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Discussion Starter #1
did my 24,000 mile service today...everything seems ok except the valves (i think). i have adjusted valves on a vstar 650 before with success (much better access to the valves), but this is the first time for my 2003 retro. didnt use the special tool on either.

i put most of it back together and fired it up...it is ticking really bad, so i shut it off right away. i think it is the rear cylinder exhaust valve, but before digging back in, i have a few questions that i would like to have verified:

there are two intake valves (closest to the carb, inside of v) and only one exhaust valve (closest to each pipe, outside of v) per cylinder?

per the service manual, the exhaust clearance is .30 +/- .02 mm, and the intake clearance is .15 +/- .02 mm? both my exhaust valves were WAY off according to these specs from my service manual. the exhaust clearance was closer to that of the intake value of .15 mm. both my intake valves were tighter than spec, both at around .13 mm. after setting the exhaust valves to .30 mm, i could move them with my fingers. this didnt seem right.

is there a special feeler gauge to use to check the exhaust valves? since the valve cover is circular, it is real hard to get the standard straight feeler gauges in there. i bought 'mini' and gauges that are bent at the end, but i still felt i wasnt getting a good measurement.

THANKS FOR ALL RESPONSES.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
One Addition

i also put the SCAIN pilot screw in...could this setting being off cause any abnormalities?
 

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OK first, I used .006 and .012 SAE feelers. Using these, you have a +/_ .001 tolerance. Get the longest feeler guages you can find. Bend them at @ 5/8 to 3/4" from the tip. You should feel SLIGHT resistance, but stil be able to move them back and forth. Remember that as you tighten the nut, it is possible for the bolt to turn. It is best to check them after tightening to make sure you didn't move them. Finally, you will get some valve clatter if they are adjusted properly. It is always better to adjust them on the loose side rather than the tight side.
 

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cybrhick said:
OK first, I used .006 and .012 SAE feelers. Using these, you have a +/_ .001 tolerance. Get the longest feeler guages you can find. Bend them at @ 5/8 to 3/4" from the tip. You should feel SLIGHT resistance, but stil be able to move them back and forth. Remember that as you tighten the nut, it is possible for the bolt to turn. It is best to check them after tightening to make sure you didn't move them. Finally, you will get some valve clatter if they are adjusted properly. It is always better to adjust them on the loose side rather than the tight side.
by "loose side" do you mean after a few beers?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
how much "clatter" should i expect? mine is loud. loud enough to be heard over my pipes at idle. i think i will double check things tomorrow. enough bending over for one day!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Randcoll said:
I've adjusted mine twice recently because of clatter. I think these are just noisy engines after they are broke in.
mine has always ticked some, but not this bad. just worried because it is louder after adjustment.

does being loose or tight cause noise? all my valves were tight. the exhaust valves were very tight.

thanks.
 

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Someone came up with the idea of taping popsicle sticks to the feeler guage. You will not believe how much easier this makes it. Tape it just short of the bend.
 

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Don't be mad by me asking this, but was your engine STONE COLD when you did the adjustment? This could explain why the valves were so tight, and why you have clatter. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
cybrhick said:
Don't be mad by me asking this, but was your engine STONE COLD when you did the adjustment? This could explain why the valves were so tight, and why you have clatter. Just a thought.
yes. i changed engine and shaft oil warm last night. started everything else this morning. a good point, though.
 

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bargmann,
I too had to adjust mine twice at the 8,000 mile service. When I made my adjustments and put everything back together I noticed a much louder ticking noise than before. A ticking noise that I had not heard since owning the bike. I went back again and readjusted them and used the method found on this board of double checking yourself with the next thicker feeler guage. If after you make your adjustment and tighten the lock nut, you can not get the next higher or thicker feeler guage in your valve clearance then there is a good chance that you are on the money. After doing this and then reassembling everything, I heard a much more pleasant noise...........my HK 3" Big Straights. The ticking noise is caused by too loose. Like someone else said it is better to be loose than too tight. The surfaces expand as the engine heats up and then things really tighten up if you already have them adjusted too tight. So make sure you check your valve clearance when the bike is cold. Good Luck with it!!!!!
Later!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
enfuego said:
I went back again and readjusted them and used the method found on this board of double checking yourself with the next thicker feeler guage.
thanks for sharing. sounds just like mine. am planning on re-checking things this afternoon. i need to go on a finger diet!
 

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bargmann said:
is there a special feeler gauge to use to check the exhaust valves? since the valve cover is circular, it is real hard to get the standard straight feeler gauges in there. i bought 'mini' and gauges that are bent at the end, but i still felt i wasnt getting a good measurement.

THANKS FOR ALL RESPONSES.
You need offset gauges:

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product. ... 0940802000

I recommend against bending straight ones, as they are very brittle and can bust off - falling down into your head :shock:
This happened to a board member here.
 

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loose vs. tight valves

FYI - All valve adjusting must be done on a "cold" engine. As to tight vs. loose, if they are too tight, once the engine warms up and things expand, the valves themselves will not close completely and therefore not create a closed combustion chamber when firing occurs. The end result is normally burnt exhaust valves and seats, and poor performance along with bluing of the exhaust pipes :( . Long term in this state results in a need for a valve job/ overhaul of the cylinder heads. "Looser" clearance has results of the ticking noises, and also results in poor performance, the valves not "opening" completely, which causes shorter intake and exhaust times for the valves. Checking twice after setting them is worth the effort. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Pöi§ön said:
bargmann said:
You need offset gauges
thanks for the tip. i actually had the el-cheapo version of the craftsman ones you posted. the angle was about 1/2 of the craftsman set, so it didnt do much good.

anyway, i just re-did them, and it is back to normal. my problem was (i think) that i didnt make sure i was on the compression stroke by wiggling the rocker arms the first time. i took it all apart, and rechecked everything. the front were ok, but all three back ones were way off...the spacing was larger than my thickest gauge! anyway, i re-adjusted them and it sounds ok now.

leasons learned:
if your tools dont fit, dont try to bend them or buy cheap smaller ones, get ones that work as is (the ones you posted).

make sure you are on the compression stroke! lining up the timing marks doesnt necessarily mean you have it set correctly.

i had the scooter up to about 120mph on the stand...had to let some aggression out! that wasnt very smart...must be liquid courage!

thanks to all who replied...it took about 1/2 the time today as it did yesterday.
 

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Bike

Hey JB

it's good to see you and Rhonda having a long term relationship 24K , are you going on the 4 state run ? ive pondered the idea of doing it .
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: Bike

BlueVTX said:
it's good to see you and Rhonda having a long term relationship 24K , are you going on the 4 state run ? ive pondered the idea of doing it .
yeah, we are going. should be a great weekend. going to cassoday the next day, too.

yeah, rhonda is here for a while. the master plan is to get rid of starlas v-star next summer (she will have 2 years on it by then), get a goldwing, and keep rhonda. planning on flying to florida to get it at HDL, and riding it back!
 

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Checking valves- need help

bargmann,

Here is the procedure I use to find TDC-compression whenever adjusting the vale lash. 1) Remove the two right side spark plugs only, this will allow you to "feel" the compression by placing your finger over the spark plug hole in whichever cyl. you are working on as you turn the engine over in the direction of rotation (clock-wise). 2) As you feel the compression build, watch for the timing mark to align. 3) After aligning the timing mark, check for "looseness" of the rocker arms. Using this three-step approach will always assure you that the cylinder you are working on is indeed at TDC- compression allowing for proper valve lash adjustment.

Setting the lashes can be a bit tricky for those who do not have a lot of experience in doing so. The service manual gives you a "lee-way" of + or - .001 inches for each setting. I try to get a nice 'snug' pull on the feeler gauge. Leave the feeler gauge in position and tighten the lock-nut down. Then re-check the 'pull' on the gauge to make sure it has not tightened up. After several times of doing it you will get the "feel" for it and have much more confidence in your final settings. Taz
 
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