer when you need a repair, and you can save a LOT of money. No warranty issues if you save your receipts and document the work that you have done.
 

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If bikes get much more complicated I doubt the average person will be able to work on them. They're going the way of cars it seems.

Doesn't the 600 mile service include a valve clearance inspection? This would be one thing that I wouldn't want to skimp on should something be out of adjustment.
 

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If bikes get much more complicated I doubt the average person will be able to work on them. They're going the way of cars it seems.
Nahh... Other than the electronic fuel injection, things have not changed that much. For people that have access to OBD-II scanners (the basic ones are only about $100), the new electronics can aid troubleshooting.
Valves and cams and cranks are still the same.
I had an '03 Tundra and changed the timing belt myself in about 6 hours. I could do it again in 4.

Doesn't the 600 mile service include a valve clearance inspection? This would be one thing that I wouldn't want to skimp on should something be out of adjustment.
I don't know about the 500, but the 900 doesn't require that until 15k.
The 1500/1600 are hydraulic and (theoretically) never require adjustment.
 

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Nahh... Other than the electronic fuel injection, things have not changed that much.
maybe in the cruiser world, but when I pulled the tank on my ZZR, I was like HOLY ****! Kawi's got a hell of a lot of stuff going on in a very small area on that bike. My 250 on the other hand, wasn't that much different than working on my old KLX... it just had 2 cyls/ carbs instead of one.


your tundra's timing belt looks pretty straight forward, nothing like my rolling nightmare Rodeo (I HATE that truck). To change the timing belt on my MR2, I'm pretty sure the dealer yanked the engine out! They did it for $200 belt included back in '97... My local mechanic quoted me 14hrs + the belt to do it!
 

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your tundra's timing belt looks pretty straight forward, nothing like my rolling nightmare Rodeo (I HATE that truck). To change the timing belt on my MR2, I'm pretty sure the dealer yanked the engine out! They did it for $200 belt included back in '97... My local mechanic quoted me 14hrs + the belt to do it!
It was a jigsaw puzzle. The radiator had to come out, alternator, power steering, AC compressor, fan drive unit (non-electric fan)... and the covers have a specific order to get them off and on, and the camshaft position sensor is in one of the covers and very easy to get the wires pinched.

While I was in there, I changed the water pump and thermostat, since the timing belt has to come off to get to the pump and I wasn't happy hoping that the pump would last another 100k for the next belt change.

Dealer quotes ranged from $700 to $1200 (the $1200 quotes, they doubled the time, using straight book labor for both the belt and the pump, even though it takes no additional time to do the belt when doing the pump).

I bought the parts for $300, including a new serpentine belt and coolant. The water pump was a touch over $100, the timing and serpentine belts were around $50-75 each.


"Tight" doesn't always mean impossible for a backyard mechanic. Having a service manual is what will save your butt. They design and build these things not only to be compact, but to minimize shop hours when work is being done. Having the procedure on hand will turn what appears to be an overwhelming task into a relatively simple job.
Like getting interior body panels off of a cage, you can force it and maybe break something, or put a little pressure here and a little pressure there and the thing pops off into your lap.

No, it's not like working on a '69 Roadrunner where you could practically remove the heads without removing the air cleaner from the carb, but it's not THAT much harder... you just need a pen and paper, and a digital camera helps to keep track of what it looked like before you worked on it.
 

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Yeah Rich, the 500 has a 600 mile checkup on the valves. I think it's because they're a locknut/rocker setup and go out of spec faster than shim/buckets and its a revvy engine.

I saw what a new ZX-10 looked like under the tank. Let me tell you, it was impressive. I thought my 500 was packed in there until I saw that. Bikes have come a long way in 25 years.

No, it's not like working on a '69 Roadrunner where you could practically remove the heads without removing the air cleaner from the carb, but it's not THAT much harder... you just need a pen and paper, and a digital camera helps to keep track of what it looked like before you worked on it.
Haha... dad's 91 Dodge 318 was like that. Essentially the same engine from the early 70s with throttle body injection, electronic ignition, and a computer. There was so much room under the hood you could sleep under there. Dad used to do all his own maintenance on it. His 2002 GMC is a different story, everything's packed into that hood so he lets someone else do it.
 

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Yeah Rich, the 500 has a 600 mile checkup on the valves. I think it's because they're a locknut/rocker setup and go out of spec faster than shim/buckets and its a revvy engine.
My dirtbike is shim under bucket and specs a clearance check at 200 miles.
Mine was fine, my buddy's was a TOUCH tight on the center intake valve (5-valve head, 3 intake, 2 exhaust), but in looking at the shims, the same size had been used on both bikes on all 3 valves. I suspect that he would have checked tight right out of the showroom. It was BARELY under spec, and with some creative swapping with the exhaust side and a couple of new shims, we were able to get all 5 valves to .02mm above minimum spec.
1000 miles later, they had not moved, likely confirming my suspicion about being tight from the factory.
 

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'07 ZZR600
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"Tight" doesn't always mean impossible for a backyard mechanic. Having a service manual is what will save your butt. They design and build these things not only to be compact, but to minimize shop hours when work is being done. Having the procedure on hand will turn what appears to be an overwhelming task into a relatively simple job.
Like getting interior body panels off of a cage, you can force it and maybe break something, or put a little pressure here and a little pressure there and the thing pops off into your lap.

No, it's not like working on a '69 Roadrunner where you could practically remove the heads without removing the air cleaner from the carb, but it's not THAT much harder... you just need a pen and paper, and a digital camera helps to keep track of what it looked like before you worked on it.
Let's just say that my tool collection and skill set put me a bit above the average "backyard mechanic"... My Rodeo is just a **** poor design when it comes to actually working on it... apparently the people who designed it have these little tiny arms with 2 elbows and 3 wrists. Even changing the **** spark plugs is a nightmare... you HAVE to remove the brake master cylinder just to get the #5 spark plug boot out! The only reason I had someone else do the t. belt on the MR2 was I was pressed for time (I was moving in 2 days).

I do need to buy a FSM for the ZZR tho... ****.
 

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Even changing the **** spark plugs is a nightmare... you HAVE to remove the brake master cylinder just to get the #5 spark plug boot out!
Try a V6 GM front-wheel drive. It's almost easier to pull the engine to get to the rear plugs :biggrin:
 

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Try a V6 GM front-wheel drive. It's almost easier to pull the engine to get to the rear plugs :biggrin:
it's not bad in my mom's old buick... the 3800S2 was mounted longitudinally, even though it was front wheel drive. a transverse V6, forget that... I'll gladly pay somebody else to do it.
 

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You need one of those old 80s Toyota "compact trucks" that would later become the Tacoma (think Back to the Future). They're easy to work on and probably one of the most reliable pieces of machinery to ever be called a mass produced automobile. I have so much respect for them.
 

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You need one of those old 80s Toyota "compact trucks" that would later become the Tacoma (think Back to the Future). They're easy to work on and probably one of the most reliable pieces of machinery to ever be called a mass produced automobile. I have so much respect for them.
Ya... put 225k on mine before I traded it on the Tundra. Clutch started slipping at 180k. Warped exhaust manifold (not uncommon on the 22RE) at around 60k. Other than that, change the oil and drive. Never left me stranded, but on the 2wd, the oil filter was a bit of a PITA.
 

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Because on a V6 FWD GM you disconnect the dogbone and use a ratchet strap to torque the motor opening the gap between the head and firewall.
Or stack 6 universals on your ratchet extension :biggrin:
 
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