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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tried searching the forum and saw the last post on the subject was from 2016, AND that thread was closed to further discussion.

So, I'll broach the subject again...

I'm at the 32K mile mark on my 2013 GL1800 and have done most of the relatively easy maintenance:
1. Oil and Filter Change
2. Final Drive Fluid Change
3. Brake Fluid Change
4. Clutch Fluid Change
5. Radiator Coolant Change
6. Checked Crankcase Breather
7. Spark plugs and air cleaner were changed last year, so no need to mess with those for a while.

One item that "looks" easy in the Service Manual, (that's what I thought about the air cleaner change last year!) is Check Valve Clearance. However, there's mention of a special tool to "loosen cam chain tensioners" and the instructions send you to section 10-8, which is part of the cam shaft removal process. When I'm fuzzy on the instructions for any Goldwing procedure, I look for You-Tube video posts on the subject. In this case, I'm drawing a blank.

So, Has anyone out there done this inspection?
If so, are there any caveats you care to impart?
And/or can anyone steer me to a video on the subject?

Thanks in advance
 

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2007 Crucible Orange GL1800 converted to CSC Viper
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It's basically the same engine as I have on my 2007. I bought it used in 2014. I just did the valve check on mine last year and I believe it hadn't been done before. I had held off because I was very intimidated in doing it. After several tries in lining up appts over the years to have it done professionally and not being able to do so, I went ahead and did it. I discovered that only one exhaust valve was center spec. The other 10 were "in spec" and one intake was out of spec.

I did buy 2 different 7.48mm shim kits so I could have enough shims to do this. I bought 1 on Amazon and the other on eBay. This gave me enough shims to get every valve center spec. I bought the 2 tools from Amazon as well. They were a bit expensive but I wanted the OEM Honda tools. Since I have ABS, I needed both the "A" and "B" holder tools. I bought a reasonably priced micrometer also on Amazon to verify shim sizes. And finally bought new valve cover gaskets to replace the old ones. I ended up spending about $360 obtaining the parts and tools but it is still less than I would have paid to have it done and when I do it again in a couple years, I already have everything I need except for new valve cover gaskets.

Things I discovered... When removing bolt for tensioner on right side engine, be careful as there is an aluminum sealing washer that is very easy to lose. And by it being aluminum, if it falls back into engine, a magnet is useless. I found this out the hard way. Luckily I had a lighted endoscope and was finally able to find it and carefully pick it back out. Another is the bolts on the camshaft holders use very little torque when tightening so be careful to not crank those down or they can easily be stripped out. As far as camshaft, I didn't remove the chain off the gear on front. I just removed the camshaft cover and angled it a bit out of the way to get to the valve shims. Some of the shim buckets are a bit tight and the fact that they have oil on them didn't help. I found that twisting the buckets back and forth while pulling out, I was able to get each one off to get to the shims. I also made a list of each shim and it's position on a sheet of paper as well as the new shims going in to have to make it easier for next valve adjustment. It also helped as I was able to reuse some of the existing shims on other valves. To line up the marks for crankshaft on the front of the motor, it helped to be on the left side of front wheel and have a bright flashlight. And make sure to use the proper sized shims. I screwed up and had a senior moment and went with smaller sized shims the first time through and ended up with larger clearances instead of smaller clearances. Still can't figure out why I did that but figured it out fairly quickly. I went back and installed the proper sized shims to get center spec. I did kind of estimate the shim sizes when going through them and you may not get the exact size needed but can get very close. You want the feeler gauge to just drag slightly when pushing it in and pulling out.

All that is called for on the valves is for them to be in spec but since I was spending all this time doing it, I wanted to do it right and set all at center spec. All mine were brought to .006 for intake and .009 for exhaust. And this is why I bought the two different brand 7.48mm shim kits as they would have probably been enough to get me to in spec but not center spec. Each one had sizes broken down in .05 but each started at different sizes so I ended up with .025 increments to get what I needed. Between the 2 kits and reusing a couple old shims, I accomplished what was needed.

And I had an interesting result of doing the valve adjustment. I had been chasing down an overheating problem since I bought this. I had done everything I could think of including removing the radiators to completely clean the fins, tightening every loose fitting, and even changing out the water pump which also gave me a newly installed thermostat. These helped out quite a bit but didn't completely solve the overheating. But after doing the valve adjustment, it seems to have finally taken care of it. My temp gauge now stays down just under the middle hash mark pretty much all the time and I rarely even see it move anymore.

Hope some of this helps you. Good luck but you will feel a great sense of accomplishment when you are done.
 

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2007 Crucible Orange GL1800 converted to CSC Viper
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Oh, and I too tried to find any YouTube videos to help and couldn't find one. I know that there are video series that you could buy such as the Fred Harmon videos that would walk you through this but unfortunately I didn't have them and was only able to use various forum posts here and in another well known forum along the Service Manual to get it done.
 

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It's basically the same engine as I have on my 2007. I bought it used in 2014. I just did the valve check on mine last year and I believe it hadn't been done before. I had held off because I was very intimidated in doing it. After several tries in lining up appts over the years to have it done professionally and not being able to do so, I went ahead and did it. I discovered that only one exhaust valve was center spec. The other 10 were "in spec" and one intake was out of spec.

I did buy 2 different 7.48mm shim kits so I could have enough shims to do this. I bought 1 on Amazon and the other on eBay. This gave me enough shims to get every valve center spec. I bought the 2 tools from Amazon as well. They were a bit expensive but I wanted the OEM Honda tools. Since I have ABS, I needed both the "A" and "B" holder tools. I bought a reasonably priced micrometer also on Amazon to verify shim sizes. And finally bought new valve cover gaskets to replace the old ones. I ended up spending about $360 obtaining the parts and tools but it is still less than I would have paid to have it done and when I do it again in a couple years, I already have everything I need except for new valve cover gaskets.

Things I discovered... When removing bolt for tensioner on right side engine, be careful as there is an aluminum sealing washer that is very easy to lose. And by it being aluminum, if it falls back into engine, a magnet is useless. I found this out the hard way. Luckily I had a lighted endoscope and was finally able to find it and carefully pick it back out. Another is the bolts on the camshaft holders use very little torque when tightening so be careful to not crank those down or they can easily be stripped out. As far as camshaft, I didn't remove the chain off the gear on front. I just removed the camshaft cover and angled it a bit out of the way to get to the valve shims. Some of the shim buckets are a bit tight and the fact that they have oil on them didn't help. I found that twisting the buckets back and forth while pulling out, I was able to get each one off to get to the shims. I also made a list of each shim and it's position on a sheet of paper as well as the new shims going in to have to make it easier for next valve adjustment. It also helped as I was able to reuse some of the existing shims on other valves. To line up the marks for crankshaft on the front of the motor, it helped to be on the left side of front wheel and have a bright flashlight. And make sure to use the proper sized shims. I screwed up and had a senior moment and went with smaller sized shims the first time through and ended up with larger clearances instead of smaller clearances. Still can't figure out why I did that but figured it out fairly quickly. I went back and installed the proper sized shims to get center spec. I did kind of estimate the shim sizes when going through them and you may not get the exact size needed but can get very close. You want the feeler gauge to just drag slightly when pushing it in and pulling out.

All that is called for on the valves is for them to be in spec but since I was spending all this time doing it, I wanted to do it right and set all at center spec. All mine were brought to .006 for intake and .009 for exhaust. And this is why I bought the two different brand 7.48mm shim kits as they would have probably been enough to get me to in spec but not center spec. Each one had sizes broken down in .05 but each started at different sizes so I ended up with .025 increments to get what I needed. Between the 2 kits and reusing a couple old shims, I accomplished what was needed.

And I had an interesting result of doing the valve adjustment. I had been chasing down an overheating problem since I bought this. I had done everything I could think of including removing the radiators to completely clean the fins, tightening every loose fitting, and even changing out the water pump which also gave me a newly installed thermostat. These helped out quite a bit but didn't completely solve the overheating. But after doing the valve adjustment, it seems to have finally taken care of it. My temp gauge now stays down just under the middle hash mark pretty much all the time and I rarely even see it move anymore.

Hope some of this helps you. Good luck but you will feel a great sense of accomplishment when you are done.
Fantastic write up. Thank you for sharing. I’ve done a few and still don’t retain this much information in the middle of winter. I have 1 kit with added shim packs for the in between sizes. guys will ask me to check clearances for them and I’ll ask them if they want them changed if I find the out of spec. Most don’t want the work done, just checked, so I don’t loosen the cams. The difference is very slight between tensioned and un-tensioned cams.
 

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When I bought my 2005, I had the valve clearances checked at 35,000 miles. They all were within spec. I had them checked again at 60,000 miles. Still within spec but showing just a little wear. Still Ok so I left them. At 113,000 miles I checked them again. Vary close to spec and still OK. Now I could have done the whole adjustment job then, but it performed great. So I put it off. Wound up picking up a New 2016 in 2018, and sold my old 2005.
Have a couple friends who are having the same results with their Gen-5 Wings.
One thing we all do is run synthetic oil and change it every 5000 miles. My choice is Mobil-1 motorcycle oil.
This is just been my experience and I will check my 2016 when it gets to around 30k on the clock.
Just wanted to share.

Corventure Dave
 

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I checked my 2010 this past summer at almost 50k.

I had bought Honda’s detention tool a few years ago and watched Fred’s videos before, but in the end did not use it. A couple of post said that they could tell no difference or very minimal.

Anyways, mine were all center specked until I got to the last one, #5 exhaust. 9 was very tight, but would go in. 8 seemed about right.

I could have been tired at that point though and it is difficult to find the correct angle on some of those, so Lord willing, I will check that one again in a few thousand miles.

Easy job and changed the spark plugs for the 3rd time while I was there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's basically the same engine as I have on my 2007. I bought it used in 2014. I just did the valve check on mine last year and I believe it hadn't been done before. I had held off because I was very intimidated in doing it. After several tries in lining up appts over the years to have it done professionally and not being able to do so, I went ahead and did it. I discovered that only one exhaust valve was center spec. The other 10 were "in spec" and one intake was out of spec.

I did buy 2 different 7.48mm shim kits so I could have enough shims to do this. I bought 1 on Amazon and the other on eBay. This gave me enough shims to get every valve center spec. I bought the 2 tools from Amazon as well. They were a bit expensive but I wanted the OEM Honda tools. Since I have ABS, I needed both the "A" and "B" holder tools. I bought a reasonably priced micrometer also on Amazon to verify shim sizes. And finally bought new valve cover gaskets to replace the old ones. I ended up spending about $360 obtaining the parts and tools but it is still less than I would have paid to have it done and when I do it again in a couple years, I already have everything I need except for new valve cover gaskets.

Things I discovered... When removing bolt for tensioner on right side engine, be careful as there is an aluminum sealing washer that is very easy to lose. And by it being aluminum, if it falls back into engine, a magnet is useless. I found this out the hard way. Luckily I had a lighted endoscope and was finally able to find it and carefully pick it back out. Another is the bolts on the camshaft holders use very little torque when tightening so be careful to not crank those down or they can easily be stripped out. As far as camshaft, I didn't remove the chain off the gear on front. I just removed the camshaft cover and angled it a bit out of the way to get to the valve shims. Some of the shim buckets are a bit tight and the fact that they have oil on them didn't help. I found that twisting the buckets back and forth while pulling out, I was able to get each one off to get to the shims. I also made a list of each shim and it's position on a sheet of paper as well as the new shims going in to have to make it easier for next valve adjustment. It also helped as I was able to reuse some of the existing shims on other valves. To line up the marks for crankshaft on the front of the motor, it helped to be on the left side of front wheel and have a bright flashlight. And make sure to use the proper sized shims. I screwed up and had a senior moment and went with smaller sized shims the first time through and ended up with larger clearances instead of smaller clearances. Still can't figure out why I did that but figured it out fairly quickly. I went back and installed the proper sized shims to get center spec. I did kind of estimate the shim sizes when going through them and you may not get the exact size needed but can get very close. You want the feeler gauge to just drag slightly when pushing it in and pulling out.

All that is called for on the valves is for them to be in spec but since I was spending all this time doing it, I wanted to do it right and set all at center spec. All mine were brought to .006 for intake and .009 for exhaust. And this is why I bought the two different brand 7.48mm shim kits as they would have probably been enough to get me to in spec but not center spec. Each one had sizes broken down in .05 but each started at different sizes so I ended up with .025 increments to get what I needed. Between the 2 kits and reusing a couple old shims, I accomplished what was needed.

And I had an interesting result of doing the valve adjustment. I had been chasing down an overheating problem since I bought this. I had done everything I could think of including removing the radiators to completely clean the fins, tightening every loose fitting, and even changing out the water pump which also gave me a newly installed thermostat. These helped out quite a bit but didn't completely solve the overheating. But after doing the valve adjustment, it seems to have finally taken care of it. My temp gauge now stays down just under the middle hash mark pretty much all the time and I rarely even see it move anymore.

Hope some of this helps you. Good luck but you will feel a great sense of accomplishment when you are done.

Last point first. I did feel that sense of accomplishment when I finally got everything back together after changing that air cleaner, but also a sense of the time being wasted. The air cleaner wasn't really dirty (even after 24,000 miles) making me wonder if the satisfaction was worth the effort. Having read several posts here suggesting these clearances don't go out of whack this soon, I'm thinking of buttoning the bike back up and calling it a day. Afterall, it sounds perfectly fine when I'm riding it.

Having said that, I just knocked a couple more items off the list (brake pads and wheel cleaning) and am staring at a partially disassembled bike. In for a penny, in for a pound?

It sure would be nice to find a video to reference, but if my two go-to guys posting You Tube videos on GL1800 maintenance don't have this base covered, I think I'm SOL. So, I'll return to Sections 3 and 10 of the Service Manual and look at them with fresh eyes having your notes above to reference while doing so. An action plan will come together.

If all I plan to do is 'inspect' the valve clearances, how far into Chapter 10 (starting at 10-8) do I need to dive to "loosen the cam chain tensioners"? I don't think I need to go as far as removing the camshaft. These manuals were not written for the shade tree mechanic.

Thank you Mikey
 

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I have seen many people say that there is very little difference in the clearances whether loosening chain or leaving it tensioned. It is also mentioned above in this thread as well. The "correct" way stated in manual is to loosen the tensioners but I even saw a very respected individual say that it can be done either way. And just to mention, the camshafts have to remain installed to check the clearances so you are correct that you don't remove them to check. The clearance being checked is the top of the shim bucket to the camshaft lobes. As long as the clearances are +/- .001, they are considered "in spec" so for intake, you want to see .005-.007 and for exhaust you want to see .008-.010.

And if you are going to just do the check and cheat a bit, you only need to remove the front crankshaft cover and then the full valve covers along with the spark plugs. That will get you to the point of the valve clearance check.

The order for checking cylinders is 1-4-5-2-3-6. 1,3,5 are on right side and 2,4,6 are on left side. Also to make sure that when starting on TDC Cylinder 1, the narrow part of lobe all the way on back of left camshaft by cylinder 6 should be pointing straight out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have seen many people say that there is very little difference in the clearances whether loosening chain or leaving it tensioned.
It would be interesting to note the extent of that "difference". To those who offered that perspective, I ask for details.

I'm taking a couple of days off on motorcycle maintenance, but suspect I'll order the tools and parts anyway. Thanks yet again for your valued feedback.

Now, about the Pulse Secondary Air Injection System? (kidding. Since step one is to remove the air cleaner housing, I'll wait on this inspection until the next time I change the air cleaner - UNLESS someone can give me a solid reason for inspecting this now (again odometer reads 32.9K))
 

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It's basically the same engine as I have on my 2007. I bought it used in 2014. I just did the valve check on mine last year and I believe it hadn't been done before. I had held off because I was very intimidated in doing it. After several tries in lining up appts over the years to have it done professionally and not being able to do so, I went ahead and did it. I discovered that only one exhaust valve was center spec. The other 10 were "in spec" and one intake was out of spec.

I did buy 2 different 7.48mm shim kits so I could have enough shims to do this. I bought 1 on Amazon and the other on eBay. This gave me enough shims to get every valve center spec. I bought the 2 tools from Amazon as well. They were a bit expensive but I wanted the OEM Honda tools. Since I have ABS, I needed both the "A" and "B" holder tools. I bought a reasonably priced micrometer also on Amazon to verify shim sizes. And finally bought new valve cover gaskets to replace the old ones. I ended up spending about $360 obtaining the parts and tools but it is still less than I would have paid to have it done and when I do it again in a couple years, I already have everything I need except for new valve cover gaskets.

Things I discovered... When removing bolt for tensioner on right side engine, be careful as there is an aluminum sealing washer that is very easy to lose. And by it being aluminum, if it falls back into engine, a magnet is useless. I found this out the hard way. Luckily I had a lighted endoscope and was finally able to find it and carefully pick it back out. Another is the bolts on the camshaft holders use very little torque when tightening so be careful to not crank those down or they can easily be stripped out. As far as camshaft, I didn't remove the chain off the gear on front. I just removed the camshaft cover and angled it a bit out of the way to get to the valve shims. Some of the shim buckets are a bit tight and the fact that they have oil on them didn't help. I found that twisting the buckets back and forth while pulling out, I was able to get each one off to get to the shims. I also made a list of each shim and it's position on a sheet of paper as well as the new shims going in to have to make it easier for next valve adjustment. It also helped as I was able to reuse some of the existing shims on other valves. To line up the marks for crankshaft on the front of the motor, it helped to be on the left side of front wheel and have a bright flashlight. And make sure to use the proper sized shims. I screwed up and had a senior moment and went with smaller sized shims the first time through and ended up with larger clearances instead of smaller clearances. Still can't figure out why I did that but figured it out fairly quickly. I went back and installed the proper sized shims to get center spec. I did kind of estimate the shim sizes when going through them and you may not get the exact size needed but can get very close. You want the feeler gauge to just drag slightly when pushing it in and pulling out.

All that is called for on the valves is for them to be in spec but since I was spending all this time doing it, I wanted to do it right and set all at center spec. All mine were brought to .006 for intake and .009 for exhaust. And this is why I bought the two different brand 7.48mm shim kits as they would have probably been enough to get me to in spec but not center spec. Each one had sizes broken down in .05 but each started at different sizes so I ended up with .025 increments to get what I needed. Between the 2 kits and reusing a couple old shims, I accomplished what was needed.

And I had an interesting result of doing the valve adjustment. I had been chasing down an overheating problem since I bought this. I had done everything I could think of including removing the radiators to completely clean the fins, tightening every loose fitting, and even changing out the water pump which also gave me a newly installed thermostat. These helped out quite a bit but didn't completely solve the overheating. But after doing the valve adjustment, it seems to have finally taken care of it. My temp gauge now stays down just under the middle hash mark pretty much all the time and I rarely even see it move anymore.

Hope some of this helps you. Good luck but you will feel a great sense of accomplishment when you are done.
Great info, thanks much!
 

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It would be interesting to note the extent of that "difference". To those who offered that perspective, I ask for details.

I'm taking a couple of days off on motorcycle maintenance, but suspect I'll order the tools and parts anyway. Thanks yet again for your valued feedback.

Now, about the Pulse Secondary Air Injection System? (kidding. Since step one is to remove the air cleaner housing, I'll wait on this inspection until the next time I change the air cleaner - UNLESS someone can give me a solid reason for inspecting this now (again odometer reads 32.9K))
If you were able to obtain .001” variance between tensioned and untensioned, it should be the most that you find. Those cam journals don’t wear much. And, the bike runs with that tension on it anyway. I wonder what kind of camera setup would be needed to see a cam deflect .001” while in operation. Also considering that most folks find no adjustment needed long after the recommended interval supports the lack of wear in the valve train. They aren’t made like they used to be, in that regard. They are made much better.
 

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The clearance check is very easy to do. But, then i had a VW Rabbit Diesel for many years and did ALL the work on the engine and car myself. It also had shims but they sit on top of the buckets so are much easier to get to. But I did get a shim kit that included the spring compression tool that does not work on a Wing.
 
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