How do you know when it's time to do the valves? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-01-2007, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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How do you know when it's time to do the valves?

Forgive this seemingly odd question. A little background is in order - I sling my own wrenches , and did so on my three previous bikes, but am by no means a qualified mechanic. I understand perhaps a little more than the basics but rely on scheduled maintenance intervals, shop manuals and advice to maintain my "toys" (Skidoos, ATVs, boats). This forum is terrific in helping me understand the "real world" aspects. I think you'd typify me as a sedate rider and mechanic -erring on side of caution. I check oil, lube chain and check things / adjust on a regular basis.

I must however be leading a sheltered life -I've never had a breakdown (so far) or anything remote to degraded performance (other than the muskrat that chewed my livewell hoses and sunk my boat!). I haven't adusted my chain yet in 5300 kms - even had to other biker s check as well as the dealer and nope - everythings within manual spec.

This makes me suspicious or at least doubtful of my own observations. My bike seems to run fine at all speeds. Other than the obvious things that break, poor gas mileage etc - I'm curious just how you tell when your valves need adjustment - what are the key symptoms to watch out for.

I'll be coming up to the initial check at the end of the summer after my BC trip and want to know what things I should watch / measure / listen for. I'm planning to buy my own shim kit if within reason since I plan on keeping the Strom as long as it wants me.

Appreciate the advice

Thanks and safe riding,

Bob

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but desperation is it's father........... (Bell)

'06 DL650
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-01-2007, 10:48 AM
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If the valves are on the tight side there may not be any symptoms until it's too late so I check mine at the specified intervals. A loose valve will make a tapping sound from the top of the cylinder head that increases in frequency with rpm and may or may not noticably affect the performance, but will usually not harm the engine.

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Last edited by bill l; 06-01-2007 at 10:55 AM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-01-2007, 10:53 AM
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Too loose and the valves will clatter. The noise will be louder when the engine is cold and the valves are shorter. The rockers will slap the valve stems rather than push them. Too tight and there will start to be a performance drop when the engine warms up. The heat will cause the valves to lengthen, not allowing them to seat. A compression test will show a drop when warm. Too tight is the dangerous option. It doesn't take long to burn a valve and possibly damage the seat.

If valve clearances are checked and adjusted, if necessary, at the recommended intervals, the above problems won't happen.

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post #4 of 5 Old 06-01-2007, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks - appreciated

Appreciate the advice and rationale. I guess there's a lot of sense to keeping to the recommended schedule as I've been doing. I'm going to call my dealer to see what they charge for a shim kit - I know my last one was $225 but that's back 20 years ago for my GS750 and GS1100. Undoubtedly an arm and leg in cost now but with more than a few V-Strom owners around here, might do a cooperative deal or something.

Again, thanks and safe riding.

Bob

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but desperation is it's father........... (Bell)

'06 DL650
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-01-2007, 12:05 PM
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Based on my experience with the SV, the 650 valves wear varies quite a bit, they always get tight, never loose, that's due to shim under bucket type valve adjustment, as the valve seats wear the the adjustment gets tight

some engines have required adjustment as early at the first 15k inspection interval and others as many as 75,000 before requiring any adjustment

as posted, follow the recommended 15k inspection interval and you should be ok



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