Do you guys DIY valve adjustments?
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Thread: Do you guys DIY valve adjustments?

  1. #1
    Registered User Array Porschenut's Avatar
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    Do you guys DIY valve adjustments?

    I'm looking at a valve adjustment later this year and considering my options. I've looked at my service manual and youtube videos on the process and I'm not entirely sure that I want to try this on my own for the first time without supervision. I really like to do as much of my own wrenching as possible whether it be my autos, motos or bicycles but my experience opening motors only goes as far as replacing valve cover gaskets.

    Given I'd have to acquire a few new tools as well as a valve shim kit to perform this very seldom done service what would you guys recommend?

    Just pay a shop $1000 to do it?
    Find another DIY'er with tools and a kit to come to my garage to help me and possibly pay them for their time to do so?
    Just invest in the tools and shim kit and give er on my own?

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  3. #2
    100% Asshole Array SpookyjacK's Avatar
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    For a $1000 dude I'll do it for you... But in all honesty typical Jap inline about half that cost. It's not a job to try if you're not comfortable doing it. Pretty easy to mess things up if you're unsure or careless.

    What bike is it?

  4. #3
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    It all depends on your personal skill / comfort level.... I do all my own maintenance. But, I have worked on high end cars most of my life. If you are comfortable and understand the basics of a valve adjust on an older Honda car, then you could graduate to doing the bike with the manual as guide.

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  6. #4
    Registered User Array thekaz's Avatar
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  7. #5
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    It's a good skill to learn, as it's one of the more expensive and labour intensive maintenance items for owning a bike. Shim and bucket valve adjustments aren't really terribly hard and between a shop manual and forums/friends are definetely doable at home for someone mechanically inclined.

  8. #6
    Registered User Array Porschenut's Avatar
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    The 2013 10r is needing the valves done. The thing that I'm hung up on is the actual adjustment process. I willingly accept that a shop needs to charge a grand to do it because it takes time. My debate is because it's no problem at all for me tear apart the body, tank air box etc and then check the clearances. I'm just intimidated about disassembly past that stage and possibly dropping small bits into the bottom end and or screwing up the reassembly.

    Ideally, I could tear the bike apart, check all the clearances then someone helps me just to re-shim the required valves and reassemble the valve train. I'd gladly pay someone for that part. In fact, if I had a trailer, I'd simply tear apart the bike and deliver it minus the bodywork tank and air box to a shop and let them take it from there.

  9. #7
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    nekkid
    Sounds like you should take it to a shop. Its not a trial and error exercise. Screw up could cost you a lot more. A shop "should" stand behind their work.

    Its not worth the heartache. I have rued the day I embarked on some projects. Last one was a hot water tank - my toenail still hasn't grown out.

  10. #8
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    Any time you feel nervous about doing anything yourself, take a close look at the folks that do it for a living.

    Working on a bike is not like open heart surgery.
    There are old riders and there are bold riders. There aren't any old, bold riders.

    Ride safe folks.

  11. #9
    Ridin hard n dirty Array Mr.Sushi ya ha's Avatar
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    I really doubt you need anything more than an inspection unless you are hearing a new sound in the engine like a tick or the bikes power is changing. A huge amount of riders never get their valves done and the bikes go for ever.
    So if you feel like popping the covers off then checking them that would be all you need. If by chance a valve is out of spec then offer the bucks for someone experienced to give a hand. I know there are a few members here who are good
    with bikes and would help out.
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  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Sushi ya ha View Post
    I really doubt you need anything more than an inspection unless you are hearing a new sound in the engine like a tick or the bikes power is changing. A huge amount of riders never get their valves done and the bikes go for ever.
    This is not really correct... Back in the old days there was rocker wear. Now, the problem is your valves wearing into the cylinder head so they actually get tighter and quieter. This accelerates the wear process further... Some engines are more prone to this (not sure where the Kawi is on the scale) and some gasolines seem to be more abrasive.
    But... You can very likely go further than the recommended mileage before inspection.

  13. #11
    100% Asshole Array SpookyjacK's Avatar
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    I'm more than happy to help my issue is my time management. I work nights and my time is very limited as every other weekend my son is home with me too...

  14. #12
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    Its pretty hard to judge valve condition from sound unless you have a burnt valve or a really loose one. Burnt valve is a good thing to avoid and an excellent reason to have your valve lash checked/adjusted.

    Funny thing. Bike salesman told me valves need to be checked because they get loose and noisy. Wrong. Its the other way around. They get tighter till one stays open slightly causing the valve or seat to burn. I didn't correct him - some things are better left unsaid.

    http://www.forddoctorsdts.com/galler...-burnt-valves/

  15. #13
    Registered User Array CanadianBird's Avatar
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    I follow my Owner's Manual. I try to time it with other timed service. I pay for this service and I'm comfortable with this. We need to keep our economy going. I'm obviously not a DIY guy. No tools, skill sets and it works for me. I do applaud those who do and enjoy the challenge. Good luck to the OP.


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  16. #14
    Registered User Array Chumly's Avatar
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    Yep I sure do my own valve adjustments (and most everything else), I would not have it any other way. For me part of the fun is working on interesting machines. It's not overly difficult or stressful as long as you are relaxed, organized, avoid distractions, and take your time.

    Collect all the required information, tools and materials in advance and set aside a day with no other obligations. The skills you learn by working on your motorcycle can be applied to many other endeavors in your life.

    As has been said by the neocon warmonger Donald Rumsfeld: "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

  17. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chumly View Post
    Yep I sure do my own valve adjustments (and most everything else), I would not have it any other way. For me part of the fun is working on interesting machines. It's not overly difficult or stressful as long as you are relaxed, organized, avoid distractions, and take your time.

    Collect all the required information, tools and materials in advance and set aside a day with no other obligations. The skills you learn by working on your motorcycle can be applied to many other endeavors in your life.

    As has been said by the neocon warmonger Donald Rumsfeld: "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."
    Very good!
    As i mentioned "it's not heart surgery''. You can take a few moments to get things in order if you get stumped, without the patient dying on you.
    There are old riders and there are bold riders. There aren't any old, bold riders.

    Ride safe folks.

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