Valve Clearances

Sunday. 2nd February 2014

During the engine shenanigans with Sasha I learned that valve clearances are really important. It’s funny, there seems to be as many different opinions as there are bike mechanics when it comes to when what work should be done on how old an engine. But I do seem to have deciphered from all the helpful hints and tips, that valve clearances seem to vanish over time, causing the valves to seize and you basically end up melting the pistons and blowing the engine.

Well, that’s the ΓΌber dramatic version. Mostly the engine just sort of stops with a scary sounding noise. Anyways, while giving dates and BMW garage stamps, our service records did not mention anything about valve clearances. So we decided to check these in the comfort of our own home.

Out in the garage we suddenly lost all enthusiasm given the long list of things we’d have to dismantle, disconnect and detach!

Consulting what seasoned mechanics call "The Joke Book" (aka Haynes Manual)

Consulting what seasoned mechanics call “The Joke Book” (aka Haynes Manual)

So back inside and double-check those service records again…. Nope! Really no sign of a valve clearance check. Damn! Ok then, I guess we’ll have to bite the bullet. Probably doesn’t hurt to find out what the inside (top) of the Rotax engine looks like!

Pippa first! Somehow she’s always easier to work on…. screws less corroded, bolts and circlips less stuck…..

After all its not tooooo much of a mission and we get to the valves.

The clearances seem just between the top and bottom limits. Except one. That’s dead on the lower limit of 0.25mm. Not sure how many more miles we have before it’s too low, so will call Dave Wilkins tomorrow for some of his good advice. Didn’t put Pippa back together yet, in case we do have to change that valve shim.

Then it was Seven’s turn. And as expected, some of the circlips put up a huge fight.

We even had to cut a pipe off for fear of ripping more expensive bits apart in trying to get he hose off. Turns out the part was already torn loose so tomorrow I have to work some super glue magic… But we got there in the end and it turns out the clearances are still within the limits πŸ™‚

It got dark and we got tired and hungry. And when I’m rushing to get done, I always make mistakes. So we just put everything away. We’ll just put the girls back together tomorrow….

Monday, 3rd February 2014

Well, the glue magic didn’t work so ordered a new part. Not too pricey though so that was OK. and the super helpful guys at Motorworks will have it to us next day πŸ™‚

Dave was busy in the morning – that’s what I like about him: if he’s busy, he’ll just say to call him back later no fuss:-) So after lunch another call revealed that Pippa’s shim was absolutely fine. (Yay! Exactly what we wanted to hear πŸ™‚ ) So we put Pippa back together.

Seven was not so easy (of course). Have to wait for the part so put her back together as far as possible… but then I had to get Sasha ready for her move to Ireland and that’s another story.

Thursday, 13.2.2014

Back from Ireland, I put Seven back togther. …..And she wouldn’t start 😦 Now the battery is dead from trying to start her up. So today I’m gonna call the homestart peps, see if they can sort her out.

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