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Stray last won the day on August 16

Stray had the most liked content!

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About Stray

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    Club Racer
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  • In My Garage:
    VFR800 1998
  1. Thanks for the help everyone. With the Manual and your advice I got it all buttoned up. A few notes for anyone doing this themselves: 1. It is very hard to judge the if the timing marks are set flush if the engine is still in the bike. There's just not enough room even for a tiny mechanic's mirror. My solution was to use a popsicle stick along the top of the engine and contort myself to see if the marks line up correctly. 2. With the piston at TDC and timing marks facing outwards (as per manual) the cam lobes are partially engaged on one cylinder. I noticed this especially with the exhaust lobes on cylinder 2. Buttoning up the cam holders with valves slightly engaged forces the cam into its bearing races but the pressure is bad for the holder and could warp or break it. It also forces the crank over slightly messing up your alignment marks. The way arround this is to set the timing marks as instructed loosely and then rotate the engine SLIGHTLY off the mark so the valves are not engaged, before bolting the cam holder down. When you button it up it will look wonky until you turn the crank back to its marking again - now your cam markings will lign up correctly. This is the crack turned slightly off its TDC This is how the markings looked after bolting up - slightly off. Red marks made by me on disassembly. When the crank is returned to TDC the markings line up perfectly (no pics, sorry). Truly a laborious process that took over 5 hours, most of it head scratching. Havent yet rechecked valve clearances in case in case one of them is out and I need to redo this. Can't face it just now. Stray
  2. Hello All, A quick guide on how I refreshed a K&N air filter on the 5th Gen. This is not the only way to do it and may not even be the right way - it's the way I did it and it came out great. First you have to remove the tank and the air box cover. No pics of that but the front left screw on the air box was a b@stard. It's also usually the most rusted (exposed to salt spray) and most likely to strip, so go easy. I bought new stainless screws m5 x 20mm x 7 units panhead, if anyone is interested. Thats when you get the first look at your air filter. Mine looked like it had been there since the Ark touched dry land but I was pleasantly surprised to find it was K&N. I know many members don't rate these very highly and personally I wouldn't have installed it but this is a budget machine and rechargeable filters fit the bill. It it was loaded with crud and insects. Some of these bits had combined to form solid big chunks. Nasty! I also removed the velocity stacks and bottom air box housing to do a valve check (in another thread). They have markings on them showing orientation for reassembly. The stacks are held in by blind shoulder bolts one of which had to be drilled out. Used an old Travis Perkins bolt extractor to get it done. Having completely removed the air box I now turned to cleaning the air filter. First job was to turn it over and gently tap the edge so the loose bits could fall out. Then I ran a vaccum cleaner over each please to suck out whatever I could. Make sure you vacuum the top of the filter to lift dirt out the way it went in. Vacuuming the bottom gets dirt trapped in deeper. The amount of debris removed through these methods truly surprised me. Most of the grit was ingrained so I decided to wash the filter in warm water with liquid laundry detergent. Yes, laundry detergent. The filter media is a cotton gauze and can be washed with the same stuff as your cotton under-crackers. Liquid is is better than powder detergent because the latter sometimes gets stuck in the fibres whereas the former is completely dissolved and washes out. I let it soak in a strong solution for a couple hours, throwing some dishwash soap in to dissolve the greasier bits. This is the cr@p that washed off easy. This is what floated to the surface during the soak. Best way to get rid of it is to overflow the bucket and the crud spill out over the top. Otherwise you lift the filter out of the bucket right through the dirt you just removed, thereby reinserting it. This is what sank to the bottom of the bucket and looked like dense, dirty beach sand. Then the filter was hosed off in the shower (don't tell the missus) and immersed in a fresh bucket of soapy water. I got a soft long-bristle nylon brush and set to working it along each pleat with soap, gradually loosening more crud. Between the gentle brushing and tapping this is what came out. The other filter belongs to my other bike. Thought I'd do them both at once. With the oil and dirt removed the filter took on a dull grey appearance. I was pleased with how clean it came out and inspected it closely for any hidden trapped dirt. There was none so it was left to dry overnight. The next day I applied genuine K&N oil pleat by pleat using their squeezy bottle applicator. Some say it is just normal ATF, and they might be right, but I'm not clever enough to know for sure and it wasn't exactly expensive so I used the real deal. This pic shows the difference between oiled pleats and dry grey pleats. When the first side was done I flipped it over and started again. Note how I am halfway through on the second side and you can see some oil from underneath seeping through. Some say if you leave it 15 minutes it will soak throughout but I thought it was still a bit too dry so applied oil on both sides. The final pic shows filter fully oiled. It still had some dull spots but those got redder after a while when the oil wicked through. Hope this helps people doing the same thing out. I'm no expert but believe any rechargeable filter could be done the same way. Just remember that dirt is removed the same direction it went in otherwise you're driving it further into the fibres. Stray
  3. Wow Greg, that was one mother of a thread. Bike is virtually brand new now and I'd bet she runs beautifully. Difference between your refresh and mine is mileage. Yours had lowish miles and was cared for whereas mine has 65k on it and has clearly seen a lot of winter salt/abuse. As as such I'd be wasting my efforts and money going your route as my bike doesn't deserve it as much as yours. In England we say, "you can't polish a 7urd but you can roll it in glitter". Of course I'll make her safe and refresh whatever I can but it will all be done on the cheap - can't justify throwing real money/time at her. So so far all I've spent is service parts (plugs/filters/oil), brake fuid, coolant, shims (Mr Honda screwed me on those) and tyres. And a big dollop of elbow grease, of course. Still to come are bearings all round, seals and fork oil. Might throw in a few mods like PAIR plates, rear shock and possibly an USD front end off eBay (all as cheap as possible). None of that will bring my bike anywhere near your high standards but it will run well and I will enjoy it. Your refurb is by far the gold standard - really well done. As a VFR owner I'm really grateful for the effort you put into that and am inspired to emulate (albeit at a lesser extent). I really hope you get maximum joy out of your lovely bike for many years to come. Stray
  4. Thanks GregDenver and Terry. I'll follow your advice about o-rings and sealant. Every bike manual I've had says to replace just about everything you unbolt. If they had it their way you'd be rebuilding a brand new motorcycle every 5,000 miles. On the other hand I do like to replace "consumables" and keep on top of maintenance. Yes, a bike can run for ages on the original parts but a refresh can really enhance the joy of ownership. Changing wheel and swing arm bearings can make a tired old machine feel like new. Same with new spark plugs, filters and oil. But when o-rings cost more than premium bearings I feel a bit aggrieved and somewhat disobliging toward Mr Honda.
  5. Coolant system flush and renewal

    That's some great insight, GregDenver. I was planning on giving the bike a proper scrub while it's apart for maintenance. Don't think it has seen the wet side of a rag for over a decade! Might take your advice and dismount the radiators for a proper clean, as you suggest. Stray
  6. Hello from England

    Thanks Skids. I'm looking into it.
  7. Terry, you've hit the bullseye! If the ignition fires at every revolution of the cams then I just have to ensure piston is at TDC and crank/cam markings line up as specified. Then I just have to ensure the second cam is installed in correct relation to the first. Thanks for the advice everyone. I've now read the Workshop manual which says to turn the crank until the correct mark lines up and "ensure piston is at Top Dead Centre". It doesn't explain how to check if piston is at TDC so Mohawk's dowel-down-the-spark-plug-hole suggestion is gold. Thanks again Mohawk. Finally does everyone replace the o-rings under the cam cover when they do a valve job or just reuse the old? Dealer wants silly money so I'd rather not buy if unnecessary. Thanks for your help - really appreciate it. Stray
  8. GreginDenver, if you're right about the exhaust valves being tougher then it probably has nothing to do with the aluminium head and everything to do with the valves themselves. After all, both In and Ex valves slap the head with the same speed/force - they are turned by the same mechanism. Why would only the In valves be suffering? In my my uneducated mind the Ex valves should be suffering most as the hot gasses, soot and contaminants flowing through them are much worse than the clean fuel + air flowing through the In valves. Just goes to show how little I know. Does this his mean we can replace the intake valves with tougher exhaust valves and enjoy longer valve clearance service intervals? This is is just a lay stab-in-the-dark. I'm not a professional. Stray
  9. GreginDenver, thanks for your advice (and Mohawk and auggius). I will follow it. As for back patting, I am just your run-of-the mill home mechanic trying to keep his machines in good order despite work and family pressures. Not quite what I'd call a "good mechanic" but happy to have a crack at it. Also, like many others on this site, I get some pleasure out of it. Have rebuilt quite a few a few bikes using Haynes manuals but the VFR manual is not up to the same high standard as the others. Looks like the Workshop Manual available here is the way forward.
  10. I'm not sure what causes tolerances to change. Is it spot or carbon build up? Could it be caused by hot running, poor fuel or wrong oil? What about short journeys in traffic vs long journeys on highway? Im not an expert but expect every bike will be different because they all endure different conditions. Clearly my my bike has led a different life from Capt.Bob's. On on the other hand perhaps your dealer couldn't be bothered with this awkward job and just told you everything was fine? Of course you may have checked tolerances yourself and found them within spec - I don't know. YMMV
  11. My 5th gen has 60k miles in it and every single intake needed adjustment. Two of them were particularly bad. Hand drawn measurements attached. Sorry for the untidy pics. The intake ports arts are all in the middle (outside exhaust valves were spot on). The big number is feeler gauge read. The F: figure is shim size printed on "face". Most don't have a number because they were so worn the figure had been rubbed off. The Mic: figure is shim size measured by "Micrometer". Particularly tight tolerances in cylinders 2 and 3. Stray
  12. Dowel down the plug hole - that's genius! This answer really cheered me up. Big thank you Mohawk. Thanks for this auggius - will keep an eye out.
  13. Need some help with my '98 5th gen can reinstall. I've done the clearances but made one big boo boo: took the cams out of BOTH front and rear cylinders so don't have a reference for reinstallation. In my defence the Haynes manual did not explain that only one side of the engine should be done at a time (or perhaps I missed it). Do I just turn the crank over to the right symbol and install one of the cams, then install the second one in reference to the first one? Or is there some other mark on the flywheel (or someplace else) that I need to alight the cams to? Does it matter where the cams get installed on the cogs if they are aligned properly to each other (and markings in the crank)? What confuses me is that with the correct mark showing in crank, sometimes the lobes are aligned correctly and sometimes you need to cycle the engine round one more time. So the mark is only correct 50% of the time. How do I know if I'm on the right or wrong cycle of the mark? How do mechanics reinstall the cams after a rebuild? I'd appreciate any advice you can offer. Thanks, Stray
  14. Just water? I'll try that next time - thanks. Just goes to show the phosphoric acid does nothing. Firgot to say in the last pic the left fork is still rusty whereas the right one has been cleaned. It's not perfect but you can see an appreciable improvement.