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head gasket on Kawasaki FJ180V

6489 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  lzn197
OK, it looks like I have a blown head gasket on my Kawasaki FJ180V. Is there anything tricky I need to watch for in replacing it? I understand that the replacement gasket tends to be thicker, so I'll need to adjust the valves. I've never done a head gasket before, but I successfully adjusted the valves on my '67 Firebird back in 1989 or so!
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Welcome to the forum Katey, :)

I've never done the job myself on that engine so I'm afraid I have no words of experience to offer but here is the manual for that engine with torque specs and the preferred order of tightening the head bolts as well as information about adjusting the valves.
Download and save the service manual that Mark provided above and that will be a big help. In that manual it will tell you Kawasaki wants you to REMOVE and INSTALL the head bolts in a certain order. They are not both the same. Make sure the engine is cold when you start the process. Pretty easy job. Be sure you change the oil, check the air filters. When it is all done, make sure you test it hot and cold several times for power and starting ability. If it pulls REAL hard on one of the starts, your valve adjustments are off and you need to adjust OR you may have a leaking needle and seat causing fuel to leak into the engine after a hot soak. Mine did that a few times but after cleaning out the carburetor it seems fine now. Many folks talk of putting a higher grade (89 or so) octane fuel in it so it doesn't blow another gasket but I think the folks at Kawasaki already put in that fix with a more robust and slightly thicker gasket. Have fun! Be sure you have an accurate torque wrench!!!!
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