vf500f valve adjustment questions

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by WGREGT, May 25, 2012.

  1. WGREGT

    WGREGT New Member

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    For those that have done it, I'm attempting my first on the 500 this weekend. Not having any issues, but it's coming up on 15k, I bought it used, and I have no idea what condition they are in. Supposedly they were checked by the previous owner, but I hear people will sometimes say anything in order to sell a bike.

    I looked at the OEM manual, and was wondering if taking the alt cover and timing cover (the smaller half-dollar-sized one) off in order to get the cam lobes pointed down on top of the valves was the only way to do this. Anyone used any other method?

    I've got all the required tools (even bought the dropped wrench and yellow screwdriver thing), and I've done this on other bikes, but never the vf500f. I'm a little apprehensive, so any other tips you got would be welcome. Or, if you are in Socal and have done this yourself already, feel free to drop by!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  2. jeremyr62

    jeremyr62 New Member

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    It's not actually that difficult but the key thing is to take your time and find a method that works for you. There are multiple ways of doing it. I spent ages at it and messed it up the first time (engine was tappety so I had set them too loose) but just took a break and went back at it. It's fun in my opinion. The VF engine is great to work on. Search on here too. Loads of previous posts about it.
     
  3. rickjames

    rickjames New Member

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  4. WGREGT

    WGREGT New Member

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    Can you do this job without removing the alt. cover and the clutch slave cylinder? Sounds like every time you take off the alt. cover you need to buy a gasket...correct? Damn...I'd still love to have someone watch me do this the first time to verify my methods.
     
  5. WGREGT

    WGREGT New Member

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    One more thing (for now): How do I figure out the 6-9 ft lbs torque on the locknuts if a torque wrench won't fit in there to get it on the nut? I'm using the 8mm dropped Honda OEM wrench, BTW.
     
  6. jeremyr62

    jeremyr62 New Member

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    I reused the gaskets. Depends if they come off in one piece or not. Be very careful with the locknuts. It is very easy to over torque them and distort the threads on the adjuster. I used a small torque wrench but I found the spec torque too much so I just used my calibrated wrist. Could be my torque wrench was off though. You could practice using your torque wrench on some similar sized bolts off the engine to get the feel for the torque.
     
  7. The_Hamster

    The_Hamster New Member

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    I put the bike on its center stand, put it in 5th gear, and rotate the rear tire to spin the motor. Put the cam lobes 180 degrees off from where they would fully depress the following to find the point where you should check the clearance. No alt cover removal this method. I have an inch/lbs torque wrench that I used to find 15 ft/lbs that my VF1000F calls for on the lock nut specs. Feels like a lot on the tiny nut but I have had no issues.
     
  8. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    No need to remove the alternator cover as cams turn easily when the bike is on the centrestand, in 3rd or 4th gear and you bump the rear wheel around by hand, and it helps to remove the sparkplugs.

    It's possible to measure clearances of two cylinders at the same time without extra engine rotations as one front and one rear are in the proppa position at the same time.

    Consider your first venture under the cam covers as only an exploratory excercise to measure and record the clearance readings you find. Clean the edges of the covers before opening, and keep everything as clean as possible.

    I suggest you look over the list of clearances for a day, circleing the ones you think need attention, and not planning to change anything else.

    Don't get wrench-happy and start messing with any valves that are less than .002" out of spec, as it's almost impossibe to get any setting accurate to .001" and there is a tolerance range.

    As long as the highest point of the cam is pointing AWAY from the valve you can get accurate readings, and the EXACT precise position of the cam isn't so important.

    While turning the engine, NEVER turn in the opposite direction of normal rotation.

    It's helpful to use a go or no-go approach when using the feeler gauges.

    Remember that too tight clearances are worse than too loose.
     
  9. jeremyr62

    jeremyr62 New Member

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    I tried using the wheel as you describe. In my experience I found the clearances on my engine to vary quite significantly as I rotated the camshafts so I wanted to be able to rotate it with good control. If you put a smear of grease on the gaskets when replacing they shouldn't stick next time.

    Anyway like I mentioned above, part of the fun is finding a method that works for you.
     
  10. creaky

    creaky New Member

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    I might add that using two feeler strips will produce most accurate results, at least that works best for me. As for locknut torque, I too use the calibrated wrist method, never have had a problem.
     
  11. WGREGT

    WGREGT New Member

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    Finally, after much thought and consternation, I decided to give this a go. Not sure why I'm so iffy on it: I've done the valves on my ZX myself for over 80k, and my 4th Gen Viffer a few times, so I'm no stranger to doing them, or even doing them on a V4. But you bastids have got me all up in my head with what I MIGHT find out and what I COULD find out that would be bad news, so I've put it off out of fear really. What if I find something that makes the motor a boat anchor? What if I screw something up?

    So today I dove right in, fear be damned. OK. Here come the questions:

    1) Bike on centerstand. Plastic off. Radiator drained & off. Tank off. Coil pack off. All plugs removed. Rear cylinder head cover off (after much wrangling to get it past the carb bank.) Bike in 5th or 6th gear (I think...it's as far high as I can get it, I think). Clutch lever in, rotating the rear tire forward, as if I were pushing it. I'm looking at the cam lobes and I'm looking at the cam lobes and I'm rolling the tire, and....I don't see the cam lobes moving. I tried and can get the feelers under one set of nuts (real quickly I slid in a .003, which went in easily on both sides, so I went up to a .004, which went in with some difficulty, just as a quick starting point), but don't see the cams turning at all yet. What am I not doing right?

    2) the cylinder head cover has an arrow imprinted into the lid of it on the underside. This arrow, when re-installing it, points to the....?
     
  12. jeremyr62

    jeremyr62 New Member

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    The engine wont turn over as you rotate the wheel if you have the clutch lever pulled in.
    The normal numbering for VF500 cylinders is 1-3(rear) and 2-4(front) where 1 and 2 are on the left as you sit on the bike and 3 and 4 are on the right of the bike. So you have drawn it with 3 and 4 reversed.
     
  13. WGREGT

    WGREGT New Member

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    OK. Flurry of questions/confirmations since I have started on this tonight:

    1) I removed the small window cover on the right crankcase side so I could see the TR and TF marks. Exactly how many of each of them are on that wheel? I ask b/c sometimes I'm on the TR mark for the #1 cylinder and I can't get a gauge in, and after I rotate it around to another TR mark (or maybe even 2 more?) I can get the gauge in. Just wondering if I'm doing this right. My unsureness stems from lining it up on TR, getting gauges under exhaust or intake, and not being able to get any gauges under the other set of valves on the same cylinder.

    2) If I am on the TR mark, and I'm looking at the #1 cylinder, and I can get a gauge in under both exhaust valves, does that mean that the intake valves are lined up perfectly as well? Shouldn't have to touch the rotation again to check them, right? I'm pretty sure if I'm lined up for one set (intake or exhaust) then I should be lined up for all of them, right? So far I haven't been able to get gauges under BOTH the intake and exhaust valves on any one cylinder. Usually exhaust will allow a gauge, but intake will not. Which means that one set is probably too tight, but I can't believe it's like this in ALL cylinders so far?

    3) Speaking of too tight, I have quite a few intake that I cannot even get a .0015" gauge in under (.004" is the desired width) and quite a few exhaust that I cannot even get a .0015" gauge in under (.005" is the desired width). Common occurance?

    4) #1 cylinder exhaust: both valves will accept a .005" gauge, but one is a bit tighter than the other one. Should I try and adjust them to the same amount, or leave as is, b/c "technically" they are both in spec?

    5) I'm using the "go/no go" to determine what fits. If the gauge won't fully pass between (but instead will only go under halfway), I call that a "no go."

    Dare I say it, but I can see how doing this, given enough time and patience, could be kinda...fun.
     
  14. WGREGT

    WGREGT New Member

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    Oh...just to make sure I have this right (intake is .004 inches, exhaust is .005 inches) I sketched this out. This look right?

    valve diagram.jpg

    Thanks for the heads up. I fixed this diagram and reposted it.
     
  15. jeremyr62

    jeremyr62 New Member

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    You can use the marks under the inspection window but it isn't necessary. As others have pointed out just make sure the cam lobe is pointing away from the valves you are checking. The back side of the cam should be part of circle so the gap should be pretty consistent when you are in this area of the cam. (mine were not but YMMV). If you want to use the marks then get hold of a service manual. You can also search in here, there are tons of threads that go into the niceties of this in great detail. Your diagram looks fine now. Regarding what to set them to, it depends.....Hence I recommend you search in here.
     
  16. WGREGT

    WGREGT New Member

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    Any word on which direction the arrow imprinted in the underside of the valve cover faces? To the front of the bike? Make a difference?
     
  17. jeremyr62

    jeremyr62 New Member

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    Yes, towards front of bike. It will only fit properly one way anyway I seem to recall.
     
  18. WGREGT

    WGREGT New Member

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    Here's a question I need answered clearly before I can confidently move forward:

    If I am using the marks on the flywheel, and I am at "TR" and I am adjusting the valves on the #1 cylinder, and I adjust the exhaust valves, do I need to move the rear wheel/mark on the flywheel again in order to check/adjust the intake valves on the same #1 cylinder? Yes or no, and I can move forward.

    The OEM manual doesn't mention that anything else needs to move/align in order to adjust the intake valves, so I'm just double checking. Can I line it up on the flywheel once, and check all 4 valves in the cylinder without moving anything else?

    Another thing: Reading/using the Dave Dodge method, he says he torques the nuts down to 15#. The OEM manual says 6-9#. First off, is anyone else concerned about Honda just giving a range, instead of one number? Am I to believe 6# is OK? Or, 9# is OK too?

    15# seems like a lot. Ask me how I know that it strips the threads off the valve adjuster screw. Ask me how I know that they (thankfully!) are still produced, and it's $5 for the nut and the threaded screw @ my Honda dealer, with a 3 day wait time.

    Is anyone else tightening these things down to 15#?
     
  19. WGREGT

    WGREGT New Member

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    One more thing:
    So....this is going way slow. Like 6+ hours to do....#1 & #3 cylinders, with one screw stripped. And the best part? Everything was stripped off the bike already when I started. Oh well. Least I'm learning a little something.

    Like this.

    Let's say I'm doing the intake (.004") and I can get a .004" feeler in when I'm done, and they have a little bit of drag on them, but if I really try I can also get a .005" inch in as well. Is this a problem? Trying over & over again to get it tighter for the .004", and yet not loose enough for the .005" is not a trial & error, but an error & error situation.
     
  20. WGREGT

    WGREGT New Member

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    Got it all "done" and closed back up, started it and....it sounds like a sewing machine. I think it's coming from the front 2 cylinders, so I'll drain the radiator, remove it, etc etc and do it all again apparently. One thing: if I'm hearing a lot of valve noise that I wasn't before, is that b/c they are they too loose...or too tight? Just wondering before I do this all again.

    After doing all of this, and procrastinating doing it, I will say that I'm kinda wishing I had never done it. The valves didn't make a sound and it ran like a champ. I suppose the only good thing is that now I know they are done and I know what they look like.
     
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