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#532030 - 10/20/09 02:00 PM Cam Chain Tensioner
John in NC Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/04
Posts: 260
Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
I've read here about replacing this, but it always seems to be on older bikes. Does this modification apply to the 2004 RT?
Thanks.
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2004 R1150RT - Blue

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#532046 - 10/20/09 02:22 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: John in NC]
RPG Offline
Member

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 1514
Loc: Detroit Metro Area
Yes John, I installed the new tensioner in my '04 RT last year. New design was put into '05 Oilheads and later. Gets rid of the rattle on startup and in my case, must have improved the left camshaft timing because my 7,000 rpm detonation problem totally disappeared.

And remember you only need to do the left side.

One of the better upgrades you can do to your bike.

RPG
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"you may not like guns and choose not to own one. And you many not belive in God. However, if someone breaks into your home, you're going to 1)call someone with a gun. 2)Pray they get there in time"

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#532084 - 10/20/09 03:08 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: RPG]
moshe_levy Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 3696
Loc: NJ - God Help Me
John-

My how-to article from March MCN features my own 2004 RT. See http://www.mklsportster.com/Articles/mcncct.pdf This upgrade can be done on all pre-Hexhead Oilheads.

-MKL
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#532141 - 10/20/09 06:06 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: moshe_levy]
TimeToRide Offline
Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 61
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Good to know stuff for a newbie. Going to have to do this.

Thanks guys
Allan
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96 R1100RT Betty
86 Concourse Connie
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#532146 - 10/20/09 06:30 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: TimeToRide]
Happy Birthday David R Offline
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Registered: 09/04/09
Posts: 726
Loc: Western NY
I did it a week ago, well worth the $85.00 cost. Good for ever once done.

David smile
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'76 R75/6 67,000 miles
2000 R1100RT 137,000 miles. (retired)
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#532204 - 10/20/09 10:42 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: David R]
Francis Offline
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Registered: 03/05/01
Posts: 964
Loc: New York City
See my post on this board on this topic.

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#532304 - 10/21/09 10:30 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Francis]
John in NC Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/04
Posts: 260
Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
So what I gather here is that the main reason to replace this part is make the start up quieter? Are there any other benefits?
Thanks
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2004 R1150RT - Blue

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#532319 - 10/21/09 11:23 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: John in NC]
Deadboy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2976
Loc: West Slope, CA
Originally Posted By: John in NC
So what I gather here is that the main reason to replace this part is make the start up quieter? Are there any other benefits?
Thanks


+1......
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Deadboy
2004 R1150RT
2003 SV650

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#532345 - 10/21/09 11:55 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Deadboy]
Boffin Offline

Administrator
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Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 8514
Loc: Leicestershire, UK
Originally Posted By: Deadboy
Originally Posted By: John in NC
So what I gather here is that the main reason to replace this part is make the start up quieter? Are there any other benefits?
Thanks


+1......


I thought about the cause of the noise - it is the cam-chain lashing about. I considered I would rather it didn't just in case that in doing so it did some harm, even though I have never heard of any issues connected to this. Just the thought of the chain thrashing about was enough unsubstantiated worry for me.

Andy
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Andy Long

2004 R1150RT : traded for:
2002 R850R SE
1986 K100RT
2013 Kawasaki W800

"No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not knock those who work with him. Don't knock your friends. Don't knock your enemies. Don't knock yourself." Alfred Lord Tennyson

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#532360 - 10/21/09 12:31 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: John in NC]
SAAB93driver Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 2179
Loc: Lakeland, FL USA
Originally Posted By: John in NC
So what I gather here is that the main reason to replace this part is make the start up quieter? Are there any other benefits?
Thanks


Noisy startup and noisy idle at operating temp are the main reasons to install the the later tensioner.
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#532411 - 10/21/09 03:20 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: SAAB93driver]
Jerry Duke Offline
Member

Registered: 04/10/03
Posts: 945
Loc: Savannah, GA
The one that makes the noise is the one in the left cylinder. It's sort of on top of the jug and the oil drains out of it and takes a minute to pump up. Until it pumps up, the chain will rattle. If it doesn't quite in just a few seconds, it's time for a new one.
The right side tensioner is on the bottom and rarely gives problems.
The newer design is supposed to hold it's oil and not get the dry startup.

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#532485 - 10/21/09 09:16 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Francis]
Chuck U Farley Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 110
Loc: Arlington TX
Is the one BMW put in the 2005 Hexheads updated to eliminate the left side death rattle? I heard it can be used it 1150 Oilheads.


Edited by Chuck U Farley (10/21/09 09:19 PM)
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#532496 - 10/21/09 10:04 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: SAAB93driver]
prhkgh Offline
Newer Member

Registered: 07/06/08
Posts: 39
Loc: SF CA "East Bay"
I have read elsewhere eventually the banging about can damage the cam chain guide...which means splitting the case to fix.

I installed this fix on my 2002 R1150RT about a week ago. Took a bit of jiggling to get to where I could hook the (old) spring and remove it, but not a big deal. Bike's quieter. :}
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#532527 - 10/22/09 03:00 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Chuck U Farley]
Boffin Offline

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Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 8514
Loc: Leicestershire, UK
Originally Posted By: Chuck U Farley
Is the one BMW put in the 2005 Hexheads updated to eliminate the left side death rattle? I heard it can be used it 1150 Oilheads.


Yes, the fix is to install the hexhead version of the tensioner.

Andy
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Andy Long

2004 R1150RT : traded for:
2002 R850R SE
1986 K100RT
2013 Kawasaki W800

"No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not knock those who work with him. Don't knock your friends. Don't knock your enemies. Don't knock yourself." Alfred Lord Tennyson

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#532539 - 10/22/09 06:13 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: prhkgh]
moshe_levy Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 3696
Loc: NJ - God Help Me
Originally Posted By: prhkgh
I have read elsewhere eventually the banging about can damage the cam chain guide...which means splitting the case to fix.


This is correct - it's not just an annoying noise, but a very functional upgrade. The rattle you hear is the sound of the cam chain violently lashing against the left side cam chain tensioner, until the point where oil pressure build up in the tensioner takes out the slack in the chain. 4-5 seconds, but remember, that sound is not a meeting of friends, but two pieces within your engine bashing against each other. Yes, the chain tensioner shoe can fail prematurely as a result of this, and yes, it does take splitting the cases to fix ($$$). That was the point of my article - for $85 and 30 minutes, why chance it?

-MKL
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2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2009 BMW R1200RT
1973 BMW R75/5
BMW-MOA, AMA, IBA

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#532545 - 10/22/09 07:07 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: prhkgh]
Linz Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 686
Loc: Bulli, NSW Australia
This hooking the spring business was no problem for me. My magnet (very strong) sucked the little devil out of it's hidey-hole in about a second.

I bought my upgrade kit from rubber chicken racing and read Moshe's article.

From tupperware off to tupperware on, it was about an hour and a quarter.

Now, with all this silence and a vivid imagination, I can hear my clutch disintegrating, the slave cylinder leaking, the final drive plotting exactly how far in the middle of nowhere it''s going to leave me stranded and how, if I dare to change my own brake and ABS fluid the unit will completely fail due to my crappy mechanical skills.

Is anyone else plagued with BMWSportTouring-forumitis?

Linz smile


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#532550 - 10/22/09 07:32 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Linz]
RBertalotto Offline
Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 269
Loc: Dartmouth, MA
Just ordered the parts from Rubber Chicken........

Thanks for the heads-up on this.
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2007 BMW X Challenge ABS
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#532579 - 10/22/09 09:17 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: John in NC]
RPG Offline
Member

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 1514
Loc: Detroit Metro Area
Quote:
So what I gather here is that the main reason to replace this part is make the start up quieter? Are there any other benefits?


1) Eliminate noise on startup
2) Better camshaft timing
3) Prevents catastrophic left cam chain failure which would require splitting of the cases to repair (you don't want to go there)
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"you may not like guns and choose not to own one. And you many not belive in God. However, if someone breaks into your home, you're going to 1)call someone with a gun. 2)Pray they get there in time"

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#532753 - 10/22/09 06:24 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: RPG]
11101110 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 733
Loc: Virginia
I replaced mine a while back but didn't really notice any abaitment in noise on startup. I seem to think most of my noise comes form the right side of the bike. But that may be because where I park there is a brick wall on the right side and a car on the left. Still good to have.
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#532948 - 10/23/09 11:42 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: 11101110]
Ebola Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 106
Loc: Spring, TX
Was this not an issue on the 1100rt? Looks like most folks doing this upgrade have 1150's.
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99 R1100RT 140k miles

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#532974 - 10/23/09 12:55 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Ebola]
philbytx Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 6863
Loc: Kerrville, TX
Yup! 1100's rattle too smile !
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2003 R1150RT "DaRTh"
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 Diesel "Smiffy"
2011 Kia Optima EX "Meosjin Chalo"

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#532980 - 10/23/09 01:11 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: philbytx]
Ebola Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 106
Loc: Spring, TX
I'll have to leave my ear plugs out next time I start'er up. Thanks.
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#532984 - 10/23/09 01:14 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Chuck U Farley]
Selden Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 4643
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Chuck U Farley
Is the one BMW put in the 2005 Hexheads updated to eliminate the left side death rattle? I heard it can be used it 1150 Oilheads.

Yes, but ordering the hexhead parts as a kit through Rubber Chicken is easier than going to the dealer (although I suspect most dealers are familiar with the question by now).
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#533001 - 10/23/09 02:17 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Selden]
Unhofliche_Gesundheit Offline
Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 491
Loc: Kanata, Ontario, Canada
67.95$ plus shipping (8.5$ at 'my' zip) at chicago bmw
piston (inner part) 11317656922 53.49
cylinder (upper / outer part) 11317688629 26.84
seal ring (washer) 7119963308 0.25
throttle body oring 13541341797 4.36 ea

i also got one of these so could drill some holes in the filler neck
gas filler o-ring 7119900019 2.04

individual prices shown are list. the sum is less than the parts as there is a magic discount.
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2001 R1150 RT

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#550520 - 12/18/09 09:20 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: RPG]
Dan M Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 365
Loc: Chicago area
Originally Posted By: RPG


......And remember you only need to do the left side.
One of the better upgrades you can do to your bike.

RPG


Bump.

I was experiencing the start up rattle and ordered Tom Cutter's upgrade before I removed the body work for other winter maintenance. After opening things up I found that the left side chain is tight and the right side is quite loose.
Anyone see the right side tensioner not hold pressure? The bike is low mileage (<20K)
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Dan

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#550523 - 12/18/09 09:27 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Dan M]
Ken H. Offline
Turtle Whacks
Member

Registered: 04/13/03
Posts: 16404
Loc: Edmonton, AB Canada
It's not unheard of, they are both the same design. The left side is just more common because it points down.
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If you want to ride tomorrow, ride quietly today.
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#550538 - 12/18/09 10:05 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Ken H.]
Dan M Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 365
Loc: Chicago area
Thanks Ken.

I found these numbers for the right side individual parts:
11 31 7 709 276 chain tensioner right
07 11 9 963 342 gasket
11 31 1 341 015 spring
11 31 1 340 742 piston
These are from the '04 parts list.
Is there an updated version for the right or just go with OE parts?
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#550560 - 12/18/09 10:51 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Dan M]
Unhofliche_Gesundheit Offline
Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 491
Loc: Kanata, Ontario, Canada
not sure i am following but it was my experience that the tension on the chain depends on where in the cycle the engine stopped.
i had a bear of a time trying to install the new tensioner on the left side... tensioner was sitting high (barely going into the hole...could not get the threads to catch ) turned the engine a bit and the tensioner slide down in deeper and was able to install.

so if you find the left chain tight and the right chain loose... maybe try turning over the engine 360 and check again....


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Cameron
2001 R1150 RT

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#550568 - 12/18/09 11:08 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Unhofliche_Gesundheit]
Dan M Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 365
Loc: Chicago area
If the cam is positioned so a valve is opening or closing, spring pressure can cause the cam to take up the slack on one side or the other of a loose chain. I'm my case one chain is tight and one is loose. I definitely have a soft tensioner.
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#550586 - 12/18/09 11:46 AM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Dan M]
Boffin Offline

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Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 8514
Loc: Leicestershire, UK
These are hydraulic tensioners that rely on oil pressure to tension the chain. With the engine stopped, the chain will be loose unless valve-spring pressure is acting on it.

Andy
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Andy Long

2004 R1150RT : traded for:
2002 R850R SE
1986 K100RT
2013 Kawasaki W800

"No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not knock those who work with him. Don't knock your friends. Don't knock your enemies. Don't knock yourself." Alfred Lord Tennyson

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#550644 - 12/18/09 02:54 PM Re: Cam Chain Tensioner [Re: Boffin]
Dan M Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 365
Loc: Chicago area
Originally Posted By: Boffin
These are hydraulic tensioners that rely on oil pressure to tension the chain. With the engine stopped, the chain will be loose unless valve-spring pressure is acting on it.

Andy


Right Andy but they shouldn't bleed down quickly. As long as there is oil in the cavity it should maintain enough tension to take up the slack on the back of the chain and not rattle on start up.
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