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Valve clearance check tips and quick oil change question

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OK guys, here is my next question. Love this Beta 500 RR-S. Got 6.5 hrs in her, and the engine is really starting to loosen up. Incredible amount of power compared to my WR250R! Installed the map change switch and got the G2 Dirt Tamer with the Beta 500 specific cam. Really wide vernier control of engine speed at crawling levels. Love the control.

So, I have never checked valve clearance before. Looks like access is pretty tight. Any of you experienced guys have any tips for a guy with no valve check experience to make sure I don't screw it up! I intend to perform all the checks myself. But will likely let the dealer actually change shims if it is out of spec.

 

Also, my riding still will not be anywhere close to "standard competition intervals" as stated in the manual. My dealer says that he has only seen one bike in his entire experience of performing maintenance where a Beta valve is outside the acceptable spec. So, he tends to not check very often. Any suggestions about how often you feel I should check clearance if the bike is mostly used as a really dirt capable adventure bike?

 

Finally, did my first oil and filter change. Again, Beta recommends oil and filter change at 30 hrs for competition use. I was thinking about doubling that for my situation. What do you think?

Many thanks for the help. This forum is awesome.

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I just installed the G2 throttle tamer with the 700X cam yesterday. I am impressed with the increase in smooth control at lower rpms.

Is the 700X the same cam you have?

You will get a lot of varied comments on oil change interval. I think it depends a great deal on usage and conditions, and some on personal preference.

I think Beta's suggested interval is reasonable and I'd feel comfortable pushing it out for an extended ride that wasn't too brutal on the engine. The only way to know for sure is sending a oil sample to blackstone labs for analysis, then you can gauge for yourself based on your conditions.

BTW, you can get the Hiflofiltro HF631 oil filter on Amazon for about $8 Prime. Comparing them side by side I think the OEM filter is made by Hiflofiltro.

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Thanks Dan. Really enjoying all your posts and appreciate your comments to my questions in the various threads. It is especially helpful that we basically have the same bike and appears to be following a similar upgrade and usage path.

Yep, I got the 700X cam and just love it.

I also found the amazon Hiflo filters. Used it in my first oil change.

How hard/complicated is it to check the valve clearance? Do you do it yourself or have the dealer do it? Was yours is spec so far?

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Buy a good set of offset feeler gauges if you don't already have them. It's a very simple , go , no-go style of check.

 

Some people unfortunately think shimming the valves is a common maintenance procedure, its not. Once it becomes necessary to start re-shimming , a valve job is in your not so distant future. Keeping the air filter clean, well oiled and insuring you always have it installed correctly is the best thing you can do to prevent premature valve wear.

 

I would be inclined to follow the manual's oil change scheduled for the 1st couple of changes. Based on the condition of the oil at the scheduled change, I would decide the appropriate interval. Really there are too many variables for us to tell you what is best for you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Great advice ohio DRZ. Thanks for the shim education. Makes perfect sense. Also, your oil change suggestion, especially for the first few times makes complete sense also. Thanks for the suggestions.

 

Is it pretty obvious where you need to insert the feeler gauge to check clearance? I of course know it is at each valve. But wondered whether there were any sight blockage or other issues that required some tricks to insert the feeler properly?

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[quote post="13737049" timestamp="1495291726" name="mferring1" userid="498704"
But wondered whether there were any sight blockage or other issues that required some tricks to insert the feeler properly?


That's why I like to use the offsets style. The bend makes it easier to insert at the proper angle .

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BetaUSA has a handy set of offset guages that are exactly the size you need ... how about that? 👍

You'll get better with practice, but expect to spend some time on it the first go 'round. Tank has to come off, plug cap, likely* the left head stay. On the 350 efi we have had to also remove the throttle cable. Keep track of the o-ring that seals the cam cover around the spark plug hole.

Follow the instructions in the service manual on positioning the cams and locking the crankand you'll be alright. Shims are 10mm dia.

Of the bikes I've serviced, it's only ever been the left intake valve that was a little tight. 

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Good advice! The rocker cover comes out the left hand side, drill out the top engine mount bolt holes a fraction it will make you smile 🙂🙂

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Thanks Dan. Really enjoying all your posts and appreciate your comments to my questions in the various threads. It is especially helpful that we basically have the same bike and appears to be following a similar upgrade and usage path.
Yep, I got the 700X cam and just love it.
I also found the amazon Hiflo filters. Used it in my first oil change.
How hard/complicated is it to check the valve clearance? Do you do it yourself or have the dealer do it? Was yours is spec so far?

Thanks!

I have not checked mine yet. I do my own valve adjustment but this engine has a rep for not changing too much.

I will check it later when I have put more time on it. I'm only at 26 hrs or so.

It's a pretty standard shim under bucket design. I think the only issue on these bikes is getting the valve cover off due to clearance.

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12 hours ago, ohiodrz400sm said:

Some people unfortunately think shimming the valves is a common maintenance procedure, its not. Once it becomes necessary to start re-shimming , a valve job is in your not so distant future. Keeping the air filter clean, well oiled and insuring you always have it installed correctly is the best thing you can do to prevent premature valve wear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your definition of common maintenance? Your statement i think can and is being taken out of context, by at least me. When you stay re-shimming are you inferring at anytime after the bike is delivered from the factory?

Not so distant future? On any re-shimmed valve? Am I understanding you correctly??????

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What is your definition of common maintenance? Your statement i think can and is being taken out of context, by at least me. When you stay re-shimming are you inferring at anytime after the bike is delivered from the factory?
Not so distant future? On any re-shimmed valve? Am I understanding you correctly??????

I'm referring to the people that shim their valves 10x's, then wonder why the bike grenaded.

If the valves tighten up and need to be shimmed more than a couple times, it's time for a valve job. Continually running and shimming the valve will eventually lead to failure.
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11 hours ago, danketchpel said:


Thanks!

I have not checked mine yet. I do my own valve adjustment but this engine has a rep for not changing too much.

I will check it later when I have put more time on it. I'm only at 26 hrs or so.

It's a pretty standard shim under bucket design. I think the only issue on these bikes is getting the valve cover off due to clearance.

Dan, I would do it soon.  My 500 had 18 hours on it, ran fine, dual sport use.  Found one intake valve, left side a hair tighter than spec.  I zip tied cam chain to cam gears like others have said & it was pretty easy procedure.  Thanks Marty, I will open up that upper head brace bolt next time.  That one one caused me the most grief.  Of course, I had a spectator watching and I think the added pressure made me look extra incompetent!

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13 minutes ago, ohiodrz400sm said:


I'm referring to the people that shim their valves 10x's, then wonder why the bike grenaded.

If the valves tighten up and need to be shimmed more than a couple times, it's time for a valve job. Continually running and shimming the valve will eventually lead to failure.

Preface that with inferring to certain designs of motors please. The way you inferred your original post it sounded like any valve adjustment for any motor, which is incorrect. On big multi-cylinder superbikes here and there a .001" adjustment is normal. 

Even my old POS CRF450X/R required small valve adjustments from day one, and after a few (yes) adjustments around bout 6k miles it lunched the top end, but they're famous for that. 

One of my Ducati's has 60k miles on it and has had valve adjustments since 3k on the clock, still has perfect compression and leak-down. And I can quote a many of the other 50+ motorcycles I've owned, that never suffered failures for adjusting and continuing to run those motors and getting maximum efficiency out of. 

Todays modern engines are built better, valve seats do not sink as much, valve faces do not deform as much, valve stems to not stretch as much, and if they do, yes time to pull it apart. Todays materials and manufacturing techniques allow for many motors not to need adjustments as often, but a small adjustment here or there is definitely not the end of the world.

But a .001" here or there is not a big deal, but yes if it gets to needing that .001" adjustment every 500 miles yes tear her down. ANY significant change, absolutely! 

 

Carry on!!

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Excuse my ignorance. But can you guys say a few more words regarding ....drill out the top engine mount bolt holes a fraction it will make you smile...... and .........I will open up that upper head brace bolt next time.  That one one caused me the most grief......

 

Having not done any clearance checks or shim changes, not sure what you are getting at. Also, is this for the shim change only or are you also saying that this would help for clearance checks?

Sorry for my lack of savvy on this stuff. Trying to learn.....

Mark

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On 5/20/2017 at 9:18 AM, mferring1 said:

OK guys, here is my next question. Love this Beta 500 RR-S. Got 6.5 hrs in her, and the engine is really starting to loosen up. Incredible amount of power compared to my WR250R! Installed the map change switch and got the G2 Dirt Tamer with the Beta 500 specific cam. Really wide vernier control of engine speed at crawling levels. Love the control.

So, I have never checked valve clearance before. Looks like access is pretty tight. Any of you experienced guys have any tips for a guy with no valve check experience to make sure I don't screw it up! I intend to perform all the checks myself. But will likely let the dealer actually change shims if it is out of spec.

 

Also, my riding still will not be anywhere close to "standard competition intervals" as stated in the manual. My dealer says that he has only seen one bike in his entire experience of performing maintenance where a Beta valve is outside the acceptable spec. So, he tends to not check very often. Any suggestions about how often you feel I should check clearance if the bike is mostly used as a really dirt capable adventure bike?

 

Finally, did my first oil and filter change. Again, Beta recommends oil and filter change at 30 hrs for competition use. I was thinking about doubling that for my situation. What do you think?

Many thanks for the help. This forum is awesome.

Mark... would I strongly urge you to change the oil often... like every twenty hours or less.... going sixty hours is just asking for trouble no matter how you use the bike.... ofcourse it's your bike and ymmv... Tom  

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4 hours ago, mferring1 said:

Excuse my ignorance. But can you guys say a few more words regarding ....drill out the top engine mount bolt holes a fraction it will make you smile...... and .........I will open up that upper head brace bolt next time.  That one one caused me the most grief......

 

Having not done any clearance checks or shim changes, not sure what you are getting at. Also, is this for the shim change only or are you also saying that this would help for clearance checks?

Sorry for my lack of savvy on this stuff. Trying to learn.....

Mark

I would caution against drilling out top engine mounts unless you are installing a thinner cylinder base gasket (pn 006-150100-000) for higher compression. And even then just a very slight removal with rat tail file on the top of each hole. The mounts are meant to fip snug.

As far as valve checks there is no need to find TDC. Simply access the cams and check intake when exhaust is opening/closing and check exhaust when intake is opening/closing. You can do this with the kick starter. The fancy offset feeler gauges are a major PIA to use. I just use a straight flat one removed from the holder. Bend to fit..

When actually adjusting them clean plug cavity, pull plug and turn motor over with kick starter. Locking the crank at TDC is not necessary. Simply zip tie the cams with the marks are lined up with surface of head. Stuff paper towels under the sprockets to prevent dropping anything into the bottom of motor. I personally remove left radiator from frame leaving the hoses attached and zip tie if out of the way. Then it's just a simple job of just moving cams enough to replace shims.

The hardest part of the whole thing is that little right rear valve cover bolt. I bought a set of stubby allen wrenches for that purpose. 

While reinstalling cams it's very important to shove them all the way to the right. It's really easy to not get the outer bearing cage flush. You then have a cam chain thats too tight.

When reinstalling the actual hydraulic device simply take the end of a small ball allen wrench and push the piston into place. It will make an audible click. Then just bolt it up. This is also a good time to reroute the wiring harness (if you have not already done so) to your liking and dielectric grease on the connections.

100_4332.JPG.9fdb05a8c93d9d9b9a99a543e590357b.JPG

The only reason the exhaust cam is removed was  because of upgrading decompression device to later model. And yes I know the temp strip was in a lame spot! LOL100_4321.JPG.93c7757946e47b7ef0b57af5487bfcfc.JPG

For me the job takes about 2-3 hours from on the stand to off the stand. Most shops get 1-1.5 hours labor.

The biggest time saver is to know when the valves need adjustment. I'm old school and don't even think about shimming until it gets hard to start. Meaning if you even have to touch the throttle to start it (when warm) then it's time. Everyone has their own way to know when it's time. My way has proven to be very reliable on all my 4T's over the years. My 1st adjustment was not needed until about 150hrs. Running a carb vent filter and frequent oil changes are the key. I'm coming up on 300hrs and my Beta fires right up instantly with the push of the starter button.

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Chris, many thanks for the expert instruction and especially the photos. Really helps. I hope to someday feel confident doing all the work on my Italian Princess. Kind of a new thing for me.

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Dredging up an old topic but, has anyone found a replacement bolt for the left rear security torx bolt on the valve cover?  I'm having a heck of a time getting it loose.  I have a cheap bit set but the head is in a position that I can't get straight on with the driver.

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