Valve Check Time!

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Valve Check Time!

Post by FJRoss »

I bought the bike (used) three years ago. The previous owner did a valve check at 42,000 km (26,250 miles) and didn't make any changes. I have 130,000 km on it at this point (81,000 miles) and decided I shouldn't put it off any longer.

Did a go-nogo check on all the exhaust valves and they all easily passed a 0.18mm (0.10 + 0.08) feeler gauge and wouldn't pass a 0.25 mm gauge. All good and nothing is even close - not even bothering to check these more closely. (Never had to adjust an exhaust valve in 185,000 miles on my '07.)

Went to the intake valves with the 0.15 mm (minimum) gauge. Left-to-right everything passed (some were fairly snug) until I got to the last one (4-2). 0.15 wouldn't go and even 0.13 wouldn't (0.10 went easily). Figure this one is right around 0.11 or 0.12 but can't choose anything between 0.10 and 0.13 with the gauge set I have. Last one I checked and it is off enough that I won't ignore it. I guess since I am going there, I might as well make careful measurements of all the intake clearances. Since I have to open it up anyway, I might as well target the 0.20mm 70 percentile for all of them and probably never have to touch it again.

I will pull the intake cam tomorrow and see what shims are in there and see what I need. Hope the local dealer (Yamaha or Honda) have the ones I need or I'll be picking up some carbide paper and making my own custom shims!

This is the second Gen II that I have done valve checks on and I have issues with that particular valve (4-2) more often than any other. Anyone else have the same experience with this or know any reason this should happen?
I think I had three valve checks on that bike where I had to make some minor adjustments. Until the last time, I only adjusted the ones that were out of spec - for that check, I did them all.

Metric gauge set I have has 0.06, 0.07, 0.08, 0.10, 0.15, 0.20, 0.25, 0.30mm (and larger). So, I can't do 0.09, 0.11, 0.12, 0.19 with any combination. (They should have included a 0.05mm but it would be pretty flimsy - would let you do all clearances in 0.01 mm increments.)
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by raYzerman »

Slip a couple of Imperial feelers in there... .005 = .127, .006 = .152, .007 = .177. .008 = .203, .009 = .228
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Re: Valve Check Time!

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raYzerman wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:37 am Slip a couple of Imperial feelers in there... .005 = .127, .006 = .152, .007 = .177. .008 = .203, .009 = .228
Would have been a lot easier if they had just included a 0.05mm in the metric set. Flimsy but always used with another gauge to fill in the missing numbers.

Ray, have you noticed that the valve closest to the sprockets (4-2) needs adjustment more often? Just wondering if my experience was just coincidence.
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by raYzerman »

Better yet if the metric sets would have included 0.05 increments...... I haven't found one... but one can buy individual feelers if you want to pay some extra at a specialty place.
Can't say I have noticed a particular trend.... the intakes run cooler than the exhausts, and the two end cylinders may run hotter, but other than that... dunno, probably luck of the draw.
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by Hppants »

Just went back to my notes for my current bike. At 52K miles, I did re-shim the intake, and coincidentally, 4-2 was one that was out of spec. I've re-shimmed other FJRs but unfortunately don't have data on which valves go re-shimmed.
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by rbentnail »

0.04 mm, 0.05 mm, 0.06 mm, 0.07 mm, 0.08 mm, 0.09 mm, 0.10 to 1.0 mm (0.05 mm increments) 3" 1/2" 3 3/8" 1/2" 2334A66 12.15

These are the specs, Part # and cost at mcmaster.com for the metric feeler gauges I use.
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by ionbeam »

rbentnail wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:02 pm 0.04 mm, 0.05 mm, 0.06 mm, 0.07 mm, 0.08 mm, 0.09 mm, 0.10 to 1.0 mm (0.05 mm increments) 3" 1/2" 3 3/8" 1/2" 2334A66 12.15

These are the specs, Part # and cost at mcmaster.com for the metric feeler gauges I use.
The pic is a clickable link.

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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by FJRoss »

Lots of sets out there. The cheap set I have would have everything covered with the addition a 0.05 mm. I'll pick up another better quality set before the next time - these were good enough. The intakes all ended out in the 0.18 to 0.21 range so I probably won't even check for another 50,000 miles.

Haven't fired it up yet. Thought I would leave that drama for tomorrow. Still have to do sparkplugs and coolant. Leak test first - run until the fans come on and see if my feet get wet. I think I will clean throttle bodies before TBS and buttoning it up.

Never cleaned throttle bodies before but doesn't look too difficult. Bit of a description at the other sandbox. I discovered the rubber cover for the #4 sync port was split open. May be an explanation for a bit of an uneven idle. I'll know tomorrow assuming I didn't screw something up. Over three years since I did a valve check...
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by FJRoss »

I seem to have a problem.

Got it back together enough to do a leak check. Started easily, ran smoothly and stalled after it got up to temperature. No big deal - figured idle is off a bit. Restarted (easily) and I held it at 1500 rpm or so for a few minutes and the engine bogged and quit. About 1 bar over mid on the temperature readout. After a minute or two, it restarts easily and idles for a minute or two before quitting. Almost sounds like it is running out of gas or a cylinder is dropping out.

No error codes.

Any ideas? I'm a little concerned and I don't trust the local shop to do anything other than charge me too much money!

Edit: I thought I was being really careful with valve timing. Zip-tied the chain to the sprockets and just lifted the intake cam out of the way to work on the valves. Would a mis-timed cam be OK on startup but cause it to bog as it warmed up? I have done valve adjustments (on my '07) a few times and never had any issues before.

No pinched fuel line, No issue with tank venting.
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by Hppants »

I would think that if you mis-timed the motor, it would run poorly at all temperatures.

Go back and re-check all electrical connections - maybe unplug and replug them to be sure of a good connection?
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by FJRoss »

Hppants wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:50 pm I would think that if you mis-timed the motor, it would run poorly at all temperatures.

Go back and re-check all electrical connections - maybe unplug and replug them to be sure of a good connection?
I think I will give that a try but I am doubtful. I did swap the old sparkplugs back in just in case one was bad out of the package. I wiggled plug wires around when it was struggling and it didn't make any difference one way or the other. Checked the line to the MAP sensor and it wasn't plugged. Checked electrical connection too.

I can't imagine that a TBS that is way off could cause this much of an issue.

I agree on the cam timing - I would not expect it to start and idle well and then bog as the temperature increased. (But I have never experienced a mis-timed motor.) I may be faced with tearing it apart again and going through everything but can't imagine what it could be... I would rather not do that until other options are exhausted.
(I could verify the timing but couldn't recheck clearances until tomorrow when it has fully cooled)

Any more ideas before I tear out what little hair I have left?
Last edited by FJRoss on Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by FJRoss »

Playing with it some more. Used the throttle lock to keep it running at around 1200 RPM after initial warmup. It actually stayed pretty steady as long as I let it run (~10 minutes). Responded decently to throttle. Fans came on and cycled normally. As soon as I let off the throttle, it died immediately. Idle speed adjustment didn't really help. I checked and wiggled every electrical connection while it was running and nothing made any difference. I did notice that every couple of minutes, I would get a "stumble" in the idle but that isn't abnormal for an FJR.

Start with a TBS with air screws 1 turn out from fully seated as a starting point?

I don't really want to tear it apart again unless there is a reasonable chance that these symptoms are caused by a cam timing error. Can't imagine it has anything to do with valve clearances - I couldn't have messed it up that badly.

One more question - do you route the throttle cables over or under the coolant pipe? Can't remember what they were on my '07 but they were under the pipe on this one.
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by ionbeam »

Electrical problems tend to be abrupt, like flipping a switch on and off. Fuel and air tend to be softer problems. My first thoughts are pinched fuel line, fuel line not fully connected (or not plugged in). On a wild thought, try running with the gas cap open to ensure there isn't a tank venting problem. Some Gen II had tank venting issues and actually collapsed on the bottom, I've seen one.

Even if the cam timing is off a tooth or two it should run, just with reduced power.

Then there is the possibility of pinched wires... which I'm sure you have already checked.
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by rbentnail »

With timing off one tooth, I got the exact symptoms you are describing. Since then I have always been a vocal advocate of checking timing marks properly, per the manual. No amount of cable ties and socket insertion can keep the timing chain in position every single time.

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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by raYzerman »

If you also zip tied the cam chain at the crank sprocket, I'd think valve timing is OK. If coolant sensor or cylinder identification sensor not connected, bike will not start, so there's that. One tooth off on valve timing won't necessarily cause an idling problem, more like lack of horsepower at higher rpms.
Is the tank up and maybe not enough fuel when propped up? Lay tank down, does it improve? Should I ask how old that fuel is and if it had corn in it?
One could go for a spin, does it continue to pull strong and develop horsepower after 6000 rpm? It needs a wee run anyway.
Sync will be off slightly if you changed shims, I'd start with a fresh sync.... use any cylinder as reference, 3/4-7/8 turn out, adjust the rest to it... see if that resolves the idle issue, after sync readjust idle speed.
Let's see whazzup after that..... meanwhile, I'll keep thinkin'.....
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by FJRoss »

ionbeam wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:18 pm Electrical problems tend to be abrupt, like flipping a switch on and off. Fuel and air tend to be softer problems. My first thoughts are pinched fuel line, fuel line not fully connected (or not plugged in). On a wild thought, try running with the gas cap open to ensure there isn't a tank venting problem. Some Gen II had tank venting issues and actually collapsed on the bottom, I've seen one.

Even if the cam timing is off a tooth or two it should run, just with reduced power.

Then there is the possibility of pinched wires... which I'm sure you have already checked.
No pinched fuel line or tank venting. Ran it with the lid open to check. (Also runs OK at higher rpm so fuel starvation isn't likely) (No pinched wires either :shock: ) Experience is a great teacher!!

Can't tell anything about power since I didn't want to put it all back together for a test ride. Didn't know whether a cam-timing issue might have a dramatic affect on the warm idle... It does seem to run fairly smoothly at 1,200 rpm using a throttle lock but dies as soon as it is released. Idle adjust makes little difference. No "spiderish" electrical anomalies either. And no changes as ignition wires and electrical connectors were "manipulated" during operation.

When I did the valve adjust, I zip-tied the chain to the cam sprockets before releasing the CCT tension. I didn't do anything at the crank end but was pretty careful unless something moved as I was wrestling the cam back into place???

I also swapped out the new plugs to the old ones in case I had a bad one and checked the four exhaust pipes with an IR thermometer to see if temperatures were similar (they were).

Can't imagine that a TBS could be suddenly off enough to cause this much of a problem. Perhaps I should close down all the screws and start with everything open 3/4 turn as a "default" TBS.

I have no experience with a mis-timed cam so don't know if it is worth tearing it apart again without checking other stuff.

Basically, it was working fine until I messed with it.
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by FJRoss »

rbentnail wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:06 pm With timing off one tooth, I got the exact symptoms you are describing. Since then I have always been a vocal advocate of checking timing marks properly, per the manual. No amount of cable ties and socket insertion can keep the timing chain in position every single time.

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Beginning to think that way!
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by FJRoss »

raYzerman wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:20 pm If you also zip tied the cam chain at the crank sprocket, I'd think valve timing is OK. If coolant sensor or cylinder identification sensor not connected, bike will not start, so there's that. One tooth off on valve timing won't necessarily cause an idling problem, more like lack of horsepower at higher rpms.
Is the tank up and maybe not enough fuel when propped up? Lay tank down, does it improve? Should I ask how old that fuel is and if it had corn in it?
One could go for a spin, does it continue to pull strong and develop horsepower after 6000 rpm? It needs a wee run anyway.
Sync will be off slightly if you changed shims, I'd start with a fresh sync.... use any cylinder as reference, 3/4-7/8 turn out, adjust the rest to it... see if that resolves the idle issue, after sync readjust idle speed.
Let's see whazzup after that..... meanwhile, I'll keep thinkin'.....
No fuel issue. Tried it with tank propped and down. Cap open to eliminate venting issues. New fuel. (I have 3000 km on the bike this year).

As I mentioned in my response to ionbeam, I will try a "default" TBS with all 3/4 turns and if that doesn't work, I'll likely be taking the valve cover off again to check the cam timing. Haven't gone for a ride - don't want to put it all back together and have to take it apart again if I can help it.
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by FJRoss »

Air screws at 3/4 turns out - wouldn't idle with idle screw fully adjusted. A bit better with them at 1 1/4 turns but still not good enough. No way they should have to be out further than that to get an acceptable idle.
No further suggestions then I will pull the valve cover and timing cover (tonight) and have a look in the morning when it is brighter and I am not quite as frustrated.

I appreciate the help and suggestions. Pretty much along the lines I was thinking except I had no knowledge of what symptoms to expect with mis-timed cam(s). I suspect the symptoms will differ depending on which one is off and in which direction. As I mentioned, I didn't put it together enough to go for a ride to check out power.

I asked above and no-one answered - do the throttle cables go over or under the coolant pipe - Gen II.
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Re: Valve Check Time!

Post by raYzerman »

Dude! Rule #1 is to zip tie the crank sprocket for CCT and shim changes.... Chain very loose when cam rolled out. OK, go for that ride and see what the horsepower verdict is..... that is going to tell you whether you have a valve timing problem. If it struggles to pull 7000 rpm in 3rd or 4th or takes too long to get there........ unfortunately, no other way to tell but pull the valve cover and right timing cover......... if anything is off it's likely one tooth off at the crankshaft sprocket.
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