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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, so I've just got everything taken apart, and I'm ready to check the clearances on my valves. I'm rotating the rear wheel to find TDC. I'm not completely sure about whether the engine can hit the tick mark 2 or 4 times before it finds compression TDC for the vertical cylinder (in other words, once I line it up, and it's not at TDC do I keep spinning to line it up again, and then its there for sure or might I have to keep looking?). I read, searching through the forums, about feeling for air to come out of the spark plug holes, which I do in the course of spinning. What does it mean when the air is blowing out of the vertical spark plug hole?

Either way, it looks like there is absolutely no opener clearance. Once I'm at the proper TDC, I don't have to push on anything to measure the opener, right? I've even used the smallest feeler (.0015"), applying some pressure against where it should slide in as I spin the rear wheel around, and it won't go in. I watched the valves go up and down 4 or 5 times, and it wouldn't budge.

Is it possible that my valves are that messed up?
 

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How many miles on your bike, and when was the last valve adjust, if any?

You don't have to push on anything to measure opener clearance.

When air is blowing out of the plug hole, that cylinder is on the compression stroke.
You should be checking clearance at the TDC that occurs at the end of the compression stroke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alright, I just ran through it again and I found the openers to be .0025", too tight. To get the closers, you just push down oon the closing rocker with a screwdriver? How hard? Flathead? I'm a little paranoid about scratching the engine parts up, or the screwdriver slipping.


Oh, and I have 21K miles on her now. No clue when the last valve adjustment was, possibly never (couldn't find any records from ducati seattle or eastside motorsports).
 

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It is kind of a developed feel. A flathead works fine. All you are trying to do is push the rocker to the cam against the closer spring tension. You can flex the rocker and get erroneous readings.

I'll say firmly. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, here are my findings:

Vertical
Intake:
opener .0025" get shim -.001"
closer .0035" get shim +.003"

Exhaust:
opener .0025" get shim -.002"
closer .0005"


Horizontal
Intake:
opener .0000" (<.0015") get shim -.0035"
closer .0040" get shim +.0035"


Exhaust:
opener .0030" get shim -.0015"
closer .0025" get shim +.002"


Before I went out and got these, I thought I'd doublecheck to see if these look plausible and if I've calculated the right shim adjustments. The one in red seems a little ridiculous to me. I plan on rounding up for the mm conversion
 

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What opener clearance are you shooting for? I use .004 intake and .005 exhaust. Do you plan on sanding shims to get those numbers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
On http://www.buschandbusch.com/ducatisuite/valves.html the clearance table lists .003-.004 intake and .004-.005 exhaust so I thought I'd shoot for the middle. Although, he does say on his site that those are tight clearances.

No, I don't plan on sanding, I figure this time I'll front the extra $7/shim the dealer charges so I have less to worry about.
 

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OK. Like I said I use 4 and 5. .003 is pretty tight. I never checked that site and always used the numbers BCM recommended. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Howdo you measure the closing shims?
 

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Push the closing rocker with a screwdriver and measure the opener. The difference between your opener measurement and the new measurement is the closer clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, did that already, I meant the actual shim itself. How do I take it out? I have the half rings off but it still wont slide off

And by the way, thanks for all your help so far, I'd be so screwed right now if I was left to myself
 

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Aguacate said:
Yeah, did that already, I meant the actual shim itself. How do I take it out? I have the half rings off but it still wont slide off
Sometimes the half-rings will push up a burr on the valve stem.
If you've got a small lapping stone or some sandpaper you should be able to dress down the burr.
 

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Aguacate said:
Yeah, did that already, I meant the actual shim itself. How do I take it out? I have the half rings off but it still wont slide off
Sorry, misunderstood. They use a tool called a comparator, which is basically a dial indicator with a special foot for measuring. You can also get a much simpler device for use with an indicator here.

It's probably a slight burr on the valve stem. A little sand paper should get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sandpaper worked well, thanks for the tip. Couple more questions (sorry, I get real itchy when I don't know everything I want to about something) - is there any procedure for cleaning out the valve gear system when I'm ready to put it all back? Is it bad to touch stuff in there with your finger?

I dropped a half ring and in desperation to find it, resorted to opening the cover on the side thats in between the intake and exhaust valves (It looks almost like a valve cover). Fortunately my efforts were not wasted as the little bugger was chillin right there waiting to rip the cams to shreds once the motor started again. But, I opened a gasket - what's the name for this compartment? If I didn't visibly damage the gasket, do I still need a new one?

To measure the closer I just found a socket that fits the inside but stays on the inside wall, and I used it the same way I used a screw-spacer with my digital caliper to measure the openers, subtracting the socket size from the total combined length. I'm going to take this socket with me to the dealer to compare measurements using the same system.

For any one else out there doing this maintenance my #1 tip is to not drop the half rings. Or the opener clips (yeah I actually have two side cover thingies open...)
 

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The cover is the cam cover. If the gasket is not damaged you probably could use it again, but if you are going to the dealer to get shims why not get a new one to be on the safe side. If it is a metal gasket just re-use it. If the dealer doesn't have one get some Hylomar. It is a sealer that works very well.

When you go to reinstall the half rings look closely at them. You will notice a worn "groove" on one side. Make sure to put the groove pointing up. It will change your measurements if you install them upside down and make your closers tight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So I just got the shims, and they took $23 a piece for the closers! Is this at all within normal? They only charged $7.99 for the openers so I asked the guy to recheck the part number, but he said it checked out. It seemed like this was his first time with the whole shims deal.
 

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you should have ordered the shims from EMS... they'll require a little bit of sanding, but you'll get a great quality piece for significantly less $.

As for the cam cover gasket, if it doesn't leak, don't worry about it... if it does leak, no one carries those gaskets, so you can do what I did:

step 1: special order proper gasket
step 2: fashion temporary gasket from cereal box cardboard
step 3: receive proper gasket
step 4: lose proper gasket
step 5: forget about the whole ordeal and simply cut more cardboard after I open that particular cover from now on.
 

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another tip:

remove 1/2 rings with a magnetic pickup tool... they'll pop right off the valve stem, and it's damn near impossible to lose them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dang, just finished. What an experience. Yeah, I agree on the magnet thing. Once I picked one up from the store I didn't stop using it. That thing saved my life over and over again.

Man, it feels so good to have her back together again. (I think. See http://www.ducatimonster.org/smf/index.php?topic=66029.0)

Was it a terrible idea to do a valve adjustment as the first real maintenance I've ever done on a motorcycle? Probably.
Was it an adventure? Hell yes.

I feel like my bike and I have truly bonded. I hope she doesn't blow up.
 

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Aguacate said:
Dang, just finished. What an experience. Yeah, I agree on the magnet thing. Once I picked one up from the store I didn't stop using it. That thing saved my life over and over again.

Man, it feels so good to have her back together again. (I think. See http://www.ducatimonster.org/smf/index.php?topic=66029.0)

Was it a terrible idea to do a valve adjustment as the first real maintenance I've ever done on a motorcycle? Probably.
Was it an adventure? Hell yes.

I feel like my bike and I have truly bonded. I hope she doesn't blow up.
Did you recheck your clearances after you reassembled? If so and all checked out, Ride it and enjoy it. Congrats on a job well done.
 
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