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Change to SS Valves - Input Please

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Okay everyone, I have zero valve clearance! :cry: (Shocking I know). Instead of setting myself up for another valve job in the very near future, I'm wanting to buy extra time by going to SS valves with the Kibblewhite springs too. I've only found Kibblewhite White Diamond (aparently a chrome stem) EV8 SS valve for the KLX 300. (Mine is a 2001). My understanding is that the Black Diamond has much better wear and longevity. I'm at a loss, is the White Diamond worth it, since it seems to be inferior to the Black Diamond?

Has anyone used the Kibblewhite White Diamond? With what success? If I'm going to drop $300 in parts, they better be good.

Below is from the Kibblewhite Q&A site. Seems to be saying that the Black Diamond has a superior hardness.

Q:

What are your valves made of?

A:

All of our stainless valves, whether White Diamond (chrome stem) or Black Diamond, are one-piece forgings made from a material known as EV8. This is a heavy-duty, high performance material that many companies will use only for exhaust valves because it is so expensive. They then will use a lesser grade of stainless material for the intake valves. We use the EV8 because we believe it is better to use the best possible material for the exhaust and the intake valves.

We also produce an Inconel exhaust valve (1 pc. forging) for the Harley, which should be used in engines running turbos, superchargers, nitrous oxide, or nitromethane.

Tensilite valves are 1 pc. titanium forgings

Q:

What is the Black Diamond Valve?

A:

Our Black Diamond valve is a valve that has undergone our proprietary multi-stage heat-treatment and surface finish process. This treatment actually reacts with the parent material to create a specific hardness to a depth of .002" while maintaining straightness. Once the desired hardness and surface finish are achieved, the valve undergoes a final treatment, which helps prevent galling. These processes, combined with the high-quality EV8 material have combined to create a valve that is strong and virtually impervious to stem wear

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Kibblewhite only makes white diamond for the KLX. That's your only choice. How do they hold up? OK so far. Only have maybe 250 miles on them, but so far so good. Ask me in a year. :cry:

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PS - they are definately better than the OEM valves and springs and the extra money is well worth it in my opinion.

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Bill,

Funds are starting to trickle in and I've been looking at the various on-line Kibblewhite catalogs. The White Bros version here on TT only shows oversized intake White Diamond. I know that KW only supplies white diamond for the KLX, which is fine, however in their catalog they show both standard and oversized intakes. I really don't want to mess with the extra machining of oversized valves unless it's absolutly necessary. What route did you go with? Who did you order your valves through. I've got a friend here in Phoenix with a motorcylce parts and accessories business, whom I try to support. He's a Parts Unlimited (among many others) dealer. Thanks.l

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Eric, I'm not a valve expert, but I'll try to give you a little of what I've learned. From my opinion, it's as important to have the right person do the valves as to put new valves in. I had George at ESP (818.951.9144 - So Cal) head up my last two valve jobs. He suggested standard size white diamond SS valves - even on our 340. Unless the seats in the head are damaged, he suggested the standard size. He sends out the head to a valve guru who then puts the valves in, matches them carefully to the seats, makes sure the angles of the seat are correct in relationship to the valve and makes sure that the spring tension on the valve is correct. How he does all this I'm not sure, cause if I was I'd probably do it myself. :cry: While you're at it, I would also suggest replacing the cam chain. It's about $80 bucks or so and good insurance.

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I've got another friend who is a certified HD mechanic and has a valve seat cutter and all the other special tools. He's done lots of valve jobs and has offered to do the work. I"ll keep looking for someone who stocks the std. sized valves. I've planning on the cam chain all along. Thanks for the input.

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I've not begun to tear apart my motor yet. I plan to use ESP (ship from Denver). I liked the KLX knowledge of the person I spoke with compared to the general answers I got from local shops.

Anyway, I thought ESP's estimate was very reasonable at $240 for parts (SS valves, springs, and stem seals) and $95 for a 3-angle seat grind/touch up. Guides (aparently rarely needed) would be extra parts/labor. Head would be there approximately 1-2 weeks.

I presume ESP's quote was not for oversize valves. They said they would not bolt the cams in because it would affect clearance but they would measure and tell me the thickness of the shims so that I can re-set clearance once I get the head back and re-assembled.

In comparison, White Bros wanted $251.05 for parts alone. (123.25 springs + 127.80 for two oversize intake and two regular sized exhaust valves). Stem seals, guides and labor (through shop of my choice) extra. Seems relatively comparable.

I'm still waiting for a return call from the KW tech regarding why they don't offer Black Diamond valves for the KLX. I'm at a loss for a good reason thus far. :cry:

Thanks for the input guys. Will report back once the job is complete. I'm debating whether to replace the cam chain (2001 KLX) and piston/rings (with a high compression model) while I've got the head off.

Any thoughts?

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ram, George at ESP should know about the klx! He's done the suspensions for about 4 of us down here and done 3 valve jobs as well. He's a good guy to deal with. And I'd definately put in a new cam chain. They're about $80 or so. I went with a stock piston over a big bore. It's a long story, but our 340 smokes a lot and the stock 300 piston, rings, cylinder were so pristine after almost 4k miles, that I decided to stay stock. Good luck. Bill

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Bill (or anyone willing to respond),

If I compression check my 2001 KLX 300, and its within spec., should I just leave the piston alone until I have compression issues?

I know you recommend the stock piston/rings, but would a 'high compression" pistion make any difference? Regardless of what I do with the piston, I plan to stay w/ a stock cam unless its a big mistake. What do you think?

Thanks.

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I think a lot has to do with what you plan to do with the bike. With all the other options out there, I personaly don't see the value in making a KLX race ready, ie. high compression, aggressive cam profile. Just buy an MXer if you want to race. The KLX is a great trail bike, and the standard mods will give you the extra umph for just about any situation. That's my opinion at least.

While the head is off, pulling the cylinder and inspecting the piston, rings and bore will only cost you the price of some gaskets, and you'll have time while the head is in the shop. Don't forget the cam chain as Bill recommended, the UK KLX forum has reported some chain failures. With today's 4 strokes, cam chain replacement is a scheduled replacement item.

Now a question for the experts... Lets say the piston and cylinder bore look good and measure within the tolerances specified in the shop manual. Would it be ok to change the rings only? I'm a trials rider at heart and ride singletrack trails slow, so the bike dosn't get revved at all.

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Hey everyone,

This is great information in the big KLX valve debate. I spoke to an engineer at Kibblewhite (I'm sorry, didn't catch his name). He did say that he works on R&D and has tested many heads. :cry: Needless to say, he's familiar with the titanium valve, steel seat (and light spring) issue and has worked on R&D regarding that issue.

He said that a valid fix is to go with stiffer springs, and bronz valve seat (softer than steel), and that he's done it to race heads he's worked with, and has sucessfully extended the life of the titanium valves that way. He also said that a stiffer spring will stop the valve from bouncing (I'm not using his level of technical language here, but this is the crux of the idea he was trying to convey to me) and deforming the soft titanium material after the hard outter coating is worn away.

He said that if we go with a softer valve seat fix, then the problem we will run into will be the same as what Yamaha's run into - the valve lasts too long and gets stressed. Since titanium doesn't really streach, the valve head can break off. :cry: Can you imagine the damage!

If we go with a stainless steel valve, stock valve seat material, and upgraded springs, the life of the valve (over the titanium valve/steel seat setup) will be increased - if we aren't constantly hitting the rev-limiter. (NOTE: I don't know about you, but I don't think I've ever over-rev'd my bikes).

The important thing to me is that as the valve ages, there isn't going to be the potential for a catastrophic failure due to the valve head breaking off. Should only be the normal signs of needing replacement or adjustment (hard starting etc.). :cry:

In light of this conversation, I'm going with stainless steel valves/upgraded springs.

I did ask him to suggest someone that Kibblewhite is familiar with to work on my valves and install. He suggested Eric Gore at Forward Motion (630) 289-5645. Mr. Gore is the person that did the valve articles in Dirt Rider magazine a few months ago. I'm going to make a few calls to Forward Motion and again to ESP (suggested to me by Bill_P), and go with whomever I'm more comfortable with.

This was a great conversation. I feel now like I have good information to make a good decision with.

ram

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