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#1002419 - 12/17/17 11:18 AM Annual Service and Cam Alignment  
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Started my annual service and found the cam timing a wee bit off that I corrected with the help of some BMW specified tools.

Cam alignment and chain tension tools.
[Linked Image]

Tool for finding TDC.
[Linked Image]

Cam chain tool in position.
[Linked Image]

Left side cams at TDC.
[Linked Image]

Cam alignment tool in place - cams slightly out of alignment.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Cam trigger sensor removed.
[Linked Image]

Crows foot to loosen the cam gear retaining nuts.
[Linked Image]

Adjusted and aligned.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Tighten cam gear nuts and install cam sensor trigger and align.
[Linked Image]

Remove chain tension tool and install cam tensioner with new washer.
[Linked Image]

Check the valves (all in spec), button up the bike and move to the next task.
[Linked Image]

#1002422 - 12/17/17 01:16 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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How did you determine your cam timing was off? And any idea what caused it?

#1002432 - 12/17/17 06:23 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Highway41]  
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The alignment tool is used to determine alignment. It is a go, no/go tool.

As for cause....the bike is too new for cam chain stretch so I would assume it came out of the factory that way. The adjustment was quite small.

#1002434 - 12/17/17 07:09 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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I assume you did the right side as well? If so, did you move the cam tensioning tool over the the right side or did you just leave it on the left side?


2017 R1200GS
#1002436 - 12/17/17 07:42 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: AZgman]  
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Originally Posted by AZgman
I assume you did the right side as well? If so, did you move the cam tensioning tool over the the right side or did you just leave it on the left side?


Yes - both sides. The tool slips over the cam fittings when aligned properly. It just a tool to check alignment and to hold the cams in place when tightening the cam gear nuts.

#1002449 - 12/18/17 02:07 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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Thanks for posting this. I just received the tools and am ready to check my cams at the 6000 mile service.

Last edited by MikeB60; 12/18/17 02:08 AM. Reason: spelling

'13 K1600GT
'16 R1200GS
'04 Yamaha FZ1
#1002472 - 12/18/17 05:06 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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Where did you buy these? Nothing like having the right tools for a job. Is there a service manual available that applies to the wetheads?


'13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition
#1002488 - 12/18/17 11:50 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Pappy35]  
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Originally Posted by Pappy35
Where did you buy these? Nothing like having the right tools for a job. Is there a service manual available that applies to the wetheads?

I have just started looking at this for my 2016 R1200GSA and found these at ASCYCLES. Scroll down to find the other two tools. I haven't ordered them and I suspect you could manufacture the TDC tool and jig, but the Cam Tensioner tool seems to be more tricky and is required to get the correct tension on the cam chain to set the valve timing.
The service DVD is also available at ASCYCLES and I just received mine. They were on backorder for a while.


Cam adjustment tools


Brian Louw

'16 R1200 GSA
'13 K1600GT
#1002489 - 12/19/17 01:16 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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Originally Posted by Limecreek
Originally Posted by AZgman
I assume you did the right side as well? If so, did you move the cam tensioning tool over the the right side or did you just leave it on the left side?


Yes - both sides. The tool slips over the cam fittings when aligned properly. It just a tool to check alignment and to hold the cams in place when tightening the cam gear nuts.



I was asking about the cam chain tensioning device, not the alignment tool.


2017 R1200GS
#1002500 - 12/19/17 03:16 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: AZgman]  
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The cam chain tensioner tool must be used on each side to get accurate cam timing. Each side uses a separate cam drive chain.

Complete the cam timing check/adjust on one side, turn the engine crank two revolutions to return to the adjustment point, recheck your work
Remove cam tensioner and replace the tensioner piston and plug with a new crush washer.

Repeat this process on the other side with the tensioner tool installed and repeat the same process for cam timing.


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Kern Valley, CA

Currently;
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#1002503 - 12/19/17 12:13 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: AZgman]  
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The only difference in the procedure, from the left to the right, is the cam sensor trigger - it only exists on the left side and must be removed to access the exhaust cam retaining nut.

Last edited by Limecreek; 12/19/17 12:15 PM.
#1002514 - 12/19/17 04:14 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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I have people for that.

Oh, wait, Greg, you're my people!


2016 R1200RT



#1002516 - 12/19/17 05:20 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: markgoodrich]  
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Originally Posted by markgoodrich
I have people for that.

Oh, wait, Greg, you're my people!


Are you saying there will be a "Cam alignment Tech Days" at the Limestone Ranch?

#1002519 - 12/19/17 05:41 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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Originally Posted by Limecreek
The alignment tool is used to determine alignment. It is a go, no/go tool.

As for cause....the bike is too new for cam chain stretch so I would assume it came out of the factory that way. The adjustment was quite small.

There is a good thread on this issue in the BMWLT forum, and Lee (LAF, also a member here) had done an excellent job of keeping statistics on how many of the "new" wetheads that he had taken apart had the cam timing off, from the factory!

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-series/169458-12k-cam-timing.html


2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville
1960 Triumph Thunderbird
1952 Triumph Thunderbird
1932 Tr. Tiger 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
#1002521 - 12/19/17 06:10 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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Originally Posted by Limecreek
Started my annual service and found the cam timing a wee bit off that I corrected with the help of some BMW specified tools. .... move to the next task.

What year is your bike? I am surprised to see the valve timing so far out!
Lee (LAF) on the LT forum has also found some to be out. I was curious to know why this is not being picked up at the relevant BMW Dealerships during their servicing.

#1002524 - 12/19/17 06:31 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: PadG]  
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Originally Posted by PadG
Originally Posted by Limecreek
The alignment tool is used to determine alignment. It is a go, no/go tool.

As for cause....the bike is too new for cam chain stretch so I would assume it came out of the factory that way. The adjustment was quite small.

There is a good thread on this issue in the BMWLT forum, and Lee (LAF, also a member here) had done an excellent job of keeping statistics on how many of the "new" wetheads that he had taken apart had the cam timing off, from the factory!

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-series/169458-12k-cam-timing.html


Awesome - reading it now. I had not see this before.

#1002525 - 12/19/17 06:49 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: AndyS]  
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Originally Posted by AndyS
Originally Posted by Limecreek
Started my annual service and found the cam timing a wee bit off that I corrected with the help of some BMW specified tools. .... move to the next task.

What year is your bike? I am surprised to see the valve timing so far out!
Lee (LAF) on the LT forum has also found some to be out. I was curious to know why this is not being picked up at the relevant BMW Dealerships during their servicing.


2016 MY Andy and the timing really was not that far off.

#1002527 - 12/19/17 07:30 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: realshelby]  
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Originally Posted by realshelby
Originally Posted by markgoodrich
I have people for that.

Oh, wait, Greg, you're my people!


Are you saying there will be a "Cam alignment Tech Days" at the Limestone Ranch?



Hmmmm. Could be.

#1002532 - 12/19/17 10:25 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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There seems no rhyme or reason as to cam alignment or cam position sensor alignment.

I think I am at 11 or 12 now and there seems to be no correlation to model, RT, GS, GSA, or year.

I do know that the cam position sensor is the most noticeable if it is out. In the GS I follow for thousands of miles, his was way off and when we set it in place his starts became instant. No hesitation or false starts any longer like he was experiencing.

The cams being out do not show the same good results that are seen and felt.

I do suspect that it shows up in improved gas mileage and performance that can not be perceived by seat of the pants.

As to why it is not picked up more often dealers just do not check cam timing. You need to ask and you may get a blank stare. The thing is if you are in for a valve check a cam check takes like 5 mins more. If they need adjusted it is uninstalling a cam chain tensioner, installing a cam chain simulator, and using the alignment tool over the end of the cams.

I have had people from all over the country stop here in PA for me to check their cams and we check valves while we are there as it takes only a few mins more.

To me if something is supposed to be in a spec I want it there.


Lee

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#1002536 - 12/20/17 01:13 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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While my cams were only slightly out of phase, my bike starts noticeably faster than before. It used to always start with a pop and now it just lights up.


2017 R1200GS
#1002537 - 12/20/17 01:25 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: AZgman]  
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Originally Posted by AZgman
While my cams were only slightly out of phase, my bike starts noticeably faster than before. It used to always start with a pop and now it just lights up.


Well since you need to remove the cam position sensor on the left side to adjust the valve I wonder if it was off and then put back on in the correct position?

Regardless cams should be adjusted to spec using the tools. IMHO it is another quality control issue as there is no way for cams to "slip" or jump out of time, or because of the cam chain stretching. Since the two cams and the cam chain are connected by three sprockets or gears, no way for cams to jump out of time. I do not know for sure but I see no way once cams are aligned for them to ever be out again. If one I did comes back in 12K and is out I will for sure eat crow.


Lee

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#1002560 - 12/20/17 05:14 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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LAF, you wouldn't happen to be going to the Un-Rally in SD next summer? I would love to see the whole process in person.


2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT (Present)
1999 Honda Shadow Aero 1100 (17 years, Gone)
1995 Honda Shadow VLX (2 years, Long Gone)
#1002581 - 12/21/17 02:50 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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I am going to Iowa for the National.

Since it is not really riding country I may do some there.


Lee

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#1002589 - 12/21/17 03:51 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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Why would cam timing ever change once it is set? and correctly one would hope.


Larry
2016 BMW R1200RT
#1002616 - 12/22/17 02:10 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: fastlarry]  
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Cam timing shouldn't change until you get some stretching in the cam chain, and that could take a while.


2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville
1960 Triumph Thunderbird
1952 Triumph Thunderbird
1932 Tr. Tiger 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
#1002623 - 12/22/17 03:18 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: PadG]  
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Cam chain stretch isn't the only factor with the Wethead. Since you can loosen the cam drive gear to adjust it, I assume it could move on its own. More likely they are just not adjusted perfectly when built. The cams are gear driven from a gear that is turned by the cam chain. Meaning the two cams should never be out of proper phase. But, apparently some are.

#1002624 - 12/22/17 03:53 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: realshelby]  
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Originally Posted by realshelby
Cam chain stretch isn't the only factor with the Wethead. Since you can loosen the cam drive gear to adjust it, I assume it could move on its own. More likely they are just not adjusted perfectly when built. The cams are gear driven from a gear that is turned by the cam chain. Meaning the two cams should never be out of proper phase. But, apparently some are.


Cam chain stretch on this bike over time should be negligible. And my guess is once timing is properly set it will not change by very much. I'll check again in 12K miles.

[Linked Image]

As for detecting a performance gain as a result of the adjustment? Can't say I've noticed a difference. I have noticed the fueling flat spot I had around 7K is gone, but I am attributing that to the software update I paid for 2 weeks ago.

This most recent generation of the boxer motor is really amazing - powerful, smooth, spins up quickly and a more powerful version is in development.

Last edited by Limecreek; 12/22/17 03:54 PM.
#1002648 - 12/23/17 06:29 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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I did the same job on my GSA last month. At 12K miles all the valve clearness were still well within range, but the cam timing was slightly off on one side. Just like yours, the tool didn't quite fit, so out came the crowfoot.

#1002650 - 12/23/17 11:55 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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With three gears connecting the cams and cam chain I see no way chain stretch could make cam timing off. I mean after all that is what a cam chain tensioner is for. If you look at the pics you will see three gears it would have to jump a tooth to come out of time with each other.

I believe they are not set correctly from the factory.

Like I say if over the years I get another back that I did and it has moved, then I will need to step back and think about this in a different way.


Lee

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#1002659 - 12/23/17 02:16 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: LAF]  
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Originally Posted by LAF
With three gears connecting the cams and cam chain I see no way chain stretch could make cam timing off. I mean after all that is what a cam chain tensioner is for. If you look at the pics you will see three gears it would have to jump a tooth to come out of time with each other.

I believe they are not set correctly from the factory.

Like I say if over the years I get another back that I did and it has moved, then I will need to step back and think about this in a different way.

Tensioner will just maintain tensions so that the chain don't skip a tooth, if the slack is excessive (as in no tensioner installed). When the chain stretch, the total length of the chain grows, and that is how the timing can change. Sure, the change will be a function of how much the chain has stretched.

No arguments (as you already know) about the timing being off from the factory.


2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville
1960 Triumph Thunderbird
1952 Triumph Thunderbird
1932 Tr. Tiger 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
#1002673 - 12/23/17 05:31 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: PadG]  
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Originally Posted by PadG
Originally Posted by LAF
With three gears connecting the cams and cam chain I see no way chain stretch could make cam timing off. I mean after all that is what a cam chain tensioner is for. If you look at the pics you will see three gears it would have to jump a tooth to come out of time with each other.

I believe they are not set correctly from the factory.

Like I say if over the years I get another back that I did and it has moved, then I will need to step back and think about this in a different way.

Tensioner will just maintain tensions so that the chain don't skip a tooth, if the slack is excessive (as in no tensioner installed). When the chain stretch, the total length of the chain grows, and that is how the timing can change. Sure, the change will be a function of how much the chain has stretched.

No arguments (as you already know) about the timing being off from the factory.


The constant is TDC. With some stretch I can see the cam position slightly off as it relates to the piston position. Still do not believe I'll make the adjustment again in the next 70K miles or so - or at least I hope I will not have to.

Last edited by Limecreek; 12/23/17 05:32 PM.
#1002687 - 12/24/17 02:49 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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Originally Posted by Limecreek
Originally Posted by PadG
Originally Posted by LAF
With three gears connecting the cams and cam chain I see no way chain stretch could make cam timing off. I mean after all that is what a cam chain tensioner is for. If you look at the pics you will see three gears it would have to jump a tooth to come out of time with each other.

I believe they are not set correctly from the factory.

Like I say if over the years I get another back that I did and it has moved, then I will need to step back and think about this in a different way.

Tensioner will just maintain tensions so that the chain don't skip a tooth, if the slack is excessive (as in no tensioner installed). When the chain stretch, the total length of the chain grows, and that is how the timing can change. Sure, the change will be a function of how much the chain has stretched.

No arguments (as you already know) about the timing being off from the factory.


The constant is TDC. With some stretch I can see the cam position slightly off as it relates to the piston position. Still do not believe I'll make the adjustment again in the next 70K miles or so - or at least I hope I will not have to.

Originally Posted by Limecreek
Originally Posted by PadG
Originally Posted by LAF
With three gears connecting the cams and cam chain I see no way chain stretch could make cam timing off. I mean after all that is what a cam chain tensioner is for. If you look at the pics you will see three gears it would have to jump a tooth to come out of time with each other.

I believe they are not set correctly from the factory.

Like I say if over the years I get another back that I did and it has moved, then I will need to step back and think about this in a different way.

Tensioner will just maintain tensions so that the chain don't skip a tooth, if the slack is excessive (as in no tensioner installed). When the chain stretch, the total length of the chain grows, and that is how the timing can change. Sure, the change will be a function of how much the chain has stretched.

No arguments (as you already know) about the timing being off from the factory.


The constant is TDC. With some stretch I can see the cam position slightly off as it relates to the piston position. Still do not believe I'll make the adjustment again in the next 70K miles or so - or at least I hope I will not have to.

Not saying that you have to make adjustment, even at 70k. All that I am saying is that the thing that will affect cam timing is the so-called chain stretch (nothing actually stretches, but the chain will increase in length from use). Whether you need to make any adjustment at all is a function of how much the chain stretches, and I am fairly sure that nobody here can answer that question. The other unknown question is how much can the cam timing be off before it matters? Lee might have some ideas of that, since he has the hands-on experience with multiple wetheads. Having the adjustment slipping is a low probability, IMHO, but again Lee will be the best person to answer that from actual experience rather than just guessing! smile


2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville
1960 Triumph Thunderbird
1952 Triumph Thunderbird
1932 Tr. Tiger 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
#1002915 - 12/30/17 04:53 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: realshelby]  
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Originally Posted by realshelby
Originally Posted by markgoodrich
I have people for that.

Oh, wait, Greg, you're my people!


Are you saying there will be a "Cam alignment Tech Days" at the Limestone Ranch?



You getting a petition up to have Greg do another "Austin Texas Tech Daze" ?

http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=424372&page=1

Where do I sign?

Yeeeeeha!

ps: make sure there's a follow-up ride scheduled for the following day!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


Yeeha! Stephen
Deep in the Heaaaaarrrrt of Texaaaas
"Why eat a Burger when you can have Pie!" Miss Vicki 2002
#1002917 - 12/30/17 05:05 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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If you can find the #34, Spring 2017, issue of BMW Motorcycle Magazine, it has a nice photo article similar to Greg's and shows cam removal and shim adjustments. Also give the part #'s for the special tools BMW sells for the job.

http://bmwmcmag.com/shop/bmwmm34/

=8-)


Yeeha! Stephen
Deep in the Heaaaaarrrrt of Texaaaas
"Why eat a Burger when you can have Pie!" Miss Vicki 2002
#1002928 - 12/30/17 02:57 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Yeeha! Stephen]  
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Originally Posted by Yeeha! Stephen
If you can find the #34, Spring 2017, issue of BMW Motorcycle Magazine, it has a nice photo article similar to Greg's and shows cam removal and shim adjustments. Also give the part #'s for the special tools BMW sells for the job.

http://bmwmcmag.com/shop/bmwmm34/

=8-)

Stephen, Thanks for the tip. I ordered the issue and also started a subscription. Looks like a nice magazine. Surprised I hadn't seen it before. Does the article you mentioned include adjusting the cam sensor and cam timing?


Steve
'16 R1200RT
#1002996 - 12/31/17 09:11 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Yeeha! Stephen]  
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Could happen - just depends on my travel schedule in Feb/March. Not sure how much interest there is these days, but they were fun back in the day. :-)

Picture from the first one I held all the way back in 2003.
[Linked Image]

One in the middle 2009 - best attended.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

And the final one back in 2012.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Last edited by Limecreek; 12/31/17 09:11 PM.
#1003009 - 01/01/18 01:27 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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I made the 2012 Hottern' Hell Tech Daze! My second one. Maybe I ran everyone off?

Anyway, does the cam timing check have to be done on a cold engine? That might complicate doing them in a "tech daze" setting. Unless we do them Tuesday or Wednesday of this week..........

#1003011 - 01/01/18 03:12 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: realshelby]  
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I do not think heat has any bearing on cam alignment check, Really can think of no reason it would.

Thing is it is nice to check the valves while you are there so in that respect it would.

However I have held a garden hose on a few bikes in the center of the front of the motor, then the rear of the motor, and then the jugs after a time and the motor was cool enough in a hour or so to check valves. We set a large fan in front of them did the cam check and then the valves and the motor was cool to the touch.


Lee

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#1004233 - 01/26/18 10:46 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: PadG]  
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So did my new 17 GS today at 56 miles.

All was well and no issues at all with cam timing.

Have to say the TDC tool really snapped into TDC on this one. I mean it was buried and really snapped when it found the hole.

Maybe they are getting the hang of this stuff


Of note on the valve check I was not real happy but we will see after we get some miles on it.

However since the motor wears tight my valve setting don't bode well for me.

ALL seem tight to me but as they say in spec is in spec,

Here that is:
L
F Intake 10 R Intake 11
F Exhaust 34 R Exhaust 35
R
F Intake 14 R Intake 13
F Exhaust 34 R Exhaust 35

Couple have no room so we will see. I am sure with the shim kit I have I can get through it when it needs it.

So the Recap:
15 RT 12,000 miles, Left off real bad, right off also. Cam sensor on.
16 GS 12,000 miles, Right side off pretty well and left side off. Cam sensor way out. Adjusted
16 RT 6000 miles, Right dead on, Left off ever so slightly, Adjusted. Cam Position Sensor on.
16 RT 12,000 miles, Dead on both sides. Cam sensor on.
15 GSA 12,000 Miles, Dead on both sides. Cam sensor on.
14 RT 18,000 Miles , Dead on both sides. Cam sensors on.
14 RT 13,000 Miles, Dead on both sides. Cam sensor on.
15 RT 87,000 Miles, Dead on both sides. Cam sensor was off. Adjusted
16 GSA 1,688 Miles Right dead on. Left off ever so slightly, Adjusted. Cam Position Sensor on.
17 GS 56 Miles Dead on both sides Cam Position Sensor right on.

That's my story and I am sticking to it.


Lee

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#1004457 - 01/30/18 06:31 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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Just as a final follow-up regarding performance gains as a result of the cam alignment - there is not any detectable (power/smoothness) or measurable (gas mileage) difference from my POV.

#1004496 - 01/31/18 10:30 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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No the cams would have to be off huge to notice a difference.

That said if the cam position sensor was off it will induce hard starts. Proofed this out 2 times now and once with the friend I ride thousands of miles a year with. His GS was way off. It would do the false start on the first button push and then start fine on the second push. Once we brought his cam position sensor into range it started with authority first push every time. I think if the cams are out it would be long term as far as gas mileage, and performance that would only show on a dyno.

However on is on, and with the alignment jig it is either in time or out of time. I want mine in time no matter how small the noticeable benefit.

This is a worthwhile maintenance procedure that IMHO should be done once to every bike to see what is what.

I guess really mechanically inclined guys could use the tools to advance timing or retard timing to achieve performance results. You would just need to figure out a way to degree the cams to get an exact setting. I think one could make a degree wheel for the end of the cam lobes to do this.

After running a Power Commander on my RT and 2 Dyno tunes there really is not a lot more power to be had in these motors. However these are a very lean running motor so fuel does help in areas of the fuel map where it is exceptionally lean.


Lee

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#1005710 - 02/20/18 02:42 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: PadG]  
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Originally Posted by PadG
Originally Posted by LAF
With three gears connecting the cams and cam chain I see no way chain stretch could make cam timing off. I mean after all that is what a cam chain tensioner is for. If you look at the pics you will see three gears it would have to jump a tooth to come out of time with each other.

I believe they are not set correctly from the factory.

Like I say if over the years I get another back that I did and it has moved, then I will need to step back and think about this in a different way.

Tensioner will just maintain tensions so that the chain don't skip a tooth, if the slack is excessive (as in no tensioner installed). When the chain stretch, the total length of the chain grows, and that is how the timing can change. Sure, the change will be a function of how much the chain has stretched.

No arguments (as you already know) about the timing being off from the factory.


Some thoughts on why the cam gear has adjustability at all.

1. Even though the gears are precision form (or machined) parts, there is a bit of variability in the overall system that is used to turn those cams. The one part believe it or not that has the most variability is the chain. Every link has multiple components that can cause that chain length to vary. If this was a gear drive cam, my guess is that it wouldn't have any adjustabilty for a factory install. I know that There are V8 car gear drives that do have adjustability for varying cam timing, but that's usually an aftermarket application with a single cam meant for "pre-timing" the engine.

2. There is a manufacturing process of some sort that requires that they have to flexibility to assembly the cams and cam drive assembly in such a way that it drives variability in the final assembly process. Don't laugh, in 26 years in engineering I have seen worse rational used for this type of thing. It might have been a cost driven decision where adding the cam adjustment at some point in the assembly process was less costly than integrating a design that was more assembly friendly. Once again, these kinds of decisions get made every day based on costs and assembly ergonomic decisions.

Just my thoughts....I may be completely off. smile

Shawn


2018 Harley-Davidson FLHTP Electra-Glide
2008 BMW R1200RT
1999 BMW R1100RT

#1005791 - 02/21/18 10:28 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Lone_RT_rider]  
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I still do not understand this.

If you have three gears meshed together as we do. Intake, Exhaust, and the cam chain shaft. Those three gears are meshed or indexed together. You then have a sprocket on the other end with a chain driving them. How can the chain getting loose change the mesh of 3 gears? It can make the chain droop or clatter if the cam chain tensioner can not take up the slack but I see no way it can change the indexing or mesh of those three gears?

What am I missing?


Lee

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#1005796 - 02/21/18 11:27 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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The 3 components meshed together will not change.
However what I think Shawn is saying is that the chain can stretch (minutely) and so the relationship between the crankshaft and the camshafts could start to 'lag'....fractionally and therefore require resetting of the 3 meshed together components.

#1005821 - 02/21/18 02:43 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: LAF]  
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Originally Posted by LAF
I still do not understand this.

If you have three gears meshed together as we do. Intake, Exhaust, and the cam chain shaft. Those three gears are meshed or indexed together. You then have a sprocket on the other end with a chain driving them. How can the chain getting loose change the mesh of 3 gears? It can make the chain droop or clatter if the cam chain tensioner can not take up the slack but I see no way it can change the indexing or mesh of those three gears?

What am I missing?

Lee, the meshed gears will not change position over time, but you need to look at the chain drive! As many have pointed out, cam timing is the relative position of the over-head camshafts to the piston position, in direct sense, of the engine's crankshaft, in the indirect sense. Both are the same. In any chain-drive, you have a drive gear and a driven gear. In our case, the drive gear is tied to the engine's crankshaft, while the driven gear is tied to the over-head camshaft. In any chain drive, the power, or motion, is transmitted by a gear tooth pulling on a chain roller at the drive side to pull the the driven gear tooth of the driven gear by another roller along the chain's length. In our application, we are interested in maintaining a very fixed rotational relationship between the two gears. Therefore, the slack must be maintained at some tension, or the driven gear can flop around with respect to the drive gear. That is the obvious one, and thet's why there is a chain tensioner in the system.

Now, what you seem to have missed is the fact that over time, the chain's bushings and pins will wear, causing what people call "stretch" in that the overall length of the chain will increase from the wear, and the timing will be affected. How so, you ask? Well, think of the ideal situation, when the chain is new, and imagine the chain being stretched between the drive gear and the driven gear at a standardized tension. You will see that there are "x" number of links of chain in between the two gears, and you need to note that the average "pitch" between the rollers of the links are very uniform and relatively precise. Now, just freeze this picture, then imagine if that chain is suddenly worn, so that the mean pitch distances are larger than the new chain. What do you think happen then? The chain tension between the two gears suddenly disappear, and the drive gear will need to rotate a little to take up the slack and restore the tension, which means that it will lose the rotational relationship to the driven (cam) gear, and therefore your cam timing will be a little off!

Phew......:)


2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville
1960 Triumph Thunderbird
1952 Triumph Thunderbird
1932 Tr. Tiger 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
#1005887 - 02/22/18 02:17 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: PadG]  
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Originally Posted by PadG
Originally Posted by LAF
I still do not understand this.

If you have three gears meshed together as we do. Intake, Exhaust, and the cam chain shaft. Those three gears are meshed or indexed together. You then have a sprocket on the other end with a chain driving them. How can the chain getting loose change the mesh of 3 gears? It can make the chain droop or clatter if the cam chain tensioner can not take up the slack but I see no way it can change the indexing or mesh of those three gears?

What am I missing?

Lee, the meshed gears will not change position over time, but you need to look at the chain drive! As many have pointed out, cam timing is the relative position of the over-head camshafts to the piston position, in direct sense, of the engine's crankshaft, in the indirect sense. Both are the same. In any chain-drive, you have a drive gear and a driven gear. In our case, the drive gear is tied to the engine's crankshaft, while the driven gear is tied to the over-head camshaft. In any chain drive, the power, or motion, is transmitted by a gear tooth pulling on a chain roller at the drive side to pull the the driven gear tooth of the driven gear by another roller along the chain's length. In our application, we are interested in maintaining a very fixed rotational relationship between the two gears. Therefore, the slack must be maintained at some tension, or the driven gear can flop around with respect to the drive gear. That is the obvious one, and thet's why there is a chain tensioner in the system.

Now, what you seem to have missed is the fact that over time, the chain's bushings and pins will wear, causing what people call "stretch" in that the overall length of the chain will increase from the wear, and the timing will be affected. How so, you ask? Well, think of the ideal situation, when the chain is new, and imagine the chain being stretched between the drive gear and the driven gear at a standardized tension. You will see that there are "x" number of links of chain in between the two gears, and you need to note that the average "pitch" between the rollers of the links are very uniform and relatively precise. Now, just freeze this picture, then imagine if that chain is suddenly worn, so that the mean pitch distances are larger than the new chain. What do you think happen then? The chain tension between the two gears suddenly disappear, and the drive gear will need to rotate a little to take up the slack and restore the tension, which means that it will lose the rotational relationship to the driven (cam) gear, and therefore your cam timing will be a little off!

Phew......:)



Got you and understand this whole
relationship.

However the cam chain tensioner is supposed to be taking this slack out correct?

And the cam chain tensioner tool has no idea that your cam chain is stretched, as it applies a specified tension on it?

So the TDC tool finds the hole on the flywheel. Then you applied a specified tension to your cam chain regardless of how stretched it may be?

Then you adjust your cams if you need to?

Then you are back to a stretched chain with the slack being taken up by our hydraulic lifter?

What changed or what did we change?

As many of these I have done I see them as a manufacturing error and not a wear issue?

The bike with 88K was right on, so I assume it got put together correctly, and did not suffer any wear over 88K?

You and I have had this conversation before and while I do understand what you describe as far as engine operation, I am inclined to believe this is a manufacturer error.


Lee

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#1005902 - 02/22/18 11:05 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: LAF]  
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Lee your argument is chain stretch is taken up by the tensioner and maintains the proper cam position as it relates to piston position. This all assumes it was set up correctly when the engine was assembled.

From my POV there will be a point where the tensioner cannot take up enough stretch to maintain the correct cam position to piston position. However, I cannot believe we are experiencing significant chain stretch in 12K miles or 8K in my case. So I believe it was off at assembly which brings us back to the point Shawn made.

#1005906 - 02/22/18 11:44 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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Originally Posted by Limecreek
Lee your argument is chain stretch is taken up by the tensioner and maintains the proper cam position as it relates to piston position. This all assumes it was set up correctly when the engine was assembled.


But it doesn't. The Cam Chain tensioner is on the non drive side of a chain run and has nothing to do with maintaining proper cam position. It is there to stop chain 'slap' and to take up wear. The timing aspect does change, but that is where your second point is right. The amount of stretch at 8 or even 12K miles in insignificant and so very likely it is incorrectly set at build.

Originally Posted by Limecreek
From my POV there will be a point where the tensioner cannot take up enough stretch to maintain the correct cam position to piston position. However, I cannot believe we are experiencing significant chain stretch in 12K miles or 8K in my case. So I believe it was off at assembly which brings us back to the point Shawn made.


Most vehicles historically didn't have any adjustment to compensate for chain stretch because it is so minute. However, IF it can be adjusted to the correct position to compensate, then it SHOULD be.

#1005913 - 02/22/18 01:52 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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I think the missing point here is chain pitch. The distance between the centers of the rollers. Chain wear between the drive ( crankshaft ) and driven ( camshaft ) is not made correct by the tensioner. It cannot change chain length. All the chain tensioners do is keep the slack in the chain from slapping back and forth. Tensioners are on the return side of the process. Cam chains are not known to stretch much. They live in an oil bath environment and actually have little load on them. I cannot see chain stretch as a factor in cam alignment in a bike without high mileage. Don't know what that mileage might be, but few are there yet is my guess.

#1005914 - 02/22/18 02:02 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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wink I think we both say the same thing!

#1005915 - 02/22/18 02:10 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: AndyS]  
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Andy "The Cam Chain tensioner is on the non drive side of a chain run and has nothing to do with maintaining proper cam position."

Andy then why do we need to put a repeatable tension on the cam chain with the cam chain tension tool to adjust the cams?

I have 11 or so of these under my belt including my new 17 GS, and soon a 18 GS (12) my ridding friend allows me to chase.

Seeing cam position sensors off, and cams off in new low mile bikes leads me to believe this is a original manufacturer error. I do not think we will ever wear our cams out of time.

Again the 88K RT was dead on so if wear was the issue it should (maybe) have shown on that bike.

I do appreciate everyone's thoughts on this as I just cant seem to figure it out other than manufacturer setup errors.

I love hearing well thought out reply's and this it where I learn stuff. Thank you for being patient and for your thoughts. Keep them coming.


Lee

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#1005917 - 02/22/18 02:44 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: realshelby]  
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Originally Posted by realshelby
I think the missing point here is chain pitch. The distance between the centers of the rollers. Chain wear between the drive ( crankshaft ) and driven ( camshaft ) is not made correct by the tensioner. It cannot change chain length. All the chain tensioners do is keep the slack in the chain from slapping back and forth. Tensioners are on the return side of the process. Cam chains are not known to stretch much. They live in an oil bath environment and actually have little load on them. I cannot see chain stretch as a factor in cam alignment in a bike without high mileage. Don't know what that mileage might be, but few are there yet is my guess.

Thank you Terry! You hit the nail right on the head.

What affect the cam timing, when the chain starts to wear, is the fact that the PITCH between rollers would have increased, which means that the relationship between the tooth of the drive gear to the tooth of the driven gear has changed, from the longer chain length. Clearly, Lee didn't get this!

As long as the chain tensioner is working as designed, the added slack will not affect anything (to do with the timing).


2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville
1960 Triumph Thunderbird
1952 Triumph Thunderbird
1932 Tr. Tiger 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
#1005918 - 02/22/18 02:48 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: LAF]  
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Originally Posted by LAF

.........

Andy then why do we need to put a repeatable tension on the cam chain with the cam chain tension tool to adjust the cams?

...........

I love hearing well thought out reply's and this it where I learn stuff. Thank you for being patient and for your thoughts. Keep them coming.

Ahhhh.....I was waiting for somebody to pose this question! Let me turn that around on you, and ask you why BMW made that requirement? Actually, why that SPECIFIC loading and not something more, or less?

I will tell you my answer at the end.


2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville
1960 Triumph Thunderbird
1952 Triumph Thunderbird
1932 Tr. Tiger 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
#1005923 - 02/22/18 04:12 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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Originally Posted by LAF

Andy "The Cam Chain tensioner is on the non drive side of a chain run and has nothing to do with maintaining proper cam position."

Andy then why do we need to put a repeatable tension on the cam chain with the cam chain tension tool to adjust the cams?.


Because when you are performing maintenance, there is no engine oil pressure to load the tensioner.

We want to load the chain run to establish the full length of the chain to get the correct relationship between the crankshaft and the camshaft.

This issue never came into play before, because we could not check or adjust the cam timing. Now we have access to checking and adjusting it...we worry about it!

#1005926 - 02/22/18 04:38 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: AndyS]  
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Quote
Now we have access to checking and adjusting it...we worry about it!


Exactly. Made me laugh out loud.

#1005928 - 02/22/18 04:44 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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The only reason the cam chain tensioner is needed to check cam alignment is to remove slack from the drive side of chain. This simulates running conditions where the crankshaft gear pulls on the chain and the cam gear resists turning. Without this tension, you could move the cam gears back and forth with no movement of the crankshaft.

Yes, oil pressure keeps the tensioner loaded while operating. The special tool simulates this while checking alignment.

One thing good about these adjustable cam gears. You could actually correct for cam chain stretch if that was ever an issue.

#1005933 - 02/22/18 06:09 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: realshelby]  
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Originally Posted by realshelby
The only reason the cam chain tensioner is needed to check cam alignment is to remove slack from the drive side of chain. This simulates running conditions where the crankshaft gear pulls on the chain and the cam gear resists turning. Without this tension, you could move the cam gears back and forth with no movement of the crankshaft.

Yes.

Originally Posted by realshelby
Yes, oil pressure keeps the tensioner loaded while operating. The special tool simulates this while checking alignment.

Yes


Originally Posted by realshelby
One thing good about these adjustable cam gears. You could actually correct for cam chain stretch if that was ever an issue.

Yes

#1005944 - 02/22/18 08:22 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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A very handy calculator for use with torque wrenches and extensions of various sizes and shapes. Just click on whatever setup you have and go from there.

http://www.fordservicecontent.com/renderers/torquewrench/wrench_formula_main_en.asp


Oscar
2017 R1200RT
S.FL



#1005961 - 02/23/18 01:02 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: PadG]  
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PadG

Ahh man you always pick on me grin

I would assume nothing more then a reference or point of measure.

I hate (not really) when you ask me questions I am not sure of the answer of dopeslap


Lee

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#1005964 - 02/23/18 01:22 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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Being able to adjust them makes me wonder how they were from factory over the years.

What I find so strange is it is a "infinity" adjustment meaning you could turn them all you want as long as the cam lobe jig goes on in the right orientation to the cam lobes. I would always look for a wedge or key sytem but not here. I guess no other way to do them.

Just seems odd four bolts running through four gears it all that holds the motor in time.

when you start talking about the center(or not) of a chain pin, or link or whatever you call that individual cog, and then take into account where that is falling into the center(or not) of the sprocket that is taking some small amounts of change into account.

I still say this is manufacture error.

I also say yes something new to worry about and fuss over, but IMHO it needs looked at.

The cam position sensor being off does make a 16 GS start hard. Once set it starts off first touch of the button. Just had that conversation the other day and the gentleman is adamant it was a huge difference.

Still having fun and hope to do more this Summer. It is interesting to me and it only takes a few more min once you are in for a valve check so no big deal to do.


Lee

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#1006001 - 02/23/18 02:32 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: LAF]  
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You are getting paranoid, Lee! smile

The amount of tension that you need to apply, before doing your measurement or adjustment, should be enough to remove all of the slack PLUS some more to make the chain really taut. When chain drive is used for timing, as they often are, you have to make sure that the chain system is always rigid - that is zero slack and very taut. Unladen chain tends to "belly" even on the drive side, when the driven gear is relatively unloaded. When is the driven gear unloaded? Well, the position when you are making your check or valve adjustment is it! TDC on the compression stroke, when all valves are closed, which means that none of the cams are in contact with any valve stems, ergo no load on the cam gear! This is also true for when the engine is running. The hydraulic tensioner needs to provide the same force to take out the slack PLUS to make the chain rigid, since the loading of the cam gear will vary as the cams makes and breaks contact with the valve stems.

As to the bikes that you had found the cam timing to be off, I am sure that you recall me making the statement in your original thread, in the other forum, that obviously BMW have issues in their assembly line. I don't recall the stat that you had accumulate, but isn't it true that you had found problems mainly with the '14 and '15 boxers, and not with the newer ones? I hope so, because that would mean that BMW had found and eliminated the problem on the assembly line!

One other thought. This is the very first engine that I have heard of that has adjustability built in for setting the cam timing! Are there others out there?


2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville
1960 Triumph Thunderbird
1952 Triumph Thunderbird
1932 Tr. Tiger 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
#1006008 - 02/23/18 03:19 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: PadG]  
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dirtrider Offline
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Originally Posted by PadG
\
One other thought. This is the very first engine that I have heard of that has adjustability built in for setting the cam timing! Are there others out there?


Morning PadG

Sure, some multi-cam automotive engines but closer to home is the BMW camhead engine.


D.R. ___
Sent from my rotory dial wall phone!
#1006032 - 02/23/18 07:37 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: dirtrider]  
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Paul De Offline
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Milwaukee Wisconsin, USA
Originally Posted by dirtrider
Originally Posted by PadG
\
One other thought. This is the very first engine that I have heard of that has adjustability built in for setting the cam timing! Are there others out there?


Morning PadG

Sure, some multi-cam automotive engines but closer to home is the BMW camhead engine.


The UJM dual cam motors can be. There was someone out there making slotted cam sprockets that allowed for a range of cam timing overlap degrees to be set. You could slot the sprocket hole yourself with a Dremel tool, but it would be ugly to do it that way. Basically slotted sprockets allowed you to tailor between high HP peaky or less HP with broader torque. That was some while ago and with the compression ratios they use today I would be real cautious about messing with cam timing too much or risk smacking a valve into a piston crown.


If the good old days were so damn good, why did we bother to invent modern times?

Most missed bike: Bultaco Sherpa T 326
#1006044 - 02/24/18 04:22 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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BeemerBerg Offline
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Kanab, Utah
This is a very interesting conversation. Love the insight

Here’s a question for the sages: IF the can timing is off by a gnats a$$ on my ‘16RT (whether caused during manufacturing assembly, new chain break-in, WHATEVER) — will my dealer do a check/adjust using these special BMW TOOLS when doing the routine valve adjust service? And once properly adjusted, would this procedure EVER be required again?? EVER??

In other words, is this a “set once and forget” procedure??

Inquiring minds want to know before buying these tools. I do all my own service but if adjustment is only needed once, it would be a good reason to have the dealer it, save the space in my toolbox, and more $$ to spend on tires.


--Ken G�tzen-Berg

2005 R1200RT ("Baron") [still going strong @ 125,000 miles]
2010 R1200RT ("Zigfried")
2016 R1200RTW ("Ludwig"}
#1006050 - 02/24/18 11:49 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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MikeB60 Offline
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Smiths Station, AL
There is a huge thread on this issue at adventure rider. I haven't looked in quite awhile but it seems like I remember reading that it is now a check at 6000 miles. Don't think there are instances where it had to be done again but I have slept since reading the thread!

My GS is going in for a headlight issue and recall next week and I am going to speak with Matt about the cam alignment check.


'13 K1600GT
'16 R1200GS
'04 Yamaha FZ1
#1006135 - 02/25/18 02:36 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: dirtrider]  
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PadG Offline
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Solon, OH
Good morning DR!

I didn't know that the camhead has the same adjustability! I was curious from the perspective of stock powerplants, and not mods. Would you know if the cam timing can be adjusted/set with BMW's inline 4s and 6s? The feature is what I would have expected to find for the S100RR, say!

Last edited by PadG; 02/25/18 02:37 PM.

2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville
1960 Triumph Thunderbird
1952 Triumph Thunderbird
1932 Tr. Tiger 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
#1006136 - 02/25/18 02:38 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: MikeB60]  
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PadG Offline
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Solon, OH
Originally Posted by MikeB60
There is a huge thread on this issue at adventure rider. I haven't looked in quite awhile but it seems like I remember reading that it is now a check at 6000 miles. Don't think there are instances where it had to be done again but I have slept since reading the thread!

My GS is going in for a headlight issue and recall next week and I am going to speak with Matt about the cam alignment check.

That was where all this started indeed, a few years back. 2014 or 15? I had read all of the conversations about it back then.


2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville
1960 Triumph Thunderbird
1952 Triumph Thunderbird
1932 Tr. Tiger 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
#1006143 - 02/25/18 03:38 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: PadG]  
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dirtrider Offline
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Originally Posted by PadG
Good morning DR!

I didn't know that the camhead has the same adjustability! I was curious from the perspective of stock powerplants, and not mods. Would you know if the cam timing can be adjusted/set with BMW's inline 4s and 6s? The feature is what I would have expected to find for the S100RR, say!


Morning PadG


The 1000RR uses 3 bolt cam gear positioning (so non adjustable) & the 1600 uses cam gear locating dowels (so non adjustable).

Way back even Harley used a press-on cam driven gear (no key, pin, or bolt locating control) so it was adjustable. Not easily as the cam had to be removed (very easy to do) then the gear pressed off then pressed back on in a slightly different clocking (we used to do that on the Harley Evo's to gain performance in certain operating windows especially if larger pistons were installed).

The new BMW 1200 WC cam adjustability is probably as good as any as it easily allows (precise) cam-train initial setting at factory level, covers up any machining mis-tolerances, allows very close cam timing even if the cylinder heights, head gasket thicknesses, or cylinder head machining is slightly off, & allows a slight change in cam timing at a later date if it is needed to meet new emission standards, or even easily allows new model cam updates using all the same drive/driven parts.

Seems simple enough-- set once at initial assembly, re-check/re-set at about 6K (give or take) to account for early life wear-in, then good to go for life of engine.


D.R. ___
Sent from my rotory dial wall phone!
#1006164 - 02/25/18 06:36 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: dirtrider]  
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Mudman Offline
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Kern Valley, CA
Originally Posted by dirtrider
Originally Posted by PadG
Good morning DR!

I didn't know that the camhead has the same adjustability! I was curious from the perspective of stock powerplants, and not mods. Would you know if the cam timing can be adjusted/set with BMW's inline 4s and 6s? The feature is what I would have expected to find for the S100RR, say!


Morning PadG


The 1000RR uses 3 bolt cam gear positioning (so non adjustable) & the 1600 uses cam gear locating dowels (so non adjustable).







Hi Dirtrider,

Actually the S1000 series including my S1000XR do have cam timing adjustment capibility. When I got my XR I purchased the cam timing tools for it like the tools I purchased for the wetheads. The concept is the same but the methods and tools are different. The S1000 engines do use a TDC tool, cam chain tensioner tool, Cam alignment tool and a cam socket wrench to accomplish this task. The driven cam sprockets have slotted bolt holes to adjust positions.

Seems like the normal cam chain stretch should be checked and the cams adjusted if necessary during the normal 18K valve check service intervals.

This procedure can be found in the BMW Repair DVD for S models K4x. section, 11 30 501 Adjusting ignition timing (cylinder-head cover removed)

Last edited by Mudman; 02/25/18 06:38 PM.

Mudman
Kern Valley, CA

Currently;
2014 S1000XR
2018 R1200RT
1976 R90/6

Riding - The art of throwing yourself at the ground and missing
#1006169 - 02/25/18 07:17 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Mudman]  
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dirtrider Offline
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Originally Posted by Mudman
Originally Posted by dirtrider
Originally Posted by PadG
Good morning DR!

I didn't know that the camhead has the same adjustability! I was curious from the perspective of stock powerplants, and not mods. Would you know if the cam timing can be adjusted/set with BMW's inline 4s and 6s? The feature is what I would have expected to find for the S100RR, say!


Morning PadG


The 1000RR uses 3 bolt cam gear positioning (so non adjustable) & the 1600 uses cam gear locating dowels (so non adjustable).









Hi Dirtrider,

Actually the S1000 series including my S1000XR do have cam timing adjustment capibility. When I got my XR I purchased the cam timing tools for it like the tools I purchased for the wetheads. The concept is the same but the methods and tools are different. The S1000 engines do use a TDC tool, cam chain tensioner tool, Cam alignment tool and a cam socket wrench to accomplish this task. The driven cam sprockets have slotted bolt holes to adjust positions.

Seems like the normal cam chain stretch should be checked and the cams adjusted if necessary during the normal 18K valve check service intervals.

This procedure can be found in the BMW Repair DVD for S models K4x. section, 11 30 501 Adjusting ignition timing (cylinder-head cover removed)


Thanks Mudman

I see that in the manual now that you pointed it out. I didn't realize those sprockets were slotted under the screw heads.


D.R. ___
Sent from my rotory dial wall phone!
#1006206 - 02/26/18 04:18 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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Mudman Offline
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Kern Valley, CA
Hi Dirtrider,

I thank you for all the useful information you have shared over the years. I have learned much from your postings. I just wanted to share what I learned from ownership of the S1000XR.

I appreciate and look forward to your postings.


Mudman
Kern Valley, CA

Currently;
2014 S1000XR
2018 R1200RT
1976 R90/6

Riding - The art of throwing yourself at the ground and missing
#1006249 - 02/26/18 04:06 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: dirtrider]  
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PadG Offline
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Solon, OH
Thank you gentlemen! The fact that the 1000RR power plant has this adjustability feature makes sense to me, since it is a high-strung and highly tuned engine, and would be more sensitive to small variations. DR, how is the adjustment done on the camhead? It is surprising to me that the feature is on any of the boxers at all!


2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
Once Upon a Time........
1963 Norton Dominator 650 SS
1960 Triumph Bonneville
1960 Triumph Thunderbird
1952 Triumph Thunderbird
1932 Tr. Tiger 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
#1006274 - 02/26/18 09:08 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: PadG]  
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dirtrider Offline
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dirtrider  Offline
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Ohio
Originally Posted by PadG
Thank you gentlemen! The fact that the 1000RR power plant has this adjustability feature makes sense to me, since it is a high-strung and highly tuned engine, and would be more sensitive to small variations. DR, how is the adjustment done on the camhead? It is surprising to me that the feature is on any of the boxers at all!


Afternoon Pad G

Very similar to the wethead. Crankshaft at TDC, cam chain tensioning tool to take slack out of chain, loosen cam sprocket bolts, use cam position locating/holding tool on cams, then re-torque cam bolts.


D.R. ___
Sent from my rotory dial wall phone!
#1008295 - 03/27/18 07:23 PM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: Limecreek]  
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LAF Offline
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Did my riding friends 18 GS today. 905 miles. Great news for him everything was spot on. His valves measured out much better than mine.
L
Intake 12 14
Exhaust 36 36
R
Intake 14 14
Exhaust 36 36

I ran a fingernail on all cam lobes and no problems smooth on all cams.

So the Recap:

15 RT 12,000 miles, Left off real bad, right off also. Cam sensor on.
16 GS 12,000 miles, Right side off pretty well and left side off. Cam sensor way out. Adjusted
16 RT 6000 miles, Right dead on, Left off ever so slightly, Adjusted. Cam Position Sensor on.
16 RT 12,000 miles, Dead on both sides. Cam sensor on.
15 GSA 12,000 Miles, Dead on both sides. Cam sensor on.
14 RT 18,000 Miles , Dead on both sides. Cam sensors on.
14 RT 13,000 Miles, Dead on both sides. Cam sensor on.
15 RT 87,000 Miles, Dead on both sides. Cam sensor was off. Adjusted
16 GSA 1,688 Miles Right dead on. Left off ever so slightly, Adjusted. Cam Position Sensor on.
17 GS 56 Miles Dead on both sides Cam Position Sensor right on.
18 GS 905 Miles Dead on both sides Cam Position Sensor right on

I am thinking that they have gotten this right on the newer model years. I am sure the calls from dealers concerning cam timing probably sent them to the production floor to straiten it out. I am still checking them and will continue and since I do a valve check also it gives people data so when the valves are checked again they have a great reference point.


Lee

17 Black GSW Low
#1010384 - 04/29/18 10:27 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: LAF]  
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LAF Offline
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I got invited to Alexandria VA for a tech day hosted by Jim VonBaden who produces technical reference service DVD's for BMW's. I got to do a demo on checking cams. I used his bike.

Must have been 40-50 bikes there easy! What a great time and the scope of work that was done was amazing. Just about anything you needed done or wanted done could have been on the spot. Had three bikes in the garages, a Harley, KTM, and a BMW GS, one directly outside of the garage, and then Jim's bike to the left of the garages for the cam check. The door prizes were crazy. A GS-911, ezCAN's, and I won a set of full blown Skene P3 lights that can be programed to do just about anything! Hex, Beemer Bone Yard, Skene Lighting, and so many more vendors contributed door prizes that were out of this world.

What a great time!

Anyway the results.

A 2015 GS with 11,500 miles on it.
Both sides were off not a lot but off, and the cam position sensor was off. Only complaint was two push of button to start sometimes.

I put them in time and adjusted the cam position sensor

Valves matched the 6K check

So the Recap:

15 RT 12,000 miles, Left off real bad, right off also. Cam sensor on.
16 GS 12,000 miles, Right side off pretty well and left side off. Cam sensor way out. Adjusted
16 RT 6000 miles, Right dead on, Left off ever so slightly, Adjusted. Cam Position Sensor on.
16 RT 12,000 miles, Dead on both sides. Cam sensor on.
15 GSA 12,000 Miles, Dead on both sides. Cam sensor on.
14 RT 18,000 Miles , Dead on both sides. Cam sensors on.
14 RT 13,000 Miles, Dead on both sides. Cam sensor on.
15 RT 87,000 Miles, Dead on both sides. Cam sensor was off. Adjusted
16 GSA 1,688 Miles Right dead on. Left off ever so slightly, Adjusted. Cam Position Sensor on.
17.5 GS 56 Miles Dead on both sides Cam Position Sensor right on.
18 GS 905 Miles Dead on both sides Cam Position Sensor right on
15 GS 11,500 Miles Cam Timing off slightly both sides. Cam Position Sensor off a lot.

Looks to me still the older bikes need set while the newer 17 and 18 bikes are good. Like I say must be they got the production floor fixed.


Lee

17 Black GSW Low
#1012217 - 05/31/18 11:19 AM Re: Annual Service and Cam Alignment [Re: LAF]  
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LittleBriar Offline
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Tip of Michigan's Thumb
I recently bit the bullet and purchased the tools for this job. I have a '16 RT with 30k miles. Bike started and ran without problems before and after service. Here are my results:

Left side dead on
Right side just a little tight but gage went on so I didn't adjust
Cam sensor off a tad (maybe 1/32") so I adjusted.
All valve clearances within spec


Steve
'16 R1200RT
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