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Valve Adjustment

2089 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  timothya1
Well, thanks in no small part to posts from some of you, I finished adjusting the valves on my '09 RT today.

I wound up having to make adjustments to all valves on the left cylinder and the intake valves on the right cylinder. Mileage now is about 12,000 miles. I double and triple checked my work, including rolling it back to TDC on each cylinder to make sure I had it right, but those valves were tight. Also verified I was using the correct unit of measure on my feeler gages (mm vice inches). Don't laugh, I had to read my book twice to make sure!

Is this unusual? I had the 6K service done at the BMW dealership in San Diego last fall.
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Just be sure you are on TDC compression stroke for the cylinder you are checking. If so, it is what it is.
Did you check them while the engine was cold? I had to replace three of my semi-spherical shims at 12000 miles to bring the bike into spec. The valves on my 2011 are adjusted in a completely different way than the 2009 and earlier models.
note to 150... the '09 does not use shims for valve adjustment. That started with the 2010 year models.

Comment to the O.P. and others.

Tight valves at this number of miles is not totally unusual. There is obviously some variability in the way these engines "break-in" but many will take up to 18k miles.

As break-in occurs what is happening is that all the mechanical "interfaces" in the chain are "rubbing" against each other and "banging", and "pressing' and otherwise settling their positions getting ready for a long and happy life.

The net result of all these wear-in and changes is that the valves get tighter... until you or the dealers does the next valve adjustment... until the wear-in is complete. It is not at all true, but one way to think of this is that the valve stems are being stretched... until they are in their final length. This is like the valve springs are pulling against the valve stems trying to make them longer. This is why your valves were so tight.... the stems are growing longer.

You lessen the "tightness" by increasing the distance from the tappet to the top of the valve stem. This is why you do valve adjustments. You obviously needed it to be done on your bike.

Your "pickyness" in doing it is a good thing and will pay off for you. Congratulations.

Now... how does it run after the adjustment?

What you did not say was anything about setting the Throttle bodies so that they both allow the exact same amount of air/fuel mix on each stroke. If you change the opening distance of the valves on one side, the other side needs to be matched... thus the idea of throttle body synchronization.

Good job.
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I just did my valve adjustment for the first time (02 R1150RT with 22,000 miles). My left side intake and exhaust valves were super tight. So much so that I kept rolling that wheel around over and over to make sure I was at TDC and both rocker arms were loose. I was afraid I was adjusting them at the wrong location because not only could I not get the feeler gauges in there, but I had to turn the screw well over a full rotation before I could. I double-checked everything with Hopz (who replied above) just to make sure.

Right side was also very tight, but not as bad as left.

When I got everything back together, the bike sounded sweet, and the power delivery was much smoother. Lost the high-frequency vibration, too. I also did the throttle body syncing, like Hopz recommends, but the throttle bodies needed almost no adjustment.

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A couple of comments...

For doing valve adjustments, use the "BMW" or similar feeler gauges. They are cheap, and available from a couple of online dealers if your local dealer doesn't have them. It really does take two at a time to do it right. You MUST get the slack out of the rocker arm shaft with the 2nd feeler gauge. For your 05-09 RT, you need a pair of yellow (.30mm) ones and a pair of white (.15mm) ones.

For the throttle body synch - It is highly recommended that you make sure the engine is at operating temp and to "zero" and lock down the idle butterflies prior to doing the synch with the twin max. I use a GS-911 for the job, as the lockdown has to be done electronically, and they have to be released after the synch is done. There is a great article on the BMWMOA technical articles board on how to do it, and more on why it's important to do it VERY carefully.

Valves and throttle bodies have been historically pretty easy DIY chores. For our computer controlled RTs, we unfortunately can't just "shade tree" it anymore.

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I just did the valve adjustment on my 08 RT with 18K miles and both intake valves on the right side were tight.
Thanks, everyone. Bike ran great after the adjustment. I checked the throttle bodies, but no adjustment required on those.

Now I need to wear out a set of tires!
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