The head changed too. The head has two ports that stick up into the valve cover. I'd post a pic but I've not taken pics of it and can't find one on google.
Two weeks ago I re torqued my head and then set the valve adjustment. I opened the valve cover a couple days later to check torque and valve lash and found 3 smashed intake valve stems. I've got a used head with valves and springs installed. Is there any reason I can't take the cam, cam holders and followers from the head with the smashed valves, bolt 'em onto the earlier head and mount that on the '85 engine?
Really I'm just looking for a band-aid fix to get it running. After I found the smashed valve stems I went out and bought a 1999 Suzuki GS500 to commute to work on because I knew I couldn't repair it over night. I've got a top end gasket kit on the way to replace the head gasket. The base gasket should be fine if I don't remove the cylinders right?
Yes, you can use the early top end on the later engine. The 1985 California engine had air injection for emission purposes, controlled by a reed valve ass'y.
When you look at the application guide for a part number you see the A and sometimes C letters following. A means ALL 50 states unless there's a C which means California. If there's a C that means it's specific to California and any states using CA emission standards. Assemblies where 12200-MC0-000 is used
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