Valve Shim Maintenance - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Tiger 1050 - Mods & Workshop Workshop and technical talk for the 1050 Tiger

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  • 1 Post By Terry Colley
  • 1 Post By ceck
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
Minitwins
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Valve Shim Maintenance

Just wondering if anyone has foregone the valve shimming at a major service and has had no on-going problem with their motorcycle. I have been told a tell-tale sign of requiring shim adjustment has been excessive engine noise and hard to start issues. Please, I am aware of the importance of correct maintenance having home maintained several motorcycles and vehicles over the last 45 years, I am just curious if some people have not bothered with this adjustment and what has happened with their machine’s performance. Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 06:06 PM
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I've had several 955 and 1050 triples. Thanks to the major redesign for the 2002 model year (especially of the cylinder head) other than a couple of times at about the 20000km mark I have never had to change any shims.

I still check them occasionally which is easy to do. If you're getting a dealer to do the work don't get sucked into paying 'for the valves to be done'. There are 2 distinct jobs. A valve check (quick and low cost) and then, if adjustments are necessary, even for one valve, the cams have to come out (not so quick and therefore higher cost).
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 06:55 AM
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You're looking for justification to not bother with the scheduled valve checks. They are scheduled by the manufacturer for a reason. The 1050 is not known for rapidly closing up valve gaps and some people have certainly skipped checks without consequence. I checked my (new to me) Tiger 1050 at around 22,000 miles because I had no idea if the previous owner had it done. The clearances were all roughly between mid-range and max-range and at least a couple had clearly been adjusted previously. I don't know if they changed much but as they were all in the ideal range, I doubt it. I MIGHT skip or delay the next check (but probably not as I'd like to see if they are changing.)

If you KNOW your bike has had the valves inspected previously and the current check is not terribly overdue, you could probably roll the dice and be fine, especially if you also KNOW the clearances were set properly at the last check/adjust. It's unlikely you have this information, however. Even if it was checked before, If one or more valves were right at the lowest clearance but in spec and therefore not adjusted, they might be very tight now. You might notice hard starting if they close to zero or you might not notice anything until one valve either washes out or fails, trashing the cylinder if not the entire engine. ...Likely? Probably not! Your choice.

If you're reasonably handy and take your time, the valve check can be done in an easy day, along with sparkplug and air filter change and other maintenance. Then you'll know for sure. If the valve clearances need adjusting, the cams need to come out (as you probably know) which makes for a more complex job with more things to risk screwing up, but it's still not terribly challenging. You would need to order shims in that case too. If it comes to it, make sure you can leave the bike for a week mid-service and order a complete shim kit if you find you need it. You can then either keep it for next time or sell it on to the next guy doing the same job.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
Minitwins
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Thanks Terry and Phil for the time to respond to my query. Phil, I don't know about looking for justification but I was seeking counsel. Here in Oz the major service is approximately $950 and for a 9 yo machine with what will be 60,000 km in a number of months, it's a lot of dough when they're not worth that much second hand. Granted, when I purchased it privately at the start of the year there was no real history provided so the argument would be not to risk it. I have taken it to a service agent for some tit bits as there are no on-line exploded parts diagrams and whilst there I requested a look over the bike as I had a few questions. The service manager was kind enough to oblige and he also commented how well the engine sounded and that's what got me started. My competence level wouldn't be the same as others. I've had the forks out for some minor repair, replaced pads, replaced the after market shock on the bike with the original Showa, set sag etc but I'm not sure if I have the aptitude or will at my age to dig deeper and lift a tappet cover. More than likely it's a case of hand in pocket and paying someone else so maybe I have to retract, it could very well be justification! I'll see how it goes, kind regards.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 03:19 PM
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Stephen, much appreciated and I've already found a couple of items.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceck View Post
Thanks Terry and Phil for the time to respond to my query. Phil, I don't know about looking for justification but I was seeking counsel. Here in Oz the major service is approximately $950 and for a 9 yo machine with what will be 60,000 km in a number of months, it's a lot of dough when they're not worth that much second hand. Granted, when I purchased it privately at the start of the year there was no real history provided so the argument would be not to risk it. I have taken it to a service agent for some tit bits as there are no on-line exploded parts diagrams and whilst there I requested a look over the bike as I had a few questions. The service manager was kind enough to oblige and he also commented how well the engine sounded and that's what got me started. My competence level wouldn't be the same as others. I've had the forks out for some minor repair, replaced pads, replaced the after market shock on the bike with the original Showa, set sag etc but I'm not sure if I have the aptitude or will at my age to dig deeper and lift a tappet cover. More than likely it's a case of hand in pocket and paying someone else so maybe I have to retract, it could very well be justification! I'll see how it goes, kind regards.
I'm a little obsessive about major maintenance items and comfortable doing the work my self so read my comments in that context. You could probably take a chance and get away with it. ...but if you don't then you'll wish you'd made the effort or spent the money.

How much would a major service cost without the valve check? Would you do everything else yourself?

If you would go so far as pulling the tank to change the spark plugs yourself, you have done 70% of the work required to CHECK the valves (it's a different issue of you need to actually make adjustments.)

Other thoughts:
  • Any local Tiger owners who've done their own valves and would help out for a few beers?
  • How about a mechanic who wouldn't charge too much to drop by for the valve check if you've already got the tank off?
  • Any reasonably competent mechanic should be able to do this job s you don't have to go to the Triumph dealer. There are no special tools required or especially odd tricks.
  • Print out a procedure or watch a couple of You-tube vids before you tackle the job (with or without help.)
  • Getting the cam cover off required trying to hold a coolant hose out of the way while sliding the cover out the left side. Next time I'll use the opportunity to change the coolant (or at least part of it) and remove the hose first.

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