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20,000 mile valve adjustment.


Smoky

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So I used to check my valves by the book, but never had to adjust anything. So I started to extend the interval. I just got back from my trip to Colorado and Utah, and I thought the bike was running a little rough.

 

So I checked the valves and was delighted to find that I actually had to adjust something. Both sides the top exhaust valve needed a tiny adjustment.The guage would go in but was tighter than the bottom valve.

 

When I went to put the results in my bike log, I was shocked to discover that I hadn't checked the valves in 32,000 km. That's 20,000 miles unless I checked 'em and didn't note it in the log.

 

Also did a TBS, so bike should be just purring now.

 

Whatcha think????

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I think you identified something most of the higher mileage folks have found......Once these motors are well "Run in", they don't require much adjustment. I just did a full 2 year, 12k service.....everything on the list. This because while building my house, I wasn't able to do anything beyond an oil change. Bike runs great......Just like it did before all that work!

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Whatcha think????
I think your experience demonstrates why people shouldn't get too whipped up over the supposedly 'frequent' oilhead valve adjustment intervals. In reality they don't require adjustment any more often than other bikes... and when you do adjust them you don't need special shims and a camshaft R&R! wink.gif
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64,000 km on my RT.Bought it with 15,000 km on it-never touched the valve adjustment,TBS,or the alt. belt.New plugs at around 58,000.Changed oils that's all.Starting to get a little rough idle now.I think a cooler climate is easier on the belt,I'll be changing it shortly just to be sure.

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While we're on the subject of valve adjusting, I have a question. Why is it that when I'm adjsuting my valves and have them all to spec and having the same "feel" while I slide the gauge around, when I pull all the gauges out and re-insert them, some then feel either looser or tighter than what they were originally? Then I just readjust them till I can pull the gauges and put them back in getting a uniform feel. Anyone else have this happen to them? Terry

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While we're on the subject of valve adjusting, I have a question. Why is it that when I'm adjsuting my valves and have them all to spec and having the same "feel" while I slide the gauge around, when I pull all the gauges out and re-insert them, some then feel either looser or tighter than what they were originally? Then I just readjust them till I can pull the gauges and put them back in getting a uniform feel. Anyone else have this happen to them? Terry

 

I would surmise that you are experiencing a change in the feel due to the change in the film. Film of oil, that is. Although it is small, the film of oil that exists between the two points of contact plus the oil on your feeler gauge can change the feel you experience.

 

As long as nothing else has changed, i.e.; turned motor over, etc. I would not be too concerned by the change of feel.

 

YMMV.

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I use the go-no go method. If a .006 in. fits and a .007 doesn't, I let it go. Same with the exhausts. Why worry yourself about a half thousandth?

 

I agree with extending the service mileage with some experience with how it is reacting. My old 8-valve K engine went over 100,000 miles with no shim changes, after it had about 80,000 on it. Ducati recommends 6,000 mile valve adjustments, I've been doing it at 10,000. Just finished checking it and after 10K miles, no changes on a 45,000 mile top end. I'm doing 5,000 mile checks on my ST for now. But pretty soon I think I'll move it to 10,000 also.

 

Frank

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While we're on the subject of valve adjusting, I have a question. Why is it that when I'm adjsuting my valves and have them all to spec and having the same "feel" while I slide the gauge around, when I pull all the gauges out and re-insert them, some then feel either looser or tighter than what they were originally? Then I just readjust them till I can pull the gauges and put them back in getting a uniform feel. Anyone else have this happen to them? Terry

 

I would surmise that you are experiencing a change in the feel due to the change in the film. Film of oil, that is. Although it is small, the film of oil that exists between the two points of contact plus the oil on your feeler gauge can change the feel you experience.

+1.

 

I usually swap the feelers top to bottom a few times to distribute the oil film more evenly and it's easier to tell if they're the same. It's also easier to tell if my two feeler guages are actually the same thickness as well! I bought two sets of feelers and the two 0.006" ones were NOT the same. But the 0.007" ones were, so I use those now instead (for the intakes). You can increase the intake valve lash quite a bit if you want without causing too much trouble and it is not the preciseness of the gap measurement itself, but rather the equality of all the valves' gaps that makes the biggest difference in reducing the surging of the oilheads (that and a good TB synch).

 

Also, I noticed what Smoky has discovered. I have checked my valves religiously every 6K miles since new and while the first few changed a bit, I only had to tweak them slightly after the first few intervals. Then at around 30-50K miles they stopped moving. I checked them faithfully, but they were not off far enough to bother with until about 100K miles again. Interestingly, it was just the top two exhaust valves that required a bit of tightening at 108,000 miles. I also helped Leslie with her last servicing (114,000 miles) and her two top exhaust valves were loose, but so were quite a few others (and I don't remember which ones). This might mean that we're coming up on the need for a top end rebuild around 150,000 miles or so. thumbsup.gif

 

Between the practice and increased proficiency reducing the time spent being anal about the adjustment and the miles requiring less adjustments, the servicing on these RT's has been VERY simple these past few years. And I just hate to think of the total bill for having the dealer do all these services "by the book" for 200,000 miles worth of 6K and 12K mile services! eek.gif

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O.K. maybe I'm having a brain fart here, but wouldn't the valve ajusters (gap) be tighter if they are wearing out?

 

Maybe, maybe not. Typically, the narrowing of the gap comes from the seats depressing in the head or from the valve "seating" into the valve seat. After this has stabilized, you can start to experience the valve stem "mushrooming". This along with cam wear, rocker wear, and underwear grin.gif all come together over time to increase valve clearance.

 

thumbsup.gif

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O.K. maybe I'm having a brain fart here, but wouldn't the valve ajusters (gap) be tighter if they are wearing out?

 

Maybe, maybe not. Typically, the narrowing of the gap comes from the seats depressing in the head or from the valve "seating" into the valve seat. After this has stabilized, you can start to experience the valve stem "mushrooming". This along with cam wear, rocker wear, and underwear grin.gif all come together over time to increase valve clearance.

 

thumbsup.gif

 

+1 smile.gif

 

 

Thanks, Phil! thumbsup.gif

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I'll add to what Jamie just said (twice over).

 

1. Having your dealers do all the service = OUCH! dopeslap.gif

 

2. I just had my valves adjusted blush.gif and was told that they were "tight" (76,000 miles). I was also told that they are likely "mushrooming" as described above, but the term "retarding" was used. I was then told that I'm probably getting head wear already.

 

Ultimately, after the mechanic did a few diagrams and explained how ever thing worked (very helpful), he said I might want to drop a new engine in after I wear out this one eek.gif

 

Guess I knew you could wear something out, just didn't think I could do it.

 

Thoughts?

 

If I lived closer I'd be over at Jamie's already for a full tune-up and training session. Barring that, "if I was a man" I'd buy a new RT and start wearing out that one. thumbsup.gif

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KT, If you have mechanics tools, you can do this stuff yourself, and if not, start organizing a tech day, at someone elses house. Your engine should last another 100K before a major overhaul is needed, don't let them BS you, this is a solid engine and as long as the miner things are taken care of, the major problems usually don't happen.

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Ultimately, after the mechanic did a few diagrams and explained how ever thing worked (very helpful), he said I might want to drop a new engine in after I wear out this one eek.gif

Hah! tongue.gif

 

As Paul mentioned you should get 150,000 miles out of the TOP end of that motor before needing to do a "top end rebuild" (usually much cheaper than a new engine, unless you can get one from a salvage bike). According to the good folks at San Jose BMW you can rebuild the top end a few times (every 150,000 miles or so), but the journal bearings in the bottom end will outlive us both! grin.gif

 

If I lived closer I'd be over at Jamie's already for a full tune-up and training session.

 

So, should I send you a few dates for your calendar?? grin.gif

 

Barring that, "if I was a man" I'd buy a new RT and start wearing out that one. thumbsup.gif
I'm not sure where that is coming from, but you'll always be "the man" to me!! grin.gif

 

25152555-M.jpg

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I concur with all that's been said about these engines settling down and then not changing much.

 

I also wanted to mention that, unless your running rough and need a throttle balance, ALL the other maintenance can be done with tupperware on. Use back wheel to rotate engine and a 10mm IIRC dia dowel about 300mm long, held against the piston with elastic (I used 10 cord 7mm wide the last time ;>) with hooks on the ends to conveniently attach so that there is minimum of side thrust on the dowel).

 

No problems finding TDC with this. The other suggestion which also supports the non-removal of tupperware is to neatly slice/saw the alternator belt cover around midway with two screws above and two below the horizontal cut. The belt can then (more) easily be inspected with half the cover off and if necessary both halves can be removed without disturbing shark fin supports (or tupperware).

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