Valve adjustment symptoms.When to do?

I bought my 99 400f a little over a year ago with very little use on it. I've been riding it ever since and probably put at most put 50 hours on it.

Now the bike starts, idles and runs better than when I bought it. When should I have the valves done? What should I watch for? What did your bikes do before you had em done?

Considering your bike is that old I would just check the valves to be sure they are in spec. You will not need a valve job until you have shimmed down past 10% of the original shim size (I think, at least with the 250F). Checking the valves is a 30 min job and all you need are some feeler gauges.

Yea I've heard that it is easy to check, but shimming them is a different story. I am pretty mechanically inclined. I just have never done anything like this. I'm afraid I would make it worse than it is. The bike runs so strong a well I didn't know what to look for. Will the bike run better/more powerful if I do them?

The only time you will see a performance gain from shimming your vavles is when they are really tight like .0002 or something like that. Mostly it will just hurt your cam more than anything. Where you will notice tight valves is on hot starts. When the bike doesn't want to start very well. When you have to start kicking it alot more than normal. That is the first sign of tight vavles.

If you let your valves get too tight, they will stay open slightly and cause blow-by durring compression. This blow-by causes the valves to burn, which in turn causes top end new valves, and a complete head job...much more expensive than a $5 feeler guage.

So, in other words, don't wait 'till you notice something wrong before checking then, the damage has already been done.

It truely is a simple job to check them. Just get yourself a Haynes/Clymer manual and read through the proceedure once. You'll be an expert after you do your first check. Adjusting them is a little more complicated, but mostly just more time consuming. The Clymer manuals take you through it step-by-step.

Thanks guys. When I first got the bike it was really hard to start. Now that I've got the routine down I can start it first kick everytime. Its easier to kick when hot the when cold. I asked because I read the manual and in the maintenance section and all of the intervals of lubing and adjusting are so close together don't get me wrong I change oil after every ride and then use the waste oil to clean the chain so I get more use out of it, I just had no idea of what the signs were before doing the valves.

Wow, you shouldn't need to change the oil after every ride unless you ride the piss out of it. I run Shell Rotella-T Synthetic, and usually change the oil after about 10 hours of riding, which is about three rides. It doesn't cost much more than conventional oil, but it is MUCH better.

As for your chain, I recommend getting some Bel-Ray non tacky chain lube. It dries like a wax, so it doesn't attract dust and grit. I haven't had to clean my chain yet, and I ride VERY dusty desert trails.

Make life easy on yourself!

I know I change the oil way too much it just how I am

I was was going to use Rotella-T Syn but a local motorcycle shop mechanic told me it was a bad idea because that oil is used in an engine that is not made to go more than 3000 rpms and diesel oil is formulated for diesel engines.

I just use the used oil to soak the chain and get the dirt off then I use an air compressor to blow it all off and then I use Bel-ray Synthetic Chain lube

That mechanic is a moron, I hate it when people "supposedly" in the know, come up with half-cocked theorys, and then spread them around to the rest of us as though it's God's given truth.

"C" or Comercial rated oils are used in Diesel engines because of their greater resistance to breakdown. They are far superior to "S" or Standard rated oils. I have done extensive research into this, and could ramble on much longer than you'd care to read. If you'd like, I can go into details, but, suffice it to say, your motor will last longer with a "C" rated oil than it would with an "S" rated oil, regardless of RPM.

In a nutshell:

You can use ANY oil that does not say "Energy Conserving" if you have a single sump engine. The CR450F is an acception to the rule, because the combustion side of the engine uses a seperate oil from the clutch/tranny.

Energy conserving oils contain Moly. The Moly is what makes them energy conserving. Also, most modern oils contain MUCH less ZDDP than the old SG rated oils, which is actually better than Moly. Moly and ZDDP do basically the same things, offer extreme-pressure protection, and reduce friction. However, they each have their advantages.

Moly is VERY good at reducing friction, but OK at extreme pressure protection, while ZDDP is VERY good at extreme pressure protection, but only OK at reducing friction.

If you are going to run a newer SL rated oil that is NOT energy conserving, I HIGHLY recommed that you make sure it is ALSO rated with an API CH or higher rating as well. "C" rated oils contain much stronger molecules that can withstand the abuse of our high performance engines better, contain higher amounts of ZDDP, lower amounts of moly, and keep the engine running cleaner, with more detergents than "S" rated oils. I strongly recommend using synthetic "C" rated oil, as the molecules are even stronger yet, especially at higher temperatures.

I was not saying that you were wrong. If you say that you have been using it in your bike for a while and have had no problems then I believe you. I have been using Yamaha four stroke oil since I have bought it because that is what the manual recommends. That is what the bike was designed to use, but I changed to Mobile one Syn 15W-50 (Yes RED CAP)because of the rep on this site and the dealer said that is good stuff and the motorcycle mechanic at the dealer said it is good to use and all my buddies use it in thier four strokes. I don't want this to become an oil debate. Believe me there are already enough on this site. But thank you for the information.

Wow, I'm glad you had the time to research all that, because I don't. Thank you very much! :cry:

You're very welcome! :cry: I really don't have the time either, but I do it anyway. :cry:

By the way, for anyone with an "older" bike, that has either not seen frequent oil changes, or has had cheap oil used in it for years, I would STRONGLY recommend that you DON'T follow my above advice.

These types of engines have had burnt-oil-gunk accumulating all over your engine, which prevented the "good" oil from lubricating the seals, which then dry up and crack.

The higher level of detergents in the "C" rated oils will clean all the gunk off of your seals, and appear to "cause" your engine to start leaking. In acutality, the engine already HAD the leaks, they were just plugged with gunk. :cry:

Good advise. I read about that on some other post. Thats why you never take an old car that has been running on regular oil and put synthetic in it because it will dislodge all the gunk and may cause a leak or other problem. But yes definately good advise for those with old bikes.

I guess all is said my bike starts up fine hot or cold, idles smooth, runs strong.(If it ain't broken, don't fix it) I did a search and the only thing else I could find was that somepeople said that the valves will make a ringing sound when out of spec. I would not know what it sounds like. Has anybody experienced this?

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