What should I replace while getting to and from piston rings? '00 1150GS

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by jdgmntDay, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. jdgmntDay

    jdgmntDay Been here awhile

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    Hey guys, I've been slowly working on getting rid of the dreaded pinging in my right cylinder for about a year now. I've done everything I can think of so far to solve this problem short of going into the motor to clean carbon build-up. I've adjusted valves, synched throttle bodies, checked cat code plugs, replaced O2 sensor, replaced spark plugs, check resistance in ignition coils, replaced spark plug wires, lightly sprayed water directly into the chamber to clean it, tried the same trick but with Seafoam, tried Seafoam in the fuel, ran high octane non-ethanol fuel, and probably a few more things I forgot. Still pings at 80-90mph in fifth and overdive aka e-th.

    Yesterday I got off my bike and saw oil splattered on my boot. I looked under the bike and now it's leaking oil from the head gasket. Great.

    So I'm reduced to going into the motor to clean out the combustion chambers. My bike has just shy of 150k miles on it, so I figure if I'm going to the work to take half the cylinder apart, I should just take all of it apart and replace the pieces that get worn out at this stage, like piston rings and cam chain tensioners. What other pieces do you recommend I replace while I'm in there? The dealer suggested a whole myriad of pieces in and around the valves, but he spouted them off in such a torrent that I didn't catch all of them. I looked up valves on MAX BMW, and they're crazy expensive. I'll only replace those if they're bad, but what sort of other parts are known to wear out around this mile point?

    Another question about doing this, I've looked into the process on how to do this, and my Clymer manual says when putting on new rings I need to make sure I hone the cylinder walls to get a fresh cross-hatching to help seal the rings and to keep oil on the walls for lubricant. I've done a bit of research on the honing process, and one source says it needs to be done extremely precisely and is best done by a honing machine. Then I watched a Youtube video of a guy who bought a honer from Harbor Freight, chuck it into a drill and go to town on an old pickup block. I'd like to think my motorcycle needs to be more precise than a rusty '89 Ford pickup, but does it really? Is it something I could do myself with a cordless drill and a honer, or is it something I should hand to a someone in a machine shop and ask them to do it?

    Is there any other tricks or tips I should know about while digging into the motor like this? I'm still at the beginning of my research phase, and I don't expect to be tearing into the motor until I'm sure I know what I'm doing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Ben
    #1
  2. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    You'll likely get many replies to your thread. Here is mine.

    First of all, at 150,000 miles, unless your engine is using a lot of oil, I would not suspect that cylinders need reconditioning with new piston rings and scratch honing. Remember, your cylinders do not use steel liners. The cylinder walls are plated directly onto the alloy cylinders with a very hard material and then finished with a careful and precise honing process. Can you do this? Humans designed and built your motorcycle so the answer is yes, if you know what you're doing. As for the tools and techniques needed to achieve the correct cylinder surface, I'll let others like Anton and Steptoe comment.

    Detonation has many cures. Unless your combustion chambers are loaded up with carbon, I would look for other means to cure detonation.

    I would start with removal of the cylinder heads to get a first hand look at the combustion chambers and cure your leak.

    What about a compression and leak down test? You may find that the valves are the cause of your combustion chamber carbon. Reconditioning the cylinder heads may be all that is necessary.

    Next, do you need new cam chain rails?

    Next, is the engine running poorly?

    Finally, have you followed roger04RT's thread regarding changing the engine fueling? This may cure your detonation woes and provide better driveability.

    I believe you may wish to do some additional homework before tearing into the engine and incurring a lot of potentially unnecessary cost.
    #2
  3. Steptoe

    Steptoe steptoe

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    If the compression is good leave the piston rings alone.

    The only things i'd replace at that mileage are all the exhaust valves.
    #3
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  4. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

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    As usual, the Clymer manual is full of shit. What you read is generic babble about cylinder rebuilds, not BMW specific info. Here's the scoop...

    Like Def sez, the cylinder walls are coated with an extremely hard, wear resistant material called Nikasil.(see link)

    http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/cylinders.htm

    At 150k miles it is highly unlikely your jugs are worn enough to require a re-surface. One lad I know has 500,000 miles on his with no ring step and the cross hatch is still visable.

    I professionally honed hundreds of bores as a tool & die maker and would not recommend you try it at home. But if you insist on a rebuild, a backyard hone job is unlikely to do anything to the Nikasil, ie. you need a diamond impregnated hone.
    #4
  5. AntonLargiader

    AntonLargiader Long timer

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    Inspect the valves/guides/seats and replace or recondition as needed.
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  6. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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    I've read you really don't want to hone Nikasil coated cylinders. Just use a 3m green abrasive pad to scrub the cylinder walls. Works on my KTM dirtbikes with Nikasil. Right side lean condition might be from a worn throttle body shaft?
    #6
  7. AntonLargiader

    AntonLargiader Long timer

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    Last I heard, BMW still recommended lightly honing Nikasil cylinders when installing new rings. You typically use a flex-hone with Aluminum Oxide stones (not Silicon Carbide; it's too rough). I do it routinely on Airheads and the effect on the cylinder walls can be seen.

    The practice is certainly debated among engine builders but following BMW's procedure has seemed to work for me.

    Hone can mean several things ranging from a surface roughening to a sizing/straightening operation. This is definitely the former.
    #7
  8. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    I wouldn't tear an engine apart for no reason. new head gaskets and clean up the combustion chambers. See if that cures the pinging. If not, try a set of RT intake tubes. That fixed the pinging on my 02 GS for good.
    #8
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  9. k1w1t1m

    k1w1t1m Kiwi

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    I have an '01 with the same pinging issue. I retarded the timing which has helped reduce the pinging but not eliminated. Mine also has near 150K on it and a rattle when hot at idle that I suspect is the main cam chain. I am hoping that when I get that sorted the pinging might go away.

    I'm also interested in the replies I see here as mine uses some oil although I haven't seen smoke except a puff after being on the side stand. There are no leaks.
    #9
  10. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    To replace the cam chain guides, you have to remove the block and split the cases. Since the engine is the frame, you mostly disassemble the bike. Dumb design, but it is what it is. Your detonation is probably not due to carbon, but cleaning will not hurt.

    I would not ring unless piston is damaged from detonation then I would do both sides.

    Rod
    #10
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  11. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Anton, can you advise what grit and what scratch angle you use?

    I agree, honing should not be undertaken by the unexperienced to correct cylinder taper or out-of-spec dimension.

    I recall years ago, a friend used honing in an attempt to straighten his 1958 Pontiac V8 cylinder walls. It took many hone stones and in the end, the block needed to be overbored 0.020" to achieve an in-spec, round, straight bore.
    #11
  12. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    Are you certain the head gasket is leaking oil??? That oil on the boot scenario on an 1150 is commonly the "doughnut" seal, i.e. the seal that comes out with the rocker covers and often fail to seat correctly when the rocker cover goes back on after a tappet clearance adjustment. Unless your motor has really lost power and is burning oil i would hang back from dismantling. Re the pinging, the ignition timing on these motors is adjustable, but you say only the r/h side seems effected, so adjusting the timing may not be the answer but perhaps worth experimenting with.:*sip*
    #12
  13. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    That isn't how it's done, you want to dump water in so fast it bogs the engine down while you keep the revs up, water ATF Seafoam whatever...you need to bog the engine down to clean the carbon out. We mechanics will never do this in front of a customer, they freak out and stuff.:lol3

    If the oil on boot includes a huffing sound and power loss it's the head gasket, I did the cylinder head retorque procedure on mine and it's been fine ever since.


    [​IMG]
    #13
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  14. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    Has anyone tried retarding the ignition at the HES plate to combat pinging?
    #14
  15. Hay Ewe

    Hay Ewe Just a Wannabe

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    1) call the mob in the USA who are the Bing people, and get the kits for both sides to replace the butterfly shafts
    2) when they arrive, pull the TB, replace the parts with the kit
    3) pull both the rocker covers and replace the do-nut seals where the spark plugs screw in
    4) carry out rocker end float adjustment - if needed - I have never needed to as it has always been in spec. as I requires loosening then tightening of a cylinder bolt I wont do it unless it needs it - if its good leave it alone
    5) check the TPS is set at the correct voltage - DO NOT use the 1100 write up, search for the one for the 1150 - they are different
    6) carry out throttle body balance

    7) what fuel do you use? here in AUS Shell fuel is not good, causes pinging. I use BP or an independant mostly. MUCH better.

    start with the simple things

    Hay Ewe
    #15
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  16. GS Addict

    GS Addict Pepperfool Supporter

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    +1 on 2 engines I have done. Great success with rings seating with almost no oil consumption. The first engine was originally an oil slurper.
    Trick is to ride them hard right from the start to seat the rings.
    #16
  17. OzRob

    OzRob Been here awhile

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    I will add my 2 cents in here,
    I have sitting on my bench a R1100GS motor that has done 300,000km, the pistons, rings and bore are still within specifications, you can still see the cross hatch marks on the bore and there is no wear on the bore.
    So unless you have a seriously worn motor where you have not been using a air filter then there is no need to replace the rings.
    You can only replace the one of the cam cain guide tensioners with out removing the motor and splitting the cases.
    While you have split the cases you might as well check the big end and main bearings...
    This then lies a problem, BMW uses paint marks to identify the machining specifications of the cases and crank, there are four different sizes available for the main and big end bearings, if the paint is worn off you can not identify which set of shell bearings you need, at $50 per half shell it gets rather costly to buy all sizes and plastigauge what is needed.....it was cheaper to get a 2nd hand motor.

    How to stop pinging...do you have a CO2 pot, if so you can change the default setting to make the A/F ratio richer.
    #17
  18. k1w1t1m

    k1w1t1m Kiwi

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    Yes I have and it helps. There is not a lot of adjustment though.
    #18
  19. jdgmntDay

    jdgmntDay Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the advice so far everyone. I've got a bunch of getting back to people. Okay, here goes.

    I've done a compression test (before the oil-on-the-boot) and it was a bit higher than normal, but they were both the same, so I assumed that was okay and my cheap NAPA gauge was off. Now I'm thinking they're both equally fouled up enough to raise compression, just that the right side is being more finicky about it. But what is a leak down test? I've never heard of that, I could give it a try and see what that tells me.

    When you say cam chain rails, do you mean:
    http://www.maxbmwmotorcycles.com/fiche/DiagramsMain.aspx?vid=51759&rnd=04302013
    11 31 1 341 291 (item #4), 11 31 1 341 295 (item #2), or 11 31 1 341 296 (item #3)?

    How do I tell if the engine is running poorly? I don't have another one to test against, and while I've ridden other GS's, they've all been the newer R1200's. What are some symptoms of running poorly?

    Where can I find roger04RT's engine fueling thread? I can give it a try when everything else comes apart too.

    I hadn't thought of that, but it totally could be. I know the shaft on that side is worn, but I didn't know what sort of adverse effects it could have other than a rattle at idle. I ordered a kit in and I'll get it fixed when I tear my bike down with my dad this winter.

    I remember you suggesting this in an older post I started, Jim. I've still got it on the backburner for ideas, but like you said I'm going to try it if the pinging doesn't stop after I clean out the carbon and rebuild the throttle bodies. I feel odd deliberately putting parts from one bike model onto a different bike model. I can't help but think this is more of a design tweak than fixing a worn/failed mechanical piece of a functional design, and if this design tweak does work better, why hasn't BMW done this to all future bikes? Or maybe they have, and I don't know it. I won't argue the results you and dozens of other people have, though, so I'll give it a try.

    This sounds like a huge job :( I really hope this is not the problem. But for clarity's sake, which part are you talking about out of that list in my reply to Def? Or is it a different part?

    I've also read about a bunch of people ordering this part, http://rubberchickenracinggarage.com/chain.html , but they only seem to talk about the left side. Why not the right side? Could I order two of these parts and replace both sides for peace of mind / preventative maintenance? The rubber chicken article pretty explicitly says it's for the left side, but the microfiche at MAX shows them looking similar.

    Examined it a bit more closely and removed the plastic head cover guard and it is indeed leaking from the doughnut seal and not the head gasket. That's a relief. I have another doughnut seal in my bag of parts, so I replace it when I take everything else apart. I'll keep putting oil in it until then.

    1) Got the kit
    2) Will work on it this when everything gets pulled apart
    3) Got new doughnut seals and the ones around the spark plugs
    4) I think this will happen when I start to put everything back together. Found the how-to in the HOW, thanks for the heads-up on this
    5) I adjusted the TPS maybe a year or so ago, but it may have gotten bumped or kicked since then. I'll also need to do that again after rebuilding throttle bodies. Again, thanks for the tip
    6) Will do
    7) I run the highest octance I can find, usually 93 or 95. I can never find for-sure non-ethanal fuel, only maybe-up-to-10%-ethanol. I prefer BP or Texaco over most others, but I don't have a solid preference. I haven't noticed much difference between brands, it pings on all of them. I'll pay more attention to it in the future, see if it makes a difference.

    Okay, whew. So after all your great responses, I think this is my new course of action. I'll only take the heads off, stopping at the first set of head gaskets, and see what sort of build-up I have, and clean as much of it off the walls and cylinders head tops as I can with one of those green 3M abrasive pads. If the walls look really worn, then I have a much larger job for another day of tearing my motor back apart to replace rings and fine wall honing to seat the new rings. Or maybe just ride it until it's time for a new bike. Until then and while I have the motor top end apart, I'll inspect the valve components for anything worn or burnt and replace them as necessary, but I'll have to order them separately as they're too expensive to buy just in case or for preventative maintenance.

    Does this all sound about right so far? What sort of odds and ends parts like crush washers, snap rings, or O-rings should I pick up to replace while I'm there or have extra of in case I break them?

    Thanks for the help so far!
    Ben
    #19
  20. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Before you remove the heads, do the leakdown test. This will help to determine if valves are leaking. If they are, follow Anton's advice...service the heads (valves, seats, guides and valve stem seals).
    #20