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Maintenance Time - Adjusting Tappets

Unfortunately I didn't get out on the weekend as I decided to perform a bit of maintenance on the bike. Sunday morning I set the garage up with tools and all the bits and pieces I thought I would need for adjusting my tappets and then stripped her down. I also printed a copy of the guide to adjusting clearances from the VTX forum.

After removing all the covers and checking clearances on both front and rear cylinder exhaust and inlet tappets I found that I would only have to adjust the front. The rears were spot on which I thought was amazing - the fronts however were 0.002" too tight on the inlet (should be 0.006") and 0.004" too tight on the exhaust (should be 0.012"). I spent about an hour of mucking around trying to adjust the exhaust tappet - this was mainly due to the lack of clearance between the top of the head at the front of the cylinder and the frame. I am glad that I spent the money on the tappet adjusting tool as it made adjusting the screws a lot simpler than trying to fit 2 spanners in to such a small space.

When I thought I had finished the exhaust I went to rotate the crank and check the clearance but realised that I had adjusted this tappet while the crank was in the Rear Top position - doh!! I cranked her to the Front Top position ensuring it was on the compression stroke and spent about another 40 minutes on it, this time checking and double checking that I had the crank in the correct position. I moved to the front inlet tappets and again spent about 50 minutes on adjusting and checking clearances. Rotated the crank a couple of times to check the clearances and when I was happy I started putting everything back together. Once I had finished, I gave her a wash and put her to bed.

I really enjoyed spending the time doing the tappet adjustment on the VTX - not only does it give me a great deal of satisfaction but I also know that it has been done correctly. It did take a while - just over 4 hours - but it was the first time I had done it and I was not in a hurry.



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