Author Topic: Worn rocker assembly  (Read 9836 times)

Offline RFH87_Connie

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Worn rocker assembly
« on: June 22, 2015, 06:31:19 am »
This is just for information purposes in case someone ever has a problem like this. :chugbeer:

So, I parked my red bike about two and a half years ago after it developed a tap that got consistently louder with additional miles.  This occurred after I blew one motor then got another of unknown origin with (according to the odometer) less than 50k on it.  It had a slight tap when it started that wouldn't go away (even after a few valve adjustment checks.  Over a few months it got worse so it got parked until I could diagnose it.  At least I had another one to ride.  I spoke to SISF about it at the time and he had a suggestion on what it may be, and as I suspected, it involved removing and inspecting parts in the top end.  The thought was that rockers can wear down and start to tap when their seat is deformed.  So, I reopened it last week.  Both cams had great looking lobes so there was no real tell-tale sign of where to start looking.  I started with the intake cam.  When I pulled it you could feel the problem child with your finger pretty easily.  All of the rockers when new have a seat that is arched upwards, kind of like a roof.  The rocker on cylinder 4 was dished inward (or downward).  The picture below illustrates this.  The worn one has a tiny bit of pitting on the edges but no galling.  It also has slight lip on one side.  I'm guessing it just wasn't case-hardened properly.  The oil port seems to be the same size as the others.  I took one off my parts engine and replaced it.  I inspected the exhaust cam also and found nothing.  I was nervous when I restarted it.  However, it was quiet immediately.  What a relief!

Hopefully, this may help someone in the future.  Thanks again Steve!  You see, we listen to you sometimes. Now I just have to fix that leaking balancer shaft seal.
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Offline DC Concours

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 09:03:34 am »
Great little write-up with a helpful pic. Thanks.

The rockers can get pitting as well as the cams? I thought it was just the cam lobes.

Offline George R. Young

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2015, 09:13:24 am »
We have to educate Ma Kawasaki, bikes that are meant to be ridden long distances over many years should have components properly case hardened.

How much did she save?
65 CB160 (67-69), 69 350GTR (69-72), 72 R5, 73 RD350 (73-84), 82 XZ550 Vision (84-03), 01 Concours C10 (03-19), 89 EX250 (11-14), 00 SV650S (14-16), 03 SV650S (19-)

Offline RFH87_Connie

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2015, 09:31:52 am »
The rockers can get pitting as well as the cams? I thought it was just the cam lobes.

I never heard of it until I saw it.  It is very small like grains of salt.  It is at the bottom edge of the left rocker in the picture below.  You can feel them with your finger nail including the lines going across the ridge.  The one on the right, despite it's gray appearance and generally not looking pretty, feels perfect.  I would think that is carbon filling in the micro-grooves.  Break-Clean and carb cleaner would not take it off.
“I can truly say I had rather be at home at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the seat of government by the officers of State and the representatives of every power of Europe.” - George Washington

Offline DC Concours

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2015, 11:09:14 am »
Thanks for the info. I'll be checking my top end when I do valves this fall.

How were the rest of the lobes and rockers?

Offline RFH87_Connie

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2015, 11:31:12 am »
Everything else was fine - almost new looking except for the gray sheen here and there on some of the surfaces.  However, in order to check the pads you have to pull off the cams as it sits directly below them.  I would just tend to say wipe your finger across an oily cam lobe to see if it is smooth.  If it is smooth, it is probably OK.  Also inspect for pitting on the lobes, but the general consensus is to still use it because a pitted cam shaft usually outlasts the bike (from what I've heard).  Mine started making a noise almost like a cam chain that was loose and sloppy but coming from the opposite side up high.  It pretty much started to sound violent.  It changed with RPM obviously.
“I can truly say I had rather be at home at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the seat of government by the officers of State and the representatives of every power of Europe.” - George Washington

Offline DC Concours

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2015, 11:32:54 am »
good education for a newbie. thank you...

Offline RFH87_Connie

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2015, 11:35:25 am »
You are most welcome!  I'm in Lorton by the way.  Harbor View to be exact.
“I can truly say I had rather be at home at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the seat of government by the officers of State and the representatives of every power of Europe.” - George Washington

Offline DC Concours

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2015, 11:52:52 am »
Oh!!! Where have you been??

You are practically my neighbor ~15 miles away, or 45 mins in traffic! I am in Alexandria. I can always benefit from a local Connie enthusiast.

Offline DeansZG

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2015, 09:03:41 pm »
  Just out of curiosity RFH, (AND NOT TO START A PI**IN' C ONTEST)  what oil have you been using & at what intervals has it been changed? 
 
'99 C10 "MissTriss" *sold*
'04 ZZR1200 "Sweet heart" *sold*
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'00 K12LT..."Battleship Galactica".....

Offline Leo

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2015, 05:56:49 am »
The rockers probably were properly hardened from the factory.    Severe wiping loads need heavy metal impregnation to protect the surface. Pushing two valve springs with a single lobe is right at the edge of maxed out design anyway.

Cams and rocker on all kinds of vehicles have been being stressed since the EPA had them take the Zinc out of motor oil.   Stuff with diesel ratings has a little more Zinc. 
Yep, still riding the old one

In Indiana, missing Texas

Offline RFH87_Connie

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2015, 07:40:47 am »
Just out of curiosity RFH, what oil have you been using & at what intervals has it been changed?

The blown motor pretty much always got Hondaline 10W40 (sometimes Golden Spectro) at the appropriate mileage or time.  The "motor of unknown origin" with the bad rocker, Obviously, I don't know.  This probably doesn't tell you what you are wanting know.  The blown motor made it to almost 45k.  It got a 1/16" bent #2 rod from hydrolock at about 19k.  The fuel problem was fixed and oil was changed with no engine start ups.  However, from what I was informed of a couple years ago (never heard of it at the time the engine blew) the #3 crank journal is prone to failure (happens sometimes but rarely) on this particular engine.  But it always seems to be #3.  Before I told the local shop mechanic that It was #3 that when went he asked if it was #3.  I will say that the other top end parts look great in this motor that had a tapping rocker.  It seems to be just this one bad rocker.
“I can truly say I had rather be at home at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the seat of government by the officers of State and the representatives of every power of Europe.” - George Washington

Offline Brad Baerwald

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2015, 01:49:30 pm »
RFH87_Connie,

hmmm I'm tring to ignore the ticking I'm hearing... :popcorn: when the intake cam was 3 teeth off I didn't hear any ticking... (it just ran like crap LOL)  now that it's where it's supposed to be I feel ike I'm hearing it!   I REALLY don't want to open her again right now!  If I sent you a recording would you be able to tell?  Also I really don't hear any ticking when she is both warm and not idling... but when idling or reved a bit when cold... freaks me out a bit.

 The "3rd con rod bearing"  I thought that was ONLY a ZX11 thing?? (of which mine did mainly because I didn't know about it and I let an "R1" buddy ride it.

  I am in southern MD not far from you... If I rode out to you would you listen??  (I don't want to "impose")
I'm just doing the best I can, with the little bit I got!

Offline Brad Baerwald

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2015, 02:07:11 pm »
I too do NOT want to start a Peeing contest but I would like to share an oil that I've come to trust.  The machine shop that punched out my ZX11 (for the biggest pistons I could find) swore by this stuff!  and these guys made real dragsters (cars).  I asked why he thought his stuff was better and he said because of all the zinc and other metals in this particular oil... My understanding is you can NOT use this stuff in a vehicle with a "Cat" because the metals will wipe it out.  but he says that the motors that he works on, that use this stuff, look WAY better when he's re-building them! Which is nomal for the Drag Racing community.

This stuff is really hard to get here in MD I go to a place near Bud's Creek area (which is were many race in MD) and I buy a couple cases at a wack  (price is pretty good too surprisingly)
I'm just doing the best I can, with the little bit I got!

Offline gPink

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Re: Worn rocker assembly
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2015, 03:45:26 pm »
Amazon will deliver to your doorstep.  ;)
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