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Thread: Post here if you've had prematurely worn cam lobe(s) in your wethead

  1. #1
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    Post here if you've had prematurely worn cam lobe(s) in your wethead

    We're hearing more stories about this issue in R bikes so post here if you're needing to replace camshaft(s), include year and miles if you will. Also, a word about how you discovered the issue, be it running behavior or as an incidental finding on a valve clearance check.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Is this why the wethead motors sound like they're crushing rocks when they run?

  3. #3
    Registered User ksb245's Avatar
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    2016 R1200RT-LC
    45424 miles.
    During a tire change at my dealer, the service manager said the valves sounded loud. After investigating, he called and said the cams needed replaced. He contacted BMW and got the OK to change them out at no cost to me.
    I don't notice any difference with how the bike runs or with noise level. I just passed 50K miles yesterday.
    Karl
    2016 R1200RT-LC San Marino Blue (The Alien)
    2008 R1200RT Sand Beige Metallic (Wife's)
    2014 1600 GTL Gray-Traded; 2011 R1200RT Black/Silver-Traded

  4. #4
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    If these cams are going bad, I wonder where they were produced? So many components are not longer made by the brand manufacturer it seems the chance for error has grown
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  5. #5
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    One rider has posted on a couple forums that he has a bad cam on his 2018 RS with 12,000 miles.
    Picture included in his thread.
    https://www.r1200rsforum.com/t1630f7...-cam-lobe.html
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  6. #6
    Registered User dlong's Avatar
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    Failure at 800 miles in an '18 RT.

    https://www.bmwsporttouring.com/topi...omment-1004774

  7. #7
    Aw! Who needs that SG rated oil with sufficient anti-wear additive anyway.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  8. #8
    Registered User cap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Aw! Who needs that SG rated oil with sufficient anti-wear additive anyway.
    I'm not sure what you imply here, Paul. In the Sporttouring thread, the owner discovers the problem at 800 miles, after 2 oil changes with BMW spec oil. So, at least on that bike, the problem is not lubrication induced: not enough miles, and fresh high quality oil. It can't be a design problem, because the vast majority of the bikes work fine. So, it must be a manufacturing defect. Do you think additives will prevent manufacturing defects from emerging?

    By the way, two other owners report problems in the sporttouring thread. Still small numbers, but kind of alarming. I certainly took a careful look at my cams when I did my valve adjustment at 9k miles.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by cap View Post
    I'm not sure what you imply here, Paul. .
    I was being sarcastic, but these are sliding/scuffing cam followers unlike typical automotive roller followers. Back when the API reduced ZDDP in SJ rated oils BMW objected to the API claim that SJ superceded all previous ratings and was superior. I still agree with what BMW said back then.

    That said it is probably an improper surface hardening issue, but I object to the dishonesty about reduced ZDDP in oil.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  10. #10
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    Obtaining 20-50 oils high in zddp is fairly easier, but more difficult in the viscosity ranges BMW is now specifying on newer machines. ☹️

    Best,
    DeVern
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S-PD — 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C — 2010 K1300GT — 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  11. #11
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Here we go! Another oil thread...
    John Gamel - BMW MOA Consumer Liaison
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key”

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ExGMan View Post
    Here we go! Another oil thread...
    Of course. When you have worn metal, lubrication or its lack is part of the topic.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  13. #13
    Registered User LFarling's Avatar
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    But it is not worn metal. It is defective hardening.

    Again while I was very active doing cam timing checks, of the 30 something I have done I have not seen one bad cam.

    I was asked to use my fingernail on each lobe to see if I could feel anything. I felt no imperfections in 240 cam lobes.

    Yes you can see a scuff on the lobes from the follower but you can not feel it.

    As far as Zinc I bought a bottle many years ago and still have some left. So if you want more Zinc you can buy it and dose your oil yourself.

    Is there a batch of cam lobes out there waiting to disintegrate? Yes there is. I have seen like posted here low miles, and mid miles. and large miles in the failures. It depends where the hardening is weak and how long it takes to wear through the bad hardening enough to catch the soft metal underneath.
    Lee
    2017.5 R 1200 GSW

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFarling View Post
    I was asked to use my fingernail on each lobe to see if I could feel anything. I felt no imperfections in 240 cam lobes.
    That's comforting to read thanks for that. If only there were a dbase of the various issues that crop up in our motorcycles so one could get an accurate sense. I do like the fact as realshelby pointed out this is not likely to leave you stranded, i.e. you will have warning time to investigate or it will be an incidental finding. This does clearly make the case for valve clearance checks at least every 12K.

  15. #15
    Registered User LFarling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncpbmw1953 View Post
    That's comforting to read thanks for that. If only there were a dbase of the various issues that crop up in our motorcycles so one could get an accurate sense. I do like the fact as realshelby pointed out this is not likely to leave you stranded, i.e. you will have warning time to investigate or it will be an incidental finding. This does clearly make the case for valve clearance checks at least every 12K.
    This one I saw from JVB Productions had a 1/4" of each lobe gone only the width of the follower, the original shape of the lobe was there on each end as a thin slice, and the owner said he really had not noticed a power difference?

    TmA7Fk.jpg
    Lee
    2017.5 R 1200 GSW

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