Can't fit feeler gauge between valve screw and valve stem - Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Can't fit feeler gauge between valve screw and valve stem

So last night I was attempting a valve adjustment on a 2003 VL800. I (finally) got all the covers off, spark plugs out, inspection caps, etc. etc. Time to spin the engine and feel the valves. Well, not so fast. I spin it until the R | T mark is perfectly lined up, rockers are both up, but I can't get the feeler gauge between the adjustment screw and the valve stem. Not even the smallest 0.038mm one I have. This is of course partly a product of having the rockers recessed like they are instead of accessible from the side (I am not sure but I believe the industry term for this is "******* design"). I am just about ready to use the Jpaige method of just counting turns. But I have two concerns:

a. How do I know with 100% certainty that I found TDC on the compression stroke? Is the R | T mark going to come around for compression and exhaust stroke or just the compression stroke?

b. Is this just a product of how difficult it is to access this space or are my valves really operating with 0.00mm lash?

Bonus question: I see a lot of black crud on top of the pistons through the spark plug hole. Is this normal? Should I do anything about it?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 06:03 PM
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Your bike has 2 TDC. One on the compression stroke, one on the exhaust stroke. If you hit the F/T on the wrong stroke, the valves will have no clearance as they are open to expell the spent glasses. The best way to tell what stroke you are on is to shove a piece of flexible tubing in the sparkplug hole and zip tie a balloon to the end. It will inflate when on the compression stroke (where you want to do the clearance adjustment.

If you get to the compression stroke and still have no clearance, then your bike is in dire need of the adjustment.

Black spot on top is normal for older bikes. Use some carb cleaner to spray it off.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! You are helpful as always!

I wonder if my bits of fuel line would work as the flex hose. Is it still going to be really difficult to get the gauges in there? For the front exhaust I can’t event see anything because the frame and radiator are in the way.

Do I just spray the carb cleaner directly into the spark plug hole? Just a bit or a bunch?

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 07:26 PM
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Just do the JPaige method, probably more accurate than bent feeler gauges due to poor access.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 11:44 AM
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I have always used the JPaige way to check the valves on my C50 boulevard. Never had much luck with using the gauges lol. I remember the first time i tried the gauges and it just did not work for me. Too stressful lol. Maybe it works ok if one has small hands. I know some owners frown on it lol. But as for me it worked just fine. I just wonder if some shops use that system as well, as the shop i bought the bike from were very familiar with the JPaige system lol. Hope it works for you as well as it worked for me. Do not ride anymore

as old age (almost 82) has taken a toll on my knees. Still check in here sometimes, like most days lol. Have a good weekend.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Skrapiron, EazyDyz, Henry, thank you all very much!

Mischief managed and I got it running last night after fiddling with the JPaige method for what seemed like forever. It's a PITA to line them up (should have listened and got the security bits because without them I was sorta eyeballing the angles. The good news is that it runs super quiet now. I have yet to ride it again (don't want to reassemble everything since my next task is to swap the coolant), but at idle it now sounds like a very quiet sewing machine, whereas before it sounded like it was about to throw a bearing. Also, the surging problem I had with it is now gone. RPM changes (based on induction tach), about +/- 20rpm every 20-30 seconds or so slowly going up/down. I could tell when unscrewing the valves that the intake valves had way more lash than the exhaust ones.

Henry, appreciate your wisdom and checking in here!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 12:49 PM
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Everyone always used to say the gaps CLOSE up over time on these bikes, and the valve job needs doing to open the gaps back to normal. So you're saying yours was loud and now is quiet? You sure they're not too tight? I'd rather be able to hear them open and close than to not hear them at all, slightly loose is safer than too tight.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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They were actually too loose. I was both being stupid about finding the right TDC and also it’s just impossible to fit the gauges in there. Mine are a little too wide and don’t bend in there nicely. But I found the play in the rockers at compression TDC and when I started unscrewing them, they were way more than 1/4 or 1/8 of a turn out.

Now it sounds like a quiet well oiled sewing machine. And the annoying vibration I had in second gear is gone too.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipartola View Post
They were actually too loose. I was both being stupid about finding the right TDC and also itís just impossible to fit the gauges in there. Mine are a little too wide and donít bend in there nicely. But I found the play in the rockers at compression TDC and when I started unscrewing them, they were way more than 1/4 or 1/8 of a turn out.

Now it sounds like a quiet well oiled sewing machine. And the annoying vibration I had in second gear is gone too.
It is VERY easy to close the gap you have set when you tighten the locknut. That is why it is NECESSARY to use the feeler gauge.

Have a look here if you want....

https://www.volusiariders.com/58-mot...ent-tools.html

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 06:05 PM
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+1!
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