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Hi folks, I'm new to the bike scene and a mechanic is probably trying to take me for a ride. I'm asking you for second opinion.

I wanted to have valve adjustment service for my 03 SV650s with 17k miles. I bought this bike used and previous owner hasn't done this service.

So I called a person locally and over the phone he told me that he needs to replace the valve gasket cover while doing my valve adjustment. He hasn't even looked at the bike. He said he needs to do this to prevent leaks. He said he has 30 years+ experience bla bla bla.

I felt bullied so I just politely said I'll think it over. He quoted me $400.
 

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Yeah, I've done the valve adjustment on my SV and my DL without replacing the gaskets and haven't had any leaks.
 

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Yes but if you are a mechanic and the book says to replace the gasket you are far better off replacing the gasket then having your customer come back *****ing about a oil leak.

The gaskets are cheap anyway.

Ask him what it would cost to CHECK but not adjust the valves. More often then not, they don't need to be adjusted at 16000 and checking is very easy. It would probably just take him an hour or so.
 

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Location?

Valve cover gasket does not need to be replaced. A little drop of sealant on the corners of each round portion and a light grease is all it needs.

The gasket is actually more like an o ring and is designed so it doesn't have to be replaced with each valve service.
ac
Unless you fubar it taking it off... I didn't even use any sealant or anything but the point is, the book says to replace and if the mechanic wants to replace them, what can you really say? $20 is a small portion of $400. Shop around.
 

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For $800 I would sell the bike and buy another that wasn't in need of an adjustment for a while!
500 is completely obsurd for a check. With some help from avc and the manual by my side, it took me (IIRC) under 2 hours and that includes effing up reinstalling the gasket the first time and drooling oil all over Jason's driveway which we then had to clean up- still in those 2 hours.
Someone that has done it before should not require more then 1-1.5 hours tops. What do these guys bill at- $300 an hour?
 

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500 is completely obsurd for a check. With some help from avc and the manual by my side, it took me (IIRC) under 2 hours and that includes effing up reinstalling the gasket the first time and drooling oil all over Jason's driveway which we then had to clean up- still in those 2 hours.
Someone that has done it before should not require more then 1-1.5 hours tops. What do these guys bill at- $300 an hour?
Nah, they don't use hourly rates. They have a sign that just says Valve Check: $700, Valve Adjust: $800. Typical.

If I were to do the work I would probably charge $100 to inspect and an extra $100 to adjust. I also don't have overhead.
ac
 

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500 is completely obsurd for a check. With some help from avc and the manual by my side, it took me (IIRC) under 2 hours and that includes effing up reinstalling the gasket the first time and drooling oil all over Jason's driveway which we then had to clean up- still in those 2 hours.
Someone that has done it before should not require more then 1-1.5 hours tops. What do these guys bill at- $300 an hour?
Average in this area is $100+/hr plus shims (which apparently run in the 25 dollar range though ebay has kits for $85 that come with tons...).

Once I learn to do it, there will be nothing about the bike that I can say I need to go to a dealer for (short of tires but I'll be learning that from another forum member soon too :D).

In the same spirit that jbswear wrote his thanks on the forums, I'd also like to thank you all for the knowledge you've put into my brain and the confidence it's put in my and my mechanical skylz, shawtie.

Not sure what happened at the end there...
 

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Good to know. Getting ready to pull my valve covers to inspect clearances and wasn't wishing to spend $80 on 2 gaskets just to check clearances!

Ron Ayers lists them for $20 a piece. I got mine for $12 each from my local dealer.
 

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Do it yourself. If the gaskets do happen to break/leak/fault, you can always replace them when you see the oil leak. Just be aware of your bike after you do maintenance.
 

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Often you can get away without the gasket, but keep in mind yours are coming up on 8 years old... The mechanic was covering his butt, so that your not coming back complaining about a leak.

This is a case where the tech is ****ed either way- you'll complain if it leaks, or you'll complain about the cost. In all fairness, in MY 30 years as a master tech, I've never pulled a cam or valve cover without having a new one ready on the bench.
 

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if the gasket is in good shape and not cracked or difficult to get off i would not replace it. the mechanic should know this. some are o-ring style and designed so it's not to be replaced everytime the valves are checked. just tell the mechanic to call you on every decision for what to do so he doesn't do something you don't want done. tell him to keep all the leftover stuff that gets replaced too so you can inspect it yourself, that way you save your self the hassle of arguing about something that could have been prevented.
 

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My has been on/off hundreds of times. If it does leak it will do where sits in half circle cut out and you should put sealer there.
 

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Isn't the gasket cheap? Why not just replace it to be throrugh and sure? Keep the old one as a spare if it's still salvageable... ? I would give him the benefit of the doubt that that's why he wants to do it unless you have some reason not to . ?
 
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