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Thread: How do valve clearances change over time? Bigger or smaller? 2012 R1200RT

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    Registered User ajaxthegreater's Avatar
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    How do valve clearances change over time? Bigger or smaller? 2012 R1200RT

    Just checked the clearances on my 2012 R1200RT hexhead with 18K miles and all valve clearances are within spec. However I am curious about what change to expect over time as the engine wears.

    For those of you who have adjusted your hexhead valves many times I would be interested to hear if valve clearances generally increase or decrease over time, or if there is no pattern. Thanks.

    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO

    PS I would also like to hear about a metric feeler gauge set with the right fine increments to do this job properly. Mine did not seem to have the right increments per blade, and combining them works poorly. Thx.
    Last edited by deilenberger; 03-25-2014 at 10:07 PM. Reason: added year/model to thread title
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO
    2012 R1200RT and some other older junk

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    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxthegreater View Post
    Just checked the clearances on my 2012 R1200RT hexhead with 18K miles and all valve clearances are within spec. However I am curious about what change to expect over time as the engine wears.

    For those of you who have adjusted your hexhead valves many times I would be interested to hear if valve clearances generally increase or decrease over time, or if there is no pattern. Thanks.

    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO

    PS I would also like to hear about a metric feeler gauge set with the right fine increments to do this job properly. Mine did not seem to have the right increments per blade, and combining them works poorly. Thx.
    Hi Bill,

    Isn't the '12 a camhead? It - overhead cams with shim/spheres? I could be all wrong on that - but I thought 2010 was the year they were first produced.

    Please review: http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?46055 - that applies in this case since we have two different types of valve actuation on the R1200xx models - a pushrod cam in head and an overhead cam with finger-follower. I'll add the model/year to your thread title.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

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    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxthegreater View Post
    PS I would also like to hear about a metric feeler gauge set with the right fine increments to do this job properly. Mine did not seem to have the right increments per blade, and combining them works poorly. Thx.
    I have this set:

    http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

    which covers .0015" and .002" through .035" in .001" (roughly 0.025 mm) increments. They are marked with both inch and metric values.

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    Registered User ajaxthegreater's Avatar
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    OOps!

    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    Hi Bill,

    Isn't the '12 a camhead? It - overhead cams with shim/spheres? I could be all wrong on that - but I thought 2010 was the year they were first produced.

    Please review: http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?46055 - that applies in this case since we have two different types of valve actuation on the R1200xx models - a pushrod cam in head and an overhead cam with finger-follower. I'll add the model/year to your thread title.
    Yes, my bad. Camhead it is with the spheres and all.
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO
    2012 R1200RT and some other older junk

  5. #5
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    My experience has been that valve system wear tends to be offsetting. Wear on the cams and followers, and rockers where applicable tends to increase the gaps. Wear on the valve heads or seats tends to decrease the gaps. So while wear is occuring it is often masked when measuring the gaps. Eventually something nears failure and then the wear becomes obvious. This can take a very long time.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

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    Normally Bigger; maybe not at all

    Paul normally finishes off a thread, but I'll go out on a limb.

    Shim-type actuators are known for almost eliminating the wear effects and changes can be extremely small for most of the engine's lifetime.

    I had an early 90's VFR750 with shim-under-bucket actuators that never needed an adjustment. (smoothest engine ever with less than 6 cylinders)

    My R12RT rattled like a can of marbles when I bought it with 4K miles. Huge clearances. It ran smooth as glass after a proper adjustment. (the 4-pack feeler gauges from Beemer Boneyard are awesome; using a single gauge was hit and miss) The last adjustment was at 10K miles and nothing has moved since for another 12k miles.

    Looking forward to the last cold day of the season here in the southeast!!!
    Eric * Columbia SC
    Piedmont Red 2006 R1200RT

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    Registered User natrab's Avatar
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    Just did my 12k service on my '13 RT and the same question popped up. I had to adjust the clearances for the first time and when I called to verify the dealer had the right shim sizes I asked them If my goal should be to get the clearances towards the tighter end of the spectrum and was told no. The guy told me that the valve clearances should get tighter as the valves wear into the piston head. This went against everything I've experienced and I feel like he was just plain wrong, but I'm far from a mechanical expert. I just reshimmed my exhaust valves to be close to .330 clearance and got them as even as I could and I'll see how that wears in the next 6k. My intake valves were around .178 so I'm guessing they'll be getting adjusted soon as well.

    Overall I actually prefer the shim system to the old locknut one. I'm more of a perfectionist and would always end up fiddling with the locknut and adjuster forever just to get it as close to perfect as I could. Now I can just crunch the numbers and know it's right. It's also easy to write down what size shims are on which valve so you can pre-order the next size up for when it needs adjustment (assuming my past experiences aren't lies and the gap increases over time).

    Another fun fact I learned from the dealer is that the quarter size shims (i.e. 5.275mm) can come from the factory, though you can only purchase half and whole size shims from a dealer (5.350, 5.300).
    Nate R
    2013 R1200RT 90th - "Tyr" - Purchased 12/13/2013 brand new!
    2007 R1200S - "Sexy Beast"
    2006 R1200RT "Wōden" - 84k - Retired and sold

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    Nuckin' Futs! tonyfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaRT View Post
    I had an early 90's VFR750 with shim-under-bucket actuators that never needed an adjustment. (smoothest engine ever with less than 6 cylinders)
    I have an '84 750 Turbo that has to be adjusted every 3,000 miles. It has buckets and shims that always go out of adjustment.
    SABMWRA MOA #62
    2005 BMW R1200RT
    2008 Honda CBR1000RR LE
    1984 Kawasaki 750 Turbo E1

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    I have a '12 RT with 41k miles. I have had to replace 2 shims out of the 8. Both had to be replaced with bigger shims. A couple others have migrated towards the loose side... but none have tightened... Not saying that is the way all go...just my experience... and yes some of the factory ones are .025 and you can only order .050 as replacments..

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk

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    Crick0234 165280's Avatar
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    when do you guys notice you had to replace shims? I'm assuming early in the r12rt's life, its probably not common?
    Crick0234

    bikes owned: r1200rt, f800st
    bikes gone: honda shadow vlx, suzuki katana 600

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    I didnt have to change anything until after 24k miles.

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk

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    Registered User lvermiere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 165280 View Post
    when do you guys notice you had to replace shims? I'm assuming early in the r12rt's life, its probably not common?
    I guess it depends. At 11k I adjust two exhaust valves back to the middle of the range, because that is what I do, even if they are in range. All my other valves were were still in the middle range.

    At 24 k no change. I don't expect much if any changes going forward even though I will check. Things do settle in.

    My 99 RT stopped needing adjustment at 40 k km's and hasn't needed an adjustment for over 240 k km's. They have been checked periodically though, just sayin....

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    Crick0234 165280's Avatar
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    i just did my first valve check! all within spec! its darn tootin easy! a few are getting close to the end ranges tho.

    as for my TB sync not so great. that stupid knurled knob and the two damned 10 mm wrenches, mixed with the fact my twinmax hoses are too large so i bought some smaller diameter clear hoses from orchard, but heat makes it kinda shrink/kink that i dont know if its affecting my balance? I've been only balancing it at 2K rpms :/

    i think its ok? i feel like there's vibrations at 80mph in the handlebars but i cant recall if they were there before or if i'm just noticing them now? (sorry for the slight thread jack)
    Crick0234

    bikes owned: r1200rt, f800st
    bikes gone: honda shadow vlx, suzuki katana 600

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