Author Topic: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!  (Read 6890 times)

pinholenz

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Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« on: May 29, 2016, 04:10:33 AM »
I have had my '82.5 XZ550 for about 4 years now and have been terrified about adjusting the valve shims - I didn't have the gear and didn't really want to drop the cams out unless it was REALLY needed. I was heartbroken when I missed out on a used valve shim tool for $30 on the local online market. The idea of paying NZ$100+ for a new one piqued me no end and now they are getting pretty rare. I doubt there will be another production run.

With the help of other forum members on the Tech Talk forum, I set about making my own. I have ended up with a tool cut on an abrasive water jet cutter from stainless steel stock . The first one has worked a treat. (I have tested it on a donor engine but still haven't adjusted my valve clearances! First things first.)

First step was to locate Lucky's  drawing of the tool and dimensions. Rikugun supplied a profile photograph.

http://ridersofvision.net/rovforum/index.php?topic=15575.0

Next, I learnt how to draw the two face profiles in Google Sketchup using the dimensions and photograph as a guide. I figured that if these were cut from steel using a water jet cutter, then the centre spine and two outer profiles could be somehow laminated or sweated together.

As it happened, the outer profiles could be cut from 2mm stainless steel and the inner spine from 2.5mm stainless steel. Both are stock sheet sizes with no need for milling to thickness and are very close to that required on an original tool.

There are only a few abrasive water jet cutters in New Zealand. Fortunately one is in the town where I live. They were up for it.

I converted the Google Sketchup files into DXF files for the cutter. These were tweaked in their software to give smoother curved faces, (Sketchup isn't designed for small dimension pieces), laid up for the cutter and processed.

Because of the size of the parts, the stainless steel stock was supported by plywood and "tabbed" to prevent parts breaking loose during cutting as the 50,000 psi jet did its business.

The three faces were cleaned up with fine wet and dry and a file, assembled and 3 holes drilled through the sandwich. After further de-burring and cleaning with degreaser, the sandwich was laminated together using Loctite "weld" resin. This is pretty much the same as "JB Weld". The idea for the drilled holes was to allow a peg of resin to form through all 3 layers for added strength. The sandwich was clamped together with vise grips until the resin started to go off, excess resin scraped away, and then into a bench vise overnight. Other assembly methods should work OK such as soldering or riveting.

Minimal clean-up was need before testing on the bike. No problems. Careful lining up is required to make sure the centre spine does not ride over the shim buckets as the cam shaft is rotated; same as with the OEM tool. Haynes gives a good description of the process.

I am happy to forward my Sketchup/DXF files to anyone who wants to make their own tool using this method. Just PM me.

Alternatively, I can post you the three cut profile blanks to clean up and assemble yourself. I have some spares and can get more made. If the resin assembly is a preferred method, and I have more made, I will have the holes pre-cut. Cost will be about US$15.00 plus postage. I could invoice you via Paypal for payment. Swaps might also work. I am not sure what shims I need yet!

Below are the various assembly stages and the final tool.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 04:35:53 AM by pinholenz »
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Prophet Of Doom

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2016, 07:12:50 AM »
Well done.  My guys were less than brilliant and would have cost a LOT more than this.  Stainless should work even better than the stock mild steel tool.


If you want to put the DFX file on the resources page, just email them to me and I'll post them up.


Rikugun

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2016, 07:17:29 AM »
Very nice work John!. Others have come on the forum and talked about either making or having this tool made but to my knowledge none have followed through. The high cost of machining was often the biggest hurdle. There have been a couple of 22mm wrench hacks but they do not come close to the precision of what you've created. Admittedly, I had concerns regarding the glued up assembly but your successful test has dispelled those fears. Very nicely done.

I'd also like to thank you for taking the time to document your project on the forum. Detailed and informative posts like these are part of what continues to make this forum a valuable resource.

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is then to persist in delusion, however satisfying or reassuring.  Carl Sagan

pinholenz

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2016, 08:01:48 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement guys.

POD, I will try to go one better and see if the engineers will give me a copy of their final file. Either way, I'd be grateful if the files can go up with your Resources. Cheers.
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Re-Vision

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2016, 09:07:21 AM »
Can you find time to look at the carburetor problem? Just joking, sort of. It is nice to see a project carried to the finish.    BDC

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 12:56:58 AM »
Pinholenz, have you thought of using roll pins through the holes?  That might eliminate the need for the adhesive.  For a long term frequent use version maybe the pieces should be brazed or silver soldered.

Very nice execution of the project.
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pinholenz

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2016, 04:32:02 AM »
Thanks Fretnut. Roll pins through the holes is an excellent idea. Even mild steel pins with a chamfer on the outside faces to create a rivet peened or crushed into place should work. I haven't got access to gas torches for the brazing or soldering so I hope others will experiment with these other methods. The final spanner is quite small as you will know. Theres plenty of potential for burnt and bruised fingers while laminating the profiles together.

Re-Vision, we have a local guy here who developed a racing version of Vision. He reckoned the biggest problem with the carbs (beyond cleaning, butterfly valve seals and leaks) is that the engine simply couldn't breath properly. Intake restricted and exhaust restricted. Probably Japan trying too hard to satisfy the evil EPA.

My XZ550 suffered from off idle stumble and 4500 rpm stumble. I got around this with replacing the pilot air jets with #120's (old ones were #130's) and increasing the Front Air jet to #125 and the Rear to #130. (Formerly 122.5 and 127.5 respectively)Plus balanced carbs and increasing idle to 1500 rpm.

No stumbles in 2 years. She smells a bit "rich" and my mileage is probably down. A joy to ride though. I plan having a play with the air filter casing now that I have a spare. I am not too convinced by that tiny intake aperture.
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QBS

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2016, 03:48:30 PM »
Question to Group Carb Gurus: pinholenz's V is an '82.  Would his reported carb jetting transfer to an '83 carb with similar results?

pinholenz

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2016, 06:19:05 PM »
I have been happily popping valve shims in and out using the new valve shim tool. The dimensions work well and the action of the cams are smooth, depressing the shim bucket with ease. The epoxy JB Weld laminate is holding well.

For the prototype I clamped all the faces together with a vise grip and drilled them. it was awkward and clunky. Next time around i will make a jig for the shaft of the tool with nails on a bit of wood. Then I can and pop each part of the tool into place to drill it. Then simply move the jig, clamp it into the next position, and repeat the drilling for the next hole.

Using the epoxy weld assembly method doesn't require that the holes align precisely. The holes simply provide a core of resin across the tool for added strength.
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Prophet Of Doom

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2016, 05:54:28 AM »
Question to Group Carb Gurus: pinholenz's V is an '82.  Would his reported carb jetting transfer to an '83 carb with similar results?
Jetting on the 2 carbs is different.
You could try the same relative adjustment so something like 122.5/122.5 pilot air, 132.5/132.5 Main on the 83
Just a guess though - not a guru anything.

QBS

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2016, 01:15:22 PM »
Thank you POD.  So these changes would enrichen the pilot air?  Would that effect the off idle stumble/flat spot?  Would richer main jets effect the that 4000 rpm transition flat spot?  If so, how?  At this very late stage in the V community's carb discussions it would seem really amazing that in the end our carb drivability issues could come down to replacing two jets.  Having said that, I have long suspected that the answer was in jetting, but was too intimidated/lazy to do the work to debug the issue.  Changing out two jets is really not a big deal.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 01:27:55 PM by QBS »

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2016, 09:44:15 PM »
Thank you POD.  So these changes would enrichen the pilot air?  Would that effect the off idle stumble/flat spot?  Would richer main jets effect the that 4000 rpm transition flat spot?  If so, how?  At this very late stage in the V community's carb discussions it would seem really amazing that in the end our carb drivability issues could come down to replacing two jets.  Having said that, I have long suspected that the answer was in jetting, but was too intimidated/lazy to do the work to debug the issue.  Changing out two jets is really not a big deal.
I'd run the jetting specified for R16 models for many years without a stumble.  That's '82 BD34 carbs 120/120 pilot air, 122.5/127.5 mains.  I only started getting stumbles when I followed jetting advice on RoV and moved to USA jetting.  I very promptly moved back.  I guess part of the reason this reduces stumbles is that there is less of a difference to bridge, but as I said, I'm not a guru anything.
Anyway, if you have an 82, then try 120/120 pilot air - it's well worth it.


I've not tried PinholeNZs advice for richer mains, but always thought it could do with it.   Every discussion on the planet says that Japanese bikes (but especially those especially sold in USA with the evil EPA) run too lean.  The exhaust analyser only measures at idle as I don't have a dyno so can't confirm this.  122.5/122.5 pilot air, 132.5/132.5 Main on the 83 is just an extrapolation - -4 for pilot air, +1 on mains.



Unfortunately jetting is not the only thing...


Clean Emulsion tubes.  I've always thought the whole scrupulously clean carbs thing was a bit over dramatised, but the emulsion tubes are one of two places other than jets where the holes are tiny tiny, and clog easily.  They are easy to pop out and clean, so do it


Float levels.  Easy enough to check with clear tube, but a bit of a pain to get right through trial and error.  Leaking float valves will also screw with your metering, so replace the o-ring and clean the valve with a pencil eraser.


Accelerator pump.  These are present on all downdraught carbs to aid transition between circuits.  Too little and you starve for fuel till the air velocity change catches up with your throttle, too much and you swamp the engine with too much fuel for the available air.  Before I stripped mine I had backed it off quite a bit - 5mm or so, and also reduced the stop a little-all from seat of pants.  Also make sure the jets are spraying properly and not hitting the butterfly valve. This is the other tiny thing other than jets to keep clean.


Valve Lash.  I couldn't believe the difference this made when I was only one size out on one valve.  Get a tool from pinholenz


Plugs and leads.  Old leads reduce spark, and the spark is not great on these bikes anyway.  I use nice new copper core leads, zero resistance caps and Iridium plugs.


Sync & Mixture.  I got a Morgan carbtune - best tool money i ever spent.   I use the manometer to sync and to set the idle mixture by vaccuum


Semi-synth.  I use Castrol Power moto T4 semi synthetic.  Let's the engine spin up faster


All this can be done in a day, and I'd put money on you having a vastly improved ride at the end of it.

pinholenz

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2016, 04:49:53 AM »
QBS, have a look at this discussion thread from a couple of years ago. POD and I share the same views that Vision stumble is because of lean running in the idle circuit and in the mid-range to high range transition circuit around 4000 to 5000 revs.

With the off idle stumble, I also increased my idle revs from the Haynes 1300 revs to about 1500 rpm so that the transition from idle circuit to mid-range circuit was less pronounced.

http://ridersofvision.net/rovforum/index.php?topic=15362
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pinholenz

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2016, 09:29:28 PM »
Update: Postage costs to US and the UK via airmail will be about US $11.45. assembled or unassembled. For the same cost, it looks like I could send 8 or 9 valve shim tools. If someone wanted to distribute locally to fellow Vision riders that would be an economical option. (Or give them away as Christmas presents!!)
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fret not

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2016, 10:13:33 PM »
As usual, better ideas coming from down under. ;)
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QBS

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2016, 10:58:37 PM »
POD and Pin, thank you both for your excellent counsel.  I have read Pin's suggested post and all the rest of the related posts. Together, they provide a pretty good plan.  I am embarrassed to ask, when a jet's number gets smaller does that indicate a larger or smaller orifice?

pinholenz

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2016, 01:56:49 AM »
My understanding is that jet sizes usually indicate the volume of air or fuel that can pass through the jet in a minute. With Mikuni jets for example a #110 main jet would pass 110cc's of fuel in one minute. (I guess that they have a whole lot of standardized conditions for measuring this; fuel pressure, vacuum, air pressure and so on.)

Therefore, increasing your main jet size will effectively enrich your mixture by allowing more fuel to flow.- (That is, if you don't change your air jets.)

However, decreasing your air jets will also enrich your mixture by reducing the airflow through the air circuits in the carb. - (That is, if you don't adjust your main jet.)

As you know, getting it right so that the bike performs well without bogging, is about balancing the air/fuel mix at each stage of the carbs operation.

POD uses a Colortune plug from Gunsen to guage whether he is running too rich or lean. With some skill and knowledge, it seems that this tool can be used for testing the air/fuel mixture at each stage of the carbs circuits. (I.e. Idle, up to 4500 rpm and above 5000 rpm). I have not used one myself.
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Prophet Of Doom

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2016, 03:41:29 AM »
My understanding is that jet sizes usually indicate the volume of air or fuel that can pass through the jet in a minute. With Mikuni jets for example a #110 main jet would pass 110cc's of fuel in one minute. (I guess that they have a whole lot of standardized conditions for measuring this; fuel pressure, vacuum, air pressure and so on.)

Therefore, increasing your main jet size will effectively enrich your mixture by allowing more fuel to flow.- (That is, if you don't change your air jets.)

However, decreasing your air jets will also enrich your mixture by reducing the airflow through the air circuits in the carb. - (That is, if you don't adjust your main jet.)

As you know, getting it right so that the bike performs well without bogging, is about balancing the air/fuel mix at each stage of the carbs operation.

POD uses a Colortune plug from Gunsen to guage whether he is running too rich or lean. With some skill and knowledge, it seems that this tool can be used for testing the air/fuel mixture at each stage of the carbs circuits. (I.e. Idle, up to 4500 rpm and above 5000 rpm). I have not used one myself.
I used to use a colourtune plug. It's quite nifty, but a pig to install and read in the XZ550 DOHC.
These days I just use my Morgan Carbtune manometer, and tune for highest vacuum (then back off a bit).  It's far faster and really gets the same results.

pinholenz

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2016, 07:01:58 AM »
I have just had a look at the Valve adjustment Pdf on the German (XZ550.de) XZ550 website where they supposedly have a set of measurements for an OEM Valve Shim tool.

Bearing in mind that I have never seen an original shim tool, according to the dimensions that they have given, my valve tool should not work. (It works great BTW)

Could someone who has an original tool please check these measurements (in Metric please) to see what is correct. According to me, (and Lucky) the centre profile (H) should be about 2.66mm wide whereas they show it as 7.5mm. Could I do with tweaking my design?

Many thanks
« Last Edit: June 15, 2016, 07:16:59 AM by pinholenz »
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Rikugun

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Re: Eureka! A Valve shim tool for everyone!
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2016, 07:28:34 PM »
I looked at G and H only and get different dimensions than the German drawing. I have one tool that appears to be period issue Yamaha and a K&L tool that is newer.  They are a little different from one another.

For G and H the Yamaha is 6.76 and 2.77 and the K&L is 6.60 and 2.64. respectively.
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