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Valve Train (?) Noise


Bill_R

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'04 1150RT, 72k miles

Right cylinder has considerable "clatter" once warmed up (none when cold). New plugs, valve clearances set, rocker arm end play .008/.009in., cam chains appear in good shape and tensioned. Runs great, proper fuel mileage, etc...

Thoughts? Should I just ride it and not worry?

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Have you checked the RH throttle body.

The shaft running through it (which has the butterfly valve on it) often wears and produces a clatter. Try wiggling the throttle cam (where the throttle cable is located) and see if you have any lateral and vertical movement.

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Morning Bill

 

As a rule a somewhat noisy valve train is nothing to worry about unless it appears suddenly & gets worse.

 

Lots of things can cause a slightly loud valve actuation, like worn valve guides, or excess rocker arm side play, or worn elephants feet, or excess rocker arm radial play, or worn cam lobes, or ????.

 

Your rocker side play is fairly high (even though within BMW specs) but rocker side play is usually a lower RPM noise producer that goes away at higher RPM,s.

 

If your noise comes & goes then look for an elephants foot (or feet) that changes valve lash as it spins (check the valve lash, then spin the elephants foot about 90° & re-check the lash again (do this for a full 360° rotation).

 

Maybe try to get rocker end play down a little but don't go all the way to minimum (especially if you don't use a dial indicator) as the rear side play gap is about impossible to measure accurately with feeler gauges) --- .004" is usually a nice happy place to set them).

 

Otherwise you will just have to probe around until you can isolate the offending valves or mechanisms.

 

You might be hearing one or more of the chains as those can get noisy sound like valve noise in some instances. (sometimes shimming the R/H tensioner spring a bit can lessen R/H chain noise ).

 

Also, if your aren't now, try using a good 20w50 dino oil as that can quiet the engine slightly in some cases.

 

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Have you checked the RH throttle body.

The shaft running through it (which has the butterfly valve on it) often wears and produces a clatter. Try wiggling the throttle cam (where the throttle cable is located) and see if you have any lateral and vertical movement.

 

Thanks Andy; no shaft lateral/vertical movement so I'll rule that out.

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Morning Bill

 

As a rule a somewhat noisy valve train is nothing to worry about unless it appears suddenly & gets worse.

 

Lots of things can cause a slightly loud valve actuation, like worn valve guides, or excess rocker arm side play, or worn elephants feet, or excess rocker arm radial play, or worn cam lobes, or ????.

 

Your rocker side play is fairly high (even though within BMW specs) but rocker side play is usually a lower RPM noise producer that goes away at higher RPM,s.

 

If your noise comes & goes then look for an elephants foot (or feet) that changes valve lash as it spins (check the valve lash, then spin the elephants foot about 90° & re-check the lash again (do this for a full 360° rotation).

 

Maybe try to get rocker end play down a little but don't go all the way to minimum (especially if you don't use a dial indicator) as the rear side play gap is about impossible to measure accurately with feeler gauges) --- .004" is usually a nice happy place to set them).

 

Otherwise you will just have to probe around until you can isolate the offending valves or mechanisms.

 

You might be hearing one or more of the chains as those can get noisy sound like valve noise in some instances. (sometimes shimming the R/H tensioner spring a bit can lessen R/H chain noise ).

 

Also, if your aren't now, try using a good 20w50 dino oil as that can quiet the engine slightly in some cases.

 

D.R. - very informative, as usual; thanks. Elephant's feet appear okay. In your explanation I presume "side" play is the same as "end" play. Not sure what "radial" play or "rear" side play is. The RH exhaust rocker gives the loudest "clank" when moved up/down (.009") so I'll adjust it closer.

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D.R. - very informative, as usual; thanks. Elephant's feet appear okay. In your explanation I presume "side" play is the same as "end" play. Not sure what "radial" play or "rear" side play is. The RH exhaust rocker gives the loudest "clank" when moved up/down (.009") so I'll adjust it closer.

 

Afternoon Bill

 

I guess I didn't phrase that very precise did I?

 

When you measure the Radial play (or side movement play) you can only measure the clearance around about 2/3 or rocker (can't get a feeler gauge at the rear). You could have a tight spot in the rear that you miss & you SURE DON'T WANT A TIGHT ROCKER ARM.

 

(ie)-- you set the rocker side movement to .003" measured at the front & both sides & it measures OK there @ .003", the rear could be tighter at .001" & you wouldn't know it. So you start the engine (sounds OK), then ride the bike, & when it heats up the rocker tightens up & binds so a valve is slow returning-to-seat & a piston hits it (that is very costly )

 

Also the reason why I set the rocker arm side movement using a dial indicator & not feeler gauges. (you see .003" on a dial indicator that IS the movement including tight spots)

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