How many hours of labor should a shop be charging for a valve inspection.. - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-13-2010, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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How many hours of labor should a shop be charging for a valve inspection..

and how many if in fact an adjustment is necessary?

I just had a dealer quote me 5 hours of labor at $90 per hour (they would include any needed shims). Seems like they're making a pile if no adjustment is needed...

My 2009 has 12,000+ miles on her, isn't it about time for a valve check (none done to date) and a throttle body synch?

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2009 DL650A-Gone to a good home
2009 KLR-Gone to a good home
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-13-2010, 06:44 PM
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It's been a while since I had mine done. But I do not recall it taking anywhere near 5 hours. I also had it in for full service and fluids replaced. Total bill came in under 400 CDN as I recall it (just over 300). It would have been an extra flat rate of 180.00 (parts and labour) if they had to reshim.
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-13-2010, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNWStrom View Post
and how many if in fact an adjustment is necessary?

I just had a dealer quote me 5 hours of labor at $90 per hour (they would include any needed shims). Seems like they're making a pile if no adjustment is needed...

My 2009 has 12,000+ miles on her, isn't it about time for a valve check (none done to date) and a throttle body synch?
Uhhh...no. It'll go even more quickly and save you some coin if you pull all of the plastic bits and tank off the bike and have it trailered to the shop.

Want to save even more and learn a thing or two? Head to Enumclaw, WA on May 1st. Your valves will get done (as long as you arrive early enough), along with other maintenance for the cost of parts (and any beer you bring). You just might learn a thing or two as well and meet some real nice folks.

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'08 FJR1300AE - Miss Chievous.

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post #4 of 15 Old 04-13-2010, 07:08 PM
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Wow, you can get FAA approved aircraft maintenance done for $65/hr. The only way I can imagine 5 hours is that it includes lifting the cams and replacing shims. 3 hours for checking only seems more right. 12,000 mi is about right to get the first one done. Other stuff while all the plastic is off: spark plugs, air filter, add the Eastern Beaver harness to the heated grips plug. If the bike runs the same as it did when you got it, probably doesn't TBS.

Makes me feel pretty good...I've saved nearly 1000 bucks doing two checks on mine.


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post #5 of 15 Old 04-13-2010, 07:35 PM
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The difference between a "check" and a "check and adjust" is the length of time it takes to add/subtract, plus remove and replace 4 bolts, plus another few minutes to actually swap the shims, replace the buckets, and re-align the the timing marks.

I'm a total noob shade-tree mechanic and I did my valves by myself in about 5 hours - and that was really, REALLY taking my time and carefully observing how it all came apart, labeling parts, etc. so I could put it all back together. I also had to remove crash bars, and I also pulled the radiator.

Seriously, if you're mechanically inclined (and interested - it was 'fun' for me) you ought to try it yourself. There's plenty of help, walk-thrus, etc. online (right here).
If that's your idea of torture, I'd stock up on some chicken wings and beer and find a local owner who would do it just for the lulz.


EDIT: oops - that's on a Vee, which has gear-driven camshafts. I think the Wee might have chains to mess with. Here's mine - notice the exhaust cam cover jobbie has 4 bolts - the intake's already been removed in this pic, and the camshaft can literally be lifted right out - the buckets are right underneath and can also then be lifted right out (with a magnet), the shims are just little pucks that lift right out.
Takes much, much longer to strip the bike down (remove tank, plastics, etc.) than to actually do the valve 'work.'

Last edited by steve68steve; 04-13-2010 at 07:42 PM.
post #6 of 15 Old 04-13-2010, 08:15 PM
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I think I was charged something in the $275 range a couple of years ago. I would think a good mechanic could do it in 4 hours or less without hurrying.
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-13-2010, 08:19 PM
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Is the work all charged according to the flat rate manual? It doesn't matter how long the work takes, you pay the flat rate. If the manual says five hours, you're billed for five hours. If the mechanic owns all the tools he'll ever need for the most efficient job and has the knowledge to get it done right and fast and works fast and steady, he makes money. If he doesn't get it right (and notices and cares) and re-does it, or works slowly and BS's with his buddies, he makes less.

If you do part of the work in advance, be sure to have that noted on the work order and get the price adjusted in advance. Be sure the work order specifies in advance exactly what is to be done--just inspect, or both inspect and adjust.

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post #8 of 15 Old 04-13-2010, 08:29 PM
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.....and they wonder why I do all my own work. A simple check should be done on a stone-cold (sitting overnight) engine and would take around 20 minutes providing all the bits were out of the way. That accounts for rotation of the cams to their correct respective places and checking each valve. Actually adjusting would depend on how many actually need adjustment and how fast the tech can utilize the crosschart for sizing.

Sounds like your best bet is to find a nice clean out of the wind(and flying dirt) spot, do some light reading and do it yourself. They sell refill kits which contain 5 of each common size shims for around 35 dollars....that could be your total cost if you're careful with the cover gaskets. 35 vs. 450????


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post #9 of 15 Old 04-13-2010, 09:15 PM
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Hey Jeff, where are you getting your shims?
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-14-2010, 12:10 AM
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I did my 1000 and it was a snap. I think the 650 is a little more involved but really it can't be that bad. The difference on the vee is about ten minutes per jug if it needs to be adjusted. I am also thinking they are a bit high in the price. I think they may be sneaking in a extra hour on you.

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