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DaleP

Our Broken Cam Chain Guide Journey

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DaleP

Our journey began with replacing the cam chain tensioner; an upgrade from stock to the Boneyard model.  The machine was making more noise on the left than right; varied with rpm, louder at idle.  While replacing the cam chain tensioner, we determined we had a broken upper left cam chain guide.  

 

You wonderful people sent me several posts to review.  My wish was the easy path; Steptoe's cam chain guide repair.

 

A reply from Dirtrider to dougiedickson last July 3 had me nervous; Steptoe's method is risky on the upper left guide.  I consulted further with Dirtrider and he sent this wonderful explanation.

 

Still wishing to take the easy path, we removed the head.  Immediately, plans changed; we'll remove the engine and split the case.  First, we couldn't locate all the pieces to make a full upper left cam chain rail.  And the bottom left rail just pulled straight out; no inside pin holding it in place, just the bolt through the head.  That was enough for today.  We'll sail tomorrow and get back to the bike on Friday.  The garage needs to be cleaned first before this project continues :-)

 

All My Best To You All.

head removed.jpg

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DaleP

Following the Hayne's Manual, we made progress today.  We'll tackle the rear end tomorrow.  The "P" in RT-P has a new meaning in this garage.

Day 1.jpg

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FredCop

I'l be following this, as I have found the locating pin missing in my RT-P also.

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DaleP

I'm not going to lie, a bit jealous of Ed's Yamaha XS 650 (foreground) in which the engine came out in 2 hours.  We've been 2 full days and we still don't have this bike off the engine.  Back at it tomorrow.

day 2.jpeg

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DaleP

Progress.  The engine is on the bench!  Three days.  We broke our first tool, a #8 1/2" hex socket.  And we buggered the rubber bushings supporting the ABS/Battery tray on the engine.  Add them to the list!

Day 3.jpg

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Jim Moore

Good work, boys. i think that took me a month. 

 

Btw, the best thing to do with those bushings is to cut them off and throw them in the trash.  

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PAS

Definitely a labor of love in that picture!  Greasing the splines was bad enough for me!

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DaleP

We split the case and the lower left chain guide pin fell out right away.  So, it was loose down in the bottom.  I'm glad we took the time to do this right as we scooped out lots of plastic pieces throughout the engine and mostly down by the front oil pick-up.

pick up tube.jpeg

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DaleP

Now is the time we need you all.  First, how does this pin locate back in this hole?

lower pin.jpg

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DaleP

We will replace the piston rings.  But, we noticed on both pistons, the "SP Top" stamp was the second ring.  Is this correct?

rings.jpg

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beemerboy

I'm going to have nightmares after reading this thread and I did the Rubber Chicken upgrade over ten years ago!

 

Time for another bourbon on the rocks....

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dirtrider
13 hours ago, DaleP said:

Now is the time we need you all.  First, how does this pin locate back in this hole?

 

 

Morning DaleP

 

There should be a plug in the rear of the engine case that lines up with that pin, remove the plug then the pin should install then drive in through that rear hole. If the pin is loose when driven in then I don't know what to tell you. Possibly Loc-Tite green "retaining Compound" will secure it but that is a LOT of work to do over again if it doesn't stay tight.

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dirtrider
11 hours ago, DaleP said:

We will replace the piston rings.  But, we noticed on both pistons, the "SP Top" stamp was the second ring.  Is this correct?

 

 

Morning DaleP

 

Check your private messages on this site as I sent you a ring position picture. 

 

Just keep in mind that there were number of ring changes or updates over the years  so what you have now might not match a new set of rings or might now even match my picture. All 3 rings should have top marked on them but some rings don't always adhere to that.

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dirtrider

Morning Dale

 

Check your messages again as I sent you an internal crankcase picture. 

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DaleP
On 3/31/2020 at 8:19 PM, DaleP said:

Now is the time we need you all.  First, how does this pin locate back in this hole?

lower pin.jpg

The lower left pin does not reference into this right side case.  It references into the left (picture below).

lowerleft pin.jpg

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DaleP

Next Questions.  Working a parts list.  Engine first.

  1. What gasket material to use when assembling the case?  Hondabond? The current material is still flexible.
  2. OEM piston rings/head gasket?
  3. OEM or aftermarket clutch disc?

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DaleP

Best practice/tools for cleaning the carbon off the piston and heads?

 

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dirtrider
2 hours ago, DaleP said:

The lower left pin does not reference into this right side case.  It references into the left (picture below).

 

 

Afternoon Dale

 

Check your messages as I sent you a picture yesterday showing that L/H side lower non-removable pin. Upper chain guides have a common center pin but lower chain guides each have their own lower locating pin. One in R/H engine case is threaded &  removable from rear of engine case  & one in the L/H engine case is permeant with the engine case.  

 

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dirtrider
2 hours ago, DaleP said:

Next Questions.  Working a parts list.  Engine first.

  1. What gasket material to use when assembling the case?  Hondabond? The current material is still flexible.
  2. OEM piston rings/head gasket?
  3. OEM or aftermarket clutch disc?

 

Afternoon Dale

 

What gasket material to use when assembling the case?  Hondabond? The current material is still flexible. -- I used to use 3-Bond but as of late I usually use YamaBond4. I would imagine Hondabond would also work. Due the amount of work involved & price of gasket & parts I usually don't try to use older gasket sealant. Use the freshest that you can find.

 

Be careful in using something like Hondabond or Yamabond between the crankcase halves so as not to use too much. If you use too much the excess can ooze into the engine interior then at a later time some of that excess sealer that oozed into the engine interior can break off & plug your oil pump intake. 

 

OEM piston rings/head gasket?-- I always use OEM rings as the BMW engine uses very hard nicisil cylinder walls so BMW rings are designed to deal with those hard cyl walls. In fact due to the hardness of the cylinder walls & the difficulty in getting new rings to seal on older cylinder walls I usually don't install new rings unless the engine is a high miler. It is somewhat difficult to hone the nicisil cylinders as due to the hardness & if they are left the least bit rough or heavy cross-hatch they can eat the newly installed rings. 

 

OEM or aftermarket clutch disc?-- Tough call, personally I like the OEM as I KNOW it works & won't chatter or cause issues. Some go with aftermarket & seem to make it work. The only thing that I hate more than installing a clutch in a BMW boxer bike  is having to go back in & install it again. 

 

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dirtrider
1 hour ago, DaleP said:

Best practice/tools for cleaning the carbon off the piston and heads?

 

 

Afternoon Dale

 

Anything & everything that you have handy to TRY to get that "hard baked" carbon off. Just try to not to use anything metal  that will scratch or damage the tops of the pistons as nicks & scratches will allow new carbon to quickly re-occur.

 

With pistons removed from engine I soak the piston tops  in carbon solvent for a while then use a plastic (3-M Rowlock Bristle Disc)  rotary carbon/gasket remover disk in my 90° die grinder. If that won't get the job done then I will use a rotating wire brush on my bench grinder (this is very delicate as you don't want to remove ANY piston material & sure don't want to round off any edges or get near the piston grooves).  Your expensive pistons are not the place to practice this for the first time.

 

 

 

 

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DaleP

Parts arrived today.  Supported the local dealership on this purchase.  Ed cleaned carbon while I finished a meeting.  Then, we pressed in the lower left rail guide pin, installed four new guide rails, cleaned, prepped, and brought the two halves together.  We'll get to the rest of the engine tomorrow.  

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DaleP

Lots of cleaning and prep today.  Rings are on pistons and pistons are in the cylinder.  Now to read up on how to time these valves and use a degree disc(?) before bolting the cylinder and valve head to the engine.

 

Anyone replace their flywheel TDC mark plug?  Mine was hard plastic and shattered.  I've seen some that are rubber grommets.  Can I solve this with a run to home depot?  And I need to make some guide pins to install the engine back on the transmission.  M8 x (at least) 150 mm bolts, cut the heads off and grind a screwdriver slot?

 

You are appreciated.

rings.3.jpg

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Jim Moore

Hi Dale,

 

Lots of folks use the plug from an airhead. P/N .11 11 1 744 327, I think.

 

Guide pins are easy enough to make, but I have a few you can borrow if you want to swing by.

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DaleP

We hit our first snag.  While the left valve cam sprocket seats nicely, and has slack, we can't get the right valve cam sprocket to stretch far enough.  We have no right side tensioner in place.  

We have measured just about everything to measure and they come out equal.  I am certain we did not swap chains during the chain rail replacement.  

Our questions:

  1. Are both chains designed to be equal in length?
  2. If the left has stretch and the right is tight, do we go back in and swap the chains?

As I'm writing, I may need to remove the right cylinder and confirm the chain is inside the guides...

 

Any experience to share with this issue would be greatly appreciated.

valve cam sprocket.jpg

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dirtrider
31 minutes ago, DaleP said:

We hit our first snag.  While the left valve cam sprocket seats nicely, and has slack, we can't get the right valve cam sprocket to stretch far enough.  We have no right side tensioner in place.  

We have measured just about everything to measure and they come out equal.  I am certain we did not swap chains during the chain rail replacement.  

Our questions:

  1. Are both chains designed to be equal in length?
  2. If the left has stretch and the right is tight, do we go back in and swap the chains?

As I'm writing, I may need to remove the right cylinder and confirm the chain is inside the guides...

 

Any experience to share with this issue would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

Evening Dale

 

Both chains are the same length. 

 

I haven't ever had a short chain problem so something is amiss with your set up.

 

Is your   R/H chain fully following the accessory shaft gear teeth (ie chain isn't doubled up on two gear teeth???).  Look closely to see if the chain isn't puckered up on the accessory gear.

 

If chain is running smooth & flat around the accessory gear with cylinder & cyl head fully installed  & in the  correct position then is there ANY chance that the chain is not routed  in the chain guides???

 

Other possibility is that you have the upper left chain guide & lower right chain guides swapped (not even sure that is possible) but one is curved & one is flatter with the L/H side having a higher tensioner pad.  If the curved guide is on the wrong side that could shorten the chain running length.

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Lowndes

DaleP,

 

Three years ago I replaced the clutch disc on my '99 R1100S with the Siebenrock Basic Plus disc from Beemer Boneyard (https://www.beemerboneyard.com/2123454bp.html) $105 USD.  The two years ago I replaced the clutch disc in my '00 K1200RS with the same Siebenrock Basic Plus disc.  Both have seen hard use and zero issues with either.

 

Classic!!

On 4/2/2020 at 4:15 PM, dirtrider said:

The only thing that I hate more than installing a clutch in a BMW boxer bike  is having to go back in & install it again. 

 

DO drill the slave cylinder weep hole, tho.

 

 

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DaleP

Happy Easter!

We spent the day going back into the engine to find our mistake.  An example of what may have happened is posted below; a link got pinched behind the inside chain rail keeping the valve cam sprocket short from seating (picture above).  We chose to assemble the halves with the engine horizontal, so gravity is working against one chain.  Lower the chain just a bit during coming together, and one risks gravity dropping a link. We dry-fitted several attempts to practice technique.  Five hands work best, but we managed with four and a bungee cord.  The bungee cord, hooked to the outer sprocket, allowed us to thread the case when the halves were far apart, allowing my other hand to move rods and rails into place as the halves mated.  All is good with the engine.  I'll check valve clearance tomorrow while we wait for the BB clutch kit to arrive.

Thank you all!

cam chain.jpg

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DaleP

We have an engine mated to a trans.  Finished the day with the puzzle known as center and side stand.  The police model has a different side stand.  Should have taken pictures.  Found a website for Police models that may help us solve this puzzle today.

 

Another puzzle is determining if this washer(?) (picture) goes to this bike?  It dropped out of a rag when cleaning the workbench.  We don't recall ever seeing it.  Any ideas?

unknown.jpg

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dirtrider
36 minutes ago, DaleP said:

 

 

Another puzzle is determining if this washer(?) (picture) goes to this bike?  It dropped out of a rag when cleaning the workbench.  We don't recall ever seeing it.  Any ideas?

 

 

Morning Dale

 

That washer looks familiar but I can't place it at the moment. What material is it made from? If rubber the how hard is the  rubber? (it's not a hose or lawn sprinkler washer is it?)

 

Did you install the rear crankshaft seals correctly? If the rearmost seal is driven in too far it will block the crankcase vent & that engine will leak & blow oil like crazy. (common mistake made on the BMW boxer when installing the rear seals) 

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DaleP
6 hours ago, dirtrider said:

 

Morning Dale

 

That washer looks familiar but I can't place it at the moment. What material is it made from? If rubber the how hard is the  rubber? (it's not a hose or lawn sprinkler washer is it?)

 

Did you install the rear crankshaft seals correctly? If the rearmost seal is driven in too far it will block the crankcase vent & that engine will leak & blow oil like crazy. (common mistake made on the BMW boxer when installing the rear seals) 

Thank you, DR.

I think we are good on the rear seals, but, good to know!  We'll know for sure soon enough :-)

The washer is metal and coated with a heat resistant material.  I think it gets installed in a hot place..., think exhaust pathway.

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Jim Moore

I haven't been as deep into the engine as you , but I've never seen anything like that.

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DaleP
On 4/15/2020 at 9:44 AM, DaleP said:

We have an engine mated to a trans.  Finished the day with the puzzle known as center and side stand.  The police model has a different side stand.  Should have taken pictures.  Found a website for Police models that may help us solve this puzzle today.

 

Another puzzle is determining if this washer(?) (picture) goes to this bike?  It dropped out of a rag when cleaning the workbench.  We don't recall ever seeing it.  Any ideas?

unknown.jpg

This little guy fit nicely on top of the spring and piston of the oil cooler line to the top of the engine.  

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dirtrider
8 hours ago, DaleP said:

This little guy fit nicely on top of the spring and piston of the oil cooler line to the top of the engine.  

 

Morning Dale

 

Sorry, I forgot to look that up for you. 

 

8f3bfJX.jpg

 

 

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DaleP

Still a long way to go, but it started! This has been a journey of two steps forward, one step back.  But, we are learning!  A year ago, this was an investment.  Now, it's a money pit!  It has entered keeper status.

start.jpg

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DaleP

Through this journey, I think every piece of environmental wire wrap has crumbled off the bike and been ground into the garage floor...  There is a full day of wrapping wire in my near future.

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SmokinRZ

 

Congratulations on a massive job and thanks for sharing the journey.  I thought my clutch replacement was massive.  The wrapping goes much quicker than you think it will.  I used a good quality German fabric wrap of which the brand name escapes me at the moment.  It is the OEM stuff used by Mercedes and Porsche.  I still have to do the front of the bike to do when I do my fork seals or steering bearings.  I started a post here about a year ago before deciding what to use and I was very happy with the outcome.  You might be able to find it using the search function.        

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szurszewski

Tesa also makes a spiral loom tape - adhesive only along one edge so you can stick it to itself and not the wiring. eBay has it. 

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DaleP

Thank you on the tape ideas.

 

I'm having trouble finding the blade with which this green and brown wire mates.  I can't tell from wiring diagrams.  Any thoughts?

brown.green.jpg

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dirtrider
20 hours ago, DaleP said:

Thank you on the tape ideas.

 

I'm having trouble finding the blade with which this green and brown wire mates.  I can't tell from wiring diagrams.  Any thoughts?

 

 

Afternoon Dale

 

Green/brown  'usually'  goes to the oil pressure switch (L/H side of engine, just above & slightly behind the oil sight glass). 

 

With key-on, momentarily touch that wire to an engine or chassis  ground then see if the oil light comes on. 

 

 

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Jim Moore
45 minutes ago, DaleP said:

Thank you on the tape ideas.

 

I'm having trouble finding the blade with which this green and brown wire mates.  I can't tell from wiring diagrams.  Any thoughts?

brown.green.jpg

You might even have some clips along the bottom of the engine on the left side. 

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DaleP

Thank you.  Got the oil pressure switch routed and sorted.  You rock!

Brakes and clutch bled.

Wrapping wire and piecing together the puzzle known as a police radio box trunk.  Wow.  There are more screws in this end of the bike than the entire front end!

Then, muffler, crash bars, throttle body sync, and we are ready for a test drive.  Close!

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dirtrider
1 hour ago, DaleP said:

Thank you.  Got the oil pressure switch routed and sorted.  You rock!

Brakes and clutch bled.

Wrapping wire and piecing together the puzzle known as a police radio box trunk.  Wow.  There are more screws in this end of the bike than the entire front end!

Then, muffler, crash bars, throttle body sync, and we are ready for a test drive.  Close!

 

Evening Dale

 

            :18:

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Tom in Vernon BC

Where are you, Dale?  

 

Have you replaced the original rubber brake lines with SS-covered teflon lines?  It should be mandatory!

 

Good luck!

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DaleP

A big thank you to all who assisted in this journey.  I feel this project is complete.  On to the next part that needs to be repaired :-)  We've spent more time working on this bike than riding.  But, we are learning!

 

If this project was just about chain rails, it ran in the $400 range (We bent a piston ring or it would have been cheaper.)  But, the clutch was at its service limit, so we elected to replace with a Boneyard kit and a new slave.  We are running again at 1k invested.

Post cam rail.png

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dirtrider
11 hours ago, DaleP said:

A big thank you to all who assisted in this journey.  I feel this project is complete.  On to the next part that needs to be repaired :-)  We've spent more time working on this bike than riding.  But, we are learning!

 

If this project was just about chain rails, it ran in the $400 range (We bent a piston ring or it would have been cheaper.)  But, the clutch was at its service limit, so we elected to replace with a Boneyard kit and a new slave.  We are running again at 1k invested.

 

 

 

Morning Dale

 

Glad you have it back together & on it's feet again.

 

Picking an RT-P (police bike) for an engine tear-down & rebuild is definitely not for the timid as those bikes have a LOT of parts to deal with.

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