16000 Mile Valve inspection-here goes nothing!

Discussion in '8th Generation 2014-Present' started by Vulcanator, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. Vulcanator

    Vulcanator New Member

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    I'm short of 16000 miles on the 8th gen by 50 miles. My local Honda dealer quoted me $1000 in labor alone-no fucking way! Armed with my genuine Honda workshop manual, and some OEM parts inbound from Partzilla I've decided to bite the bullet and do the valve inspection myself. This is not going to be a step by step guide, but more of an overview and my experience of doing the job. My task for today was to strip the bike down to removing the cylinder head covers so next weekend I plan to do the inspection. Already I've found the Honda manual is wanting in a few of the steps just to get to this stage.
    IMG_0742.jpg
    Removing all the fairings took me 40 minutes-pretty straightforward, you might end up ruining a couple of the plastic fasteners depending on how they age harden, but they're easy to replace.

    IMG_0744.jpg
    The fuel tank was a bit of a pain, namely removing the Fuel Pump 3P connector. My photo doesn't show it well, but trying to figure out how to unclip the connector was a royal pain in the ass. I found it has to be disconnected rearward, so I removed the bolts at the rear of the tank. This allowed me to lift the tank at the rear and disconnect the P3 lead. The quick connect fitting and other required hoses were very straightforward. Removing the tank took me 35 minutes.

    IMG_0747.jpg
    Oh look no airbox. Following the instructions in the manual was straightforward, but the gray intake solenoid valve 2P connector was fiddly along with the vacuum hose next to it (gray connector to the right of the throttle intakes). The manual directs you to remove the IAT sensor 2P connector (gray connector to the bottem left of the photo)-looking all over the airbox I couldn't find it. After removing the 8 screws that secure it I carefully raise the lower airbox assembly only to discover said connector is connected underneath it! Thanks Honda-would have been nice if you explained where it lived as the picture in the manual is inconclusive. This task took me 30 minutes.

    IMG_0745.jpg
    Removing the rear cylinder head cover requires the direct ignition coils which are hidden under this rubber cover that the manual doesn't direct you to remove, to be removed. All the breather pipes and the PAIR solenoid are easy to remove as are the direct ignition coils. Once all this is removed you will have access to remove the cylinder head cover-or so I thought.

    IMG_0749.jpg
    This is the rear/right cylinder head cover bolt. Because I didn't have a recessed 10mm wrench, or 1/4" drive universal joint and socket, a trip to Home Depot was required. Once obtained I could remove the bolt and the cover without too much issue.

    The front cylinder head cover requires removal of the upper radiator front its mounts but no disconnection of the coolant hoses, and the radiator stay. You have to remove the horn, and CPK sensor 2P connection, and direct ignition coils. What makes this job more painful than it should is a rubber cover (see top of removed airbox photo) that protects some wiring and the EFI system-the manual makes no mention of its removal, and looking at it has PITA written all over it. However you can move the cover around to put tools on the cylinder head cover bolts. So the covers are off, looking the engine over I was looking for my camchain tensioners. The front was easy to find, and accessible for the tensioner stopper tool I have coming-Where's the rear tensioner? I was able to partially eyeball it and realized I will have to remove the right footpeg hanger, and rear brake master cylinder reservoir, heat shield.
    IMG_0750.jpg
    This allows me to swing the assembly away to use the tensioner stopper tool for when I do the rear cylinders.

    View attachment 86296


    Total time disassembling the bike run me about 3-3.5 hours. This is my first time doing this task as a home mechanic without any formal training. The OEM manual is good, but not perfect. I swear to god the technical writer of this document assumed the engine would be removed from the frame. Next week is when the fun starts. My plan is to do the rear cylinders first, followed by the front. If anyone has any pointers or corrections to anything I've written please let me know, I'll accept any help I can get. Please Lord, do not let me fuck this up!

    UPDATE Number 1:

    Started on the rear cylinders today with the number 3 cylinder. Following the instructions I aligned the timing marks at 3, checked TDC then installed my cam chain tensioner stopper tool. The one I was sold looks different from the manual, and it didn't appear to work, but closer inspection revealed all is good, just a dumbass moment on my part. I was able to remove the cams without too much effort.

    IMG_0756.jpg

    Identifying the VTEC buckets was easy as they stand noticeably prouder of the normal valve buckets. Installing the stopper pins (special tool) was simple to do, one pin per VTEC bucket. You remove the VTEC springs (see photo) then re-insert the buckets. Re-installing the cams and aligning the marks was a royal pain-my technique and fiddling ate up time and my patience at times. Aligning the exhaust cam mark is harder as the RE mark is hard to see, I used a sharpie to mark the opposite side.
    IMG_0757.jpg

    Even so many curse words were said as I tried to reinstall the camchain over the cams, and still keep everything aligned properly. My perseverance paid off, and all was good, until I installed the camshaft holder plate A, out of sequence from camshaft holders (2) B. After fixing that error it was time to check the valve clearances. I decided to use my feeler gauges as a go/no go gauge. For example the non VTEC inlet valve clearance is 0.008" +- 0.001", so that means a 0.007" should fit, and the 0.009" shouldn't. Anything to the contrary means I'll be buying a shim. I had another brain fart moment because I forgot which valves were the VTEC ones, fortunately a close visual inspection helped me out. Using the feeler gauges on the central exhaust valves was a major hassle-it didn't help that my feeler gauges were a bit wider than necessary. After numerous checks and rechecks all were within tolerance with exception of an exhaust valve that was a little on the tight side.

    Fortunately it was a normal valve so the shim is cheap to replace except my local Honda dealer doesn't have it in stock-what a farce as this shim is used on multiple bikes in the Honda range. So special order it is, and the bike is down for about a week. In all this was another 3 hours of my time, but I'm learning. More to follow. :)

    UPDATE Number 2:

    Got my shim today so I was able to install it, and then reassemble the rear cams. Lubed the cams and buckets made sure I didn't screw anything up during installation of the cams-I had to adjust the position of the cams on the camchain to ensure the proper timing marks aligned with the top of the cylinder head. I torqued everything down, but was not 100% sure the rear timing mark "RE" lined up. There I was trying my best eyeball the lines from above the cylinder head when I discovered this hole in the frame:

    IMG_0775.jpg

    IMG_0776.jpg

    You can just see the top of the cylinder head which made checking the marks a snap-what an idiot I am. Fortunately everything was lined up properly, I put on the top camchain guide (not shown in the picture) Honda decrees 15ft/lb, for the bolts but I'm not buying a 6mm diameter fastener going into an aluminium part with that torque setting. If I strip it, that means a new cylinder head assembly, will use blue Loctite instead - now onto the front cylinders. Based on my experience with the rear, the front cams came out quite easily. I ID'd the VTEC valves, drew a picture for reference. I removed the VTEC buckets and springs, put in the stopper pins, reinserted the buckets and reinstalled the cams. I thought I was doing quite well until I noticed when I went to check the clearances the front cam didn't look right-I installed it incorrectly. I had a friend over who was interest in the work I was doing and unfortunately he distracted me. I uninstalled the cams and reinstalled them properly - now time to check the clearances.

    All my clearances were good with exception of the number 4 cylinder VTEC exhaust valve. I could barely put in a 0.011" feeler gauge which put it at the bottom limit of the range. So, I'll be ordering a new VTEC bucket which runs about $40. Knowing that my local Honda dealer will not have the part in stock means I'll be waiting about another 5 days - oh well. So this was another 3 hours of my time today. Look forward to getting the bike completed in just over a week's time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
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  2. Boomtank

    Boomtank New Member

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    Good for you for giving it a go. $1000 just for labor, ya nope.
    Read your manual many times so you know the procedure well. That's what I do. Take your time and don't get too frustrated and you should be ok.


    Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
     
  3. Viffer J

    Viffer J New Member

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    Great pics and details, thanks for sharing!

    I read awhile back that the 16k mile valve check got moved to 24k miles for the gen8 by Honda, anyone know if this is true or not? I thought I saved the read but now not finding it... :Confused:
     
  4. bk94si

    bk94si Member

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    And I thought taking apart my 97 was involved... Simple in comparison
     
  5. JIMLARCH

    JIMLARCH New Member

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    Agreed. I can take the bodywork off on my 4th gen. in. 5 minutes, and ten at most to get the gas tank off.
    Rear cylinders are easy to get at. Front are bit of a pain, but just awkward.
     
  6. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Member

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    Over the last 35 years, I have owned more street bikes and dirt bikes than I can count, or even remember ... I too have noticed discrepancies with what the service manual says and what I am actually looking at on the bike. I would have to believe that the service manuals are written in parallel to design and when design goes to production, not all changes get captured.

    Thanks for the pictures and the write up. I will follow this thread as you work your way through it. I have done a valve clearance check on a dirt bike, so I don't know if I can offer much in the way of help. Probably just moral support :)
     
  7. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Member

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    I just checked the owner's manual and the service manual for my 2014 and they both do say that the valve clearance check should be done at 16K miles or 25.6 km. If you stumble across that link then please post it!!
     
  8. Viffer J

    Viffer J New Member

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    I found it and do have it saved as a pdf, I'm trying to upload it but I think the file size is too big? I can email it to somebody if they have a way to post it, send me a pm.

    In it lists "Valve clearance checking intervals have been recently extended from 16,000 to 24,000 miles." I saved it because when I came across it was good news, if I remember correctly it was framed as they extended it on the newer years (2018, 2019?) to which I think would default back to the 2014 right? IDK :Noidea:

    Sorry totally not trying to take away anything from this thread, it just made me think of it and remember, I've got ~10k miles on my Gen8 so this would be on the upcoming list if it's still 16k.
     
  9. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    if any adjustment is required ( tolerance is + or - .001 ") plan to spend another 2-3 hours doing it and checking your work. an accurate torque wrench could prevent a disaster. always turn the crank by hand a few revs.

    adjusting is far more complicated and difficult than checking, and you don't wanna be rushed......or be drinking too much.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
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  10. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Member

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    PM sent. If Honda changed the interval a couple of years ago, I would think that it would cover all VTEC engines which goes back to 2002. The 8th Gen engine has had minimal changes and is pretty much the same as the 6th Gen engine.
     
  11. Viffer J

    Viffer J New Member

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    I'm not 100% sure, maybe I just hope it's true, I emailed it to you. If there's a way to post it here please do, thanks for your help.
     
  12. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    If you want to send large files, use PCloud transfer........

    I've done a lot of valve checks on bucket and shim, mostly Yamahas, but in my experiences, regardless of check interval, rarely do you find a valve clearance below minimum, and clearances will not change much over time. I've also drawn the conclusion that recommended intervals turn out to be more of a revenue generator for the bike service biz, that is, one can extend the service interval. I'd have no problem leaving it until 30k, however will also qualify that by saying one should get the first one done and documented so you know where you are. Then extend the second check further out.

    Mostly we are concerned about minimum clearances, we don't want them too tight. What I highly recommend is using metric values intead of imperial, which gives you 7 reference points instead of 3, e.g., .006-.009" is .15-.22mm. and the shims are metric. One thing to consider is, if you are going to go to the trouble of re-shimming, shim all the clearances to a uniform ~70% of max. Then do a starter valve sync. Uniformity usually translates into the engine running better and smoother. I'd venture to say you're not likely to need another valve check as none should be close to minimum any time soon.

    I only have one VFR valve check experience... mine. I got this 5th Gen bike with over 100k kms. and it had never had a valve check. Fortunately all were nominal or a tad less and I did not have to reshim. YMMV of course.
     
  13. Vulcanator

    Vulcanator New Member

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    I'd really like to see that PDF, is it official Honda correspondence?. If that's true then I'll be good until my bike hits 40000 miles. :)
     
  14. Viffer J

    Viffer J New Member

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    pm me your email address and I'll send it to you, no it's not an official Honda publication, the article was from MSL but I can't imagine they'd make that up, it had to come from somewhere?
     
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  15. Vulcanator

    Vulcanator New Member

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    Well guys, I read the article Viffer J sent me, here's a link to it: https://www.mslmagazine.co.uk/2014-vfr800-nearly-perfect/

    However I decided to go one better and emailed Honda USA, and Honda UK if indeed the service interval is now 24000 miles. Honda UK responded to me inside of 24 hours, and I copy and paste their response:

    Dear Mr. C,

    Thank you for contacting Honda UK.

    We would like to let you know that we have had a look and can confirm that when it comes to the 2014 VFR800 what we were able to locate on our system is that the valve inspection service has to be done at 24,000 miles.

    For any additional information we can recommend discussing things further with your Honda authorized dealership, you can locate your closest Honda dealership here:


    https://www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles/dealer-search.html

    Thank you for contacting Honda. If we can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.


    Kind Regards,

    Alexander Ivanov

    Honda Customer Service

    _____________________

    Honda Motor Europe Ltd.

    Honda UK

    www.honda.co.uk
     
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  16. Viffer J

    Viffer J New Member

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    Thanks for confirming it with Honda, that's great news!
     
  17. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Member

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    Hey guys. I apologize, Viffer J sent me that PDF and I was going to get it posted up here, but have been buried with work, so this is my first time on here since then. Anyhow, glad to see the response from Honda that confirms the extended interval. For what it is worth, here is the relevant section from the PDF that Viffer J provided.

    Valve Clearance Check.JPG
     
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  18. Vulcanator

    Vulcanator New Member

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    2 updates to original post, some progress has been made.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
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  19. Vulcanator

    Vulcanator New Member

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    Update Number 3 the finale!

    Last Thursday my VTEC bucket arrived, after work that evening I installed the bucket and the front cylinder camshafts. Because of my experience with the rear this task didn't take as long as the rear camshafts-just line up the FE & FI marks with the cylinder head surface. I Installed the cam holders judiciously torqued everything together, removed my camchain tensioner stopper tool, and then check for proper camshaft timing with all four cylinders-behold, all is good so I decided to stop for the night and follow up with buttoning up the bike tomorrow.

    Next day, I double checked the cam timing one more time, installed the upper camchain guides using Blue Loctite on the bolts. Now just install the cylinder head covers-easy peasy-NOT! When I originally removed my covers to do the work the gaskets were pretty tight in the covers and required a little effort to remove. I bought new gaskets, and installed them onto the covers, used a little Hondabond where required and tried to install the covers. Without doubt this was the most difficult part of the job. Every time I tried to place the cover, the gasket would fall off. I ended up using some Hondabond to retain the gasket, even this wasn't foolproof, but with much swearing and perseverance, I got the covers on-this must have taken me the best part of an hour. I checked the gaskets for proper seating and all appeared good, so I torqued the covers down and continued with the rest of the reassembly.

    Because I took plenty of pictures, installing the airbox, PAIR valve, reconnecting various electrical parts, radiator, horn, and other ancillaries was straightforward. I installed the tank, re-pressurized the fuel line, and decided to start up the bike. It fired into life straight away, didn't make any noises, great. WTF? what's all that oil on the floor? Checking the front cylinder oil was pissing out of the front of valve cover-Fuuuuuuuck! Looks like I didn't get the proper seating of the gasket, I shutdown the bike and let it cool off.

    IMG_0797.jpg

    It didn't appear to be leaking anywhere else on the front. So I unbolted the radiator, disconnected, and removed the direct ignition coils, and loosened the valve cover bolts. I was able to lift the cover off just enough to manipulate the gasket into the proper position-this took some trial and error, plus a great deal of patience. I re-secured the valve cover cleaned off all the oil, and fired up the bike. This time I let the bike warm up enough to activate the fan which sprayed engine oil all over the front of the engine-rats, must do a better job of cleaning it, which I did. Careful examination of the front revealed an oil tight front cylinder head cover. Uh oh, what's that on the rear crankcase under the rear camchain tensioner? Oil, a few drops, but nonetheless oil it is-Fuuuuuuuuck!

    Off comes the tank, I was going to remove the airbox, but it appeared I could remove the rear cylinder cover with it in place-I was right. The leak in the rear appeared to be in the right rear corner of the cover, a location that's hard to see with it installed. Inspecting the brand new gasket I discovered this:

    IMG_0800.jpg

    A cut on my new gasket. I have no idea how this happened, fortunately I hadn't discarded the original so I reused it. Once again, I couldn't get the gasket to stay in the cover when I tried to install it. After a few attempts I just laid the gasket on the cylinder head, put the cover on and spent the next half hour swearing at the bike as I finagled the gasket into its proper position. After careful inspection, I torqued the cover down and reassembled the rest of the bike sans fairing. Cleaned the engine of all the known oil, fired up the bike and carefully inspected for leaks-so far so good. I took the bike for a ride around the block to assess the running of the engine, also good. When I got home, I carefully inspected the bike for leaks-looking good. I finished off the bike by giving it an oil and filter change, plus another engine clean, particularly at the radiator fan. Run the bike in the garage, topped off the oil level, and installed the fairing the following day.

    IMG_0799.jpg

    Here it is back from a 50 mile ride. A 16000 mile service with 2 exhaust valves adjusted (one normal, one VTEC), new plugs, and an oil and filter change. It appears leak free, runs ok, and is ready for more riding action. What did I learn?

    • The procedure is time consuming, if I didn't have the valve cover gasket issues I would have been just over 12 hours into this total. Unfortunately I must have put in another 3 hours more than I would like.
    • The OEM manual is only ok. The manual is written assuming you're working on an engine out of the frame, there are numerous errors like not mentioning using the camchain tensioner stopper on both cylinders.
    • Valve timing, this was my biggest concern, but ended up being a non event.
    • V4's sucks major balls for maintenance.
    • I'll be able to do the job quicker if I still have the bike at 32000 miles.
    • Installing valve cover gaskets is a royal pain.
    • Take plenty of pictures.
    • Pack patience, it's all packed in there, so take your time.
    • My local Honda dealer sucks for parts inventory causing me to lose use of my bike for 2 weeks.
    • This is probably the last V4 motorcycle I will own.
    • That Yamaha MT-10 I test rode last week is looking mighty fine.
    • It does feel good saving $1000 in labor
    • If I were independently wealthy I would have paid the Honda dealer to do it.
    Well, that's it. If you have any questions hit me up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
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  20. Samuel

    Samuel Member

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    I found a black and white picture of Vulcanator:

    [​IMG]

    Manly Man!!
     
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