How to adjust your valve clearances


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1100
  • Please Support our Sponsors!

How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 20, 2010 2:07 pm



Honda recommends that you check and adjust your valve clearance every 8,000 miles. Valves do wear, and as such need to be checked periodically. Valves that have excessive clearance may cause loud tapping noises, excessive valvetrain wear and poor mileage, while valves with insufficient clearance can cause poor compression, poor mileage, and valvetrain damage from overheating. Valves with correct clearance cause the engine to run smoother and with less vibration.

Fortunately, while it may look a bit scary, checking and adjusting your valves is extremely simple on the Goldwing, and well within the capabilities of even the novice mechanic. The valves are hanging out on each side of the engine, and are easily accessible.

The valve clearances must be measured and adjusted when the engine is dead cold - like it is after the motorcycle has been sitting overnight. Adjusting valves when the engine is warm will result in improperly adjusted valves.

Adjusting the valves is a good time to also change the oil. Because the valvetrain is immersed in oil, there will be oil inside the valve covers. I prefer to drain the engine oil, adjust the valves, then when finished, refill the engine with new oil. For details on this procedure, see How to change your engine oil.

1. Remove the stator bolt cover on the rear of the stator. This will expose the bolt used to rotate the engine.

Image

2. Once the cover is removed, clean the threads and put it aside.

Image

3. Using a large flat blade screwdriver, remove the timing wheel cover from the top left side of the engine. This will expose the timing wheel. Once removed, clean the threads and put it aside.

Image

4. Remove the four bolts holding each timing cover. The bolts do not have to come completely out of the cover in order to remove it, but you may find it easier if you do remove them fully.

Image

5. The valve covers can be maneuvered off the motorcycle by pulling them rearward through the crash bars. Note that I have a pan on the floor to catch any oil that may spill out. Once the valve covers are off, I use shop towels to soak up any residual oil inside the valve area, to prevent drips on the floor.

Image

6. The right side valve cover comes off the same way, however it has to be maneuvered around the fuel pump. They can come out easily, so if you are stuck, push it back in and try again using a different angle.

Image

7. Remove the valve cover gaskets. If the gaskets are in reasonable condition, they can be reused. I replaced mine with a set from partsnmore.com - at $12 apiece. The same gasket fits both the left and right sides.

Image

8. Fit a socket and ratchet onto the stator bolt on the back of the engine. It is VERY important that you rotate the engine CLOCKWISE only - as if you were tightening the bolt. Rotating the engine backwards can cause the stator bolt to loosen off! Try rotating the engine so that you get a feel for it. You will be rotating against the compression of the cylinders - if you have a hard time turning it, try turning it slower, or remove all the spark plugs, which will eliminate the compression resistance.

Image

9. View the timing wheel as you rotate the engine. Rotate the engine until you see the "T" come into view with the "1" below it. The two horizontal lines on either side of the "T" should match up exactly with the two lines on the engine case, on either side of the opening, as shown. We now need to make sure that cylinder number 1 is at Top Dead Center.

Sitting on the motorcycle facing frontward, the number 1 cylinder is the right side frontmost cylinder. Number 2 is the left side frontmost cylinder, 3 is the rearmost cylinder on the right side, and 4 is the rearmost cylinder on the left side.

Image

10. Grab the intake rocker arm (the top one) on the number 1 cylinder, and push it back and forth. You should feel very slight movement - so small you may not be able to see, but you can feel it. If you're not sure if you're feeling movement or not, try the intake rocker on cylinder number 3 (next to it). One of the two will move, and one will be solid, with no movement.

Image

11. Also check the exhaust rocker arm (the bottom one) on the number 1 cylinder. You should feel very slight movement on this one as well. If you do not feel movement on either number 1 cylinder rocker arms, and instead you feel movement on the number 3 intake rocker arm, then go back to step 9 and rotate the engine once (360 degrees) until the "T" lines up again. At this point cylinder 1's rocker arms should have free play, and cylinder 3's intake rocker arm should be solid.

Image

12. Put the correct width feeler gauge between the valve stem and the rocker arm. The correct feeler gauge was included in the tool kit originally supplied with the motorcycle. If it is missing, you can purchase them inexpensively at any automotive store. The feeler gauge should move easily between the valve stem and rocker arm, with just the slightest amount of drag.

GL1000: All valves: 0.1 mm (0.004 inches)
GL1100: Intake valves: 0.1 mm (0.004 inches), Exhaust valves, 0.13 mm (0.005 inches)
GL1200: Not required! The GL1200 has hydraulic valve lash adjusters to automatically ajust valve clearances.

Image

13. If the valve clearance needs to be adjusted, loosen the locknut.

Image

14. Adjust the screw in the middle of the locknut until the correct amount of drag is felt on the feeler gauge.

Image

15. While holding the screw in place, retighten the locknut. When the locknut is tightened, re-check the clearance with the feeler gauge again, to ensure it wasn't altered when the locknut was tightened.

Image

16. Repeat the procedure on the exhaust valve of the number 1 cylinder, the exhaust valve of the number 3 cylinder, and the intake valve of the number 4 cylinder. Once these four valves have been completed, rotate the engine once (360 degrees) until the "T" lines up again. At this point, repeat the adjustment procedure on both the intake and exhaust valves on cylinder 2, the intake valve on cylinder 3, and the exhaust valve on cylinder 4.

Step 1:
Cylinder 1 Intake
Cylinder 1 Exhaust
Cylinder 3 Exhaust
Cylinder 4 Intake

Step 2:
Cylinder 2 Intake
Cylinder 2 Exhaust
Cylinder 3 Intake
Cylinder 4 Exhaust

Image

17. If you are reusing the valve cover gaskets, inspect and clean the gaskets, and reinsert them into the valve covers.

Image

18. If you are using new gaskets, coat them lightly with engine oil, and insert them into the valve covers.

Image

19. Maneuver the valve covers back into place, and check that the gaskets are flush between the valve cover and the engine, and have not twisted or bulged out of place.

Image

20. Tighten each bolt on the covers to 8 ft/lbs torque.

Image

21. Reinsert the timing wheel cover and tighten into place. Make sure you don't cross-thread the cover. You may want to start it using your fingers to ensure it is not cross-threaded, then use the screwdriver to tighten it. Don't forget this step, or you will find that your Goldwing will turn into a giant oil fountain when it is started up!

Image

22. Replace and tighten the stator cover. Again, you may want to start this by hand, then use a wrench to tighten.

Image

23. If you drained the engine oil before starting the procedure, make sure you refill the crankcase with oil before starting the motorcycle!

Anytime you have adjusted the valves, it is a good idea to resynchronize the carburetors, as the sensitive carburetor sync adjustments can be altered by minute timing differences in the intake valves caused by valve gap adjustment.


User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12231
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby Jeeper » Fri May 21, 2010 7:18 pm

Thanks for another great how-to. I'm going to do mine as soon as I stop riding it for a few minutes, I noticed some valve tick lately, so I know they're a little out.

Patience is a virtue, and a money saver. I didn't want to wait for cover gaskets so I picked up a pair from a dealer today, $22 each! You bought both for $2 more than I paid for one.
Jeeper
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:24 pm
Location: Bridgton, ME
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby WingAdmin » Fri May 21, 2010 8:06 pm

I bought mine long before I did my valves - I didn't know what condition my old ones would be in when I took them off. Turns out, I could have re-used them, but I put the new ones on anyway seeing as how I had them and everything. :)
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12231
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby nickgroves0308 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:11 pm

This is such a great "how to" post. Actually all of your how to's are so completely idiot proof. Adjusting the valves was one procedure you recommended to get my wing's primary chain to stop rattling. I'm going to go ahead and order new valve cover gaskets before I start the valve job, seeing as how I have no idea what condition my gaskets might be in. Thanks again wingadmin. You've become my greatest resource when it comes to getting my wing flying again. :D

Nick
nickgroves0308
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:47 pm
Location: Oak Lawn, IL
Motorcycle: 1982 Honda GL1100 Gold Wing

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby M&T82WING » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:37 pm

Hi Everyone
been working like an unwanted red headed steep child no pun intended finly got some time to work on our 82wing i just poped off the valve covers rototated the engine with kill switch in the off spot tapped the starter button till there was lose play and adjusted them buttoned everything back up again then read the how to now I'm wondering just maybe I had the lash set on back side of the ramps of the cam's there just might be a little over lap there so I'll do it again step by step and know I'll get it right this time. Some time's the short cut takes longer,, This old Goldwing of our's is a lot more advanced than my SOHC CB750's or my 64 TR6R Triumph Chop Thanks for the how too's great web site too.
M&T82wing
M&T82WING
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:26 pm
Location: LANCASTER PA.
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 INTERSTATE
1973 HONDACB750K restoration project
1964 TRIUMPH 650 chopper
1978 Honda CB750K chopper project

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby colemadad » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:37 am

M&T - pleeeeze, a little bit of punctuation and capitals. You've got a good point or two in your entry but I had to read it five times before my brain could process. Sorry for the criticism, it's great that you take the time to add something to the forum just a shame if it gets lots because it's so hard to read. Have a great riding season.
colemadad
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:07 pm
Location: Moncton, NB
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100I Interstate

I've run into a problem Adjusting Valves

Postby colemadad » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:51 am

All was going so well - until I got to #3 intake. When I checked the clearance, there was none so I backed off the nut and did the same with the adjusting screw. The problem is that as I backed off the screw I could see the spring expanding and keeping the end of the valve against the end of the screw. This continued until I had backed the screw out enough that the was no clearance between the valve end (I assume that's what is protruding beyond the spring and rests against the end of the adjuster screw) and the treaded hole that the screw moves in and out of. What does this mean? Is there a remedy? I can't see anything broken or out of place.
colemadad
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:07 pm
Location: Moncton, NB
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100I Interstate

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:39 pm

That means the engine was not in the correct position for you to do the #3 intake. There should be NO valve spring pressure against the screw that you are adjusting - if there is, then the engine needs to be rotated one revolution to the correct position.

There's no harm done, it just means you're going to have to rotate the engine to the correct position and re-do the gap on that valve correctly.
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12231
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby colemadad » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:54 pm

Bingo. While I was waiting for somebody to respond to this, I picked up my car from my mechanic/friend and when I described what was occurring the first thing he asked was "did you rotate the engine after the first set of valves?" Somehow, despite that I read the instructions 20 times before starting, when I was reading them step-by-step as I did the work, I missed the clear instruction to rotate the engine once back to the T1 mark. I started all over again and everthing worked out as it was supposed to. An afternoon's work this time, I expect closer to an hour or hour and a half next time. Thanks again.
colemadad
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:07 pm
Location: Moncton, NB
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100I Interstate

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby chet1 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:27 am

Thanks for the great info, Chet
chet1
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:55 pm
Location: Jacksonville,IL
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby jswag5 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:25 pm

i need to do this to my 81 i just bought, with these instructions i think ill have no trouble at all!
others ive owned

78 honda cx500(in pieces)
82 kaw kz1000p(still own)
83 yam maxim midnight(my dads now)
85 yam maxim x
79 kaw kz900
User avatar
jswag5
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:35 pm
Location: st joe
Motorcycle: 81 gl1100

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby mycrawla » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:18 am

After reading this post ,as well as many others .I would have to say that this forum has to be one of the best how to forums I have ever read. :geek: So thanks for a job well done ..... 8-)
mycrawla
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:38 pm
Location: Edgerton Minnesota
Motorcycle: 1976 GL 1000

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby jswag5 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:43 pm

just did this, this helps, especially with the pics
others ive owned

78 honda cx500(in pieces)
82 kaw kz1000p(still own)
83 yam maxim midnight(my dads now)
85 yam maxim x
79 kaw kz900
User avatar
jswag5
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:35 pm
Location: st joe
Motorcycle: 81 gl1100

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby mannymassage » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:00 am

Great job. Question. Have you ever seen any chipping or other marginal to excessive wear on the tappet where it contacts the valve? Keep those tips coming. Thank you for sharing!
mannymassage
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:34 am
Location: Portland, Or.
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:46 pm

I haven't seen chipping or wear on mine, I can't speak to others - but it's not anything I've heard anyone else mention.
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12231
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby idjit » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:20 pm

Well I'm confused. My '80 only gets the number 1 intake open and the number 3 closed once in 4 rotations and then it takes 2 rotations to do the remaining 4 valves. I'm sure this is correct, but everyone else is having success with the way it is written. Am I doing something wrong? -Bob
idjit
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:49 am
Location: Rusagonis, N.B.
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 Interstate

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby idjit » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:32 pm

When I said "open" and "closed" above, I was referring to the gap not the valve. Thought I better clarify.... -Bob
idjit
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:49 am
Location: Rusagonis, N.B.
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 Interstate

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby idjit » Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:36 pm

A stronger flashlight told me that there's a T1 and a T2. I was only going 180 degrees.... DOH!!
idjit
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:49 am
Location: Rusagonis, N.B.
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 Interstate

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:19 pm

idjit wrote:A stronger flashlight told me that there's a T1 and a T2. I was only going 180 degrees.... DOH!!


There you go. :) I suspected that might have been your problem.
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12231
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby Britanicus » Fri May 13, 2011 12:57 pm

Step 14, it discribes the correct amount of drag. How do I know what the correct amount of drag is?
User avatar
Britanicus
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:38 pm
Location: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 GoldWing

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby idjit » Fri May 13, 2011 8:34 pm

That's sort of by feel. If the feeler goes through freely with little drag you might be holding it at a slight angle and have a wider gap than you think. If too much drag you might be forcing the gap open causing to close of a gap, which would be a bad thing. You'll know it when you get it. It will be a slight drag that you can't avoid by slighty changing the angle of the guage in any direction. I hope that makes sense.
idjit
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:49 am
Location: Rusagonis, N.B.
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 Interstate

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby dwight007fchr » Sun May 22, 2011 10:26 pm

Regarding such as relatively simple task as adjusting the Wing's valves, I thought I would step up to the plate and make an admission that most would not admit to.

I adjusted the valves on my 83 GL1100 last week as a part of a major over-all/service to this bike which I bought a few months ago. During the process, I was surprised at how "tight" the last guy set all of the exhaust valves. I had to open all of them up a surprisingly good amount, but the intakes were adjusted reasonably well. I made the adjustments, and closed her up, and felt a bit of pride for giving the Wing the proper exhaust valve tolerance.....and wondering how much better her performance would be.

Well, after installing new timing belts I came close to not checking the valve tolerances one last time......just in case the new belts changed the settings somehow. The crash guards were still off, and so I had easy access to the valve covers. So, I popped them off, and grabbed the "oily" feeler gauge to run one last check. Everything was checking perfect until I noticed that the .006 feeler gauge was missing (I wanted to slide that into one of the exhaust valves just to see if one of the settings I made was too loose compared to the .005 feeler gauge strip). At first I thought that the .006 had just broken off over the years, and then thought I would slid in a .007. Well, the .007 fit loose. I tried the .008, .009, and .010.......they all fit into the exhaust valve which I had just set with the .005 strip!!!! Im thinking, "Is this feeler gauge made in China or something?" Then I got a razor blade and was able to discover that the .006 was actually stuck alongside the .005 strip.........so, I had set all the exhaust valves to .011 instead of .005. Idiot!!! The feeler gauge set had alot of oil on it to prevent sticking and rust, and that resulted in these two strips attaching as if they were glued together.

So, I should have questioned my first adjustment when I "thought" that the last mechanic had the intakes all right, but all the exhaust settings way too "tight".......since she was running good, that should have been a big red flag that I was in the process of conducting a major screw-up. At least I checked my sloppy work, and discovered my blunder.......now she is set back to where they most likely were before I tampered with it.

That was a close one......I bet she would have had quite a "chatter" running with eleven thousandths gap.

Can anyone else admit to this foolish blunder?

dc
dwight007fchr
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:43 pm
Location: Culpeper, Va
Motorcycle: 1983 1100 Goldwing Interstate

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby 90DAYSURVIVAL » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:41 am

Great job! Wish I had read this before I had the carbs synched last week!
90DAYSURVIVAL
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:21 am
Location: Kutztown
Motorcycle: 1979 GL1000 GOLDWING

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby glasshead » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:06 pm

By the time I follow all the 'how to' posts, I will be an uncertified Goldwing mechanic. :lol:

I finished adjusting the valves on my 83 interstate. No more chain rattle on pulling away in 1st gear. Seems to start easier, sometimes. I got the best gas milage out of that tank of gas I have ever gotten (44 mpg in almost all city driving). (I just filled up today since adjusting the valves). My only question now is, the valves 'chatter' more than they did. I vaguely recall reading somewhere that that is normal. Yes, No? :roll:

Can't tell you all how much you are appreciated. Next comes synching carbs.

rich
User avatar
glasshead
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:30 am
Location: Lexington, KY
Motorcycle: 1983 Goldwing Interstate

Re: How to adjust your valve clearances

Postby dwight007fchr » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:26 pm

Rich/Glasshead.......Good to see you got some useful info here.....even from me who is still learning the ins and outs of my "new" 83 GL1100 Interstate. I may have to ask you some questions when its my turn to sync the carbs. My immediate carb concern is that my No.3 carb has a broken-off Pilot Screw. She seems to run good, but at some point I guess I will have to try to take the carbs off and get the old pilot screw out and replace with a new one, and then re-sync, etc.

I am also tracking gas mileage, and would love to get her up around 50mpg highway. Will let you know as I drive her more. I may ask you some questions about your front forks since mine seem a bit "choppy" at highway speeds.

You say your valves "chatter" more now after you adjusted them. I hope you did not make the same mistake as I did and have the .005 and the .006 gauges stuck together. At least I caught my mistake before I fired her up.......at .011, she may have chattered and made noises similar to an onry rattlesnake. So far, I dont notice any chatter in my valves.........maybe others will make some comments about that so you can judge if you need to check your valve clearances again.

Have a good one.
dwight


dwight007fchr
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:43 pm
Location: Culpeper, Va
Motorcycle: 1983 1100 Goldwing Interstate

Next

Return to GL1100 DIY Articles


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests