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Old 11-12-2012, 10:49 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by pacomutt View Post
Glad you got it right finally! You had to have learned a lot by now about checking valve clearances.
BTW, Happy Veterans Day, and thanks for your service! Semper fi from an old VN vet!
And thank you for yours! Happy Veteran's Day!

The first time I tore into the engine, it took me almost a day to screw everything up and put the bike back together. I finished that off with forgetting to hook the fuel line back up on the left side and tried to start the bike. End result: I dumped fuel all over the bike and the garage.

The second time I screwed everything up, it took me about half a day to take the top end apart and put everything back together.

By this last time, I had the bike apart, checked, corrected, and together again in a little over an hour. AND...it seems to be done right. And the best part...no fuel all over the bike and the garage.

I'm just glad none of my biker family lives close, or I'm sure I would have called them over for help at some point and dumped fuel all over the bike in front of them. Good thing I wasn't smoking the cigar I was contemplating about a half hour before that...

I have definitely learned a lot, especially about putting things back together!
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:18 PM   #32
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Fantastic! As we get older we become more persistent and patient but we never quit learning. Next time I do mine I'd like to believe there's someone with fresh experience I can talk to if I have problems.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:23 PM   #33
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Hey do you know if I should be expecting to replace valve cover gaskets on the 800 when I finally get around to checking the clearances? No ones really been mentioning it, so I was just curious.

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Old 11-12-2012, 05:39 PM   #34
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Phil: Inspect them, clean them with Isopryl Alcohol, clean the mating surfaces and you should be good to go. Just be aware that when you remove the covers, the rear one comes out best if you go fowards, quarter turn then out on the left side of the bike. There is a small locator pin for the gasket - one each cylinder - doesn't come out easily but watch it - could just drop in the in the valve area or worse, down the camchain shaft......for shimming, use a swivel head magnet - auto store - looks like long pen with an adjustable tension magnet...priceless!!

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Old 11-12-2012, 05:45 PM   #35
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Phil: Inspect them, clean them with Isopryl Alcohol, clean the mating surfaces and you should be good to go. Just be aware that when you remove the covers, the rear one comes out best if you go fowards, quarter turn then out on the left side of the bike. There is a small locator pin for the gasket - one each cylinder - doesn't come out easily but watch it - could just drop in the in the valve area or worse, down the camchain shaft......for shimming, use a swivel head magnet - auto store - looks like long pen with an adjustable tension magnet...priceless!!

Dave
Good to know. I am guessing these are rubber gaskets then and not paper ones.

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Old 11-12-2012, 06:05 PM   #36
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You guessed right...mine are 16 years old - have sent of for replacements and will change them next shim job. My shims were out of spec - 6 out of 8.....

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:36 AM   #37
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Just did mine after 14,000 miles of not checking and they were all perfect. Bike has 32k total. Kind of surprised me that they didn't need any adjusting.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:46 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacomutt View Post
And just to make it more fun, valve lash adjusters had slots that took a large plain screwdriver, not something that had a chance of staying in place like maybe a Phillips head! So now you have a plain, flat-blade screwdriver in a jumping valve adjuster, covered in an oil bath.
Another fun thing was when you'd pull a valve cover and the entire valve area would be a solid mass of clay-like sludge.
@Paco & @Syko: As a kid I remember watching the mechs in my family adjust valves and top ends like this on old classics.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:12 PM   #39
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@Paco & @Syko: As a kid I remember watching the mechs in my family adjust valves and top ends like this on old classics.
When Paco and I were doing this they weren't classics they were state of the art. How things have changed.

ChrisM, sometimes it just works that way. I have an 02 Kaw 650 4 wheeler with over 50,000 hard miles on it and only 2 valves have ever been changed. I check them every 5,000 or so and I assure you it is hard to believe.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:48 AM   #40
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On the VN800 you have a line scribed that tells you that you are in the correct postion. I have a PDF on it somewhere
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