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Old 03-07-2013, 06:23 PM   #1
ironjack63 OP
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Are valves supposed to be this noisy?

I know some of may think all I do is ask questions about my old BMW, and you are probably correct. Up until this bike I knew absolutely nothing about old BMW motorcycles. My question is this: I adjusted the valves today because I had a suspicion that they were too tight on my maiden voyage yesterday. They were more than too tight, as they had no clearance on any of the four valves. So, I set them and started the engine again to fine tune the carbs. Wow, is there a clackety racket from those adjusted valves. I only have my new Bonneville to compare against, but all this valve noise is a little disconcerting. The one youtube video I watched with the Beemer mechanic adjusting valves had the one line that gives me some comfort "a noisy valve is a happy valve". Before anyone asks, I did set the intake at 0.004" and the exhaust at 0.008", so is this clackety clack really the norm for these airheads?
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:49 PM   #2
Bill Harris
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There are TWO "TDC"s when setting valves-- a compression TDC and an exhaust TDC.. Rotate the engine around until one of the cylinders is at compression TDC. Both valves will be closed. That is the cylinder that gets the valve adjustment. You'll notice that the other cylinder, at this time, has one valve that is just opening-- do not do the valve adjustment on that cylinder right now. After you do the valve adjustment on the first cylinder, rotate the engine around 360*, exactly one turn, so that the TDC mark is again in the window. On the second cylinder, both valves will be closed. Adjust them. I use .006 intake and .008 exhaust out of habit.

Yeah, the valves like to go ticky-ticky. And if the rocker arms have axial play they'll ticky-ticky too., It may be normal, though, and earplugs can help...

--Bill
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:56 PM   #3
disston
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The Airhead valves normally make a bit of noise. I don't think they are noisy. But they do tap some. It's pssible you have excessive vertical movement in the rocker shafts. That makes excessive, louder, noises sometimes. Did you push up and down on each rocker to see if they were properly fitted? There should be very little to zero vertical movement. I think there is a proper setting but I just make them as close as I can with out binding.

I use 0.006 and 0.008. I used to use 0.004 but like them looser.

It's possible that the PO set the valves to zero. I get told by strangers all the time that my valves should be quieter. They of course are thinking of hydraulic valves. Solid valve lifters always make some noise. I tell these well intentioned strangers that they can set their valves any way they want. I will continue setting my valves the way I want.

The noise from the shift linkage when the trans is in neutral is really much louder on my bike. That one goes away when I pull the clutch lever in.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:04 PM   #4
ironjack63 OP
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Bill, thanks for the advice, but I do know on which cycle to set the valves. Not trying to be rude or start something, just stating a fact. The rockers are set just right - just enough end play to see the oil squish a bit when trying to move the rockers un and down. I guess I am so used to the modern bikes since my old BSA days, that I just forgot about the valve noise that a pushrod bike motor can make. It really is only noticeable to me when idling or slow speed take off from light or stop sign. I guess it will just take some getting used to is all.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:49 PM   #5
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Is the valve lash loose or does the rocker are move up and down to much?
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
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The valves are set to spec. I guess I am just not used to old pushrod valve noise.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:01 PM   #7
Lomax
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Happy valves are slappy valves. Three things could be causing the noise you are hearing. The rockers could be sloppy and moving up and down on the shafts, or the end play on the rockers could be too loose, or the valves could be receding a bit in the heads. I have has all three of these things happen on various bikes and they do make the noise louder even when properly adjusted.

You should be able to hear the valves but they should not rattle or make excessive noise.

Make a video so we can hear them.

Marc
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:07 PM   #8
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There is minimal end play in the rockers. Just enough to see oil squish out slightly when I try to move the rockers up and down. With only 29,000 original miles, I kind of doubt there is much rock with the valves. I did not see any perceptable wear on the rockers or valve ends, so I think my "quiet" Bonneville has me spoiled. I might try to get a video of the bike running and see what everyone thinks.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironjack63 View Post
There is minimal end play in the rockers. Just enough to see oil squish out slightly when I try to move the rockers up and down. With only 29,000 original miles, I kind of doubt there is much rock with the valves. I did not see any perceptable wear on the rockers or valve ends, so I think my "quiet" Bonneville has me spoiled. I might try to get a video of the bike running and see what everyone thinks.
I wouldn't worry about it
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:38 PM   #10
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Invest in earplugs and ride it.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironjack63 View Post
There is minimal end play in the rockers. Just enough to see oil squish out slightly when I try to move the rockers up and down. With only 29,000 original miles, I kind of doubt there is much rock with the valves. I did not see any perceptable wear on the rockers or valve ends, so I think my "quiet" Bonneville has me spoiled. I might try to get a video of the bike running and see what everyone thinks.
Rocker end play should be zero, not "can see some oil squish out". On a /5, You put a monster pair of Channel Locks on the rockers and compress them as you are torquing the heads. Always torque heads before setting valves. On newer bikes the rocker assemblies are different and need little squishing.

The bit about all 4 being tight has me suspicious. Always spin the pushrods before setting the valves on one side. They both better spin or you are on the wrong side. You might know how to do it, but that doesn't mean you did it right. I know how to bolt on rocker covers, so why did one fall off one fine night on the highway? I would check your work.

Invest in a mechanics stethoscope and get used to noises at various point on the bike. You will develop a sense of whats right and wrong.

Use go/no-go gauges to set your valves.

Research if you really want .008 on the exhaust.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:46 AM   #12
Stan_R80/7
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When the engine is cold on initial startup the valves on my '78 make very little noise. After the engine warms up, they tap. Often a fairing can amplify the noise. It's better to have the valves too loose than tight.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:39 AM   #13
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And with a hot engine at idle in neutral the transmission can rattle.

These bikes are veritable cacophonies. Earplugs help.

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Old 03-08-2013, 09:48 AM   #14
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For the rocker to be bad, does not mean there is any visible wear on the ends.
The wear is inside.
At TDC, see if there is any wobble of the rocker on the shaft. It won't take much to make a lot of noise while running. I could not see it move, but could feel it, when compared to a good rocker.
I replaced one bad rocker with a used /5 rocker and it now sounds healthy.
I believe I have read that /6 rockers will work on a /5, and are better rockers.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:22 AM   #15
Rob Farmer
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I've always found that if they are very noisy and the rockers arms are adjusted correctly then the valve guides are usually on their way out.
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