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Discussion Starter · #83 ·
I have the oil back in with the gas tank still removed. I'm planning on doing the following tests. I plan to remove the fuel pump fuse during the tests.
  1. Run the starter and try to simulate the multiple crank situation
  2. Remove a spark plug from the top and front and test

Replace the gas tank and connect fuel pump fuse
  1. Run the starter and verify the multiple crank situation still exists
  2. Turn the ignition to start without engaging the motor. Connect a separate battery to the starter motor and see if still has the multiple crank situation. If it does not then the problem is with the cables or starter relay.
Anything else to test with the gas tank removed or after it is re-installed?
 

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Sounds fine, as I commented, too tight valve clearances do cause hard starting. Usually when hot then it gets progressively worse. Provided you are happy with getting the tank on and off I think that's the last thing to check. What they don't cause is irregular cadence in the starter motor, There will be some change in resistance as you get near TDC on the compression stroke but ... could just be the other bikes kick over so quickly any irregularity isn't noticeable.

Be really annoying if this is actually a bad plug or a coil going south ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Sounds fine, as I commented, too tight valve clearances do cause hard starting. Usually when hot then it gets progressively worse. Provided you are happy with getting the tank on and off I think that's the last thing to check. What they don't cause is irregular cadence in the starter motor, There will be some change in resistance as you get near TDC on the compression stroke but ... could just be the other bikes kick over so quickly any irregularity isn't noticeable.

Be really annoying if this is actually a bad plug or a coil going south ;)
Getting that tank on and off is getting easier every time I do it, but it's still a pain. I do think a valve check is in order. It looks pretty involved. Any tips on doing the valve check? Service manual is a little light on details for a first timer. I can't really tell what I should be measuring with a thickness gauge.

Also, if I do need to change it I have to buy a new shim. Well, as long as it fixes the problem I'll be happy
 

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Valve CHECK is really simple normally. Should be some videos and pics on this site.
Tank off, Air cleaner off, that's fiddly but usually less effort than that **** quick release fuel disconnect thing ;)

On the 650 cardboard or similar across the back of the radiator, undo the lower bolts, swing it forward, tie it so it won't swing back. That gets access to the front cylinder valve cover and spark plug. Usually you replace plugs at the same time so I can't remember whether swinging the rad is needed to get JUST the valve cover off. Cardboard is definitely recommended though, it's all too easy to mark it up otherwise. Beer carton is near the right size FWIW :).

You should have access to the retaining bolts for both valve covers now, those come off, rotate each cylinder in turn to TDC on the compression stroke, marks are usually on the flywheel and can be seen through the inspection port, check valve clearances with a feeler gauge slid in from the outsides, it may need to bend a little (not BE bent, just that they sometimes won't go directly in and they curve a little) - min clearance should always fit, max shouldn't fit. Note that enough force WILL get a gauge in there with tight clearances. Worst case it should feel like sliding the gauge between the pages of a closed book. (Clearances will be online somewhere). That's it for a CHECK. Adjust is quite a bit more complex and IF they are tight maybe book it into a dealer.

FWIW. Given they'll generally be in spec, and maybe need adjusting only every 3rd time or less doing an oil change, plugs and a valve check and giving the dealer the bike ONLY when the valves were out of spec I found quite economical .

Metric feeler gauge sets aren't expensive, just double check you don't have two stuck together when you do the checks. FYI. I usually keep mine in a plastic bag with some ATF when not in use, they are prone to rusting. You can also buy individual guages in the sizes you need with colored handles, I THINK you only need 0.1,0.2,0.3mm but check. The dealers typically use those because it's much quicker but they cost more. Often sold for BMW's.

Note that the torque on the valve covers is quite low when tightening, and getting the gasket back in right can be a bitch. Finger down the well there to check that the gasket is seated in the middle helps and be careful, eyeball for gaps or bit of gasket sticking out. The valve cover gaskets are reusable, replace only if broken or if they feel like hard plastic rather than rubber.
 

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SOMETIMES you can juggle shims to get everything in spec, that's easier with a micrometer. Normally I use a shim kit , sometimes dealers will sell shims and individual shims may be able to be got online. The kits aren't good value (most sizes you'll never need, never quite enough of the sizes you do), but here that worked out easier than trying to buy individual shims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
I just found this great video on doing the valve check. One interesting data point is that it seems like he's having the same tightness when turning the crankshaft that I was having. Based on that do think what I was experiencing was normal and the problem is really an electrical problem? Here's the link to the video. The turning of the crankshaft is at 43:51.

I do still need to connect a separate battery directly to the starter motor to see if that works and shows that the problem is with the wiring or starter relay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #89 ·
Still troubleshooting. I found that if I remove the fuel fuse the bike has the multiple crank problem on the first attempt and then the starter motor spins without a problem on all subsequent attempts. I've hit the starter 6 times and held it for 5 seconds each time and the starter motor ran without the crank problem each time. Does that move the problem from an electrical problem to something else? I should note that with the multiple crank problem the bike does always eventually start successfully.

I also turned the crank shaft again manually and it is not that difficult to turn. No more than 6-8 lb-ft of torque needed to turn it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
So...I finally got around to doing the valve clearance check and the EX measurements are way too small. I followed the maintenance guide to the letter as well as some videos. Are these number possible or could I be doing something wrong? The big things I verified were that the F and R letters were in the timing inspection hole. I also verified that when seeing F the lobes were in the correct A position and when seeing R the lobes were in the correct B position.

IN should be .1 - .2 mm. EX should be .2 - .3 mm

Front Valve ClearanceIN Left: .165mm Right: 0.16mm (good)
EX: Left: .165mm Right: .165mm (way too small)
Rear Valve ClearanceIN Left: .114mm Right: .114mm (to close to the small side)
EX Left: .178mm Right: .178mm (way too small)
 

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Seems possible. I would get a second set of metric feeler gauges to verify the readings. They typically change in 0.05mm increments, so easier to see if you can pass a 0.20 or not for the exhausts for example.

To be absolutely sure that the cams are not at the beginning of the lobe you can set the lobes at the 12 o'clock position individually for the intakes and outlets. It should give you the same result as per the service procedure.
 

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My 1000 was under on the rear exhausts, it didn't have starting problems just an annoying stumble at low rpm until I found and fixed that. Can cause starting issues but it's generally hot start issues first (clearance goes below 0 when hot and there's low compression)

And yeah, I'd suggest recheck with metric gauges, not that I'm saying you got the conversion wrong just that it's only $10 to be sure. Your recommended numbers are the correct ones.

These bikes often have problems with the fuel pump/clogged fuel filters. The flow test is relatively easy, do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
Another update. I rechecked the clearances 10 times after doing the rotation of the rotor bolt and checking that the lobes were in the correct position. I found that the EX clearance was either right on the limit or a little too tight. I adjusted them, put new spark plugs in, took off the clutch cover and reset the adjuster screw, and put everything back together. Same problem exists. Weather is in the 60s Farenheit now so it isn't a cold weather only problem. I will say that if it starts to chug and I release the starter switch and immediately press it again it almost always starts.

I will say that the valve clearance adjustment was a pain. This guy has the best guide I found on how to do it.
Suzuki V-Strom DL650 Valve Check and Adjustment

Here's how I adjusted the valve clearance.

DatePartMeasurementShim
3/7/21
16000 miles
Front Valve ClearanceBefore
IN Left: .165 mm Right: 0.152mm
EX: Left: .203mm Right: .203mm
After
IN Left: .165 mm Right: 0.152mm
EX: Left: .229mm Right: .229mm
Recommendation
IN L: ok R: ok
EX L: -.05 R: -.05
Actual
EX L: 170->165
EX R: 170->165
3/7/21Rear Valve ClearanceBefore
IN Left: .127mm Right: .127mm
EX Left: .203mm Right: .178mm
After
IN Left: .127mm Right: .127mm
EX Left: .229mm Right: .229mm
Recommendation
IN L: ok R: ok
EX L: -.05 R: -.05
Actual
EX L: 168->165
EX R: 168->160
 

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Thanks for reporting in. All I can say is that this doesn't seem to be a typical DL problem. I agree the valve adjust is a PITA :) but I'm glad I leaned how to do it anyway.

Symptoms match what using a lithium battery in the cold would do but it's warmed up now and still happening, all I can suggest (and I think I did already) is check the ground connections from the battery and starter both ends.
 
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