Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.


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casper1231
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Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by casper1231 »



So, I was tunning my bike, valve clearance, carb adjusted and new timing because I finally got an electronic ignition. To make a long story short I starter hearing a rattling on the left hand side of the bike after a clue rides. When I went to go check under the valve covers I noticed that somehow I didn't tighten the valve adjustment nut enough for cylinder two, and it was completely missing.

I can't find the nut anywhere and I'm extremely worried that it got sucked into the tiny oil orifice that connects the low end gears to the head. Right in-between the valves on the lower half of the head.

Needless to say I don't know what to do, I don't think a magnet would find it as I can't even see down the hole that far and it definitely came off while riding so it might have slipped even further back into the engine.

Im thinking I'll have to split the case to check because even with the heads off the engine that orefice is still tiny and drops down into the lower end of the engine.

I know this is not a common problem as I've scoured the internet and found only one other person who's done the same thing except he found his nut sitting on the bottom of the valve covers.

Any advise or tips would be greatly appreciated as splitting the cases seems out of my skill and tool set so I'm probably going to have to find a mechanic willing to help me out.


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DenverWinger
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by DenverWinger »

The nut probably went down the oil return like you said.

So it is now laying down in the bottom of the oil sump.

I don't think it's going to hurt anything down there. It's too big to get sucked up by the oil pump. The puddle of oil is too deep and too thick for it to just jump out of its comfy spot in the bottom of the crankcase to be able to get into the transmission gears.

My opinion says to get another nut for the valve adjuster, and be comforted in the knowledge that the one laying in the bottom of the oil sump will never rust :lol: :lol:

In all seriousness, the chances of that nut getting into anything that could cause a problem are negligible. :)
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

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rudolphwolven
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by rudolphwolven »

*****
I believe the opinion of DenverWinger is right......the nut will stay where it is...!
Proud winner of the NGWClub-USA contest Bike of the Year 2016--Image
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by WingAdmin »

You could always try to drain the oil and then flush it out with a large amount of solvent or other oil-compatible thin fluid, but it's not going to clog up an oil screen.
amonera
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by amonera »

I agree, i dont think the nut will be going anywhere, I think you can just turn the key and go without worrying...

...but if you are like me... and you like to spin things around and around, you will never be able to trust your bike, you will hear ghost every time you turn it on, you will not feel comfortable riding it... so there are a few things you can try...

change oil, a miracle could happen and the nut will come down to the oil drain, be sure you warm up the oil first, try to lean the bike to the side in a safe way so gravity help a bit... then with the oil drain, get a small metal with a hook and fish, if not , you can try to get a magnet, but be sure that the magnet will not scape... because a magnet do not always stays down. I dont remember which material is the case, but if you have a bigger magnet (3/4 cm diameter/1.5 inch?), you may be able to move the screw around to the drain port.

another option and that is the maximum that i would do, i will open the front of the engine (water/oil) pump, that would give you more access to the bottom of the engine and with that you should be able to fish it out, but the work to be done there is already significant, and you have to clearly replace gaskets, oil, coolant, probably already in 120 150usd...

So my final recommendation: if you see that you start spinning things around, please, get an audiobook, get distracted, watch a movie... let it be... dont think on it... otherwise you may spend a lot of money for hunting ghost without been a ghostbuster and we all know that you need a license for that.

Last time i decide to go the extra mile on one of my old bikes has leave me with the bike broken and 100 USD in spares queing to get into the bike, with probably another 20 or 30 hours of work to have it back in the road...
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by cfairweather »

Insert an inspection camera down the hole and you should be able to see it. Then you can use a magnet or a claw to retrieve it.
Quintin
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by Quintin »

At the very least put in a magnetic drain plug.
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by WingAdmin »

Quintin wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:20 am At the very least put in a magnetic drain plug.
I was just about to write the same thing. You might get lucky!
amonera
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by amonera »

the magnetic plugs is a great idea... the camera too, but i am not sure how easy is going to be able to see something with everything cover in oil, Is going to be hard to keep the camera lenses clean... but if you have one inspection camera, please, don't stop trying :)
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BirdDogICT
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by BirdDogICT »

Same thing happened to me a few years ago, but I lost the nut AND adjuster. After trying all of the remedies listed above, I pulled the oil pump, thinking that it would give me better access to the oil sump. After dragging magnets through the oil and lots of visual inspection with a flashlight, I finally found the adjuster...it was sitting on TOP of the oil pump housing, with the nut still threaded on. I used my "magic wand," the bendable one with a small magnet on the end to retrieve it. How that thing ever got loose is beyond me...I ALWAYS apply the recommended torque specs.

I think I spent 4-5 hours on this silly problem, and was just about to drop the engine to fix it. Sometimes my OCD gets the best of me.
gltriker
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by gltriker »

Same thing happened to my 1975 GL1000. 8 years ago. Only difference is that it happened on the engine's right side cylinder head.
Had adjusted the valves' lash clearance, and thought I had sufficiently tightened each nut, and started the engine for the first time. Ever.
After the engine ran maybe 15 minutes, a ticking sound gradually grew louder.

Eventually, I discovered the #3 cylinder exhaust valve adjuster screw and nut were missing from the rocker arm. :(
The adjuster screw was still visible, laying in the oil drain back passage. The nut had disappeared. Drained the engine oil and attempted to probe through the drain
opening hole with a small magnet. It would go in a little ways and then dead ended on something magnetic. Shifting mechanism maybe?

Posed the question on another forum and was advised to remove the oil strainer screen. Lower right side of the crankcase. Sure 'nuff, the missing nut was sitting there on the absolutely flat crankcase floor in plain view! :D I should add, though, that my 1975 GL1000 had been triked prior to this happening.
The likely hood the nut would slide beyond where it dropped is almost zero.
Hadn't been touched by anything moving during its disappearing act. No witness of injury.
Although your adjustment nut was lost on the left cylinder head, I believe to sweep the bottom of the crankcase floor with a very small magnet, securely affixed to prevent loss by attraction to anything ferrous, other than the missing nut, would be the best method to find it in your engine, too.
Will give you an opportunity to check the oil strainer screen for debris, as well.
The oil screen cover sealing oring is no longer available, but a small amount of sealer on the oring will serve the purpose just swell. Good luck!
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GL1000-1976-SCX-593P
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by GL1000-1976-SCX-593P »

This has happened to me on my GL1000, we went out for a ride no trouble! next time I came to start the bike it was running rough, when I started to investigate I found the same issue as you describe.

I realized there was only one place the small threaded adjuster screw and associated nut could be??

So I drained the oil, its a while ago now so the details are slightly vague but there were metal flakes in the oil!!!! Not good, so I removed the engine and split the cases low and behold the threaded screw was there but no nut?? I assumed that some how on its way down to the sump it had been chewed up by something as The nut is not hardened steel like the bolt!!

If I were you I would check the oil for metal shards if you find any then you would be well adviced to follow my example, you simply cannot be sure there are no metal flakes floating about to make a mess of your motor.
Only my opinion!
Good Luck
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by offcenter »

Wow! This seems to be a common problem!
My '76 lost an adjuster and the nut down into
the crankcase too, from the front left cylinder.
So far, so good. I worry every time I run
the engine.
George in Jersey.
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DenverWinger
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by DenverWinger »

GL1000-1976-SCX-593P wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:28 pm So I drained the oil, its a while ago now so the details are slightly vague but there were metal flakes in the oil!!!!

I assumed that some how on its way down to the sump it had been chewed up by something as The nut is not hardened steel like the bolt!!
If the nut came off in the RIGHT side head it gets to say hello to the transmission gears on its way to the sump. Not so on the left side. :lol:
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark
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GL1000-1976-SCX-593P
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by GL1000-1976-SCX-593P »

I suppose its a common problem if when you adjust the valves you dont ensure that the lock nut is tight, Just like I must have done on one of mine, that's a lesson learned all be it a very time consuming and moderately expensive fix when self fixing the issue.
gltriker
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Re: Lost valve adjustment nut! Might be in engine.

Post by gltriker »

GL1000-1976-SCX-593P wrote: Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:59 am I suppose its a common problem if when you adjust the valves you dont ensure that the lock nut is tight, Just like I must have done on one of mine, that's a lesson learned all be it a very time consuming and moderately expensive fix when self fixing the issue.
I believe once you unknowingly overtighten the nut, not too far in excess of the factory torque specification, its threads will yield long before the adjuster screw threads will. The factory service manual states the adjuster nut torque is: 104 - 139 in./lb.
Several years ago, I knew one of my engine's adjuster locking nuts threads were starting to strip. I ordered 3 OEM nuts and 1 OEM adjuster screw from Western Honda.
The new OEM nuts were not as thick ( a lesser number of threads ) as the original factory installed nuts are.
With that in mind, the utilization of an in/lb torque wrench became even more important. ;)


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