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jimmyjoe's picture
VBMWMO #9064
Joined: 01/27/2016
Posts: 9

is the need to have heads re-worked for un-leaded fuel nessary?



schrader7032's picture
VBMWMO #7032
San Antonio, TX
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 6748
What year and model are you

What year and model are you referring to? From previous posts, sounds like this is your R60/5. The answer is not necessarily but probably eventually. Eventually, all pre 1981 Airheads will begin to exhibit enough valve seat recession due to the lack of lead in the fuel, that you will be unable to retain proper valve clearances. Valve clearance is necessary, for at least one reason, so that the heat that builds up in the valves can be transferred to the heads while the valve face is resting on the seat. If the valve clearance disappears and the valves don't rest long or at all on the seat, then the valve face builds up heat and eventually fails. The result is catastrophic failure of the engine...likely hard to recover from that without spending lots and lots of money.

So, you don't have to do the changeover. But what you should be doing is actively monitoring your valve clearance. If you find it closing up rapidly over say less than 1000 miles or say 500 miles, then I'd seriously be looking at having the work done.


Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

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