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A year ago when I was at the dealership to buy a few new shims, I asked the parts guy why Honda didn't stick with hydraulic lifters like the 1500 or at least the nut and screw valve adjusters like the Valkyrie had, which was fairly easy to adjust. His comment, "Honda is now a performance driven company; buckets and shims are for more precise performance."

I don't know enough about performance design to know if he was delivering me a line of BS or not. But I do know the Wing is a spirited machine!
They are more efficient than hydraulic systems and in older engine designs actually increased gas mileage.
 
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I think they go with solid lifters so people have something to do in the winter time :roll:
 

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The shim-under-bucket setup is not only more compact, but is also weight-saving, which is partly why Honda went to it.

I did my first valve clearance inspection at 46000 miles and all were found to be within tolerance and needed no replacing. I'm about due for a second check this year. Don't know if any shims will need replacing or not.
 

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Solid lifters are more precise and do last longer, despite the occasional adjustment that is need.

I say phooey. I'm not going to ride this bike 300,000 miles. Give me hydraulics. It ain't a racing bike.
 

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Valve adjustment

Many cars use shim under bucket just like bikes. Most never call for adjustment. Our Nissan Sentra has the same system, rev's higher than the wing and never calls for an adjustment? With all my bikes in the past few years I haven't had to make any adjustments. I guess I'm just lucky?

I do have a question. I'm just getting around to think about checking the wing and read in the manual, "Failure to loosen the cam chain tensioner will result in inaccurate valve clearance measurement, due to the force of the cam chain on the camshaft?" What are they talking about? There is a problem if the tension on the cam chains makes the cam shafts flex. I've never seen this in other manuals. Is this necessary? If the shafts are flexing the reading would be changing all the time while running. :shrug:
 

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I do not believe the Honda engineers were worried about flexing. They were aware that as the bearing wore and became larger, your measurements would be with the camshaft pulled tight against the engine. In normal running, the camshaft will be forced tight on the other side of the bearing.

So bearing wear would interfere with the measurements, maybe by a couple of thou even...
 

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I do not believe the Honda engineers were worried about flexing. They were aware that as the bearing wore and became larger, your measurements would be with the camshaft pulled tight against the engine. In normal running, the camshaft will be forced tight on the other side of the bearing.

So bearing wear would interfere with the measurements, maybe by a couple of thou even...
Oh...? A good an explanation. It's still the first time I've encountered it. :?
Earlier I found a post in another thread where the person explained he checked his valves both ways and found the first valve in line to be one thousands tighter before loosening the cam chain.
So the next question is, if I choose to loosen the cam chain, do I need that special tool for holding the tensioner which is shown in the manual?
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Thanks Smitty. You need to post some pictures of those covers when you get it back together. :thumbup:
Because of porosity in the cam cover, I decided to powder-coat the cam covers and chrome-plate the plug covers. The photo makes the cam cover look slightly lighter than the bike's paint, but it really isn't.
 

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A year ago when I was at the dealership to buy a few new shims, I asked the parts guy why Honda didn't stick with hydraulic lifters like the 1500 or at least the nut and screw valve adjusters like the Valkyrie had, which was fairly easy to adjust. His comment, "Honda is now a performance driven company; buckets and shims are for more precise performance."

I don't know enough about performance design to know if he was delivering me a line of BS or not. But I do know the Wing is a spirited machine!
What the parts guy told you is sort of correct. But my argument is that, even with solid lifters, 100HP out of an 1800cc engine is pretty anemic by today's standards, car or motorcycle. They could have used hydraulics and still easily been able to get much more horsepower out of this engine than it actually delivers. Because of that, I'm not buying the excuse that they did it for performance reasons.
 

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I checked my clearances at 35K and all were within tolerence. Only the number two cyclinder was dead on at .006 and .009. One other E was at .009. All of the rest were .005 I and .008 E. I checked them all twice so am confident I have the correct readings. I did not loosen the cam chain tension, so if anything doing that would have been in my favor.

I decided to button it back up and ride until 50K(which will be in the spring) and recheck them. All readings were on the loose side so they were probably only.0050 off.(.005 gage went in easily but .006 would not go in.) At my next check if they have not changed I will ride it the way it is as they are would be within spec. Can't see doing all that work if not necessary, but that's just me.

Any reads that are .004 or .007 will be corrected as per specs. Chances are that they will remain the same as after first 30K miles or so they pretty much seated and may never need another adjustment.

Havin said all that. I am a believer in checking them at the prescribed schedule. Just my 2 cents guys.
One thing I loved about my 1500 was those hyd lifters.

Fred
 

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That's great! Mine is on my to do list. I have to order the shim kit first! :thumbup:
 

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The reason that cam chain tension can make a slight difference is that the camshaft bearings have some oil clearance (as do all bearings of this style) - perhaps on the order of .001 to .002 inch. When the engine is running the cam bearing rides on an oil film.

I have noticed that on the forward two cylinders releasing the cam chain tension can make enough difference so that a "tight" valve can come into spec when the tension is released. I do the check without releasing the tension and if in spec, I stop right there.

Ron Fuller
 

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To add to what has already been said, honda tried hydraulic lifters on earlier wings and they were problematic.
Never had a problem with my 1200, I have friends with 1500's no problems there either.
I think Honda dropped them for cost reasons.
 

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From Motorcyclist magazine in 2000.

"New parallel valves allowed engineers to lop off the rear corner of each head, creating enough foot room to scoot the rider forward two inches to further improve handking."
 

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Smitty, those look pretty good. :thumbup:

I did a quick calculation and came up with an interesting number. Our little motor is 1832cc and that converts to 111.7954991912 cubic inches. That means if you take Honda's numbers for HP, 118 at the crankshaft, then our little engine puts out more than one HP per cubic inch and can do it for at least 300,000 miles. Not too shabby from my seat. :thumbup:

Keep in mind, the Knighthawk was a pretty decent bike and it had a hydraulic valve train. I still think Honda made ours solid due to cost, weight, and to keep the heads as small as possible.
 
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