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Not your usual Valve Clearance Question

Discussion in 'Cal 1400 8V' started by PaulDavies, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. PaulDavies

    PaulDavies Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Coming from a past diet of Japanese inline fours, I find the rattle, clatter and general valve train noise of the 1400 both characterful and slightly irritating in equal measure. I have mentioned previously a rattle that occurs on my Audace at around 2400 rpm, which is quite noticeable, even with ear plugs and full face helmet. It sounds like something vibrating/resonating at that frequency and it comes and goes with rides, but around the city where I'm up and down the revs/gears it stands out at low speeds. Before anyone mentions heat shields and all those other well documented issues, it's not those in my case and I'm pretty sure it's the valve train.

    In an effort to try to figure out if this could be reduced, I've done several checks on the valve clearances (0.15 mm inlet, 0.2mm exhaust) and decided it was time for a small adjust. I base this on the idea that the gap is "right" when the feeler gauge has just enough friction to hold itself in place between valve and tappet, no more, no less. Having waited about 4 hours for the bike to cool down to something approaching body temperature I set the gaps with the intention of checking them again in the morning, but as one previous poster noted here (https://www.guzzitech.com/forums/threads/california-valve-adjustment.9536/#post-71891) with an older California the gaps get bigger as it warms up which I suppose is at least safe. This ties in with my own experience of the engine starting off quiet and getting more rattly as it warms up.

    Come the next morning I couldn't even get the feeler gauge into the gaps, they had closed up that much I had to reset them at an ambient temperature of around 20 degrees Celsius. I guess this makes me wonder a couple of things

    1) What happens at the dealership when you drop off your bike for a service? Do they literally leave it stand around all day and do it 8 hours later just before you pick it up? Or do they drain the oil and adjust the valves at the same time and you end up with a gap that might be way too small when it cools down?

    2) How do you determine when the bike is stone cold anyway, the bike is realistically only the same temperature as the ambient workshop/garage/outside air. A gap set in Alaska in winter will be way different to one in Florida in summer, especially if you do it yourself outside in the open air. I'm guessing that the Guzzi recommended settings are the compromise between these two extremes and not the optimum solution for either.

    What's interesting (to me at least), is that if you only ever ride in the summer (like I do). Can you reduce the gap for summer riding to lead to a quieter ride? Any suggestions or am I talking crap?
     
  2. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    Others have determined that the gap gets larger when the motor heats up. On this basis you could set the cold clearance for a minimum.

    However, I haven't been game to try this (yet). It will also affect the valve timing, whether this is significant I have no idea.

    Bring back the hydraulic motor, they were sweet (after the cam eating fix).
     
  3. Trout

    Trout GT Reference

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    Answer to:
    1): Yes. A shop that does it correctly will allow the bike to sit over night.

    2): Ambient temp is not going to affect the different metals that are used in creating an engine to a significant degree to affect a valve adjustment. The specs Guzzi engineers use are not in any way considerate of ambient temp only operating temps.

    Guzzi's have had valve noise since they introduced the V-twin around 1967.
    It's one of the characteristics of the bike that folks accept as one of the trade offs for riding these great machines.
    Personally it does not bother me at all but then I've been riding one since 1971.

    Changing the gap for any reason will probably lead to problems & not worth the time it takes.

    I also ride a Victory Tour bike & altho the noises are different it is still a noisy machine compared to the Jap bikes.
    A friend has a Ducati & standing next to that thing when it is idling is like being in a metal bowl & marbles rolling around.

    For me the sound of well tuned machinery is music.
     
  4. PaulDavies

    PaulDavies Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    For sure - I totally appreciate that. The thing is, I wear a full face helmet and disposable ear plugs all the time, for wind noise mainly. The plugs and helmet pretty much drown out the valve clatter over 99% of the rev range and it becomes a background hum, but coming off the throttle as the revs drop to 2400 rpm (+/- 100), there's this immediate and loud'ish rattle/tinkle/chirp from the valves that goes straight through my ear defenses and really annoys, like someone ringing a bell at 2400 rpm. The frequency of it never changes, it's just there at 2400 rpm, I can hold the revs there and the noise is continuous.

    If I take the ear plugs out, I notice it way less as it blends in with the other noises noise, but of course the wind noise is significantly louder and unpleasant at highway speeds with only a small screen. If I close my visor it more or less disappears but I like the breeze at lower speed. I'm trying to preserve what's left of my hearing as I get older so I recently had some moulds taken for proper ear plugs ($125), but they've not been made yet so I don't know if this is going to be effective. I wondered if adjusting the gaps in some way would alleviate this resonance at 2400 rpm. Of course it could be my head resonating and not the bike - ha ha
     
  5. Trout

    Trout GT Reference

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    Got it.
    Yes that would annoy the crap out of me also especially not knowing why or worrying if it is something that's going to be a disaster down the road.
    I know you said you checked the heat shields how about the exhaust flange nuts?
    Could it be a pipe rattle? Older models used to loosen & the pipe would vibrate against the frame.

    Well keep us posted with what you find out, I'm interested.
     
  6. stephenm

    stephenm Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    A resonance at around 2,400rpm...on my Touring, the windshield resonated against the back of the right front indicator. It sounded 'bad' until I tracked it down. The engine braking also disappears around those rpm, and depending on your mufflers, that might be uncovering sound that was there all the time. On my Touring, with the Lafranconi Sport pipes, there is plenty of sound cover...

    Stephen
     
  7. PaulDavies

    PaulDavies Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    I only have a short windscreen and I don't think it's that , the screws are tight and there's nothing in close proximity to rattle against
     
  8. roadventure

    roadventure High Miler GT Famiglia

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    Paul,

    I think you are over thinking this whole valve clearance thing. You have the procedure correct for adjusting the clearance. Ride and enjoy. If the mechanical noise is too much for you, then maybe you should look for a liquid cooled bike. There are plenty of really good ones out there and the mechanical noises of the engine get muffled by the "water jacket" on the engine.

    However, you claim that the annoying noise comes only at a certain engine RPM. I would look for something resonating before looking at valve noise which should be pretty constant only speeding up or slowing down with the engine speed.
     
    James Chance likes this.
  9. Eldo1400

    Eldo1400 Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    The rule I was told with solid lifters is that too tight is what leads to problems. I'd err on the side of a bit more clearance. You say you're pretty sure, but I wouldn't be too sure it's the valvetrain. An increase in noise a a certain RPM is almost always a resonance away from the source of vibrations. OK, maybe not the usual suspects (heat shield).

    On my yamaha, for instance, just getting the fairing wet causes annoying buzzing noise at 5,000-5,200 rpm. I goes away when it dries out again. I'm sure it will happen permanently once the rubber pieces wear or the fastners loosen up.
     
  10. Smartleynz

    Smartleynz Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Try taking the speaker boxes of the top of the motor, ran mine while finding the plug cap arc problem and was markedly quieter.
     
    Loosy gussi likes this.
  11. LuftWolf

    LuftWolf Tuned and Synch'ed

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    I too was annoyed with the valve sound. After trying several different earplugs, including a pair of high dollar moulded ones, I finally settled on a set of SureFire Ep7 Sonic Defenders Ultra. 81ONg-vddhL._SL1500_.jpg They come in several different ear canal sizes, have replaceable foam filters and are adjustable (3 modes) for the amount of noise reduction. Mostly they cut the high frequencies i.e. valve noise, while letting the bass rumble of the machine come through. You can also hold a conversation with them in place with no problem. The tether shown connecting them is removable and they come with a case. Available on Amazon, eBay for between $15 & $18.
     

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