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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Valve clearance checks are a PITA, but inevitable part of our lives as DL1000 Vstrom owners.

There doesn't seem to be a comprehensive, stickied or even recent thread on this topic, at least not on this forum, so I guess I'll start one.

I had the first valve clearance check done on my 2007 DL1000 a few years ago. I was still fairly new to maintenance, so I had a shop do it. At 33095 miles, all clearances were smack in the middle of the allowable range.

That wasn't the first check. At least one had been done by a previous owner(s), in the ~22k miles before I bought the bike, back in 2016.

Since that 33k mile check, I've been putting the next one off. Recently, my SO got a Wee, and has graciously agreed to let me ride it in cases where my Vee is down for maintenance. So, I don't face the prospect of having nothing to ride for weeks, while I wait for parts.

Given all that, I wanted to make a reference list of necessary equipment and tools before I got started:

0) Copy of DL1000 service manual.

1) Feeler gauge.

2) Valve shims - maybe.

--This one is tough. From what I've read, in a lot of cases, you can swap around your existing shims to create the needed clearances. If you need new ones, you're dependent on your local Suzuki dealer, or other sources, to supply the needed sizes. Unfortunately, there's no way to order these parts ahead of time.

I'll add to the list as I figure it out.

Also, a broad outline of the procedure may be helpful, particularly if you haven't done this before or at least read a lot about others doing it.

1) Drain coolant. You have to swing the radiator out of the way to get to the front cylinder head, so unfortunately there's no way around this.

2) Remove fuel tank. By now I can probably do this in 20 minutes.

3) Do valve clearance check (haha, as if it's one simple step...)

More to come.
 

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I'll need to do this some day, so I appreciate the documentation.

Question: Couldn't you pre-buy a valve shim kit with various sizes of shims? Something like this? Hot Cams 5PK890260

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Good idea. Looking forward to the complete write-up.

A few things to add or maybe work into the thread.

There is a clear distinction between doing this for the DL1000 "Vee" which I assume you're going to write, and the DL650 "Wee". The "checking" part is the same, but the "adjusting" is a lot more complex on the 650 as the cams are directly powered by the cam chain. So you need to loosen the cam chain tensioner and afterwards make sure things are back exactly the way they were. With the DL1000 you just mark the cam sprockets and lift them out. A lot easier.

Ad prep step 2: I planned my valve checking so that I knew a dealer nearby was open. As soon as I had my measurements I drove over and swapped the shims. They sold me new ones for a reasonable price, and gave me back some money for the ones I did not need anymore. Total cost: A few euros. And you don't have to go to a Suzuki dealer: These shims are pretty much universal so most motorcycle/scooter dealers will have shims sets in the right diameter available.

Parts to get: When you order the new valve cover gaskets, don't forget you also need the smaller rubber rings that go around the spark plug holes, and the ones that go underneath the bolts. And you'll need RTV sealant for the half-moons.

What had me confused the first time is the timing marks on the rotor. The F|T mark is obviously TDC for the front cylinder, and R|T is TDC for the rear. You check the valves for each cylinder at their respective TDC. So far so good. But when it comes to cam alignment for the rear cylinder, the rotor has to be on the F|T mark instead of the R|T mark. Very counterintuitive, but important to get right.

It doesn't say in my service manual and it's probably obvious to most, but you always rotate the crankshaft (by means of the rotor bolt) clockwise.

Ad execution step 2: Whenever I do maintenance like this, I now simply spend the 10 extra minutes removing everything that could potentially get in the way. Crash bars, plastics, fuel tank, fuel tank rear bracket, airbox, radiator. I have wasted way too many time thinking "I can get there without removing this part" and then later on finding that I need to remove that part anyway.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I'm only writing this about the first-gen DL1000 aka "Vee."

A note I received in the general maintenance thread where I asked some questions, which lead me to starting this thread:

--It is very important to take photos, or somehow mark the relationship, between cam position and driving gear before you remove a cam (to actually check the valve clearances) so you can get the relationship correct when re-assembling.

Some thoughts on replacing the gaskets etc, or not:

--I'm leaning toward doing this check without replacing all the rubber bits. The ones that are on there now were installed new in July 2017. If they come off cleanly, it shouldn't be a problem to re-use them. I'll have a fresh tube of RTV standing by. Permatex Ultra Black RTV should work. It is especially oil-resistant, easy to work with, and I used it with success, when replacing the crankshaft pulley (aka harmonic balancer) on my old Mercury.

--If you do want to replace all the rubber parts, I looked up the part numbers for you, and prices from motosport.com as of today (5/2/21):

Valve cover gaskets, for both front and rear cylinder heads, are the same part: 11173-02F00 (2 req'd); 2 @ $31.05 ea. = $61.10

The rubber rings that go around the valve cover bolts., aka "Washer:" 11191-27E00 (4 per cylinder, 2 sets, so 8 total req'd); 8 x $4.78 ea. = $38.24

(All those can be found in the "Front Cylinder Head" and "Rear Cylinder Head" parts diagrams.)

Spark plug hole gaskets: I'm not sure about these, maybe it will be obvious once I have things apart. They might be #17, "Seal, Spark Plug Cap" from the "Electrical" parts diagram. If so, they are $7.10 ea. x 2 req'd = $14.20

Total for replacing all the rubber is then $113.54 + shipping.
 

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I just did this last week. Remove all the plastics, drain the coolant, remove the radiator. Then make sure everything around the cylinders and above is spotless. Once done pull both sparkplugs, both inspection covers and one valve cover. I did the front first. You rotate the crank by the 17mm bolt counter clockwise and watch the cams. Once the intakes come off the valves the piston is coming up on the power stroke and to TDC. The lobes on front cylinder cams point more away from each other when at TDC and the cam lobes on the rear cylinder point more towards each other when that cylinder is at TDC. The front cams are checked and if necessary removed at the same position TDC. The rear cams are checked at TDC but if you have to remove them you rotate the crank counter clockwise to TDC on the front cylinder. The cams have marks on the gears that when in the correct position for removal line up with the top of the head. I did not need to replace any of the gaskets. Your RTV black will go under the half moon gaskets.
It seems like a daunting task but once you get in there it is pretty basic. The bad part about not having a shim kit on hand is you want to do 1 cam at a time. You would be running to the dealer a bunch! Also you need an inch pound torque wrench that you can trust. The cam caps are 7 ft lbs and the valve covers are 10 ft lbs. The spark plugs are 8 ft lbs. I changed every shim and got the clearance to the looser end of the range.
Watch these two videos they are part one the front cylinder and everything you have to remove and part two for the rear cylinder.


 

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Also if you have not already done it it is a great time to put some extensions on the vacuum ports to do the TBS afterwards and anytime in the future. You will need 2 feet of 5/32 vacuum line. I had some copper tubing in the bin and cut 2 1 inch pieces that I stuck in the end of the lines and then the caps you take off the ports are used there to plug them.
Another thing that can be frustrating is getting the cams back in the correct position. They have a 2 piece gear and the outside piece is spring loaded. So if you try to put the cam back in with the alignment marks in the correct position (marks level with the head) when you tighten the cap down the cam rotates and now they do not line up. It is almost like a trial and error procedure. What I figured out was once the cam cap is off wiggle the cam so it will raise up but do not remove it. Then find a mark or make 1 with a marker that points straight up. When you reinsert the cam make sure that mark is straight up rather than try to guess which way the cam will rotate when you tighten it back down. If you don't you will be removing the cams multiple times to get it aligned correctly. You have to tighten the cam cap all the way down to see if the cam is in the right position not torqued but snug. So if you have it off 1 tooth you have to knock the cap again to remove it. There are 2 locating dowels in each cap that might stay in the cap or might stay in the head. Make sure not to drop them in the motor. You will need a magnet to remove the buckets and the shim should come out with the bucket make sure not to drop the shim in the engine. You might need a digital caliper as some of the factory shims are barely legible. Also you do not need to remove the air box. I kept everything placed on a table in such a way so that everything went back in the same spot even the bolts. 1 cam at a time.
Make some sort of generic diagram showing each valves original clearance and original shim size. Record the new shim size and new clearance. Great reference for the future. A great tip I got from the video is this. Say you have an intake valve that is at .004 and it has a 280 shim. Using a 270 shim will take it to .008. The shims in my kit were in .005 increments. 270,275,280 etc. each step will gain .002 of clearance. The factory shims are not in the same increments as you can see by my numbers and I believe some shim kits are that way too.

Here are my original and adjusted numbers.

zzzzzzzzzz.jpg



When you have the cam out make sure to clean off the old RTV from the head. A lot easier than with the cam in.
 

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you rotate the crank counter clockwise
And that's why we have forums with threads like this. In the video "counterclockwise" is used, but I have always understood "clockwise". What/who is right?

Edited: After some more searching, pretty convinced that it should be counterclockwise indeed.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Vee is totaled. Due to another party's negligence. Won't be doing the check. Can't say more now. Maybe in a few days
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah that was kinda my reaction too
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Protip: "Broken femur" is a really crap way to start one's week.
 

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Double WHAAAAT???

So sorry to hear this. :-( Praying for a speedy recovery and a fat settlement.

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Likely. Insurance plan won't cover a full admantium skeleton replacement. Cheap bastards.
 

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Likely. Insurance plan won't cover a full admantium skeleton replacement. Cheap bastards.
My son broke his femur at a South Carolina MX practice facility. Air lifted to Charlotte $40,000.
Almost died in the hospital from a fat embolis when they shoved the rod into his femur. It pushed out fatty cells into his blood stream. Could have been real bad. Doing fine now.
 
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DesertBike, sorry to hear about you and the Vee.

I have also adjusted the valves on my 08/V1K recently (march 2021). Here are a few comments / tips:

1. good write up from Mr Big Head, yes, you have to rotate the crankshaft counter clockwise;
2. do not use straight type filler gauges, get good ones with a angled tip;
3. as Big Head mentioned, the camshafts engraved marks are only going to get properly aligned with the top edge of the cylinder head after you snug tight the camshaft covers, as said it is a bit of a trial and check process. In other words, you will not see the marks perfectly aligned by just positioning the camshafts in place;
4. the REAR cylinder is stuck inside the frame and the camshaft gears are on the left side of the bike, right where a thick wire harness runs. You have less visibility to check the marks, specially on the exhaust side. A small inspection mirror will help you;
5. the wire harness mentioned above also makes more difficult to reinstall the REAR cylinder head cover. The harness has some play, you call pull it with one hand (working from the bike's left side) and bring the cover in place with the other hand;
6. Because of item # 5 above, I have applied gasket sealant also on the side of the gasket that fits into the grooves in the REAR head cover. This keeps the gasket from moving or falling down when installing the cylinder head cover;
7. speaking of sealant, on the first valve work (2014) I used Permatex "ultra black gasket maker" and it proved a bad choice. As the name says this is a gasket maker, you need a sealant. When performing the work this time, it was difficult to remove the old gaskets. On the front cylinder, I had to rip the old gasket apart because the "half moon areas" were stuck into the cylinder head (I think I also used too much Permatex in these areas the first time). This time I have used Permatex "form-a-gasket No. 2 sealant" with good results, no leaks;
8. I have cleaned traces of the old gaskets with a plastic scraper, nails and acetone;
9. this is a type of work where a shop manual is a must, if you don't have the Suzuki's get the Haynes Manual (# 4083) which is also very good. I have used both for this job.
I am not an experienced mechanic but I am happy I could perform this myself and the bike is running awsome.
 

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Hope you recover quickly. That fully sucks. If someone hasn't mentioned it already, you do not have to remove the radiator to do the front cylinder. I just drain it, remove the bottom mounts, and tilt it forward and bungee cord it to the forks. I've done this 8-10 times, no issues.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Agreed, I don't think you'd need to remove the radiator. But there's no way around disconnecting the lower hose, which means draining it.

It's good to have all this info on one place. I no longer have a Vee, but will likely be replacing it with a Vee2. I believe that engine has the same need for valve clearance checks, so will probably revisit this topic.

Thanks to all who have contributed!
 
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