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valve clearance check

I checked mine at 60k and all were well within specs.. Checked again at 106K and a few were at the lower limit of specs, so this winter, now at 120K I will replace/bring all valve clearances up to midrange to high spec.
I have not loosened the chain tensioner, but to change shims I will need to remove the camshaft and for that I will need to make a tool like Fred shows in his videos, which by the way are great, even if he doesnt wear shoes and pants.:lol:
Andy
 

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Most autos have hydraulic valve lifters and adjust themselves as they wear, so to speak. The hydraulics limit how fast they can work which limits the max RPM before engine damage occurs. I think the main reason Honda chose to use a solid valve train was the extra weight and cost a hydraulic valve system would have added to the engine. I also think the valve covers would be larger and stuck out on each side even further than they are now if they were hydraulic.
Interesting...However I had a 1984 GL1200 and it had hydraulic valve adjusters and the heads were not wide/out there and compared to the previous GL1100, not a noticeable difference size wise. Point is that it worked just fine on the GL1200. I often wonder about this on the GL1800 as I have 72K miles and haven't checked the valve clearances yet...I am not sure if I should do it (I have Fred Harmon's DVD's). I fear if I go to a shop they won't do as thorough a job as I would. I done everything else on this bike so maybe this is the year to "Just do it" ?
 

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If you want to benefit from snappier throttle, smoother running, quicker starts, and possibly better fuel economy, I highly recommend doing valve adjustments every 32k. It is best to center spec the valves. Be sure to take your measurements once the cams are de-tensioned. Dealers often don't stock shims, so assume the Wing will be down for a few days while you order in the needed shims. There are various shim kits available; however, they only provide every other thickness, and only have 1/2 of what is needed. Your best source of information when doing this job is by following a factory Service Manual.
 

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+1 on the "centre-spec" philosophy. As was mentioned ten years ago, it is a best practice to mic all your shims...past, present and future. Don't ask me how I know.
 

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+1 on the "centre-spec" philosophy. As was mentioned ten years ago, it is a best practice to mic all your shims...past, present and future. Don't ask me how I know.
For me, I always use OEM shims and never mic them. However, if I ever come across a HotCam's one, yes ... it is best to mic the shim. All aftermarket stuff comes with aftermarket quality.
 

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If you are doing this for the first time, you should first de-tension the cam chains and check and record all the clearances. Then remove the cams and each shim one at a time, readjust any that were not center spec, and make a record of all the shims and the thickness of each shim for each valve. Keep the record for the next time you check the valve clearances. Having the record lets you know what shim you will need to bring the clearance back to center spec. Placing a mark with a "permanent" marker on the timing chain link and a corresponding mark on the timing gear cam sprocket will help in putting the cam gear sprocket back on the timing chain at the right location.
 

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... and make a record of all the shims and the thickness of each shim for each valve...
It was only by following this part of the procedure that I was able to identify the only original "OEM" shim that didn't measure out to its indicated numeric value. I purchased Honda replacement shims as I wanted centre-spec and all but 2 of my 7 purchased shims needed the half-sizes only afforded by Honda.
 

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Possibly this is why some measure the valve thicknesses for OEM shims. The in-between shims (202, 208, 212) are really not that size. They are really a 2.025, 2.075, 2.125. In Honda's parts fishe they are listed like:
SHIM, TAPPET (2.025)

To me a 2.025 is a 202. Possibly they are not able to print all that on the surface of a shim.
 

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I mic every single shim I remove from, or install in an engine regardless of who made the shim, and I do find some of the OEM Honda shims that are off a little bit. I've seen OEM Honda shims have a range of as much as +/- .005 to .007 from the size stamped on them. If you have a valve that is on the edge of needing an adjustment, you can actually cherry pic a shim that will put that valve precisely where it needs to be, but you have to know the actual size of the shim you are installing to do that, not just what is stamped on it.
 

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I had (2) OEM shims that had any kind of "significant" variance to the stamp on them.

a) Stamped as "200" s/b 200.0 Actual was "201.93" (far closer to a "202" supposedly at 202.5)

b) Stamped as "212" s/b 212.5 Actual was "213.36"
 

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I had (2) OEM shims that had any kind of "significant" variance to the stamp on them.

a) Stamped as "200" s/b 200.0 Actual was "201.93" (far closer to a "202" supposedly at 202.5)

b) Stamped as "212" s/b 212.5 Actual was "213.36"
When measuring thickness of these shims for accuracy, use a micrometer instead of a caliper. The caliper will be close, probably close enough, the micrometer should be precise. Measure with precision, mark with chalk, cult with axe. LOL I, too have encountered original shims that were a bit off. I have not, yet encounterd HotCams shims that were significantly off. I notice that aftermarket shims are now available in the "in between" sizes. It is a considerable expense to buy such a kit, even more if you also buy a half size kit too. The kits contain many samples too thick to ever be used. I suggest that we record the thicknesses of the shims we use to get into spec, then order samples one and two sizes lower as our own kits. As valve faces wear into the head seats, it takes a thinner shim to assure the the valve gets to rest upon the head long enough to cool (dwell time).

prs
 

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Oh come on Pigeon, now you're trying to put out another forum myth :( All this time I thinking my shims came from a special batch.
 

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Myth? Copernicus, Galileo, and Magellan were accused of spreading myth. The experts of their day knew for sure that Earth was center of the solar system and that Earth was flat. :)

prs
 

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Just for giggles, I did put my micrometer on about 10 "215s", and they all measured exactly the same. Some were new, some were used. All were OEM. My 1" micrometer is one of those expensive brands. If I used one of those $30-40 electronic calipers, I would then expect differences.
365722
 

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That is a nice micrometer. I suspect that in the hands of a non-expert machinist the electronic ones could provide an advantege, especially if eyesight is not what it once was. For these shims, the precision needed may not be all that much of a challenger. I think your mic is rated to plus/minus .00005" or better! That's pretty fine.

prs
 

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This is too complicated, heck the cost of a micrometer (quality one) is probably as much as having the Honda shop do the checking and shim replacements! Darn I miss my 1984 Goldwing!
 

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Despite the fact that Greg thinks everything Honda does is perfect, there is no such thing. Everything has tolerances, and shims are no exception.

Of course, this is possibly nitpicking. Do you think Honda measures the shims before they install them at the factory?
 

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This is too complicated, heck the cost of a micrometer (quality one) is probably as much as having the Honda shop do the checking and shim replacements! Darn I miss my 1984 Goldwing!
If you plan on having a Goldwing for awhile, use it to ride many miles and do your own maintenance, you will be performing valve clearance checks several times. The cost of a decent micrometer spread over multiple uses will substantially decrease, much less than paying the Honda shop do it. But a micrometer really isn't necessary. After installing any new shims you will still have to double check the valve clearance. At this stage of the maintenance job it is not a big chore to remove the cam shaft again to replace any shim that may not have provided the specified clearance. I can understand why someone with a shop who is charging by the job would want to check the shim thickness before installation, but for someone whose time isn't critical, it shouldn't be an issue.
 
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