Vee2 Cam Installation Question... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL1000A - 2014-2016 DL1000A - 2014-2016 (L4-L6)

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post #1 of 11 Old 06-17-2018, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Vee2 Cam Installation Question...

I have the Suzuki service manual and I have been trying to install the front cylinder exhaust cam for 3 hours. I cannot get the 3 marks on the camshaft to line up with the head. No matter what I have done, it is always 1/2 tooth off. If I rotate it one tooth clockwise the mark in the rear is above the line and the two marks in the front are below the line. If I rotate it back counterclockwise 1 tooth, then the mark in the rear is below the line and the 2 in front are above the line. Worst part is that they are either above or below the line be essentially the same amount (without measuring, they are visually equal). The crankshaft mark is perfectly aligned. The cam gear (the one that turns the two camshafts) marks are perfectly aligned. AND the intake cam marks (never removed) are perfectly aligned. But the Exhaust cam is still 1/2 tooth off.

I have set it, unset it, re-set it. I have rotated the engine through several revolutions and reset all the marks bottom and top. I have even bolted/torqued down the cam journal retainer 3 times, which is to say completely installed and ready to go, only to completely uninstall it and start over 3 times.

Has anyone run into this problem? How can I tell if it should be the +1/2 tooth or the -1/2 tooth? Is there a trick to setting up the motor (i.e. aligning the timing marks) before installation of the camshaft? I thought that maybe the engine can only be turned one way, i.e. if you overshoot the F|T mark, you just have to go around 2 more times; however, the intake cam is seated against the same gear as the exhaust. If one is 1/2 tooth off, so should be the other one and yet the intake cam marks are dead on.

I will admit that I can be overly anal about a perfectly proper alignment...and normally in this situation I would just pick the one that is closest to aligned and accept that it isn't perfect but they are both equally off center.
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-18-2018, 08:16 AM
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Those can be tricky the first time.

This might help:

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The BEST in chudder control, noise control, and lasting durability! AVAILABLE HERE: www.werksparts.com

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post #3 of 11 Old 06-18-2018, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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RealShelby,

Thanks for the video. Watching it made me realize 2 things:

1) Whenever I searched for info on the 2014 V-Strom cam installation, I always found text and pictures about the difficulties in dealing with the cam chain tensioner. I only looked closely enough to see that they were all <=2012 threads and in my head it just clicked that it was an age / series related change (<=2012 vs >=2014) and didn't notice that it was actually a 650 vs 1000 issue. So now I can go back an look at additional resources that I had previously skipped over thinking that it was the wrong year bike and would not have the "2014+ updated" cams riding on the gear instead of under the chain. I suppose that the chain tensioner was just the hot topic everybody was talking about and it flooded the search results.

2) When I aligned it and bolted down the journal holder and it came up 1 tooth off, I removed the journal holder and set back the gear 1 tooth and it appeared to be equally off. So I went back to check and reset all the other marks (bottom and top) and basically started over. As I watched your video I thought... I don't specifically recall seeing it off, opening it back up, rotating it one tooth and blindly tightening it down again. It was just luck or maybe I was subconsciously favoring the 1 tooth too far clockwise as the closest alignment and each time ended up in the exact same situation (1 tooth too far clockwise).

When I get home (it is currently bolted down 1 tooth too far clockwise), I will first look to see if there is a pin hole available to lock up the scissor gears (for easier re-installation - i.e. no need to compress those springs with the journal holder bolts) and failing that I will just set it back 1 tooth and tighten it up before I even look at the alignment marks. I am hoping that will do the trick...

One other thing I noticed as I was skimming through the tear down portion of your video, you loosened the bolt at the top of the water pump to drain the coolant. Since I didn't check every minute of the tear down, I didn't see / hear whether or not you updated that part of the video. The coolant drain plug is actually not on the water pump, it is in the case. It is the small bolt that faces forward and at an angle towards the ground that is around the corner from the bottom right corner of the water pump. The bolt at the top of the water pump is an air bleed to burp / prime the water pump so it won't spin dry on startup with an air bubble caught in it. At least this is the configuration for the Vee2...

Apologies if someone has already mentioned it and/or you already included in the video's comments, or voiced over an explanation, or added text into a part of the video that I overlooked when skimming. If it hasn't been mentioned, I have attached a screenshot from your video, admittedly not the best frame to use - but I was looking for something quick this morning, that points out the drain plug. I can probably provide an image of the service manual (Vee2) if you are interested (and it isn't contrary to forum policy to post an excerpt from the Suzuki book).

Thanks again for your video, it was very helpful.
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Last edited by Grimmer; 06-18-2018 at 01:19 PM. Reason: Drag and drop file attach didn't work...
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-18-2018, 01:36 PM
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Grimmer, glad it helped but I can take no credit for the video. It came up in my search and I could tell it was what you needed!

My coolant drain plug is that larger black hose..........

'12 DL 650 '14 BMW R 1200 RT

WERKS modified clutch baskets for DL and SV 1000's.
The BEST in chudder control, noise control, and lasting durability! AVAILABLE HERE: www.werksparts.com

Have questions about the clutch in your DL or SV 1000? E-mail Terry [email protected]
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-18-2018, 01:43 PM
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Just tore my SV apart, rear cylinder lost an oil ring.

Yeah, it's fun getting all the gears in sync. My advice is to take your time and don't rush it. Nothing worse than being rushed esp if you don't do it all the time. I usually spin the engine over by hand a LOT first. First start you don't have to run it, pull the spark plugs and tap the starter and hopefully no crash or crunching will happen.

Don't want to have to redo the job either, having to replace broken valves, etc.

AND there are 2 coolant drain plugs, the upper one the vid shows and the lower one the pic shows. USE THE LOWER ONE. It works much better for draining the coolant.

2012 Suzuki DL650AL2, over 45k miles already!

Last edited by D.T.; 06-19-2018 at 09:22 AM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-18-2018, 06:00 PM
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Ya I forgot to show that other drain bolt for the coolant when I was filming that, but I'm glad it is helping people out. I know I learn more from watching it being done then reading a book and looking at pictures.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-19-2018, 09:23 AM
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Thumbs up

Nice vids though. There are so many little things that make the job easier. Thanks for making them.

The scissor gears for keeping noise down can be tricky too. Someone may have installed an ignition advance key too to throw things off a bit.

I also removed my decompressors off the camshafts, one less thing that can fail. Aftermarket cams don't even have the scissor gears.
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2012 Suzuki DL650AL2, over 45k miles already!

Last edited by D.T.; 06-19-2018 at 09:28 AM.
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-19-2018, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Well, it appears that the scissor gears were the problem for getting the marks aligned. Once they are tightened down, check the marks. If they aren't really close to lined up, just remove the journal holder and set the cam one tooth in the needed direction, then tighten down the journal holder again BEFORE looking at the alignment marks to confirm.

Also, there is a hole on the back side of the cam gear to insert a dowel and lock the scissor gears, but I didn't have anything that would fit well enough and the space available for getting in and out of the hole is pretty small. The book didn't mention anything about it and you'd probably need a special tool anyway.

The scissor gears also make it nearly impossible to draw down the journal holder evenly. For me at least the journal holders went straight on and the the only thing preventing them from being even was the scissor gear which held the gear end up about 1 mm.

I also noted that there was an imperfection (tiny pit) in the journal metal of the front exhaust cam. Since I didn't see any corresponding wear on the journal or bearings, I'll assume that it won't be a problem... Thoughts?
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-19-2018, 10:20 AM
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I don't see any scoring on the journal. Not sure what would have caused that "divot", but I doubt it would pass a quality control check as that surface is precision ground. It would not worry me as long as the ramps and nose of the cam are not showing any distress.

'12 DL 650 '14 BMW R 1200 RT

WERKS modified clutch baskets for DL and SV 1000's.
The BEST in chudder control, noise control, and lasting durability! AVAILABLE HERE: www.werksparts.com

Have questions about the clutch in your DL or SV 1000? E-mail Terry [email protected]
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-19-2018, 11:05 AM
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After having a cam gear break, I have done several more cam removals on a couple of 1000s. One thing I played with when tightening the cam journals is watching the way the scissor gear moves when tightening. If it feels like it's hard to tighten the journals and get the two gears to align, back off the journals and pull the cam out again and start over. I have found that the gear will look like it's in correct, but if you take the journals off, the cam gets kind of stuck and the gear teeth don't move when loosening and is hard to pull back out. When I reinstall it, I loosen the journals one more time and the scissor gear moves as I loosen the journals, that feels correct. I can't say that's exactly what caused the gear to break the first time, but I don't want to ever make that mistake again.
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