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Dial indicator valve adjustment. #697879 06/09/17 12:35 am
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desco Offline OP
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Just spent 8 hours over two days to find a good spot to set the dial indicator and had to remove the EI to do it. And this is just for the exhaust. My procedure is;
1) set up the DI (hopefully the other side will take less time)
2) press the rocker down with my thumb
3) put a shortened pushrod over the adjuster and under the DI point
4) zero out the DI
5) lift the rocker with a small screwdriver (don't stand on it)
6) read the amount of movement on the DI.
In this case I'm looking for .010". Megacycle cams.
Adjust as necessary and repeat, repeat, repeat.
This just seems kind of primitive to me, carpenters don't work to anything near that close, but it's what i've been doing for 12 or so years now. Just never liked where the DI was sitting. Could never read the dial while lifting. Now I can. Am I doing it right???
My biggest problem is I have to change all those damn rods and clamps on the DI when I go from one side to the other. I'd like to get another DI to set up for the other side. Seems the setup that works for the right intake, works for the left exhaust and vise versa.




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1972 T120RV
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Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697892 06/09/17 2:21 am
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You don't like feeler gauges? I set mine using feeler gauges and there might be a small amount of variation there, but if your setting say 0.008", then when done a 0.007" is sloppy, and you can't get a 0.009" under there. So I am thinking its about right.

I like to set the clutch pressure plate with the DI, but I have had my PP lip machined flat, so it works great on it. But even there I am not looking for absolute, just close as I can get it.

Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697896 06/09/17 3:12 am
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desco Offline OP
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I cut about two inches off the end of a .010 feeler gauge then bent the tip about 60 degrees. There is just not enough room on the 68 for this gauge to slide in without binding and bending. I've got a set of very small size offset tip gauges that work great on the 72 , .002/.004 but I can't find them in .010. There are three of the small in size gauges readily available on Amazon and they do make valve adjustment a breeze but they stop at .008. Megacycle are you reading this? Maybe I'll just set them at a loose .008? Naw, I'm too anal for that. So, is what I'm doing OK?


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
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Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697901 06/09/17 3:49 am
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Most of the time, there is a divot on top of your valve stem. When there is, you'll always get wider gaps than recommended using feeling gauges. That's why a lot of us old timers have taken to setting them by feel.
.002 thou is when the rocker moves but doesn't make a click. .004 is where the rocker moves and just starts to make a click. I've verified this much like Desco has with his dial indicator and it's very accurate, much more so than using feeling gauges on anything other than brand new valves.

The dial indicator thing sounds like too much work for me. I did use it once, just for checking my method.

Cheers,
Bill



Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Black Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697908 06/09/17 8:17 am
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Desco- Have you got a pic of your dial gauge set up? I have one and was thinking of getting some kind of magnetic contraption to mount it maybe when I have the tank off. I would just be interested to see how accurate my settings are.

I use a combination of Bill's audio check and the number of flats I turn the adjusters and it seems to work. I agree about the stems sometimes having dents in the top making feeler gauges not so good.

John Healy said that changing the settings on my 67 from 2 and 4 to 4 and 6 brings the power lower down the range which is more useful for a normal road bike. I am yet to try this but changing yours from 10 to 8 might take the power higher up the rev range? Just guessing here as I don't know anything about megacycle cams!

Dave

Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: HawaiianTiger] #697918 06/09/17 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by HawaiianTiger
Most of the time, there is a divot on top of your valve stem.

Makes sense, but then you could measure the divot depth and adjust for it as well I guess or like desco....a DI.

I remember once setting the clearances on my brothers Trident by ear on a hot motor, we were away from home and his clearances were way out [don't even go there as to how he did it, but suffice to say beer and weed didn't help him].

Anyway, long story short, when we checked them back at home the next day they were spot on - not saying I am a genius or anything - more trying to point out that Hawaiian Tigers method of listening to the gap is more accurate than you would think.


Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697931 06/09/17 12:40 pm
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desco Offline OP
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I'll try to do some photos after work. I have three different places photos go in my computer and I don't seem to have any control about what goes where. Most of the time they still go to Picasa but I can't post from there anymore and I don't know how to get them from Picasa to Google photos. Been trying off and on for months. It's maddening.


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1972 T120RV
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Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697949 06/09/17 3:50 pm
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If you know the pitch of the adjuster thread you can work out exactly how much one complete turn will move them, then calculate what fraction of a turn will take you from zero clearance (which you can get by feel) to whatever clearance you're looking for. I'm sure there have been threads / posts on this in the past, probably going into much more detail.


If anything other than a blank space is visible here, something's wrong.
Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697959 06/09/17 5:15 pm
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reverb Offline
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...hello HT, I use that method to adjust mine but the older engines have nil or almost nil clearances. So I do not think, at least in these engines that click etc sound is .004; seems less here; almost nil.

Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697962 06/09/17 5:33 pm
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For those of us that have been blessed with the sense of feel you might be interested in this:

If the rocker will slide to the side with finger pressure, and no click, you are at .002". The rocker will just start to click at .004". Anything less than .004" you will get movement you can feel up-and-down, but no audible click.

For the CEI threaded rockers one full turn of the rocker adjuster is .040" (1.00" divided by 26 - 0.0384). One flat on the 4 sided adjuster is .010" (0.0096"). One eigth turn is 0.005" (0.0048").

Last edited by John Healy; 06/09/17 8:45 pm. Reason: sp thank you tridentman

Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: John Healy] #697970 06/09/17 6:26 pm
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Originally Posted by John Healy
For the CEI threaded rockers one full turn of the rocker adjuster...
Although this method might sound like a backyard kluge, it's definitely not.

With feeler gauges, even if the two surfaces are perfectly flat and smooth you still have to make a judgment call as to whether a, say, 0.005" feeler gauge is a bit too tight and so the clearance is closer to 0.004". And, because of backlash that is not fully removed by the force of the feeler gauge, the value will change slightly when you tighten the lock nut. So, you have to do a few trial settings to figure out what value to set the gap at prior to tightening the lock nut so it will have the value you want after tightening it. Further, as mentioned in an earlier post, what if the surfaces aren't perfectly flat?

A dial indicator certainly can be used for this, but it's typically a pain. The first problem is figuring out how to rigidly mount it somewhere on the head and in a position where you can read it, and the second problem is to make sure 0 on the dial really is 0.

In contrast, using the adjuster screw itself you turn it with your fingers until it is tight. You've now removed all backlash from the system as well as established zero. As John wrote, back it off 1/8 turn (1/2 of a flat since there are 4 flats on the adjuster) and the clearance is now 0.005". There is now backlash in the system, but that backlash is removed when the lock nut is /tightened, i.e. the clearance in operation is still 0.005". If you want 0.002" you back it off 1/2 of /1/8 turn. Since the "resolution" on being able to back off the screw is at least 1/2 of that 1/8 turn, you can set the clearance to any value you want to an accuracy of at least ~0.001" (i.e. +/- ~0.0005"). You would be hard pressed to claim higher accuracy than this if you used feeler gauges.

Although I have dial indicators and ways of rigidly mounting them, for years I've always set my tappets with the built-in "micrometer screw" of the adjuster itself. After I set my clearance this way it only takes a few seconds to confirm the results with a feeler gauge. Not that confirmation is necessary other than abiding by the "measure twice, cut once" rule.

Last edited by Magnetoman; 06/09/17 8:00 pm. Reason: corrected in light of numerical error noted in TM's subsequent post
Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697977 06/09/17 7:13 pm
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Not wanting to be a clever bast**d but if a full turn is about 40 thou (agreed) then a quarter turn is the same as one flat on a four sided adjuster---10 thou.
An eighth of a turn is 5 thou.
Just don't want the words of John and MMan to mislead anyone as they are (rightly) taken as gospel by readers of this site (myself included).
And fully agree---using the adjuster is much better than using feeler gages---if you have a pip on the adjuster (or on the valve end) then using the adjuster compensates for that whereas the feeler gage method gives you a clearance greater than you want by the height of the pip.
HTH

Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697981 06/09/17 8:47 pm
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That's what I was thinkin' !
Square head , four flats, 90 degrees each.
Maybe we could throw in half of flat....

Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697984 06/09/17 9:37 pm
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desco Offline OP
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https://goo.gl/photos/xnssorTzkw3xiNqX8

Don't know how I did it but here are some photos of an exhaust and a intake adjustment.
I have allen head adjusters and it's easier for me to read a dial then remember quarter turn, eighth turn. It takes FAR longer to set up a DI, as it is a tool I am not used to, than doing the adjustment itself.
I have the exhaust set at .010 and the intake at .011 or .012. My notes say a loose intake opens later and closes sooner. I think it runs better at altitude that way. Maybe I'm wrong.
The magnetic base sits on the gas tank brackets when doing the exhaust and on some builders hardware bolted to the side car hole in the frame for doing the intake.

Note to self, must paint frame some day.

Last edited by desco; 06/09/17 10:54 pm. Reason: addition

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1972 T120RV
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Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697991 06/09/17 11:12 pm
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i use a two-step procedure to adjust valves, and i always use a dial indicator in the first step.

step 1) get out the dial indicator. try to find a place where it will sit securely, fail. find a place where it will sit, but then i can't get the tip to the valve, fail. find a place where it will sit, where the tip gets to the valve, then i can't see it, fail. put the dial indicator away.

step 2) click 'n' listen, four times.

done.


every day you do not take a chance is a day of your life that you will never get back.
Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #697995 06/09/17 11:43 pm
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I know this might be politically incorrect but!...
My mechanic pal Jacko does it by feel, even on jap bikes where we're only talking a couple of thou.
Yes he has about 35 years experience.

Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #698000 06/10/17 12:57 am
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desco Offline OP
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If nothing else Fly fishing and old Triumphs have taught me patience. If it takes 20 minutes to set one valve and it is correct, so what. I can't tell a click from a clack. That's why I could never learn how to play a banjo.
All I asked is"Am I doing it right?' I don't care if Jacko has been doing it for 35 years. If that was my job I'd have stuck a bullet in my ear before the end of the first day.
Once again, am I doing it right?
Peripheral neuropathy. Google it.


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1972 T120RV
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Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #698001 06/10/17 1:08 am
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desco Offline OP
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT-SFgkVlno

My apologies to all. Things are not going well right now.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #698011 06/10/17 4:18 am
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...keep on going man; I understand. I have plenty of problems in my body right now and trying my best that those not interfere with my brain because when that happens there s no return.

Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: Tridentman] #698022 06/10/17 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by Tridentman
Not wanting to be a clever bast**d but if a full turn is about 40 thou (agreed) then a quarter turn is the same as one flat on a four sided adjuster---10 thou.
An eighth of a turn is 5 thou.
Just don't want the words of John and MMan to mislead anyone as they are (rightly) taken as gospel by readers of this site (myself included).HTH


I too use to take the words of John and MM as gospel, so it is reassuring to notice that these guys too are human after all . :bigt

I never used a dial gauge for valve adjustment, while it may work well it makes a basically simple job rather complex imo. Personally I never experienced any difficulties using old fashioned feerer gauges.
Adjusting valve clearance using the method of thread pitch vs adjuster rotation makes sense too.



Peter.
1974 Commando 850
1972 Trident T150T
1961 Goldie DBD34
1969 Benelli 250 sport special
Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #698025 06/10/17 9:19 am
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The pain with a 650 is having to use some kind of stepped feeler gauge, so I too use the'micrometer' method, but backed up by the audible thing. How scientific is all this? As long as they're not too tight or way out in opposite direction, is it critical within a couple of thou?

My Riley car with engine of similar configuration and clearances (early version of engine apparently studied by Edward Turner before he designed Speed Twin) you set up hot and I employ a similar method. My late Dad used to set up these latter engines by seeing how easy it was to spin the pushrods, but obviously this method can't be used on a Triumph.

Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #698038 06/10/17 2:40 pm
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John Healy Offline
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Quote
My late Dad used to set up these latter engines by seeing how easy it was to spin the pushrods


This is how you adjust the rocker arm adjusters on a Vincent. The clearance is nil. This is determined at the point where the push rod just starts to spin. As there is little, if any, movement a dial indicator would not be very helpful.

Quote
I too use to take the words of John and MM as gospel, so it is reassuring to notice that these guys too are human after all . bigt


Ask my wife just how human I am. There are things you realize when 80 has crested the horizon and you have to accept them and move on. For me it is sorting abstract thought. Not as an excuse, but I am typing these responses while taking orders and explaining how to time a magneto on the phone. The brain, as flexible as it once was, doesn't switch back and forth as smoothly as it once did. Knowing many of you who read these Brit bike forums are in the same age bracket and can relate.

Have cut back a bit. Only working a half day now. 8am to 8pm and don't always work on Sunday.


Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #698043 06/10/17 3:42 pm
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John---most of us can certainly relate to what you describe.
For me "senior" moments are increasingly frequent and do not relate to the Senior TT!
My career was spent in manufacturing industry. We had a saying there that" the guy who never made a mistake never made anything".
I do like your definition of half day working!

Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: Tridentman] #698047 06/10/17 4:26 pm
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Hey, the 650 Triumph I built is the fastest stock frame unit 650 Triumph in LSR competition has it valves adjusted by the turn of the adjuster technique... wink


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ,2001 Sportster....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: Dial indicator valve adjustment. [Re: desco] #698134 06/11/17 1:48 pm
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I have been adjusting Triumph valves for the last 50 + years. On the .002" and .004" I use the noise method. An old Triumph racer (Reg Libke to those Australians who will remember), used to adjust the valves on the engine between races, a habit that I continued throughout my career of racing Triumphs (easy to do on bikes with small tanks). On the trident I use feeler gauges as I find the sound of the valve "clicking" is undistinguishable at the wider settings. After setting the gap I always check with a thinner (looser) and a thicker (tighter) feeler gauge. The reason that I dislike the turn method is if the end of the adjuster is not perfect (no wear) then as the adjuster is turned the amount of movement is not in direct proportion to the degrees turned. After setting the tappets always have a listen to the noise. If one sounds loud check again.

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