Intermittent clutch noise - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2009, 7:06 pm Thread Starter
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Intermittent clutch noise

On a ride today, seemingly out of nowhere, a very pronounced 'clattering' noise from the clutch housing. Goes away above 3K rpm, either in gear and riding, or just bringing the rev's up while standing still. Lasted for two stops in 150 miles, and then went away and did not return. This is way louder than the cam chain noise at startup. The exact same thing happened a few weeks ago riding on the Utah/Arizona border and it went away after a few hundred miles.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Ideas? Hints? Clues?

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2009, 12:26 am
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Are you sure it was the clutch? If so Grifs knows about this I think. I asked him while I was down there a few weeks back but I can't remember what he called it. Old age and brain death what can I say. Mine was making noises too and I thought it was some sort of throw out bearing, for lack of a better term or mechanical knowledge. I think he said it was some sort of cylinder. But it wasn't too bad and he didn't seem to worried. But I think this is a known issue so hopefully some one can chime in here. Did the noise seem to be coming from directly behind the housing? Does it go away when you pull the clutch in? Mine does and it's intermittent. However mine isn't nearly that loud. (I had the cam chain reservoir issue and on my bike it sounded like the engine was going to fly apart before I got that fixed.) Just a low chattering rattle that goes away above idle or if the clutch is in.

OK, bring on the mechanical gurus. Grifs....what was that thing called?

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2009, 8:46 am Thread Starter
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Ah yes, old age and brain death...I know the feeling, but it seems to go away at higher speeds.

The clattering is unaffected by pulling in the clutch, just by getting the rpm's above 3K where it disappears.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2009, 8:48 am Thread Starter
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OK, after paying closer attention, I think it is the cam chain. The cam chain clatter at start up is much louder than it used to be, but it still goes away in a few seconds. But I am almost certain that the clatter the other day sounded the same as the noise at startup.

So now the questions are: Can this cam chain noise cause any damage? And, what causes the cam chain to make this noise at startup and then go away? What could cause it to make this noise for a few hours and then go away?

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2009, 9:09 am
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The cam chain tensioner is hydraulic. Had mine replaced and makes no noise now. I'm a retired race engine builder and now own a auto repair business so am knowledgeable with engines. If a cam chain is run loose two things happen, first cam timing is off a little, second it will wear the chain and gears.

Some of the BMW buffs will chime in that know more about the BMW system.

I would say go get it replaced.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2009, 10:16 am
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I replaced the tensioner with the new one a couple of months ago. Made a whole lot of difference in noise at startup. Cost of the unit was $120 and they might have done it under warranty - but I stress "might." They need to hear it and if it's warmed up or just doesn't do it at the time they may decline it. One dealer even told me 10 seconds of the rattle is normal and not to worry about it.

There is a posted PDF about the replacement process on this site someplace. Two points are the large spring is left out of the new hydraulic cannister version and there is a notch in the base where it bolts up to the engine that faces in towards the engine. Oh, might need some special external Torx socket (an E-something?) too, but I used a 12 point 1/4" flat wrench to do it and maybe a small 12 point 1/4" socket too.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2009, 12:42 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidS
OK, after paying closer attention, I think it is the cam chain.
I've also had the cam chain noise happen while idling at a light. Replacing the tensioner with the newer hydraulic version solved the problem once and for all.

See this thread for more details and pics. If you don't have the tall cylinder and still have the older flat plate, then get your dealer to replace it. Some dealers may be hesitant to do this, but it is a warranty replacement.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2009, 12:56 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for your responses. Unfortunately (??) my '08 came with the new cylindrical tensioner already installed. Perhaps it has failed? Not sure if this is possible as I do not know what is inside the tensioner. I hate to go to BMW during the season as they tear it apart and let it sit while they wait for parts.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2009, 1:24 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidS
Thanks for your responses. Unfortunately (??) my '08 came with the new cylindrical tensioner already installed. Perhaps it has failed? Not sure if this is possible as I do not know what is inside the tensioner. I hate to go to BMW during the season as they tear it apart and let it sit while they wait for parts.
Maybe it has failed and needs to be replaced then. I've also heard of a GT that had the oil pump chain tensioner come loose and make a heck of a racket. But that was a continuous noise, and it happened right after hitting a huge pothole which jarred something loose. The bike had been in for service recently, and obviously they forgot to torque down the oil pump tensioner bolt properly. Come to think of it, that was at a Denver area dealer . . .

Ken
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'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 60K miles miles and counting...
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#145, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032

All lower 48 states plus Alaska on the K13GT in two weeks . . .

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2009, 5:43 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meese
Maybe it has failed and needs to be replaced then. .
Come to think of it, Max BMW had to put 2 on mine last winter to quiet it down. The first one they put on was noisey the first time they started it.

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