Motorcycle Questions? Ask a Mechanic.
Hi and thank you for your question. There are two key points to properly set the cam timing on your bike. First, you need to be sure the crankshaft is set at TDC. Second, you need to make sure the two outer dots on the cam sprockets face away from each other and are even with the valve cover gasket surface. The other two dots should be straight up. Suzuki counts the pins dot to dot inclusive. Make sure the outer dots still align once the cam chain tensioner is installed. As long as the outer dots align with the gasket surface the timing is correct. If you don't have the correct number of pins between the upper dots, someone could have changed the cams. Suzuki does not use the same pin count for all engines. After you get the dots set, rotate the crank 720° and make sure it turns smoothly. The line for TDCC is aligned and the dots are to the outside and still even with the gasket surface. If they are not turn the cams under the chain to align the dots and recheck the timing. Once they come to proper alignment you are good to go. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.
I know for a fact that Suzuki uses different specs for different cams. The DRZ uses a different spec than the RMZ. I promise you that as long as you are on TDC and the outer dots are even with the gasket surface the cam timing is correct. The dangerous problem with having the cam timing off is the valves would hit the piston. You can prove this to yourself that this is not an issue by setting the timing as I said, bolting everything down and rotating the crank 2 complete revolutions and come bqck to TDCC. The other confirmation I can share with you is once you have the outer dots aligned, look at the cam lobes from the right side of the engine and notice the angle between the center of the lobe and the gasket surface and notice the intake and exhaust angles are the same. Beyond all of that, my real job is teaching people valve adjustment in motorcycle engines and guess which engine we use for shim under double over head cam practice??? That's right, The RMZ 450. I have personally demonstrated the procedure well over 100 times. I am not guessing nor am I asking you to do something that would damage your engine. Between checking the symmetry of the cam lobe angles intake compared to exhaust, turning It over by hand to confirm the valves will not hit the piston and a 35 year experienced professional technician that currently uses that same engine to train others how to work on it you really only have to worry about having the line on the flywheel lines up in the inspection hole and the dots lined up towards the outside of the head (away from each other). Right now that is my only concern is how you are interpreting the instructions. If you send me a picture of the timing mark on the crank and then the dots lined up with the valve cover gasket surface, I will guarantee you it will not create a problem for you. Suzuki has done an excellent job of making this task about as easy as possible.
Not a problem. You chose to put drama into this as opposed to accepting the advice you sought. You cojld have been riding your bike by now but chose to argue. Take it to a shop and sell your wrenches.
I gave you spot on expert advice. What you fail to comprehend, and a common problem among people who lack mechanical aptitude is the dots on the top of the cam sprockets are only there to make it easier for me and to get the outer dots aligned. You also fail to comprehend that it is entirely possible that someone replaced a cam and that is the explanation as to why the pin count is different. I also asked for pictures of the crank reference mark showing TDCC and the dots on the cams, and you failed/refused to provide that as well. I also gave you an iron clad test by rotating the crank to prove to you the valves are not going to hit the piston but you aren't capable of understanding why that makes sense. You are so hung up on the pin count you can't think of anything else, including the possibility that someone actually knows more about it than you do. For all I know you aren't even counting the pins correctly but without a picture I can only hope you are. Frankly I am not confident at all that you are. This is a 5 minute job tops to set the cam timing and you are treating it like it is the most complicated procedure ever conceived.