Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

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Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#1 Unread post by pilot_greg » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:01 am

Hi all,

First off, I'm new around these parts, but from what I've seen so far, this looks like a really helpful and active community and I look forward to participating.

I'm getting my bike ready for the coming riding season and, primarily due to money concerns, I'm going to have to do as much of the maintenance as possible on my own. One item that needs to be done is a valve job since mine are clicking like some kind of giant insect, but I've never even tried to do this on my own. I do have the maintenance manual, and it looks simple enough, but I'm not 100% sure that I'm reading the thing right which has left me with a few questions. First, is this something I can do without having to remove the engine from the frame? Tonight I pulled the airbox to see if there might be enough room to work in there and, while it looks pretty tight, it looks like there is still enough room to get the camshaft cover off, but again, I'm not sure. Second, I'm wondering what I will need to get the job done properly? The manual suggests that all I would need is the valve tool and the shim set and I should be good. That being said, I can afford the valve tool, but I've not been able to find a shim set for less than $70 and even those are not the correct 1.20mm - 2.20mm set described by the manual, but rather about 2mm - 4mm, making most of them too big for my application. Do most dealerships carry individual shims so I can find the ones I need and buy only those? I've even read about people trading in their current shims for the new ones.... is this an option for me? The last question I have relates to the timing chain and/or tensor... Is this something that I check along with the valve clearance? Or is it a fully separate and more involved job? The maintenance manual simply says to check it and see if it moves freely and if not to replace it... it doesn't give any real instructions about how to get to it...

Thanks in advance for all help here,
Greg

PS: Last dumb question that I have to ask every year because I only do it once a year... I have a 6v-12v battery charger / tender which I use to charge up my battery for the coming year. Do I need to run it on the 6v setting or the 12v setting? Or does it matter? Thanks again.

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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#2 Unread post by BuzZz » Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:54 am

The best way to adjust valve clearance yourself is to get a service manual. It has charts to give you the correct shim needed based off what you have now. Then you only need to get the exact shims necessary.

It can be done with the engine in place, once the airbox and such are out of the way. You may want to check the camchain tensioner too. Any wear on the ratchet teeth can let the chain flop enough to be noticeable.
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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#3 Unread post by Wrider » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:09 am

And put it on the 12V setting.
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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#4 Unread post by pilot_greg » Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:00 pm

BuzZz wrote:The best way to adjust valve clearance yourself is to get a service manual. It has charts to give you the correct shim needed based off what you have now. Then you only need to get the exact shims necessary.

It can be done with the engine in place, once the airbox and such are out of the way. You may want to check the camchain tensioner too. Any wear on the ratchet teeth can let the chain flop enough to be noticeable.
Ok, so just to be 100%, I can both check the clearance and remover the cam-shafts / replace the shims without having to remove the engine from the frame? Also, will I need more special tools than the feeler gauges? I've seen something called a "valve shim tool" which looks like a curved wrench with a lip on it, but its not mentioned in the service manual, so I'm not sure if its required or just a work saver?
Wrider wrote:And put it on the 12V setting.
Thanks, I always seem to forget this one for some reason. I'm sure I'll be asking again next spring...

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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#5 Unread post by BuzZz » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:01 pm

There is enough room to do the job with the engine in place. You might cuss occasionally, but you can do it easily enough. Just be patient and gentle.

There are many types of valve shim tools out there. You won't need any of the to do your bike.
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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#6 Unread post by pilot_greg » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:02 pm

BuzZz wrote:You might cuss occasionally, but you can do it easily enough. Just be patient and gentle.
What, cuss and curse at my bike? never :P

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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#7 Unread post by BuzZz » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:35 pm

Swearin' shows you care.

You ain't gonna bother cussin' out something that means nothing to you, right? :mrgreen:

Anyways, the most likely cause of blue language will probably be from the skin lost working those parts out of the bike....
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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#8 Unread post by pilot_greg » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:56 pm

Thats why I usually wear gloves, though they have gotten kinda holey lately from all the times I've touched hot metal with them. :P

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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#9 Unread post by BuzZz » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:13 pm

Gloves, eh..... :humm:

I find them a bit clumsy and dirty for pokin' around engine internals myself....

And you check valve lash on a cold engine. :wink:
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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#10 Unread post by pilot_greg » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:09 am

I use mechanix high sensativity gloves... good for keeping hands clean and skin in place, but bad for durability. The cold engine part was one of the few things I knew already from the maintenance manual. It might be sparse with extra info and disjointed and hard to read, but at least its clear about important stuff like that.

One new question thats come up today is how do the feeler gauges work? I bought a set today and the guy at the store said I will probably be able to fit a larger gauge than the actual current clearance in there and then I've got to pull it out and feel for the right amount of resistance to determine if the clearance is too large or too small for that particular gauge. Is this the case and if so, what is a good method to zero in on the right size? Should I start with what should be the correct gauge for proper spacing and work up or down from there?

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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#11 Unread post by BuzZz » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:34 am

What the guy told you is essentially correct. It takes a bit of practice, but soon you will be able to feel what the right amount of drag is when you move the fellers back and forth. A noticeable but not great amount of resistance on the gauges to movement is what you want. You can cram a lot of metal in there if you try hard enough, because the valve spring will compress, but you only want to know the amount of clearance with the valves fully closed.

Start with the recommended amount of clearance and add more or less gauge thickness until you get a reading you feel good with. Be careful you are measuring only where the valve and camlobe meet and don't have the gauge catching some lip, casting or other protuberance making the reading inaccurate.
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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#12 Unread post by pilot_greg » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:42 pm

I'll give that a try then... The salesman gave me a demonstration of the resistance I should be looking for by grabbing the gauge and letting me pull on it at different strengths (very nice of him IMO), so I think I have at least an idea of what to look for. Hopefully somewhere between having the maintenance manual and the job not really being as hard as the guys as my local shop try to make it sound (trying to scare me out of $370 I guess), I'll be able to pull it off without ruining something or dropping a screw into the engine somewhere...

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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#13 Unread post by PeterTrocewicz » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:59 pm

I don't know of any dealears that do the shim exchange anymore. The dealership that I used to work for stopped doing that because the service department wound up almost running out of shims of the proper size neede for bikes they were working on. And my experience is that no parts department stocks shims because of the vast number of thichnesse and diameters used even for 1 manufacturer. Be prepared to order the specific ones that you need from the manufacturer and wait.There are aftermarket assortments available, but not for every bike.
1 tip that I cannot stress enough for the reassembly: use a torque wrench and follow the specifactions for bolt torque.
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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#14 Unread post by BuzZz » Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:11 pm

It ain't Rocket Surgery, anyone with decent mechanical ability should have few problems if they follow the manual. And +1 on using a torque wrench and tightening pattens to put the cams back in.

Just make sure you put the cams back in with the camgears correctly timed if you have to remove them. And don't drop the camchain into the engine, it's easier to keep track of it rather than fishing it out of the engine casing later. :wink:
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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#15 Unread post by pilot_greg » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:03 pm

It might not be rocket surgery, but its pretty close, if only because if I mess something up, it could mean an unsafe bike at the very least... :P

I've got a new question now before I crack open the engine. The manual is calling for all new gaskets for the cylinder head cover, bolts, and cam chain tensioner, most of which I'd have to order and wait a week to get. The question is, is this a must? or can I get away with using the same gaskets again? or am I just stupid for questioning the manual? Based on what I know of the previous owners of the bike, I wouldn't be surprised if they had never been changed, so I'm not opposed to getting new gaskets, though I had hoped to do the job today...

Another question I have relates to the oil change I'm going to be doing soon. Should I wait until after the valve job to change the oil, or are the two entirely separate? I've been holding off just in case the oil change needs to come second due to the valve job forcing a change, but I'm not sure since the manual makes no reference to one in the instructions for the other. Can I do the oil change today and then the valve job next week without having to do another oil change? or should I wait on the oil change until after the valve job (meaning I can't ride the bike until after the valve job since I'm overdue for the oil change by about 5 months...)?

Thanks again,
Greg

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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#16 Unread post by BuzZz » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:59 pm

If you mess up, the bike won't be unsafe. It will be very safe, since it won't be going anywhere.... :mrgreen:

Gaskets.... ideally you should change any gasket that has been installed and removed. In the real world, if they are not damaged during removal and are still pliable enough to seal when re-installed, reuse is possible. Heat and time tend to make valvecover gaskets hard and brittle, but you can't really tell what condition yours is in until you remove and inspect it. You can seal a questionably baked gasket with silicone or other sealant, but that is something to try and avoid. Sealants like that can (and will) get into the engine, you really don't want that if possible. I have never seen an oil pump pick-up without bits of silicon stuck to it on an engine that had silicon applied to an oil-contacting gasket on it. Those engines all ran fine and suffered no damage, but really, do you want that in your lump? Probably not.

I would wait to change the oil until after the other work is done. Once the engine is open, dirt, dust, gasket chunks or anything else can fall in there. Changing the oil afterward will flush any of that out. If you change it now, anything that may get inside will stay inside until the next oil change. It probably won't be anything disastrous, but why risk it? It is just a good habit that applies to any engine.
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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#17 Unread post by pilot_greg » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:02 pm

If I do damage it, I won't mess around with sealants, just because I don't want to risk plugging oil channels in the engine. That being said, if I can avoid the extra $30-$40 by reusing it, I probably will. I guess we'll see what the result is once I pull the cover, I mean, for all I know, I'm going to pull it off and 50% of the gasket will be attached to the cover and the other 50% still on the engine...

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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#18 Unread post by BuzZz » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:05 pm

Exactly. You never know for sure until you have it in your hands.....
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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#19 Unread post by pilot_greg » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:25 pm

Any tips on how to get the cover off of the engine and the gasket off of whatever it sticks to without damaging it in the process?

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Re: Valve job for '02 GSX-R750 Questions

#20 Unread post by BuzZz » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:56 pm

Just be careful. Lift the V/C off slowly and if the gasket sticks to either the head or cover, see if you can get a scraper or knife in there to gently separate it. Try not to cut any of the gasket, if you do, replace it.

You may need to whack or pry the V/C to break it loose, just don't wail on too hard and move it too far. If the gasket is stuck, that could break it.

Gentle and careful with only the force necessary. Like feeler gauges, you get the feel for it after doing a few, but not before tearing some in the process. If it sticks or hangs up, stop and assess the situation before starting to rip-n-tear.
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