Engine Noise from cam/tensioner? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 47 Old 02-02-2017, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Engine Noise from cam/tensioner?

I bought a used 2005 DL650 with ~ 78000 miles.

The previous owner's mechanic suggested to replace the cam chain/tensioner because he thought the front cylinder was noisy (Imperative to replace in ~1000 miles according to him). I asked another mechanic for a second opinion, and he was positive that the noise was not from a defective cam chain/tensioner. Rather, he suggested I ride 65-70 mph to prolong engine life and just replace the entire engine if it gives out.

I'm pretty new to motorcycles, so I can't really tell what's normal sounding and not.

I have some audio recordings of my vstrom here:https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vkjrcyhd2...DQu7JUxja?dl=0

Also, I checked the rear cylinder valve clearances (were within specs) and the cam chain (no excessive play).
According to a mechanic friend, the tensioner looked loose and not properly under tension. I've attached a photo of the rear cylinder/tensioner.

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post #2 of 47 Old 02-02-2017, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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I plan to check out the front cylinder this weekend. Is the noise/cam chain tensioner normal?
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post #3 of 47 Old 02-02-2017, 04:42 PM
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That sounds like idle hammer. It has nothing to do with the cam chain. Use the Google Custom Search box to find threads on idle hammer. It's just harmless noise but it may irritate some riders.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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post #4 of 47 Old 02-02-2017, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Greywolf. I'll look into TBS.

As per https://www.stromtrooper.com/v-strom-...n-tension.html,
you said that "tensioner failure is virtually unheard of". So, one would never need to replace these? Or would you replace them along with the cam chain when there is a lot of slack in the cam chain?
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post #5 of 47 Old 02-02-2017, 10:13 PM
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If the tensioner is on its last detent, it's time to change the cam chain. That is what's worn.
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post #6 of 47 Old 02-02-2017, 10:52 PM
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If you ever use a Strom to the point of needing a cam chain replaced, I would replace the tensioner also as a preventative maintenance item. Probably the chain guides also.

greywolf is correct though, from all indications the timing components on Stroms are very durable.

"If its not broke yet, it can still be fixed"
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post #7 of 47 Old 02-02-2017, 11:10 PM
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This thing is not going to wear out. The cam chain and cam chain guide might and it's good to replace both at the same time.


Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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post #8 of 47 Old 02-03-2017, 12:35 AM
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I did a valve adjust at 80K on my K7 and the cam chain adjuster was no where near the limit. After the valve adjustment the motor sounded fine but a few days later it sounded like yours when I was idling. The next day the sound was gone so I think the adjuster did its job. It hasn't made a sound since.

I couldn't tell from your picture if the adjuster was fully extended but if it is then the chain is at EOL but I am skeptical of that. I'd pull the center bolt and inspect, if not replace, the spring. It could be a weak or broken spring. Someone could have put in the wrong spring or the spring is wedged in crooked and not applying the necessary force. Also, from the top side I'd blast the ratchet and the pawl with WD40 or something similar with a strong jet of spray. There could be a chunk of gasket sealant in there hanging up the mechanism. Some people reuse valve cover gaskets when they should be replaced and use too much sealant to prevent leaks and bits can get into the motor. When you reinsert the bolt and spring, if the pawl and ratchet are working smoothly you should hear clear ziiiiiip sound as the adjuster extends past the pawl. Its a unique sound and very distinct and if the extender goes in without a sound then the pawl is not engaging the ratchet properly.

If the chain really is at EOL, you could look into a manual adjuster for SV's that might have a bit more reach but you'd just be buying time and risking a snapped chain if you push it. On the other hand, if the cam chain is at EOL the motor's days are numbered anyway so, why not?
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post #9 of 47 Old 02-03-2017, 12:40 AM
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Maybe so GW. But it's a cheap part when you look at labor involved. How does it actuate? I have seen my share of spring driven CCTs fail with age. Always brought me good karma to do the CCT anytime I did a chain and guides. Even if its my labor only, I follow the mantra parts are cheap and labor is expensive.
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post #10 of 47 Old 02-03-2017, 01:50 AM
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I enhanced the photo so you can see the tensioner a little better.
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cam chain , engine noise , tensioner , timing

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