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post #1 of 85 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Post Adjusting 1050 Valve Clearances – Part 1 - Preparation to Part 5 Notes

Adjusting 1050 Valve Clearances – Part 1

For anyone considering doing this job here are details of work I did recently to check and adjust valve clearances on my 2006 Sprint ST 1050 (22,000+ miles). I’ve posted this thread and photos to help others become familiar with the process – it is not intended to be a substitute for a maintenance manual.

This write-up begins with the fairing, tank and airbox already removed to gain access to the cylinder head area. If you need a write up for that part of the job then I suggest you go no further (click here instead).

Method Statement
A general clean up was required before starting work to ensure no dirt got into exposed engine internals. Some components were removed to allow removal of the cam cover. Spark plugs were removed to eliminate compression resistance. The inspection plate was removed from the right hand crank cover to allow the engine to be rotated using the crankshaft end bolt. After removal of the cam cover valve clearances were checked.
Some adjustment was needed so the camshafts had to be removed. That required removal of the cam chain tensioner. Following camshaft removal valve tappet buckets (followers) and shims were removed. Existing shims were measured and that information was used to determine the correct thicknesses of replacement shims needed to bring valve clearances back to a desired value.
Correct thickness shims were placed over the valve head and the tappet buckets were refitted in the cylinder head. The cams were refitted, cam chain put back in place and valve clearances rechecked. After confirming that the new clearances were within range, remaining parts were reassembled.

Tools required
In addition to the regular selection of sockets and wrenches, the following were required:
  • Feeler gauges (recommend offset gauge similar to Craftsman 26 Leaf Offset Gauge).
  • 8mm hex bit or key to rotate crank.
  • 6mm hex bit to torque cam cover bolts.
  • Torque wrench (range to include settings from 9Nm to 23Nm).
  • T30 Torx bit to remove/refit cam chain block.
  • Magnetic pickup tool or other means to lift out tappet buckets.
  • Micrometer.
(The last 3 items were not required for checking – only for adjustment).

Replacement Parts
  • Shims for adjusting valve clearances – sizes determined by measurement of existing shims.
  • Cam chain tensioner gasket (there is also a sealing washer on the center nut but it is not listed as a separate part on the Triumph parts list).

Consumables
  • Silicone sealer for corners of cam cover.
  • Small quantity of fresh engine oil for re-assembly / top up on completion.
  • Plenty of paper towels.
  • Piece of wood to wedge cam chain tensioner blade when removing tensioner (not required if not removing cams). With hindsight I feel a clean offcut piece of hosepipe may work better.

1: Preparation
  1. The bike was washed prior to starting any work. After gaining access to the cylinder head area I did a further clean up using compressed air to remove loose debris, followed by a general wipe around to provide a clean work area.
  2. Next, the throttle cables were removed from the throttle bodies and moved out of the way.
  3. I marked cylinder numbers on the spark plug coils before pulling them off the plugs.
  4. My bike has the original SAI system in place. I disconnected the 3 hoses from the valve covers.
  5. The manual says remove the air deflector shield. That’s not necessary – I simply moved it out of the way.
  6. I used more blasts of compressed air to blow any loose dirt out of the spark plug wells. After removing the spark plugs I rolled up some paper towel into the spark plug wells to prevent ingress of dirt.
  7. I removed the inspection plate from the right hand crank cover to allow the engine to be rotated using the crankshaft end bolt.
  8. Some wires and pipes were moved out of the way to make removal of the cam cover easier.
  9. I loosened the cam cover bolts in the recommended sequence then removed them (see Note 2).
  10. A light tap with a rubber mallet released the cam cover. It was finally removed taking care not to lose the SAI dowels when lifting the cover off – they may come out attached to the cover or could remain in place in the cylinder head.
  11. There are 3 round seals around the plug towers. I left them in place to avoid the risk of forgetting to put them back.

Cam cover removed – note different bolt/shank lengths


Camshaft area opened ready for valve checking - note round plug tower seals left in place

Champ87
It's amazing how fast you can go when you take your time.

Last edited by champ87; 02-28-2010 at 10:40 AM.
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post #2 of 85 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Post Adjusting 1050 Valve Clearances – Part 2 - Checking

2: Checking Valve Clearances
  1. I wrote out a simple chart to record clearance measurements for each pair of inlet and each pair of exhaust valves for each cylinder.
  2. I started with inlets for Cylinder #1 (cylinders are numbered 1-2-3 from left). Watching the cams I rotated the crank until camshaft lobes for Inlet Valves 1 & 2 were facing away from the valves.
  3. I measured the clearance using a set of offset feeler gauges. They provided easier access than those with straight blades. The gauges I used are incremented in 0.001” stages – I converted to equivalent metric measurements.
  4. I recorded the measurements for Valve 1 then checked Valve 2 in the same way.
  5. The valve timing is such that cam lobes for Exhaust Valves 3 & 4 will be pointing away from the valves at the same time as Inlet Valves 1 & 2. I measured and recorded clearances for Exhaust Valves 3 & 4.
  6. I rotated the crank until the lobes for Cylinder 2 inlet valves were pointing away from the valves. I measured and recorded the readings for Inlet Valves 3 & 4 and Exhaust Valves 5 & 6.
  7. Finally I rotated the crank until the lobes for Cylinder 3 inlet valves were pointing away from the valves. I measured and recorded the readings for Inlet Valves 5 & 6 and Exhaust Valves 1 & 2.
  8. I now had a complete list of clearances for all 12 valves. Clearance was out of range for 3 valves. I noted that these were all Cylinder 3.
  9. If all clearances had been within range I could have simply put it all back together. In this case, however, adjustment was required.

Camshaft positioned to measure clearances for Inlet Valves 5 & 6

Champ87
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Last edited by champ87; 02-28-2010 at 09:59 AM.
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Post Adjusting 1050 Valve Clearances – Part 3 - Adjusting

3: Adjusting Valve Clearances
  1. To adjust valve clearances the camshafts must be removed to gain access to the valve tappet buckets (followers) and shims. Before removing the cams it makes good sense to rotate the engine to the reference position for reinstallation. Cylinder #1 is set at Top Dead Center with the indicator marks on the camshaft sprockets aligned (see Note 4). I found it necessary to remove the bracket that holds the electrical relays to the outside of the frame member to get a good view of cam sprocket alignment. From this point the engine should not be turned until reinstallation of the camshafts has been completed.
  2. The next task was to remove the cam chain tensioner. I supported the tensioner blade using a piece of wood as recommended by the maintenance manual. Next I removed the center bolt and spring from the tensioner. Finally I removed the two bolts holding the tensioner in place and removed it.
  3. I removed the cam chain top pad. There are 2 bolts and a screw that requires a T30 Torx bit. Caution: that Torx bolt is short – learn from my experience (see Note 5).
  4. Upper bearing surfaces for the cams are part of the cam caps and cam ladder. It is essential that these are refitted in the same position they were prior to removal. I removed the cam caps. They already had factory markings but I added my own to make sure I knew which way to refit them.
  5. I marked the cam ladder to indicate orientation. It is essential to remove the bolts holding the cam ladder in the correct sequence. I released the bolts in stages following the sequence specified in the manual. With all the bolts released I lifted the cam ladder away from the cams being careful not to lose any of the dowels fitted to the ladder.
  6. I lifted each camshaft away from the head while removing the cam chain from the sprockets.
  7. With clear access to the tappet buckets I lifted them out of the head using a magnetic pickup tool. By using a magnet the shims were also lifted away from the valve at the same time.
  8. I laid out all the buckets and shims in the correct order on a marked sheet of paper. I then measured the thickness of each shim. With this information I calculated the thickness for replacement shims to achieve the desired clearance (see Note 6).
  9. Although only 3 valve clearances were out of spec, I adjusted others to bring them close to my target range of 0.15mm for inlet valves and 0.25mm for exhaust valves. After a little bit of swapping around I worked out that I needed 4 new shims to achieve my target clearances. Then it was off to the dealer’s to pick up the necessary shims (see Notes 7 & 8).

Camshafts aligned prior to removal


So that’s what the cam chain tensioner looks like – note ratchet on plunger


Using a magnetic tool to remove the bucket will also lift the shim from valve


Camshaft ladder and caps, camshafts, valve tappet buckets and shims laid out in the correct order

Champ87
It's amazing how fast you can go when you take your time.

Last edited by champ87; 02-28-2010 at 09:58 AM.
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Post Adjusting 1050 Valve Clearances - Part 4 Putting it back together

4: Putting It Back Together
  1. With new shims in hand I arranged all shims by destination alongside the corresponding tappet bucket. The tappet buckets must be replaced in their original location otherwise the measurements taken earlier will be invalid.
  2. Starting with Inlet Valve 1, I applied a few drops of fresh engine oil to the shim then placed it in the recess in the valve spring cap, checking that it was properly seated. A few more drops of oil were applied to the tappet bucket before it was placed over the valve and spring. I repeated this for each inlet valve before moving onto the exhaust valves all the time double-checking that each shim and bucket was placed over the correct valve.
  3. At this point all valves were held fully closed by their springs so, if necessary, the crank could be turned without risk of a piston contacting a valve. This was a good opportunity to make certain that the crank was still positioned with Cylinder #1 at Top Dead Center. I checked that the T1 mark on the sprag clutch was still aligned with the line at the bottom of the cover.
  4. Prior to reinstalling the camshafts I gave everything a good wipe and inspection to make sure that the cam journals, cylinder head bearing surfaces, cam ladder and end caps were spotlessly clean. The slightest piece of dirt or grit trapped in any of the bearing surfaces when they are tightened down could cause severe damage over time.
  5. At this point I took the opportunity to check the camshaft journals and clearances. I may post a description of this at a later point in this thread.
  6. I applied some fresh engine oil onto the bearing surfaces then put the exhaust cam in position with its alignment marks in the correct position. I lifted the cam chain to ensure it was engaged with the lower sprocket then looped it over the cam sprocket. I repeated the same steps for the inlet cam.
  7. I checked that the indicator marks on the camshaft sprockets were correctly aligned. It is essential that the camshafts are in the correct position. If they are out of alignment the exhaust and inlet valves may contact each other or the pistons.
  8. I poured more clean engine oil onto the camshaft journals and, making sure the 3 sealing rings were still in place around the plug towers, I placed the cam ladder and cam caps in position, inserted the bolts and tightened them by hand. As a precaution I used paper towel to remove any excess oil from the bolt holes before inserting the bolts. The manual states that these bolts should be lubricated before tightening, That is just as well since, by this stage, everything is pretty well lubed anyway. I also refitted the cam chain block - it is held down by two of the cam cap bolts. I tightened the cam ladder and cam cap bolts in stages following the sequence specified in the manual until the specified torque was achieved. The last fixing was the small torx bolt to hold the cam chain block.
  9. Before refitting the cam chain tensioner I removed the center bolt and spring then reset the plunger to the first notch on the ratchet as described in the manual. I removed the piece of wood that had been supporting the cam chain tensioner blade. A new gasket was put in place on the cam chain tensioner before it was refitted to the cylinder head. The plunger is pushed in by hand through the bolt hole in the center of the tensioner. The spring, bolt and sealing washer can then be put back into place and tightened.
  10. I made another visual check of the crankshaft T1 mark and the camshaft alignment marks. When I was certain that everything was in the correct position I turned the crank to make sure the cams were turning freely. I turned the crank several more times to settle everything into position then I rechecked the valve clearances.
  11. I replaced the inspection plate from the right hand crank cover.
  12. I applied a small drop of silicone sealer to the tight corners of the cam cover gasket as shown in the manual. I checked to make sure that the 3 plug tower seals were still in place and the cam cover dowels correctly located then the cam cover was carefully put back in position.
  13. The 6 cam cover bolts were inserted in their correct location and tightened to the correct torque in small increments following the sequence specified in the manual. I did a good check around the cam cover joint to make sure that the gasket hadn’t come dislodged or pinched.
  14. I reconnected wires and pipes that had been moved out of the way during removal.
  15. I fitted new spark plugs. Tip – the spark plug towers are deep so I pushed a piece of hosepipe over the spark plug and used it to insert the plug and screw the initial portion by hand to avoid crossed threads.
  16. The air deflector shield was moved back into its correct position and the 3 SAI hoses reconnected.
  17. Before fitting the spark plug coils I replaced the coil seals – my Sprint still had the old type so I replaced them with new ones (Part # T1291511).
  18. Next, the throttle cables were refitted to the throttle bodies and adjusted.
  19. I’d made changes that can affect the way the engine runs so I needed to check to throttle balance. The airbox and tank were put back in position on a temporary basis, battery reconnected and then it was startup time. Everything looked and sounded good as the engine warmed up.
  20. After completing the throttle balance I let everything cool down then removed the tank and airbox again. I wanted to check around the cam cover for any leaks and I also wanted to check the cam cover bolts for correct torque following the stress-relief provided by running the engine through a heat cycle. That step is not described in the manual – it’s a personal preference.
  21. Valve clearance and adjustment was now complete. The airbox and tank would be refitted after completing other tasks on my maintenance list.

Measuring shim thickness


Shims are marked to indicate thickness (this one is 2.700mm) but they need to be measured in case of wear


Ready for re-assembly – note sealing rings around plug towers


Re-assembly - shim placed in Exhaust Valve 5. Inlet valve shims and tappet buckets already in place

Champ87
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Last edited by champ87; 02-28-2010 at 10:54 AM.
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post #5 of 85 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Post Adjusting 1050 Valve Clearances – Part 5 - Notes

Notes:
  1. Correct torque settings are absolutely essential to ensure even tightening of components. I have not given torque settings. I don’t want to encourage anyone to tackle this without a manual.
  2. Sequence for removal of the cam cover bolts is specified in the factory maintenance manual. The manual says “Two longer bolts are fitted at the end adjacent to the cam chain…” No, they’re shorter (see photo).
  3. Measurement revealed only 3 valve clearances out of range, each with too much clearance. The differences were small so it was tempting to ignore them and leave everything alone. However, they were out of spec and I knew that it wouldn’t get any better. That would bug me until my next major maintenance session. With the camshaft area already open it made sense to continue and complete the job properly (is there any other way?).
  4. Before removing the camshafts I rotated the engine to the reference position used for reinstallation. I did that by aligning the T1 mark on the sprag clutch with the line at the bottom of the cover where the inspection plate was removed. The T1 mark indicates Cylinder #1 at Top Dead Center. That will occur twice per complete engine cycle (2 crankshaft revolutions) so I used indicator marks on the camshaft sprockets to ensure that the camshafts were in the reference position. There is an advantage to doing this prior to camshaft removal. At this point there are no valves in a fully open position so there is minimal pressure on the camshafts. That avoids unnecessary bending moments on the cams as the cam ladder bolts are loosened.
  5. After removing the two longer bolts from the cam chain block the shorter torx screw came out quicker than expected. In a brief moment of carelessness I dropped it and it fell into the cam chain tunnel. Fortunately I was able to recover it after a bit of fishing with a magnetic pickup tool. If I hadn’t been able to do that it would have been necessary to drain the oil and remove the right hand engine cover to retrieve that bolt.
  6. Required thickness for replacement shims is calculated as follows:
    Measured Clearance + Shim Thickness – Target Clearance = Required Shim Thickness.
    For Inlet Valve 6 the calculation was 0.203 + 2.649 – 0.150 = 2.702. For that valve the new shim needs to be 2.70mm (a shim marked 270). For calculation my target clearance was mid-point of the range specified in the manual. That gave me a target of 0.15mm for inlet valves and 0.25mm for exhaust valves
  7. The valve shims are marked to indicate thickness. “270” indicates a thickness of 2.700mm. A shim 2.475mm thickness is marked “248”. Replacement shims are available in 0.025mm increments from 1.70mm to 3.00mm.
  8. The adjustment shims are 9.5mm diameter. That is a common size so if a Triumph dealer is not close then a local Yamaha, Suzuki or Honda dealer (and some auto dealers) may have suitable shims (and cheaper). I went with the Triumph items – it made me feel better for some strange reason!

There are more photos in this gallery.

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post #6 of 85 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Post Adjusting 1050 Valve Clearances – Addendum

Quote:
At this point I took the opportunity to check the camshaft journals and clearances. I may post a description of this at a later point in this thread.
As mentioned earlier in the thread here’s a description of the steps taken to check the camshaft journals and clearances. This is not a “how to” – more of a “how I did it” to show others what’s involved. As mentioned in the valve adjustment description cleanliness is vital.

Measuring Camshaft Journals and Clearances

The journals are the bearing surfaces on each camshaft. The journals, 4 on each cam, rotate in corresponding bearing surfaces in the cam ladder and cam caps. Correctly installed there is a specific gap between each of the bearing surfaces. As the engine runs oil is forced or drawn through holes in the camshaft journals to form a film in each of the bearing surfaces. The camshaft “floats” on this film.

Measuring Camshaft Journals

Measuring camshaft journals is simply a matter of using a micrometer. The only special care required is to avoid the oil throw holes and ensure that the journal is measured at its widest part to record correct diameter.

Measuring camshaft journals is a simple process. With the measurement locked the micrometer should pass across the cam journal smoothly while contacting the journal lightly each side.



Measuring Clearances

Clearance is measured using a piece of Plastigage. Plastigage is an extruded plastic “thread”. When compressed it maintains its cross-sectional area so thickness can be determined by the width of the compressed Plastigage.

Plastigage is available in different sizes to be used according to the clearance to be measured. I used green for the standard journal and red for the outrigger journals.


A small strip of Plastigage is placed on the camshaft journal. A thin smear of grease holds it in place


Checking is carried out on one camshaft at a time. Here only the inlet cam is in place. The cam ladder and cam caps are fitted and tightened to the correct torque.


Contd……

Champ87
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Last edited by champ87; 03-02-2010 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Photo links added
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……contd

When the cam caps and cam ladder are removed we can see the compressed Plastigage on each journal.


Using the scale on the package we can measure the width of compressed Plastigage and read off the corresponding thickness. This will tell us the clearance.


After doing the Plastigage checks I was left fairly unimpressed by this method. It’s fiddly and I didn’t have total confidence in the end results – although I have to admit they were very consistent. However, I don’t know what the alternative might be. With the engine on a bench a dial bore gauge would be better but with the engine still in the frame I can’t see enough room to do that.

For the DIYer this is probably the only realistic option for checking clearances. Even with the cylinder head on a bench a dial bore gauge could be an expensive option. These journals are less than 23mm (0.9”) diameter so that old budget cylinder bore gauge your dad used on his big-block Chevy is not going to get you there. For a fussy owner with a high mileage motor, taking the parts to a good engine/machine shop is more likely to achieve the right “peace of mind” or early warning of a bad future.

Champ87
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Last edited by champ87; 03-02-2010 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Photo links added
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post #8 of 85 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 09:37 PM
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Really nice write up. FWIW, when I worked in the Mack Trucks Engine Development Lab we used plastigage to check the clearances on every crank main bearing and big end rod bearing when we built up a test engine. We would measure all the parts separately first but we always checked the bolted up clearances with plastigage before we buttoned everything up. I agree, it's a little fiddly but there really is no other way to check the clearances when everything it torqued up.
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Post Part Numbers for Valve Adjustment Shim

The attached pdf file lists Triumph Part Numbers for 9.5mm dia. shims required for valve adjustment on the 1050 Engine.

These shims also apply to 955 engines from Engine No. 148483. I haven't verified the Triumph part numbers for the 955 but BikeBandit.com lists the same part numbers for 1050 & newer 955engines.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Triumph 1050 Valve Shim Part Nos.pdf (27.8 KB, 2259 views)

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post #10 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 12:44 AM
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I just adjusted my valves today, my first time. My bike is '04 955i, it has the same shim under the bucket mechanism and it's very similar to the 1050i. I bought the kawasaki shim kit from ebay. I never took camshafts off from any engine before, so I was a little nerves.
But the instructions in this post helped me a lot, I knew what I will encounter before I actually opened anything.

The whole process took pretty long, It took me about 7 hours. Taking the cams off and replace the shims were easy. Strangely though, all the intake clearance were 0.20mm except one was 0.18mm. All the exhaust clearance were 0.25mm except one was 0.28mm. So I changed the shims to make them as close to 0.15mm or 0.25mm as possible. This shim replacement didn't take me much time.
But I had some troubles when I was putting stuffs back on. After the cams were out, I didn't use anything to lift the cam chain up, it somehow slipped out from the drive gear ( the gear at the bottom near crank shaft which drive the cam chain, it seemed there is noway to get it unless I open the transmission). It took me about 40 minutes to get it hooked back on the drive gear without opening the transmission. Another trouble occurred when I was installing the cams. I thought I got the arrows on the cams pointing each other, but after I put all the cam caps and chain tensioner back, they were not aligned! I guess it was because the chain wasn't tight enough when I put the cams on. So re-dissemble cams, and guess what, I got the chain slipped from the drive gear again! Damn it. Another 30 minutes.

Many hours later, I got everything back on and changed the oil. Engine runs pretty good, at least nothing broke. The valves ticking sound is noticeable little less than before. But it is still there. I guess you can never get rid off the ticking from our triples anyway. I learned a lot today, and it was a very long day. Thank you Champ87 for the detailed instructions. if I had not seen this post, I wouldn't have the courage to do this job.

-----------------------------------------------------------
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