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 Post Posted: Wed May 11, 2016 10:25 pm 
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Hi guys,

As part of my restoration project I'm going to be checking and potentially re-shimming my 1998 Hornet 600's valve clearances (depending on the results of the clearance check).

I'm hoping that this thread will prove to be useful for fellow forum members who are looking to improve their service and repair skills (like myself) and who wish to check/adjust their clearances in the future - so if any of the more mechanically experienced and knowledgeable members (you know who you are! :D ) see any bad practice or mistakes I will amend the thread in order to show best practice - as I don't want to mislead fellow Hornet owners! So if you see anything amiss please shout out! :D

I will be following the Haynes manual in combination with the Honda shop manual to ensure that the procedure and data supplied are correct.

As you will see - I will be checking the valve clearances with the engine out of the bike - so I won't be showing people how to remove fuel tanks, HT leads etc - but then if you are confident enough to be contemplating checking and possibly adjusting your valve clearances these tasks should not be an issue for you anyway.

As you can see from the title pic above I'm going to bling up the photographs a bit with an attempt at some graphic design and some funky text etc to make the thread as attractive as possible to look at.

Thanks for your attention :D

Let the fun commence . . . :hb


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 Post Posted: Wed May 11, 2016 11:23 pm 
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:clap :clap

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 Post Posted: Wed May 11, 2016 11:45 pm 
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Cheers Steve! :D


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 Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 7:31 pm 
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nice one!

However, I'm going to move this thread to the FAQ section, as it sounds as though it should be preserved for eternity.................

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 Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 11:34 pm 
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LittleInsect wrote:
nice one!

However, I'm going to move this thread to the FAQ section, as it sounds as though it should be preserved for eternity.................


Cheers! I'd better make this thread really good then! :D


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 Post Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 9:18 pm 
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Hornet Lord
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HOON98 wrote:
LittleInsect wrote:
nice one!

However, I'm going to move this thread to the FAQ section, as it sounds as though it should be preserved for eternity.................


Cheers! I'd better make this thread really good then! :D

We have high expectations :)


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 Post Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 10:15 pm 
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We have high expectations :)


First instalment coming very soon (concentrating on why we check/adjust valve clearances in the first place) - I'm just making sure all my notes are spot on :D


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 Post Posted: Fri May 20, 2016 2:28 am 
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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:07 pm 
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Hi guys - next instalment in my valve clearance check guide - the actual valve clearance check itself! :D

Sorry for the delay - life got in the way etc.

If anyone spots anything missing/wrong in the guide pm me and i'll amend it. :D

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Image3 TENSIONER KEY 500_zpsa6uylajx copy by Hoon Ninetyeight, on Flickr
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Last edited by HOON98 on Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:21 pm 
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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:28 pm 
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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:34 pm 
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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:42 pm 
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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:47 pm 
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Ok - so it looks like cams out and re-shimming is in order - which is good because that means that this valve clearance guide will go beyond just checking valve clearances but will also illustrate the re-shimming process.

Hope this has been as interesting for you guys as it has been for me - watch this space! :D


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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:56 pm 
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Excellent :clap

Presumably if the cams are coming off one would re-shim the border line tolerances as well as those which are out of spec but where does one draw the line?

I mean...

If a gap has closed beyond spec does that mean that particular valve clearance is likely close again, in which case does one set it at the max clearance allowable?

A better question would be... how would a gap get bigger?

Thanks for this 'How To' will be checking mine this winter, decided to give the old gal a well earned rest this winter (now that I have the Viffer) and get her mechanically and cosmetically spruced up for the summer)

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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:08 pm 
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Quote:
Presumably if the cams are coming off one would re-shim the border line tolerances as well as those which are out of spec but where does one draw the line?


Hi Biggabit. Yeah - totally agree regarding re-shimming the borderline clearances with the aim of bringing them back into middling clearance.


Quote:
I mean...

If a gap has closed beyond spec does that mean that particular valve clearance is likely close again, in which case does one set it at the max clearance allowable?


Yeah - good question and something I'm going to look into.

Quote:
A better question would be... how would a gap get bigger?


Indeed! I'm looking forward to finding out the answer to that question! :D

Quote:
Thanks for this 'How To' will be checking mine this winter, decided to give the old gal a well earned rest this winter (now that I have the Viffer) and get her mechanically and cosmetically spruced up for the summer)


Excellent - glad you like the thread - the re-shim should be even more interetsing! :D


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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:39 am 
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Thanks for this guide! I'll definitely try to do it before I get the bike on the road again.

Stupid question, Is it possible to do this with the engine in the bike? I suspect not.

2nd question, if the engine is sat on the floor, is it sat at the same angle as it would be in the bike? Reason I'm asking is that would 'straight up' be the same when the engine is off the bike?
Also how did you support the engine when its out? can it just sit on its little legs on the sump or does there need to be some other support?


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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:39 pm 
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Is it possible to do this with the engine in the bike? I suspect not.


Hi mate - yeah - actually usually you would check the clearances with the engine in the bike - there is no need at all to remove the engine for this job.

The only reason the engine is out of the bike in my guide is that I'm doing a rebuild and the engine was lying on the floor so I thought it would be a good opportunity to show the process without the frame and cooling hoses in the way etc.

All you have to do is remove your fuel tank, pop out the HT leads and then remove the valve cover (if I remember rightly it can be worth unbolting the rad so that you can move it forward very slightly to make it easier to remove/install the valve cover) - then you will be in able to do everything I have demonstratred above including removing the cams if you need to re-shim.

Quote:
2nd question, if the engine is sat on the floor, is it sat at the same angle as it would be in the bike? Reason I'm asking is that would 'straight up' be the same when the engine is off the bike?


Yeah - good point and something I checked out - as far as I can see it's at the same angle. I'm probably going to reshim with the engine back in the frame - so i'll check the clearance again and check the figures match up - but like I say - not something you have to worry about as you can do this job with the engine in the frame.

Quote:
Also how did you support the engine when its out? can it just sit on its little legs on the sump or does there need to be some other support?


Yeah - it sits on the legs which project out of the sump - very thoughtful bit of design - thanks Honda!


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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:16 pm 
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Thanks very much for the guide and the response mate!

I need to take the rad off at some point soon anyway so might do the whole lot then.

I did always wonder what the legs were for, but never thought they'd be strong enough to hold the engine's weight!


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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:24 am 
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Hornet Lord
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No worries mate - glad you found the guide useful - let us know how you get on with the valve check :D


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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:09 pm 
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Did you ever get round to reshimming?


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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:05 pm 
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anz243k wrote:
Did you ever get round to reshimming?


Hopefully i'll re-shim in a month (or two) - I've er put the project on the backburner for a bit but am planning on mounting a renewed assault starting this month - watch this space :angel


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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Get on with it! :P

I need to do my valve check soon and so have been reading your guide.
Looks ok so far but taking the cams off is what scares me...getting them out of sync when putting them back in.


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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:34 pm 
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anz243k wrote:
Get on with it! :P

I need to do my valve check soon and so have been reading your guide.
Looks ok so far but taking the cams off is what scares me...getting them out of sync when putting them back in.


lol! - I've got to paint the frame so I can mount the engine first! :angel

Yeah - it's good to be a bit scared before your first cam out job (I know I am :D ) as you have to be very meticulous 8o

A couple of key points I can think of off the top of my head are:

Regarding preserving timing - before you take the cams out make a mark on the cam chain and precise correspoding marks on the cam sprockets so that when you put the cams back in the sprocket teeth and the cam chain links are in precisely the same position as they were before you removed them.

Bolting back up - make sure that when you bolt the cam holders down you bolt them down gradually (with a properly set up torque wrench) in a criss cross sequence to avoid distorting the cam-shaft.

I'm going to get a shift on so hopefully my shim replacement guide will be up in the near future.


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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Hey Hoon :angel

When checking the clearances, did you measure and record the once or did you go through the whole procedure a second time to confirm your initial readings?

Better question... would you advise a confirmation run / check?

Been studying your excellent guide in order to psych my self up. :)

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 Post Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:48 am 
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Hi Biggabit,

Yes - mate - in my case I check the clearances twice over to confirm the measurements.

I would also say yes to the confirmation run/check.

In my case this level of double checking etc all hinges on experience (or lack of it) I'm not experienced enough yet to do a quick check/shim change and just throw the valve cover back on confident that everything is absolutely right.

I'm going to be doing the Hornet re-shim soon (after I've got the engine back in the frame) so I'll post up pics of the process to complete this guide.

I'm certainly nowhere near the level of skill and experience of the seriously well qualified and experienced mobile mechanic I know who removed and replaced the cams/shims on my old ZX7R in what seemed like a couple of minutes - this guy won Honda and Suzuki mechanic of the year in Japan which involves stuff like a timed engine strip down and rebuild competition - he has pictures of himself being awarded 'the golden spanner' :angel and certificate by the Japanese Honda, Suzuki execs.


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 Post Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:49 pm 
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I was shitting it when I did mine. I called up a few friends and even a local mechanic to make sure i was doing it right.

I measured all the clearances twice before doing anything.
Turned out, one of mine was at the top limit and one at the bottom, So I took the camshaft out and swapped the shims round (checked to see if they were the right sizes first).
Put everything back together and rechecked to make sure i'd done everything right. Got largely the same values as before and all were still showing as within spec so put everything back together.

Turned the engine over manually a good few times before i plugged the battery in.


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 Post Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Yeah - I feel exactly the same - shim change is one of those jobs you have to get right first time - you don't get two bites of the cherry.


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 Post Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:35 pm 
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Cheers Hoon :)

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:35 pm 
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I've found a useful video which highlights potential pit falls but also gives some useful tips, such as which way up to place your shims... (you'l see why)





just in case you've done yours yet. :)

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:02 pm 
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Biggabit wrote:
such as which way up to place your shims... (you'l see why)
)

Wait WHAT?!?!

EDIT: Oh ok. I was starting to panic then!!


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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:32 pm 
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anz243k wrote:
Biggabit wrote:
such as which way up to place your shims... (you'l see why)
)

Wait WHAT?!?!

EDIT: Oh ok. I was starting to panic then!!


Ha ha sorry man :angel

He noticed that on some of the shims the thickness ID had worn off requiring the use of a micrometer to check the thickness where as others the ID was perfectly legible.

He realised that the legible shims were those which the printed ID contacted the bucket rather than the stem... so to make future shim checks easier he advised to fit new shims with the printed side facing the bucket.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:55 am 
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Thanks Biggabit - something that wouldn't have occurred to me.

Isn't it necessary to check the thickness of the shim with a micrometer regardless - even where the shim was installed with the numbers bucket/top side and the shim size numbers are still legible - in order to take into account wear on the shim valve/bottom side which might have reduced the shim's thickness?


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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:36 am 
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You really did make me panic though!

When I did mine, I just ended up having to swap a coupla shims round.
I think I ended up putting the "worn" side of the shim against the bucket so that the full thickness is available.(not sure if that makes sense)
I do remember the numbers being fully visible and I double and triple checked it with a micrometer (bought specifically for this job) and 2 verniers.


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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Have either of you guys measured your feeler gauges for accuracy?

I read some reviews of the cheapo Halfords feeler gauges and among all the positive reviews (by people who I suspect had faith that the gauges were accurate but had not actually verified their accuracy with a micrometer) there were a couple reviews from people who had measured the gauges with micrometers and established that they were not accurate . . . :Bang


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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:59 pm 
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HOON98 wrote:
Have either of you guys measured your feeler gauges for accuracy?

I read some reviews of the cheapo Halfords feeler gauges and among all the positive reviews (by people who I suspect had faith that the gauges were accurate but had not actually verified their accuracy with a micrometer) there were a couple reviews from people who had measured the gauges with micrometers and established that they were not accurate . . . :Bang

I checked mine against 2 verniers and 2 sets of feeler gauges. Mine were slightly out but I worked out the error and worked around that.


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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:44 pm 
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Good man :clap

I just got a micrometer - so I'm probably just about to find out that the valve clearance check I recently carried out on my CBR was totally inaccurate :Bang


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