Valve Clearances - to check or not to check

Discussion in 'UK Motorcycles' started by KR1S, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. KR1S

    KR1S Guest

    Hi All

    Once again I'm here looking for advice:

    I've got a Honda Blackbird that's just due for its 16000 miles. The book
    says it should have the valve clearances checked (for the first time). My
    local independant workshop said they wouldn't bother doing that if there was
    nothing to suggest it needed it.
    If I give it to the main dealer I'm sure they'd charge me for doing it but
    less certain that they would actually do it.
    So it seems that I'd have to do them myself but the independant dealer did
    start me wondering whether it was really necessary.

    What do people do and/or has anyone done the job themselves on a Blackbird
    of that mileage? If so were they far out?

    Any advice would be much appreciated

    KR1S, Aug 3, 2007
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  2. KR1S

    Mark Olson Guest

    Do it yourself. You'll have a record of where they're at, when you check
    them again at the next major service you can then judge the rate of change
    and decide whether to skip/extend the interval between checks.

    They say, "nothing to suggest it needed it". I wonder how you'd know if
    they were too tight without the engine already suffering from the effects
    of leakage. Under spec but not actually leaking there'd be really no way
    to tell. Too loose, obviously they'd be noisy, but shim under bucket
    style valvetrains don't generally get looser over time.

    All that said, you're probably safe to let it go, but I'd do it because I
    like to track things like that.
    Mark Olson, Aug 3, 2007
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  3. KR1S

    Dave Emerson Guest

    The problem with (nearly all) modern engines is that wear and settling
    causes value clearances to reduce rather than get bigger.

    In the old days you could tell when clearances needed to be checked by the
    obvious clatter.
    Tight valves don't make themselves known until permanent and expensive
    damage has been caused.

    There's every chance they are OK but you never know.

    Honda wouldn't have included it in the service schedule unless they
    considered it important.

    I'd get them checked, either by someone you trust or diy with a
    knowledgeable friend.
    Dave Emerson, Aug 3, 2007
  4. KR1S

    toad Guest

    Moving into pedant mode, Suzuki tell me to torque up all my exhaust
    studs every 4000 miles. They might consider that important, I don't!
    toad, Aug 3, 2007
  5. KR1S

    Mark Olson Guest

    Leaky headpipes will make a bit of noise. Tight valves will give little
    or no warning and are likely to burn, meaning an expensive valve job.
    Mark Olson, Aug 3, 2007
  6. KR1S

    toad Guest

    Too right, and if my post implied otherwise I apologise.
    toad, Aug 3, 2007
  7. KR1S

    Pip Guest

    Having experienced (many times) the utter joy asociated with removing
    exhaust headers, I do this. I don't just click a torque wrench at
    them though - I undo the nut/bolt/stud a bit and then re-tighten.
    Apart from this being the only way to get an accurate figure, it means
    that the bastard things wikll come out when/if I need them to.
    Pip, Aug 3, 2007
  8. Strike them from your list of people you'd trust to do any job properly,
    The Older Gentleman, Aug 3, 2007
  9. KR1S

    toad Guest

    Agree. Having owned a divvy 6 with a rotted collector box I am
    familiar with the misery of having to needlefile an exhaust stud out.
    I have learned my lesson and once every two years remove, copperslip
    and replace all the exhaust bolts on both my bikes.When the exhaust
    rusts or I need to get the head off I will be a happy chap.

    That is not the same as merely torquing them up which IMHO is a waste
    of time. If they've stayed put for a few thousand miles they aint
    going anywhere - the problem is getting the fuckers out.

    None of this is anything to do with Blackbird Valve Clearences and I
    now wish I hadn't started the digression.
    toad, Aug 3, 2007
  10. KR1S

    KR1S Guest

    If I give it to the main dealer I'm sure they'd charge me for doing it
    Well, two things really:

    1. When I needed shims for my last bike the main dealer mechanic was
    surprised to find his shim box empty. If he was doing the job regularly he
    would have known what was in there.

    2. They can, without me being any the wiser.

    I've started to do it myself but have stumbled at the first hurdle - does
    anyone know how to get the fuel tank off a Blackbird (fuel injected) whilst
    keeping (almost) all of the fuel in the tank?
    KR1S, Aug 3, 2007
  11. KR1S

    KR1S Guest

    1. When I needed shims for my last bike the main dealer mechanic was
    Flawless logic and if I could, I would!

    Although I don't reckon it's quite the same - I wouldn't open myself up just
    to see if I needed to take my appendix out - there would be symptoms and
    hopefully they'd go away afterwards.
    With the bike I wouldn't know until probably much later, when my valve
    burned out, that they hadn't been checked.

    Of course it's possible I'm being too cynical and I'm sure there are some
    honest and trusworthy main dealers.
    KR1S, Aug 3, 2007
  12. KR1S

    mr p Guest

    I checked the valves on my CBR and they were a bit tight, however I
    did not have a suitable spanner or patience enough to bother adjusting
    them. I am now in the position that I know they are a bit tight but I
    have not got around to adjusting them ! I would think that you can at
    least check them your self; get them adjusted if they do need doing. I
    have to check my Birds' valves at some point, it's on about 25k so who
    knows if they have ever been looked at... I do mainly motorway riding,
    correct me if I'm wrong ( as usual) but I suspect many short
    journeys would more likely lead to the gaps getting too big. I'm
    awaiting that elusive weeks holiday at home, when I will have the
    time and inclination to catch up on all my vehicle maintenance before
    I do mine ! I guess part of the reason for having 16 of the things is
    that they are less likely to burn out if you neglect the maintenance ?

    mr p, Aug 3, 2007
  13. KR1S

    peter Guest

    Seconded. Patrick at Pointe de Corde checked the valve clearances on
    the Tart as decreed at 10000 Kms. He was pleased to report they didn't
    need adjusting. This is good news in view of cam wearr problems on
    some early (pre kit evo) motors. Apparently they won't need checking
    again until 30000 Kms.
    peter, Aug 3, 2007
  14. KR1S

    Beav Guest

    And they don't help in making the bike run well either, particularly with
    ECU controlled fueling which takes its cues from (among other things) the
    amount of shite coming out of the tail end iof the exhaust.

    Tight valves will give little
    As can a leaking exhaust system.


    VN 750
    Zed 1000
    OMF# 19
    Beav, Aug 3, 2007
  15. KR1S

    Beav Guest

    You've never had a job done at a garage that was't *actually* done? I'd say
    you've been lucky.


    VN 750
    Zed 1000
    OMF# 19
    Beav, Aug 3, 2007
  16. KR1S

    GungaDan Guest

    This sounds bad.
    Are there likely to be other symptoms before this happens? I only ask
    because I'm pretty sure the Bus should have been checked at the 16K
    service. However, there's no mention of it on the invoice. Mileage now
    at 22K and I'm getting a weird hunting/surging with a constant
    throttle at low revs, the cause of which I've so far been unable to
    identify. Last week stripped the whole of the fuel system down to
    check for clogged filters, which were fine. I've also fitted new plugs
    and cleaned the air filter.
    GungaDan, Aug 4, 2007
  17. KR1S

    Pip Guest

    This sentence makes as little sense as any of the foregoing, but is a
    prime example of the ignorance of the majority of vehicle users, and
    why so many service workshops (allegedly) can get away with bullshit
    and poor workmanship.

    Neglecting maintenance is a fool's creed, all the more so if the
    neglectful person does not understand the first principles of the
    operation of the machine to be maintained.
    Pip, Aug 4, 2007
  18. KR1S

    zymurgy Guest

    I wish the utter fucker who owned the FJ before me had done this. I
    had to dremel all around the studs on #2 flange to get the downpipe

    <fx: waves to Andy Hewitt> ;)

    zymurgy, Aug 4, 2007
  19. KR1S

    AndrewR Guest

    Are you calling me a ****?

    AndrewR, D.Bot (Celeritas)
    Kawasaki ZX-6R J1, Aprilia RSV-1000R (11th August), Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo
    BOTAFOT#2,ITJWTFO#6,UKRMRM#1/13a,MCT#1,DFV#2,SKoGA#0 (and KotL)
    BotToS#5,SBS#25,IbW#34, DS#5, COSOC# Suspended, KotTFSTR#
    The speccy Geordie twat.
    AndrewR, Aug 4, 2007
  20. KR1S

    Timo Geusch Guest

    This is UKRM.

    Do you *really* need an answer to this question?
    Timo Geusch, Aug 4, 2007
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