Valve Adjustment Cost????

11 replies to this topic
  • radrob27

Posted December 02, 2008 - 11:55 PM


I just took ownership of a 99 xt350 from my brother, and although it was well taken care of I have learned that the valves have never been adjusted. it has 4000miles and runs strong even at highway speeds of 70mph+. I have always rode 2 strokers except for a 04 wr450f (stolen 3wks into having it) Im unsure how often valves should be adjusted. The local yamaha shop is trying to charge $350. CRAZY!!!! Is it a do it yourself kind of job? if not whats a fair price to pay to have it done? How do i even know if they need adjusting? Any help would be great. Thanks.

  • fishpost19

Posted December 03, 2008 - 01:28 AM


No way should you pay that much! It is pretty much a DIY job, especially on these older mechanical adjusters rather than shim adjusters. Just make sure you do your research. Have a look on the web, you'll need a few special tools, mainly feeler gauges, and depending on what your adjuster heads are, you may need a tool for that too, some are just flat screwdriver heads, some are square shaped heads. If you still don't have the guts to attempt it yourself, ask around and see if any of your friends or relatives know what they're doing. Failing that, I'm sure there is someone on here close to you that would be willing to teach you for a lot less than $350. Wonder if there are any valve adjustment guides on here? Maybe I should make one next time I check the valves on my old XT250.

Basically you get the engine in the right spot to check valve clearances, top dead centre (TDC), which is when the piston is at the top of its compression stroke. Then you use the correct feeler guages to your manual/specifications (the clearances are measured in thousandths of an inch and intake clearance will be slightly less than exhaust clearance) and see if it slides under each adjuster and has a slight drag when you slide the gauge back and forth. If it has slight drag, it is right. If it has no drag, it is too loose, if you can't fit the proper gauge in it's too tight. If they're right, put the bike back together, if they're not, loosen the locknut and turn the adjuster in or out with the correct feeler gauge under, until it is firm against the gauge and tighten the lock nut again while holding the adjuster with whatever tool so it doesn't just spin back in as you do the nut up. Check with the right sized feeler gauge and see if there is a bit of drag when you move it back and forth, repeat the loosen/tighten procedure until the valve clearances are to spec. Double check the lock nuts on the adjusters are tight then put it back together and start her up. Once you get the hang of doing it, you'll wonder why you ever paid to have it done with these style adjusters. Generally the exhaust valve clearances rarely move.

  • lumpy790

Posted December 03, 2008 - 05:43 AM


The price sounds like he quoted you a full service on a 4 cylinder street bike.

Call them back and talk to someone who is a little more knowledgeable with your bike as what your requesting is not a common model. A full service for your bike will be in the 2-3 hour range times what ever their hourly labor rate is. You can also request just having the valves adjusted but it will not save you much.

  • jsnmid

Posted December 04, 2008 - 08:31 AM


No way should you pay that much! It is pretty much a DIY job, especially on these older mechanical adjusters rather than shim adjusters.

The XT350 is shim in bucket style, not mechanical.
Check them as described. It's easy. Adjusting them requires a special tool if you don't pull the cams, and you will have to buy shims if you need them.
You are due for a check (600mi initial, 4000mi thereafter), but I'd be suprised if they need adjustment. I went over 10,000 before I had to adjust anything.
As far as price, that seems high, but I had mine done with the head off the bike. Cost me $75(1 hr. you shop rate may vary) + new gaskets($30). I think double that for doing it on the bike would be fair.
The only reason I had the shop do it was because they were putting new valves in too (long story). Also, they didn't charge for the shims since they just swapped mine with some others they had on hand. They don't really were out so they just reuse old ones.

  • radrob27

Posted December 04, 2008 - 01:09 PM


Ok so i got another price quote for the valve adjustment...$400...whats the deal?:thumbsup: Does anyone know if there is a manual that takes you step by step on how to do it yourself. Im very confident on working on the bike i just dont know the best way to do these valves:banghead: And thanks for letting me know there is a special tool, what is the tool and where is the best place to buy it? Again, any helpful advice would be much appreciated.

  • maim

Posted December 04, 2008 - 07:52 PM


we get scrwed on parts up here in canada and i only paid $130.00 the last time they checked mine and i needed the shims at the time. i get mine checked every 6000km like clockwork. talk to the head mechanic/tec and not the service manager and get him to quote the job. sounds like they want to do valve seals and a bunch of other unnessasary work.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • lumpy790

Posted December 04, 2008 - 08:38 PM


Search for a Climer manual for your bike on feeBay.

  • jsnmid

Posted December 05, 2008 - 05:41 AM


If you're OK with doing the work yourself, get a Climer and get to it.
You only need the special tool if you want to replace the shims without removing the cams.
If I was working in a Yami shop, I'd use the tool to save some time.
When I do it myself, I just remove the cams to save some $ on the tool.

As far as special tool go, there are several for this bike, but I have been able to either make something or work around almost all of them.
The only one I actually had to buy was the flywheel puller and you can get those on e-bay. I also decided that my solution for a valve spring compressor wasn't worth the trouble and had the shop do that part.

The Climer will tell you what tools you need. Many of them are pictured.

  • XT350Bomber

Posted May 05, 2009 - 05:30 PM


Hello, I am a first poster and have the same questions. I also would like to know how you know if it needs a valve adjustment. I have one of unknown history and I have noticed that it leaks a little oil along the gasket in that nook where the spark plug is. Could this be a sign? I have read on here that is the #1 killer of xt350s (as well as decomp cable), but also read that they rarely need to be adjusted? Any help is appreciated.

  • jsnmid

Posted May 06, 2009 - 03:47 AM


Checking them is pretty easy.
Remove the valve cover and left case cover line up the timing mark and check the valve clearence with some feeler guages.
You can change the leaky vlave cover gasket whilr you're at it. It's rubber and reusable, but they don't last forever.

  • guigui

Posted May 06, 2009 - 04:02 AM


For the clymer, check in the vintage forum, I posted it there. The valve adjustment is pretty well explained there.

  • William1

Posted May 06, 2009 - 04:19 AM


Valve adj on an XT350 takes an hour at most.


Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.