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I stopped by Mungenast Honda here in St. Louis to see what the would charge for my 32,000 mile valve check on my 2012 Wing. I had another dealer do it in the past for $95 but the mechanic I used left. Mungenast is a little closer so I thought I would check. The service rep. to me "We charge the same whether we just check or have to adjust them." I thought you really must be putting me on but he assured me that is the way they do it. I asked him then what they charge and he told me $399 to check or adjust them. I ask again just to make sure I wasn't dreaming this or I heard him incorrectly. His attitude seemed to be take it or leave it and I obviously chose to leave it. I sure would have hated to leave it there without asking before hand and then be handed that bill. No wonder I can't do business with this dealer whether it is buying a new bike or just getting service. I have Fred's videos but don't want to void the warranty and also don't have the confidence to do the check myself. Looks like I be going back down to my original dealer for the check. Is anyone else being told the charge is the same to check or adjust the valves?
 

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I stopped by Mungenast Honda here in St. Louis to see what the would charge for my 32,000 mile valve check on my 2012 Wing. I had another dealer do it in the past for $95 but the mechanic I used left. Mungenast is a little closer so I thought I would check. The service rep. to me "We charge the same whether we just check or have to adjust them." I thought you really must be putting me on but he assured me that is the way they do it. I asked him then what they charge and he told me $399 to check or adjust them. I ask again just to make sure I wasn't dreaming this or I heard him incorrectly. His attitude seemed to be take it or leave it and I obviously chose to leave it. I sure would have hated to leave it there without asking before hand and then be handed that bill. No wonder I can't do business with this dealer whether it is buying a new bike or just getting service. I have Fred's videos but don't want to void the warranty and also don't have the confidence to do the check myself. Looks like I be going back down to my original dealer for the check. Is anyone else being told the charge is the same to check or adjust the valves?
My dealer charges one price to check, and another price added to that if they have to change any shims.
Do it yourself, it's not that hard.
 

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I was told by the dealer who USED to do my work it would be $500 to check and up to $800 if they found any that needed to be changed. I went out and got Fred's DVDs and the rest is history. Checked mine twice and like Biker John says it is not that hard. I realize like everyone, that, they (the dealer) needs to make money, but.........

Ride and wrench safely

Crabby Bob
 

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Too bad Jim at Venco passed away recently. He charged me 199 to check and it would have been 299 if they needed adjusting. At 89k and never checked I figured it would need it. But all within spec and he said he would not bother checking again.
 

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Honda really should tighten the leash on their dealers. The total inconsistency in pricing between dealers and the obvious gouging does a lot of damage to the reputation of the Honda brand.
 

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Honda really should tighten the leash on their dealers. The total inconsistency in pricing between dealers and the obvious gouging does a lot of damage to the reputation of the Honda brand.
I'll agree with you on that...:agree:
 

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I've probably done more then 100 valve adjustments. Or lets say 200 heads. Of those, I only remember 1 head that did not need adjusting. The import part about a valve adjustment is to remember that it is a pay forward service. If the are still in the +/- range, but not set to center, sometime during the next 32,000 miles, those ones that are not centered will be outside of spec. The only way to trust they'll still be in spec for the next 32k miles is to center spec them. The engineers at Honda carefully consider the mileage intervals prior to printing it. The reason most shops don't adjust them is because they don't have the proper shims in stock and don't want a Wing tying up a service bay for 4 days while they wait on a $7.02 shim.
 

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If the are still in the +/- range, but not set to center, sometime during the next 32,000 miles, those ones that are not centered will be outside of spec. The only way to trust they'll still be in spec for the next 32k miles is to center spec them. The engineers at Honda carefully consider the mileage intervals prior to printing it.
Greg, I respectfully disagree with your illogical logic. You have, over the years, made that statement before; several occasions, I think. It is just as wrong this time as previously! If the lash is within the specification range specified by the most honorable Honda engineers, then those engineers were/are confident; with a reasonable margin for error, that the lash will remain within an acceptable or safe operating range for at least the duration of the service interval. That is true if the lash is at the minimum of the specified range. Way back in 2003 or 2004 this aspect of debate was addressed by Stu Oltman. Mr. Oltman knows his Gold Wings and he also stood firm in stating that "in spec is in spec".

Adjusting to center of spec is folly, although I am as guilty of such Tom foolery as many. I do it because I like to tinker, not because I think it is beneficial. Actually, if you wanted to set the lash for maximum duration of wear with the value remaining in the range; then set it toward the upper end of the range; but why? Theoretical best performance would be at the lower end of the range, but any difference between upper range setting and lower would be very unlikely to impress the dyno operator.

The engineers at Honda carefully consider the mileage intervals prior to printing it.
I agree with that statement, but it supports the position I stated and NOT that proposed by you. Interesting subject for discussion, but we do tend to make mountains of mole hills.

prs
 

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I have wondered for some time how close to center spec the valves are when they come from the factory. I wish someone would take apart a new bike and check the valves. I know I'd like to know.
 

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Greg, I respectfully disagree with your illogical logic. You have, over the years, made that statement before; several occasions, I think. It is just as wrong this time as previously! If the lash is within the specification range specified by the most honorable Honda engineers, then those engineers were/are confident; with a reasonable margin for error, that the lash will remain within an acceptable or safe operating range for at least the duration of the service interval. That is true if the lash is at the minimum of the specified range. Way back in 2003 or 2004 this aspect of debate was addressed by Stu Oltman. Mr. Oltman knows his Gold Wings and he also stood firm in stating that "in spec is in spec".

Adjusting to center of spec is folly, although I am as guilty of such Tom foolery as many. I do it because I like to tinker, not because I think it is beneficial. Actually, if you wanted to set the lash for maximum duration of wear with the value remaining in the range; then set it toward the upper end of the range; but why? Theoretical best performance would be at the lower end of the range, but any difference between upper range setting and lower would be very unlikely to impress the dyno operator.



I agree with that statement, but it supports the position I stated and NOT that proposed by you. Interesting subject for discussion, but we do tend to make mountains of mole hills.

prs
Totally agree with you PR. This winter, I did the second valve lash check on my '02 at 67k. Also myself did the 1st at 33k and at that time adjusted the right bank that had 2 valves out of spec and centered the remaining valves on that bank but adjusting none in the left bank as none were out of spec. Recorded all clearances before and after adjustments . The clearances were all the same at 67k. I too assume they come from the factory out of spec.
 

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I have wondered for some time how close to center spec the valves are when they come from the factory. I wish someone would take apart a new bike and check the valves. I know I'd like to know.
I imagine that they set them within the range specified and NOT center, it would be wise if that initial setting were somewhat above center of spec rather than below since the lash closes with wear and thus the hot valve faces dwell for a shorter time on the cooled heads. That initial setting is almost certainly done before the engine is ever started for the first time; it is possible that they check them after the dyno test, but I doubt it. The lash change in the initial service interval is going to be the most dramatic due not to excessive wear, but rather due to normal wear in of the new parts. Thus, the first service interval check is the most important and the most likely to warrant shim swaps. Honda has a well deserved reputation for building durable engines with precision fit of high quality parts; so there are probably many GL1800s out there long in the tooth with the original shims in place. Good idea, heck no. Can the owner get away with it without noticing any great loss? Probably so, especially so for folks who trade in often.

Fred? Quite a few years back you hosted a survey here where many of us reported the sizes of shims we used or left in place. As I recall, you sort of charted the data and reported the distribution of those needed shims and that there was a tendency for a rather narrow range of sizes to commonly be needed. Can you post that info again, please?

prs
 

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According to Greg my valves must have been WAY out of spec when it came from the factory. I had my first check at 83K and all but two valves were center spec. The two that weren't (one exhaust and one intake) were less than .001 off.
 

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I do valves for about a third the price of what all the dealers around me charge, and that includes pulling the cams and setting every single valve to center spec, and I have a complete set of shims in every size in stock.
I also do things a lot cheaper than a dealer can, but you have to remember that we have absolutely no overhead, while a dealer has many costs that they have to pay for, not to mention the tech's pay and benefits, not to mention that they still want to turn a profit. It's not really a reasonable comparison.

With regards to the other posts:

The $95 mentioned earlier is insane. A dealer could not possibly make money off of that unless they were doing a dozen of them a week and became very efficient at it. It is a time consuming process that requires a lot of precision. Service labor is expensive. It's not like swapping out a set of brake pads. But the top price of $800 that somebody mentioned is also badly out of wack.

I can understand combined pricing over having separate rates. It allows the dealer to save money on labor, and is much faster for the customer if the dealer stocks shims. The bike can be checked and adjusted in one sitting instead of having to pull the bike out of the bay and wait for a customer's approval of the higher price. But whether it is fair or not for the customer depends on whether the dealer is passing those savings along. If he balances the two, then it is more than fair. But if he charges a full adjustment rate for every valve check whether it needs it or not, then it is not fair. The combined rate also gives the tech more incentive to adjust those borderline values, instead of just rushing through the job.

As far as Honda clamping down on their dealer's price structuring, no mfr has any authority to demand that their dealers charge within a specific pricing range for out of warranty work. If they every tried it, every dealer would rightfully tell the manufacturer to F off and mind their own business. The customer determines the pricing. If dealers want to attract profitable out of warranty work, they will make their pricing competitive. An extremely high price might be the dealer's way of telling the customer that they don't want valve check work.

For anybody with a decent mechanical aptitude, I recommend learning how to do the check and adjustment yourself. it will take a long time the first time, and will have a number of anxious moments, but learning something new like that can be very satisfying if you have any leanings as a gearhead in you.
 

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Here is a dumb question but why doesn't Honda use hydraulic valves like Harley and others? After reading all this $$ reaming for a valve check or adjustment it makes me wonder if Honda really has it together.
 

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Here is a dumb question but why doesn't Honda use hydraulic valves like Harley and others? After reading all this $$ reaming for a valve check or adjustment it makes me wonder if Honda really has it together.
I fully understand questioning this setup. There are actually a number of reasons.

Solid lifters are a much more precise system than hydraulics. Not only that, it is much more reliable and contributes to a longer lasting engine. Even the method they use, the shim under bucket, while a pain in the butt to adjust, is far superior than any other solid lifter design, because it doesn't go out of adjustment as easily.

You would think that an engine as docile as this doesn't really need high performace lifters, but even when you look at cars, some of the most reliable low horsepower 4 cylinder compacts have solid lifters. Hydraulics are more prone to failure. Even though they are pretty reliable, wear and sticking with age does happen. That can't happen with solid lifters. It is just one less problem to worry about.

I really don't know if I would rather have hydraulics on this bike. I am not enough of an engine expert, so I place my faith in the Honda engineers that this was the best route to take. We can knock their bike designs all we want, but very few will deny that if Honda knows anything, they know engines, and they know how to make them last.

The GL1500 had hydraulic lifters, but as a whole very few Japanese bikes use hydraulics.
 

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I fully understand questioning this setup. There are actually a number of reasons.

Solid lifters are a much more precise system than hydraulics. Not only that, it is much more reliable and contributes to a longer lasting engine. Even the method they use, the shim under bucket, while a pain in the butt to adjust, is far superior than any other solid lifter design, because it doesn't go out of adjustment as easily.

You would think that an engine as docile as this doesn't really need high performace lifters, but even when you look at cars, some of the most reliable low horsepower 4 cylinder compacts have solid lifters. Hydraulics are more prone to failure. Even though they are pretty reliable, wear and sticking with age does happen. That can't happen with solid lifters. It is just one less problem to worry about.

I really don't know if I would rather have hydraulics on this bike. I am not enough of an engine expert, so I place my faith in the Honda engineers that this was the best route to take. We can knock their bike designs all we want, but very few will deny that if Honda knows anything, they know engines, and they know how to make them last.

The GL1500 had hydraulic lifters, but as a whole very few Japanese bikes use hydraulics.
Yes the 1500 had them and so should the 1800. Honda probably did it to cut cost and maybe weight. I'll take hydraulic any day. If Honda does not come out with something really different by the time I am ready to buy again, I plan on looking into the HD. I like the Bluetooth built into the bike.
 
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