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Old 02-27-2013, 12:16 PM   #1
Laconic OP
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Fox's Suzuki in Roxboro, NC

Has anyone used their service department for something as major as a valve adjustment on a Wee Strom?

Opinions? Happy? Sad?

They have quoted me $240 -$280 to do a valve adjustment, assuming the adjustment is needed. That sounds reasonable to me, knowing how much labor is involved.

Laconic screwed with this post 02-27-2013 at 12:29 PM
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:26 AM   #2
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:45 AM   #3
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I can't speak about the shop in question but I would encourage you to get a Clymer manual, a decent set of Metric feeler guages and do it yourself. Take the time to read up about it through the various Vstrom forums and take your time. You'll learn so much about your bike while you take it apart and you'll develop some real confidence in your ability to handle the mechanical stuff if your bike decides to take a dump on you. Finally, $240 is $240! Do the job once for yourself and you will never shell out another penny for basic maintenance again. Just my .02
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:35 AM   #4
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I'll contribute another 2 to that.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:22 PM   #5
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I have a OEM service manual and I have done the valve clearance check. I don't feel like like messing with it right now, as I have a few other things going on that are more pressing.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
Jamie Z
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I hate to crap on your thread, and I also realize I'm painting with a broad brush, but I'd never have any dealership do a valve check/adjustment.

It's been my experience (however limited) that no dealer mechanic actually checks your valves. One mechanic friend I have told me they would bring the bike in, start it up cold, listen to the valve train. Let the bike warm up, turn it off. Restart it. If it restarted fine and didn't make any clicking noises, they considered that to be checked.

Stories I've read on various motorcycle forums corroborate that as well as my own experience. The time necessary to properly check the valve clearances is too great, and the reward too small. Who's going to know if they actually checked or not?

Perhaps somewhere there is a shop mechanic who will actually disassemble the bike and measure the clearances.

Even if you you're not comfortable doing it yourself, find a friend or a friend of a friend and have them do it right.

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Old 02-28-2013, 02:10 PM   #7
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You're not thread shitting. I have documented around here plenty of times how friends of mine were being ripped off by dealers and I discovered it when I started doing basic maintenance for them.

I know how much work is involved because I have already done the checks myself once. $280 sounds a little too good to be true, doesn't it?

Damnit, I guess I'll do it myself. I bought the tools, the lift, the book, the heated garage...

Thanks for getting me straight.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:20 PM   #8
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If you do take it to them, get the estimate in writing and ask if they will do a 2 level estimate.

It takes a little time to get the stuff out of the way to check all the clearances. It takes a lot longer to remove cams and stuff to change a shim. Get an estimate on checking them with no changes, and the higher estimate that would go with making changes.

Most of the new bikes hold their clearances a lot longer than bikes used to. And it's still not uncommon to not need a change at 15,000 or 25,000 miles if the bike isn't beat on. They typically will close up the clearance if the valve has recessed into the head. You won't hear anything from a close clearance until the hardchroming wears away and the soft metals start chewing on each other. Then you hear a lot of clatter.

That is what alarmed me about Jamie's post. Anyone who told him that bit about listening to the engine doesn't need to be near a bike with tools in their hands. This isn't 1967 and these engines aren't from a 6 cylinder Chebbie. These engines don't open up clearances until they've lost their oil supply at the cams. And then it's too late.

You can check the clearances in 3 or 4 hours of uninterrupted garage time. Generally no special tools needed, except for some nice long feeler shims.

Hell, $200.00 will buy you a big box of tools at Sears.

(PS - You posted while I was typing and laughing at Phineas and Ferb)


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Old 02-28-2013, 02:21 PM   #9
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I agree that some shops don't actually check the valves. I was in a Kawasaki shop talking to the mechanic and asked if I could just grind down the valve shims in my KLR if they were out of tolerance, rather than wait and order new ones. He told me that he always had to order new ones since they always required thicker shims!

I didn't press him any further since it was obvious he had never been inside an engine. I haven't returned to that shop either. I also have ground shims on a surface grinder for my KLR's. On higher performance motors, like my FJR, I don't take a chance grinding through a case hardened shim.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukerdr View Post

Most of the new bikes hold their clearances a lot longer than bikes used to. And it's still not uncommon to not need a change at 15,000 or 25,000 miles if the bike isn't beat on.
.


For what it's worth...
I tear my wee down every winter and check the clearances religiously - and keep a file of the measurements. They have not moved one iota since the second time I measured them - and I am pushing 60,000 miles.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by guitarhack View Post
For what it's worth...
I tear my wee down every winter and check the clearances religiously - and keep a file of the measurements. They have not moved one iota since the second time I measured them - and I am pushing 60,000 miles.
I like this. I will be in the garage from tomorrow through Monday. You know where I live. The beer is cold and the cigars are plentiful.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Laconic View Post
I like this. I will be in the garage from tomorrow through Monday. You know where I live. The beer is cold and the cigars are plentiful.
Dang, if the weather was a little warmer I take you up on the offer.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:07 PM   #13
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Dang, if the weather was a little warmer I take you up on the offer.
I have a vented heater in the garage. Drive the car. Food and lodging on us.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:27 PM   #14
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HA

At today's fuel prices, I would likely come out ahead by just sending you the $240 (for the dealer to do it) then drive the car.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:32 PM   #15
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We'll catch up at MMM then.
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