Author Topic: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment  (Read 821 times)

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Offline Bill Self

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TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« on: October 17, 2019, 02:28:00 pm »
I am retired mechanic shop owner who does my own wrenching on all my vehicles including my 2002 Concours.

HEADS UP:  In reviewing the COG Tech Pages for the C10 Valve Adjustment;  I would warn against the 2003 Update advice of using the Cam Lobes Up model for adjusting valves. Here's my reason (verify yourself):  Adjusting your valves the factory manual recommended TDC way may get different results than the Lobes Up valve adjustment.  I just figured this is true for my 2002 ZG1000. Maybe it is different for other models?   

For the record, my tunes ups have my Connie purring like a kitten; and producing full smooth power when I pass cars.  I use sea foam fuel cleaner at least twice per year to keep my carbs free of varnish. I would recommend the Tech overseeing COG's Valve Adjustment info. include my "Heads Up" in the official valve adjustment section.

I now believe the COG Tech "Update Oct 2003" may produce unintended lesser tuned Connies:  The specific text of that update says:  "Starting at cylinder number 1, I hit the starter until the intake cam lobe is anywhere above horizontal and thereby leaving the valves fully closed. Just a few quick taps or two on the starter button will usually do it. Check and adjust both #1 intake valves as necessary. Then, move on to the intakes on cylinder number 2. It's just that easy. Once the intakes are done, do the exhaust. Don't forget to change to the other feeler gauge."s

Yes that is easier, but it get different results as compared to the factory recommended TDC way on my 2002 Concours (for me).  Food for Discussion?  I Hope So!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 08:38:50 pm by Bill Self, Reason: spelling »
Bill Self w Concours & KLR 650/ Northern Calif.

Offline GeorgeRYoung

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2019, 02:38:42 pm »
How much clearance difference is there between the two methods?

Offline DC Concours

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2019, 04:23:27 pm »
Exactly. What was the difference? Many people here including very capable C10 owners have used the lobe up method forever and I am sure they have examined/thought of the difference and either found none or the difference was negligible to be concerned with..

Offline DSamudio

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2019, 04:45:45 pm »
When completed my last valve adjustment, I started on intake 4 and moved down to 1. I then moved from exhaust 1 and moved up to 4.

After each adjustment, I would spin the cam one full revolution and test again.

I used two feeler gauges at he same time to make sure the adjustments were even. (this takes 4 hands)

When we finished, we rechecked all of them again, just to make sure.

Am I missing something about the process?

DS

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2019, 04:49:03 pm »
I can address this.

  Lobes straight up gets the measurement on the base circle of the cam. The true base circle. When doing the tdc measurement, it can actually produce maybe .001 more clearance than the base circle. That seems strange. I asked the company that grinds my cams about this, and the response is that this is common due to grinding of the lobes and when the grinder is making contact as it transitions from ramp to base circle.

  Good observation from the OP.

  Here's a video of my c10, adjusted on the base circle.

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LZ4WbgiihI

Steve
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Offline Bill Self

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2019, 08:19:21 pm »
Somebody asked what was the difference: Reply from the original poster.  I did the lobes up way recently after reading that 2003 update, and was suprise my intakes on # 4 were very tight (guessing 003" vs .006").   ... If I had done the factory recommended TDC way the first round, I am sure my adjustments would have been closer to norm.  I adjusted all valves the lobes up way, and had to adjust many valve clearances. I went back to the TDC way, and readusted most of the valves back to what (I believe) has historically made my connie pure like a kitten, plus have full smooth power when I want that.

Will all Connie camshafts be like that? I do not know. This is my experience on my 2002 Connie I had about 15 years. If you are doing your own valve adjustments, I certainly recommend you check out the differences in clearance between the TDC way, and the Lobes Up Way.    I will be registering this info. with my personal experience, and using the TDC way (taking off side cover and rotating crank 180 degrees counter clockwise to the TDC marks of each cylinder for each cylinder's valve adjustment) from now on!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2019, 01:21:29 pm by Bill Self, Reason: spelling of Reply »
Bill Self w Concours & KLR 650/ Northern Calif.

Offline Nosmo

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2019, 10:48:11 pm »
I have tried it both ways.  For whatever reason, my 2003 engine "seems" to be a bit smoother using the TDC method.  Note that I have SISF's cam retiming mod (using the stock cam shafts).  I would believe what Steve says above, (I tend to believe anything Steve says about Connie engines) and I also believe, but cannot actually confirm, that the slight difference in positioning of the whole collective set of lobes in relation to the valves/valve springs gives a somewhat different total spring tension on the camshafts which my affect their relative positions within their bearing bores in the head. 

When setting my clearances, I also make every effort to get them all the same as opposed to just being "within limits".  Again, the closer they are to being the same, the smoother the engine seems to run.

I have been known to be full of crap on many occasions, this could be one of them.
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Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2019, 10:49:10 pm »
Bill, the Concours Owners Group c-10 technical editor position is currently open and desperately needs filling. Perhaps you could consider filling that position, as I'm sure many c-10 owners would appreciate you sharing your years of knowledge with them.

 Steve
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Offline LeeM

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2019, 06:11:02 am »
I use the TDC method of adjusting valves but I feel there are are a couple of things to mention. If you get a 3/8" square drive clicker type of torque wrench and you use a notepaper and pencil, you can set the valves equally and consistently.   

For a gently ridden 80K mile bike with a working cooling system, my Connie's valves are staying pretty well adjusted.  I am reminded of  Studebaker V8's I used to own and a mechanical lifter Toyota Corolla my wife owned that just ran year after year not needing much in the way of valve adjustment.

Somewhere on this website I posted pictures showing the use of four #64 rubber bands, some black silicone permatex and a 14" bamboo skewer to hold the valve cover gasket to the valve cover while maneuvering the valve cover onto the engine. The final trick is to snip the rubber band  with scissors and hold the same rubber band with a long nose pliers so it does not shoot off who knows where.

Offline Lee

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2019, 09:15:20 am »
Wow! Thanks guys. With winter coming perfect timing!

Does that qualify as a pun?!

Great looking rubber band trick too!

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2019, 10:36:11 am »
     I'd like to add that IMO, either the TDC method or the "lobe up" method will work equally as well.

     i'm basing this on the fact that the idea is to get the valves solidly on their seats to insure cylinder pressure during the compression cycle and also , particuularly int he case of the exhaust valve, to provide cooling. that is the "mechanical reason"

   But then there's the "non mechanical " reason , well actually 2 that I can think of.

   1) The concept of the Concours Owners Group regarding maintenance is that you can learn how to maintain your own bike, even if you aren't a professional  mechanic.  While I agree that the TDC method is proper, it can create some difficulties in understanding with guys who are not mechanics. The lobe up method is pretty foolproof... you can trust your eyes.

   2) Turning the crank with a wrench has a HUGE pitfall for the uninitiated... that would be the potential shearing of the ignition plate locating pin.  This failure is easy to create but not easily identified when the bike runs poorly, or doesn't run at all after the ignition timing is blown. Again, this would be a huge problem for a non professional, and I dare say, a diagnostic nightmare even for a professional who doesn't know this failure can happen. And yeah... BTDT.  :-[ :-[

   Steve
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Offline bajasam

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2019, 04:09:25 pm »
   While I agree that the TDC method is proper, it can create some difficulties in understanding with guys who are not mechanics. The lobe up method is pretty foolproof... you can trust your eyes.

 
This is the most relevant statement in the entire thread,with emphasis on "foolproof",With an exception for the large 400plus thumpers with a compression release on one valve.

Offline Bill Self

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2019, 06:42:05 pm »
from original poster: 

Since I am waiting for a new valve cover gasket to arrive today before buttoning up my Concours, and just finished (yesterday) my TDC way of adjusting all my valve clearances to as close to I could get to all .006" for intakes, and 008" for exhausts;  I decided to re measure my clearances the Lobes Up way.

Here's what I got 20 minutes ago: The difference in measurements were striking to me on my stock 2002 Concours: Cylinder #1: .004" intake  .006" exhaust;   / #2: .004" intake  .006" exhaust  / #3: .005" intake .006" exhaust /   #4: .0025" intakes  .008" exhaust     I am sure my Concours would still run readjusting my valves the Lobs Up Way, but I doubt it would be purring like a kitten.

Will every Concours have this striking difference?  I do not know.  This is on my stock 2002 Concours.  My local extremely experienced moto buddy running the Honda Moto Dealer shop says always use the TDC method, though mentioned a way to do an extra intake and exhaust on two other cylinders while rotating the crank only twice. I will stick to the 4 - 180 degree rotations/ do each cylinder on TDC with cam lobes facing away from each other on each cylinder's valve clearance check and adjustment.

My tune ups have resulted in my Concours purring like a kitten, plus having full smooth power on a moment's notice. I noticed Nosmo posted: " I have tried it both ways.  For whatever reason, my 2003 engine "seems" to be a bit smoother using the TDC method."

For the record: I aim at exactly .006" intake clearances / .008" exhausts instead of the range between this and that a dealer shop might use. That's me wanting to be exact. I like the lesser clearance vs larger clearance because I think that makes the valves open slightly earlier, close slightly later, giving valves a slightly longer open interval for a hairline more power when I run up my rpm.

Re: Steve in Fla's: "Turning the crank with a wrench has a HUGE pitfall for the uninitiated... that would be the potential shearing of the ignition plate locating pin."   My thoughts are if someone can do all that work to get the valve cover off, and then back on; it makes sense to me they could also handle taking off the side cover to rotate the crank 4 times without messing up the ignition plate locating pin. I would recommend: Just make sure to have the spark plugs removed when rotating the engine counter clockwise (there is a little arrow on same disc indicating that turn direction) to the T (TDC) mark next to "F" mark (ignition firing mark) . Cylinders 2 and 3 were marked "2.3"  on that same indicator disc on my Concours. Applying anti-seize lube to sparkplug threads is smart idea.

I made a record of this second set of Lobes Up Valve Clearance measurements for all us DIY Concours owners to consider. I personally think the TDC way is a no brainer. If you think the lobes up way it good enough, I recommend to at least check out the difference for yourself on your next personal valve adjustment; and report back here.

Happy Trails, and Keep the Rubber Side Down!
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 08:04:54 pm by Bill Self, Reason: added anti seize lube remark/ and spell correction »
Bill Self w Concours & KLR 650/ Northern Calif.

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2019, 01:55:37 pm »
My 20+ years of experience with cats has shown that "purring like a kitten" is not what I want my engine doing.  :)
The purring is in fact smooth, but then the kitten cuts out a bit before smoothing out again. 
Maybe my cats need a valve adjustment. :-[




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Offline RWulf

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2019, 02:06:26 pm »
Let us know how it turns out when you torque those adjuster nuts.

Offline Bill Self

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2019, 03:45:14 pm »
From Original Poster: Not attached/ but would be nice to see:

I Propose:  2019 Update to COG Tech / C10 Valve Adjustment Page:

2019 Update:  Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment: While many C10 Concours owners have used the Cam Lobes Up method for valve adjustment maintenance to their satisfaction, there is a report by one member that the Top Dead Center way of adjusting valves gets difference valve clearances than the Lobes Up method on his 2002 Concours. The factory recommended TDC way of adjusting valves may produce better tuning results on at least some Connies.  Check out the discussion: http://forum.cog-online.org/concours-c10-zg1000-general-chat-and-tech/tdc-vs-lobes-up-valve-adjustment/ -vs-lobes-up-valve-adjustment/
Bill Self w Concours & KLR 650/ Northern Calif.

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2019, 04:00:45 pm »
Bill, you really ought to consider joining COG and maybe accepting the tech editor position. the position is currently open, and in need of a mechanically educated individual to fill. It's not often that a person with real mechanical knowledge comes along, and others can benfit from your experience. I am suggesting this with all sincerity and humility.

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Offline Bill Self

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2019, 08:59:37 pm »
Yo Steve, I appreciate your compliment about my being a mechanically educated individual. I will consider your request at a later date, but will decline for now. I have some web topics of another nature coming up that I will eventually get my priority over COG. I think this is a notice to everyone reading this thread: COG Can really use some volunteer energy in the Tech Pages Dept.   ... What a great forum; and source of DIY and comparing notes support for Kawaski Concours owners. 
Bill Self w Concours & KLR 650/ Northern Calif.

Offline Tour1

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2019, 05:43:02 am »
FWIW from a non-professional, for me it's hard to hit .006" or .009" on the nose to begin with.  I don't have the tool that holds the adjusting screw so I used a screwdriver and a box wrench.  Try as I could the adjusting screw always got 1/8 turn or more tighter when I tightened the locknut.  The screw is 7mm according to the parts book and the standard thread for 7mm is 1mm pitch.  1mm is almost .004" so .001" is about a quarter turn of the adjusting screw.  1/8 to 1/4 turn movement while I snug the lock nut is halfway to the next feeler size.
Then there's the play in the rocker /cam follower, that 2-headed snake that has the adjusting screws in it. Wiggling side to side doesn't cause much movement but the clearance seems to change when it's off center.
The surface the cam slides on isn't necessarily factory flat either.  If one valve had more clearance than the other for any length of time then one side might have worn down more than the other.  There's also the question of how much push it should take to insert the feeler gage between the cam and the follower.  I felt like I was pushing the clearance open a lot of times, but once it's bigger than the gage it slides in and out so easily the gap isn't really indicated by the gage size, it's just bigger.
In the end I used a lot of voodoo, which was re-doing it again until it felt kind of right.
It starts and runs better than before.  While I was almost selling it to BB he asked if doing the valves was difficult.  I didn't know what to say because it's not hard to do, but it might be hard to do right.
Regarding the lobes up vs TDC, I used TDC but re-gaging the clearances often got different results for all of the above reasons.
If you're doing a racing tune-up the you want perfect, I think for keeping a 33 year old bike running some liberties need to be taken.
I did re-adjust a couple of valves after rotating the engine to do other valves.  When I thought enough is enough I figured that Kawasaki would have come up with a better adjuster if they needed better adjustments.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 05:49:51 am by Tour1, Reason: tie-in to topic »
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Offline cra-z1000

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2019, 09:42:45 am »
Whichever way it is done this tool will make life easier . Just get it .

https://www.murphskits.com/product_info.php?products_id=38
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Offline works4me

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2019, 10:58:55 am »
To Tour1: All of your points are well taken. The key to any adjustment,
be it valves, carbs, tire pressure, etc. is being consistent, not
necessarily accurate. Getting them all the same ( while in range )
is more important than “on the nose”. Whatever technique is used
is fine as long as it’s repeated across all points of adjustment.

Offline strum

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2019, 02:09:25 pm »
 Works4me said it correctly . It is a feel thing though. To me if its so tight that im scratching the gauge then its too tight.   If its loose then how loose? So I go for a slight drag. As far as lobes up or TDC.  While  debatable im not sure theres much difference either way if the clearances are consistent.
  I remember years ago when i worked for my uncle who raced the old KZs .For racing he would set the intakes on the tight side of spec and the exhaust on the lose end  but for normal  maintenance he did like most say here and went to the loose side for longevity. 
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Offline bajasam

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2019, 04:55:33 pm »
I figured that Kawasaki would have come up with a better adjuster if they needed better adjustments.
Funny how people think about things, In my experiences this is both the simplest and most efficient method for valve adjustment in existence. If you think playin around with removin cams and keepin track of shim sizes under buckets is better than more power to ya.My only advice would be to not approach it as a one try deal, just keep playin with it until you get them all the same even if it takes you all afternoon and you have to spin the motor a couple dozen times.The more you do it the more confident and quicker youll get.

Offline DC Concours

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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2019, 06:19:11 pm »
Now, armed with this information, how many of you will change the way you do your valves? I'm not.

My old bike is not a precision race machine, she runs fine, sounds fine, crisp throttle responses, so I am happy with the lobe method.



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Re: TDC vs Lobes Up Valve Adjustment
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2019, 07:13:39 pm »
i've always aimed for the middle of the valve lash spec, via the factory book method, on every bike i've done since i was 20. My old engines class instructor always used to say: its going to change as it runs, aim for the middle'. never has served me wrong, that advice. never had an issue. they are precision machines, but they are NOT hard to maintain.  and yes, shim and bucket does suck. want time consuming? do a desmo. still not THAT bad to do. Just a bit more time.  .02