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Old 04-07-2014, 06:30 PM   #1
MiamiPhoto OP
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HELP!!! bmw f650 cam chain tensioner - Klicking noise

I have a BMW 2007 F650GS single. ( I love it by the way!)
I can hear a clicking noise from the engine. I have did my fair share of research so I decided to check on the cam chain tensioner.
I have removed it. It looked fine, the internal spring seemed to be strong. It camne out in one piece.
I have put the cam chain tensioner back into the engine and the klicking noise disappeared (for 1-2 minutes)... I was happy. I stopped the engine and started again. everything sounded nice no clicking however unfortunately the klicking noise came back when I started the engine the third time after 3 minutes.

What's going on? Can you explain to me? It is the tensioner or the chain?

THANKS SO MUCH!!!
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:52 PM   #2
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It could be the tensioner, though they have a spring, it is oil pressure that really keeps the tension on the chain.

If they won't hold pressure it needs to be replaced. If you are overdue for an oil change, you might want to try that first.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsatdm View Post
It could be the tensioner, though they have a spring, it is oil pressure that really keeps the tension on the chain.

If they won't hold pressure it needs to be replaced. If you are overdue for an oil change, you might want to try that first.
Thanks! I have just change the oil recently. I don't think that is. Is there any other sign of not having the right oil pressure in the engine?
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:39 PM   #4
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valve clearances?
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:28 PM   #5
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I have pulled the valve cover today. It looks like the timing chain is loose. It was hard to identify whether I have a problem with the chain, the tensioner. I have ordered all of them including the plastic blades on both sides of the chain.
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:44 PM   #6
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You done this before? Changing a cam chain may not be any thing an amateur should take on.

Other than the noise, does the bike run OK? Do you have a LOT of miles on it?

The bike does not need low oil pressure for the cam chain tensioner to fail. It is a problem with the tensioner not sealing.

It is also not unusual to feel some slack in the cam chain, with the engine at certain crank positions.

The engine turns counter clock wise, if the chain has stretched to point that the cam chain tensioner can't compensate, the front chain guide, will be the first to wear.

Not a BMW but a double over cam bike and the first thing I look for is whether the timing marks on the cam sprockets line up at TDC on compression stroke. A big stretch and one of them won't. (intake)

Other things can cause noise is loose valve clearance. But over head cams hardly ever get looser.

Some where on the end of the exhaust cam is a device that partially opens an exhaust valve on starting. Don't know about yours, but mine has a spring.
But if it breaks it gets very noisy at all rpms.

Before you tear your bike apart, see if the new tensioner solves your problem.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsatdm View Post
You done this before? Changing a cam chain may not be any thing an amateur should take on.

Other than the noise, does the bike run OK? Do you have a LOT of miles on it?

The bike does not need low oil pressure for the cam chain tensioner to fail. It is a problem with the tensioner not sealing.

It is also not unusual to feel some slack in the cam chain, with the engine at certain crank positions.

The engine turns counter clock wise, if the chain has stretched to point that the cam chain tensioner can't compensate, the front chain guide, will be the first to wear.

Not a BMW but a double over cam bike and the first thing I look for is whether the timing marks on the cam sprockets line up at TDC on compression stroke. A big stretch and one of them won't. (intake)

Other things can cause noise is loose valve clearance. But over head cams hardly ever get looser.

Some where on the end of the exhaust cam is a device that partially opens an exhaust valve on starting. Don't know about yours, but mine has a spring.
But if it breaks it gets very noisy at all rpms.

Before you tear your bike apart, see if the new tensioner solves your problem.
Thanks so much for the advice! I really appreciate it!

The bike has 37000 miles. Not low but not too much, either, in my opinion.

I know something about engines. I used to fix them for fun long time ago with my friends for fun. I am not a BMW technician though... :)

I have checked. The timing marks on the sprockets line up perfectly.

I have checked the valve clearances. They are within the limits. The intake is close to to be needed readjustment but still fine.

I turned the engine slowly clockwise several times. There is a slack every time. The slack disappear when I push on the plastic tensioned blade the tensioner pushes against the chain.

I will try the to replace the tensioner first before taking apart everything. I hope it will solve the problem. If not, I will take out the cam shaft and replace the blades and the chain.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:58 AM   #8
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I hope I can articulate this well enough for you visualize the concept. Even a new chain has some slack in it when installed. The engine runs counter clock wise and that is the direction you should turn it manually. The tensioner is on the back side of the engine. opposite the direction the engine runs. Turn it clock wise you tighten the chain on that side, but the slack is still there, just transferred to front. You can cause the chain to jump a tooth doing that.
That has not occurred or your timing marks would not line up.

During engine rotation, there is different pressures on the chain. That's created by compression of the valve springs and the cam lobes.

The spring in your type of tensioner is not strong enough to maintain proper tension on the chain when it rotates. Some designs have a mechanical device that locks that tension in place, other rely on oil pressure to do that.

Yours probably has a seal in it to maintain the oil pressure or some type of 1 way valve. They wear and proper tension on the chain can't be maintained.

These cam chains are pretty stout and designed give long mileage. When they fail, it is usually because some other problem.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:03 AM   #9
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First verify where the noise is loudest, that will tell you what it might be. Use a mechanic's stethoscope or a long handle screwdriver (handle to ear) to probe the area around the cam drive and the head area. If you find the noise is loudest around the tensioner that is your problem. If up in the valve cover clearly it is valve clearance.

I believe there are manual tensioners available for the F650 and would recommend one heartily. Take that variable out of the equation. When you use a manual tensioner you KNOW how your adjustment is, no guessing. They are also quite easy to live with too. You only need adjust them when you hear light ticking.

I have manual tensioners on my 3 bikes out of necessity. I also ended up making them because others asked for them. It started with the Kawasakis and now covers several other makes. A tensioner failure is not unique. There is no reason why the BMW would be exempt. I do NOT make them for the BMW, but I did a google and think they are available. If so, get one. They're simple to install and adjust. Maybe a half hour at most if the tensioner is accessable without removing other stuff. No timing issues, no tricks.

If they don't make a tensioner, from what I saw on a microfische it wouldn't be a problem to drill/tap and make the OEM unit manual with a thru bolt style adjuster.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:38 PM   #10
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The new pensioner is here soon. I will replace my old one with the new one and let's see what's going to happen.

Quick question:

The repair manual says that you can remove/pull out the front tensioner blade without removing the engine. When I try to pull the front blade out of the engine it gets stuck against the radiator. Do I have to remove the radiator or there is a trick to pull it out easily? Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:49 AM   #11
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Cams out?
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:29 AM   #12
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Problem solved! I hope this helps somebody in the future.

The problem was the cam chain tensioner.

After receiving the new tensioner in the mail yesterday, I have inspected the bad and the new tensioner side by side and there was no difference at all. They looked and felt identical.

I have replaced the old one and started the engine. It still had the bad clicking... :( I was about to look for the problem somewhere else and to take the engine head apart when I had the thought that I should take it out again and pour oil into the the tensioner before placing it into the engine head. I did it. I poured oil into the tensioner and placed it back carefully. It started the bike and the klicking disapppeared! WOW!

The lesson: even if you replace the old tensioner with a new one, pour oil into the new cam chain tensioner before you place it into the engine head! Otherwise even the new won't work!

I hope it helps somebody!
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