Author Topic: "Dumb" question about valve adjustment  (Read 1080 times)

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Offline ron203

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"Dumb" question about valve adjustment
« on: February 05, 2012, 02:50:04 pm »
I hate to ask this, but better safe than sorry.  I'm in the middle of my first valve adjustment and so far, so good, got it all torn apart.

But now it's time to loosen the locknuts (as needed) and nothing I see in the tech pages, the book, etc say which way to loosen the nut prior to adjusting the screw. It's so small and I've seen so many cautions about over torquing, I'm afraid to get in there and just "pull" counterclockwise which is my inclination. Can someone give me some guidance before I break something?  ;D

Thanks!
Ron
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Offline cal

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Re: "Dumb" question about valve adjustment
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 03:01:58 pm »
You're doing it right, counter- clockwise to loosen. I give a quick snap of the wrench to loosen. Back in my VW days, I allways kept two locknuts & two adj. screws in my sidebox just in case I stripped one of them. I have one extra screw & locknut for Connie, have not needed them yet.

Offline ron203

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Re: "Dumb" question about valve adjustment
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2012, 03:03:41 pm »
Thanks Cal. I DON'T have any spares, but that's a good idea. Now...back at it.
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Offline 2linby

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Re: "Dumb" question about valve adjustment
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2012, 06:53:33 pm »
Righty "tighty" (clockwise)....... Lefty "Loosey" (counter-clockwise). Spec torque is 18 ft/lbs. I set my torque wrench to 16 ft/lbs (actually 192 in/lbs) and never had one loosen up.
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Offline Bergmen

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Re: "Dumb" question about valve adjustment
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2012, 11:08:37 pm »
Here is a valve adjust method I developed when I had the Concours engine in the bike. It is a very straightforward and methodical technique that I found to be very effective in arriving at acurate clearances.

1) I check the tappet to be adjusted to see how much it needs to be tightened/loosened by find the correct feeler gauge leaf that passes snugly between the tappet and valve stem. Usually, they need loosening (especially the exhaust) by .001 or .002.

2) I will place a box wrench on the locknut and a tight fitting screwdriver in the tappet slot. I crack the nut loose slightly while turning the tappet with the screwdriver in unison with the locknut and then tighten the lock nut while holding the tappet from turning.

3) It is pretty easy to estimate how much to loosen the tappet by considering that the tappet has a thread pitch of 1.0mm (about 0.040"). A 1/4 turn of the tappet is 0.010, 1/8 turn = 0.005, etc. Once you get a feel for this and with a little practice, you can begin to get pretty accurate movements in .001 increments.

4) If the tappet needs to be tightened, do the opposite, crack the nut loose while holding the tappet from turning and then tighten both.

Also, with practice, you will get a very good feel for proper tighteneing without a torque wrench. When it is just right, it sort of hits a wall, actually pretty easy to feel.

If you are careful, you can get into a rhythm and start knocking these things out and be very precise and consistent from one to the next.

I pull the spark plugs and bump the starter to position the cam lobes. Starting with #1, I watch the intake lobes as I bump the starter. As the intake valves close I then look into the spark plug hole and watch the piston rise. Once it hits close to TDC I stop and adjust all four valves. Knock it around 180O, watching for the top of piston #2 to reach TDC and do those. Then to #4, then finish up on #3.

Dan
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 11:10:27 pm by Bergmen »
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Offline ron203

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Re: "Dumb" question about valve adjustment - DONE!
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 11:53:28 pm »
Thanks guys! All done. I hope it's right. I took it for a ride and it feels and sounds and feels "better."

Adjustment #1 (by me) is in the books. I had it done last time and never quite was satisfied that it was done completely right. Might have been something to do with the fact that the guy who did it pinched the gasket and I had an oil gusher onto the headers. This time, I went very slowly and very carefully and I think they are right. I used a combination Tech pages and Clymers approach. I thought about bumping, but since I  was trying to be SO careful, I thought I'd turn it by hand the first time so I could watch the cams. They, btw, looked marvelous as they should at 12,000 miles.

Lessons learned (for future searchers):
-Loosen the nuts to the left and tighten to the right as previously noted-looking down from above. That is not noted in any directions I found and I thought there was just a tiny chance that Mama Kaw had used backward threads for some reason. No reason to wring anything off, when I could ask all you helpful folks. Thank you Cal, Dan, Ron, et al.
- Label every hose, line, wire, etc. with where it goes and what it hooks up to. It took me 3-4X longer to remove everything than to reconnect because of the labels. Saved me MUCH concern and screw ups, for small black hoses all look alike when you're tired.
- A long workbench is a joy. I laid everything out left to right as I dissassembled and worked right to left going back together. Someone needs to come up with a velcro fairing attachment kit. I hate those dam*ed screws!
-Make sure you have good overhead light. I need to add some before next time.-Mini-mag in the mouth DOES work.
-Murph's Special Tool was useful for half of the adjustments (under the frame) but not necessarily required. Stubby screwdriver and box end would work.
-A  table lift will be in my shop NEXT time. My back and shoulders will appreciate it. I will save enough on two adjustments to pay for it.
-When you get tired (and you will the first time), Stop. I did. Advil is good!
-Have all the gaskets and you won't need them. Have your RTV and Locktite handy. Use it just like the instructions says.
-The instructions call for a 14 mm wrench to turn the engine. Mine nut was 27 mm or 15/16". The instructions noted the same thing.
-Draw a diagram of the adjusters and cross them off as you go. Note tight or loose and keep it for next time. Most of my exhaust valves were tight, a few of the intakes were tight. One or two of the intakes were loose.
= Check your petcock. I replaced mine. It was 12 years old. I'm amazed at how much tighter the new one is. I musta been on borrowed time. $73 WELL spent.

-Total cost to adjust the valves, replace the fuel line, well seals, and vacuum line to the petcock and replace the petcock itself this time (already had the gaskets and seals, plugs, RTV, Locktite from earlier adjustment a year or so ago) about $106. Cost at the dealer would have been about $375 including the petcock.

-Special tool - $26 or so
-Petcock - $73, line <$5, vac line = $2
-Still have a new valve cover gasket, the side gasket, and
Peace of mind and sense of accomplishment: Priceless.
Popped on the new Corbin saddle and took a ride! Great weather here in GA next week.

Thanks for the online help. This is a great place! I got my $37 worth (again) :) :beerchug:
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Offline Volcantour

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Re: "Dumb" question about valve adjustment
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2012, 02:32:34 am »
Way to go on the servicing of your valves!  It's a great feeling of accomplishment to get that done, no?

I use cardboard with rough (really, and I mean REALLY rough) sketches of the Connie body to help me keep up with the screws/allen head bolts.  Use Phillips head screwdriver to set a hole at the approximate location of the screws, and never worry again about setting a screw of the wrong length when mounting the body plastic again.
HTH
« Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 02:34:06 am by Volcantour »
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Offline ron203

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Re: "Dumb" question about valve adjustment
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2012, 11:15:53 am »
Yes. Small victory to some, big one to me! Great idea on the screw template.
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Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: "Dumb" question about valve adjustment
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 04:22:22 pm »
 :bravo_2: Good on you! Now go have a beer and congratulate yourself. :beerchug:
JIM CULP
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No one is a TOTAL failure; they can always be used as a bad example.