Valve adjustment = WOW!

Old 11-14-2013, 12:00 PM
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Valve adjustment = WOW!

My '05 with 65k miles started giving misfire codes several months ago (P0300, 301, 302, 303, 304). It idled rough and would occasionally stall. I browsed the collective wisdom here and figured it was either dirty injectors or worn spark plugs. Over time I pumped a few bottles of injector cleaner through the fuel system, tried cleaning the MAP and TB. Then gapped the plugs, and eventually replaced them even though they still looked pretty good. All of this was to no avail.

So, next I decided to clean the IAC valve and while this did cure the stalling issue, it did not make the idle any better (still lumpy). Another thing I noticed was that over time the car seemed to be getting more "difficult" to drive. Seemed like I had to rev it more to get it to pull away from a stop. It was kind of like riding a 2 stroke motorcycle where you have to keep it on the pipe to get the motor running with power.

Finally I decided I would pull the injectors to have a look after seeing some abnormal long term fuel trims (-10 to -15%). Unfortunately it was going to cost a few bucks to either have them cleaned or replaced so instead, as a last ditch effort to save money, I decided to check the valves. I was skeptical since this is a 100k miles maintenance and in all the years of adjusting valves on motorcycles I never saw a change in engine performance.

ALL of the exhaust valves were tight, half of them extremely tight with <0.005" clearance (the smallest gauge I have is 0.005"). The intakes were all okay on the large end of the adjustment range. I buttoned 'er up and started it and noticed an immediate and noticeable change. It idled much smoother and is now much more drivable. It pulls away from a stop much nicer now without having to drive it like a 2 stroke. I haven't seen any DTCs in a month and believe it or not have seen about 10% improvement in fuel economy. It's actually a lot more fun to drive now!

I am shocked at the difference and wanted to share this with others on the forum. With the change in performance I saw, some of those exhaust valves might have had clearance of 0.000", or less. So even though the maintenance schedule calls for 100k miles for the valve adjustment, if you start seeing symptoms like mine and if other remedies don't cure it then it may be time to check those valve clearances!
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:07 PM
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Thanks and welcome!!

edit: I guess you have been here since March of 2012 but this is your first post.

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Old 11-14-2013, 05:51 PM
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Good thing you caught it when you did as the next stage would be burnt exhaust valves which would make a new set of injectors look cheap. I find it strange that the valves were tight, usually as the system runs in they get a wider setting. I wonder if a previous owner tried adjusting them and never did a final snug on the lock nuts??
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:29 PM
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Just this week I have noticed several threads on S2KI that several people have discovered they had tight valves the first time they were adjusted. I wonder if this is something that occurs on its own over time just like the opposite effect with the axle nut going from 180 ft* lbs to almost nothing.

Did you use any special tools as Billman does or as other have mentioned? Any suggestions for someone who has read the DIYs but never actually done an adjustment before?
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:28 PM
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I used one of these
10mm Honda Jam Nut Valve Adjustment Tool : Amazon.com : Automotive 10mm Honda Jam Nut Valve Adjustment Tool : Amazon.com : Automotive
takes a little bit to get used to but definitely helps. The hardest part if you haven't done it before is getting used to the "feel" of the feeler gauges. It is not an exact science and after you have done a couple of them you will get better at it. The first time I did it a actually went and did the first two again just to check. It also helps to have a pretty good torque wrench to use on the locking nuts.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:31 PM
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Ooohhh yeah, getting the valve cover off can be a PITA, hit it a bunch of times with a large rubber mallet and work it back and forth and it will come. Also use the oil fill hole as a good handle.

OOOhhh yeah, yeah, on the rubber pieces that are on the valve cover bolts if they are stuck on there just use an old paint can opener to gently get them off. Just put a rag against the cover and pry them up all the way around.

Last edited by mlc; 11-14-2013 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mlc View Post
I used one of these 10mm Honda Jam Nut Valve Adjustment Tool : Amazon.com : Automotive takes a little bit to get used to but definitely helps. The hardest part if you haven't done it before is getting used to the "feel" of the feeler gauges. It is not an exact science and after you have done a couple of them you will get better at it. The first time I did it a actually went and did the first two again just to check. It also helps to have a pretty good torque wrench to use on the locking nuts.
Okay, tell me this: can I crack the thing open with my handy dandy feeler (sounds like a second date) and get an idea of how it is to see if I need to actually perform an adjustment (and get that Amazon part)? I would think that really would not be a big deal on a cold engine. Correct?
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:26 AM
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Yes you can check them without actually touching or loosening anything. Definitely get the angled feeler gauges or it is REALLY hard to get them in there. Once the feeler gauge is in between then almost let it go and gently move it around, if you muscle it it is worse. Also buy the couple of buck magnetized trays, way easier to just set that down and put the gauges you aren't using in that, it is a big PITA if you drop them.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:47 AM
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Thanks, sounds like a good December project. I have never popped the cover (42K miles) so I wanted to justify in my mind a good reason to do so!
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:03 AM
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Yeah it gives you a chance to look at the plugs while you are at it and make sure they are torqued down correctly. You might find the exhaust side a little tight, they get hotter and heat cycle and over time have an effect. I found that the intake side was a little "loose" and tightened them up some.

Good luck and let us know how it goes or if you have any questions.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:25 AM
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Guys saw an interesting u-tube about s2000 valve adjustment. This guy set the high end of the adjustment range (.010" for the intakes) under the tappet and tightened down the lock nut so that it was difficult to remove the feeler gage by hand. Then he used a pair of pliers to extract the feeler gage and checked the gap with the .009" feeler gage and the gap was just right. He didn't use ant special Honda tool, just bent his existing feeler gage to fit. After replacing the spark plugs last weekend (only 70.5 kmiles on the car and they were crappy, Honda what's with the recommended 105 kmiles?) I think it might be a good thing to at least check!
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:35 PM
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Sorry, checking in after a bit. As phins2rt noted, I'm more of a lurker.

I did not use any special tools when I did the job, just a set of angled feeler gauges, a 10mm combination wrench, and a screw driver. About the tip that agski mentioned today, I would not recommend it. I would stay away from having to extract the feeler gauge with a pair of pliers - what if it breaks and drops little pieces of metal in there somewhere? Or scores the valve stem or adjuster? I don't want to take any chances of damaging anything so I just do it the way I describe below.

When I set the gap, rather than loosen the locknut completely which allows the adjuster screw to move freely, I set the locknut just tight enough to give some resistance when turning the screw. Then I take note of the angle of the screw's slot when the gap is properly set (for example: 1 o'clock, 3:30 o'clock, etc.). Then remove the gauge and tighten the locknut. Sometimes I still need to use a screw driver to keep the screw position. Finally re-check each gap after both valves have been set.

As somebody else mentioned, it takes a little practice to develop the right feel for the feeler gauge in the gap but once you do it's not too hard. I had better luck in sliding the feeler gauge in on the sides of the valves rather than trying to insert it head on.

The tool on Amazon looks good. I was lucky in that none of the intakes needed adjusting (well, if I had that tool I might have adjusted the gaps to the small end of the range to quiet things down a little - but I was impatient and wanted to check the valves right away instead of waiting a few days to get the tool). I think it would be a challenge to make adjustments on the intake side using a wrench like I did due to cramped quarters.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:46 AM
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I ordered the tool from Amazon and found a nice set of bent feeler gauges from Craftsman that have the exact specifications for the S. No guesswork I hope. Tool is not here yet; need to get a new gasket from the dealer. I have never adjusted valves before so it will probably take me a little longer than someone else. It seems the S is actually pretty easy to work on compared to some other cars. I have been looking at doing my MDX and for the shop to do it its 4 1/2 hours! Way more than I want to do.

Concerning the post about using pliers, I saw another post where someone just screwed the gap closed then baked off the screw a preset amount. I am going with the feelers. I guess I will teach myself about the proper "feel" and "drag" needed.

Here is a post from Billman concerning the valves on Drive By Wire cars:


Posted 26 November 2013 - 02:09 PM
I wanted to get enough of these under my belt to make a determination that there is a real problem.

Out of 40 DBW S2000, 22 of them have had tight exhaust valves. A few had developed misfires from burnt valves, and the head had to come off for new valves.

I have found them as tight as .003-.008. For comparison, I have found tight valves on only 3 out 1000 or so cars, 2000-2005. Even those were no tighter than .009.

It appears the DBW cars run leaner, causing exhaust valve wear. This wear accelerates as the clearance lessens, and the valves begin to torch themselves.

I recommend getting the valves adjusted at 15k miles, no earlier. After that, I recommend 50k intervals. So if you are at 15k or better, now is the time.

I also recommend the exhaust valves be set to .011, not .010. You wont lose any power, create any noise, and your engine will be safe.
Billman250 S2000 Service & Repair

Plus this post:

Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:10 AM
Yes .011 is for dbw cars only. .010 is safe for 00-05.

Here is a link for VA:

http://robrobinette.com/S2000ValveAdjust.htm

Last edited by cosmomiller; 12-04-2013 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:36 AM
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Are you talking about getting the valve cover gasket from the dealer? If so there is no need unless you damage it. It is reusable and actually would take some work to hurt it.

Once you get into it you will find it is not that hard, just take your time.

If you follow the robrobinette instructions, which are excellent by the way, don't take off the heat shield. Their is no need to and it is a PITA.

Last edited by mlc; 12-04-2013 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mlc View Post
Are you talking about getting the valve cover gasket from the dealer? If so there is no need unless you damage it. It is reusable and actually would take some work to hurt it.

Once you get into it you will find it is not that hard, just take your time.

If you follow the robrobinette instructions, which are excellent by the way, don't take off the heat shield. Their is no need to and it is a PITA.
I saw the thread from robrobinette and he said to replace the gasket if your car >5 years. I have an 09 so I thought I might as well but I also really don't want to fix something that is not broken.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:42 PM
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Well this week I assembled the tools of the trade and went to work. I had the 2 in 1 tool from Amazon, bent Craftsman feeler gauges, and a new wire Craftsman plug gaper. Mine is an 09 with 42K miles, stock.

Bit of a pain to remove the hoses from the breather valves but everything was straight forward. I had my iPad with Robbins page up as well as the 2009 second edition maint book. I had never adjusted these before so I actually went through it four times. Did get better and better with practice. Had a friend who has an S come over and did the quality check before buttoning it up.

I adjusted almost all of the exhaust valves but none was tighter than .07. Took them to Billman recommended (highest spec range in Honda's book) to .11. Couple of intake were a little loose. Set to .09. Amazon tool worked well.

No leftover parts. Plugs looked good to me, did bring slight gap differences back to spec. Had an issue with the socket staying behind on the plug after replacing. Had to super glue the thing on the extension. It was a Kobalt extension on a Craftsman socket. Ball bearing was weak.

Did wonder about a open bolt hole on valve cover, pax firewall side. Last pic in the middle. Don't remember removing anything but then I don't remember seeing it either!

Does seem like it is a bit smoother. VTEC was silk like.


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Last edited by cosmomiller; 01-16-2014 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:54 PM
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Our local S2000 "Guru" mentioned that it is not uncommon for the valves to get tighter. Especially on AP-1's. Steve has forgotten more than most know about the S2000 and seeing he owns an S800, was Hondas top tech for years and is the only person I let touch my cars, I have complete faith in his judgement. He recommends an adjustment at around 26K - 30K for AP-1's. I am going to have him do my 2001 when I hit 26K miles. Will let y'all know how that turns out. Going to ask him about AP-2s soon.
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Old 01-17-2014, 04:56 AM
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.08 is pretty tight on the exhaust side. Here is a write up on the AP2 about seeing a trend of tight exhaust side http://www.s2ki.com/s2000/topic/1060...ners-dbw-cars/

As for the socket, try electrical tape next time, a little easier then superglue .

Sounds like it went well, damn 4 times you were cautious, I went through mine twice.

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Old 01-17-2014, 05:03 AM
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.08 is pretty tight on the exhaust side. Here is a write up on the AP2 about seeing a trend of tight exhaust side http://www.s2ki.com/s2000/topic/1060...ners-dbw-cars/

As for the socket, try electrical tape next time, a little easier then superglue .

Sounds like it went well, damn 4 times you were cautious, I went through mine twice.

Kevin
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:36 AM
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Talking

Originally Posted by mlc View Post
.08 is pretty tight on the exhaust side. Here is a write up on the AP2 about seeing a trend of tight exhaust side http://www.s2ki.com/s2000/topic/1060...ners-dbw-cars/

As for the socket, try electrical tape next time, a little easier then superglue .

Sounds like it went well, damn 4 times you were cautious, I went through mine twice.

Kevin
That thread is what galvanized me to action.

I also did try tape, it was duct tape but it fell short. I also shortened the rubber tube inside the socket. The cyanoacrylate glue I used is easily removed. I use it quite a bit in hobbies, thick gap filling, normal, and thin. I have accelerator as well as remover. Works great if you glue your fingers together!
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by cosmomiller View Post
That thread is what galvanized me to action.

I also did try tape, it was duct tape but it fell short. I also shortened the rubber tube inside the socket. The cyanoacrylate glue I used is easily removed. I use it quite a bit in hobbies, thick gap filling, normal, and thin. I have accelerator as well as remover. Works great if you glue your fingers together!
See that is some fighter pilot $hit right there !!
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:25 AM
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Not to hijack the tread, but Cosmo, what kind of modeling do you do? I'm right in the middle of two stick and tissue kits, a Heinkel He-100, and a Mister Mulligan. Building these kits is a lot more demanding than many people realize. But if you got the itch you got to scratch it! Okay I'll return control of the tread make to the original
subject!!! I also need to check my MY '01 valves, one of those things I've been putting off.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:15 AM
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:30 PM
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black electrical tape to hold the socket to the extension. black electrical tape around the open end of the socket to hold the spark plug in place when you are re-inserting it. no fuss, no muss, no accelerator, no remover, no dissolver, problem solver.






yes, i have the tools and time. got to get to those valves.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by agski View Post
Not to hijack the tread, but Cosmo, what kind of modeling do you do? I'm right in the middle of two stick and tissue kits, a Heinkel He-100, and a Mister Mulligan. Building these kits is a lot more demanding than many people realize. But if you got the itch you got to scratch it! Okay I'll return control of the tread make to the original
subject!!! I also need to check my MY '01 valves, one of those things I've been putting off.
I have a 30 year old Scientific Thermopylae that I have been working on, still copper plating the hull. JJ (Java) had a real interest in that.
The meat and potatoes of what I do is R/C. As a kid I did contest free flight and control line combat (came in fourth in regionals with my Combat Streak) but could not afford R/C. Put everything on hold as I did the Navy thing and when I had kids I picked it up again. I occasionally design and scratch build, more often build up kits ( I prefer old timer cabin models up to 110" wing span-most 72") ( Buzzard Bombshell, Kloud King, Sniffer, Quaker, Mercury, list goes on and on) but have been known to get ARFs. Will sometimes get something at swap meets. A good friend who is really into it is getting me more and more into electric. I still love the smell of glow fuel and dope. Another friend is a die hard scale rubber guy. Beautiful models. I am quite aware of the stick and tissue build. I have done tons of that; now teaching my son how to cover with tissue.

I have always thought I would home build a real plane, something like an RV or Kitfox.
PM me if you would like!
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:12 PM
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ok, started on my valves this afternoon. everyone said it was a piece o' cake. well, let me tell ya: my take is different.
  1. that extra bolt hole on the vc--nothing to worry about.
  2. robrobinette instructions--pretty good except it needs a little updating.
  3. "Unplug and remove the driver side TDC1 sensor."--looked and looked for this little fellow. decided he did not exist. i was correct. 2007 model.
  4. "Bit of a pain to remove the hoses from the breather valves..."--you ain't just a whistlin' dixie.
  5. bit of a pain to remove the valve cover as well; another pair of hands does come in handy.
  6. the valves being at an angle and the angled feeler gauges are a bit awkward. hard to feel the drag. i am practicing. not my first valve adjustment but i have to go slow to make sure i am right. last valve adjustment i did was on a tractor--stand up job, no bending, straight feelers, although the vc was a bit of a pain; and it's been a while. much easier to find TDC on the S2000.
  7. "consider removing heat shield." oh, yeah, i'm considering it. could someone please tell me how to get to that last bolt? the one that just needs to be loosened? i am sharper than a bowling ball, but not by much. i don't have a 10mm long enough, my ratchet / socket won't reach it, and my skinny little arms are just too big to get my little 10mm anywhere near that bolt.
  8. plugs are not a problem. i have the black electrical tape out. i have done this job before.
  9. gotta appointment in the AM and will get back to feeler gauges and adjusting screws tomorrow PM.
  10. and, my exhaust valves are tight.
i'll update this tomorrow after i finish up. any comments or suggestions are welcome. i am adjusting the exhausts to .011, intakes to .010.

one other thing--19mm and 3/4" are just about the same thing.

bb

Last edited by bbcricketta; 02-04-2014 at 05:53 AM. Reason: #7. oh, yeah, underneath! nothin' to it!
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:27 AM
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BB thanks for posting the pics, that's exactly what I'm working on. Sorry to hear the time consuming valve adjustment experience, I was hoping to knock it off in a morning but sounds like I'll be running back and forth to pick up stuff as I realize my stuff won't work. Cosmo I'm one ahead of you only in that several years ago I helped a friend build an RV-9. I bucked every single rivet on the plane. A child hood dream come true!!!
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:29 PM
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agski: if you like stick and tissue, you will love the valve adjusting. tedium and precision--repetition and redundancy. i did not remove the heat shield; i did not remove the fuel electrical. these is just very little space to work in. on the exhaust side, if the .011 drags a bit, the .012 won't fit, and the .010 slides in easily, you are there, using the Billman250 specs of .011 for the exhaust. on the intake side, if the .010 drags a bit, the .011 won't go and the .009 slides in easily, you are there; give or take a thousandth of an inch or two.

i've got 'em all adjusted. now i want to recheck the clearances before i close her up. i had to adjust every exhaust valve. i only had to adjust 2 intakes, both of them on #4. hoping nothing is burnt up.

it was 65° yesterday and pleasant to work in the garage with the doors open. today it was 43° and raining and i had to plug in the electric radiator. worked better than i expected.

i had seen Mr. Mulligan before. the Heinkel was new to me. i am not a modeler since a long time ago but i still love those WWll aeroplanes.

be sure to reread cosmo and mic's posts above. they know of what they speak. might save you a headache. the amazon tool is ok but overrated.

Last edited by bbcricketta; 02-04-2014 at 07:33 PM. Reason: lookin' for that feeler gauge i dropped in the head...not the outhouse, i'm a-leavin' that one there!
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:28 AM
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will be checking mines soon!!!!
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bbcricketta View Post
agski: i did not remove the heat shield; i did not remove the fuel electrical. these is just very little space to work in. on the exhaust side, if the .011 drags a bit, the .012 won't fit, and the .010 slides in easily, you are there, using the Billman250 specs of .011 for the exhaust. on the intake side, if the .010 drags a bit, the .011 won't go and the .009 slides in easily, you are there; give or take a thousandth of an inch or two.

i've got 'em all adjusted. now i want to recheck the clearances before i close her up. the amazon tool is ok but overrated.
Glad you did not remove the heat shield! If you thought I was understating the "bit of a pain" term, the heat shield is in a new category. I did not remove but did loosen the two most forward bolts. I needed (or thought I did) to retighten the aft bolt and my oh my what a pain (I mean that literally-my hands are too big for the space) to get in there and tighten that motherless fornicating communist pig sticking satanic designed and placed bolt.

I still liked the Amazon tool.




Last edited by cosmomiller; 02-05-2014 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:56 AM
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Nice Hawker Seafury Cosmo, is that your personal aircraft? I'd love to help you change the oil in that bird!!! Or I could buck some rivets!!! Or I could just give it a bath!!!
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kevin r View Post

When I set the gap, rather than loosen the locknut completely which allows the adjuster screw to move freely, I set the locknut just tight enough to give some resistance when turning the screw. Then I take note of the angle of the screw's slot when the gap is properly set (for example: 1 o'clock, 3:30 o'clock, etc.). Then remove the gauge and tighten the locknut. Sometimes I still need to use a screw driver to keep the screw position. Finally re-check each gap after both valves have been set.

As somebody else mentioned, it takes a little practice to develop the right feel for the feeler gauge in the gap but once you do it's not too hard. I had better luck in sliding the feeler gauge in on the sides of the valves rather than trying to insert it head on.
this is good advice. try the amazon tool as well. i did use it some. i do like the above method.

finally got bb zipped back up, all pieces in place and torqued. i'll tell ya, one thousands on an inch (.001) is mighty tiny. adjust, check, re-adjust and recheck, and re-recheck. valve adjustment is not difficult, but the quarters are cramped and if you fark things up...what is a new engine, $6000-$7000? if you did it every day and it was in your blood it would be different. not really a whole lot different from adjusting the valves of an aircooled VW back when--and you were supposed to do that job every 3000 miles--and you had to crawl under the car unless you had a lift. i certainly would check the valves at 50,000 for you that have not done this. probably would be a good idea to do it every 20,000 from there on. just to be safe.

put the key in the ignition and fired her up. no valve clatter. instant start just like it oughta be. drove fine, transitioned to vtec just fine. felt smooth. felt fast.

do it.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:55 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by agski View Post
Nice Hawker Seafury Cosmo, is that your personal aircraft? I'd love to help you change the oil in that bird!!! Or I could buck some rivets!!! Or I could just give it a bath!!!
In my dreams it is my personal aircraft! An acquaintance of mine was showing me around his airport/hangers/facility. Brian and Dennis Sanders own and fly the multiple Sea Furys. They have quite the business and operation. They own the Eagle's Nest airport south of Sacramento. Mom does the books and drives the Lambo!

Btw, the Sea Fury engine is pretty cool. It has an internal valve sleeve that moves up and down as well as around to open the intakes and exhaust ports. There are no valves. RPM is much slower but power application is more intuitive in combat.




Last edited by cosmomiller; 02-07-2014 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:27 AM
  #34  
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Just checked my 07 with nearly 19k on it, valves were to factory specs and the plugs were textbook perfect. Took longer to get the damn things than to check them.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:05 PM
  #35  
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Yup, it definitely took a while to learn the correct friction for the feeler gauges. And I definitely found myself going crazy trying to measure the four-hundredths of a millimeter allowable distance between too tight and too loose. And, the two rubber hoses and that rear nut on the heat shield sure do suck. And, it really sucks dropping a feeler gauge down under the intake manifold, and not hearing it hit the floor. (I never knew the S2000 had so many great hiding places).

But, here we are. 82k miles, and this job wasn't anywhere near as difficult as I once imagined it might be. After doing it the first time, this is something I could gladly do every 25 or 50-thousand miles if need be. There's no better time to replace the plugs, so they went in too. Exhaust valves were tight, but still nowhere nearing riding the cam lobe full time. Intakes were still in the upper spec, but I tightened them up just a bit. It's a satisfying job, and the car idles nice & quiet. The S2000 is one of the best cars I'll ever own.

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Old 08-05-2014, 05:31 AM
  #36  
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One minor fallout from when I checked my valve clearance was that I knocked the control cable to the heater valve off. Going on a long drive to a motorcycle gathering I tried turning the heat on and got nothing. Took me week or so before I finally noticed the cable end off the valve. Just one of those easy to do things when you are jockeying the valve cover on and off.
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