Advice with my 82 nighthawk 650 bike


Old 07-18-18, 10:16 AM
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Advice with my 82 nighthawk 650 bike

I last was trying to resolve some clacking noise by readjusting my valve clearances a couple months ago then suddenly lost compression in cylinder #1. Afraid I'd screw things up more I decided to take it to a shop. To save me some money and get a closer look myself took out the head. Didn't notice anything obvious, just a dirty soot covered surface. Local bike mechanics don't want to work on it as it's not their usual bike so I took it to a car mech, just the head. He ultimately said no, but suggested I probably over tightened the valve adjuster screw somehow causing the loss of compression(is that common or even possible?).

So I convinced the Harley guys (talked only with front desk guy) to at least give it a look, determine if my valve got bent or if as car mech suggested I just over tightened adjustment screw, then determine if worth paying for the needed work. They get back to me to tell me valve is bent and will have a quote for me eventually. I was in the area and stopped by and talked to front desk guy who hands me the valve as shown in pic with the nick. I look at it for a long few seconds wondering how I nor the car mech saw that obvious nick that is staring right at you there and am wondering if I'm being scammed somehow but not exactly sure and point out that it is quite strange that I didn't see that. I'm also thinking how unecessary it would be to make that nick like that so obvious as if it were bent it wouldnt need that kind of obvious damage, just my impression of how it would work and that I the customer wouldn't need to to see anything so obvious, especially since it wasn't there in the first place. So I for the moment take his word for it though make it obvious I dont quite trust him, leave then go straight to the car mech I originally brought the head to and he also right away had the exact same impression, that absolutely he didn't see that otherwise he wouldn't have sent me off suggesting it was just a mis-adjustment of the adjustment screw, but like menot sure wby someone would do that. He said replacing the valve doesn't take long enough to tack on the extra labor to cheat someone, but that maybe we're just dealing with a petty habitual liar/thief.

Anyway, so I go back to drop off some parts for the bike and ask front desk guy to speak with the owner, who happens to be the guy working on my bike. He's too busy to talk to me. Front desk guy asks why and I explain how I didn't bring the valve to him like that, he asks if I'm calling them liars getting confrontational, I say not exactly but I nor prev mech didnt see this obvious nick, he says 'well sometimes we miss things', I say 'mm hmm...' he says it should be ready sometime this week. He's been ballpark quoting me under $1000

What do you think? I think they're screwing me a few hundred dollars. I'm thinking car mech was right, that I just mis-adjusted valve and all they need to do is put the bike back together and make proper adjustments all in under a FEW hours, like four at most but they're gonna stick me with a bill for what... 8 hours plus maybe overcharge me for a new valve I didnt even need. Idk. Ill have to see, but what would you pay? The valve should be no more than $30 based on a quick google search, and based on my own experience taking the carbs in and out and recently removing the head myself, should they need more than four hours?

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Last edited by PJmax; 07-19-18 at 12:14 AM. Reason: added pic from broken link
Old 07-30-18, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: usa
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Not knowing what you were doing, causing some damage(at the minimum, at least one bent valve) and your crabbing about the possible price? You should have asked for a worse case scenario ball park number-which is tough to estimate. You very well may have also damaged a piston. Did you a least know what their labor rate per hour is? Not trying to be a total butt here, but it sounds as though you learned a very expensive lesson.

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