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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I need your help on this one! My brother has a 2010 standard ( no abs and tc) that is starting to develop a more noisy sound from the engine. It has done about 22000 Km. and I have installed the silver plug a while ago. I think it is the cam chain but now I am thinking about worn cams too. How many of you have changed the cams due to failure, and at what mileage. I know there was something going with the cams not hardened enough on the early years. It doesn’t sound too bad yet, but worse than my 2012 with 47000 Kms.
The bike runs strong like a bat out of hell, so there is nothing that slows it down.
Could it be the cams or just the chain or cam train?
I have asked this question on another forum, but I know there is also many competent people on this forum too.
Thanks in advance!
 

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I actually take offense to you thinking I would take offense to his question being posted on more than one forum...and you are a moderator?
 

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Really, a video with good quality sound of the symptoms would be best if you want more accurate responses. A "noisy sound" plus your best guesses as to what they might be aren't the best descriptors to get helpful internet guesstimates of the issue.

Check your oil level, then try a cold start clip, a clip at operating temp and a startup clip at operating temp with a good microphone in the area where the noise of concern is the loudest or clearest.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi
Thank you for the answers.
How did you guys know it was on facebook? Are you looking at that too? No offence here!
Well damn! I knew I shouldn't have wrote that!
jokes aside!
I got some answers and some where good, but I was also thinking of at what millage the cams usually give up. I have heard I would be already about 10-12K kms. So if some of you have changed the cams please chime in.
And Bennymx, I have thought giving it a new chain but can only find the OEM kit (part # 11008536327). So it looks that you have to change the chain, guides and sprockets at a time (and needing the tool for holding the camshafts into place).
Also have looked into the manual cam chain tensioner from CA motor werks maybe Alpha racing. Have any of you experience with them?
I have seen so many video clips on youtube trying to capture the sound of the camchain and I fear mine would be just one in the pile
Thanks
 

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Not knowing anything specific about these bikes other than that they're generally fairly reliable, it seems unlikely that the cams themselves are worn out at 22000km/14000mi.

Loose valves can make noise, but in general valves tighten up rather than loosening.

A loose cam chain - either due to stretch or due to a failed tensioner - is my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just a quick update. I have pullet the cams of my brothers bike and it was not a pretty sight. It was one of the lobes on the inlet cam that was completely desroyed and the rockerarm too. So my next question goes. Is it always the inlet cam that goes or have some of you heard of the exhaust cam can fail too due to the lack of hardening?
Remember this is one of the early models the cam is produced in march 2010.
 

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Benny (and anyone else who knows), why would a single lobe and rocker arm fail?

Good job, OP, tracking this down.

And I am not offended, just amused. :)
 

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Probably from variation in the induction hardening process. Or lack of initial lubrication. It may have been on the way out for many many miles. Be happy it didn't drop the retainer and eat the valve. Make suer they put the pin in properly for the finger, I've seen those show up in the oil pan.
 

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Benny (and anyone else who knows), why would a single lobe and rocker arm fail?

Good job, OP, tracking this down.

And I am not offended, just amused. :)
Like skapan said. Hardening treatment discrepancies and possibly lubrication discrepancies could cause one to go before another. Or slightly more pressure on the lobe/follower. There were known batches that were bad but it became very hard to track down. It wasn't always certain years or production dates because I have seen such a wide variation across RR, R, XR and GS. They changed the design of the follower and the coating material now.
 

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Interesting. I was assuming wear would be more or less even across the cam unless something in the valve train failed.

When I have swapped cams on cars they always have equal wear (if one can see any wear).
 

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My observations are this, based on my and others experience in multiple BMW forums:

These cams are thinly surface hardened only, so the whole process is subject to occasional errors that have been discovered or suspected in "batches". Not "years". Every single BMW model and engine have over time had the same problems reported - they are just rare. Same as other manufacturers. 2010 S1K models were more prevalent than others in this line. Current twin R models have reported worn cams, so have K models. **** happens. And because they are surface hardened only, any associated manufacturing flaw - (or cause for less than optimal oiling) that causes that surface to wear results in going real fast once through the hardened layer. Other lobes on the same cam may or may not have the same problems depending on what the causing issue is.

As the OP has discovered, the only way to tell whether cams, valves, or timing chain rattle is to take it apart, and/or have a oil analysis done to determine what metals are found. Guessing about "noises" isn't always easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sorry for the late reply, to much work!
There was only one lobe that had gone bad. If I look very closely at the rest of the lobes on the inlet cam it seems that some of the others are slightly blue. But again only slightly. Compared to the outlet cam that is flawless, it might lived "a harder life". Maybe slighly less lubrication compared to the outlet cam who knowes?
Now we have found a couple of used cams produced in sep. 2011 that looks good and we change Timing chain, gears, rails and timing chain tensioner too while we are at it.
By the way, the rest of the rockerarms are flawless, don't see any reason to change them.

And thanks for the answers!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just a final update to finish this tread.
We started the bike up with the (almost) new cams today + new camchain kit. It started right away, and sounded like a new engine!
Thanks again for all the help and replies!
 
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