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smiller

My First Valve Adjust on a next-gen K

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smiller

Well back from Torrey and time to do the first valve check on my K1200GT. It all went pretty easily, except for one problem in removing the secondary air manifold (some piping that delivers air to the exhaust system for emission control.) The manual says to remove the mounting screws and simply pull it out but mine felt cemented in place and I couldn't budge it out no matter how hard I tried. Add to this the fact that the part is plastic and somewhat fragile (well, at least it is when pulling on it with all your strength.) Tried everything and was getting nowhere so finally had to resort to using a pry tool and accept the possibility of breaking it (which I did, but luckily in a manner that was easy to repair with epoxy.) I lubed the grommets with oil upon reassembly and hopefully will be easier going next time, but I'm going to have a spare available just in case. Anyway, I haven't seen any other reports of this problem so maybe my issue was unique. I hope so.

 

The actual valve check involves setting each piston to TDC (easy to do since there’s easy access to a crankshaft nut) and doing the feeler gauge mambo. It’s tight in there and you will definitely need an angled feeler gauge set. All of my valves were within spec (from what I read it's pretty unusual to find any out of spec on the first check.) Refilling the coolant requires a special tool and procedure which is covered here.

 

Beyond that it was pretty straightforward, just takes time. I put maybe six hours into it but that includes cleaning the radiator fins and other ancillary tasks, plus I was going very slowly having never done it before. I'm sure I will shave quite a bit of time off of that figure on the next go-around. Also replaced the spark plugs of course ($12 each!)

 

Expendables you'll need to have on hand:

 

- Valve cover and secondary air gaskets (the originals were in good shape and were re-used, but you'll want to have a set available just in case.)

- Spark plugs (given the work to get in there it only makes sense to replace them when doing a valve check, the timing of which is pretty much the same as the normal spark plug replacement interval anyway.)

- Secondary air manifold (as above, perhaps not necessary but once burned twice shy.)

- Any high-quality coolant of your choice.

 

Note on the plugs, I couldn't find the NGK KR9C1 units specified by BMW anywhere and in finally checking with NGK I was told that BMW was the 'exclusive distributor' of this part in the US. Hmmm.... :( There are a couple of 'maybe' alternates but I decided to use the OEM recommendation while the bike is still in warranty, plus iridium plugs are expensive in any event and even the alternates aren't all that much cheaper then the BMW price.

 

Anyway... while somewhat of a PITA the job is not that bad (except for my little issue with the secondary air manifold.) I don’t think it’s going to need to be done very often, in fact given the rather wide range of acceptable measurements (varying 0.1mm/.004”) I’m not sure that it will ever need to be adjusted (assuming that the first valve check shows everything to be OK.) I don’t think the cumulative adjustment on even my 1100RT has been more than a few thousandths and I’m over 100k miles on that bike. So I’m kind of torn, my anal side says to check at recommended intervals but my pragmatic side says that I’ll be wasting my time. I guess I’ll try 24k intervals or thereabouts. That will mean I’ll be doing the job only every couple of years or so and I can live with that. BTW I reset my ‘mileage to valve adjustment’ counter and it now says that I have 13,867 miles to the next valve check. I have no idea what part of outer space that number came from but needless to say I will be ignoring it.

 

Lastly, I'll note that while quite doable this is probably not a job for the beginner home mechanic, and of course if an actual adjustment were required (which would mean removal of the camshafts) then the job would be even more involved. If the prospect of adjusting vales on an R-bike causes you trepidation then I wouldn't suggest going into the K, but for an intermediate-level amateur and above it should be pretty straightforward.

 

 

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Limecreek

Thank you for blazing the trail Seth! The boys at Lone Star are now suggesting a 24K valve service interval, but I think I will stick with 18K, at least for the first interval.

 

Any pics?

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markgoodrich

Greg, just drop it off at my house, I'll do it for you, and check your rear brake at the same time. I've got the tool necessary to do the job:

 

IMG_1951.jpg

 

 

 

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smiller
Any pics?

Sorry, no. I started out that way but kind of got wrapped up in things and forgot to take any more. But it's all as in the RepROM, no real surprises. It was a little tighter working in the valve train area than I expected but not problematic.

 

BTW with regard to our discussion concerning the special tool for cam removal, after scoping things out I don't think I'd attempt the job (removing the cams) without it, or at least a reasonable facsimile. The studs holding the cam bearing caps in place are pretty short and I can see why you'd need some method of holding the cams down while removing and reinstalling the caps. Hopefully some enterprising individual will come up with a knockoff.

 

 

Edit: Here is one picture I took, before I stopped taking pictures. Radiator has been removed at this point, along with the !@#$ secondary air piping. All that's left to access the valves is to remove the plugs and eight valve cover bolts, remove the valve cover and there you go. As you can see it's still a tad tight, but not too bad.

 

 

K12_valve1.jpg

 

 

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yabadabapal

Smiller thanks for sharing the valve adjust details. Well, after reading your series of events from beginning to end, Its definitely out of my league for the time being. Look forward to reading more in regard to other things your doing on your bike.

thanks again

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Skywagon

Thanks for the report. So if you had to take it in for the valve adjustment, any idea what you would have been charged?

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hANNAbONE

tHANK yOU..Seth. Good on ya.!

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smiller
So if you had to take it in for the valve adjustment, any idea what you would have been charged?

A lot.

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Semper_Fi

Excellent report - glad to see it is doable.

 

Regarding the radiator drain and fill - did you do it just as you noted in the link or did you do something different?

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smiller
Regarding the radiator drain and fill - did you do it just as you noted in the link or did you do something different?

I did it just as in the link and everything went as described.

 

Before doing the work I had questioned in my mind whether the vacuum procedure was just a convenience or a necessity, but upon getting everything apart I can see why it is used... there is a lot of stuff (including the thermostat and water pump) that is above the radiator and thus wouldn't get filled just by pouring coolant in the radiator. And I don't think they'd get filled even by running the engine because the water pump may not work unless it's primed. So it looks like the vacuum filling procedure is mandatory, but luckily also pretty easy (if you have the filling tool and shop air.)

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Satguy

Hey Seth, the secondary air system tubing is a PITA on all K1200 bikes that I worked on while at a dealership.

 

I never broke the tubing, but it sure seemed like it was close to breaking every time I took one out. I used a small pry bar and carefully pried it up. I don't know of any tricks to make it easier.

 

 

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smiller

Well thanks Bruce, at least it's not just me. I had a tough time getting it to budge even while prying on it, and then maybe got a little frustrated and applied too much force. But I was ticked off enough at the thing that I might have snapped it in two on purpose after I got it out of there... :grin:

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Limecreek

Seth - I just finished up my valve check.

 

Like yours, they were all within spec. The plugs looked good too, but given all the work it takes to get to them, I decided to put in the fresh set I had sitting on my shelf.

 

I do not plan on checking them again until somewhere between 50K and never......glad it is over. :thumbsup:

 

 

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Beech

When I re installed the secondary air tube, I put a small amount of Dow Corning #55 "O" ring grease on the pieces going into the rubber fittings. A K12 I did was stuck like everyone talks of, a K13 (mine) I did, the plastic of the air tube had some lube on it from the factory and came out fairly easily. beech

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Limecreek

I used one of the used delron tips from my nomar tire bar. It was the perfect pry bar....off it came.

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