Valve Clearance check at 7K miles - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-19-2018, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Valve Clearance check at 7K miles

I had to pull my tank a while ago and since I had it off I decided to pull the cowling and radiator to change out the coolant and check the valve clearances. I bought my DL650AL4 with 3K miles back in April (now has 7.5K). The rear cylinder was fine with intake and exhaust at mid-range of the spec. The front intakes were also at mid-range but both exhaust valves were right at the limit so I had to adjust them. When I bought the bike the seller told me that the bike has always been a bit viby and that turned out to be a leaky lower throttle body boot (almost certainly shipped that way). Once I fixed that the bike ran great and I am glad that I checked the clearances but I have to wonder if the leaky TB boot caused the front exhausts to sink into the valve seats due to the front cylinder running lean. In any case, I set them at the wide limit so they should be fine for a long time.

Also, here is a tip for doing a valve adjust. The manual says to remove the cam chain tensioner bolt so you can get slack in the chain to remove the cams. That advice is not too bad on the front cylinder because the bolt is easy to access so reinstalling the bolt is fairly easy. The rear cylinder is another story because access to the cam chain tensioner bolt is very difficult due to the ABS being in the way. If you have enough ratchet extensions (probably close to around 2-3ft to clear the swing arm) there is a clean, direct shot to the bolt. However, if you remove it then getting the threads started is a real challenge and very frustrating. So the trick on the rear is not to remove the bolt but to back it out 10-11 full (360deg) turns so the bolt is loose (out about 1") but still engaged with the threads. You can then use the cam chain tensioner pawl-release trick (do a search) to get some slack in the chain and remove a cam without difficulty. When you are done with the valve adjust the cam chain tensioner bolt is already engaged and you can just tighten it to spec so you don't have to wrestle with getting the threads started or risk crossing them up.
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-19-2018, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dmfdmf View Post
...I decided to ... check the valve clearances...

So the trick on the rear is not to remove the bolt but to back it out 10-11 full (360deg) turns so the bolt is loose (out about 1") but still engaged with the threads. You can then use the cam chain tensioner pawl-release trick (do a search) to get some slack in the chain and remove a cam without difficulty. When you are done with the valve adjust the cam chain tensioner bolt is already engaged and you can just tighten it to spec so you don't have to wrestle with getting the threads started or risk crossing them up.
Sounds like a great tip. Thanks very much.

My Wee turned over 39,800 miles on my way into work this morning, and I plan / hope to do a first (real) valve check and adjust at 40,000 miles - beginning this project in a week or two. Based on comments from others, I'd planned to remove the rear wheel (and maybe a rubber flap in front of the rear wheel), but now I think I'll at least take a good look a the "clean, direct shot" to which you refer, and maybe (probably) try your proposed method.

I'm casually searching for the right deal (proximity, etc.) for a 2014+ Vee, but that might or might not happen. Even if it does, I'd want to sell the Wee, and I'd want to feel good about its valve clearances, and be able to provide to the new owner good records of gap values (was / is) and shim values (was / is). Plus, I've done this once on my '07 Wee, and am sort-of excited to get to do it again.

Again, thanks.

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post #3 of 16 Old 11-19-2018, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HokiesRWee View Post
Based on comments from others, I'd planned to remove the rear wheel (and maybe a rubber flap in front of the rear wheel), but now I think I'll at least take a good look a the "clean, direct shot" to which you refer, and maybe (probably) try your proposed method.
On my K7 Wee even with ABS I was able to reach the bolt without the socket universal joint that most people recommend but make it hard in my opinion, especially getting thread started on reinstall. It was a long way and I had to use all my extensions and borrow a 12" extension from a neighbor to get the wrench out past the rear tire so I could easily turn it but it does work, no removing tires or the flap or moving the ABS motor, etc. On my L4 Wee I haven't had to pull the cams yet but when I did the clearance check I wanted to see if the cam chain tensioner bolt was accessible like my K7. There is a clean, direct shot but the angle is lower so the socket wrench doesn't end up at the end of the swing arm but below it about 2/3 of the way so you don't need as many extensions.

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post #4 of 16 Old 11-19-2018, 01:56 PM
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OK. Thanks for clarifying the process even further.

I'll keep your comments in mind as I start the process.

Thanks again, and happy Thanksgiving!
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2007 Wee. Blue. Bought at 5K miles. Sold at 32K+ miles. Gone but not forgotten.

2012 Wee2 Adventure. Black. Bought at 26K miles. Now 43K+. Love it!
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post #5 of 16 Old 11-19-2018, 02:45 PM
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I had the rear wheel off to put on a new chain and sprockets so it was pretty easy to get to that bolt. 30,000 miles and the exhausts were at the low end of good, intakes were in the middle of the range. We put the exhausts in the middle and will probably check them at 60,000 miles.


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post #6 of 16 Old 11-19-2018, 05:15 PM
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I'm about to turn over 20,000 on my 15XT, it runs/starts so damn good.....I am debating/considering going even longer without the valve check.

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post #7 of 16 Old 11-19-2018, 06:04 PM
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I'm about to turn over 20,000 on my 15XT, it runs/starts so damn good.....I am debating/considering going even longer without the valve check.

this is exactly where i am at...20k on my 16wee------maybe over winter i will get the motovation
where is everyone getting their angled feeler gauges?
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post #8 of 16 Old 11-19-2018, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by brutalguyracing View Post
...where is everyone getting their angled feeler gauges?
I just use straight feelers and they work fine. You can probably get them from any auto parts store or online Amazon. I have a metric and english set of gauges and because of the offset between the two measurement systems I can get a slightly more accurate measure of the clearance. For instance, when I was recently measuring the intake gap the metric feeler that fit was 0.15mm but when I measured it with english feeler the 0.006" gauge fits which is actually 0.1524mm so I get a few more sig figs that way. If you aren't replacing the shims its probably not super critical but a more accurate measurement can allow you pick the best replacement shim to get the gap as close to your target as possible.

Also, here is a post of a shim calculation spreadsheet that you can download if you need to adjust the gap. Good Luck!
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post #9 of 16 Old 11-19-2018, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Big B View Post
I'm about to turn over 20,000 on my 15XT, it runs/starts so damn good.....I am debating/considering going even longer without the valve check.
There are no obvious symptoms of tight valves until the exhaust valves fry which is why checking is a maintenance item. If it has never been checked in 20K I'd check them sooner rather than later. My L4 Wee only had 7.5K miles and the front exhaust valves were at the limit. After break-in they don't really move much till end-of-life (100K+) so once you check you can safely extend the miles between checks. Hell, at 20K I'd plan on going in and set the intakes to mid-spec and the exhausts at wide-limit and ride it till 60-70K.

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Past: Suzuki: DL650AK7, GS400; Honda: CB125, Express 49cc
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post #10 of 16 Old 11-19-2018, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highwayman2016 View Post
I had the rear wheel off to put on a new chain and sprockets so it was pretty easy to get to that bolt. 30,000 miles and the exhausts were at the low end of good, intakes were in the middle of the range. We put the exhausts in the middle and will probably check them at 60,000 miles.


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Yea take the rear wheel off and its easy to get to the tensioner.

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