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nasty noise from the left side cam chain tensioner


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just tried to cure a small oil leak on the left side of my r1100rs. new crush gasket on the chain tensioner should do the trick, but now I have a nasty noise from the left side. What have I done?


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The replacement is pretty straightforward, Unless the spring got left out or it wasn't tightened down enough I'm not sure how'd you could install it wrong. If it started after you replaced the gasket I'd suggest taking it out again and making sure it goes back together right and that the parts are clean then hole in the "body" part is clear.

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there is no spring in the left side, but obviously I didn't get the piston out in any of my attempts, and I suspect that this is the problem. If the piston doesn't end up in the retainer / cylinder .... so I need to find some way of getting the piston out.

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Question for those who have swapped the cam chain tensioner for the R1200 updated version:


I read through the whole thread on the cam chain tensioner swap link above, starting with Poolside and ending with Erik. Erik says he swapped his without removing anything from the bike, whereas Poolside removed the TB, slid the intake tube up into the airbox, unclipped cables, etc.. Most folks had trouble re-seating the O-ring between the intake tube and the TB.


Here's the question: If not using Erik's nothing-removed method, why not simply unbolt the TB assembly from the cylinder head flange by removing the two allen bolts, then slide the whole shebang a couple of inches up into the air box, after slackening the airbox clamp? In other words, is it absolutely necessary to dis-assemble all that stuff if the only purpose is to make room to get to and wrench the 17mm head of the chain tensioner? Why is is necessary to disconnect the intake tube from the TB, since that typically buggers the O-ring, necessitating its replacement? So, why not slide the whole TB/intake tube shebang aft?


If truly acessible on other models of R-bike, seems that Erik's method has got to be the easiest.


Anybody done this on a '94 R1100RS bike?

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You could indeed unbolt the TB from the head. I'm not sure you could get it slid back far enough to get behind it, but it would be worth a try. Let us know how that approach works out.

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I did it by the posted procedure, I bought the O-ring before hand, it really wasn't a big deal but there may be more than one way to skin a cat. Try it your way, if it doesn't work out nothing really lost and if it does you may have saved $2 and some time.

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Well, Erik was able to change his chain tensioner without removing anything. After all, the whole point of removing some or all of that stuff is to get wrench access to the 17mm tensioner head. I have some box end ratchet wrenches that have hinged heads to fit into tight spots. Maybe one of those would fit, or use Eriks' method with a universal joint. If you're around, Erik, please give us more details.


I don't yet have the swap kit, but will probably order it today, and if all goes well, may have the parts and time by next weekend.


Still, since there seems to be slack in the various connecting bits (except the fuel line??) it seems like the whole shebang could be slid as a unit back into the airbox to make room for wrenching. What would obstruct this process?

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The tube in my case required a lot of manipulation to get it to slide back, I think it would be more difficult to do with more stuff attached to the tube but perhaps not impossible - I did not try it another way but if someone else was able to make it happen then go for it.


Either way it's not a big deal. The time it took me to do it was just under an hour, we may have spent more time discussing here than it takes to actually do the swap. The hardest part for me was getting the old tensioner out with the long spring.

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Well, you can do this procedure by just unbolting the TBs and loosening the clamps at the air box and sliding the whole assembly aft.


That said, it's a bit more flexible to slacken both air tube clamps, slide the air tubes back into the airbox, and hold the TB assemblies out of the way with a bungee or wire, etc.. I went ahead and bought the 52 X 2mm O-rings for the air tubes, as these things degrade over time, so the extra step of unclamping both ends of the air tubes is worthwhile.


The old chain tensioner came out by hand, including spring, and the piston was easily removed with angled needlenose pliers.


A socket wrench of not-too-tall dimension fits in the space to loosen and tighten the chain tensioner. A thin profile box wrench would work well, too.


If this was all you did, it should only take a few minutes, but while you're in there, replacement of the TB nipples, general cleaning with a rag, and anal installation of the air tubes can eat up lots more time, if you like messing with the bike.

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  • 3 weeks later...

sorry for the long silence, but I been attending the 24 hours le mans race. i nearly missed the trip because of my tampering with the chain tensioner, but i got som good professional help from our nearest BWM dealer (XPEDIT) who saved my trip.

In short:

it is definetly possible to "loose " the tensioner into the engine housing. I don't exactly know how, but the fact was that We found the spring and plunger beside the chain an on their way into the engine housing. We dismantled the valve cover and used A magnet on a flexible shaft to drag the parts out. We remounted the same parts and all the nasty noises had disappeared.

The only way I can explain the incident is that I at first didn't remove the tensioner, because I couldn't get it out straight away, and wanted to consult my Haynes manual first. Therefore I tightend the tensioner again, with a spanner, and by doing so I must have managed to squeeze the spring and plunger down besides the chain guide. the bike has run nearly 100000 km so the chain has a good deal of slack.

all is well that ends well, and the 3000 km trip from denmark to Le mans in france, proved that my bike is OK again.

Thank you all for your interest, and for your tips.

My new motto: Don't fix what ain't broken - at least not the night before a major touring event. dopeslap.gif

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...My new motto: Don't fix what ain't broken - at least not the night before a major touring event. dopeslap.gif


But, Knud, the engine is so much quieter and nicer with the new version chain tensioner than with the old one.


Why not give it a second try?

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