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2003 gl1800 with Champion Escort sidecar
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Another thank you to Fred and his maintenance video’s. Armed with the video and the Honda Shop manual I successfully did my first valve shim replacement on my 02.
The valves had been checked twice before by my purchasing dealer with no adjustments needed. In May I had checked it without releasing the tension on the timing chain and clearances were getting a little tight.
This time at 67,238 miles I checked clearance with & without releasing the tension on timing the chain. Without releasing timing chain only first two cylinders seem to be affected, the clearance tightens about .0005 in. I adjusted all the valves back to the middle settings, Exhaust .009, Intake .006. The clearance settings were checked again after the new shims were installed to confirm they were all to specifications.
The needed plastic removal went pretty well. I had removed & installed the lower front cover once before when installing fog lights. Only the dealer has done it since. The rest of the front plastic has only been removed by Lynnwood CycleBarn during past two valve inspections. I found one missing bolt, one bolt of the wrong length size with added washers to make it correct, and three missing plastic trim rivets. Also the sealing bolt on top of the right valve chain adjuster was damaged, head was rounded off. This almost stopped me because it was really difficult to remove this bolt with its damage head. I replaced it with a new bolt. The missing trim rivets were purchased from a local Honda car dealership, Part# 90657-SB0-003, cost $3.63 each. New bolt for the missing one was obtained from local hardware store. Five new valve shims were needed, purchased from Crazy Larry's at $6.95 each. The other needed shims were swapped from other valves.
And five of the valves did not need any new shims, still at the middle clearance setting.

I did purchased the special tool (#07AMG-001A100) even though Fred hates special tools. The tool was worthless on the left side, it kept falling out. The screw driver & clamp method that Fred showed was much faster and easier. I did use it on the right side. With my big fingers I could only get two fingers at a time on the tool to turn it. After getting turning part in the slot, I pushed the engaging part down into it’s locking slot to lock the adjuster and then was able to turned the upper part about ¼ a turn before the locking part would start to slide up. I would stop and use a long thin blade screw driver to push it back down into place and then continue another ¼ turn. This was slow for but I was able to completely release the tension on the chain. Then repeat for each valve and again when I eventually was ready to remove the cam shaft. I think if one has the means to make the special tool out of a bolt like Fred did on the video it would work better than the Honda tool, especially if you have large hands. I just didn’t have the facilities to grind & drill a bolt like he did.

And again, Thank You Fred, God bless you for the talent you bring to this board.
 

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Glad to hear the videos helped.

I have since had the forward lower valve cover bolt strip out the thread in the right side head the last time I reinstalled the right valve cover, and I know of at least two other people who have had the same problem with the same bolt. There are three bolts in the left side so maybe that is why they hold better as the right side only has two. The fix is to install a heli-coil in the head. The soft aluminum threads in the head just won't take much torque so go easy on those head bolts.
 

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Would it be possible to remove the cam chain from the sprocket and reinstall without using the tool? I have never tried and I am thinking that if you are very careful and do not let the chain get away from you that it could be done. Am I correct in thinking that the tensioner is spring loaded and you will have some slack to work with like on a ten speed bike?
 

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The problem is that the tensioner is on a screw jack type mechanism, and once it unwinds, you can't force it back up without turning the screw to wind it up.

So to answer your question, no I don't think it can be done without somehow winding the tensioner up to release it and provide you the slack you need for both removal and re-installation.
 

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'nother dumb question:

When are the valves suppose to be adjusted, milage wise?
 

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I was afraid it would be something like that.
 
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