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Checking the valve clearances

Old 05-20-2005, 10:56 AM
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Checking the valve clearances

Got the tank off, put the Dynojet Stage 1 kit in (needle on the 5th clip, 185 front, 190 rear jets) with K & N filter. No easy feat for an amateur as getting the carbs off was a bitch.

So I'm ready to put the APE manual CCT's in and since its all exposed and the bike has 40k kilometers on it, I figured its a good time to check to see if the valves are in spec. The rear cylinder is easy but whats involved in getting at the front? Does the fairing have to come off? Do I really need to be doing this procedure?

Thanks
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Old 05-20-2005, 11:27 AM
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Fairing off, remove the bolt holding the oil cooler in place and move it aside, remove the pair hose and its pretty much the same as the back from there.

Do you have a manual? You should.
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Old 05-20-2005, 11:42 AM
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Re: Checking the valve clearances

Ya, I've got a manual. Dam I hate taking the fairing off Those stupid plastic tabs stick and seem like they're gonna snap. So how often, or have you ever, checked your valves?
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Old 05-20-2005, 11:58 AM
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Re: Checking the valve clearances

Originally Posted by NOrrTH";p=&quot View Post
Ya, I've got a manual. Dam I hate taking the fairing off Those stupid plastic tabs stick and seem like they're gonna snap. So how often, or have you ever, checked your valves?
I forget. It's in the manual, every 8k or so.

As to the fairing,

Put a towel on the front fender. Remove all the bolts, including the trim buttons holding the metal brackets on (along with the engine bolts.) Stand in the front. You can pull the sides quite wide without any harm, certainly wide enough to clear everything. Rest the headlight on your knee to remove the wires and set it aside in a safe place.

If you are having trouble, its likely because of your reluctance to spread the sides. Don't go nuts, but don't be shy.
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Old 05-20-2005, 12:58 PM
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Re: Checking the valve clearances

Oh great tip! Thanks. Ya, I am scared to death to crack the fairing. I already had to buy a right side as I dropped the bike exactly 1 block in my first ride.
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Old 05-20-2005, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rc996";p=&quot View Post
I replaced the little POS black plastic retainer plugs wtih the phillips heads that don't unscrew, with the plugs the RC51 uses. These have a center that pushes in and releases the plug. Just pop it in and pull it out. Then you reset them and they lock back in place.
Great tip. The best way to get the originals out is to use something to pry under the "screw" head as you unscrew it.
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Old 05-20-2005, 02:20 PM
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Re: Checking the valve clearances

I put together a spreadsheet last winter when doing my valve checks to convert SAE to metric since I only had a SAE micrometer, I also put a "new shim calculator" on the spreadsheet and a list of ALL Honda VTR shim stock numbers ....
Funny what you can do when it's snowing out ...

www.3457.com/images/VTR-Metric-conversion.xls
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Old 05-23-2005, 04:36 PM
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Re: Checking the valve clearances

I got my hawk at around 8k miles. It's now at 17k.

I just checked the clearances on Sunday. Getting to the front is a bit of a pain but not terrible. Rear is easy. You will indeed find the factory manual useful :-)

I do have some questions.

- I found with sufficient force I could get pretty much any feeler gauge under the exchaust cams (seemed odd as compressing a valve spring is no easy feat). This is unlike all the previous Honda's I've owned. Either tnis or they are massively loose.

A friend who's done many many clearance checks on Hondas told me I was "doing it wrong". Well, until he came over and experienced the same thing. At this point we decided on a "feels like it slides in without a lot of force" standard.

- The feelers I have are standard sized (with a metric conversion) so I went with the standard specs of 0.012" (E) and 0.006" (I) +- 0.001"

After all of this ..... the left of the two front exhaust valves is somewhere between 0.010" and 0.011" which is on the tight side and technically out of spec.

But my desire to pull the cams is low. I was thinking leave it and check again at 24k when it's time (according to the service manual) to replace the coolant.

I love the pics in the manual, many taken without a radiator in sight :-)

It makes me think that pulling off the rads will just make it easier if I have to get the front cams off.

Any comments?

Anyone know where I can get a (admittedly large) set of true metric feeler gauges.

Thanks

Tony



Originally Posted by NOrrTH";p=&quot View Post
Got the tank off, put the Dynojet Stage 1 kit in (needle on the 5th clip, 185 front, 190 rear jets) with K & N filter. No easy feat for an amateur as getting the carbs off was a bitch.

So I'm ready to put the APE manual CCT's in and since its all exposed and the bike has 40k kilometers on it, I figured its a good time to check to see if the valves are in spec. The rear cylinder is easy but whats involved in getting at the front? Does the fairing have to come off? Do I really need to be doing this procedure?

Thanks
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Old 05-23-2005, 04:40 PM
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Re: Checking the valve clearances

Manual says to inspect at 16K miles. It's only 8K for a new Duck :-)

Originally Posted by NOrrTH";p=&quot View Post
Ya, I've got a manual. Dam I hate taking the fairing off Those stupid plastic tabs stick and seem like they're gonna snap. So how often, or have you ever, checked your valves?
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Old 05-23-2005, 08:07 PM
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Re: Checking the valve clearances

Originally Posted by crazybrit";p=&quot View Post
I love the pics in the manual, many taken without a radiator in sight :-)

It makes me think that pulling off the rads will just make it easier if I have to get the front cams off.

Any comments?

Anyone know where I can get a (admittedly large) set of true metric feeler gauges.

Thanks
Tony
[/quote]

Tony,
You don't need to pull the rads, just pull the CCTs, then use a wire-tie to tie each cam gear to the cam chain (just makes it easier to get things back right) then unbolt the cams. You'll only need to tilt the cams out of the way when you lift the buckets up.
Be sure to plug every hole in the top of the head with clean rags or you might be using your entire 4 letter word vocabulary ..... no joke.
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Old 05-23-2005, 08:32 PM
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Re: Checking the valve clearances

[quote="99Hawk";p="5800"]
Originally Posted by crazybrit";p=&quot View Post

Tony,
You don't need to pull the rads, just pull the CCTs, then use a wire-tie to tie each cam gear to the cam chain (just makes it easier to get things back right) then unbolt the cams. You'll only need to tilt the cams out of the way when you lift the buckets up.
Be sure to plug every hole in the top of the head with clean rags or you might be using your entire 4 letter word vocabulary ..... no joke.
Realize it isn't necessary to pull the rads. I just assumed it would make life easier.

Mostly since if I don't pull the cams now, leave it and check again at 24k I'll likely have the rads off anyways to replace the coolant.

Of course, my question was mostly about whether at the given spec (0.010-0.011) the shim requires vital replacement now.

Thanks for the twist tie tip. I usually just mark the cam and chain with a dab of nail polish but twist tying them together sounds well worth trying.

Yes I know about rags :-) they already saved the little round gasket from dropping into the depths.

Oh, also. I noticed that there was some rubber gasket sealant (from a tube) applied to the stock gasket wherever the gasket bends vertically (there are 4 vertical U bends, 2 on each side). Presumably this is to ensure a good seal at these points and applying more at reassembly (after cleaning the old off) is recommended??? I don't think the heads have been off before, so I'm assuming it came this way from the factory.

Anyone have comments?

Tony
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Old 05-24-2005, 03:58 AM
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Re: Checking the valve clearances

[quote="crazybrit";p="5801"][quote="99Hawk";p="5800"]
Originally Posted by crazybrit";p=&quot View Post

Realize it isn't necessary to pull the rads. I just assumed it would make life easier.

Mostly since if I don't pull the cams now, leave it and check again at 24k I'll likely have the rads off anyways to replace the coolant.

Of course, my question was mostly about whether at the given spec (0.010-0.011) the shim requires vital replacement now.

Thanks for the twist tie tip. I usually just mark the cam and chain with a dab of nail polish but twist tying them together sounds well worth trying.

Yes I know about rags :-) they already saved the little round gasket from dropping into the depths.

Oh, also. I noticed that there was some rubber gasket sealant (from a tube) applied to the stock gasket wherever the gasket bends vertically (there are 4 vertical U bends, 2 on each side). Presumably this is to ensure a good seal at these points and applying more at reassembly (after cleaning the old off) is recommended??? I don't think the heads have been off before, so I'm assuming it came this way from the factory.

Anyone have comments?

Tony
If it were me I'd do the cam shims now, afterall it will take you 2 shim sizes to get to middle spec at .16. I wouldn't pull the rads, and yes the gaskets did have a dab of non hardening sealant at those sharp junctions for a reason. I removed the old and put a dab of new there as I buttoned it back up myself.
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