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LearnerRider

Joined:

May 12

Posts: 111

LearnerRider says:

Servicing your own bike

Who does it?


My bike is now out of warranty but I have always had it serviced by a dealer in the year iv had it. But as a cash staped student £60 a service is quite expensive so I was considering doing the serving my self, oil, filters, spark plug etc I can do with ease (as I regularly service my car every 6 months) however it's checking valve clearances that puts me off a little. How had are they to check? (Suzuki gs125 clone engine) in a chinese bike, YES I Know! Haha.

I have a Haynes for it so I really am tempted to give it a go, but in reality how hard are valve clearence adujustment? 

Ash

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  • Posted 188 days ago (28 March 2014 22:34)

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Barney Fartpants

Joined:

Sep 07

Posts: 2186

DIY servicing

Checking valve clearances is pretty straightforward, but not worth the bother if your engine is running ok, if it becomes hard to start or has developed a tappet noise then it's worth a look. It's certainly not something most mechanics would check on a regular service. Adjusting them isn't always so straightforward, depends if it has a rocker arm and adjuster screw which is easy, or a bucket and shim which is more complicated, especially if the shim is between the bucket and the valve tip. With the shim adjustment you either need a selection of different sized shims or a means to accurately remove small amounts from them with a shim or surface grinder.

Over the bucket shims may or may not require the removal of the cam shaft, under the bucket shims definitely do require it.

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smidget

Joined:

Nov 07

Posts: 2424

smidget says:

Hi L......R...r

Valve clearances should always be checked even if they are deemed to be OK because you cannot hear anything and the engine is starting OK the clearance could of closed up which will then mean that valves will start to burn out and the engine efficiency will most certainly of dropped. Even a clearance which is half its optimum setting value will have a large effect on the engines performance but may have no real effect on the engines starting efficiency.

Barney your statement about most mechanics not checking valve clearances at scheduled intervals, is this based upon your own work ethics?

Adjustment of none overhead cam engines is as said the easiest usually a nut and bolt arrangement or a tapered bolt.

Overhead camshaft engines shim under bucket type, mostly camshaft out and can prove to be the biggest problem for the less skilled home mechanic so best left to a skilled mechanic. There are some which have an adjuster fitted which is a bolt with a tapered flat running its length which allows adjustment without camshaft removal, but I cannot recall this arrangement being used on any bike engines I have worked on.

Overhead camshaft shim over bucket, reason for this arrangement is so that the camshaft does not require removal from the engine. A specialised tool will be available for depressing the valve with the engine set into a certain point of its rotation so that the valve does not touch the piston crown when this operation is carried out, it prevents the valve head from being bent.

All shims should be changed for the correct sized replacement, not ground down, the shims are hardened to reduce the wear rate, remove this hardening and you might as well use mild steel shims. 

LearnerRider, if you read the section in your manual and understand the procedure then you have a good chance of doing the job as long as you take your time, as you remove parts lay them out in order and where possible place bolts into their respective holes. New shims you will have to purchase once you know the correct replacement sizes you need (most bike workshops will sell their used shims separately for £1 - £2 a time much cheaper than new). Keep everything clean, and replace gaskets with new.

If you have any doubts leave it to the mechanic, or enrol on a home mechanics course at a college.

Best of luck.  

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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shaunthesheep52

Joined:

Dec 12

Posts: 359

I MUST SAY

after 40 yrs fucking around with motorcycles ...i now " officially " HATE servicing / modging / fettling / fixing / fucking around with ////// motorcycles ... fuck em .... fucking things ... give yer bike some other cunt too fix / service / ect ect ect ... 

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Amateurcynic

Joined:

Jun 09

Posts: 1050

Amateurcynic says:

£60 Service?!?!

Cor! Those were't days!:laugh:
Do my own servicing too cos it cost's soooo much!
I check the valve clearances mesen, if any are out of tolerance I send it to a mechanic (whom I've now known for years) to check/replace, mainly for piece of mind as I'm reasonably competent and could (read Should probably!) do it mesen.
Smidget's said all you need to know really (including the College bit, I got a C&G on a night-school course :smile), make sure you've got an understanding of What you're about to do and How you're gonna do it Before you start otherwise you'll end up like I did learning the Hard way (Never split a crankcase vertically, lots of "bits" fall out!!:blink:) Allow Lots of Time to do it too, Never rush Anything, less chance of making a mistake that way.
Enjoy

Oh btw if you're not sure... Ask...
Yeah I know, yer doin that Already!:winkie:

Have Fun!:smile



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Barney Fartpants

Joined:

Sep 07

Posts: 2186

smidget

Feel free to attack my work ethics if you want to appear more knowledgeable, I don't mind.

 

I'm a time served engine reconditioner and routinely grind shims, in over 20 years it has never led to a problem.


EDIT: To add, I don't mean that the tappets/clearance should never be checked. I mean that they certainly don't need checked every service, in my opinion. If you want to check them and buy a new rocker/cam cover gasket every time you change the oil go right ahead, but don't make out I'm a fool for not doing so.

 

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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bmwgs

Joined:

Mar 10

Posts: 1035

bmwgs says:

.

i change the oil oil filter airfilter and spark plugs my self as the service kit only cost £60 if i pay to have it done it would be £100-200 at some places. 

i do what work i can on my bike as it good skill to have and will save money as you only have to by the parts 

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smidget

Joined:

Nov 07

Posts: 2424

smidget says:

Sorry LearnerRider

about the hi-jack.

Mr Fartpants, if you see fit to ridicule the work ethics of others then at least be prepared to take some form of feedback in defence of the many mechanics I know and others you may have offended with your offhand statement.

As I stated valve clearances should be checked at the service scheduled time and this is also classed as a regular service,  you did not distinguish between the services thus giving a false impression to the OP, it is the level of items inspected / checked and adjusted which varies at each interval.

As an engine re-conditioner how many of your engines do you routinely have back for servicing?

If grinding of shims is an industry agreed practice why does it not recommend this practice in workshop manuals?

I am quite sure that you will continue your practice, so I will agree to disagree with you.

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Barney Fartpants

Joined:

Sep 07

Posts: 2186

smidget

"If grinding of shims is an industry agreed practice why does it not recommend this practice in workshop manuals"


If you're getting all your reference from workshop manuals then that tells me all I need to know about your knowledge of the subject, you may as well use Yahoo Answers. I'm speaking from years of experience, I could even be classed as a specialist.

Until you have actually ground a shim you should allow those who have to benefit those who haven't with their experience. Yes shims are hardened, but they aren't just surface hardened, they're hardened all the way through. If you had ever done it, like I have thousands of times you would notice that the body of sparks remains the same throughout the entire process, same volume and colour and the sound from the grinding segments remains the same. When something is harder on the surface and softer below, (like Iveco cylinder heads always seem to be after the engine has got a bad heating,) you really can tell exactly when you've reached the softer material. This kind of knowledge you get from experience, it won't tell you this in a service manual.

I have no doubt that you are mechanically minded but please don't rubbish what I'm saying, I actually do know a thing or two about it.

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smidget

Joined:

Nov 07

Posts: 2424

smidget says:

MR Fartpants

I too have years of experience, starting with being an indentured apprentice carried out in a whole vehicle re-conditioning facility and finishing with many years in R&D on many prominent manufacturers engines via an independent test facility.

I would be interested if you could point out where in my post I stated I got my information from manuals.

Now another of your assumptions is that I have never ground a shim, maybe not as many as you but I have done enough for research purposes.

You seem to be having a really bad day, so again I will agree to disagree.


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snev

Joined:

Jan 11

Posts: 8242

snev says:

I Changed a ......

Cotter Pin once..............:unsure:

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