1985 LTD Cylinder Head Valve Job

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Rednaxs60

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Starting a new thread regarding doing the heads on my '85 LTD here in Victoria. Have already started to peruse the forum(s) for information regarding this. I have read where a valve job can be expected in the 160,000 Km (100,000 miles) range – there are 152,000 Kms on the engine now – reasonable I think.

This will be the first bike I will have torn apart to this extent, have lapped valves on a car engine before and rebuilt several engines in my younger days. From what I have read it should not be too difficult, the timing being the most critical item.

Have been looking into the parts required such as head gasket, possibility of new valve guides, new intake/exhaust valves, water system o-rings, camshaft seals, valve seals, and others. Don't have to worry about valve lash/adjustment as this bike has hydraulic lifters.

Have also been reading up on compression and leak down tests. Lots of good information regarding this regarding benefits and what is expected when this is done.

Also thinking ahead to the day when I might have to do an engine rebuild. Using car piston rings for one. Canuckxxxx has used rings from a 1984 1.3L Honda Civic. Looked into how to properly gap piston rings and what I might need to do it. Canuckxxxx has also used the valve seals from this car as well.

I think a leak down test along with a more current compression test is in order when I return with the other bike. I have a lot of confidence in the piston rings being fine as I am not using or loosing oil.

I am looking forward to giving this a go and see the engine improvement because of it; however, I do consider the cost involved with such an endeavour.

Priced the cost of Honda head gaskets, approximately $150.00 CDN for the pair. New valve guides are approximately $240.00 CDN, valve stem seals approximately $10.00 CDN, new intake/exhaust valves are $50.00 CDN each. Cost does add up – expect the cost for both heads will be around the $500.00 mark.

Is it worth it? A question I ask myself and my friends ask me as well. I had breakfast with a friend whom I have known for over 40 years, he worked on HDs when he left our Navy and he was adamant that this is for me, and with it the satisfaction as well. Besides, I get a lot of satisfaction keeping up with the new boys with a 33 year old bike, and the better half likes riding on it as well.

Lots of logistics to get in place before I tear into the engine, and lots of bikes being worked on to the same extent as I intend to do. Read the Wanderer III thread on this issue, very informative.

More to follow. Cheers
 

Rednaxs60

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Last fall it was 125 across the board. Just checked early this month and down under 100. Will check again when I get back and do a leak down test as well. Still gets good mileage, does not use oil. Will continue to monitor.

Going to collect the parts needed as inexpensively as I can. Have a bid in on 4 valve guides, offered $15.00 CDN but the shipping is almost the same - still less than through Honda.

Cheers
 

desertrefugee

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125PSI and +/- 10% across the board, running well, not using oil and you're still considering an overhaul? Hmmm. I think I'd ride it until I had a more compelling reason to tear it down - unless you're really just looking for an educational experience. Also, I wouldn't rely on one compression gauge for a final diagnosis - unless it's either a darn good one or calibrated.

Reason I mention this is I'm not sure what would cause the drop to 100 with no intervening "event". Verify with another gauge.
 

Rednaxs60

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Agree with both. Not a bugger for punishment. Engine idle is a bit rough on start, but smooths out nicely when warm. Still going after parts, not getting any cheaper. Looking for good deals.
 

dan filipi

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125 and below for sure I’d be looking why it’s so low. New spec is 180 or there abouts.
Be curious what a leak down indicates. My guess leaking valves.
 

Rednaxs60

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Never did a leak down test on a gas engine, just diesels and rather large ones at that. Read that a leak down test can indicate valves and or rings. Some are skeptical regarding doing it on a used engine with lots of mileage because there is no baseline. Since I do not believe the rings are that bad should hear air out of the intake or exhaust valves, most likely the exhaust valves if not seating properly.

My friend mentioned doing the valve guides as well while I'm in there; however, once again not using any oil the gukdes and valve stem seals are probably good. Will be sourcing the guides and seals. Best deal on the seals is out of Norway free shipping, about $42.00 CDN for eight. Here's the listing for the seals: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Set-of-8-Intake ... 76&vxp=mtr

Have a bid in on a set of four NOS valve guides. Seller was asking $30.00 CDN - seller is in Abbotsford just across the way. Offered $15.00 CDN. Will know in a couple of hours, not a lot of action on this item. I can source these from Honda, there are 8 in Calgary, but will wait for a bit - don't expect this item to fly off the shelf so to speak.

Head gaskets are another issue. Honda is expensive, but from what I have read these are the ones to use.

The exhaust and intake valves can be sourced from Sabre Cycle, only supplier I have found to date for new at $35.00 USD. Here's the site: https://www.saber-cycle.com/store/product1006.html

Valve stem seals are $3.00 USD each from Sabre Cycle. Doing the exchange, and shipping probably close to the price of the ones from Norway. Have read the comments regarding Sabre Cycle on the forums.

Sabre Cycle also has a head gasket set, here's the site: https://www.saber-cycle.com/store/product320.html Cost looks good as well at $95.00 USD.

Cheers
 
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