48,000 miles. Valve clearances?



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Thread: 48,000 miles. Valve clearances?

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    Fitz is offline Senior Member
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    48,000 miles. Valve clearances?

    My '99 Dommie is getting close to 48,000 miles, I've had it 4 years and about 12,000 of those miles. It's due for an oil and filter change which I can do myself but I wonder if it's time for more complex work, like getting the valve clearances checked / adjusted, which I couldn't do myself. What do you all think?

    Things I need to consider:
    1, not a diy job, will need to pay someone to do it.
    2, the bike uses a bit of oil but doesn't leak or blow it out in big clouds
    3, the bike runs fine, doesn't stall too much since I replaced a holed airbox and switched to 98 RON fuel. But I've never disturbed or done any work to the carb.
    4, the bike is not too noisy / rattly considering age, mileage and agricultural nature of the bike.
    5, I need to get the shock out anyway for an overhaul so some dismantling is on the cards anyway.
    6, I don't want to go mad on spends as my bike will fall foul of the Central London ULEZ charge within a couple of years anyway so I'll have to trade it for a more modern bike

    All thoughts and opinions welcomed. Cheers.
    2000 W-Reg RD08 Dommie - my commuter bike!
    2014 Honda VFR800 F-E - Sunday best

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    nick in brum is offline Senior Member
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    Re: 48,000 miles. Valve clearances?

    checking and adjusting the valve clearances is much simpler than you might imagine,i check mine a couple of times a year it only takes 20 mins.
    here'sa vid of how to do it on a XR650L which is basically the same engine as the dominator

    xjr1300,gs1000,nx650 scrambler,triumph 500,dr350,

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    Re: 48,000 miles. Valve clearances?

    Fitz

    The Central London ULEZ charge is not until September 2020 plenty of life in the Dominator yet. Not sure if you are on facebook but there are a couple of bike theft groups worth joining if you are. A lot of bikes are getting stolen in London also a rise in bike jackings. Something to consider if you do get a new one.

    You may think these incidents are isolated but they are not, they are spreading and getting more and more frequent.

    If you do get a new one... I just got a XSR 700, its bloody cold compared to the Dominator. The screen, half fairing and hand gaurds on my Dominator do make a big difference. Even in double figures the XSR can be a cold ride. This week I have been a wimp and stuck to the Dominator, plus I don't want the new one getting dirty in the rain, for now any way.
    Honda NX650 1996 - Daily commuter

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    Fitz is offline Senior Member
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    Re: 48,000 miles. Valve clearances?

    Jamie, TFL is "consulting" on bringing in ULEZ early, in April 2019. Unless the campaign to have motorcycles exempted is successful, bikes that are not euro-3 compliant (roughly older than 2007) will pay £12.50 per day to enter central London. One way or another, I won't be on the Dommie if that happens!

    Tell TfL how shit their idea is here:
    https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/env.../?intcmp=47032
    2000 W-Reg RD08 Dommie - my commuter bike!
    2014 Honda VFR800 F-E - Sunday best

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    Fitz is offline Senior Member
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    Re: 48,000 miles. Valve clearances?

    Quote Originally Posted by nick in brum View Post
    checking and adjusting the valve clearances is much simpler than you might imagine,i check mine a couple of times a year it only takes 20 mins.
    here'sa vid of how to do it on a XR650L which is basically the same engine as the dominator

    Thanks Nick. That looks temptingly easy, I've had the tank off before so no fears there. I've never had to find TDC or tried the valve clearance check. What could possibly go wrong? No really, answer that!
    2000 W-Reg RD08 Dommie - my commuter bike!
    2014 Honda VFR800 F-E - Sunday best

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    nick in brum is offline Senior Member
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    Re: 48,000 miles. Valve clearances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
    Thanks Nick. That looks temptingly easy, I've had the tank off before so no fears there. I've never had to find TDC or tried the valve clearance check. What could possibly go wrong? No really, answer that!
    not much to go wrong really, its a possibility that a valve cover was tightened up by a ham fisted gorilla and the hex breaks off the cap as you try to undo it, i had this happen on an xr250,
    there are two times when you will be at tdc the exhaust stroke and the compression stroke, you need to be on the compression stroke when all the valves will be closed, you'll know you're on the compression stroke tdc because there will be a slight movement in all of the rocker arms as they wont be engaging the valves,
    turn the engine anti clockwise, if you go past the tdc mark dont turn it back turn it all the way round again and make sure you have that little bit of play in the rocker arms,
    engine needs to be stone cold when measuring the clearances if its slightly warm you wont get a true reading
    xjr1300,gs1000,nx650 scrambler,triumph 500,dr350,

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    Re: 48,000 miles. Valve clearances?

    Thanks again Nick. I might give it a go after a bit more reading about things like rocker arms.

    I have an "old" (94?) service manual. How do I find the correct clearance spec for my 90 bike, or will it be the same?


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    Re: 48,000 miles. Valve clearances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
    I have an "old" (94?) service manual. How do I find the correct clearance spec for my 90 bike, or will it be the same?
    The manual you have is most likely the 1988 manual as it's the one in circulation online. It also applies to your '90 bike
    Last edited by apox; 28-04-17 at 06:38 PM.

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    Fitz is offline Senior Member
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    Re: 48,000 miles. Valve clearances?

    Sorry, typo. 99 bike, not 90.


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    thetimkirby is offline Senior Member
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    Re: 48,000 miles. Valve clearances?

    If the valve covers are really tight (and they do seem to tighten in situ), try tapping them repeatedly with a small hammer while applying torque. The vibration allows them to turn ever-so-slightly each tap, until they finally let go. Make sure the spanner is a tight fit; once they have rounded, they're buggers to get off. Grease the mating faces before they go back; it seems to be friction (and corrosion) here that makes them stick. Good luck.

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