VNV1967
I figured you guys could use a good laugh during these troubling times.
So here goes:

To day was my Yearly oil & filter change and a 2 year check on Valve adjustment on my 2012 Generac 10 KW. The sun was shining and it was a nice day to bring all of the tools out needed to do the above.

First things first.... Cold engine....Check the Valve lash. So I took off the valve covers and pulled the spark plugs.Took apart the left side panel trim to gain access to the rear fan on the Alternator. 

As with Previous years I use a brand new # 2 lead pencil unsharpened that I check "TDC" with. It's nice and long and I can feel when I get to "TDC" by holding on to the pencil tip as the Piston rises.

I had done the outside cyl and was now on the inside bank. After I got "TDC" I only had to adjust the exhaust. After I was done I removed the pencil. 

This is where I realized I screwed up! When I pulled the Pencil out it had no eraser on the end. I wonder how that fell off as I use the end without the eraser when inserted in the cyl. That's when I realized I screwed up and inserted the eraser end...Doooooooh!!

Lucky I have a bore scope which I promptly retrieved from my tool box. When I stuck the scope in there I could see the brass part and part of the eraser sitting off to one side. I have several pick up grabbers which I used fishing around but could not maneuver to the side of the cyl. 

So after about 1 hour I got the old air hose out and blasted some air in the cyl.This finally moved the brass piece in 5.jpg  range and after another 15 min I finally Nailed that sucker and pulled it out.

That would have been hell on the vales and cyl walls. I know they make a "TDC" metal tool just for finding "TDC" ....so I'll be looking for one this week to add to my Tool collection. 

So in the mean time Don't do what I did....it's like sticking a pencil in your ear to clean it out.... Use the right tool.  Hope you enjoyed the Screw up and you got a laugh out of this... Not to proud to say I screw up every once in a while....
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78buckshot
Thanks for the laugh, I saw the same think happen when I had an apprentice with me on one, he took out his ink pen and found TDC but the cap of the pen was left behind, he was sweating bullets getting that thing out and I let him feel the discomfort, he learned not to use anything that can fall apart in the hole.
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grsthegreat
Ts why i dont bother with TDC....I use the 1 up 1 down method. Ive seen what you describe happen in the past.
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Birken Vogt
I don't even remove the spark plugs if I don't need to.  After intake valve closes, you feel it working against compression on that cylinder, once it tops out, compression feeling begins to disappear, if you go too far you will feel what seems like compression again but is really vacuum on the down stroke.  That "easy" area at the top is TDC, anywhere in there will be fine, both lobes are far away from opening.

If it is so far gone it has not compression, exhaust valve held open, just turn it half a turn past when the intake valve closes.
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VNV1967
Don't you find it hard to spin the fan with the plugs in? Much easier with them out. Anyway...what ever works for you is all good. Next time I do a valve adjust I won't be using a pencil...L.O.L. 
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murphy
https://www.amazon.com/Innovative-Products-America-7880-Indicator/dp/B002XMOMA2/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=tdc+tool&qid=1590832449&s=automotive&sr=1-1
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woodspliter
VNV1967 wrote:
I figured you guys could use a good laugh during these troubling times.
So here goes:

To day was my Yearly oil & filter change and a 2 year check on Valve adjustment on my 2012 Generac 10 KW. The sun was shining and it was a nice day to bring all of the tools out needed to do the above.

First things first.... Cold engine....Check the Valve lash. So I took off the valve covers and pulled the spark plugs.Took apart the left side panel trim to gain access to the rear fan on the Alternator. 

As with Previous years I use a brand new # 2 lead pencil unsharpened that I check "TDC" with. It's nice and long and I can feel when I get to "TDC" by holding on to the pencil tip as the Piston rises.

I had done the outside cyl and was now on the inside bank. After I got "TDC" I only had to adjust the exhaust. After I was done I removed the pencil. 

This is where I realized I screwed up! When I pulled the Pencil out it had no eraser on the end. I wonder how that fell off as I use the end without the eraser when inserted in the cyl. That's when I realized I screwed up and inserted the eraser end...Doooooooh!!

Lucky I have a bore scope which I promptly retrieved from my tool box. When I stuck the scope in there I could see the brass part and part of the eraser sitting off to one side. I have several pick up grabbers which I used fishing around but could not maneuver to the side of the cyl. 

So after about 1 hour I got the old air hose out and blasted some air in the cyl.This finally moved the brass piece in 5.jpg  range and after another 15 min I finally Nailed that sucker and pulled it out.

That would have been hell on the vales and cyl walls. I know they make a "TDC" metal tool just for finding "TDC" ....so I'll be looking for one this week to add to my Tool collection. 

So in the mean time Don't do what I did....it's like sticking a pencil in your ear to clean it out.... Use the right tool.  Hope you enjoyed the Screw up and you got a laugh out of this... Not to proud to say I screw up every once in a while....
 
 
Wow what a mess.  Years ago I was in an Air Cooled class and we were all checking valves, the instructor warned us against using any object that would break off in the cylinder.  I just watch the valve rockers and use a 1/4 in steel rod for the indicator.  Have a nice day.
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Peddler
There is no reason to gauge the piston position to check the valves.  Test the exhaust while the intake is down and the intake while the exhaust is down.  Just bump it over with the starter.
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Cobranut
I agree with Peddler,especially when it only has 4 valves anyway. 
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VNV1967
All great info thanks guys... Also I like that gauge that Murphy linked..Thanks...Can use tha on my 502 BB
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Cobranut

VNV1967 wrote:
All great info thanks guys... Also I like that gauge that Murphy linked..Thanks...Can use tha on my 502 BB


Be careful when using that for the first time.
I could see a situation where the plug isn't perpendicular to the piston top, that a domed piston, or one with valve reliefs, could catch that indicator and bend or break it, even possibly damaging the piston.

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VNV1967
The 502's Plugs go in at an angle. so I think your right on. 
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78buckshot
Not to worry on the generator engine, they are flat tops with no valve relief and the plug is almost straight on.
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Cobranut
I was mainly responding to VNV1967 about using it on his Chevy.  Those plugs are angled quite a bit, and even flat-top pistons likely have reliefs.
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JayH
Some mistakes are harder to erase than others.
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BrianMartin
JayH wrote:
Some mistakes are harder to erase than others.


You win!
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Gray
I used a plastic drinking straw.
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