Hi, guys. I have a motorcycle problem and I need your help.
I decided I would adjust the valves on my V-twin 2005 Honda Shadow Aero for the first time. I’ve owned it since 2005, it’s got almost 58,000 miles on it, and motorcycle shop labor rates are so high in my area that I decided I would take this on myself. I have the Honda shop manual and I just bought feeler gauges, so I was feeling pretty confident. I got the cylinder head covers off without damaging the rubber gaskets, and when I removed the crankshaft cover, I discovered the crankshaft hole cap had been previously stripped … bad.
As you can imagine, I’m pretty upset about this. The only mechanics who have ever adjusted my valves were at Honda motorcycle dealerships. I know good help is hard to find in a motorcycle mechanic, but I didn’t expect this. I have had many nightmare experiences with Honda dealership mechanics in the Jacksonville and Fort Pierce, Florida areas doing sloppy work, but I figured if they stripped this thing or found it stripped, I would expect them to tell me so I could replace before it got to the point that it wouldn’t come out. Well, I can’t get it out.
In the enclosed diagram it is part number 8. I’ve also attached a picture. The blue tape in the picture is holding a plastic cover I’m using to protect the valves. I put plastic grocery bags over the cylinders and draped and taped a plastic garbage bag over the frame. It looks like it takes a 10 mm allen wrench, but it’s so stripped I can’t be sure. I just ordered a new crankshaft hole cap online, but I’m not sure how log it will take to get here.
So I have a couple questions. First the practical one:
- How do you recommend I get this thing out? I can’t adjust the valves until I get it out because I have to turn the crankshaft to the proper point before I can measure the valve clearances. It’s too stripped to use the tools I have, so I’m probably going to need to use some PB Blaster (I think that’s the penetrating oil you guys recommend over Liquid Wrench, right?) and some kind of device that is made for this purpose. What do you think I should do?
My other question is less practical and a little philosophical:
- Why do motorcycle shops have higher labor rates than car repair shops? I can tell you it isn’t because you get what you pay for. The car mechanics I use are far more professional and competent than the motorcycle mechanics I’ve used. I’m curious what you guys think about this.
Thanks for helping!