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#1011366 - 05/16/18 12:11 AM RT LC cam problems  
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Lemans Offline
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Lemans  Offline
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Sedona AZ
After a breakfast ride, less than 2 weeks after purchasing an '18 RT LC with all the goodies, it's back at the dealer. After a breakfast ride Sunday, it would crank but not start. BMW Roadside Assistance arranged a flat-bed reasonably quickly, and the bike and I were at the dealer before closing. Strangely enough, my dealer is open on Sundays.
After finding no codes, the initial diagnosis was bad gas. After further investigation, I am told by the tech that the cam position sensor wheel had come loose and had rotated 180 degrees. Spark would then fire on the exhaust stroke. After repair, the bike would start, but with some unusual noise.

What they tell me is an unrelated problem is visible grooving on the L side intake and exhaust cam lobes, and on the followers as well. R side OK. This has occurred at about 800 miles, and after a dyno breakin, oil and filter change, and a second oil and filter change at about 650 miles. I did the 600 mile change with the BMW specified Castrol 5W-40 product. The tech tells me that BMW has had issues with cam surface hardening. He believes this is the issue. New cams and followers are on order.

Has anyone heard of this issue? I expected to take a hit on the value as I rode it off the lot two weeks ago. but now I have a brand new bike with a major service issue and a service history. I'm unhappy. I doubt the dealer would be willing to swap it out for a new one, but I feel that I have lost value, gained worry and non-riding time. I'm taking some time to cool off before approaching management. If anyone has found themselves in a similar situation, I'd like to hear how it was managed. I feel that I am owed more that a warranty repair and a handshake.

#1011376 - 05/16/18 01:54 AM Re: RT LC cam problems [Re: Lemans]  
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Bernie Offline
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Jax, FL
A friend of mine had a problem with his cams on a CamHead, I think it was a 2009 or 10 version. But he had many more miles on it and it was discovered out of warranty.
I do not know if the dealer was able to help him out with the repairs or not.
But I am glad your dealer has been able to find and is assisting you with your problems on your 2018 RT-LC.
I am not having that much luck with my 2018 RT-LC. It is my 3rd RT since 2000 and this particular unit has spend more time at the dealer then the other two combined in over 290,000 miles.
There are all sorts of unexpected and unexplainable electrical problems or issues. None of them can be repeated and they do not register any fault codes.
Also, most of the time, I cannot get a clean shift from 2nd gear into 3rd gear using the clutch. This problem shows up after 30 to 50 miles and doesn't get better until the bike cools of over night.
Another problem is downshifting using the Shift Assist (clutch less). If I close the throttle quickly and try to down shift at the same time, the gear shifter locks up solid. If I relate pressure on the shifter and then make a second attempt, it works.
The bike has now a little over 9,100 miles and it is getting worse. Off course a lot of these things happen after you ride the bike for a longer time on back roads.
The dealers techs cannot duplicate the problems and since there are no error or fault codes and the transmission shifts fine for them, it must be the customers imagination.
All they tell me is don't worry you have warranty. LOL
But it has always started and has yet to get me stranded. So I guess I just have to ride it till to blows up. LOL


Bernie
Jax, FL
2018 R1200RT, Alpinweiss, starting out fresh.
2007 R1200RT, Double Silver 188,700 Smiles, SOLD
2000 R1100RT, Opal 104,000 Smiles, SOLD
BMW-MOA, BMW-RA,
AMA, BMW-NEF,
#1011392 - 05/16/18 09:35 AM Re: RT LC cam problems [Re: Lemans]  
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LAF Offline
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I can not be to specific but I know of another cam issue on a LC and 1/3 of the lobe was gone on a intake cam! I could not believe the picture when I saw it.

I have checker 14 LC bikes for cam timing and have NEVER felt with my nail or have seen a bad cam lobe. But there is a issue and I have seen the picture and it was fugly!

From what I am told the lobe is only surface hardened and if it is bad it will "flake" off. I do not know more than that at tis time but I do know the bike in question was at the dealer for a valve check 1000 miles before this was discovered while doing a cam timing check. I do not know what the resolution was or how the dealer handled it but I would have been totally pissed.


I hope they caught yours when it was only scoring the lobe and not when it was eaten off as this one was. I can not imagine how the bike ran but it did with only one intake lobe on one side. It wore just the width of the follower and looked like a chain link with a thin sliver of lobe left on each side.


I hope it works out for you and they do the right thing for you. It is a shame how much we pay for these bikes to have issues like this. It would appear they are sourcing parts on cost and not quality.


Lee

17 Black GSW Low
#1011406 - 05/16/18 01:40 PM Re: RT LC cam problems [Re: Lemans]  
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AZgman Offline
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AZ
If the Cam sensor "had come loose" it would rotate continuously on the shaft, or some random amount before it somehow tightened up. 180 degrees off seems odd. Can we assume the bike ran normal until you stopped for breakfast? Which dealer, Peoria or Scottsdale?

Last edited by AZgman; 05/16/18 01:42 PM.

2017 R1200GS
#1011408 - 05/16/18 02:17 PM Re: RT LC cam problems [Re: LAF]  
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PadG Offline
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Solon, OH
Yes Lee, typically components like camshafts, crankshafts, are hardened in localized areas ONLY as part of the manufacturing process. Heat is applied to the local areas (modern production lines uses induction coils, while in the old days, flames are used, hence the term "flame hardening") and then the area is rapidly cooled. The effect is very similar to case-hardening, but with a lot deeper case. Still, the hardness is just on the surface, and the material below retains its toughness.

So, if somehow the process got screwed up, you will have soft spots that will wear very rapidly!

Last edited by PadG; 05/16/18 02:18 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
#1011432 - 05/16/18 08:13 PM Re: RT LC cam problems [Re: PadG]  
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LAF Offline
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Originally Posted by PadG
Yes Lee, typically components like camshafts, crankshafts, are hardened in localized areas ONLY as part of the manufacturing process. Heat is applied to the local areas (modern production lines uses induction coils, while in the old days, flames are used, hence the term "flame hardening") and then the area is rapidly cooled. The effect is very similar to case-hardening, but with a lot deeper case. Still, the hardness is just on the surface, and the material below retains its toughness.

So, if somehow the process got screwed up, you will have soft spots that will wear very rapidly!

Yes I hope I can post a picture of this soon but while it is going through evaluation I can not.

It amazed me I did not understand what I was looking at for a second or two. My mind and eyes were at odds. Like I said I have heard of this but never saw it.


Another reason for one to do your own work and look at stuff every 6k instead of the 12K. Really is not a lot of work to pull the valve covers and inspect things. I will of course check valves at 6K as mine were tight at 56 miles. I also will be inspecting my cams and while the finger nail will work I am going to use a jewelers loop next time.


Lee

17 Black GSW Low
#1011445 - 05/16/18 11:39 PM Re: RT LC cam problems [Re: AZgman]  
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Lemans Offline
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Lemans  Offline
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Sedona AZ
Originally Posted by AZgman
If the Cam sensor "had come loose" it would rotate continuously on the shaft, or some random amount before it somehow tightened up. 180 degrees off seems odd. Can we assume the bike ran normal until you stopped for breakfast? Which dealer, Peoria or Scottsdale?



Scottsdale. Doesn't make a great deal of sense to me either. The bike seemed to run fine up until the moment I shut it down for breakfast. One hour later, it wouldn't fire. I'm told that there was much valve clatter when it was started at the dealer, prompting investigation of the valve clearances. Maybe it was noisy on my breakfast fun, but I might not have heard it with good noise insulating ear buds and music. 150-200 miles earlier, when I warmed up the oil prior to change, I didn't anything unusual.

#1011484 - 05/17/18 02:38 PM Re: RT LC cam problems [Re: Lemans]  
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LAF Offline
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Cam sensor is on with 5 Nm. That is not a lot. I have never seen a loose one in 14 cam checks. I have seen them out of alignment though.

Last edited by LAF; 05/17/18 02:40 PM.

Lee

17 Black GSW Low
#1012972 - 06/13/18 07:00 PM Re: RT LC cam problems [Re: Lemans]  
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JEF Offline
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My 2016 R1200RT - LC is now at the shop for the same cam wear problem. The one cam lobe looks just like LAF had described it. The bike has 67K miles and I have an extended warranty plan. I am jumping through all the hoops that the extended warranty has one do, and hopefullly will be resolved soon. I noticed no difference in the way the bike was running prior to this being discovered during a routine 12K service. It seems BMW enjoys always inserting one weak link (or more) into each of their models. I purchased this bike to ride, not to have it sit at a service shop waiting for repairs for an issue that should not happen. I wonder how many cents BMW saved in the mfg process, by using a shoddy and/or ineffective process?

JEF
Cincinnati, OH

#1012977 - 06/13/18 10:17 PM Re: RT LC cam problems [Re: JEF]  
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Lemans Offline
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Lemans  Offline
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Sedona AZ

Here's one of the cams taken from my bike at 800 miles.



[Linked Image]

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