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Thread: A bit of assistance figuring out an issue...

  1. #1

    A bit of assistance figuring out an issue...

    Hey MOA camhead gurus! I need a bit of assistance with diagnosing an issue... Here's a short snippet:

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/YF7DM6QUq24S5S4S8

    The situation: its winter maintenance time. This 2010 RT has 153,000 KMs on it, runs great. Valves have been checked (twice), all valves are within spec. New starter has been installed (old one was exhibiting the odd cloud of electrical stink on startup and was diagnosed as terminal, although it still works), new spark plugs, body work all came off for thorough cleaning, Engine oil change and filter, trans oil change, final drive oil change, all brake calipers cleaned, rotors cleaned, pads cleaned, air filter cleaned... You get the picture - ALL the maintenance.

    After all that work, there's a noticeable ticking sound which seems to originate from the left cylinder head (I think). I removed the new starter, checked for any signs of contact with the flywheel - none found. Its an aftermarket starter, although did a side-by-side comparison to the old one, and they look identical as far as I can tell. I am considering pulling the left valve cover for one more check. As you can tell, it starts & runs great, but the ticking sound was not present before the maintenance, so I think I did something.

    Thoughts on what to check? Possibility - I could re-install the old starter in the off chance that there's some runout in the flywheel and its just grazing the starter. I looked, and could find no signs of any contact, but I'm short on thoughts and ideas where to look next...

    Marlen in Edmonton.

  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    If it was the starter-flywheel interface, I'd think the noise would be much more frequent, more rapid, since the gears' teeth are small and close together.
    Lack a stethoscope? Grab a fat screwdriver, hold the butt of the handle firmly against your ear, and use the tip as your sound probe.

  3. #3

    A bit more info, and a seemingly happy outcome...

    Ok, a bit more info. I was chatting with another guy from work about my issue. He indicated to me that he has two race cars, and when they sit for a prolonged period of time (a month or more), they're sometimes a bit cam/valve noisy at startup. His recommendation to me: start it, let it idle and warm up a bit, see what happens.

    I checked the front pulley and alternator belt to ensure everything was in order there, and also had one more look at the cam timing and checked valve clearances one more time, and put it all together. Everything is exactly as it should be. So we started her up, and let her idle. First 2-3 minutes, it was a bit noisy, but it settled down about 4 minutes in. Throttle response is great, quieted down, and smoothed out. It just needed to be warmed up and run for a bit! She's going to sit for a while until the snow melts - around here, thats usually mid to late March. Patience!

    But I'm happy and confident that everything is as it should be, and we're ready for another season. Yay! Note to self: next time I get concerned I've forgotten something after check and re-checking everything, I should be confident in my own capabilities, and trust I've not forgotten anything. Also: with 154,000 KMs or whatever she's got on it, even though everything is in spec, it still makes a little noise, and thats to be expected. Only thing to do is get on it and ride it again.

    I'm super happy!

    Marlen in Edmonton.

  4. #4
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 KenDittrick's Avatar
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    Nice!
    Ken Dittrick
    2008 R1200RT (Biarritz Blau)


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  5. #5
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    Cam chain tensioner is a bit tired, my 2011R will do that after oil change. Part 18 on the diagram #11_4267. maxbmw.com/ficheK26

    Glad your all sorted.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  6. #6
    Registered User AjaxTheDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandhumphreyme View Post
    Cam chain tensioner is a bit tired, my 2011R will do that after oil change. Part 18 on the diagram #11_4267. maxbmw.com/ficheK26

    Glad your all sorted.
    Had the same problem with my 2012 RT. I thought a bearing was going. From a cold start it had a very disconcerting knocking noise that went away after oil pressure came up. Got a new cam chain tensioner from https://www.euromotoelectrics.com/ and that solved it. They find OEM sources and sell the same parts for less than dealers. Smart guys, they know our bikes very well, super helpful.
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, Colorado
    2017 R1200RT
    2007 Eton Beemer Scooter

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jandhumphreyme View Post
    Cam chain tensioner is a bit tired, my 2011R will do that after oil change. Part 18 on the diagram #11_4267. maxbmw.com/ficheK26

    Glad your all sorted.
    Diagrm #11_4267 part number 18 is the crush washer. You must mean part number 8 - the cam chain tensioner itself. Thats for the left side. Can you confirm, thats what you meant? I did purchase the spring for the tensioner on the right side, but the left side is much more challenging to access. Appreciate the clarity and feedback, folks!

  8. #8
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marlen.padberg View Post
    Diagrm #11_4267 part number 18 is the crush washer. You must mean part number 8 - the cam chain tensioner itself. Thats for the left side. Can you confirm, thats what you meant? I did purchase the spring for the tensioner on the right side, but the left side is much more challenging to access. Appreciate the clarity and feedback, folks!
    Sorry, yes it was the tensioner, not washer. I was working on my first cup of coffee, fingers don't always align right.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  9. #9

    Status update...

    Quote Originally Posted by jandhumphreyme View Post
    Sorry, yes it was the tensioner, not washer. I was working on my first cup of coffee, fingers don't always align right.
    Appreciate the feedback, advice, as always. Always so many knowledgeable people that help so much! Brief status update - new part ordered, and is in the process of being installed. For anyone attempting this job, its not really that bad - if you're comfortable doing basic maintenance, then this should be a reasonable job. A few observations: The new part has a slightly longer spring than the old one. Unsure if this is because the old spring is a bit tired and compressed, or this was a re-issued part. For a camhead, the part is as mentioned above. As I removed the "old" part, it had a part number showing 11 31 7 707 797-3, and the new part had a -4 in the machined top piece. See this photo for a comparison:

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Mdks7AAfzUEjpNA89

    Upon first removal, I thought the little foot that fits into the bottom of the spring was part of the new part, but not part of the old one. After looking a bit deeper, that part does exist in the old one too, so the only difference appears to be the length (possibly also the pressure) of the spring.

    Removal - a 15mm offset wrench is really the right tool for removal. Once you get it to a point, use a regular 15mm wrench:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/DoWgH4xSNZCqiJnNA

    Reinstallation - The new part with the longer spring will require some downward tension for it to get started threading. Caution - you are threading parts that are only mildly more sturdy than a firm brie cheese together - if the threads are giving you a bit of resistance, back it up. Apply some downward pressure while turning the new tensioner. I had a length of nylon string, did two loops around the tensioner and was able to pull the string while applying some downward pressure with a long screwdriver to get it started. That worked well.

    Will have it all back together soon - doing this with my wife (its date night - she wants a garage date)... Yes, I have a fabulous wife - she wants to wrench her motorcycle with me!

    Will report back a status once its all together and started again.

    *** Addition ***
    Upon a little more looking, the old and new spring have the same number of coils, however the old spring has about 3 coils that appear to be slightly compressed... This would account for the length difference in the picture. Will finish getting it back together this evening.
    Last edited by marlen.padberg; 03-14-2022 at 02:14 PM. Reason: More info....

  10. #10
    SKAG skag's Avatar
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    Cam Chain Tensioner

    I have a few BMW's and I know there was an updated Cam Chain Tensioner for the left side. I am not sure if this applies to your bike but the old ones could lock up (Mine Was) and cause trouble to the timing chain guides. Never a bad idea to change especially with the miles you have. This was on my 2004 R1150R.

  11. #11

    Status - we're almost there...

    Quote Originally Posted by skag View Post
    I have a few BMW's and I know there was an updated Cam Chain Tensioner for the left side. I am not sure if this applies to your bike but the old ones could lock up (Mine Was) and cause trouble to the timing chain guides. Never a bad idea to change especially with the miles you have. This was on my 2004 R1150R.
    Ok, left side cam chain tensioner has been replaced she's all back together... We're at like 95%... Took it for a little spin today, it seems to be slightly less smooth from 2500-4000 rpm, and not entirely sure why. Off-idle throttle response is great, which tells me throttle body balance is good. Maintenance thats been completed: new spark plugs, valves checked (all in spec), engine oil change, trans oil, final drive oil, thorough cleaning, front wheel tpms battery replaced, air filter cleaned and oiled (K&N), brakes cleaned, inspected. When we were checking the valves, the timing was checked multiple times (both sides) and is definitely spot on. I'm unsure what would cause slightly more vibration 2500-4000rpm. Thoughts on what to check next? I'm reading back through the haynes manual for ideas on what else to check. I did have the right-side cam chain tensioner out, and it looked fine, so re-installed it. Can that cause an issue of any sort?

    I should also note - power seems to be spot on where it was, no hesitation anywhere in the rev range.

  12. #12
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    Unless there was something off with the valve clearance check, but your confident it that. You could check the leads going into the coils, disconnect and spray with contact cleaner, may have a bad or dirty connection at the coil. If you've got a scope it might be worth a shot to look at the coils waveform. You say you changed a battery in one of the TMPS is there a chance you're feeling an off balance wheel? You seem convinced throttle balance is good, for now I guess I'd ride it for a time and see if it clears its self out. Please keep posting what you find, adds to overall knowledge base.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  13. #13
    SKAG skag's Avatar
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    Coil sticks

    Quote Originally Posted by marlen.padberg View Post
    Ok, left side cam chain tensioner has been replaced she's all back together... We're at like 95%... Took it for a little spin today, it seems to be slightly less smooth from 2500-4000 rpm, and not entirely sure why. Off-idle throttle response is great, which tells me throttle body balance is good. Maintenance thats been completed: new spark plugs, valves checked (all in spec), engine oil change, trans oil, final drive oil, thorough cleaning, front wheel tpms battery replaced, air filter cleaned and oiled (K&N), brakes cleaned, inspected. When we were checking the valves, the timing was checked multiple times (both sides) and is definitely spot on. I'm unsure what would cause slightly more vibration 2500-4000rpm. Thoughts on what to check next? I'm reading back through the haynes manual for ideas on what else to check. I did have the right-side cam chain tensioner out, and it looked fine, so re-installed it. Can that cause an issue of any sort?

    I should also note - power seems to be spot on where it was, no hesitation anywhere in the rev range.
    So on my 2004 R1150R at about 4000 rpm the power just didn't seem right for pulling through. I replaced my Coil sticks and it was like a new bike. Once again I would have to look up your bike to see if it has dual ignition. Which means you would have 4 spark plugs. 1 set on the bottom side of the cylinders and the other set in the center of the head. This is the coil stick. Mine were bad and there are 2 of these. Once again I would have to look it up to see if your bike is the same.

  14. #14

    The outcome!

    Well, I'm happy to report some very interesting findings... We started her up after work today, 7 degrees celsius and a big itch to get out of the house. She started up just fine, had seemingly the same slightly less smooth behavior about 3000-4000 rpm. Was almost out of fuel, and the fuel that was in there was from last year, and had a little bit of fuel stabilizer in it. We went to the gas station, put premium fuel in it (full tank), and went for a ride in the country. About 20 minutes of run time, and things seemed to settle out, smooth out, and sort themselves out. I'm thinking the biggest factor was last years' fuel, and some fuel stabilizer probably didn't help too much either. It starts and runs as smooth as it did, and seems all issues appear to be solved. The TPMS definitely wasn't a factor as I could feel the smoothness issue while the bike was not rolling. In any case, she appears to be back at 100%! I'm super happy, as is my wife!

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