Valve Adjustment

A place to discuss matters related to Honda Helix scooters.

Postby Alarmnbob » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:45 am

OK guys!

Do not set valves the way the manual says to do it.
Use this procedure.

It works every time and is easy!

The official Honda Service Manual recommends valve clearance maintenance adjustment for the 1985 model year only at 4000 miles and all other years inspection and adjustment if necessary (Maintenance, 3-1).

Interesting!

Why would that be? The 1985-1988 engine design is the same and the valve bodies similar.

No big design change made in one year.

But before I tell you what I learned, I'll discuss the two methods recommended to adjust your valves.

What The Maintenance Book Says To Do: Adjust the valve clearance while the engine is COLD.

Remove the inspection hole cap from the left side of the cylinder head.

Remove the left crankcase cover, rotate the drive pulley counterclockwise and align the index line on the camshaft with the index mark on the cylinder head cover to bring the piston to Top Dead Center (TDC) on the compression stroke.

Loosen the valve adjuster lock bolts which are located on the left side of the cylinder head.

Move the intake and exhaust adjusters outward (away from each other) fully, until resistance is felt.

Then, move them inward (toward each other) one graduation. Tighten the lock bolts.

What Honda Told Their Mechanics To Do: Adjust the valve clearance while the engine is WARM and running. With the side access panel removed to allow access to valve adjusters, run engine to normal operating temperature.

With machine on center stand or supported and idling, (increase idle speed slightly to prevent stalling) work on each adjuster in turn, loosen the adjuster quadrant clamp bolt and move the quadrant inwards a little (the motor will start to sound "tappety" ((valve clearance increasing)) followed by slowly moving the quadrant outward whereby you will notice the engine will become quieter (valve clearance decreasing).

When you reach the point that there is no tappet noise, hold quadrant in place and re-tighten clamp bolt.

If you go too far normally a misfire will appear or the engine stalls, the reason for increasing the idle speed.

A slightly loose tappet is less harmful than a tight one. (courtesy, Steve, Honda mechanic, Honda UK, post 2041, Twist-n-Go Scoot)

So, back to the original question--why the discrepancy in the intervals of valve maintenance of similar engines?

When the service manuals were written production of the Honda CH250 and Helix CN250, which share the same basic driveline, had not commenced.

Honda used relevant sections from earlier manuals to piece together the manuals of those bikes.

Additionally, clearances in prototype models were different than tolerances in production machines.

What mechanics discovered was that the second method was more successful being that the lifters are mechanical, not hydraulic.

Several Honda mechanics I talked with favor adjusting the valve clearance if the lifters are noisy and leaving them alone if they are quiet regardless of the mileage. Randy Pozzi (Rev. 08/2005)
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Valve Adjustment

Postby fixer311 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:41 pm

Hi Alarmnbob,
Thank you for taking the time to write your lenthy reply. It mirrors what I already thought. If it is right from the factory you shouldn't have to mess with them until it wears enough the valves start making noise and if you are using synthetic oil who the h--- knows how long that will be. I would still like to check them and when I find the right light so I can see that d---- punch mark I will. It is nice to know there is no hurry. Thanks again.
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Postby Alarmnbob » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:16 pm

Synthetic oil is the way to go But be cautioned. Engines need real regular oil during breakin. So many people put the Synthetic oil in there bikes too soon before there rings are fully seated. This leads to poor performance and oil consumption. I have worked on numerous helix engines and the owners stated they had put Syn oil in the bike on the first oil change. No wonder i had to put rings in their bikes.

I run high temp casteroil 20w-50 4 cyl turbo oil in all my bikes for 2500 mi.
That's three oil changes for those that are listening. one change after 500mi and two changes after each 1000 after that.

How do I run the bike for break-in?
I ride it like I'm gonna ride it.

Run it like you are gonna ride it. Just don't set the speedo at 50 and run it flat rpms for the duration of the 2500 mi. a Long trip on the highway is not a good time to break in an engine. I good back road ride with lots of stops and speeds is. Somewhere during this ride you should max RPM it. Now I know this is contrary to what most people believe but I promise you that the first run your helix ever did at the factory was a full power blast for a full three minutes. In fact all motorcycles do a full rpm rev before they leave the factory. Well i will exclude Harleys in that bunch
Last edited by Alarmnbob on Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Synthetic Oil

Postby fixer311 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:40 pm

I changed to synthetic at 5000 miles. Up until then I just rode it normally to town except when I rode it 702 miles back from Scearcy AK at about 70mph. I changed regular motor oil every 1000 miles till I switched to synthetic.
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Postby bear » Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:08 am

Thanks Alarmnbob for the info. I've not been on the forum for awhile (too cold to ride, and too busy think about it). And as I was working my way through the posts and came across this valve adjustment post, I was wanting to post this same alternate valve adjustment method until of course I saw that you beat me to it.

I have not tried it yet myself. But I had read about it on another forum.

I'm no mechanic, but I play one on TV :lol: Most of what I learned about working on engines came from working on VW's in my youth. So I did do a little valve adjusting back then.

Thanks,
Bear
2006 Helix
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Light I Found

Postby fixer311 » Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:34 pm

I found this light at Tractor Supply. It was only 5.99 and has a super bright LED bulb and the head only measures 5/16" and the neck is only 3/16". It should find the punch mark on the camshaft easily. I have been looking for one for quite awile. It uses standard AAA bateries and in my case they are rechargable Nmh batteries. The quality is equal to a Mag Lite all machined aluminum and polished to perfection. Thought I'd share my find with the rest of you.
fixer311

Image

Image
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Postby Cruiser » Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:33 pm

I have a simuliar one that I use to check gun bore rifleing.
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Postby slonaker » Thu Dec 25, 2008 12:38 am

Fixer:
I fixed your images so they could be seen. You have to add the [img]tag%20before%20each%20photo%20and[/img] after each. You just had one before the first and the other after the last photo.

Patrick
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Pictures

Postby fixer311 » Thu Dec 25, 2008 12:53 am

Thanks Patrick,
I guess you learn something every day. I will try and remembe that liitle trick. Thank you so much for creating this wonderful forum. You are dedicated doing mentenance on Xmas eve. Have a wonderful holiday.
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Postby GhostHost » Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:28 am

Fixer,

Neat item! Guess I will have to head over to the local tractor supply tomorrow and see if I can find one or two. Thanks.

Green lights and soft breezes,
07 Helix
N. Central Florida
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Valve Adjustment

Postby fixer311 » Thu Dec 25, 2008 9:45 am

Hi Ghost Host,
No problem. I had just been looking like forever for the right one and I'm glad I could save somebody the trouble. All the other I had found used those stupid hearing aid batteries and since I have a green mindset I wanted something that I could use rechargable Nmh batteries. This light actually exceeds my expectations.
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Postby GhostHost » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:50 pm

Fixer,

Got it! Took the Helix out for a "honey do" run to Ocala. Stopped off at Tractor Supply and checked the clearance table first -- lo and behold, there were two of the TacTix lights. Took both of them and they rang up $3.99 each :D , at the register. Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.

Green lights and soft breezes,
07 Helix
N. Central Florida
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Light I Found

Postby fixer311 » Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:30 pm

Hi Ghost Host,
Glad to be of help. If that won't allow us to find that d----- punch mark on the camshaft I don't know what will.
fixer311
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Postby blipco » Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:09 pm

Fixer, you're going a little crazy with those "Post-It" notes. If you don't watch out, they'll multiply like rabbits. :mrgreen: Nice light, that will do it. Now comes the tricky part.
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