1985 VT500 Valve adjustment question? - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

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Old 12-07-2010, 06:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1985 VT500 Valve adjustment question?

I have a few bikes that I take care of for women friends of ours. This is one of them. She said a couple of times over the summer it did not seem to want to fire up when warm, but never left her stranded. I have it for the winter, battery tests good with a load tester. I asked if she ever uses the kill switch and she said no, I sort of suspect maybe that was corroded a bit? I started it a few times and got it warmed up and it fires up instantly every time for me, but probably not hot like it has been ridden.

We bought this bike used two years ago with 13,000 miles on it. Now has 17,000. The valves have not been adjusted since we have had it, and possibly not since new. I can do that with no issues but wanted to make sure it did not have the hydraulic adjusters like on the Nighthawks. I have done a few Magnas and suspect it is probably the same with the screw and adjuster type. I don't have a manual for it.

So, what am I looking at here for valve adjustments? Measurements would be great as well. .005 on both? It does not sound tappy at all, I suspect they might be too tight.

I'm thinking that if they are way out that might make it start better. Otherwise any ideas? I put new spark plugs in it last spring. I store for the winter, change oil and tires as needed, then they come and get it for the summer. Nice little bike, her first bike.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yea, adjust the valves. I doubt it is what the snag is, but I'm glad to hear from someone who doesn't put off valve adjustments, Your friend is in good hands!!

Specs are cold engine .004 inches. .005 is good too.

You are correct. adjustable valves, no shims.
Front cylinder adjustment: FT mark on TDC of the compression stroke.

Rear cylinder adjustment: RT mark lined up on TDC of compression stroke.

Tappets are torqued to 17ft-lb.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok thanks!

I am sure it is all going to look pretty familiar once I get in there.
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If the valve adjustment doesn't help, think about bad coils. The coils are located above the cylinders under the gas tank. They get hot and go bad. In hot weather, with a hot engine (like after riding 30 miles and stopping for gas) the coils may fail to work until they cool off. The wiring is broken and the break makes contact when cold but does not make contact when expanded/hot is one explanation. After 30 minutes, they work again..

I had that problem with my 500 and have read about the same solution from many others.

Ride Safely,
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExTex View Post
If the valve adjustment doesn't help, think about bad coils.
Good suggestion.
You might want to ask about (or observe) her starting technique too.
It could be as simple as trying to use the choke or opening the throttle when it's hot.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExTex View Post
If the valve adjustment doesn't help, think about bad coils. The coils are located above the cylinders under the gas tank. They get hot and go bad. In hot weather, with a hot engine (like after riding 30 miles and stopping for gas) the coils may fail to work until they cool off. The wiring is broken and the break makes contact when cold but does not make contact when expanded/hot is one explanation. After 30 minutes, they work again..

I had that problem with my 500 and have read about the same solution from many others.

Ride Safely,
+1 on the coils being the problem if it only has an issue starting after it heats up.

Can't hurt to see if she has the choke on though, when its hot any choke will kill starting.

If you want a pdf of the original owners manual with a service section, PM an email address I will send.


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Old 12-08-2010, 07:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Not just coils fail with heat. Spark units will also fail with heat.
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