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Thanks for the feedback so far with my 1200. When I do the cylinder head gaskets, should I get the heads skimmed while I have them off? I haven't had overheating and am wondering if I should skim or not. Any advice appreciated as usual.
 

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Do you need to do it... no. Should you do it .... yes.
If you are replacing the gasket, then go all the way to have the heads done too. It will save you a heartache later.
 

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If the bike hasn't overheated then I wouldn't bothre. Just make sure the head is perfectly clean. Skimming for the sake of itmight seem a good idea, but if the engine overheats and blows a gasketlater on for other reasons (faulty stat, leaks, fan not working..) you will need to skim the head again and you will have less material to play with.

Save the head thickness for when you really need it!
 

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Jason has good avice.. Don't fix it if it ain't broke.. With the head off and clean, take a quality straight edge and hold it along the face of the head at a perpendicular angle (90 degrees). Put a light behind it, facing you and look for any light gaps between the head and straight edge. Move the straight edge across the head and observe any gaps. If you see any light coming thru, take a feeler guage to the area where the light shines thru... Limits are 0.10mm (0.004 in) max. Then and only then should the heads be shaved... Hope this helps..
 

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Renegade's got it right, if there's no reason for a head problem such as an overheat or a previously leaking gasket, there's no reason to mill the head. It's not uncommon for a gasket to fail with perfectly flat heads. Often it's a probelm of bolt torquing that wasn't done right or that has changed over time. If you do replace the gasket be sure to check the torque after a few hundred miles since it is possible for the head to settle in on the gasket a bit during the first few heating and cooling cycles and reduce the head bolt torque some. Do bring the bolts up to torque in several steps using the pattern shown in the manual. If you don't have a manual the usual drill is to start with the more central ones and then do the perimeter bolts using a pattern of opposing bolts. I like to bring them up to barely snug, then bring up the torque in about three steps using one third of the torque value each time until I get to the proper setting. If there is any drag due to dirty or slightly distorted threads, I like to add about 10% to the torque value, not enough to hurt anything but it will compensate for a bit of galling in the threads. Usually put just a small dot (about a 1/16th" spheriod) of anti-seize on the bottom two or three threads of the bolt, it doesn't take much.
 

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My manual says check the heads with a machinist's straight edge to see if the need to be done. If they are flat, thats all thats required.
 

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I have a mate who works in an engine (car) repair shop. The use a sheet of glass to check for flatness, or lack of.
 

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Eamonn, if the engine didn't over heat then don't bother shaving. What I did when I had my 1100 was clean off the heads and then get a block of wood, wrapping 400 grade wet & dry paper round it. Then I sanded the face of the heads until they were spotless and looked like new. That bike is still going strong 4 years + 33k miles later and hasn't blown a head gasket since. :waving:
 

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I've decided not to skim. I'll make sure they are really clean and will do the block & sand thing. Many thanks for all the help. The guys who have gotten Guru status have earned it!
 

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Eamonn, judging by the look of your eye, don't use such a bright light when checking the head flatness:cooldj::cooldj:eek:r wear some of these:cooldj::cooldj:
 

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I'll be starting the job on Monday next. I'm off work until the 4th so I've allowed loads of time and all the parts are to hand. Thanks again and Happy Christmas to all the visitors here, old and new.
 

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If you need a hand Eamonn just give me a call, you know where I live. I've lapped in valves before (and I have the tool and paste) so if you're unsure about that I'll do it for you. I'm off work until the 4th as well.

[align=center]merry christmas[/align]
 
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