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How to: Adjust Valve Clearences - Ben's Way *lots of pics

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' at netrider.net.au started by slickncghia, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. First up its "Ben's Way" ... not "The Right Way" i just wrote this up to inspire more n00bies to have a crack (use your manuals)
    Second up i cant remember what the thingamajiggy is called :grin:
    Third up my bike is nice and simple (1 cyl, 2 wheels and 4 whatchamacallits) and dosent need shims or anything silly like that
    and finally theres a few pics but they are hosted elsewhere and they are thumbnailed. Click on them to see more detail.

    Ok first you need a bike (check) reason so want to check the valves (check..on the check)
    and a nice sunny saturday to waste in your backyard. :cool:


    Then you need a bunch of tools (nothing too fancy: allen keys,spanners,socket kit,feeler gauge) and a workshop manual helps.
    Special note: Safety Fluid Its always important to have 1 or 2 bottles of sefety fluid around when doing any vehicular maintenance.
    In this case i was using some James Squire Golden ale...but you can substitute it with just about any local or international variety. Safety First :beer:


    Then you goto rip all the bits in the way off. Fairings, Seat, Tank... remember
    to turn off the fuel tap before disconnecting the fuel line (i didnt make that mistake...but someone will)


    Then take out your spark plugs and remove the valve inspection panels... so you can see the bits


    Then your going to want to get your pistons to Top Dead Centre (TDC).
    Remove the screw on the side of the engine thats covering the big bolt (technical name) and turn over the engine until the 2 marks line up indicating TDC
    the location of the indicator marks will vary depending on the bike...mine were near the bolt that you have to rotate


    Then you spend 15minutes looking for your feeler gauge....

    Once found. loosen the nuts that are secureing the valve adjustments.
    slide your feeler gauge in the gap between the valve and the adjustamajigger (another technical term..see pic).
    For my bike it was 0.05-0.1 so i split the middle with 0.076 as you can see

    Then adjust the height using a flat head screw driver until the satisfactory gap is reached.
    Then secure the clearence by re-tightening the nut.


    Proceed to adjust all (4) and get them all nice and even.
    Special note: murphy's law there will always be one nut the is in
    the most f%#$%ing annoying position and seems impossible to get too....
    but if some one could do it up in the first place..there is always a way it usually just requires more safety fluid and a shorter spanner.

    This is as good a time as any to check your spark plug gaps, oil level, windscreen wipers,indicator fluid and whetever else you feel like.


    Then wack her all back together in the opposite order.

    valve inspection covers,Spark plugs, that side covery thing,reconnect fuel line,tank,seat,fairings

    Then put all your tools away, throw the empties in the bin, waste some time on netrider to sober up and Take her for a test ride :twisted: :biker:

    Anyway she didnt blow up on the test ride so i dont think i fcuked anything up

    if you have an couple of hrs to kill have a crack...if you don't feel comfortable ...then don't

  2. All that and no 'skinned' knuckles?
    Nice one Ben :wink:
  3. lol not this time. i usually say if your not bleeding at the end then you missed something...but it seems to have gone ok

    but if it makes you feel better i burnt a bit of my glove on the header pipe playing with the carbies after the test ride...theres still a black mark on the pipe :oops: :LOL:
  4. Thanks for that dude, now pity the fools that buy multi-cylinder, multi-valve bikes. Bollocksed if I could do that on my bike with twice the time! :p Oh hey, I hope that digital dash worked out well for you, I've just bought the same one for Cheng's bike.
  5. anytime mate. its like a spanner night for social misfits like myself.

    yeah the gauge is still sweet. i broke the speedo pickup cable on a mystery ride a few weeks back. the pickup hit the dodgy magnet from the old unit and died. A new one is on the slow boat from the US as we speak
  6. well it seems to have fixed the rattle that was thought to be a loose tappet..... so im happy :)

    if only my car was going this good
  7. Good post!

    Did you check the clearances before you adjusted them? I always see what they were before they become what they are. ;-)

    That way you can tell if something is going off...


    Trevor G
  8. its actually a little hard to tell if its fixed the rattle. it def dosent rattle at idol like it did

    yeah i checked the clearences

    the exhaust port clearences were a bit large and the intake clearences were a bit small ...what does that tell ya trev?
  9. That's good!
  10. That it needed adjusting?? ;-)

    How much out is the real thing.

    I have seldom seen performance gains by adjusting valve clearances (I still do them, tho!) except for one time.

    Then the valves were almost completely closed up on my 250 Honda, because even though I read the manual I didn't realise that the feeler gauges had to go all the way through the clearance. I cannot believe I was so dumb...and on that occasion the Honda shop took care of it anyway.

    Power response was so much better that it popped a little wheelie when I picked it up. (OK, it didn't pop the wheeelie when it saw me - I was twisting the throttle.)


    Trevor G

    PS Clearances can be very precise on some engines.

    The diesel engine fitted to landcruisers is reputed to gain 5 kmh in top speed when the clearances are adjusted correctly. It goes from 144 to 149 kmh.

    Of course, those speeds are achieved in outback qld where they run the vehicles at full throttle to cover vast distances. - I was given the info by a toyota repair shop in Toowoomba some years back, and a customer in my computer shop just repeated it a month ago.
  11. Good post slickncghia.

    First time I adjusted my valve clearances, all my valves were way out. Wasn't till I got them all adjusted that I realised my feeler guages were in Thous of an inch and not metric. Oops. They were probably OK before I started

    Also if in doubt valves clearances should err on the side of being slightly loose than slightly tight.

    On my bike, adjustments are on the pushrod end of the rocker and I can easily touch the push rod. If your bike has this arrangment a good way to check clearance is to tighten cleanance till the feeler guage grabs tightish (i.e. you can't slide it) then back off till you can just rotate the push rod. Judging from the pics you wouldn't be able to use this method on slick's bike.
  12. Interesting read slickncghia. A few days ago I knew very very little (eg. nil) about valves, bu tthen took it in for a service and they told me that my valves were too tight. They loosened them and did some other stuff like cleaned the carbys and then I rode home on a totally different bike - and the megacycle exhaust sounded better than it had for a long time too.

    Only one prob though. Bike was making a funny 'whirring/tapping' noise. Took it back in for them to look at and they said the valves are a bit too loose. They'll readjust them next wk.

    One of the guys there explained (and drew a diagram!) the valves and what they do etc. I forgot most of it though. :LOL:
  13. Great post mate!
    I will have to have a crack at this when i buy my bike :p