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Thread: Cam Timing and Valve check

  1. #1
    Registered User LFarling's Avatar
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    Cam Timing and Valve check

    Big shout of thanks to gr8ridn for explaining the tools to do the timing on a WetHead! And I would have never known my timing was off or what to do about it without you and your great posts and pictures.

    Another big shout of thanks to Jim Baden And JVB Productions. I do not know if without a tech session, and seeing this in person if I would have ever done this. The DVD was clear and concise and was a great reference and was great for a visual leaner like myself. How about a coolant one as the clock is ticking. When I asked my dealer about service on it he said "oh, it is lifetime".

    As to the tools they are very nice but you pay for it. Knowing how to use them is very important and one must do a bit of reading to get all the information gathered you need. Researching for the torque specs of various things is worth beforehand to have ready when you need them.

    This was my 12K a bit early 11,600 on a 15 RT. I had previously done the brake flush using the GS-911, and installed speed bleeders in all three calipers. Three different sizes I might add! I had done the air filter when I was in doing some wiring and had to remove Tupperware almost to the filter and said bag it I will do it then. About 10,500 miles.

    Nothing new under the sun for the valves. Jim's tip on bending the feeler in a arch is an important tip. It works very nice giving you reliable readings.

    Left Intake 13 13 Exhaust 37 37 Tight Right Intake 14 14 Exhaust 36 37

    As to the timing, it was off. A lot IMHO on the Left, and not so much on the Right. But both were off.



    I used the tools as described by gr8ridn and it all worked flawlessly! The cam chain tension tool is without a doubt one of the coolest tools I ever used! 3 Clicks you are there just too cool. The TDC tool is pretty sporty also but as I said you do pay for the privilege to lay hands on these tools. Also I thought I might lend them out so others could use them but I have shut that down. Only because if you do not understand them or ham fist them I think there is the potential to break them. At the very least loose parts of them as the cam chain tension tool is 3 pieces alone. I will however help someone in my garage. If someone knows how to check valves and can turn their own wrench I would share my tools with them. Make sure you have a 3/8" torque in the right ranges to cover the ranges you work with here. From like 10 Nm for the valve cover bolts to 65 Nm for the cam gear bolts. I did not, I do now. The 16MM crows foot works well on those cam gear bolts.

    Only other thing I did was install Iridium Plugs. change FD, change oil and oil filter. Today get the GS-911 out and set the Service Reminder and poke around.



    It was a good day of turning wrenches today! I had a long good day learning a bunch of stuff and it was way cool.
    2015 R 1200 RT LC
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  2. #2
    Registered User LFarling's Avatar
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    These are the tools to check timing on a WetHead. All three tools must be used together!

    2015 R 1200 RT LC
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  3. #3
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    Do you see any reason you could not substitute an 8mm drill in place of the $120 locating pin/tool?
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  4. #4
    Registered User LFarling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azgman View Post
    Do you see any reason you could not substitute an 8mm drill in place of the $120 locating pin/tool?
    Yes.

    Because that tool screws into the inspection hole after removing a bolt. It is then center and then using the spring it pops into the 8mm hole at TDC when bumping the motor around. While there is room to see the hole coming around, but how would you know you are at the center of the inspection plug which is the center of the 8mm hole which represents TDC. And then it has to hold strait and true TDC while you break loose 65Nm bolts on the end of the camshafts to adjust them and then fit on the black alignment tool on the other ends of the cam shafts.

    I am sure a good machinist could come up with something but not sure it is worth the time. And while it is expensive it also can be used by itself to do valve checks as no better way to find TDC. Since I always do my own work it was a pain and I absorbed the cost to maintain my bike away from a dealer.

    I am too fussy so I could not afford a dealer. Just for instance. I took the stock cam chain tensioner's apart squirted clean oil into them assembled and pumped clean oil through to clean them. I took the large gasket around the head cover and the one around the spark plug hole in the cover and squirted clean oil on them and cleaned them and the cover and mating surface on the cylinder head and also pulled the bolts out of the valve cover and wiped the rubber on each bolt with a fresh squirt of oil and wiped all clean.

    A dealer does not have time to work on my bike like I do so money on saved service goes to tools I may need.
    2015 R 1200 RT LC
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  5. #5
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    I'm about to pull the trigger on these tools as I'd rather do the work myself too. My brother and I have the same bikes so we split the tool cost as well. It's never a waste of money to buy good tools anyway IMHO.
    MOA # 108516
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  6. #6
    Registered User lirider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIDERR1150GSADV View Post
    It's never a waste of money to buy good tools anyway IMHO.
    I couldn't agree with you more. Besides, don't you know that a new chore is simply an excuse to buy a new tool
    2016 BMW R1200RT
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    Tourmeister gr8ridn2's Avatar
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    Thanks for the recognition of an article I wrote four years ago.

    It's nice to know that my write up and your excellent thread are helping DIY owners to do a job that most dealers won't or can't take time to do. Getting the valves precisely timed does help the wet head engine run smoother and more efficiently. As the cam chains stretch with use the cam timing is also affected. Doing the cam timing with every valve check will keep the water cooled boxer engine at it's peak.
    2014 R1200 GSA W - Continent traveler
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  8. #8
    Registered User LFarling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8ridn2 View Post
    Thanks for the recognition of an article I wrote four years ago.

    It's nice to know that my write up and your excellent thread are helping DIY owners to do a job that most dealers won't or can't take time to do. Getting the valves precisely timed does help the wet head engine run smoother and more efficiently. As the cam chains stretch with use the cam timing is also affected. Doing the cam timing with every valve check will keep the water cooled boxer engine at it's peak.
    So I need to ask this question after dirtrider called me on chain stretch affecting timing.

    Are the cam gears slipping to get the cam shafts out of time with each other? And if that is the case why do the cams gears only slip a little and not a lot and cause motor failure?

    And if they are not slipping then that means the cam shafts are not aligned correctly at the factory?

    Following that logic it would mean if you set them and torque the cam shat gears to spec they should be fine?

    So what is making the cam shafts being out of alignment to one another?
    2015 R 1200 RT LC
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  9. #9
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    It would be great to know that after an initial calibration, has anyone seen the cams go out of sync with one another?
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  10. #10
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8ridn2 View Post
    Thanks for the recognition of an article I wrote four years ago...
    Is it possible to post a link to it?
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - MOA Charter Club #097, BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
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  11. #11
    Tourmeister gr8ridn2's Avatar
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    In my case the left cams were off at 6000 miles when I checked them. At 12K they were in spec and required no adjustment. At 24K both left and right cams were slightly off so I corrected them as part of the valve check. In my experience the cams do not slip relative with the drive gear if the gear bolt is tightened to 65 NM as called for. There is a textured friction washer between the gear and cam that prevents slippage.

    The change in timing is coming from cam chain stretch is a result of change in relative positions of the cam and crankshaft. It takes only a slight slight chain stretch to change the timing. You can see this effect if you don't adjust the tensioner tool correctly while the engine is locked in TDC. Cam chain stretch is normal wear in most engines. I am now checking the cam timing with every valve check, every 12K miles. The cams may only be off by a couple of degrees, but when adjusted correctly I can feel improved balance in the way the engine runs and starts.
    2014 R1200 GSA W - Continent traveler
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    1976 R90/6 - Just Plain Fun

  12. #12
    Registered User LFarling's Avatar
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    More data points coming.

    On Monday I will be checking a GSW.

    Later in the week I will be checking a 16 RT.

    I do enjoy mystery's.
    2015 R 1200 RT LC
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  13. #13
    Registered User LFarling's Avatar
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    And here is one more data point to cam timing being a issue that should not be IMHO

    '16 GSW going in for 12K at 12,000 miles on the dot. Has been documented on the 12K service ticket to have cam timing done.

    We checked it today before it goes in Wednesday.

    Here is the right:



    His right is way out as the above picture shows.

    Here is his left:



    As you see it is close. Mine was off or out of time the exact same way, just opposite cylinders. I like this picture of looking into the left cylinder.



    And while we are looking that cam shaft sensor on the end of the cam has a line mark on it. According to the Factory Procedure I read it is supposed to be lined up with the groove along the side of the sensor pick up. I can tell you this is a 1/4" off that mark.



    So next will be a 16 RT fresh out of the 12K Service. Now I can not say for sure it was asked for explicitly but It was said to do all that is required for the 12K. We will see if a dealer considers checking cam timing in the 12K.

    YMMV
    2015 R 1200 RT LC
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  14. #14
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Not familiar with this..... I have used a "degree wheel" on high-performance v-8's.
    How is the cam adjusted? The last time I was in an engine like that there was no "fine" adjustment.
    OM
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  15. #15
    Registered User LFarling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Not familiar with this..... I have used a "degree wheel" on high-performance v-8's.
    How is the cam adjusted? The last time I was in an engine like that there was no "fine" adjustment.
    OM
    If you start at the top of the thread you should be able to get the basic from this. I also posted a link that may help in my post.

    Days of degree wheels are gone I used them more than a few times.

    have checked two and both have been out. Gonna get a third here soon so we will see how that one makes out.

    My own 15 RT was the worst of the two I have done. Mine and the 16 GSW I did today.
    2015 R 1200 RT LC
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