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Old 02-04-2013, 07:22 AM   #1
grsa
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shims or mechanical valve adjustment

Which is better? Are shims easy to adjust? Can you adjust on your own?
Curious as.the Guzzi takes about 20 minutes to adjust and they are mechanical.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:48 AM   #2
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shims or mechanical valve adjustment

Shims are a pain if you need to order them, but if you have them on hand they're not too hard to adjust.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:47 AM   #3
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Mechanical, as in screw and lock nut, are easier.
Shim typically allows a higher rpm useage, but is a pita because usually the cams have to come out to access the shims.
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Last edited by Patrick; 02-04-2013 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
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but is a pita because usually the cams have to come out to access the shims.
Oh yeah, forgot about that.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:07 AM   #5
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Yeah. I hate shims. 20 minute adjustments sound a lot better than a few hours of teardown and rebuild.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:22 AM   #6
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Some bikes don't need cams to come off to access the shims. Not sure about the newer ones, but some older DOHC motors allows a fork tool to depress the buckets and give enough clearance to pull the shims on top of the buckets. Yamaha was like that. Still a pain to deal with but at least you don't need to re-time the cams afterwards.

I see many of the newer motors use shim "under" the bucket. In any case, you can always go through all the shims and write down all the replacement requirements. You might be pleasantly surprised that you use reuse some of them by swapping them around. Bring the rest to a dealer or independent and see if they are willing to swap shims with you for a small fee. That's what I used to do, back when I had a buttload of time and -broke.

Best of them all? Bikes that don't ever need valve adjustments. I miss the hydraulic valve lifters of the 80's the 90's. Wonder why they did away with that? I can see Variable Valve Timing might not be compatible, but most bikes don't have VVT.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:46 AM   #7
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shims or mechanical valve adjustment

I am about to do mine. Any tips on an 05 gsxr 600
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Mechanical, as in screw and lock nut, are easier.
Shim typically allows a higher rpm useage, but is a pita because usually the cams have to come out to access the shims.
Are there certain manufacturers that use the mechanical or is it dependent on the engine? Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volfy View Post
Best of them all? Bikes that don't ever need valve adjustments. I miss the hydraulic valve lifters of the 80's the 90's. Wonder why they did away with that? I can see Variable Valve Timing might not be compatible, but most bikes don't have VVT.
I read about the hydraulic lifters. Not sure why they are not in use, maybe weight? Thank you.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:57 AM   #9
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_5.0 View Post
I am about to do mine. Any tips on an 05 gsxr 600
My track bunny is a K5 too. Don't see anything special about it, so should be straightforward. I don't put any miles on it, so next valve job is a long time away, if ever. I've got the Factory Service Manual if you don't. Thanks for the track credit BTW. It was good to meet with you at MSR.

grsa, dunno exactly why they shyed away from the hydraulic lifters, both cars and bikes. Didn't think they added all that much weight compared to screws or buckets. Maybe the newer bikes need the solid lifters for better precision valve control, for power and/or emission purposes.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:07 AM   #11
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shims or mechanical valve adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volfy View Post
My track bunny is a K5 too. Don't see anything special about it, so should be straightforward. I don't put any miles on it, so next valve job is a long time away, if ever. I've got the Factory Service Manual if you don't. Thanks for the track credit BTW. It was good to meet with you at MSR.

grsa, dunno exactly why they shyed away from the hydraulic lifters, both cars and bikes. Didn't think they added all that much weight compared to screws or buckets. Maybe the newer bikes need the solid lifters for better precision valve control, for power and/or emission purposes.
Yea i have the service manual on it. Just need to find the time to do it. And no problem man hope to see you out there soon.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:23 AM   #12
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shims or mechanical valve adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by cychotic View Post
require a bit of organization keeping track of the shims.
The old black film canisters come in handy for storing old shims.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:27 PM   #13
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Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_5.0 View Post
I am about to do mine. Any tips on an 05 gsxr 600
Be very careful when reinstalling the cams and caps.
It's difficult to see that the cams are in time and stay there during the reinstall process.
Until the tensioner is in and holding tension on the cam chain it can, and will, jump time. I will use zip ties to hold the chain to the sprockets so it won't, just don't forget to remove them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grsa View Post
Are there certain manufacturers that use the mechanical or is it dependent on the engine? Thank you.
It's engine specific, but generally low rpm engines are more likely. I'm unaware of any current high rpm engines that have mechanical adjusters. Almost all use some type of shim for adjustment, including Ducati.


Quote:
Originally Posted by grsa View Post
I read about the hydraulic lifters. Not sure why they are not in use, maybe weight? Thank you.
Two words: lifter pump. High rpm use saw the lifters "pump up" with oil, effectively turning them from a hydraulic lifter to a solid one. No bueno.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:46 PM   #14
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While shims are more trouble to adjust they need adjusting less often. Chances are when you check the valves, no adjustment needed.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Mechanical, as in screw and lock nut, are easier.
Shim typically allows a higher rpm useage, but is a pita because usually the cams have to come out to access the shims.
CRF requires the cam to come out. Pain in the . My Husky on the other hand has a little clip that you remove to slide the rocker arm out of the way to access the shim. Brilliant and only takes 20 minutes to adjust. So it really does depend on the bike but I would say that mechanical adjustment will be easier most of the time.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:43 PM   #16
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nice tip about zip tie-ing the cam chain to prevent it from jumping time.

Also, to the OP, there are over bucket and under bucket shims, i've never seen over bucket shims (the new cbr250 has over bucket shims) but those MIGHT be easier to work on, if such a thing is on your consideration list when purchasing a new bike....

and while we're on the subject of valves, Do harley valves really require no adjustment, i cant see how that can be a harley with 50,000mi needs no valve work?
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:47 PM   #17
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shims or mechanical valve adjustment

Quote:
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and while we're on the subject of valves, Do harley valves really require no adjustment, i cant see how that can be a harley with 50,000mi needs no valve work?
Hey haven't had one last that long.
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