Author Topic: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check  (Read 7066 times)

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Offline JeffP

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1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« on: December 26, 2013, 09:08:39 pm »
Well, I am about 1/2 way throught my first valve clearance check. First off, Fred's DVD's were an absolute God-send! Best $80 I have spent on this machine! Thank you so much Fred! I am sure it was extremely time consuming to produce those things.

I have an 08 with about 23,000 miles on it. After checking all the clearances it looks like EVERY single valve needs to be adjusted.  :(  Most are out of spec by only 0.001". Cylinder #1 is the worst with a couple out by 0.002.

My question is this...is this normal for this bike?
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Offline 4Bikes

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 09:57:41 pm »
With the feeler gauges in my own hands, I found 2 exhaust valves and 4 intake valves out of spec and tight, and the remaining 10 valves were on the tight side of the spec. I centered 15 valves.  It seems that if a dealer does the checking they would somehow be reported as being in spec. The feeler gauge either fits or it doesn't, so it's not a subjective thing.

+ Many on Fred's videos.
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Offline MikeK

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 09:58:17 pm »
I am doing the same procedure right now on an 08 with 24,900 miles and they all need adjustment, ranging from a few at the edge of tolerance but most out of spec by .001 or .002 or even .003.  I feel fortunate I had the time to do this since I probably was headed for some burned valves.

Fully agree that this heinous procedure would be unthinkable without Fred's videos.  Even with the videos I managed to get my ratchet stuck when removing the air breather socket bolt in a tight space and had to get my reciprocating saw out to cut the bolt -- it is never a good thing when that saw is needed during the middle of a repair procedure.

I am waiting for my shims to show up.  As it turns out Partzilla, which seemed to have the best prices for OEM shims, will not even ship until Saturday even though I ordered them on Monday.

Since the process of removing the sub-frame is so involved I plan to re-torque the engine mounting bolts while I have it all apart.

Offline BDF

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 10:13:38 pm »
Just going by what others have reported over the years, it does seem to be normal for this bike.

A couple of thoughts though: since we don't know where our valves were set at the factory, it is impossible to know how much they have moved. Also, it is tempting to think that the valves have tightened up to their current measurement evenly over the miles on the bike. Just my opinion but I do not think that is what is happening; I think the majority of the movement occurs pretty quickly and then either stops or very close to it. There seems to be a trend of these engines being a bit on the tight side (either the tight side of tolerance or just under tolerance) on the first check but then subsequent lash checks show little or no change.

My own valves were all w/in range although barely in four cases (all intakes) when checked at 25K miles. A check at 50K miles showed three of the original four tight valves were still at the lower limit but one was just above that limit; given the small tolerances, that change might have been nothing more than a change in temp. in the garage between the two times it was checked.

There is a lot of info. about this and a bunch of it will probably show up if you do a search on 'valve clearance' and similar.

Brian


<snip>

I have an 08 with about 23,000 miles on it. After checking all the clearances it looks like EVERY single valve needs to be adjusted.  :(  Most are out of spec by only 0.001". Cylinder #1 is the worst with a couple out by 0.002.

My question is this...is this normal for this bike?
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Offline gsun

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2013, 11:22:54 pm »


Since the process of removing the sub-frame is so involved I plan to re-torque the engine mounting bolts while I have it all apart.

That shouldn't be necessary as they are factory supplied with red thread locker and the manual says to replace them (because they come with thread locker on them). You probably won't be able to torque them without removing them first.

Going to start my second valve check tomorrow.

Offline Turbo

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2013, 11:23:37 pm »
It is normal for the valve clearances to change when the bikes are new as the valves settle in. Once you get 20 - 30 thousand miles on the engine they will not move much. The best thing to do is to measure each valve very closely, and then when you pull the cams to re-shim, you should shim all of the valves to the top of the range. The bike will run better, and then you can go much longer before having to do your next check without worry. Mike.

Offline JeffP

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 12:29:19 am »
Thanks for the comments guys. Pulling cams tomorrow. Then we hurry up and wait for shims....
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Offline 4Bikes

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 12:37:51 am »
Good luck and be careful when lifting the cam caps. The dowels either stay with the engine block, with the cam cover, or they fall out.  Plug the timing chain hole with a rag.
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Offline Rembrant

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2013, 02:03:04 am »
I've done quite a few valve adjustments on Kawi engines...several C-14's now, and I personally have never seen a valve out by more than 0.001", but anything is possible. It has been my experience that the exhaust valves are usually all on the tighter side, and the intake valves are usually on the looser side. I typically have had to loosen a couple exhaust valves and sometimes tighten a couple intake valves.

When I say "out", I mean outside of the spec, not off center.

Having the feeler gauges with the bent tips helps a lot imho. I recently did a an 08 Suzuki GSXR engine, and it was similar to the Kawasakis I have done. Last kawi I did was a 2002 ZRX1200R, and I ended up adjusting I think 14 of the 16 valves to get them all where I wanted them. However, If I recall correctly, only four of those valves were technically "out" of spec. That was an untouched engine with 21k miles on it.

I'm not sure what others do, but I use engine assembly lube when I'm re-installing the cams, etc. It helps.



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Offline JeffP

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2013, 02:11:16 am »
What is engine assembly lube? And how does it differ from oil?
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Offline Rembrant

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2013, 02:20:30 am »
What is engine assembly lube? And how does it differ from oil?


Well, it's a lube that is made just for assembling an engine. It's a lot more clingy and stringy than oil. I put a drop on each cam journal, and a drop on the cam before re-installing the journal covers.

I buy it at a local engine shop, but you can buy it anywhere, including Ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Federal-Mogul-Engine-Products-4oz-Assembly-Lubricant-/271353514353?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f2dee0971

I'm not saying that it is necessary...I've just gotten in the habit of using it over the years.

I'm sure using engine oil is just fine. If we wait 12 hours or so, there will likely be four guys that will reply and say that I shouldn't be using the stuff...lol. YMMV;)
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Offline BDF

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2013, 03:18:57 am »
It sounds like you are in your running blocks getting ready for the race.... about a**'y lube.  :rotflmao:

What Rembrant said about using a**'y lube on the cams is not a bad idea at all, and the stuff he pointed you toward is fine for use in motorcycle engines too. Some a**'y lubes are moly or nickel based and they should really not be used in anything with a wet clutch. But any of the a**'y lubes that are liquid and dark red are fine as they use a different material for lubricating than the metals listed, specifically zinc and phosphorous in the form ZDDP. A lot of companies also sell it as cam break- in lube but it is the same stuff.

The reason a**'y lube is used for initial assembly is because the parts being assembled are in direct contact (no film of oil) and a**'y lube is made for metal- to- metal contact, usually called extreme pressure lubes (EP packages).

Brian


Well, it's a lube that is made just for assembling an engine. It's a lot more clingy and stringy than oil. I put a drop on each cam journal, and a drop on the cam before re-installing the journal covers.

I buy it at a local engine shop, but you can buy it anywhere, including Ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Federal-Mogul-Engine-Products-4oz-Assembly-Lubricant-/271353514353?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f2dee0971

I'm not saying that it is necessary...I've just gotten in the habit of using it over the years.

I'm sure using engine oil is just fine. If we wait 12 hours or so, there will likely be four guys that will reply and say that I shouldn't be using the stuff...lol. YMMV;)
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Offline Roger M.

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2013, 09:27:52 am »
I'm following this thread closely as my valve adjustment time is closing in quickly. For now though, more miles on the kawi as we head to work.  :motonoises:


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Offline Rembrant

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2013, 12:35:56 pm »
It sounds like you are in your running blocks getting ready for the race.... about a**'y lube.  :rotflmao:

Haha...well, we both know just how fanatical obsessive passionate many riders are about their engine oil...lol.

I just find that when pulling the cams, buckets, etc...everything gets pretty dry from handling. The oil ends up on your hands, or a rag, or whatever.

Since these EFI engines start so instantly, I figure every little bit helps, and the assembly lube stays exactly where you put it. If you're dripping some on the cams, etc, there is no chance of it ending up in the bolt holes, etc.

On a side note, I think it's great to see guys tackling their own valve checks/adjusts with Fred's videos. I've not seen these videos, but they're obviously very good. It's a pretty daunting task, even for guys that are relatively handy. No matter how you slice it, it's still a big job on the Concours-14.

Cory ;D

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Offline BDF

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2013, 12:45:25 pm »
True, oil is a contentious subject.

Just to mention to the folks who may be new to cam removal / replacement, what Cory is talking about is lubing the cam bearing saddles, the cam bearings and the lobes at assembly. I usually just pour a bit of oil or break- in lube into the saddles, then drop in the cam, then run a thin streak of break-in lube all the way down both cams. That way you catch the bearings as well as the lobes. The break- in lube bottles that I have used have all had a flip / dispenser cap which makes it easy to put the stuff where you want it.

Way back in the olden' days 'break- in lube' was a 50 / 50 mix of motor oil and STP. Like working with Vaseline if the garage was cold and those first few turns on the engine really gave the battery and starter a workout. :-)

Fred does take a great technical photo. I have not seen his videos either but suspect he does as well with video.

Brian


Haha...well, we both know just how fanatical obsessive passionate many riders are about their engine oil...lol.

I just find that when pulling the cams, buckets, etc...everything gets pretty dry from handling. The oil ends up on your hands, or a rag, or whatever.

Since these EFI engines start so instantly, I figure every little bit helps, and the assembly lube stays exactly where you put it. If you're dripping some on the cams, etc, there is no chance of it ending up in the bolt holes, etc.

On a side note, I think it's great to see guys tackling their own valve checks/adjusts with Fred's videos. I've not seen these videos, but they're obviously very good. It's a pretty daunting task, even for guys that are relatively handy. No matter how you slice it, it's still a big job on the Concours-14.

Cory ;D
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Offline 4Bikes

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2013, 12:56:26 pm »
As a disciple of Fred's Videos, I followed his advice and drizzled motor oil into the the cam bearing saddles and coated the cam bearing surfaces with oil before dropping them into place.  In my case that was Mobile 1, just to throw my hat into the inevitable oil thread ring.  ;D
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Offline The Pope

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2013, 01:21:52 pm »

I am waiting for my shims to show up.  As it turns out Partzilla, which seemed to have the best prices for OEM shims, will not even ship until Saturday even though I ordered them on Monday.


I found that Jake Wilson had the best price. Around $2 each. Just search for "zx14 shim" and select the sizes and quality.  ;)

Here's the link to another thread where I mentioned this not too long ago: http://forum.cog-online.org/index.php/topic,48018.msg323032.html#msg323032

 ::) As it has been stated several times before, the Search function is your friend.  :great:

« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 01:28:43 pm by The Pope »
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Offline JeffP

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2013, 02:50:30 pm »
What a great discussion. When I initially watched Fred's videos on this subject, I thought, why is this taking so long?  But then when I started the process, I had my laptop on a chair in the garage and could literally work right along with Fred as he went through the disassembly process, pausing when necessary due to a stubborn part (like the #3 Stick Coil! What a major pain in the neck to extract that one! Or I should say, pain in the fingers...actually took some skin off one of my fingers trying to get some leverage on that sucker.)

So today I am pulling the cams and measuring shims. The manual (page 5-20) says to "apply grease to the NEW O-rings" on two of the oil pipes that come out of the head (4 rings on two of the pipes). Is this necessary? Or can I just inspect to make sure they aren't cracked or otherwise damaged then grease them for re-assembly? BikeBandit.com has the O-rings...at $3.29 EACH! Seems expensive for an o-ring. And I would need 8 of them to follow the manual. Just trying to save some $$ here.  I am also planning on replacing the cam chain tensioner gasket.

And I noticed that the Air Switching Valve hoses that go to the reed valve assemblies are both cracked a little bit on the ends. So will be ordering replacements for those as well.
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Offline Rembrant

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2013, 04:22:15 pm »

So today I am pulling the cams and measuring shims. The manual (page 5-20) says to "apply grease to the NEW O-rings" on two of the oil pipes that come out of the head (4 rings on two of the pipes). Is this necessary? Or can I just inspect to make sure they aren't cracked or otherwise damaged then grease them for re-assembly? BikeBandit.com has the O-rings...at $3.29 EACH! Seems expensive for an o-ring. And I would need 8 of them to follow the manual. Just trying to save some $$ here.  I am also planning on replacing the cam chain tensioner gasket.


The old C-14 Parts directory had a link to a thread about these O-rings.

I believe the size listed was 1.9x8.8, recommended in Viton. You can buy them at any hydraulic shop for 50-60 cents each or so.

I cannot guarantee that this is the correct size...I'm only going by old notes here. I've used non-Kawi O-rings to replace these every time. To be safe, you'd have to take a new Kawi o-ring to a hydraulic shop and have it measured.

To inspect these O-rings properly, you really should remove them. If you're going to remove them, you might as well replace them. You can inspect them in place if you want...I'm sure lots of done it this way(anybody?).You can buy a specific o-ring lubricant for installation, but engine oil works just fine. Just rub it over the O-rings before pushing the crossover posts down into the cyl head.

In all of the times I have inspected these O-rings, I have only found one that was actually bad...it had a rip/tear in it, which more than likely happened during installation. I think having a problem with these O-rings, even if they're old, is highly unlikely...but not impossible.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 04:27:58 pm by Rembrant »
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Offline BDF

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2013, 04:37:24 pm »
This is a little risky but: you can pry 'gently' on the coils with a tool while twisting them to make it easier to remove them. Again, it would be easy to crack the plastic but a bit of pressure under the lip of the coil helps tremendously in removing them. A spot of silicone grease on re-installation will make the next removal a lot easier by the way.

I found a few nicked O-rings on the oil pipes on my bike. As Rembramt has already mentioned, you can get them for a lot less money either through a local bearing shop or even McMaster- Carr; buy a bag of 25 or 50 and you will have a life- time supply of them for about the same cost or less than one set from the dealer.

Brian

What a great discussion. When I initially watched Fred's videos on this subject, I thought, why is this taking so long?  But then when I started the process, I had my laptop on a chair in the garage and could literally work right along with Fred as he went through the disassembly process, pausing when necessary due to a stubborn part (like the #3 Stick Coil! What a major pain in the neck to extract that one! Or I should say, pain in the fingers...actually took some skin off one of my fingers trying to get some leverage on that sucker.)

So today I am pulling the cams and measuring shims. The manual (page 5-20) says to "apply grease to the NEW O-rings" on two of the oil pipes that come out of the head (4 rings on two of the pipes). Is this necessary? Or can I just inspect to make sure they aren't cracked or otherwise damaged then grease them for re-assembly? BikeBandit.com has the O-rings...at $3.29 EACH! Seems expensive for an o-ring. And I would need 8 of them to follow the manual. Just trying to save some $$ here.  I am also planning on replacing the cam chain tensioner gasket.

And I noticed that the Air Switching Valve hoses that go to the reed valve assemblies are both cracked a little bit on the ends. So will be ordering replacements for those as well.
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Offline nando

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2013, 01:43:52 am »
I understand my mechanic removed the gas tank to do the valves...has anyone done that?...am I asking another dumb question?
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Offline gsun

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2013, 01:51:21 am »
I understand my mechanic removed the gas tank to do the valves...has anyone done that?...am I asking another dumb question?
Not necessary.

Offline BDF

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2013, 04:23:30 am »
No need to remove the fuel tank and it actually is not of any advantage anyway. The fuel tank sits on top of the frame, and the frame is above the engine so there is nothing to gain regarding space by removing the tank.

The valve lash check / adjustment is not all that bad but there is a lot of bodywork that has to come off before you can get to the actual engine. And I think it is a bit harder on the second Gen. C-14 because of the sealed fairings.

In fact, I would suggest doing a valve lash check and throttle body synch. at the same time and you need the fuel tank on the bike for the T.B. synch anyway.

Brian

I understand my mechanic removed the gas tank to do the valves...has anyone done that?...am I asking another dumb question?
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Offline Rembrant

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2013, 11:52:18 am »
I understand my mechanic removed the gas tank to do the valves...has anyone done that?...am I asking another dumb question?

Yup, what Brian said above. Removing the tank to get access to the top of an engine is only required for motorcycles with a twin-spar frame.

For what it's worth to the guys checking valves for the first time...or any time for that matter, the job is a bit easier if you remove the radiator. I don't know how many people do this, but I always do. Your coolant should be replaced every few years anyway, so why not do it when you're doing a major service like checking and adjusting valves? It takes a little extra work, but it's easy work. If I'm doing the valves on somebody else's bike, I always recommend changing the coolant at the same time.

Once I have the radiator removed from the bike, I remove the cooling fans, and then flush the radiator in our laundry sink. (Alternatively, you could use the bath tub....just make sure the wife isn't home...lol). I have one of those spray nozzles on the laundry sink faucet, and I lay the rad face down in the sink, and then back-flush the fins while I go over it with a soft bristled brush. Just make sure you don't swipe the brush against the fins....go with the grain as it were;). You'll be surprised at how much dirt and debris comes out of it.

Just an FYI in case you want to go that extra step, and gain a little more access to the cylinder head.

Cory ;D
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Offline Rembrant

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Re: 1/2 Way Through First Valve Clearance Check
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2013, 11:54:59 am »
...And I think it is a bit harder on the second Gen. C-14 because of the sealed fairings.

It is harder. I find the 08-09 Tupperware much easier to remove and install.
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