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#285469 - 11/23/09 8:09 pm A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it?
KarlB Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 2129
Loc: Kent
I was pondering on the clackety nature of A65/A50 valve trains. They all do that sir, or all the ones I've heard have (lots). A bit like air head beemers, if they are too quiet you know something's wrong.

Anyway I did a bit of poking around and there seems to be two main ways of adjusting tappets on push rod engines like the A65/50.

The standard way is to shove the feeler gauge between the adjuster and valve and screw in the adjuster till the feeler gauge can still be pulled free.

The other way is to do the same as above but tighten it up until the push rod will just about still rotate.

I favour the first method, but I must admit I might have a go at the second. What do you do?

Me I blame that damned great ally rocker cover acting like a resonance box, still it makes checking the valves easy...


Edited by KarlB (11/23/09 8:11 pm)
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#285529 - 11/24/09 1:26 am Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: KarlB]
Mr Mike Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 3602
Loc: Cape Carteret, NC
Years ago I drove a lot of those aircooled VW beetles that needed the valves adjusted periodically. After I got real familiar with the bugs, I'd drop the rocker cover and rattle the rocker arm on the closed valve. I could easily tell by feel if it was too tight or excessively loose and would never use a feeler gauge. I will admit I use a feeler gauge on the A65 if anything feels out of whack because I don't do it as often and I spent a lot of time rebuilding it as right as I knew how to. Set one at .005 and another .010 and see if you can't feel the difference just by rattling it. You might be surprised how good your feel is. Check hot and cold and note change if any.

Mr Mike

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#285610 - 11/24/09 2:32 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Mr Mike]
Semper Gumby Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 02/12/07
Posts: 1670
Loc: Atlanta, GA USA
This last time around on the 1971 Thunderbolt I reverted to the procedure that I use with my 1980 BMW R65.

I found top dead center so that both the valves on one side were loose. Then I check the valve clearence to see where the valves are i.e. and I write down the numbers. Then I set the other top dead center for the other sides' valves and I write down the clearences that they are right now before adjustment. This is so I can see what is happening with the head. If there are huge changes from the last time I set the valves then I start to ask questions. But after 4000 miles the valves are either the same as set or within .001" of where I set them last time.

Then I check the base nuts and the head bolts to see if they are all still tight. If any one of them is loose then the whole thing gets loosened 1/4 turn and Re-torqued.

Then I set the valves on each side to .008" Exhaust and .006" Intake at each sides' top dead center.

At the moment I'm doing this every 4000 miles at the big service.

I know the book say to set the valve when the opposit valve is fully depressed. So I'm going to compare... Also Book specs call for .010" exhaust and .008" intake. But the Thunderbolt runs so sweet this way I'm loath to do anything else. Heck it just did 1000 mile IBA Saddlesore (1000 miles in 24 hours) and it sounds just like it did when I started the ride.

Timing is set to Book: .015" gap. I have the rotor full advance timing mark sstamped with the plunger in the flywheel as the mark on the rotor from Sparx isn't exactly where it is supposed to be. I also have TDC marked.

Aside: When the BMW R65 valves get noisy it is usually the end play on the rocker shaft that is the problem. Between the post and the rocker there should be .002" clearence. There is no way to adjust this on the stock set up on a BSA because of the spring washer set up on the rocker shafts and the fixed mounts on the BSA head. But if you want to you could replace the springs on the rocker shafts with washers from MAP. Then it would be a matter of shimming the shafts to a .002" clearence. This might (or might not) quite things down a bit but is way too much trouble in my mind. I just like the sound of those valves tapping away. I'm used to it.


Edited by Semper Gumby (11/24/09 2:44 pm)
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#285622 - 11/24/09 3:43 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Semper Gumby]
Lannis Online   content
Life member

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 8269
Loc: Old Pop in an Oak
I've always had good luck with the "slight oil-film drag" on the feeler gauge when setting valves, especially since on the A65 (and my Guzzis), you can get a good straight pull on the feeler without having to bend it around corners or force it past a stud like you do on some Triumphs, which would make that method unreliable.

I don't know how a pushrod is supposed to feel ....

Lannis
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#285722 - 11/25/09 12:47 am Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Lannis]
edunham Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 02/17/07
Posts: 134
Loc: Ewing. NJ
Semper, the valve clearance is normally set when the cam follower is at the base of the cam. If you set the clearance at top dead center, the cam followers may be on the ramps of the cam instead of the base. If so, you will end up with greater clearance, which, besides being noisier will also slightly retard the valve opening. Years ago I used to set my Trident's valves at top dead center and it was quite clattery. After the above was explained to me by folks much more knowledgeable than I, I was amazed at how much quieter it was when the proper procedure was followed. I had a similar experience with a B25. Interestingly, I now deliberately set the Trident's valves with larger than stock clearances and it is still much quieter than when I set them at TDC. The reason I am setting them looser is, on the advice of Phil Pick at Triples Online, the slight retarding of the valve opening improves low end torque. It is hard to say if it has had that effect or not since I performed other modifications at the same time. With regard to the amount of valve lash, this seems to be related to whether the particular engine opens the valve lash up as the motor warms or closes it. On my B25 I followed the advice of Rupert Ratio, the BSA singles guru, and took the lash down to nothing. B25s are normally quite clattery and doing this quiets them down quite a bit. This was done by tightening the adjuster until there was no perceptible up and down movement on the pushrod, but you could still spin it with your fingers. It has worked well so far. Presumably because the B25 motor increases in height as the motor heats up.

Ed from NJ

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#285772 - 11/25/09 10:25 am Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: edunham]
busy Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 09/26/09
Posts: 144
Loc: Sydney Australia
Hi Ed,
I have a a65 that hasn't been started for a while and setting Valve clearances is one of my first jobs tomorrow
you lost me right after the valve clearance is set when the the cam follower is at the base of cam ? so where is that in reference to TDC ?
j

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#285777 - 11/25/09 11:18 am Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: busy]
Pete R Online   content
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 3304
Loc: Vic. Australia
Basically,its not in reference to TDC.Its in reference to one exhaust valve is fully closed(with maximum lash),when the other exhaust valve is fully open on a 360 degree parallel twin.The same applies to intake valves. So simple!

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#285796 - 11/25/09 2:05 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: edunham]
Jim Hultman Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 1411
Loc: Minnesota, US
Originally Posted By: edunham
...was explained to me by folks much more knowledgeable than I

Likewise. I was told decades ago by a mechanic who had probably forgotten more about motorcycles than I will ever know, that different engines have different cam designs. Some have quieting ramps that require a very specific valve setting process. Some use other profile designs that require a completely different procedure.

Now I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I am smart enough to know what I don't know. And I certainly don't know the subtleties of cam design. Luckily, the answer to this is really simple. Just follow the instructions! All manufacturers publish the correct procedures for their design, and these are readily available in even your average Haynes manual.

As for the details of how much drag there should be on the feeler gauge, that's a matter of personal taste. I use the "put light pressure on the rocker to take up any slack" method, and when the feeler gauge can be slid out with perceptible drag, I call it good.

But the main point here is "Follow the directions" written by the engineer who designed the thing. Simple.

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#285805 - 11/25/09 3:08 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Jim Hultman]
Lannis Online   content
Life member

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 8269
Loc: Old Pop in an Oak
Originally Posted By: Jim Hultman
Originally Posted By: edunham
...was explained to me by folks much more knowledgeable than I

Likewise. I was told decades ago by a mechanic who had probably forgotten more about motorcycles than I will ever know, that different engines have different cam designs.


Luckily, for a 360 degree parallel twin like this thread is about, you don't have to know all that, or even have the owner's manual.

One valve fully open ... means the other cylinder corresponding valve's fully closed ....

Lannis
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#285817 - 11/25/09 4:44 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Lannis]
KarlB Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 2129
Loc: Kent
Hey Lannis, at least no one's mentioned a dial gauge yet... crazy
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Big day has come and gone and still no idea what Project 50 will be!

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#285819 - 11/25/09 4:57 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Lannis]
Jim Hultman Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 1411
Loc: Minnesota, US
Originally Posted By: Lannis
Luckily, for a 360 degree parallel twin like this thread is about, you don't have to know all that, or even have the owner's manual.

True, IF the cam is designed for setting the valve clearance at 180 degrees from full lift. Frankly, I don't like making such assumptions, and I deal with way too many different designs to pretend to understand the underlying engineering. In general, the only assumtion I would make is that if you put a bunch of Italian, German and British propellerheads in one room, they probably won't agree on anything! laugh

I still prefer to play it safe and read the directions.

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#285828 - 11/25/09 5:36 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Jim Hultman]
Lannis Online   content
Life member

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 8269
Loc: Old Pop in an Oak
Originally Posted By: Jim Hultman


I still prefer to play it safe and read the directions.



Are you one of those guys that stops and asks someone, if they're lost?

Or (when you realize you're lost) backtrack to the last place you knew, rather than just bulling forward and saying "I hate going backwards"

Or who puts his underwear in the hamper rather than kicking it over in the corner ...

If so, you probably DO read the directions!!! beerchug

Lannis


Edited by Lannis (11/25/09 5:37 pm)
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#285833 - 11/25/09 6:03 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Lannis]
LarryLebel Online   content
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 1198
Loc: Canada
The one valve fully open/other valve fully closed method is what I use on my 4-cylinder cars using the rule of 9. I sometimes use a dial gauge to get the fully open condition but eye-balling works just as well, especially with a long duration cam wherein the lobes are flatish at the peaks. I have seen some sharp pointy economy cam lobes where eyeballing might not work though. Getting the feeler gauge between the valve stem and the rocker without canting it is tedious. My motorcyle only has 1 exhaust valve.

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#285846 - 11/25/09 7:21 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Lannis]
Jim Hultman Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 1411
Loc: Minnesota, US
Originally Posted By: Lannis
Are you one of those guys that stops and asks someone, if they're lost?

Or (when you realize you're lost) backtrack to the last place you knew, rather than just bulling forward and saying "I hate going backwards"

Or who puts his underwear in the hamper rather than kicking it over in the corner ...

If so, you probably DO read the directions!!! beerchug

Lannis

Oh my god, you're right!! shocked

Must be a genetic defect. Maybe I was just born without the Macho gene!! cry

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#285847 - 11/25/09 7:30 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Jim Hultman]
Lannis Online   content
Life member

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 8269
Loc: Old Pop in an Oak
Never mind, I'm often in touch with my OWN feminine side.

When I find the urge to "read the instructions" getting too strong, then I make sure, that night, when I pull off my fruit-of-the-looms, to kick them up into the air and catch them, THEN toss them into the corner.

No woman in the world is constitutionally capable of doing THAT!

Lannis
_________________________
"What's the plan?"

"Plan? There ain't no plan!"

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#285852 - 11/25/09 8:06 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Lannis]
Jim Hultman Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 1411
Loc: Minnesota, US
Originally Posted By: Lannis
Never mind, I'm often in touch with my OWN feminine side.

When I find the urge to "read the instructions" getting too strong, then I make sure, that night, when I pull off my fruit-of-the-looms, to kick them up into the air and catch them, THEN toss them into the corner.

No woman in the world is constitutionally capable of doing THAT!

Lannis

Yeah, and now I suppose you're going to tell us that you never cry at the movies. Hah!!

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#285858 - 11/25/09 9:28 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Jim Hultman]
Lannis Online   content
Life member

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 8269
Loc: Old Pop in an Oak
Only once (starting in 1964 but it happens every time since), and I'll confess to it right here; in "Mary Poppins", where the old lady who sells birdseed for tuppence a bag is playing with the little birds.

There; it's done. I don't have to carry that secret any more!

Lannis
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"Plan? There ain't no plan!"

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#285871 - 11/25/09 10:41 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Lannis]
Jim Hultman Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 1411
Loc: Minnesota, US
Originally Posted By: Lannis
Only once (starting in 1964 but it happens every time since), and I'll confess to it right here; in "Mary Poppins", where the old lady who sells birdseed for tuppence a bag is playing with the little birds.

That's it? You watch "Old Yeller" without shedding a tear. Or "Good Will Hunting". Or "Rudy". OK, you really do have the Macho gene! laughing


Edited by Jim Hultman (11/25/09 10:58 pm)

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#285920 - 11/26/09 9:16 am Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: Jim Hultman]
busy Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 09/26/09
Posts: 144
Loc: Sydney Australia
bloody hell,
theres a few of you who really need medicating
and the mary poppins thing really is starting to freak me out !!
I get it now what your saying is the way you set the the valve clearance,is the one valve fully open/other valve fully closed method
fine i'll give it a go
cheers

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#285948 - 11/26/09 2:12 pm Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: busy]
raf940 Online   content
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 03/02/06
Posts: 3330
Loc: gastonia nc
i always wondered if anyone looked up mary poppins dress when she was flying in the air
happy holidays
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1972 Triumph T120
1968 BSA A65
1968 MGB Roadster
1979 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta
1969 Honda Mini Trail
2004 Honda Shadow Aero
1972 BSA Thunderbolt
1975 yamaha xs650b
1974 Norton Commando (calvin's other bike that lives here)

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#286072 - 11/27/09 5:05 am Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: raf940]
busy Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 09/26/09
Posts: 144
Loc: Sydney Australia
Raf your one sick puppy

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#286211 - 11/28/09 4:02 am Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: busy]
Lannis Online   content
Life member

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 8269
Loc: Old Pop in an Oak
Originally Posted By: Jamie
bloody hell,
theres a few of you who really need medicating
and the mary poppins thing really is starting to freak me out !!
I get it now what your saying is the way you set the the valve clearance,is the one valve fully open/other valve fully closed method
fine i'll give it a go
cheers


Yeah, but only on 360-degree parallel twins like the A65. Won't work on a Harley, a Guzzi, a Triple, etc. Remember, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, the medicine go down ....

Lannis
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"Plan? There ain't no plan!"

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#286318 - 11/29/09 2:07 am Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: KarlB]
Semper Gumby Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 02/12/07
Posts: 1670
Loc: Atlanta, GA USA
Hi Ed.

Yeah it was a kind of shock moment after I had buttoned up the Thunderbolt...and I realized what I had done(TDC valves)! But It worked (thank goodness). When I adjust this time around I will go back to the "book" method (One valve fully open). It's dangerous to mix BMW and BSA...I think they call this Negative Transfer.

And I will listen verwily carefuwly... wink


Edited by Semper Gumby (11/29/09 2:13 am)
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#286686 - 12/01/09 7:56 am Re: A65/50 valve clearance adjustment how do you do it? [Re: busy]
DavidP Offline
BritBike Forum member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 3681
Loc: Gnashville
Originally Posted By: Jamie

I get it now what your saying is the way you set the the valve clearance,is the one valve fully open/other valve fully closed method

That is correct for our parallel twins.
The TDC method works for VW (I've crawled under quite a few in my day.)
Tridents are tricky, both the other valves half open, and it's a bitch getting the feeler gauge in place (especially with the later adjuster pins.)
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