How to Adjust the Valves on a Kawasaki Mule 3000

Too much valve clearance on your Kawasaki Mule 3000 will wear out the engine, yet too little will wear it out even faster! 

Periodically checking your valve clearance (or valve lash) and adjusting it when necessary will extend the life of your side-by-side's engine.

It's a straightforward job that only requires some basic tools. Before you start, we recommend looking at the Kawasaki Mule 3000 cylinder head and Kawasaki Mule 3000 valve assemblies exploded parts diagrams to familiarize yourself with the parts of the engine you'll be working with.

Tools Needed - Kawasaki Mule 3000 Valve Lash Adjustment

  • 10mm, 12mm sockets
  • Ratchet and extensions
  • Spark plug socket set
  • Feeler gauge

Kawasaki Mule 3000 valve lash clearance adjustment

How to Adjust Kawasaki Mule 3000 Valve Clearance

Step 1. Remove the nuts holding the gearshift linkage cable and the cable itself from the bracket on the engine. Next, remove the bracket from the engine. Now you can access the flywheel cover.

Kawasaki Mule gearshift linkage cable

Step 2. Remove the flywheel cover and the spark plugs. 

NOTE: Removing the spark plugs releases the compression within the cylinders, and makes it easier to turn the engine to top dead center (TDC).

Kawasaki Mule 3000 valve clearance adjustment

Step 3. Set the engine to TDC by rotating the flywheel clockwise until the arrow beside the number 1 on the flywheel is aligned with the arrow on the crankcase.

Kawasaki Mule valve lash adjustment TDC

Step 4. Remove the four bolts holding the rear valve cover, the cover itself, and the valve cover gasket.

Kawasaki Mule 3000 valve lash adjustment

Step 5. Check to see if the valve rocker arms have a bit of play or are locked solid. 

NOTE: If the rocker arms have some play, the engine is at TDC. However, if the rocker arms are locked solid, the engine is not at TDC and you must rotate the flywheel clockwise until the number 1 arrow on the flywheel and the arrow on the crankcase align once again. The rockers should now have some play, which indicates the engine is at TDC.

Kawasaki Mule 3000 rocker arms

Step 6. Check the valve clearances using a feeler gauge

NOTE: You should feel a slight resistance against the feeler gauge when the gap is set correctly. The valve clearance for your exact model and year of Kawasaki Mule should be in the service manual.

Step 7. Adjust the valves by loosening the locking nut slightly. Slide the feeler gauge into the gap, turning the adjustment screw at the top of the valve accordingly. Hold the adjustment screw in place as you tighten the locking nut. Check the gap again, and readjust if necessary. 

Step 8. Reinstall the valve cover gasket and the valve cover.

Step 9. Rotate the flywheel clockwise until the number 2 arrow on the flywheel is aligned with the arrow on the crankcase.

Kawasaki Mule 3000 top dead center engine

Step 10. Remove the front valve cover and the valve cover gasket. You will have to remove the breather hose on top of the valve cover.

Kawasaki Mule 3000 valve clearance adjustment

Step 11. Check the valve clearances and adjust them, as described in Step 7.

Step 12. Reinstall the valve cover gasket, the valve cover and the breather hose.

Step 13. Reinstall the spark plugs, the flywheel cover and the gearshift linkage cable bracket. Fit the cable back into bracket, secure the lock nuts and you're done.

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