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Old 08-03-2014, 11:04 AM   #1
Jersey87 OP
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Question First valve clearance check

Hello all

As the title alludes, I'm looking for a bit of advice on how to not f*ck up my first valve clearance check basically.

The bike in question is a 2010 F800R and the biggest job I've done so far on it myself was an oil and filter change. The cost of getting the local BMW dealership to do the checks though has made me decide that I could really do with learning how to perform these sorts of jobs myself and save myself a fair bit of cash in the future.

Along with the service interval stating I need a check doing, I currently have a small oil leak/seep from the left hand side of the gasket so was going to check and re-seal around that at the same time.

I've got a Haynes manual and the step by step seems pretty straightforward to be honest but each time I read 'a new one must be fitted' I'm a little dubious. Parts in question include mainly washers and gaskets, however, when I have a quick Google I find most people saying things such as 'mine has been off and back on 4 times and no issues' etc.

So, barring any breaks in gaskets, cracks, disintegration of my entire engine, the end of the world as we know it, etc, should I simply give everything I once over and a good clean when I've got the cover off and then re-fit the same parts?

Any advice appreciated.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:14 AM   #2
Anorak
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If your dealer is reasonable, they'll cover the valve cover r&r as warranty to replace the gasket and just charge you to check the clearances. Or, you can ignore the fact that you have a warranty and do it yourself which will mean that if it keeps leaking the dealer doesn't have to look at it as a warranty issue because you fucked with it.

Edit:
I just noticed that the motorcycle is a 2010 and therefore is no longer under warranty. So never mind.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:40 AM   #3
Stan_R80/7
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The Haynes manual is accurate and will give good guidance. Seeking opinions from others who have checked their F800s model valves can help ease some fears : http://f800riders.org/forum/showthre...alve+clearance

The worst things that can happen: you lose parts; strip threads; drop something into the valve train; break some piece of plastic. All can be avoided with a bit of organization and planning. Personally, I keep removed bolts and parts in Sharpie pen labeled zip lock baggies. Using a 1/4" drive ratchet and combination hand wrenches for all the work will help prevent stripping threads. Take your time, photo's are always a good idea during disassembly. Don't force anything!

But, if you break something, drop a nut into the valve train, or strip a thread, it's not the end of the world and can be corrected. The proverb about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure applies. Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:51 PM   #4
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Torque wrench. Get a 1/4" drive for all the little bolts. Get a 3/8" drive for other bolts. OR do a little maths ie M6 bolt at 8nm with a 120mm spanner is = 8nm / 9.8 / 0.12m = 6.8kg pull on the spanner

I replace the crush washers after a few time use. Try smearing a thin coat of Loctite 518 (gasketing sealing compound) on both faces of the washer.

Smear some of the loctite 518 on the faces where you are getting an oil weep when you re assemble. That will fix the oil leak.

While you are at the store (at an engineering or parts supply store) get a small bottle of loctite 243 or 248 and make it your best friend by putting on nuts and bolts. Don't put it on/near plastic. This product will give you a little more safety that a bolt won't wiggle loose yet can still come apart next time you need it to.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:20 PM   #5
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Jersey, what's your background in a mechanical sense? What you're looking at is not the Briggs & Stratton engine in the lawnmower. Any manual assumes that the reader knows a certain amount about basic mechanical principles and engine theory and construction. And it's this that gets novices into trouble. Everyone was a novice to begin with. Most of us who are experienced learned by working with more experienced individuals so we didn't make mistakes we'd regret.

I'm just saying that if you've not done this kind of thing before, the best way is to see if you can find an experienced individual to work with and advise you along the way. If you look through the threads in this section, you'll find all kinds of horror stories from those who took on a job that they didn't understand. You have to understand that any advice you get here may or may not be the best, and could get you into even worse trouble. Please be careful.
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:46 PM   #6
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"not the Briggs & Stratton engine in the lawnmower." but its not that different either. you can f/u a Briggs or a Kohler or a Maserati. just pay attention to the process... it ain't that hard. get the process & follow it
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:36 AM   #7
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Once you've got the valve cover off there's really nothing you can do wrong in checking the valves. The danger of messing something up doesn't happen unless you actually have to remove a cam to replace a shim which is unlikely. I'd be willing to bet all the valves will be within spec. Go ahead and check the gap between the cam lobes and buckets. Step 1 after getting the valve cover off is to stuff rags in the oil drain holes to avoid dropping a screw into one. The F800 motor has a reputation for leaking at the half moon cutouts so a bit of permatex in those areas is in order. I normally rely on my calibrated arm for valve cover screws, but since you don't have a ton of experience I recommend investing in a small 1/4" drive in-lb torque wrench. Don't buy a larger torque wrench for this - it'll be too insensitive at the lower torque of a valve cover screw and you'll snap a screw off in the head.

I've got the factory service CD for the F800ST/F800S. It doesn't cover the F800R, but I bet they're pretty damned similar. PM me if you want the instructions for airbox removal and valve check.

PunkinHead screwed with this post 08-04-2014 at 02:46 AM
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:48 AM   #8
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just do it... even better is that you touch things on the way in to get acquainted with the bike..view wires /hoses for vibration chaves and cuts... loose fasteners etc .
In the end what is a bit unnerving will have a confidence factor reward ..especially if you ride a lot alone.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
" you can f/u a Briggs
Can you get a new F800 at Walmart for $200? It's bit larger of a risk to F/U your BMW than your Briggs mower.

Advice to novice... Dont do it. If you feel the need to ask, you aren't mechanically inclined enough and will get in over your head. It is very easy to make simple mistakes where things look right but aren't or you don't notice that small bit you dropped into the engine until its too late.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
" you can f/u a Briggs
Can you get a new F800 at Walmart for $200? It's bit larger of a risk to F/U your BMW than your Briggs mower.

Advice to novice... Dont do it. If you feel the need to ask, you aren't mechanically inclined enough and will get in over your head. It is very easy to make simple mistakes where things look right but aren't or you don't notice that small bit you dropped into the engine until its too late.

You want a good example? Read up on the horror stories of valve adjustments on the EX500, from a very small dowel pin that is used to locate the valve cover gasket falling into the engine unnoticed.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:40 PM   #11
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Trade it for a bmw boxer jk
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:09 AM   #12
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Just do it ... read read and read some more, take your time and get through it ... you'll be much happier knowing you did it yourself and it's done right then taking it to the stealership where they'll start your bike and say it's ok after one rev of the engine and charging you 500 for an oil change and brake fluid swap.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:36 AM   #13
FJRCraig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoRod700 View Post
Just do it ... read read and read some more, take your time and get through it ... you'll be much happier knowing you did it yourself and it's done right then taking it to the stealership where they'll start your bike and say it's ok after one rev of the engine and charging you 500 for an oil change and brake fluid swap.
Couldn't agree more. So satisfying to have done it yourself. I've done lots of jobs on bikes and cars (albeit not a valve check) using haynes manuals.

My tip would be to have the right tools before you start. I've found the cheap sockets are a nightmare so invest in good ones and a breaker bar is a lifesaver if you find any stuck/tight bolts.

Craig
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:23 AM   #14
ttpete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamarocket630 View Post
Can you get a new F800 at Walmart for $200? It's bit larger of a risk to F/U your BMW than your Briggs mower.

Advice to novice... Dont do it. If you feel the need to ask, you aren't mechanically inclined enough and will get in over your head. It is very easy to make simple mistakes where things look right but aren't or you don't notice that small bit you dropped into the engine until its too late.

You want a good example? Read up on the horror stories of valve adjustments on the EX500, from a very small dowel pin that is used to locate the valve cover gasket falling into the engine unnoticed.
Stay tuned, folks. There's more to come.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:05 PM   #15
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You didn't state your mileage. I had the dealer do the first check, and then did a check now at 30,000 miles. Still within spec. Updated the valve cover gasket this time; I think there are some comments in some of the treads here on that.

David
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