Valve Clearance Question - Page 2 - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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One thing I noticed is now I hear the valves ticking. I know I heard them when I first bought the bike, but I never noticed they went away until I swapped the shims and the ticking returned. I'm assuming that's a good thing, right?

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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 09:08 PM
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One thing I noticed is now I hear the valves ticking. I know I heard them when I first bought the bike, but I never noticed they went away until I swapped the shims and the ticking returned. I'm assuming that's a good thing, right?
No, I don't think you should hear anything, not with the very small clearances that these valves run. I think you're going to have to start over again. There is really only one, or possibly two shims that's going to be right for each valve, not a selection of shims. That is because the entire allowable gap range is the difference from one shim to the next.
I'm going to talk in inches here, and round the numbers off to an understandable set of figures.
The intake valve clearance has to be between 4 and 6 thousandths of an inch, or .004" to .006".
The exhaust valves run at between 8 and 10 thousandths (.008" to .010").

The shims are roughly 2 thousandths (.002") from one to the next.
Lets say you measured the clearance on an exhaust valve, and got a reading of 11 thousandths (.011"). You could remove that shim, determine its thickness, and select the next thicker shim. After installing that shim, your clearance should measure 9 thousandths, or .009". This is right between the allowable .008" to .010".
You can't go one more size thicker because then your clearance would only be .007", too tight for this valve.
The best advice is probably if you're close to, or at the upper limit, to leave that valve alone. Changing the shim can put you really close to too tight.
If your clearance is tight, at or below the lower limit, then install the next thinner shim and recheck.

As far as lining up timing marks, lets try something less confusing. With the valve cover removed and the timing inspection plate and the spark plugs removed, turn the engine counter-clockwise, and watch the valves actuate. If you're doing the front cylinder, watch as the exhaust valves (front valves) are pushed open, then close again as the intake valves start to open. Keep turning the engine over until the intake valves close, and then continue to turn the engine another 180 degrees. This will put that piston at the top of its compression stroke, or slightly past, and both the intake and exhaust valves can be adjusted at this point.
Repeat for the rear cylinder keeping in mind that those exhaust valves are at the rear of the cylinder head this time.

Ron in Cincinnati

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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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No, I don't think you should hear anything, not with the very small clearances that these valves run. I think you're going to have to start over again. There is really only one, or possibly two shims that's going to be right for each valve, not a selection of shims. That is because the entire allowable gap range is the difference from one shim to the next.
I'm going to talk in inches here, and round the numbers off to an understandable set of figures.
The intake valve clearance has to be between 4 and 6 thousandths of an inch, or .004" to .006".
The exhaust valves run at between 8 and 10 thousandths (.008" to .010").

The shims are roughly 2 thousandths (.002") from one to the next.
Lets say you measured the clearance on an exhaust valve, and got a reading of 11 thousandths (.011"). You could remove that shim, determine its thickness, and select the next thicker shim. After installing that shim, your clearance should measure 9 thousandths, or .009". This is right between the allowable .008" to .010".
You can't go one more size thicker because then your clearance would only be .007", too tight for this valve.
The best advice is probably if you're close to, or at the upper limit, to leave that valve alone. Changing the shim can put you really close to too tight.
If your clearance is tight, at or below the lower limit, then install the next thinner shim and recheck.

As far as lining up timing marks, lets try something less confusing. With the valve cover removed and the timing inspection plate and the spark plugs removed, turn the engine counter-clockwise, and watch the valves actuate. If you're doing the front cylinder, watch as the exhaust valves (front valves) are pushed open, then close again as the intake valves start to open. Keep turning the engine over until the intake valves close, and then continue to turn the engine another 180 degrees. This will put that piston at the top of its compression stroke, or slightly past, and both the intake and exhaust valves can be adjusted at this point.
Repeat for the rear cylinder keeping in mind that those exhaust valves are at the rear of the cylinder head this time.
I spent yesterday double-checking the shims using your tips and everything seems to check out. I was using the manual for the clearance (in mm) and the intake says the clearance should be between .10 to .15mm, and the exhaust should be between .20 and .25mm. Most of the intakes are at .13mm after I adjusted them, but one from each cylinder is at .15mm. Same for the exhaust. Most are at .23mm except one at .25.

The bike seems to run a little smoother, I don't know if that's just my imagination or not. There also used to be a loud pop or two on decel that seems to have gone away. The ticking seems to go away as you throttle up, but at idle, it's a little loud. Weird...

If the valve clearances were a little off, what would happen to the engine?

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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 10:13 AM
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If the valve clearances were a little off, what would happen to the engine?
If they were too tight, the engine could lose power due to compression loss. An exhaust valve especially can be damaged by lack of clearance since it would not be able to rest on its seat long enough to transfer its heat away, usually resulting in a burned valve.
If the clearances are too loose, they will be noisy at a minimum, but since they are kind of dropped onto their seats, they will pound at their seats causing accelerated wear. The only good news would be that their clearances could decrease, maybe back into spec.
I sounds like you have them set within spec; don't worry at all about the two that are at the high end, and don't imagine problems or noises that don't exist.

Ron in Cincinnati

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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 10:42 AM
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Stepped feeler gages

BTW, I highly recommend stepped feeler gages like the one in this link for doing this work.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Proto-22-B...-Sets/13083581

Ron in Cincinnati

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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by pacomutt View Post
BTW, I highly recommend stepped feeler gages like the one in this link for doing this work.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Proto-22-B...-Sets/13083581
As an old engine builder I will second this suggestion but with a bit of a twist. Purchase extra long individual stepped gauges. Mine are 8 inches long and 1/4 inch wide. It allows you a much more precise feel and they are just easier to handle. Also as an old engine builder, I can always hear the valve lash but that is from way too much experience. When I don't hear it or it becomes too loud is when I get concerned. You may develop this affliction also after enough time.
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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Syko View Post
As an old engine builder I will second this suggestion but with a bit of a twist. Purchase extra long individual stepped gauges. Mine are 8 inches long and 1/4 inch wide. It allows you a much more precise feel and they are just easier to handle. Also as an old engine builder, I can always hear the valve lash but that is from way too much experience. When I don't hear it or it becomes too loud is when I get concerned. You may develop this affliction also after enough time.
You have to wonder how many here have ever experienced having to adjust valves on an engine when it is hot and running, with a box wrench in one hand, a screwdriver in the other hand, and a feeler gage set in yet another hand, all while the tools are bouncing up and down at around 250 times per minute, and hot oil is spraying all over you! Maybe just you, me, and sfair.
Ah, for the good old days......

Ron in Cincinnati

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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 01:02 PM
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Garage
Random question, are the shim thickness usually labeled on the shim or do I need to pick up a micrometer? I have only done the valve clearances on an older Suzuki GS and they were all labeled.

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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Phil in Maine View Post
Random question, are the shim thickness usually labeled on the shim or do I need to pick up a micrometer? I have only done the valve clearances on an older Suzuki GS and they were all labeled.
The shims I picked up (Hot Cams) have the size etched into the top of each shim. The stock ones I pulled from the bike had an inked number, but the middle was worn off so all I could make out was that it started with a 4 and ended with a 0, but that would be too thick for the shim size, so I don't know what that number was.

I'm not sure if all shims are marked for sizes, but I believe they are.

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Baron Big Air Kit
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Rear Scootworks OD Pulley
Debaffled stock exhaust
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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Old Syko View Post
As an old engine builder I will second this suggestion but with a bit of a twist. Purchase extra long individual stepped gauges. Mine are 8 inches long and 1/4 inch wide. It allows you a much more precise feel and they are just easier to handle. Also as an old engine builder, I can always hear the valve lash but that is from way too much experience. When I don't hear it or it becomes too loud is when I get concerned. You may develop this affliction also after enough time.
http://www.google.com/shopping/produ...ed=0CFAQ8wIwAA

I picked these up to do the job the other day. They worked decently enough, but the numbers are all inked onto the leaf. I wish they were stamped or etched somehow. Some of the ink is already wearing off.

_____________________________________________
2010 Vulcan 900 Classic LT [Debadged]
Lindby Linbar
Baron Big Air Kit
Cobra Fi2000 PowrPro
Rear Scootworks OD Pulley
Debaffled stock exhaust
Mustang Wide Touring Seat

USMC
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