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

  1. #31
    Registered User littlebriar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azgman View Post
    My post was just to say that expecting zero defects is not possible (what I thought a prior post was eluding to). I am with you with regards to expecting a premium product for the premium price we have paid for a BMW. I'm just not going to stress about it. I am going to enjoy the ride as long as it lasts!
    Most automotive manufacturers have been practicing some form of "six sigma" made popular by Motorola for decades. The goal is that each step of the manufacturing process should produce a process that will achieve a quality of only 3.4 defects per million opportunities. This may sound like an impossible quality level but it's achieved on a regular basis by the major companies and their suppliers. They achieve this level of reliability by focusing on controlling process, not inspection. Although there are plenty of high level recalls in the automotive world, overall, I assume the quality and reliability of their products are more reliable than Motorrad. I have no data to back that up though. Anyway, nobody makes a bike that goes down the road better than BMW and thank goodness they generally step up and fix problems like these for their customers.
    Last edited by littlebriar; 08-01-2019 at 06:01 PM.
    Steve
    MOA #208308
    2016 R1200RT San Marino Blue Metalic,
    2017 Yamaha FZ-07

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider View Post
    An awful lot of the people bitchin’, moanin’, and whinin’ about BMW are repeat buyers, often multiple time repeat buyers...
    DeVern
    Well they're wonderful to ride sure, but that has exactly zero to do with having QC processes that really minimize repeat offenses. That they have produced R models w/ bum cam lobe hardening now for 6 years is just a sorry state of affairs, as was their legendary bum FD that took years to resolve.

  3. #33
    Registered User LFarling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandhumphreyme View Post
    I'll be interested to see how this camshaft thing plays out, not very inspiring, however if I'm not wrong there are still a lot of very high mileage wetheads out there with no issues, yes?

    I purchased a 2011 R1200r new in January of 2013 and put it into service that summer. That spring I took a week long trip to Duluth and fell in love. In 2016, six months after the warranty ran out and only 26k miles I developed a leak in the transmission input shaft seal and counterbalancer shaft seal ruined a planned vacation. I was disappointed to say the least. I bought a repair manual, opened her up, put in new seals and clutch, buttoned her back up and 27k miles later she runs better than new. Four weeks ago now I purchased a 2018 R1200RT 458 miles lightly used for a good price, foolishly I did not check out the this forum to see what the reported problems have been, but I can tell you the 650 mile trip from the dealership where I purchased the bike to home were great, I fell in love again. So, given that, if a (camshaft, alternator, water pump) wears out, I guess I'll suck it up, buy a manual, and change it myself, and get back out on the road. Will I be pissed off, yes. Will I be disappointed, yes. The things we do for love.
    You are going to be fine! Nice bike and IMHO the right year LC to have in the 1200 model years.

    Sounds like you spin a wrench so your really going to be fine. Just do the maintenance and all will be good.

    Enjoy your new bike!!!!!!
    Lee
    2017.5 R 1200 GSW

  4. #34
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    2015 GSA, BMW of Atlanta had to replace my #1 (right side) cylinder's exhaust cam shaft due to excessive wear on front lobe of the cam shaft. Bike had 46,839 miles on odometer and valves had been checked at 38,000 miles and all valve clearances were in spec. I was hearing a metallic tick noise (tick noise was random not in-sync with engine rpm) coming from the #1 cylinder.

    Technician whom performed the work showed me at least a half dozen or more that he kept in a drawer at his work station that he'd previously replaced due to excessive wear on a cam lobe or both lobes.

  5. #35
    ohbeemer slip's Avatar
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    I posted this issue last year as I bought a 2015 RT and had all dealer service, right side cams replaced at 22,000 mi check up. An expensive service stop. Now at 32, 000 mi, so well see what surprises this fall.

  6. #36

    Prematurely worn cam lobes

    Quote Originally Posted by LFarling View Post
    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.
    Took my 2018 R1200RT to the dealer for my 12000 mile service and the tech identified extreme wear on the two forward cam lobes. The tech showed me the forward right side lobe and the wear was extensive, worst he has ever seen without a lubrication problem. The lobe was getting oil. The wear into the cam lobe was perhaps the thickness of a dime, or more, maybe a penny. Wish I had taken photos. The service advisor states that that this problem is rare, and has to do with BMW manufacturing the cam with a diamond coating "that is too hard". I suspect that it is a manufacturing defect involving "defective hardening" of the cam, as stated by LFarling above. Hopefully the new cams will not have this problem. I left the bike at the shop - afraid to ride it just in case the cam is "waiting to disintegrate." And it will be there awhile by the time all the parts are gathered for the repair.

  7. #37
    Registered User Blacque Jacque Shellacque's Avatar
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    I find this a little disturbing as some of these bikes had significant mileage at the time the failure was discovered. A failure at 45k miles will be way beyond the warranty for most riders. If you faithfully have your bike serviced at a dealer, maybe they will go to bat for you with BMW. If you are a self maintainer, like many of us are, or you are the second owner, good luck with BMW picking up the cost of repair. I can't help but find this news a real downer. Back in the early 80's, I owed a 1975 Honda 550 four. It was of course air cooled. At 30k miles I found the cam lobes and rockers self destructed. I replaced all the defective parts and 3 years later the problem returned. That was my last Honda and I switched brands to BMW due to their "better" quality. Well at least I can say my R80RT and my R1150RS never had cam issues in almost 700000k KM. Now I am wondering if I should have kept the 1150.

    I would like to thank the OP for starting this thread. Without a doubt BMW is aware of the issue, know the cause, and even perhaps which batch of cams have the problem.

  8. #38
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Earlier in this thread I posted a link to a thread about a rider who had the cam problem.
    He had one bad cam.
    The update in post #29 is BMW replaced all 4 cams and followers.
    https://www.r1200rsforum.com/t1630f7...am-lobe-1.html
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by ncpbmw1953 View Post
    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
    2018 R1200RT, 18,994 miles, left side exhaust only and four rocker arms on left side. No issues with performance just a little noisier than usual .Replaced at no charge by my dealer. Just rolled over 50K yesterday with no further problems involving the valve train.

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by rhaines View Post
    2018 R1200RT, 18,994 miles, left side exhaust only and four rocker arms on left side. No issues with performance just a little noisier than usual .Replaced at no charge by my dealer. Just rolled over 50K yesterday with no further problems involving the valve train.
    Happy to hear your issues are resolved. Great interest in this thread. See I just purchased a 2015 RT. It sound a little noisy on the right side. However being new to the BMW arena, I own two older Harleys, I am not sure what it should sound like.I really need to get in there and take a look. Is there a difference in the wethead valve alignment tools, from other years. I will need to get in soon since the bike cam with a 90 day warranty. Is BMW standing behind the problem? Kinda glad I tripped over this thread I started out with the intention of trying to find out what gaaskets I might need to do the 36K service.

  11. #41
    Registered User cap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usablue View Post
    ...I really need to get in there and take a look. ....trying to find out what gaskets I might need to do the 36K service.
    If you just want to take a look at the cam lobes to see if they are worn abnormally as discussed in this thread, you can do that in a few minutes by removing the valve covers. The bolts are captured, and the gaskets are re-used when reinstalling the covers. The cams are visible and any extra wear will be immediately apparent. Be very careful not to over-torque the bolts when reinstalling.

    With respect to your other questions about the tools to perform the 36k service, the answer is, yes, the tools are special. There are other threads where the part numbers are listed, and procedures are linked.

    Cap
    Last edited by cap; 10-24-2019 at 05:43 PM.

  12. #42
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    Has anyone had BMW cover the repair costs of a cam wear problem if the bike was out of warranty? I have a friend whose RT has this problem. Luckily for him he had bought an extended warranty and the dealer is using that for covering the repair costs. I bought a used 2016 GS from the same dealer and they are no longer selling extended warranties. I have had many motorcycles, 3 of which I rode for over 100,000 miles and have never had a camshaft wear issue. IMHO BMW should be covering the repair costs for these failures but it is not a surprise to me if they don't. This is not a normal wear type of failure.

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by jackdannenberg View Post
    Has anyone had BMW cover the repair costs of a cam wear problem if the bike was out of warranty? I have a friend whose RT has this problem. Luckily for him he had bought an extended warranty and the dealer is using that for covering the repair costs. I bought a used 2016 GS from the same dealer and they are no longer selling extended warranties. I have had many motorcycles, 3 of which I rode for over 100,000 miles and have never had a camshaft wear issue. IMHO BMW should be covering the repair costs for these failures but it is not a surprise to me if they don't. This is not a normal wear type of failure.
    There are other sources for extended warranties other than that dealer. I have not had one but I am sure others can/will (I hope) pipe in here with info as to how to find one.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    There are other sources for extended warranties other than that dealer. I have not had one but I am sure others can/will (I hope) pipe in here with info as to how to find one.
    My dealer inked an extended warranty on my 2012 with RPMONE. 2 years for 1295.00. In the first month, throttle bodies were replaced under that warranty contract. Last month the fuel pump/flange was replaced under that warranty. Mechanic tell me I'm ahead by about 800.00 with 8 months remaining on warranty.
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