Valve re-shim Time - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Valve re-shim Time

Valve re-shim is not one of my favorite maintenance tasks on the bike. At least you only have to deal with 8 valves on our little V-650 instead of 16 on the liter bikes. Part of the hassle is the translation from inches to mm. It's really not too difficult, but one must pay close attention to detail at all times. For me being more an inch guy, I do my work in inches then make the conversion to mm to get the correct size shims.

I initially checked the valve clearance at the published 14k miles. All were in spec but a couple were right at the tight limit. By the time you get to the 14k mile mark the valves have pretty much finished making any big moves so I buttoned her back up for another 5k miles. Now at 19k miles I figured I would do the adjusting.

Here is what she looked like upon inspection:

Cylinder 1 clearance Cylinder 2 clearance
Exhaust .011 .009 Exhaust .009 .010
Intake .007 .007 Intake .006 .007

Stock shims were as follows:
Exhaust .118 .118 Exhaust .121 .119
Intake .115 .116 Intake .117 .115

Replacement shims
Exhaust .118 .116 Exhaust .119 .118
Intake .115 .116 Exhaust .115 .114

Valve clearance after replacement
Exhaust .011 .011 Exhaust .011 .011
Intake .007 .007 Exhaust .008 .008

Now before ya’ll say “Why didn’t you make your cylinder 1 intake clearance the same as cylinder 2? Cylinder one measurements were very much on the loose side so I left them alone. Cylinder 2 intakes measured, after the re-shim, at a tight .008 which puts cylinder 1 and 2 intakes within a half a thousandth of each other.

The job worked out pretty well as I was able to swap several shims and only needed to buy just 2 shims.
Now I am waiting for gaskets and o-rings to come in so I can finish the job.

Also if you decide to attempt doing this yourself be sure and buy or borrow a quality torque wrench. Don’t go with a Harbor Freight special. They are ok for things like lug nuts on your car, but on your very expensive aluminum head it’s not worth taking a chance.
A riding buddy has a real high quality torque wrench that I was able to borrow. Soooooooooo much nicer than the cheap arse Chinese junk.

Another critical tool is a good micrometer to measure the existing shims as well as the new ones you will need. Whatever you do don’t try the job with a digital caliper thinking that will be ok cuz it won’t.

Wrench well guys.
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Last edited by hawkerjet; 05-15-2018 at 03:33 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 08:32 PM
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I used this calculator tool that does all the shim calcs for you...

[Triumph] Valve Shim Calculator Tool
Triumph Universal Valve Shim Calculator Tool
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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I used this calculator tool that does all the shim calcs for you...

[Triumph] Valve Shim Calculator Tool
Triumph Universal Valve Shim Calculator Tool
Too complex for my simple mind...Lol.

I can fly a jet but that calculator looks intimidating. Kinda like operating a smart phone.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2018, 02:37 AM
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It actually is not that bad.
You already have measured each shim and gap...
this tool means you can just plug the values in select target clearances and is spits out the correct values for the job.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2018, 07:26 AM
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I have HF torque wrenches 1/2, 3/8, 1/4. Have not done the valve inspection yet on the V but on my last bike in needed a 1/4 as the head bolts were all in inch pounds.

While I agree that HF tools are not the best they are OK for the most part, I always check my torque wrench by making sure it clicks on a low setting using fixed nut on something other than the bike. When tightening I will set it to about half the required amount make sure it clicks properly then go to the specified amount. While I agree a high quality torque wrench would be better I can not justify the expense. Have thought about a used one or borrowing one from one of the auto parts places but after seeing how some guys abuse a torque wrench I dont want to trust a used one.

I figure a cheap but well maintained torque wrench is better than an abused out of spec used one or none at all.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2018, 09:13 AM
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Being in the middle of the range of the torque wrench is an important part of using it correctly. If you're at one of the extremes for that wrench it won't be terribly accurate. I've snapped off bolts trying to cheat with the wrong torque wrench. Which was kind of dumb because whenever there's an excuse to buy another tool, do it!
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Last edited by Fly-Sig; 05-16-2018 at 03:05 PM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2018, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkerjet View Post
...Also if you decide to attempt doing this yourself be sure and buy or borrow a quality torque wrench. Dont go with a Harbor Freight special. They are ok for things like lug nuts on your car, but on your very expensive aluminum head its not worth taking a chance....
"CAR CRAFT" magazine did a comparo (years ago) of torque-wrenches, and gave the H-F ones a VG rating. I happen to own FIVE torque-wrenches in BC, two of which are Snap-On, a 1/2" clicker and a 3/8" dial, and two are H-F, a 3/8 and a 1/4" BOTH clickers, as well as a swing-beam 3/8.

In AZ I have THREE H-F torque-wrenches, 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2.

I've 'done' the valves ABOUT EIGHT times - twice each on my '09 and '15 here in BC, and PROBABLY four times on my '08 (which has 79,xxx MILES).

SO FAR I have yet to 'wreck' anything, and I'm very anal while working on my Vs.

Just my experiences and opinions....
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2018, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
"CAR CRAFT" magazine did a comparo (years ago) of torque-wrenches, and gave the H-F ones a VG rating. I happen to own FIVE torque-wrenches in BC, two of which are Snap-On, a 1/2" clicker and a 3/8" dial, and two are H-F, a 3/8 and a 1/4" BOTH clickers, as well as a swing-beam 3/8.

In AZ I have THREE H-F torque-wrenches, 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2.

I've 'done' the valves ABOUT EIGHT times - twice each on my '09 and '15 here in BC, and PROBABLY four times on my '08 (which has 79,xxx MILES).

SO FAR I have yet to 'wreck' anything, and I'm very anal while working on my Vs.

Just my experiences and opinions....
I ran a comparison test this morning between my friend's quality torque wrench and my Harbor Freight one. You are right Eddie they were pretty close to each other.

I stand corrected. I was basing my caution on a bad experience, years ago, with a Harbor Freight torque wrench. Perhaps they are like a fine wine...getting better with age.

And I took it like a man...fessed up and admitted I was wrong. Unlike most politicians today who would either deny put a big spin on the story...Lol.

Oh hey I am curious, did your valves change much after your initial check?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
Being in the middle of the range of the torque wrench is an important part of using it correctly. If you're at one of the extremes for that wrench it won't be terribly accurate. I've snapped off bolts trying to cheat with the wrong torque wrench. Which was kind of dumb because whenever there's an excuse to buy another tool, do it!
This is new to me, but kind of makes sense. At least for HF you need all three sizes to go from low inch pounds to high foot pounds needed for the front sprocket. I treat them with care always back them off before putting them away, always store them in their protective case and NEVER use the 1/2 torque wrench as a breaker bar (the long handle makes that tempting).
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
Being in the middle of the range of the torque wrench is an important part of using it correctly. If you're at one of the extremes for that wrench it won't be terribly accurate. I've snapped off bolts trying to cheat with the wrong torque wrench. Which was kind of dumb because whenever there's an excuse to buy another tool, do it!
This was the exact reason for my bad experience, years ago, with a harbor freight torque wrench.
I purchased what I thought was their smallest torque wrench but was not. So I was attempting to use it near the bottom end of the scale. As a result I almost pulled the threads out of a head while torquing the cam cap bolts on my CRF450.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 10:04 AM
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The other thing I've screwed up is converting from metric to ft-lbs. Stripped the threads real quick on that one!
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 10:48 AM
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The other thing I've screwed up is converting from metric to ft-lbs. Stripped the threads real quick on that one!
Or doing foot pounds instead of inch pounds!
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-20-2018, 03:16 PM
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All I can add to this discussion is that checking the valve clearances is a PITA because of how much stuff has to be removed. Changing them even more so.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-20-2018, 03:35 PM
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All I can add to this discussion is that checking the valve clearances is a PITA because of how much stuff has to be removed. Changing them even more so.
And then there is my way....the cowards way, a good trusted dealer
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-20-2018, 09:35 PM
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Valve Shim / Vacuum Sync

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Originally Posted by Dave31410 View Post
All I can add to this discussion is that checking the valve clearances is a PITA because of how much stuff has to be removed. Changing them even more so.
It was a suggestion on this forum to bring out the caped vacuum ports, as tight valves and vacuum sync being off is generally a direct link to tight valves. This forum has a step by step C/W photos, in my opinion, done right by a professional mechanic, expect to pay around $600. Starting out with no tools, expect to pay about $250 to $300 for the tools, including vacuum measurement . There are work arounds . And yes, some people are better off paying a professional to do it, provided they are reliable.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2018, 04:26 PM
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...Oh hey I am curious, did your valves change much after your initial check?
NO, they did not, but I ALWAYS 'open-up' the clearances to the HIGH end of the range (ie - .20 to .31 - I set them as close to .31 as I can get).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack of Heats JoH View Post
...I treat them with care always back them off before putting them away, always store them in their protective case and NEVER use the 1/2 torque wrench as a breaker bar (the long handle makes that tempting).
When you can buy a 16" breaker-bar for about $10....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack of Heats JoH View Post
Or doing foot pounds instead of inch pounds!
SEVERAL inmates here have broken small bolts while doing their valves that require ONLY 106 INCH-POUNDS (which AIN'T much).

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