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The Great Honda tick! Lil guidance please

8402 Views 16 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  SamUK
2003 Honda rancher 350 FM. New jug, piston and rings, top end, cam/timing chain, exhaust gasket, tensioner, and cam bearing. Adjusted valves in cold engine to spec, .006. starts and runs great, just have the ticking noise that I'm pretty sure it's coming from the top, like the valves. Any ideas, thoughts, suggestions.
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With all of those new parts breaking in at the same time, you'll probably have to perform several valve adjustments before the valvetrain settles down and stabilizes. Its normal and expected for valve lash to creep for a while during the breakin period. So readjust them after every few heating/cooling cycles until you're sure that everything has stabilized.

I have a 350 Rancher that does not tick at all. But I check those valve adjustments every time that I change the oil & filter.
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I can't hear anything in the video but I'm half deaf... did you check the top of the rod for excessive slop while it was apart? Was the motor sunk?
There shouldn't be any up/down slop in the rod that you can see or feel easily when pushing the end of a new wristpin into the rod. The clearance spec is well under a half-thousandth if I remember right. Reason I ask is because a sloppy rod/wristpin will usually eat a new topend in short order.
If you need the crankshaft rebuilt, Vince at is a good option. You send your crankshaft in and get a rebuilt one back with a better quality (better than OEM) Vesrah rod kit installed and balanced and its cheaper than buying an OEM crank.
Another ticking source we tend to forget to mention is damages to valve stems and adjuster studs due to neglect. This is a very extreme example from a 450 Foreman motor... but these problems are found often with varying amounts of damage, while working on used Hondas.

As you can see feeler gauges become useless tools for measuring gaps once the valve stem and adjuster stud become beat up and/or worn out.

Using a feeler as I took this motor apart, this one measured .009" on the exhaust valve and .019" on the intake valve. But those actual gaps were much wider due to the concave depressions beat into the tops of the stems. I was only able to measure a portion of those gaps using a flat feeler gauge. If I were to guess that intake valve lash was probably in the neighborhood of .030 or so, minimum. In fact it is so badly beat that soon it would have dropped that valve onto the piston... it was getting perilously close to knocking loose the valve keepers.

The intake valve stem was beat so badly that I had to grind off a wide burr on the stem top so I could pull that valve out through the valve guide.

Incidentally, the valve guide IDs and stems ODs were both still well within specs. The seats were in excellent condition as well. This is a common example of owner neglect.

This guy was lucky, two new OEM valves and new OEM adjuster studs along with new OEM valve seals is all that cylinder head needed to return it to like new condition.

But getting back to the point of this post... always inspect the adjuster studs and the valve stem tops while adjusting valve lash with feeler gauges. If those stem tops are worn a bit and no longer flat the gaps will be wider than can be measured. Those valves will tick and wear and hammer out very fast.. leading your valves & adjusters to resemble this shameful example.


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