CJ750 toolbox Adjusting the valves on a flathead CJ
Your SV CJ will need to have its valve clearance adjusted periodically. I try to do mine once a year, usually during the winter maintenance sessions. Here's the right-side access cover. All you need is a regular screwdriver to remove it. (Photo by Francois Roux)
Off it comes. You'll need to use sealer when reinstalling the covers. These compartments are pressurized by the oil pump and will leak if not sealed. (Photo by Francois Roux)
If your bike was built in autumn, you may need to remove some Chinese tree leaves. (Photo by Francois Roux)
The adjusting nuts are the ones at the bottom of the frame. (The locking nuts are the ones above them.) Move the adjusting nuts to set the gap between the push rods and the valve stems. (Photo by Francois Roux)
A feeler guage is used to check the gap. There are conflicting specs regarding the size of the gap so I use .004" (0.10mm) for both the intake and the exhaust valves. This has always worked well for my bikes. (CJs can tolerate a lot of slop.) These adjustments are always done on a cold engine.
Here's a better view. (Photo by Francois Roux)
Two 14mm open-end wrenches in position. The closest nut is for making the adjustment and the other one is the lockdown nut.
This wrench is on the lock nut for the exhaust valve. (Photo by Francois Roux)
Time for new cover gaskets. The green one is a Chinese gasket I use as a pattern. Underneath is 1/8" cork gasket material from our NAPA store.
Trace the pattern with a pen...
...and cut them out with scissors. Viola, two new gaskets. It's not rocket science.
Make sure the gasket mating surfaces are spotless.
Ditto on the covers. I lightly shined them using a fine wire wheel on my bench grinder. You should always use some sort of sealer on the gaskets. Just about anything will do but I just happened to have some Permatex 2A Form-a-Gasket on hand, so that's what I used.
And, being a novice, I generally use too much of the stuff. Whatever squishes out the sides when you screw the cover down will wipe right off. Oil will not leak here. Trust me.
Done. The whole job takes about 15-20 minutes.