Started with the side cowls then took off the tank covers
I began with a strip down of the basic plastic removal around 3am in the morning, I work nights anyway and well it is a quiet time for me with no interruptions from nosy family members! That took no time at all I am getting pretty good at removing the plastic.
unplugged the temp sensor and removed the cover first
Removed the protective plastic cover and squeezed the tines then slipped the hose off the fuel pump then removed the pump power and level sensor connectors then set the tank up out of the way no need to completely remove the tank. Your supposed to depressureize the fuel hoses first by unhooking the fuel pump power then running the bike till it stalls, mine was sitting long enough it was already depressureized, some gas will spill but not much have a shop rag handy. The vent tube is a bit stretched it did not want to come off the charcoal cannister.
removed the color coded connectors from the ecm behind the air box and pulled it out
You can see the temp sensor at the top
The air box come in three sections, the top with the air temp sensor, then a mid section with the air cleaner on the top, the mid section also has several mount points for all the various sensors and wire harness - if you are forgetful photograph it as you go so you have a record of where stuff goes when you go to put it back together - a smart phone or cheap digital camera to record each step.
removed the mid section, unhooked all the sensor and connectors, removed the breather tubes, unplugged the wire harness and unscrewed the velocity stacks and removed the air box, it is possible to remove the fuel rail quick disconnects without taking the fuel rails off or the fuel injectors just pull the rubber tabbed piece out from behind the quick connector tines first to allow them to be squeezed inward and release.
There is plenty of room to see the boot strap screws through the holes in the frame a long Phillips head screw driver did the trick, gently pulled the throttle body's out of the engine bay, unhooked the throttle cables unplugged the harnesses and unhooked the vacuum tubes and fuel tubes by the quick connectors careful not to damage any of them
There is really no need to remove these but the manual said to, you will notice rubber collars that have a pull tab on them they are designed to slip inside the gap of the quick connector tines and splay them out and lock them in so that the fuel hose does not come undone with fuel pressure. I suggest you do not take them off if you can help it the manual says to replace the o rings with new ones if you do remove them. I soaked the whole assembly in sea foam as I continued to work.
I removed the 3 bolts and took off the rear cylinder head cover, careful the oil ports have rubber washers they come off easy and can get lost, the front cover has a rubber leash for them the rear does not and they can just fall out.
That was a pain in the ass, removed the spark plug wires pulled the harness out of the way, removed the coil on plugs then removed the 4 bolts on the head cover and gently removed the front cylinder cover, the front valve cover was a bit difficult and took some coaxing to get out be careful and do not force it out lots of wires can get snared in there and mess up your day.
Yes you have to remove all that just to get to the front spark plugs, lucky they use high mileage iridium spark plugs with a 30k lifetime so you are going to have to inspect the valves before hand before you have to replace them - I did that and they all looked fine. I had all of my exhaust valves just out of spec those are the rocker roller set, and one of the bucket under shim intakes was loose but still in spec. Just as I figured the roller rocker design would be more apt to be out of spec then the bucket under shims would be, just like the CRX dirt bikes! Its a simple elegant design, less rolling mass with only one cam shaft and the cam chain does not need a huge bend in it for a powerful cam chain tensioner this design uses a spring loaded bow tensioner instead of a massive punch design like the vtecs use.
they have a 30k mile life but they require an ispection at 15k they were fine, one had a bent tip though but the gaps were fine .040 inches with a round wire gap tool should not be able to pass through the gap
getting the spark plugs out was a pain, a collared spark plug socket held the plug but there was not enough room for a full sized drive extension I had to put in the extension then connect the wrench take off the wrench then pull the extention out till I could grab hold of the socket then dissconnect the extension and finally pull out the socket with the plug in it, then repete to put them back in. It took several tries too cramped to pull the whole thing out at once. It was easier to do it with the covers off too more room.
There are two marks on the timing cover I suppose its easier then the 4 I had on the old girl, you watch the cam shaft on the rear set for direction ques as you turn it to make sure the engine is in top dead center for the cylinder your inspecting all marked out in the manual but the manual has very small pictures for the cam shaft positions so its hard to read. I managed it though. They have 3 measurements for the Valve Clearance
Exhaust Valves have a roller rocker design with a roller on one end and a screw driver and lock nut on the other with a square head for the driver. They were all out of spec all of them!
The manual has two sets of measurements for the exhaust side
Valve side with the lock nut 0.03 + or - 0,02 mm or (0.012 + or - 0.001 inches)
Roller side 0.21 + or - 0.02 mm or (0.008 + or - 0.001 inches) my gap strips were in listed in both but came stepped up in inch sizes so I use the inch listings
Intake side is the shim under bucket design
0.16 + or - 0.003 or (0.006 + or - 0.001 inches) on one was loose at .007 but still in tolerance and most likely to go tight as it wears.
very difficult to see for me
I tried the valve side measurement and was unable to get the gap tool in there but the manual shows the adjustment on the roller side anyway so I just ignored the valve side measurement and just stuck to the roller side
They use a special tool to adjust the lock nut and driver that tightens to 7 ft/lbs torque, I just used an 8mm wrench on the lock nut left it loose then screwed the driver down with my fingers and waited till the 0.008 gap tool was just slightly dragging in the roller then tightened down the lock nut - not to crazy to good and tight feel around what I though 7ft/lbs is no way to get a torque wrench into the front cylinder head area!
Edited some of the photos with additional info that I neglected to mention first draft. I started at 3am and had it done and back together with the bike running at 6am. Including a half an hour bathroom veg out break, take your time, be diliberate, read the manual for instructions, read all the back pages for what to do and dont take any short cuts be careful removing connectors and fasteners they can get dropped easy - calm slow and methodical is best. If you dont have much time to do it then just let a pro do it or wait till you can dedicate all your attention to it and not hurry the job. Break it up into sections/tasks and it wont seem so difficult. Each task one at a time then reverse it to button it all back up.