Fox's Suzuki in Roxboro, NC

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by Laconic, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    Has anyone used their service department for something as major as a valve adjustment on a Wee Strom?

    Opinions? Happy? Sad? :ear

    They have quoted me $240 -$280 to do a valve adjustment, assuming the adjustment is needed. That sounds reasonable to me, knowing how much labor is involved.
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  2. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    :ear
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  3. JoeWannaB

    JoeWannaB Usually a nice guy

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    I can't speak about the shop in question but I would encourage you to get a Clymer manual, a decent set of Metric feeler guages and do it yourself. Take the time to read up about it through the various Vstrom forums and take your time. You'll learn so much about your bike while you take it apart and you'll develop some real confidence in your ability to handle the mechanical stuff if your bike decides to take a dump on you. Finally, $240 is $240! Do the job once for yourself and you will never shell out another penny for basic maintenance again. Just my .02
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  4. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    I'll contribute another 2ยข to that.
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  5. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    I have a OEM service manual and I have done the valve clearance check. I don't feel like like messing with it right now, as I have a few other things going on that are more pressing.
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  6. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    I hate to crap on your thread, and I also realize I'm painting with a broad brush, but I'd never have any dealership do a valve check/adjustment.

    It's been my experience (however limited) that no dealer mechanic actually checks your valves. One mechanic friend I have told me they would bring the bike in, start it up cold, listen to the valve train. Let the bike warm up, turn it off. Restart it. If it restarted fine and didn't make any clicking noises, they considered that to be checked.

    Stories I've read on various motorcycle forums corroborate that as well as my own experience. The time necessary to properly check the valve clearances is too great, and the reward too small. Who's going to know if they actually checked or not?

    Perhaps somewhere there is a shop mechanic who will actually disassemble the bike and measure the clearances.

    Even if you you're not comfortable doing it yourself, find a friend or a friend of a friend and have them do it right.

    Jamie
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  7. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    You're not thread shitting. I have documented around here plenty of times how friends of mine were being ripped off by dealers and I discovered it when I started doing basic maintenance for them.

    I know how much work is involved because I have already done the checks myself once. $280 sounds a little too good to be true, doesn't it?

    Damnit, I guess I'll do it myself. I bought the tools, the lift, the book, the heated garage...

    Thanks for getting me straight. :D
    #7
  8. Dukerdr

    Dukerdr New old guy

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    If you do take it to them, get the estimate in writing and ask if they will do a 2 level estimate.

    It takes a little time to get the stuff out of the way to check all the clearances. It takes a lot longer to remove cams and stuff to change a shim. Get an estimate on checking them with no changes, and the higher estimate that would go with making changes.

    Most of the new bikes hold their clearances a lot longer than bikes used to. And it's still not uncommon to not need a change at 15,000 or 25,000 miles if the bike isn't beat on. They typically will close up the clearance if the valve has recessed into the head. You won't hear anything from a close clearance until the hardchroming wears away and the soft metals start chewing on each other. Then you hear a lot of clatter.

    That is what alarmed me about Jamie's post. Anyone who told him that bit about listening to the engine doesn't need to be near a bike with tools in their hands. This isn't 1967 and these engines aren't from a 6 cylinder Chebbie. These engines don't open up clearances until they've lost their oil supply at the cams. And then it's too late.

    You can check the clearances in 3 or 4 hours of uninterrupted garage time. Generally no special tools needed, except for some nice long feeler shims.

    Hell, $200.00 will buy you a big box of tools at Sears.:wink:

    (PS - You posted while I was typing and laughing at Phineas and Ferb)


    .
    #8
  9. racer

    racer Long timer

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    I agree that some shops don't actually check the valves. I was in a Kawasaki shop talking to the mechanic and asked if I could just grind down the valve shims in my KLR if they were out of tolerance, rather than wait and order new ones. He told me that he always had to order new ones since they always required thicker shims! :huh

    I didn't press him any further since it was obvious he had never been inside an engine. I haven't returned to that shop either. I also have ground shims on a surface grinder for my KLR's. On higher performance motors, like my FJR, I don't take a chance grinding through a case hardened shim.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
    #9
  10. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

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    For what it's worth...
    I tear my wee down every winter and check the clearances religiously - and keep a file of the measurements. They have not moved one iota since the second time I measured them - and I am pushing 60,000 miles.
    #10
  11. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    I like this. I will be in the garage from tomorrow through Monday. You know where I live. The beer is cold and the cigars are plentiful.
    #11
  12. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

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    Dang, if the weather was a little warmer I take you up on the offer. :vardy
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  13. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    I have a vented heater in the garage. Drive the car. Food and lodging on us.
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  14. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

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    HA

    At today's fuel prices, I would likely come out ahead by just sending you the $240 (for the dealer to do it) then drive the car. :lol3
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  15. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    We'll catch up at MMM then. :1drink
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  16. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

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    Yep. Looking forward to it.

    I enjoyed the visit and our ride last fall. Need to figure out a time to do it again. Maybe BYOB. Isn't it held up your way?
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  17. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    Seneca Rocks, WV, close to where we parted ways when I showed you the ride up north.

    The house is always open.
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  18. Al Tuna

    Al Tuna NSFW

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    My Vee is still siting in the garage waiting for me to get off the interwebs. I need to do the valve check and chain/sprockets.

    Thanks for the motivation... I'l start on it tomorrow. :lol3
    #18
  19. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    I have been working on taxes and cleaning house this morning; the bike still sits on the lift where I left it last night. :norton
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  20. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    I'm glad I checked it myself. I can't find my last set of measurements, but if I remember correctly, nothing has really changed since last time. So, 34,500 miles and still no adjustment needed.
    #20