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Valves - a problem but not a big deal ($150)

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With all that has been posted about the valves, I thought a balanced spin on it was necessary.

My 2003 450F finally had the intake valves go. Yes, this is a bummer but it only cost about $150 and 5 hrs of my time, not a big deal. So here is the scoop.

Background: My bike is an 03 purchased right when it came out, so about 3 years on it, ridden twice per month, oil (Mobile 1) and filter (No Toil) changed regularly, valves adjusted initially with about 1 year on the bike. About 3 months ago, starting became more difficult and I suspected the values. The clearance on one had gone to zero and the other intake was ok, so I shimmed the tight one, as a temporary measure, knowing it would have to be changed. When I went to check the clearance again, both valves were going and clearances were going to nothing. Valves toast.

Solution: I took the head off and after inspection the valve seats looked pretty good, only the valve was deforming. I even had one of the Honda mechanics that is pretty competant (not easy to find) take a look at the seats to make sure everything was ok, he said it looked fine and suggested just replacing the valves. So I decided to replace the intake valves along with the springs and oil seals (all OEM). Total cost about $150, including valve keepers and head gasket. The valves are light enough that they don't require strong springs, so I was able to do the swap without even buying a valve spring compressor. The exhaust valves are not Titanium, so I guess they don't deform. They have been very stable, so no need to mess with the exhaust valves.

From an engineering prospective, it looks like the valves are too soft compared to the valve seat material, and/or maybe the spring strength is not ideal. So certainly some improvement can be made. But $150 bucks and I am back up and running for another 3 years. And I was able to do all of the maintenance myself.

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Hmm thats not bad. From what I was hearing the valves go allot sooner than that, but I guess it depends on how hard you ride and how often. I also only ride about twice a month so hopfully I wont have to replace mine for 3 years. :banghead:

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good luck on the 3 years on the second set of valves. It has been my experience that once the adjustment goes to zero, the seats get damaged and the replacement valves wear out very quickly. keep a close eye on the adjustment, and maybe yours will last longer. My 03 has bben great and I am just now switching to Kibblewhites.

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I don't know what Honda mechanic you had check the seats but you sure can't check them just by looking at them. You need to blue up the new valves and check the seating surface on the face of the valve.

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