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Woodruff Keys, PMA and my Rockerbox Fail

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by XStretchified650, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. XStretchified650

    XStretchified650 Back in the 650 Saddle

    It has been running great. Planned to ride north to camp at the AHRMA races and Rockerbox last weekend. I was due for an oil change so I took care of that the night before. Got up early to adjust the cam chain, set the valve clearances and check the carb tuning before leaving.

    After setting the valves and dialing-in and balancing in the carbs it was running fine but not perfect. The tappet noise was louder than before I started. I got out the timing light and saw that the low rpm firing was occurring at about 90 degrees off the mark.

    It was pretty obvious that it was not at TDC when I (very meticulously) set the valves.
    ......Crap. PMA must have spun a bit. No time to deal with it so I left for Wisconsin in the Toyota.

    I will be making a woodruff key for my PMA this weekend. Yes...I had used a torque wrench. I am now of the opinion that getting by without a woodruff key is wishful thinking.

  2. I made a woodruff key for mine. They say you don't need one but when you're tightening the nut, in my mind, things could get thrown off. With the key in there you're golden.
  3. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Yamaha used a woodruff key for a reason. I would trust their engineering knowledge, a lot more than some aftermarket PMA sellers that say its fine to omit the key.
  4. XStretchified650

    XStretchified650 Back in the 650 Saddle

    Agreed. My little episode was completely avoidable.

  5. XStretchified650

    XStretchified650 Back in the 650 Saddle

    Well.....I made the woodruff key and installed it today. I saw the thread about making it T-shaped from 3/16 stock and that worked fine. It was a good thing that I had saved the old one.

    Just have to mark TDC then re-adjust the valves and carburetor.


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