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Hi all, doing a big repair on my '99 zx9r. I measured low compression in 2 cylinders right next to each other and normal compression in the other 2. Determined that I either have a blown head gasket or some bad exhaust valves. I just went out and bought all the tools I need to remove the engine in order to take off the cylinder head, but I wanted to see if I could remove it without taking out the entire engine. Is that possible?

I feel like I might be able to remove the sneaky allen head bolts off of the side of the cylinder head with some needle nose vice grips, but the cylinder head looks a little wide to be able to pull it up and out of the frame. Any advice on the best way to go about this? Thanks.
 

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Things will go a lot smoother if you do it the right way- removing the motor. Trying to simply work between the frame spars can be a PITA. Plus, if you drop the motor, you will see and find ALL issues.
 

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I faced this issue with a project GSX-R600 last winter- the lad had put water in for a track day then parked it in his dad's garden shed for three years. In northern Illinois.
I got the engine out solo just fine, and I'm a retired carpenter, not a bike wrench. I used a scissors jack with a small mover's dolly and it was almost easy. Went right back in, too.
Probably the hardest part is disconnecting and reconnecting all of the various wires and hoses. If you follow the service manual carefully, though, you should not have a problem there either.
Just do it. I fought it for months before just walking into the garage and starting on it. Including pulling the head and replacing the head gasket, along with the necessary valve shim replacements, it didn't even take all day. Maybe six hours or so.
I did not have a problem with getting sawdust from my Skilsaw in there, either.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Things will go a lot smoother if you do it the right way- removing the motor. Trying to simply work between the frame spars can be a PITA. Plus, if you drop the motor, you will see and find ALL issues.
Speaking of which, while I have the engine out, is there anything I should check or do for maintenance? I'm probably going to remove all of the valves and clean them up/re-seat them while I'm in there, but anything more than that?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Probably the hardest part is disconnecting and reconnecting all of the various wires and hoses. If you follow the service manual carefully, though, you should not have a problem there either.
I really wish the service manual was a little more detailed. When I took apart my Ninja 500, the manual had pictures for every step, and it was lovely to follow. I plan on recording all of it on a GoPro strapped to my head so I can watch it back if I get stuck. Might post it to Youtube in case it helps others out :)
 

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"I really wish the service manual was a little more detailed. When I took apart my Ninja 500, the manual had pictures for every step, and it was lovely to follow. "
Be very glad you don't have a Yamaha FJR1300. The manual is a nightmare of back-and-forth and who-knows-where.
Interestingly, I get together with the old tech at the local Yamaha-only dealer here and discuss such things. He formerly was a Honda guy until that dealer folded up. He's probably got 35-40 years in. And he agrees, Kawasaki and Honda manuals are overall the best, and Yamaha is close to the worst of the majors.
Italian? Well...
 
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