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Author Topic: Can anyone identify this engine noise?  (Read 2219 times)

WillW

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Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« on: April 12, 2011, 05:19:12 PM »
My G5 (7500 miles) has developed a loud tick. I've read as many of the "ticking" threads as I can find here, but I can't work out what this is. I know these engines are a bit clattery, but this is a new development, and giving me some concern.

I don't have the expertise to identify this noise, but perhaps one of you more experienced RE riders can pin it down.  Short YouTube clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8Je5M_bCrQ
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2004 Kawasaki W650
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SSR

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 05:59:36 PM »
i have a strong feeling that its form the valve train. Please inspect the rockers and the bearings.

Do me a favour, after you have warmed up the bike on a small ride. Put your ear close to the engine while running and switch off the ignition, observe when engine cuts off for a noise resembling a squeaky tiny fart or when you squeeze air out of a ballon. It would be like something is scuffing inside and you can do it wit the kick too with ignition off and kick it slowly to observe if you have anything like what I explained.

Did you by any chance did any maintenance on the rockers? Do you feel rattle or vibrations creeping up at certain RPM band when you upshift and it gets smooth when you cross that RPM band?

I dont think it's from auto decomp or the cams as when cams develop play from inside it makes a howling kind of noise on UCE.

If you hear the noise I explained above then I know what it is.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 06:04:18 PM by SSR »

WillW

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 06:09:52 PM »
I haven't done any work inside the case at all.
Engine still warm after a longish ride an hour ago - I can't detect any noise such as you describe, when switching off or by using kickstart. But I'll warm it up again in the garage and have another listen.
I haven't noticed any unfamiliar vibrations when riding, but I was more intent on listening to the engine - that noise is quite audible, perhaps more so when the bike has warmed up.
When I had the auto-decomp issue a while ago it was an altogether different noise - a loud clack rather than this higher pitched ticking
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Vince

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 06:11:07 PM »
     I could not tell. I do better in real life. Surround sound might help!
 If you are sure it is coming from the engine you should see a dealer NOW. However, it could be a broken baffle in the exhaust or a tank mount issue. If the chain it too loose it can whip and bang on the engine case, frame, or guard.
     And check your oil!

WillW

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 06:13:03 PM »
Oil level is fine, and chain well adjusted. This noise is there even stationary. It's the high - pitched ticking in time with engine speed.
Definitely from engine and not exhaust or frame.
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SSR

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 06:15:13 PM »
Just use the kick in slow motion and couple of complete strokes and listen carefully near booth the rocker covers. If you can then just record an audio clip with the recorder near the rocker covers.

The noise I mentioned is not loud and you can easily miss it if you are not looking for it.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 06:18:14 PM by SSR »

WillW

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 06:25:12 PM »
No, the only sound I'm hearing after several switch-offs is the usual compression hiss. Bit tricky to operate the kickstart by hand with my ear close to engine, but similar result - breathy compression sound but no squeeky noise.
Should I desist from riding? If the bike needs to go to the dealer for warranty repair (alas - parts only in 2nd year) is it ok to ride it the 30 or so miles?
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SSR

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 06:36:53 PM »
If you don't have that noise then its good. You can ride as usual but I would suggest take it to your dealer when you can.  Trust me I have gone through worse and I know what this baby is capable off even on a death bed.

Usually that sharp ticking noise is from sticking rocker due to various reason. Does this noise goes completely while riding either on acceleration or deceleration for a second or so at any given time?

WillW

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 06:40:57 PM »
I think it is consistent. That said - I will take it out for a ride right now and report back.

Page 03-15 of the factory manual says to check/adjust backlash between the cam gears after first 500 miles. They adjust on an eccentric sleeve apparently. I did wonder if this might be the problem?
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shappers

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011, 06:46:37 PM »
Hi WillW, have a search for auto decompressor and clack.  My C5 still does it quite often on the first start of the day.  

I have the bike on the centre stand and pull it over to the right against my body and thumb the button so it starts without the clack. I set it back upright avter a few seconds an dlet it tick over while I get the riding kit on.  

Subsequent starts are normal.

Cheers Shappers

Maturin

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2011, 06:54:59 PM »
It´s probably either a rocker beating on a valve or, and that´s my guess, a valve clicking on it´s seat. It´s not very problematic unless the clicking gets not louder within a short timespan.
The Bullet has hydraulic valve lifters, that´s why you don´t have to adjust the valve´s play regularily. When these lifters age and don´t hold up the necessary oil presure, the play may get too big and that causes this clicking sound, just as in older engines when the valves weren´t adjusted correctly. I´d have your dealer have a look at it, he knows better how to check the lifters.
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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2011, 06:55:06 PM »
If the cams were not adjusted then yes it can cause excess noise but from the clip it does not sound like its from the cams.

Anyways get the cams checked for backlash although one can DIY and its a enjoyable experience at least it was for me.

There is a but to it, if not adjusted at correct intervals then the eccentric cam sleeve can eat out the cam bush and then you would need a new set of sleeves and cams.

Do get the sprag bolt checked as well along with the rockers.

@Maturin- I agree with you, I feel its the rocker.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 06:59:02 PM by SSR »

Maturin

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2011, 07:05:49 PM »
Just looked into the manual. The chapter 4-3 describes the hydraulic tappets, they´re located under the chromed cover plate on the lower right side of the cylinder, just underneath the pushrods. If that´s the reason for the clicking, it can be checked quite easily.
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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2011, 07:10:03 PM »
You can not check them from the window as they are not visible from there only the pushrods can bee checked and if for any reason the rollers needs to be taken out then the whole engine needs to be split open.

Maturin

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2011, 07:14:17 PM »
And Will, I guess it should be ok to make the ride to the dealer but don´t push her too hard and try to avoid high revs.
Nevertheless it´s really a very distant diagnosis, could be I´m bringing up ghosts that are not existent  ;)
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Maturin

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2011, 07:15:58 PM »
@ SSR
Really? Ups that´s not good. Hopefully Will has some warranty left. But isn´t it possible to get access to the cams after removing the right casing cover?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 07:18:48 PM by Maturin »
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When acellerating the tears of emotion must flow off horizontally to the ears.
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WillW

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2011, 07:18:42 PM »
OK I did about twenty miles. I'd say it's pretty consistent, probably louder when engine is hot. If I accelerate from 55 to 60, I seemed to think it was louder, then quieted down a bit when just cruising at that speed. But a lot of other noise at that speed - wind and goldie exhaust, so perhaps I'm mis-hearing.

Shappers - this is nothing at all like auto-decompressor sound, not even similar, and nothing to do with starting up.
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Maturin

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2011, 07:20:15 PM »
@ Will
IIt´s analog to the revs? Faster clicking with higher revs?
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WillW

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2011, 07:22:44 PM »
Yes it keeps time with engine speed
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Maturin

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2011, 07:29:04 PM »
Ten bucks on the hydraulic lifter.
Maybe the oil level is a bit low. The lifter should have an easier job when oil level is on max. Perhaps the sound dissapears completely then, some of the aged cabs I owned had this symptom and it could be cured by keeping the oil level high.
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SSR

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2011, 07:36:20 PM »
@ SSR
Really? Ups that´s not good. Hopefully Will has some warranty left. But isn´t it possible to get access to the cams after removing the right casing cover?


Oh yes you can access the cams but for that you need to remove the alternator drum and a plate under that to get to the cams. After you remove the cams you can see a bit of roller too but not the top of it.


UCE works even if it has only 1 Ltr , there is plenty of oil supply to the rollers from side and from the top. Working of the roller can easily be checked by removing the rocker cover and checking the clearance between the rocker and prod with few cranks.

@Will- So you hear it constantly and more prominently when under load and eases up at constant speed right?

Makes me say it again its the rocker but what is making it do this is another story.

I think the dealer will check the push rods too!

WillW

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2011, 07:41:24 PM »
Well I'm about to do the 7500 mile service, so will be changing the oil. I change oil every 2000 miles, and keep a good eye on the level, so I don't think it's been going short of oil.
I think I'll get it down to the dealer if it persists. I'm in second year of warranty so will have to pay labour costs. Ah well......

Perhaps I should ride slower......

Thank you for your input guys. It's very much appreciated.
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Sub

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2011, 09:24:26 PM »
I had a similar scary tapping noise and everyone here told me it was normal!? It seemed too loud to be normal. It would happen at warmup and then disappear later. I took my first ride of the season and didnt hear it..

GreenMachine

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2011, 09:37:28 PM »
first thing i  thought of was loud tickey valve...yeah i know they use  hydraulic but that was first impression...eitherway it not a normal sound too me and i ride a iron.  time to get it checked under warranty...i'm sure u will let us know the finale..
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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2011, 10:05:06 PM »
BTW, for comparison, here is my EFI cacaphony video - the awful noise starts about 1/2 way through:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40236795@N03/5218582286/

WillW

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2011, 10:12:19 PM »
Hmmm that clacking sounds unhealthy. The higher pitched ticking is similar to what I'm getting, but quieter. But apart from that it sounds like a healthy engine - less rackety than mine for sure.

It's something to do with valves I agree.. There's always a bit of racket from the engine, and I don't worry about it, but this is LOUD and has only appeared recently. It aint right so I'll see what the mechanic at the dealer has to say.
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olhogrider

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2011, 01:07:04 AM »
Youtube is a hard way to identify sounds but have you checked for an exhaust leak at the head? My nuts have come loose twice. I mean the ones holding the pipe to the head. I would check that gasket before I tear into the engine. I like to start with the cheap fixes first. Try listening through a rubber tube. Sometimes you can locate noises that way. You can try a mechanic's stethoscope for internal noises.

singhg5

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2011, 02:51:47 AM »
Will:

I like SSR and Maturin's ideas. The sound is from the rockers. How about taking off the cover to check if something has come loose ? If nothing is loose, then follow Maturin's idea that hydraulic lifters may not be doing the job of lifting the pushrods all the way up. May be the hole of the lifter is blocked or partialy blocked so that it is not completely filled with the oil. Or the lifter has gone bad. Is the engine oil fresh and clean or is it old and dirty ?

Maturin has also indicated another possibility of valve not seating properly, or it is not properly lubricated and has less than ideal movement. A few weeks back, I had noticed and posted in the Forum that when I used Lucas oil additive to my gas tank, the noise of rocker/valve train went down. I started using that more often.

Some Bullets have this sound as 'normal' to them, though yours developed recently so I can imagine that you are concerned.  
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 03:27:21 AM by singhg5 »
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2011, 03:17:11 AM »
You can identify exactly where it's coming from using a kitchen wooden spoon or ratchet as a stethascope.  Press the round end against your ear canal and press the handle against each rocker cover and then the lower side plate.  The location will be plain as day.  If there's no notable difference in sound levels check other spots.  When you get it you'll know, it will be much louder.  You can always use a real stethascope or mechanical one if you have it. 

Scott

WillW

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2011, 07:33:40 AM »
Thanks again for input chaps. Different time zones mean I'm often snoring while you guys are posting!

@Olhogrider - I had thought of the exhaust, particularly as there's been more than usual backfiring lately, although having checked those nuts at the weekend as part of the routine I'd dsimissed it. It doesn't quite sound right for that to be the cause - it's more tappy, but I know these things can fool us so I will check it out.

@ Singh - Plenty to think about there, and I will start taking bits off and investigating. The oil is less than 2000 miles old, but did sit in the bike all winter. As I said, I was about to do a thorough 7500 mile service anyway and perhaps this will reveal something - particularly as I have the 18 tooth sprocket arriving today so will have that side cover off soon! I will also check the cam gears backlash while I'm in there. I like your additive idea too - I'll see if I can find something to flush through.

@ Scott - I had tried that listening trick, but with a screwdriver. Wooden spoon is a good idea, it'll resonate better. With the screwdriver I couldn't work out whether the sound was from the top front or lower down behind the square plate on the right. Hopefully the spoon will work better.

I have to be out today but will make a start this evening and carry on tomorrow.
Thanks again all for very helpful input.

Will
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gashousegorilla

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2011, 03:05:25 PM »
Youtube is a hard way to identify sounds but have you checked for an exhaust leak at the head? My nuts have come loose twice. I mean the ones holding the pipe to the head. I would check that gasket before I tear into the engine. I like to start with the cheap fixes first. Try listening through a rubber tube. Sometimes you can locate noises that way. You can try a mechanic's stethoscope for internal noises.
Yes, I agree. It is hard to tell and check the simple stuff first. But I think I hear a sucking noise and a tinny clacking or resonance down your head pipe Will. I could be wrong, but try adjusting your fasteners on your exhaust while the bike is running and listen for a change. That sucking noise could very well be from head pipe connection. :-\
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WillW

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2011, 05:02:20 PM »
I can't make the sound change by adjusting the exhaust nuts. Youtube does degrade the already poor quality sound, but it is a tick rather than a hiss.
Damned if I can locate it precisely by listening through spoon handle etc - I certainly get a definite clacking coming from the front rocker cover, but that may be just the normal clatter. It's definitely louder than the rear cover. These sounds overwhelm the much higher frequency ticking sound when listening through a handle or tube. But I would say it's coming from nearer the top than the bottom.
I ran the engine in the garage for fifteen minutes, but it wasn't as hot as yesterday. The sound appears after a few minutes, and occasionally disappears for a few beats. It increases as the engine gets hot on a run.
Cold and raining here, and getting dark.  Back on the job tomorrow..... :-\
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jartist

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2011, 03:31:59 AM »
My money is that it's a stuck or bad valve lifter.  I know it's a totally different engine design so my experience may not be relevant but-  I had a mazda miata that had hydrolic valve lifters that would make a clackity noise that went in time to the engine revs.  The noise would especially show up when it was cold and would intermittently go away or come back but more often would dissappear after it warmed up- but it was definately  an all or nothing thing, and quite loud.  It's something they're known for and I was told it's not a big deal (with the mazda anyway).  I switched to a different brand of oil and lighter weight and that cured it but the noise would reappear right at 3000 miles so I just ended up using the valve lifter noise as an oil condition indicator.  Anyhow, I'm with olhogrider on starting with simple stuff.   I'd give the oil change thing a try since you were planning on that anyway.

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Re: Can anyone identify this engine noise?
« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2011, 12:20:12 AM »
@WillW

Did you ever determine what was causing you loud engine tick? My C5 is currently at the shop for a VERY similar sound, but we are still in the diagnoses phase. Any insight you could provide on your end would be very beneficial.

I am currently leaning towards:

1. bent pushrod
2. collapsed lifter
3. rocker arm/follower damage

as far as my bike goes anyways.