straight talk about the valve job every 6k - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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straight talk about the valve job every 6k

I have bought a 2001 vulcan 800 with 17k miles on it...it was a foolish purchase. I didnt know the belt kit was bad, I didnt know tires need to be replaced sometimes even when the tread is good (dryrot) I didnt know the petcock was on its last leg. I didnt know the v and h pipes needed baffles to pass inspection....didnt know it takes a mad magician to even get a jap carb to work with v and h. 2 places so far and it still dies unless the choke is all the way out....im over 1,200 on maintenance on a 2k bike now.........and today? I didnt know some engines need ~600.00 valve jobs every 6k miles. I think I need to check clearance, I dont think I can do it. I do my own oil, etc, but valves?? that seems like serious engine work.but. I cannot afford to get it done. is there an indicator to valve work needing to be done?, nose, etc......is it that hard? the guy at the stealership today told me they would have to remove the rocker arms, so its 4+ hours of work for them. Im about to just sell this bike for a loss. any help, advice tips, etc would be appreciated...and I gotta tell you, i am NOT impressed with an engine that demands valve checks at 6k. my old sporty, magna, shadow, and dyna NEVER demanded this kind of hand holding. pardon me for my frustration,but jeeeeesus, we buy japanese bikes for their dependablitly. this one has been an eggshell so far. thanks in advance, and please excuse my whining, im just about out of money, lol
~ nrg.....

Last edited by nrg2brn; 08-04-2016 at 10:52 PM. Reason: forgot something.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 05:20 AM
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Nrg2brn,

I feel your frustration, $1,200 to get a bike on the road and not have it running would do it. For the most part the VN800 is bullet proof but it does need to be maintained. The valve adjustment every 6,000 miles is a big one. However you do not need to be a master mechanic to get it done. I am a mediocre mechanic at best I can do tune ups, oil changes, tire changes, and chase problems to a stopping point. And I did the valve on my 800 without a major malfunction. I think a professional mechanic will charge you for four hours of labor and the parts are minimal four shims should run on the high side around $25. depending on the shop and where you live. In central New Jersey bike shops get $80. an hour. Check out youtube if you are a visual learner and give yourself a full six to eight hours to get it done. FYI the rear valve cover is tricky to get off, you'll have to carefully twist it to the left ( Clutch side ) to get it out.

If you look at the top of the 800 page there is a sticky explaining the valve adjustment you will need about $100 worth of tools Shim kit, feeler gauge, telescoping magnet, and a micrometer you can find all of it on eBay, or if you want to go for less expensive tool Harbor Freight and shims on eBay.

If you haven't already get yourself a Clymer's manual so you can read through is a few times before you start.
Good luck and post back with questions. Good luck.

Ron

PS fill the void inside the head with rags. The last thing you want to do is go fishing for a shim. Ask me how I know.

Last edited by Ron M; 08-05-2016 at 07:59 AM.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 12:25 PM
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Feel your pain, bought my 800 for a good price = 2300.00 but have had problems too. Stator went out about 60 miles from my home and had it towed back to shop, so new stator about 250.00 but if I knew how simple it was I would have done it myself. Aftermarket light bar pulled down three batteries and finally just had it removed, ordered new front turn signals and one hour labor to put those on, about 160.00 to have it diagnosed for the problem. Got hit at a stop light 200.00 led tail light destroyed, ordered a used original type one on ebay for 50.00 then new fender I paid for = 180.00. Pet cock went bad replaced it with kit bout 30.00 and still leaked so (100.00 for oem new one one on ebay) got gas in oil (before I installed new one) then replaced the stator cover gasket myself because of leak, used wrong sealant and had to do it over again ordering a gasket and renting a torque wrench. I need a valve adj. about now also, called the dealership and estimated about three hours labor to adjust. This is my only hobby or something I like to do so I just bit the bullet and kept going. I had to call a wrecker just recently because it wouldn' start about 6 miles away from the mechanic. They wanted 75.00 to take it to shop that I use, finally cranked while I was waiting, cancelled wrecker and ended up being the switch. The dealership wanted 150.00 for a new one so I took it apart stretched the spring and sandpapered the points, so far it has worked fine. So there is my bad luck story, good luck with yours.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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yeah.......hate to say it, but your horror story does make me feel better!!! I can only hope your bike is really old, and im not about to plow into all those issues! lol but seriously, I don't mind typical vehicle maintenance, but it cant be my hobby. the bike is my escape. I have my eye on a Honda shadow 750 with 9k miles for 2k. its owner has maintained it obsessively, so I know what im in for and have all records. that is so important, im finding. I appreciate the gift this nightmare has given me - understand what you are buying, and don't trust people. the last one is kinda sad, but I sometimes am too trusting. the guy knew how to duct tape a bunch of issues together, and I was a fool.

might just bite the bullet and take a loss on this one. not worth the headaches. (IMHO) of course.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 01:54 PM
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Something doesn't add up. You say you are ready to sell your Vulcan and buy a Shadow, but on the Shadow forum you claim to have already sold your Vulcan and bought two Shadows.

thank GOD no more vulcans! - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

Whatever you do, good luck.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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well, I guess if you arent living in our house real time, it would seem a little confusing. It adds up to 3. I "sold" the vulcan and bought another shadow. then, the deal fell through, he claimed financial hardship, whatever, I took the bike back. Now it sits in the back of the garage, where I can determine if Im going to get all zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance on it or just keep around, fix what I can, and sell it for a major loss later. and yes, im very burned on the vulcan. it literally fell apart on me, I have no other experience with them, so perhaps im a little unfairly jaded? possibly. but, perception is reality at this point.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 03:30 PM
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oh, he sold the 800 and bought a Honda shadow, well sounds to me like his 800 gave him lots of trouble, but I still cannot understand how a whole cup of gas went thru the gas tank and thru the petcock and onto the garage floor

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 03:34 PM
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oh wait, you got the 800 back?

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 03:35 PM
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ok wait, what is wrong with that 800 exactly? because you said you will sell it for a major loss, why not fix what's wrong with the 800 and make a profit?

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 03:37 PM
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can u fix the petcock and do the valve maintenance on the 800 yourself?

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