Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 59 Old Jun 17th, 2019, 4:32 pm Thread Starter
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Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

Just curious of the collective wisdom here on this topic. I had valve clearance checked at 12K, 24K, and 36K miles on my '16 RT and all was well as is typical it would appear--I think the last one was just slightly under the middle of the range for each set. This makes me wonder if it's worth checking at 48K. I'm think if foregoing this one and checking at 60K miles, so stretching out to every 24K miles. I don't generally get to 7K rpms FWIW, and I only get to 7K for very brief periods, very infrequently, again FWIW. I have the suspicion that riding the engine w/ higher revs frequently just means more wear and tear ultimately for all moving parts involved. Bike continues to run beautifully.

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post #2 of 59 Old Jun 17th, 2019, 6:27 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

Mines at 70k and although I have checked them twice I never saw a need to adjust. I can live with 1/2 thousand out.
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post #3 of 59 Old Jun 17th, 2019, 9:49 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Originally Posted by NoelCP View Post
Just curious of the collective wisdom here on this topic. I had valve clearance checked at 12K, 24K, and 36K miles on my '16 RT and all was well as is typical it would appear--I think the last one was just slightly under the middle of the range for each set. This makes me wonder if it's worth checking at 48K. I'm think if foregoing this one and checking at 60K miles, so stretching out to every 24K miles. I don't generally get to 7K rpms FWIW, and I only get to 7K for very brief periods, very infrequently, again FWIW. I have the suspicion that riding the engine w/ higher revs frequently just means more wear and tear ultimately for all moving parts involved. Bike continues to run beautifully.

Cheers
Checking the valves on the RTW is easy. No reason to not check them at the required intervals. Now I am not saying you have to get them checked in EXACT 12K mile intervals, Lord knows I haven't, but you should check them, nonetheless. Doing it yourself will save money.
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post #4 of 59 Old Jun 17th, 2019, 10:56 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Checking the valves on the RTW is easy. No reason to not check them at the required intervals. Now I am not saying you have to get them checked in EXACT 12K mile intervals, Lord knows I haven't, but you should check them, nonetheless. Doing it yourself will save money.
This ^^^. Even if you have the dealer do it, you can keep the cost down by not letting them sell you a fresh set of gaskets at >$80 each - they're reusable. So far my clearances haven't changed since I started recording them, and it just rolled over 126,000 today.
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post #5 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 6:46 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

Was this post a question about checking valves....

Or a post telling me not to hit the rev limiter?

7000 rpm limit? Probably has carbon build up that will shorten the life of it! Run the thing for all it is worth. It can take it.


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post #6 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 8:09 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Checking the valves on the RTW is easy. No reason to not check them at the required intervals. Now I am not saying you have to get them checked in EXACT 12K mile intervals, Lord knows I haven't, but you should check them, nonetheless. Doing it yourself will save money.
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This ^^^. Even if you have the dealer do it, you can keep the cost down by not letting them sell you a fresh set of gaskets at >$80 each - they're reusable. So far my clearances haven't changed since I started recording them, and it just rolled over 126,000 today.
Not only that, but when you do an oil change, you should empty out the old oil in the valve covers anyway. It's amazing how much oil is trapped in there after the engine is stop, and I, for one, don't want that much old oil to mix in with the fresh new oil! So, while the cover is off, you might as well check the gap!!!

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post #7 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 8:33 am
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Mine 2014 RTW...97K...has been within spec to date...
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post #8 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 8:59 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

I record the actual gap, not just whether it's in spec, and compare it at each check. If I don't see any changes I could see me extending it to every other oil change (for my Camhead clearance checks are every 6,000 miles).

My bike only has 15,000 miles on it but since I've only done 2 checks since I bought it last April with only 6,200 miles I don't yet have enough data to establish a trend. It's not hard to do on the Camheads though and it never hurts to poke your nose in there just to do a visual inspection and make sure nothing's come loose.

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post #9 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 9:11 am Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

I posed the question incorrectly. I know what the recommendation is, and I know what the job entails. I just have yet to hear of anyone needing to ADJUST clearance, not a one! Every single story I read is--they stay in spec for a very long time! As I say, mine were very close to the middle of the range at 36K miles. Seems a like a ritual, and so far the stories in this thread corroborate that! Come on, give me at least one horror story!

And Shelby, nope, there is no carbon build up that's a total crock! Plugs were uber clean at 36K miles.

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post #10 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 9:54 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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I posed the question incorrectly. I know what the recommendation is, and I know what the job entails. I just have yet to hear of anyone needing to ADJUST clearance, not a one! Every single story I read is--they stay in spec for a very long time! As I say, mine were very close to the middle of the range at 36K miles. Seems a like a ritual, and so far the stories in this thread corroborate that! Come on, give me at least one horror story!

And Shelby, nope, there is no carbon build up that's a total crock! Plugs were uber clean at 36K miles.
I'm just over 40K on my bike and I noticed that one or two of the valves were very close to being out of spec. Now this isn't unusual and it could just be I did a bad reading.

Now if you want a horror story, I have one- I've snapped one valve cover bolt each time I've done a valve check. I attribute this to having to work around the Ilium Works highway pegs and the MachineArt Moto valve cover covers. I may also have an out-of-spec torque wrench but I can't find a tech who could do a check on it. I've seen some youboob videos on the procedure and maybe I'll have to go that way.

Either way, I find it disturbing that these critical bolts are so easily damaged.

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post #11 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 10:21 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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I posed the question incorrectly. I know what the recommendation is, and I know what the job entails. I just have yet to hear of anyone needing to ADJUST clearance, not a one! Every single story I read is--they stay in spec for a very long time! As I say, mine were very close to the middle of the range at 36K miles. Seems a like a ritual, and so far the stories in this thread corroborate that! Come on, give me at least one horror story!

And Shelby, nope, there is no carbon build up that's a total crock! Plugs were uber clean at 36K miles.

Well, you have now! I had two valves, exhaust, that were just below the minimum spec on the last major service. 35,313 miles. No matter how I checked them, they were ever so slightly under minimum. I knew from past checks, even at the first check, that these were on the tight side of ok. So, I bought a shim kit and put every valve in the middle of the spec that wasn't already there. There are going to be many owners chime in to tell you they too have adjusted valves. But I will also say there will be many of those, that when questioned under a bright naked incandescent bulb, will admit they were still in spec. But their anal side took over and they worked on them.

Spark plugs are not a gauge for carbon buildup. You would need a borescope. I wrote that tongue in cheek, but there is that chance you are running it too easy for proper carbon removal!


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post #12 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 10:32 am Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Now if you want a horror story, I have one- I've snapped one valve cover bolt each time I've done a valve check.
Ouch that wasn't the type of horror story I expected--iatrogenic damage in checking valves that were in spec anyway! Geez! Right now it's looking like valve clearance check in an engine proven to stay well within spec for 36K miles is largely a ritual. So maybe the better question is: when a valve goes out of spec, what's the downside, and how long does it take to manifest that downside? This is the piece missing from my knowledge base. All I have to go on is the fact my brother's Cadillac now has over 400K miles, and never had its valves checked, nor rebuilt!

Same same for the air cleaner replacement ritual--total waste in my case every time I threw one out i thought, now why am I throwing out a perfectly decent air filter again, just because the schedule calls for it? And plugs? Same same-always clean as a whistle, unburned, yet thrown out and replaced.

Cheers
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post #13 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 10:36 am Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Well, you have now! I had two valves, exhaust, that were just below the minimum spec on the last major service. 35,313 miles. No matter how I checked them, they were ever so slightly under minimum. I knew from past checks, even at the first check, that these were on the tight side of ok. So, I bought a shim kit and put every valve in the middle of the spec that wasn't already there. There are going to be many owners chime in to tell you they too have adjusted valves. But I will also say there will be many of those, that when questioned under a bright naked incandescent bulb, will admit they were still in spec. But their anal side took over and they worked on them.

Spark plugs are not a gauge for carbon buildup. You would need a borescope. I wrote that tongue in cheek, but there is that chance you are running it too easy for proper carbon removal!
As I say, at 36K miles they were almost in the middle of the range--perhaps it's all that lugging at 6K RPM that is keeping them in spec

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post #14 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 11:02 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

Mine is at 67K and I had the dealer check them once. No adjustments were made.
I've been checking them myself, on schedule since then. They're still within specs.
I think this is the new normal due to water cooling and improved metallurgy. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point, BMW increased the check intervals.
But until then, not checking them is your call. Preventive maintenance is there for a reason.

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post #15 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 1:07 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Ouch that wasn't the type of horror story I expected--iatrogenic damage in checking valves that were in spec anyway! Geez! Right now it's looking like valve clearance check in an engine proven to stay well within spec for 36K miles is largely a ritual. So maybe the better question is: when a valve goes out of spec, what's the downside...<snip>
Who else here, since we're polling, had to google that to figure out what it meant?
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post #16 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 2:09 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Preventive maintenance is there for a reason.
Help me get a grip on what we're preventing exactly. This is part of my question as I really don't know exactly so leaves me questioning how much of this is BMW making sure you take it in for required service, and how much of an issue it really is. Right now it's pretty clear valve clearances change very slowly over 1000's of miles in these machines, consistent w/ the rest of modern ICE engine behavior. And the trend seems to be at 60K or 80K miles they're frequently still in spec. This isn't the only thread I get that from. Once again, what's the downside if one valve is .001 tighter than specified range, that is to say, how long does this take in this state before it translates to something we don't want to see develop? For data points, I have 3 now, and they ain't changing a whole lot between checks.

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post #17 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 2:48 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

Follow the money, haha.

I'm sure I'm stating the obvious here, but service is a significant revenue stream for a dealer (auto or MC), especially if they are single brand, or Euro specialty, and PM's are a big part of that. Not to say there isn't value in it, and I myself support my dealer with some service and parts because I want them to stay in business. But I suspect the recommended service intervals are developed not only within necessary maintenance guidelines but also convenience factors (ie. once a year) and revenue targets.

A great advantage of the boxer is the accessibility of valves for owner maintenance, adding to fluids and allowing a significant reduction in long term ownership costs. So we are free to adjust the schedule accordingly once the bike is out of warranty. On the other hand, my original R1100RT Oilhead NEEDED that valve adjustment every 6K, lol.

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post #18 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 3:21 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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On the other hand, my original R1100RT Oilhead NEEDED that valve adjustment every 6K, lol.
Wow, I wonder why so different from the newer models?

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post #19 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 3:30 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Help me get a grip on what we're preventing exactly. This is part of my question as I really don't know exactly so leaves me questioning how much of this is BMW making sure you take it in for required service, and how much of an issue it really is.
Well, I will give you a good reason. Cam lobes. Preventive maintenance is a ritual. But done consistently the process will yield results beyond what is expected. Just like the maintenance on an aircraft, it surely doesn't need all of that attention? Yet how many times I have been working on something and while "in there" found something that was going bad, out of adjustment, or loose.

Cam lobes are not a big problem, yet there is a record of them failing. I think popping a valve cover every 12K is just as much to check the valves as it is to inspect the cam lobes and the rest of the valve train. Pulling the spark plugs, part of the valve check ritual, gives one a good opportunity to inspect the plugs for signs of detonation or other issues. I could go on.

Can you get by with skipping one or two? You sure can. And if my last three checks were all consistently in the spec range I would expect them to be there again. But you just never know until you look. I do agree that the air filter does NOT need changing as often as is recommended for my riding conditions. Yet for some riders in dusty conditions it sure might need the attention.
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post #20 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 4:36 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

What realshelby said. Imagine your grief to learn only after the warranty had expired that your cams have suffered premature wear that might have been detected earlier. Now you are exposed to the tender mercies of BMWNA who may or may not cover the cost of new cams and labor.
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post #21 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 5:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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What realshelby said. Imagine your grief to learn only after the warranty had expired that your cams have suffered premature wear that might have been detected earlier. Now you are exposed to the tender mercies of BMWNA who may or may not cover the cost of new cams and labor.
Well sure that's why I followed the schedule thru 36K miles, and I had the cam timing checked at 36K and it was fine as well.

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post #22 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 5:39 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Who else here, since we're polling, had to google that to figure out what it meant?
I think just you, but big props to you for admitting it.

(oh ok, I did too)

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post #23 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 5:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Well, I will give you a good reason. Cam lobes. Preventive maintenance is a ritual. But done consistently the process will yield results beyond what is expected. Just like the maintenance on an aircraft, it surely doesn't need all of that attention? Yet how many times I have been working on something and while "in there" found something that was going bad, out of adjustment, or loose.

Cam lobes are not a big problem, yet there is a record of them failing. I think popping a valve cover every 12K is just as much to check the valves as it is to inspect the cam lobes and the rest of the valve train. Pulling the spark plugs, part of the valve check ritual, gives one a good opportunity to inspect the plugs for signs of detonation or other issues. I could go on.

Can you get by with skipping one or two? You sure can. And if my last three checks were all consistently in the spec range I would expect them to be there again. But you just never know until you look. I do agree that the air filter does NOT need changing as often as is recommended for my riding conditions. Yet for some riders in dusty conditions it sure might need the attention.
Sounds reasonable--if you look for trouble you may well find it. And it isn't a big job either. I still am curious about what happens when valve clearance is slightly out of adjustment for several thousand miles, and how long it takes for the expected negative outcome of this condition. Does off clearance CAUSE any issues per se, or is it that it is mainly an indicator of something like a cam lobe wearing?

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post #24 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 8:53 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

In my little section of the NW I know of three GS water cooled bikes that had cam lobe failures. When you open the covers to do a valve check you will see cam wear right away. Before you even bother to do some clearance checks. So many things contribute to clearance wear. There used to be valve seat recession, that is over pretty much. Just mechanical wear of moving parts..
My main experience with doing these checks is the cam timing is off. If you do not use the complete trio of OEM tools to check the timing you have no basis to know what it is. The chain driven gear that rotates the camshaft is on a non binding taper. You loosen the nut holding the works and you can move the camshaft. I have seen bikes with incorrect timing from the factory, or at least happened in the first 12K miles as it was apparent at that check up. I agree the clearance is stable but there are other reasons to look inside.
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post #25 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 10:18 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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In my little section of the NW I know of three GS water cooled bikes that had cam lobe failures. When you open the covers to do a valve check you will see cam wear right away. Before you even bother to do some clearance checks. So many things contribute to clearance wear. There used to be valve seat recession, that is over pretty much. Just mechanical wear of moving parts..
My main experience with doing these checks is the cam timing is off. If you do not use the complete trio of OEM tools to check the timing you have no basis to know what it is. The chain driven gear that rotates the camshaft is on a non binding taper. You loosen the nut holding the works and you can move the camshaft. I have seen bikes with incorrect timing from the factory, or at least happened in the first 12K miles as it was apparent at that check up. I agree the clearance is stable but there are other reasons to look inside.
To paraphrase a bit of what you're saying, it appears things have improved with regard to durability of the valve/guide/valve seat/cam lobes from normal wear and tear--whereas in times past it was more common to have valve seat recession but now it's down to straight wear n tear of moving parts, and I'm guessing that has improved from years past as well with better metallurgical manufacturing processes. All of this probably helps explain why so many people find their valve clearance to be in spec despite substantial miles on the engine, the exception being the poor quality cam lobes that apparently have found their way into the supply stream for BMW I have read in the recent past. Doesn't it seem reasonable if you have stable valve clearance over 36K miles, you're probably not dealing w/ one of these poor cam lobe hardening issues? I think I read of one or two that failed really quickly, like within the break-in period.

The dealer did the cam timing check for me at my request having read of LAF's stories about the issue. And, most important of all--the bike continues to run like a top, better than ever, starts right up, never misses a beat. Can't do better than that! Unfortunately the other day I put a newly copied house key on my keyring for my RTW. In one 120m ride that thing scrated up the lovely burnished/blasted aluminum just above the BMW roundel. I really loved how that looked and now it's got very visible 3 scratches on it. I hate to be petty about something so small but I've always been enamored w/ bright blasted aluminum. I love the look of the wheels on the bike and would don't like the black rims I see on many bikes nowadays.

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post #26 of 59 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 11:33 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

Yes, bikes now are very dependable in my opinion. The cam thing is heat treatment by the vendor. I have heard some expire while almost new. My experience was in the 30 to 50K mile range. One guy with the most miles (who did his own "maintenance") had roller tracks 3mm deep! I am mystified about that one. I'm glad your bike runs great. They are wonderful machines. We all ride because it is part of our life.

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post #27 of 59 Old Jun 19th, 2019, 1:29 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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This ^^^. Even if you have the dealer do it, you can keep the cost down by not letting them sell you a fresh set of gaskets at >$80 each - they're reusable. So far my clearances haven't changed since I started recording them, and it just rolled over 126,000 today.
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You have been using your bike. What do you do? Ride once a week from one end of the country to the next ?
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post #28 of 59 Old Jun 19th, 2019, 8:34 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

I would say after warranty you can go as long as you want between valve checks.

Me I check them every 6K just because I can.

All my exhaust valves were tight at 34 from new. Some a tight 34. At 6K tighter yet. At 12K I replaced all 4. I am now sitting at 37.

I will check them next oil change to verify my work.

In the 30 or so cam checks I have NEVER seen a soft cam. However I have seen 2 from people I trust and they are very ugly. And mileage is all over as to when they start to flake.

My personal course of action is to continue to check my valves at every 6K. To me it is a very simple and a hour or two well spent looking everything over. I also check my cam timing every 6K, again just because I can. I have a running valve clearance record that I know is correct. I am not worried on clearance as much as cam lobe problems. That is the truth of it.

I bet I talked to two people at the Rally who had cams replaced and then offed the bikes for new. So cams are going bad, bikes with replaced cams are going on the used market, and it is happening more then we realize and more then is reported.

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post #29 of 59 Old Jun 19th, 2019, 9:35 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Help me get a grip on what we're preventing exactly. This is part of my question as I really don't know exactly so leaves me questioning how much of this is BMW making sure you take it in for required service, and how much of an issue it really is. Right now it's pretty clear valve clearances change very slowly over 1000's of miles in these machines, consistent w/ the rest of modern ICE engine behavior. And the trend seems to be at 60K or 80K miles they're frequently still in spec. This isn't the only thread I get that from. Once again, what's the downside if one valve is .001 tighter than specified range, that is to say, how long does this take in this state before it translates to something we don't want to see develop? For data points, I have 3 now, and they ain't changing a whole lot between checks.
Look at preventive maintenance as skewing the odds in your favor.

Why do you check your brakes? Because you know the pads will eventually wear out. You don't know when but they will wear out. Don't replace your pads, you will also need to replace the discs when the pads wear out.

Valves aren't as clean cut. You don't know if and when they'll need adjustment unless you check them. If you never check them, maybe something or nothing will happen, but you won't know until it does happen.
What could happen? I'm not talking about excessive wear of the cam lobes, I would think that is extremely rare. No, the highest probability is they may be out of specs, either too loose or too tight. Too loose means maybe a slight loss of power or engine imbalance if only one side is off. Too tight, maybe burnt valves if they don't fully close. Checking them at regular intervals lets you know how they evolve and if they get out of specs, have them adjusted. I don't know about you but I would rather spend a few hours (or a few dollars) checking my valves, than paying for an engine rebuild.

This way I have complete peace of mind while riding. I know the odds are in my favor.
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post #30 of 59 Old Jun 19th, 2019, 12:54 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

Thanks y'all for the various insights and opinions.

In light of the fact the every 12K checks have all been well w/in spec now at 38K miles, and that I don't ride the bike super hard, I think I can live with every 18K mile checks which jive w/ my oil change interval which is right about 4,500m. There appears to be an inverse relationship in how difficult (or expensive) the procedure is versus what the recommended valve clearance check interval ends up being. For example, I know my bro's former 4 cylinder FJR's recommended check was every 26K miles. How come? Better manufacturing process over BMW? K1600 I think is every 18K miles. How come? Why not 12K miles? Modern car engines? Never. This suggests to me the real risks involved with not checking, which should be a metric that should be independent of the cost of the procedure, is ultimately very low. I read countless tales of people with high mileage machines that never find a valve out of spec. And I have read the odd story of finding a valve out of spec or closed all the time, but to no major avail either, i.e., no apparent detriment.

Anyway, cheers ride safe and thanks again.

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post #31 of 59 Old Jun 19th, 2019, 3:35 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

Well, here's the thing. What about cam chain timing? Both should be done at the same time. Both of my RT's were fine valve wise. But both needed chain timing changes.

Now timing being off a little might not hurt. But being way off could. The dealer said both of my RT's were "advanced" with their timing. He said this could affect fuel mileage and power being off.

Just another thought to this question...
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post #32 of 59 Old Jun 19th, 2019, 4:02 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Well, here's the thing. What about cam chain timing? Both should be done at the same time. Both of my RT's were fine valve wise. But both needed chain timing changes.

Now timing being off a little might not hurt. But being way off could. The dealer said both of my RT's were "advanced" with their timing. He said this could affect fuel mileage and power being off.

Just another thought to this question...
My cam chain timing was checked at 36K miles and were good. The only time I would do that again is if the bike's behavior indicated something was actually wrong with it. Runs like a top, and always has.

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post #33 of 59 Old Jun 19th, 2019, 4:46 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Thanks y'all for the various insights and opinions.

In light of the fact the every 12K checks have all been well w/in spec now at 38K miles, and that I don't ride the bike super hard, I think I can live with every 18K mile checks which jive w/ my oil change interval which is right about 4,500m. There appears to be an inverse relationship in how difficult (or expensive) the procedure is versus what the recommended valve clearance check interval ends up being. For example, I know my bro's former 4 cylinder FJR's recommended check was every 26K miles. How come? Better manufacturing process over BMW? K1600 I think is every 18K miles. How come? Why not 12K miles? Modern car engines? Never. This suggests to me the real risks involved with not checking, which should be a metric that should be independent of the cost of the procedure, is ultimately very low. I read countless tales of people with high mileage machines that never find a valve out of spec. And I have read the odd story of finding a valve out of spec or closed all the time, but to no major avail either, i.e., no apparent detriment.

Anyway, cheers ride safe and thanks again.
Modern car engine are usually in a mild state of tune and most drivers rarely wind them up. The FJR is in the same category, a bit higher state of tune, lots of low end torque and RPMs limited to 8K. I had them checked on my old FJR only once in 130K km (about 75K miles). There is no need to wind it up either. The K1600 has a much higher state of tune but still a mild redline. It's also a torque monster. IMO there is almost no need to have them adjusted.
All those are watercooled engines, not so the boxer wethead engine which is air/oil/partial watercooled.
That also explains IMO why the air/oil cooled hex/cam head require checks at 10K km (6K miles). The valve train must endure much higher temp variations IMO.

If you were talking about an S1000RR or the equivalent from other manufacturers, or one of those 600cc bikes that can rev to 14K, I wouldn't skip.
It's all about the intended use, abuse, expected.

I don't see any issue skipping the check on your wethead if your previous checks showed no changes. In the end, it's your call.

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post #34 of 59 Old Jun 20th, 2019, 10:32 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Wow, I wonder why so different from the newer models?
The Oilheads used a screw and locknut adjustment for the valves, not shims. More of a linear, analogue process than a shim. They tend to go out of adjustment faster and I found mine would be louder by the time 5-6K had passed. Since they are infinitely adjustable and dependent on "feel" during the adjustment process, it's harder to get consistent results. On the other hand, you can set them perfectly in the middle of the spec if you're good at it.

There have undoubtedly been advancements in the metallurgy also, leading to less wear.

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post #35 of 59 Old Jun 20th, 2019, 11:43 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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There have undoubtedly been advancements in the metallurgy also, leading to less wear.
Hahahaha tell that to the Wethead owners who have had their camshafts eaten up!
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post #36 of 59 Old Jun 20th, 2019, 2:01 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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The Oilheads used a screw and locknut adjustment for the valves, not shims.
I see. One would predict solid shims will, overall, be more stable than threaded adjustments, all else being equal. This is quite likely contributing significantly to the frequent stories of valve clearances staying in spec for high miles.

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post #37 of 59 Old Jun 20th, 2019, 3:45 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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I see. One would predict solid shims will, overall, be more stable than threaded adjustments, all else being equal. This is quite likely contributing significantly to the frequent stories of valve clearances staying in spec for high miles.
Maybe. But the threaded locking nut mechanism meant you didn't have to take the whole camshaft carrier off the head to adjust the valves. A couple of wrenches and bam, you're done. I've watched video's of the older way of doing it. Looks a lot quicker and easier to me.

I'd much rather BMW figure out the hydraulic actuated valves my Honda Shadow 1100 had. They kept themselves in spec. No inspection or adjustements needed.
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post #38 of 59 Old Jun 20th, 2019, 3:55 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Maybe. But the threaded locking nut mechanism meant you didn't have to take the whole camshaft carrier off the head to adjust the valves. A couple of wrenches and bam, you're done. I've watched video's of the older way of doing it. Looks a lot quicker and easier to me.

I'd much rather BMW figure out the hydraulic actuated valves my Honda Shadow 1100 had. They kept themselves in spec. No inspection or adjustements needed.
This is one of the many things I like about Camheads. The cam follower is held in place with an inexpensive c-clip: pop it off, pull the follower, put the appropriate shim in, reinstall the follower with a new c-clip, done for another 50k miles (or whatever). Kind of the best of both worlds. I don't like the idea of removing the cams to change the shims.

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post #39 of 59 Old Jun 20th, 2019, 7:52 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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I'd much rather BMW figure out the hydraulic actuated valves my Honda Shadow 1100 had. They kept themselves in spec. No inspection or adjustements needed.
There you go. Haven't automobile engines had this technology now for 3 or 4 decades?

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post #40 of 59 Old Jun 20th, 2019, 10:59 pm
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

Yes. I really don't get this. Cars got them in the 50's..

My 1984 Honda CB700 Nighthawk S had hydraulic valves. Redline was 10K.

That was 35 years ago.. <sigh>..

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post #41 of 59 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 6:40 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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I see. One would predict solid shims will, overall, be more stable than threaded adjustments, all else being equal. This is quite likely contributing significantly to the frequent stories of valve clearances staying in spec for high miles.
Noel, you need to understand some of the basic engine designs!! Talking just about the boxer power plants, the earlier ones (before the camhead) have their timing cams in the guts of the engine. The method of valve activation is totally different than the overhead cam models! Don't blame BMW for that, it's just how engines were designed. Just be thankful that we are well away from the "side-valve" engine, like the one on my first car (a 1950 Hilman Minx). You can't adjust the valves gap on those engine at all. Or the overhead cam, on the Jag. XKE 4.2 liters straight 6, that I used to help my friend race (a 1960 model). To adjust the valve gap on that engine (and you have to after every single race) one has to actually shim the bearing blocks, and it's all by guessing (or experience), because when you shim up one end to increase the gap of that end's valve, the opposite side would close up from the angle of tilt of the camshaft!

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post #42 of 59 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 6:47 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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There you go. Haven't automobile engines had this technology now for 3 or 4 decades?
Instead of bitching, you should look into the pros and cons of the hydraulic lifter, and understand why it's not used on our bikes!

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post #43 of 59 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 8:34 am Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Noel, you need to understand some of the basic engine designs!! Talking just about the boxer power plants, the earlier ones (before the camhead) have their timing cams in the guts of the engine. The method of valve activation is totally different than the overhead cam models! Don't blame BMW for that, it's just how engines were designed. Just be thankful that we are well away from the "side-valve" engine, like the one on my first car (a 1950 Hilman Minx). You can't adjust the valves gap on those engine at all. Or the overhead cam, on the Jag. XKE 4.2 liters straight 6, that I used to help my friend race (a 1960 model). To adjust the valve gap on that engine (and you have to after every single race) one has to actually shim the bearing blocks, and it's all by guessing (or experience), because when you shim up one end to increase the gap of that end's valve, the opposite side would close up from the angle of tilt of the camshaft!
Hello? Here was the quote you responded to:

"I see. One would predict solid shims will, overall, be more stable than threaded adjustments, all else being equal. This is quite likely contributing significantly to the frequent stories of valve clearances staying in spec for high miles."

Huh? What now was I blaming BMW for? Take a deep breath before you throw up your blathering criticism.

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post #44 of 59 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 8:37 am Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Instead of bitching, you should look into the pros and cons of the hydraulic lifter, and understand why it's not used on our bikes!
I know why they aren't used on OUR bikes. What I'm all in favor is designs that obviate the need for valve clearance checks, and apparently it's been done before on motorcycles! From two other posters here, which you did not choose to attack:

"I'd much rather BMW figure out the hydraulic actuated valves my Honda Shadow 1100 had. They kept themselves in spec. No inspection or adjustements needed."

"Yes. I really don't get this. Cars got them in the 50's..My 1984 Honda CB700 Nighthawk S had hydraulic valves. Redline was 10K. That was 35 years ago.."

Up yours, PadG!

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post #45 of 59 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 9:47 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

No more valves clearance checks.
The future is electronic and electro-hydraulic valve actuation. In other words, cam-less valve actuation.
Think about it, no cams, no chains, no belt, no shims, infintely adjustable valve timing, self correcting, lighter engines, etc.
Why not? We've gone from points and condensors to electronic ignition and direct coils, carbs to fuel injection.
What we've seen is a tremendous increase in reliability, so why not?
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post #46 of 59 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 9:50 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Hello? Here was the quote you responded to:

"I see. One would predict solid shims will, overall, be more stable than threaded adjustments, all else being equal. This is quite likely contributing significantly to the frequent stories of valve clearances staying in spec for high miles."

Huh? What now was I blaming BMW for? Take a deep breath before you throw up your blathering criticism.
Not saying that you are blaming BMW for the design, BUT what I am saying is that you should at least learn something about the different engines and their valve train before making technical comments! Clearly, you still haven't! What does shims have to do with the tappet system valve train??? How would YOU incorporate it?

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post #47 of 59 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 9:53 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Originally Posted by NoelCP View Post
I know why they aren't used on OUR bikes. What I'm all in favor is designs that obviate the need for valve clearance checks, and apparently it's been done before on motorcycles! From two other posters here, which you did not choose to attack:

"I'd much rather BMW figure out the hydraulic actuated valves my Honda Shadow 1100 had. They kept themselves in spec. No inspection or adjustements needed."

"Yes. I really don't get this. Cars got them in the 50's..My 1984 Honda CB700 Nighthawk S had hydraulic valves. Redline was 10K. That was 35 years ago.."

Up yours, PadG!
Again, you seem to be adverse to learning! It is clear that you don't know why the hydraulic system isn't used on our boxers!

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post #48 of 59 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 9:55 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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No more valves clearance checks.
The future is electronic and electro-hydraulic valve actuation. In other words, cam-less valve actuation.
Think about it, no cams, no chains, no belt, no shims, infintely adjustable valve timing, self correcting, lighter engines, etc.
Why not? We've gone from points and condensors to electronic ignition and direct coils, carbs to fuel injection.
What we've seen is a tremendous increase in reliability, so why not?
Hey, I would go for that any days!!!!

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post #49 of 59 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 10:35 am Thread Starter
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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Not saying that you are blaming BMW for the design, BUT what I am saying is that you should at least learn something about the different engines and their valve train before making technical comments! Clearly, you still haven't! What does shims have to do with the tappet system valve train??? How would YOU incorporate it?
I'm not designing motorcycle engines PadG, don't care to, never will. My comment was simply that a solid hemispherical shim, which is comparable to digital (quantized thicknesses) versus analogue (a continuously threaded adjustment) adjustability, would be superior to a locknut/thread method to adjust clearance and perhaps in retaining that adjustment over zillions of cycles. This guess is corroborated by JBinAZ's comment: "The Oilheads used a screw and locknut adjustment for the valves, not shims. More of a linear, analogue process than a shim. They tend to go out of adjustment faster and I found mine would be louder by the time 5-6K had passed." I rest my case, PadG.

The bottom line for me is I have no allegiance to the ancient boxer design, which is why my dreamcycle which is 80lb lighter than my RT, has a transverse crankshaft that turns a belt, not a heavy, inefficient shaft w/ its eight bearing sets in 2 u-joints and right-angle changes to get the rear wheel to turn. So crude. Oh sure, it works, but it's anything but elegant. I'll add hydraulic lifters to the 3-4 cylinder design in my dreamcycle to obviate the need to tear the thing down to check and adjust valve clearances. It's been done before obviously. Or Pat's idea, electronic and electro-hydraulic valve actuation. Or one step further towards the obvious: all electric.

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post #50 of 59 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 10:36 am
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Re: Is it time to extend out valve clearance checks?

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The future is electronic and electro-hydraulic valve actuation.
I'm not sure it is. I think the relatively near future is electric motors, not I.C. engines.

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