Tips for 5th Gen Valve Clearance Inspection

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by Joey_Dude, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. tinkerinWstuff

    tinkerinWstuff Administrator Staff Member

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    Throttle bodies stay on and engine and frame remain mated.

    The job sounds worse than it is. Can't get any easier with gear cams.
     
  2. Deadsmiley

    Deadsmiley Member

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    Tink speaks the truth. It's even easier once your realise all you have to do is make sure the cam lobe is pointing away from the valve when you check the clearance.

    When I removed my cams I used a paint pencil to mark the spots where the teeth meshed with the drive gear. As long as you don't rotate the engine while you have the cam out you can put it right back where it was before you removed it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  3. EvilStig

    EvilStig New Member

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    I just finished this job in my 5th gen, and let me tell you, the california model is a royal ***** to get apart and together again with all of the extraneous emissions control hoses and connectors everywhere. It took me probably 3 hours to get the air box off, and another 3 to get it back on again, and that's no exaggeration. My best piece of advice there is to use vise grips to remove stubborn hose clamps and hoses, and then replace the spring hose clamps with proper screw-and-band clamps which are a lot easier to install and remove using a tiny ratchet and extension. Also be sure to remove hoses in the order that the manual outlines, and replace them in the opposite order... and label everything with colored electrical tape and a sharpie, so you know where it goes when you put it back together. There's about a dozen different hoses and connectors that attach to the lower half of the airbox alone, and it's easy to get them mixed up. Pay close attention to which hoses go over or under which other hoses, too, or you'll have a hard time fitting the spaghetti mess all back together on top of the throttle bodies.

    If I had to do this again, I think I'd have to find a way to do it without removing the airbox. I think I'd rather disassemble the coolant system than have to go through that again.

    Bought a nice digital torque wrench from AC Delco, and it was invaluable for this job, $120 very well spent. You'll also want a magnet, a pair of tweezers, an air compressor, a micrometer or digital caliper, some plastigauge, an oil bath or parts washer (I used an altoids tin full of clean oil), and some assembly lube before you start taking cam holders off. Be meticulous under there, and very thorough with cleaning, dusting and lubing all your parts before putting them back in, because the last thing you want is to have to take cams back out again for any reason after you've done it the first time.

    Also be sure to turn the crankshaft around several times after putting in the shims, before measuring your clearances again.

    Honda only ever sells shim kits in 0.05mm increments (180, 185, etc), and since the tolerances are only +-3mm, this gives you very little wiggle room to get things within tolerances if they're off. Call your local honda dealers and service centers and have them sell you shims to your exact specifications instead, since if they work on Honda bikes, they'll have more exact shims that came out of factory bikes (like 188, 182, etc..), which they can sell you, to get the clearances closer to perfect, and help avoid needing to do this again in 16000 miles.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  4. Deadsmiley

    Deadsmiley Member

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    Ok, I am stumped by the use of Plastigage. What did you use this for?
     
  5. EvilStig

    EvilStig New Member

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    As long as you have the cams out, you'll want to inspect them for the proper lobe and journal tolerances. You can use a micrometer to check the lobe and journal thickness, but you need plastigage to measure the clearance of the oil bearings between the cam journal and cylinder head/cam holder. There's a very specific clearance for the oil bearings, to ensure proper oil flow and pressure in the journal bearings. If it's too large, you won't have enough oil pressure in the bearings to stop wear and heating from friction, and the cams could seize up, so you'd need to replace the cylinder head, cam holders, and cams together as a unit if it's out of tolerance. To check this, you wrap plastigaga around the cam journals, bolt the cam holders back on, then remove them again to measure the thickness of the compressed plastigage.

    Of course this isn't 100% necessary every time you do a valve inspection, but if the cams are out to do a shim adjustment, you might as well do it now while you have it all apart for the peace of mind, rather than wait until you have another problem.
     
  6. Deadsmiley

    Deadsmiley Member

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    Ok, that makes sense now.

    I didn't check the cam bearing clearances on mine. It looked good to my bionic eyeball though.
     
  7. Joey_Dude

    Joey_Dude Member

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    Well one indicator is the sound, I don't know if you've ever heard of a perfectly tuned engine you can definitely tell the difference from one that's out of spec. When I adjusted the valves so that they were perfect I actually got compliments from my neighbors and thought I had put a new engine in it.
     
  8. Deadsmiley

    Deadsmiley Member

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    Yes, but by that time you may have burnt a valve. The best indicator is your odometer. Do the check every 16,000 miles and if the valves are out of spec adjust them.
     
  9. mark641

    mark641 New Member

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    Great that so many here want to do this neglected job but some background on the motor would be good before opening it up. I was surprised that Joey didn't know this motor has twin cam heads...one of the down sides to manufacturing a V four is four cams instead of two...The cam holders or clamps must be freed up criss cross and half a turn at a time in order to ease spring tension. If the clamps don't come off square and break its new head assembly time as the are mated to the head. Big bucks!
    Just so there is no confusion, the heads do not need to be removed in order to replace shims...the cams are lifted off the head to gain access to the followers.
    On the up side...NO CAM CHAINS...seen them dropped into the bowels of the motor before now!
     
  10. 5G800

    5G800 New Member

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    Old thread, but useful even today. Thanks Joey!

    I'm halfway through the job and I think I need 7 shims... Anyone know of a Los Angeles area Honda dealer that will trade shims with me? I hate spending 8 bucks a pop especially since its my first time on such an involved job, and I'm afraid I'll Cat2 it and be wrong.
     
  11. James Bond

    James Bond New Member

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    I know one that runs fine with no valve check running 120,000+ miles right now.
     
  12. James Bond

    James Bond New Member

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    Checking valves is optional because the owner's manual says to check valves. Kind of like motorcycle oil don't ya know.
     
  13. dhinson66

    dhinson66 Insider

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    My 5th gen 1998 has 32000 miles on it and desperately needs checking I feel. Does anyone know a good competent reasonable mechanic here in Nashville Tennessee I could take it to? I don't dare open the engine on my own.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  14. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe New Member

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of VFRW!

    You need to post a picture or two in the introduction forum next.

    It's not impossible to check the valve clearance yourself, but it takes time and patience.
    Go to this post for the best instructions first. http://vfrworld.com/forums/showthre...ce-Inspection?highlight=Valve+clearance+check

    It may help you to know if you can do it yourself. When I called my local Honda dealer for a quote, (if I remember correctly ) I was told it would cost $90/hr @ about 4-5 hrs. I decided to do it myself.
     
  15. dhinson66

    dhinson66 Insider

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    New to this-the"introduction forum"?

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk
     
  16. Lint

    Lint Member

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    Does anyone have a lead on where to get the shims? I'd like to have an assortment in advance if possible, so I don't have a long downtime. I've read other brands sometimes work with other brands. Any idea if that is the case with the 5ht gen engine? It always seems like the OEM parts for Honda are made out of some ridiculously expensive rare metal that they have to double the price for.
     
  17. Mind_Surfer

    Mind_Surfer New Member

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    I have a hotcams shim kit, 47 different sizes, three of each, in a nice labeled organizer with a jeweler's magnifying device.

    Sent from my XT1031 using Tapatalk
     
    Lint likes this.
  18. 5G800

    5G800 New Member

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    Hey Lint,

    I bought the HOT CAM kit when I did this job last year. (3-5 of like 6 sizes) I used a lot of one size, but unless you're really (un)lucky, they should work for ya. I sold the bike, so they're yours if you want them. You just gotta pick 'em up from Long Beach. PM me if you feel so inclined.
     
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