Author Topic: Valve Adjust Conventional Wisdom  (Read 2380 times)

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Offline Rich

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Valve Adjust Conventional Wisdom
« on: February 23, 2009, 07:10:00 pm »
All You C14 Owners:    Being firmly entrenched in 1980's technology, I am ignorant when it comes to the C14 and am attempting to learn as much as I can.  I've seen postings here that indicate the C14's shim-under-bucket valve train is very robust and can go for extensive mileage (50K +?) without requiring adjustment.  I also note the dealers are charging 10 hours or more of labor to do the job.  Holy smokes!  That's gotta hurt.    Shim-and-bucket (regardless of over or under) is indeed much less prone to needing adjustment than the rocker-and-screw type found on the 80's vintage Ninja/Eeliminator/Concours mill.  Thus far the testimony on this forum concurs.  That's good.    But....    Doncha hate "buts?"    Over the years we've found that some - not all, not most, but SOME - dealers practiced "creative labor charging" when it came to valve adjusts.  Usually some, if not all, of the C10's valves NEED adjustment within the first 800 miles yet I have talked to countless people who claim "my dealer says (I wince whenever someone starts a sentance like that) that the valves checked OK."  Indeed, quite often I'd check the member's thermostat hose clamp and find the screw oriented at the bottom, indicating the valve cover has never been off the engine.      Now I am NOT saying that this is what's happening now.   But it would be interesting to find out if the findings of the DIY guys are consistant with what is being reported by those that have a dealer service the bike.  I suspect it is, as personal experience indicates the shim-and-bucket valve train can indeed go for quite a long time without needing work.    Any comments?  The Original Rich Reed  COG #7  1986 Kawasaki Ninja 1000R  1977 Yamaha XS650 Standard  2004 Little Blue Chevy  "Over the hill it's five bucks.  Here in Idaho it's a hundred and eighty."  
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Offline tjhess74

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Valve Adjust Conventional Wisdom
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 01:06:00 pm »
the c14 is new enough still that its unknown how the valve train will react to age.  i can say from personal experience (matching that of others) that the first 15k check is important.  all of my shims needed either replacing or switching from a nearby valve.  two of them were dangerously tight.    i plan on making the second check at the preferred interval at 30k and seeing if the engine has settled in.  the third check should answer that question for us completely.    i know my c10 settled and never needed another adjustment in the following 45k miles before being traded in, hopefully the 14 is the same.    dont even get me started on the dealer.  half of them dont even know how to do the adjustment on this bike.  there has been a report of a dealer breaking a cam guide upon reinstallation.    take your time, get a manual, and buy fred. h's videos for a visual reference and you will be amazed at how easy it really is on this bike.  Tom Hess  North Charleston, SC    COG #8406  IBA #30337  CDA #248 (C10)    97 c10 (former)  08 c14 (current)
Tom Hess  North Charleston, South Carolina    COG #8406  IBA #30337  CDA #248 (C10)    97 c10 (former)  08 c14 (current), 2007 Honda VFR800 RWB

Offline Charles W. (Chuck)_Hoefflin_IN

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Valve Adjust Conventional Wisdom
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2009, 11:16:00 am »
It seems to vary. Some of the riders have reported changing the adjustments on several of their valves at the first check -- somewhere in the 15-20K mile range. Mine, on the other hand, and Rod Westphal's from NM, were OK at that first check. Rod did his own work so I expect we can trust his measurements. On mine, I stood right there and recorded the measurements as they were being taken so I'm comfortable with them. They were very consistent with all of them falling in the lower half of the acceptable tolerance range.    Why the difference? I don't know. It may be riding style -- I'm not an aggressive rider. It may be the type of gas we run. Or, it could just be the luck of the draw.    My current plan is to ride it for another 25K miles or so and then check them again. I know that Rod just checked his the second time at 45K miles and had to make adjustments on seven of the valves.    Ride safe.  
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 10:16:00 am by Charles W. (Chuck)_Hoefflin_IN »

Offline Rodney

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Valve Adjust Conventional Wisdom
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2009, 01:04:00 am »
I just finished my second adjustment at just over 45,000 miles.  Had to change only 5 shims, and they were each only 1 step off.  I did the first one at about 24,000 miles and had to just change 2 intakes which were just at the lower end of the range.  I will wait another 25,000 miles as I don't feel it will be necessary before that.  I also changed out the plugs for the first time at this check and they looked pretty good also.  
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Offline Boburns

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Valve Adjust Conventional Wisdom
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2009, 01:53:00 am »
This kind of surprises me.     Well, I have an FJR and most of the people I've spoken towho have taken their bikes in for valve checks say that they rarely if ever are in need of adjustment.    One guy said his valves were fine after 104K miles.     I've got near 50K on my bike and so far no shims needed. At ~$300 per check at the dealer, I may skip one or two myself.           Here's some chatter on the FJR forum on the topic    Bob "Flylooper" Burns  COG #5887  E Clampus Vitus, YB#1  '04 FJR 1300    
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 12:54:00 am by flylooper »
Bob "Flylooper" Burns  COG #5887  Former Editor, The Concourier  E Clampus Vitus, YB#1; '04 FJR 1300

Offline Fred_Harmon_TX

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Valve Adjust Conventional Wisdom
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2009, 10:23:00 am »
I did my first valve check at 12,635 miles myself. I had to change shims on 14 of the 16 valves in order to bring them all back to center spec. While some of them were technically still "in spec", they were on the edge.    I have already heard reports of folks who have had the dealerships check them and then tell them no changes were needed. Color me skeptical, but I too wonder just how well they really were checked. My guess is that the dealers only swap shims if a valve is totally out of spec.     When I do my own, I set them ALL to the center of the spec, and this only makes sense since you have to pull the cams to change just one shim. If you already have the cams out, it only makes sense to set ALL the valves under that cam to center spec. This way you shouldn't have to do it again for a longer interval. Setting them all to center spec also makes the engine run smoother.    Here is a link to my shim map. Please note it is bass ackwards as far as the cylinder layout, since I worked from the front right side of the bike. I also video taped the entire process, and I think it ended up being almost 6 hours long after I edited it, but I was intentionally working slow so I could explain things along the way.      
« Last Edit: March 09, 2009, 09:45:00 am by Fred_Harmon_TX »
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