How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Wayne S. Your Own Question
Wayne S.
Wayne S., Motorcycle Mechanic
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 1255
Experience:  Experienced and Licensed Motorcycle Mechanic - all sizes and brands welcome.
Type Your Motorcycle Question Here...
Wayne S. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I needed to replace the starter clutch on my 2004 yamaha v-star

This answer was rated:

I needed to replace the starter clutch on my 2004 yamaha v-star 1100 custom. I followed the procedure in my clymer manual and aligned the timing marks on the flywheel as well as the cam gear on the rear cylinder. When applying pressure to the flywheel puller, (I did not expect it to "POP" off), well, the flywheel, as well as the cam spocket moved. I carefully reinstalled the flywheel and tried to re-align everything back up. Now, when I removed the flywheel, the timing mark on the lower cam spocket IS aligned with the woodruff key on the crank but, the timing mark on the upper cam gear is off by about 2-2 1/2 teeth. Is this normal? Is there a procedure I can perform to verify where I'm at? the last thing I want is a bent valve.

Thankyou for your time,


BTW, I can supply pictures if needed.

if you put the rotor cover back on temporarily
and align the "T" mark in the small opening
with the mark on the cover then your
cam gear mark should align with the mark
on the top center of the cylinder head.
If not, you have to move one of the gears
in the chain until they do align.
Does that help?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hello Druideck,

That is what I did originally. I did put the cover back on. When I aligned the "T" mark in the small opening. The top gear is out about 2 teeth. I can turn the bottom gear and put the timing mark on the top gear wherever I want but, then the timing mark on the bottom cam gear doesn't align with the woodruff key as per the Clymer manual. Does that matter? I guess I don't understand, if I never disassembled any part of the valve train, why would I have to move one of the gears in the chain?

I don't know if anything was changed
or not but sometimes the marks will only
align every so often.
It might take 8 turns of the engine
before they align properly again.

The marks are most important,
if they won't align then:

You just make sure the rear piston
is exactly at the "T", top or top dead center.

(The front cylinder has it's own line mark
for top dead center but no "T")

At that point the camshaft gear marks
should align. The valves should be closed
and should have a bit of valve clearance.
Turn the engine around one turn gently if the
valves are not closed and align the marks again.

The camshaft gear mark should be pointing
up to the mark on the top center of the
opening in the cylinder head.

The piston should be on compression stroke
and at the very top or "T" mark.

You can put something like a plastic straw
in the spark plug hole to make sure
the piston is at the very top when you
check the alignment marks.

See if it looks like you could move
the gear one tooth in the chain to get it better aligned
or if it would still be out.

I can't say why the marks would be out but it should
be as close as possible to aligning.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Sorry Druideck,

I have only one more question; As long as the "T" on the rotor and the timing mark on the upper gear are aligned, should I not concern myself with the timing mark on the lower gear? As of right now, I can put the timing mark dead on when the rotor "T" mark is lined up, its just that the lower gear timing mark is then out a little bit. Maybe this doesn't matter? Please let me know and Thank you for all of your help.

One note, make sure the "T" mark
corresponds with the piston
being at top dead center.

Just insert something in
the plug hole to verify the piston
and "T" are in sync.

If the "T" marks are accurate then
the cam gear can be aligned safely.


You should be okay as long as the
rear piston is at the top "T"
and the valves are closed and
the cam gear mark is aligned with
the mark on the top center of the head.
This puts everything in the right place
at the right time.

As long as the valves are closed when
the piston is at the top then
no damage will occur.

If your timing was correct originally
then the marks may align if you
turn the engine over a number of times.
It likely hasn't changed if the chain was
kept tight.
This might help:

Wayne S. and other Motorcycle Specialists are ready to help you