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Feeler gauges, need two of each?


Grayrider

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Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs

Yes. The idea is that you're comparing the tightness between the two valves. I guess you could make do with one each, but typically the help guides call for two. Besides, they're cheap. smile.gif

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ShovelStrokeEd

You are better off with two for making the valve clearance measurement.

 

You are actually measuring from a rocker arm, which has its own internal clearance. If you use two gauges, you can avoid a misread on the gauge pull caused by the rocker arm tilting toward or away from the valve you are checking. Tilting is not the word I would choose but the board software misinterprets the word for a male pheasant.

 

'Sides, they really are cheap.

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Do I need to purchase two gauges of each size to use at the same time?

 

I'll offer up the opposite opinion.

 

The BMW shop manual shows adjusting using just one feeler gauge.

 

And I only use one. Works just fine.

 

Stan

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The BMW shop manual shows adjusting using just one feeler gauge.

Yeah, but we're doing it ourselves because the BMW tech doesn't get the right results ...

 

Lose two anal-retentive points and go back a square.

 

wink.gif

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Ok, Then I need to order four, two for the intake measurment and two for the exhaust measurment. Thanks guys.

 

after just doing my first valve adj and using 2 feelers i found it easier for me to get the "feel". they're relatively inexpensive as well. wave.gif

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Do I need to purchase two gauges of each size to use at the same time?

 

I'll offer up the opposite opinion.

 

The BMW shop manual shows adjusting using just one feeler gauge.

 

And I only use one. Works just fine.

 

Stan

Probably one of the few times when I will definity disagree with Stan!

 

IMHO, four gauges are a must. As a matter of fact you should keep them all in place as you are adjusting any particular valve.

 

You will find that as you adjust one valve, it will effect the others. You just have to keep going back and forth between all four until you are satisfied.

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I can buy into the two guage method (I have two so why not use them both), although theoretically the rockers are pretty symmetrically placed wrt to the rocker shaft mounting, so the rock or tilt of the rockers on the shaft should be about the same when you adjust one then the other. You might get a slightly tighter clearance using only one than you would using two, but the clearance between each intake (or exhaust) valve will still be the same.

 

As for all four, the only thing that could possible move when adjusting the intake which would effect the exhaust valve clearance would be the camshaft or the rocker supports. So unless your cam bearings are worn or the rocker support is loose or somehow your warping the head, I can't think of any reason to try and hold four feeler gauges in at the same time.

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Joe Frickin' Friday

If you're frugal and dextrous, you can get by with a single gauge of each thickness. I take a single feeler gauge and slip the whole thing under both intake valves at the same time, grabbing at the middle of the gauge to see which valve has a tighter grip on it, and adjusting accordingly. To me it's less tedious than trying to juggle two separate gauges.

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IMHO, four gauges are a must. As a matter of fact you should keep them all in place as you are adjusting any particular valve.

 

You will find that as you adjust one valve, it will effect the others. You just have to keep going back and forth between all four until you are satisfied.

I think you're going way overboard with concern for accuracy here. With a feeler gauge under one valve I can (sometimes) just barely detect a difference if I insert a gauge in the other, so whatever difference there may be seems pretty trivial, probably less than .0005". Far from multiple gauges being a must, I would say that the difference between using one gauge and multiple (I'd never even heard of someone suggesting four before this thread) would be completley irrelevant in terms of making any detectable real-world difference in performnace or longevity.
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A similar concept is to take the needed guages from one set and install them next to the same size in the second set. You can then open them up into a "Y" and hold the guage with one hand while adjusting with the other.

 

For a m/c which is sold based on the ease of maintenance, especially valve adjustments compared to shim & buckets of overhead cams, there sure is a lot of discussion on valve adjustments. eek.gif

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Now that this thread has grown I have another question. OK, the manual recommends checking the valves every 6000. I've heard talk of only needing to check it every 12000. What say you and why?

 

Second. I've been told that if the valves were too loose when needing an adjustment that its less serous than them being too tight as that could cause problems. What is your experience when adjusting your valves. Were they loose or too tight? And, how much adjustment did your vales need, alot or a little?

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Once your engine has broken in I think you'll find that valve adjustments are seldom required at 6k mile intervals, nor at even 12k or beyond for that matter. I have stopped checking at 6k as it is clearly unnecessary on my bike and usually check at 12k, and even at that adjustments are infrequent. Many folks love to point out that 'bike x only requires adjustments at 24k miles' but usually oilheads don't require adjustments any sooner than that either... although valve clearance is so easy to check and set on boxers (unlike 'bike x' wink.gif) that we usually do it more frequently just to keep it spot on. As you can tell by this thread we tend to be kind of anal about such things. grin.gif

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As for all four, the only thing that could possible move when adjusting the intake which would effect the exhaust valve clearance would be the camshaft or the rocker supports. So unless your cam bearings are worn or the rocker support is loose or somehow your warping the head, I can't think of any reason to try and hold four feeler gages in at the same time.

Oh I'm hearing you, it doesn't make a lot of sense. But try it some time... Place your two exhaust gauges in place, memorize the drag on them, leave them in place, then go adjust an intake. I'll bet you $20 that one or both of the exhaust will have changed when you go back and check the drag on them again.

 

The mechanics of why it is, is a mystery to me, but it is so.

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As for all four, the only thing that could possible move when adjusting the intake which would effect the exhaust valve clearance would be the camshaft or the rocker supports. So unless your cam bearings are worn or the rocker support is loose or somehow your warping the head, I can't think of any reason to try and hold four feeler gages in at the same time.

Oh I'm hearing you, it doesn't make a lot of sense. But try it some time... Place your two exhaust gauges in place, memorize the drag on them, leave them in place, then go adjust an intake. I'll bet you $20 that one or both of the exhaust will have changed when you go back and check the drag on them again.

 

The mechanics of why it is, is a mystery to me, but it is so.

 

I agree thumbsup.gif As funny as it seems once you touch either side, the oposite side changes slightly too. I use 4 feelers and use a piece of string to tie them together and with an aligator clip to a cooling fin on the engine. This way the feelers stay put and you can adjust the valves easier.

I found that if you take the time to do the adjustments well, all 4 feelers should have the same resistance feel if you slide them back and forth.

The better the valve adjustment the smoother the engine seems to run. I am always amazed that when I do my valves vs the dealer that my bike runs better. Needless to say that the dealer only saw my bike for the 600 mile check up for warranty reasons grin.gif

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I'm a little confused about your question. When I buy feeler gauges they come in a set. This set has more then enough individual thicknesses to select the "pairs" so you should not have to buy two sets. Of course in "making up" a thickness you have to clean each blade EVERY time you pair them otherwise you risk extra thickness from dirt and oil.

 

I have tried the single blade across the rocker pair but I don't have confidence that I can detect the individual "stiction and drag"

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These particular feelers are bought singly, each having a coloured plastic grip. I am one of those (entirely anal types eek.gif) that bought two of each and use the dual feeler/string and crocodile grip method. Dunno if it works any better but certainly makes me feel better about the job and that's all that counts dopeslap.gif

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Clive Liddell

I am with those who use one feeler guage of each size.

 

Just an interesting observation (and to prove that I am as anal as the rest of us).

 

I have two sets of metric guages - same manufacturer but one enclosed by a metal "frame" while the other by a plastic "frame":

 

Checking against a 100% micrometer gave:

--------------metal-----------plastic

0.15mm----0.1485----------0.1484

0.30mm----0.3035----------0.3145

 

The rest are also all over the place but my question is, IF I used the two guage method, but used the above guages would I be more accurate or less accurate at the end of the day?

;>)

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Checking against a 100% micrometer gave:

--------------metal-----------plastic

0.15mm----0.1485----------0.1484

0.30mm----0.3035----------0.3145

 

The rest are also all over the place but my question is, IF I used the two guage method, but used the above guages would I be more accurate or less accurate at the end of the day?

;>)

 

Your two measurements differ by no more than 10 microns, i.e., 0.4 thousands of an inch. Machinists generally can't make two pieces identical to that tolerance anyway, in a metal-working shop. So I'd say the difference is insignificant.

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If you're frugal and dextrous, you can get by with a single gauge of each thickness. I take a single feeler gauge and slip the whole thing under both intake valves at the same time, grabbing at the middle of the gauge to see which valve has a tighter grip on it, and adjusting accordingly. To me it's less tedious than trying to juggle two separate gauges.

 

Like this:

 

both-feeler-gage.jpg

Exhaust-feeler-gage.jpg

 

Not to mention the Anton Method (click here) of adjusting valves which takes the anal out of the job, and makes it quick and easy!

 

Jim

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Do I need to purchase two gauges of each size to use at the same time?

 

I'll offer up the opposite opinion.

 

 

 

The BMW shop manual shows adjusting using just one feeler gauge.

 

And I only use one. Works just fine.

 

Stan

 

I agree with Stan...Just did the valves again on my '99 1100RT and I used to use the 4 gauge method, but I just used 2 this time and actually think I did a better job.

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