Cylinder head and piston removal - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 87 Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 4:32 pm Thread Starter
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Cylinder head and piston removal

My 2000 is on the lift with "tupperware" removed for BMW "Inspection" at approx 95K miles.

She's been using oil beyond what I find acceptable, having to add oil every day on long rides or every couple of days of short rides.

I did a compression test and cylinder leak-down test a while ago, everything normal.
I suspect a cracked piston land so have decided to do a visual inspection of the pistons.

History: No visible oil leaks. It does smoke more on start up than it used to. Friends riding behind me have commented on smokey exhaust but it isn't that severe because I can't see it in the rear view mirrors. I have ridden hard over the years, two up, pacing some of the sport bikes in the hills, so the engine has been hammered pretty hard; basically getting all she has to give it terms of rpm's to the redline. I did have my air temp sensor unplugged for the hot weather hesitation issue for a few years but always ran premium gasoline. I plugged the sensor back in and left it that way since I'm not troubled with really hot weather very often. Other than that, there is no significant history to the engine that I can think of.

I'm no stranger to engines but will be venturing into the LT where I have not been before, so hope to get input and suggestions from my pals Saddleman and jzeiler or others with experience when questions come up.

I'll try to remember to take some pics so I can post and share a little of what I learn.

I have both Clymers and the BMW Service Manual; I'm used to the BMW Manual so I'll use that unless I get confused by it and then I'll check with Clymer.

This is what I expect to be doing tomorrow: sequence according to the Service Manual: 1)remove radiatiors, 2) remove exhaust, 3) remove fuel rail, 4) remove throttle butterfly rail with air silencer, 5) remove timing case cover, 6) remove timing chain.

Questions right now: Should I zip tie the cam chain to the cam sprockets when removing the cam chain? Will that make reinstallation easier and reduce the risk that I'll get the valve timing wrong, or will that just increase the hassle?

Should I do a "preemptive" change of the O2 sensor?

I've done valve jobs on small engines, and lapped the valves on a couple of Airheads, but I think I'll send the K1200LT head out for a professional going through. Any idea who to send it to? I'm wondering if valve guides or seals are a bit worn.

Any suggestions of things to look out for from those who have "been there, done that"?

Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 87 Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 5:02 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

Have you considered pulling the pistons out the rt side cover?
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post #3 of 87 Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 5:20 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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Have you considered pulling the pistons out the rt side cover?
They may come out that way, but you will not be able to put them back in (piston rings need to be carefully compressed). On second thought the main bearing might not let all of the pistons out through the bottom.

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post #4 of 87 Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 5:28 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

I have yet to remove a head from the engine. I don't know if the head can be removed with the cam sprockets still attached to the chain. I'll bet Ernie knows.

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post #5 of 87 Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 5:47 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

David Sheeley has done this job before , PM him.

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post #6 of 87 Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 5:53 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

I pulled Steve Rowe's cylinder head on the "Dragon Fly". Did not remove radiators but did drain coolant. Pulled everything else as you listed.

Did not keep the cam gears on the chain as timing is fairly easy to re-do. I don't think they would have fit through the head opening that way. We did not have to though as a ring had fractured and scored the cylinder wall (it did fail the leak down test) and the engine was toast. Every piston on that 100 K engine had fractured ring lands.

Hope you find better conditions.

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post #7 of 87 Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 5:56 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

there is no point leaving the sprockets in, as you have to rotate the crankshaft to undo the big ends, so timing is lost anyway, you will need to put the chain on last after you have put it back together, with the front cover off. it will all line up in the the end

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post #8 of 87 Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 6:00 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
Questions right now: Should I zip tie the cam chain to the cam sprockets when removing the cam chain? Will that make reinstallation easier and reduce the risk that I'll get the valve timing wrong, or will that just increase the hassle?

I have rebuilt three engines now and have some pictures in my gallery as well as some threads about it somewhere on this forum. I wouldn't bother with saving the location of the cam chain and gears since you will have the entire timing cover removed and can start from scratch (follow the technique in the manual.

Should I do a "preemptive" change of the O2 sensor?

I wouldn't change it if you weren't having any trouble prior to the tear down.

I've done valve jobs on small engines, and lapped the valves on a couple of Airheads, but I think I'll send the K1200LT head out for a professional going through. Any idea who to send it to? I'm wondering if valve guides or seals are a bit worn.

With only 90k your guides are probably okay. The only way to tell for sure is to remove the springs and check the deflection in the clearance between the stem and guide. The factory and Clymer manuals is not clear about this. I built a valve keeper removal tool like the factory uses. I took the stripped heads to a machine shop and after inspection of a 200k and a 40k head showed what you'd expect. The 40k head was a successful lap job and the 200k is going to be rebuilt at another time.

Any suggestions of things to look out for from those who have "been there, done that"?

I would follow the manual carefully and label parts in separate containers. Cleanliness is next to godliness. Don't rush it! Take your time and measure all clearances. Replace everything marginal (you don't want to have to go back in there do you?). Take a lot of pictures (you will need them).

My biggest suggestion though is to remove the engine and do a full rebuild. Not only will you get a full appreciation for the engine you will be confident that it will live another 10 plus years. Also the only way to service a "sprague clutch" is to remove the rear housing of the engine. It is a part that can easily be rebuilt with a relatively inexpensive part. Also when you buy your parts get a full gasket set. It has every seal and gasket you will need.


Seal and gasket set, engine 1 11001465300$344.91

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post #9 of 87 Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 7:10 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

Pulling the head on the LT is not a hard job at all. With a service manual, anyone with good mechanical ability can do it.

I did put new valve seals on mine, but did not do a valve job, as the valves and seats looked almost like new.

I do have the BMW valve spring compressor for the brick engines, could loan it to you. It was the one for the earlier bricks, I made a couple parts for it so it would work on the later models.

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post #10 of 87 Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 7:15 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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t is "Sprag", not Sprague.

Sprag Type Clutches - Sprag Bearings | GMN Bearings
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post #11 of 87 Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 7:20 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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I stand corrected...



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post #12 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 5:14 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

Gentlemen,
Thanks for all the replies, suggestions, and offers.

Good news: no broken piston lands.

Your thoughts please:
Number one plug and exhaust valves a nice tan color.

Cylinders 2,3,4 varying degrees of more crud on spark plugs, pistons, and valve faces.

Cylinder walls look good, cross hatching still present on all cylinder walls. Maybe I didn't break this engine in well enough; maybe switched to synthetic engine oil too early? But, she didn't burn oil for 70,000 miles or more. I never had to add oil between changes at 6,000 miles. Seems like one day it just started using oil, and seems like it has gotten worse with time.

What other causes of burning oil are there that don't show up on a compression or leak-down test? Valve guides, seals?

Right now I'm thinking I'll take out the valves, check the valve stems for "wobble" in the guides (not sure what the specs for that might be). If the valves are okay in the quides, I'll lap 'em put in new seals and button it back up.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Number 1:


In this view, Number 1 is on the right:


Number 1:


Number 4:


Number 4:
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post #13 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 5:22 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

An interesting observation: The big end of the connecting rod are fabricated in a way I've not seen before. They apparently cast the connecting rod, mill out the big end for the bearings, and then break the big end so it can be bolted onto the crankshaft.

All the other connecting rods I've seen were cut/machined. But the mating surfaces of the big end of these connecting rods are clearly fractured. (It does help keep track of how things were oriented because there is a clear fit up of the parts).

Is that common nowadays?

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post #14 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 5:33 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

I'm just curious. Did you put any of the rings back in and then mic the gap to see where you are there?
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post #15 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 5:55 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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I'm just curious. Did you put any of the rings back in and then mic the gap to see where you are there?
I have not removed the rings. Nor have I put a feel gauge between the rings and lands to check that gap if that's what you are referring to.
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post #16 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 6:11 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

Looks like the oil use progresses towards the rear of the engine.

Only thing I know of that commonly causes lots of oil use is a failed PCV valve. Since the LT doesn't have one of those, you would be looking for cracks in the PCV hose, manifold, or some other odd way for outside air to enter the system. That would pull oil mist into the intake system instead of it draining back into the crankcase. If your PCV hose is bad, that's likely all it would take. Might check all your intake for nests. Extra vacuum on the top side of the butterflies could have the same effect as a cracked hose.
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post #17 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 6:15 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

This was what I was thinking.
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post #18 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 6:27 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

If the valve and seat contact area look good, I would not recommend "lapping". That is an old process, not really used any longer. About the only time I would use lapping compound is when the seats and valves have been ground, then just a touch of fine compound, with the valve rotated back and forth a couple of times to make sure the surfaces are making contact, NEVER enough to actually remove any metal to speak of.

When a valve is lapped very much, a little metal is removed. Then when the valve gets hot and the head expands, it seats on the "lip" of the unlapped surface. Not good.

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post #19 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 6:52 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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If the valve and seat contact area look good, I would not recommend "lapping". That is an old process, not really used any longer. About the only time I would use lapping compound is when the seats and valves have been ground, then just a touch of fine compound, with the valve rotated back and forth a couple of times to make sure the surfaces are making contact, NEVER enough to actually remove any metal to speak of.

When a valve is lapped very much, a little metal is removed. Then when the valve gets hot and the head expands, it seats on the "lip" of the unlapped surface. Not good.
Thanks for that info David.
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post #20 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 7:05 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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Looks like the oil use progresses towards the rear of the engine.

Only thing I know of that commonly causes lots of oil use is a failed PCV valve. Since the LT doesn't have one of those, you would be looking for cracks in the PCV hose, manifold, or some other odd way for outside air to enter the system. That would pull oil mist into the intake system instead of it draining back into the crankcase. If your PCV hose is bad, that's likely all it would take. Might check all your intake for nests. Extra vacuum on the top side of the butterflies could have the same effect as a cracked hose.
No nests or obstructions in the air intake. Air filter has 12K on it but doesn't look bad.
Crankcase vent tubing and manifold look okay.
Ports for the evaporative emmission system (charcoal cannister) are all connected to each other but not open to the outside anywhere. I did a cannister removal years ago and at that time I disconnected the solenoid valve that purged the cannister. Vacuum lines were disconnected from the solenoid valve. Those 4 vacuum ports are connected to each other but nothing else. No leaks evident there either.

I'll clean things up some more and look closer, but I don't think it is an air leak.
Maybe I should have searched for a leak with a little propane flowing around the throttle bodies; I didn't think of doing that 'til now.

Thanks for the ideas, keep 'em coming.
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post #21 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 7:10 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

Stupid question:
Any chance you're overfilling it?
Sorry, had to be done.


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post #22 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 7:31 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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An interesting observation: The big end of the connecting rod are fabricated in a way I've not seen before. They apparently cast the connecting rod, mill out the big end for the bearings, and then break the big end so it can be bolted onto the crankshaft.

All the other connecting rods I've seen were cut/machined. But the mating surfaces of the big end of these connecting rods are clearly fractured. (It does help keep track of how things were oriented because there is a clear fit up of the parts).

Is that common nowadays?
Pretty much how a lot of European engines are made the past 10 years or so. Do NOT mix the rod caps from different rods. It WILL cause a catastrophic engine failure. Know a mechanic (might not be a good label for this person) who did this twice and got the same results both times. Quicker and cheaper to make rods in this manner.

Look at the oil rings closely. Should be 2 distinct scraping surfaces and clear drainage passages.

If you can't find a clear cause for oil useage, consider cleaning the pistons well and using new rings.

Plugged cat converter? Plugged/clogged breather? Dirtyclogged air filter? Engine coming up to operating temperature?

Keep us posted.
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post #23 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 7:37 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

You mentioned a smokey exhaust observed by your riding mates. Was the smoke black or blue ? Black = fuel, could be due to dirty injectors and poor fuel atomisation. This will wash the oil from the cylinder walls and cause oil usage. Also check the thermostat operation as too cold means engine will run rich, again causing high oil usage. What has performance been like ? MPG ? That top end is extremely oily.

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post #24 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 8:02 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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Pretty much how a lot of European engines are made the past 10 years or so. Do NOT mix the rod caps from different rods. It WILL cause a catastrophic engine failure. ----------------.
Not just European, many high performance engines use this method of rod construction, including some Japanese engines.

Cracked rods are more precise, and stronger, since the cracked surface fits back together absolutely precise, and the surface prevents any slipping of the surfaces, which can happen in normal rods. Normal rods require precisely bored bolt holes and precision bolts, or hollow "pins" (dowels) around the bolts to insure proper alignment on reassembly. Cracked rods are very precise, with out needing pins/dowels or precision bolts.

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post #25 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 8:12 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

And it's pretty easy to tell the difference between the two types by just looking at the mating surfaces......


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post #26 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 9:49 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

doesn't look good in the photo's, burning lots of oil but the cyl's look ok.
I wont use synth oil in mine I have always worried about glazing the bores. I know that plenty do use syth, but not me.
Hone the cyl's new rings brgs, stem seals and wack it back together,

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post #27 of 87 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 11:01 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

Hi Curtis,

I suspect the oil rings of 3 out of 4 are either excessively worn or stuck in the lands. I would not suggest re-using the rings even if the end gap is within tolerance.

Not only are the rod caps matched but the rods themselves are directional. The carbon on the pistons is covering the arrows that point to the front of the engine. You can look at the small end of the rod and see an oil access hold for the small end bearing. When installing the piston and rod that hole must be facing up.

Use care in removing and installing the rings, especially the oil ring which has a spring inside. These rings can be easily fractured if you don't have a good ring compressor.

I would be careful with honing the bores. The bores are nickasil plated and it is fine if you just clean it thoroughly before assembly. Use of a light assembly oil for the rings and pistons will help the rings break in and not stick the lands during break in.

The rod bolts are a stretch one-use bolt when you torque them. You are advised in all manuals to replace them and not reuse them.

I know David isn't a fan of valve lapping but if the valves (especially the exhaust valves) are pitted you can use some compound to clean them up. You can then use dye to see if you have high/low spots that can't be dealt with in any other way than grinding. One head I lapped and two others I rebuilt I had ground. The lapped head held vacuum as good as the ground valves and the lapped valves/seats did not sustain much in the way of material removed.

I have 20k on the lapped valves and the bike is performing just fine. After running break-in oil for 1k I moved directly to synthetic without any problems. I am on my 3rd oil change plus 2k and the engine is not using any oil between changes.

Best of luck and if you have any questions feel free to PM me.

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post #28 of 87 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 1:24 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey View Post
Stupid question:
Any chance you're overfilling it?
Sorry, had to be done.
I've been filling it on the centerstand, bring the level up to the upper edge of the sight glass. I used to fill to the middle of the glass, but since it started "eating" the oil, I have been filling a little more.
In short, not over filled.

Basic, but not stupid, we don't know what we don't know and it is good to check all the premises. Thanks.
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post #29 of 87 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 1:58 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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You mentioned a smokey exhaust observed by your riding mates. Was the smoke black or blue ? Black = fuel, could be due to dirty injectors and poor fuel atomisation. This will wash the oil from the cylinder walls and cause oil usage. Also check the thermostat operation as too cold means engine will run rich, again causing high oil usage. What has performance been like ? MPG ? That top end is extremely oily.

Dennis, Good stuff to think about, thanks.
This bike always put out a puff of black smoke when accelerating hard. The consensus on this board was "they all do that".

Going by the OnBoardComputer the fuel mileage had not changed significantly.
I don't think the performance has changed much, if at all.
(My performance has decreased over the 13 years I've owned this bike; the bike's performance, not so much...

I don't recall any noticable change in the temp gauge. I don't check it that often when riding, but I don't recall looking at the gauge and thinking that it was giving an unusual reading.

Last time I did a code fault read out with my GS911 I got "no faults".
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post #30 of 87 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 7:55 am
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

You cannot really hone NikaSil cylinders, a cylinder hone will only clean them if they have a burned coating on them. When NikaSil has to be honed, they use Diamond Hones. The Silicon Carbide particles in the coating is harder than standard hones are. It will just wear down the honing stones.

However, I did use a "ball" type hone on mine quickly just to be sure it was cleaned well. Use one too much and it may remove some of the nickle and leave the silicon carbide particles sitting high. That could accelerate wear on the rings.

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post #31 of 87 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 4:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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Pulling the head on the LT is not a hard job at all. With a service manual, anyone with good mechanical ability can do it.

I did put new valve seals on mine, but did not do a valve job, as the valves and seats looked almost like new.

I do have the BMW valve spring compressor for the brick engines, could loan it to you. It was the one for the earlier bricks, I made a couple parts for it so it would work on the later models.

Hi Dave,
Thanks for this post, and all the contributions you have made over the years. If memory serves me, I've one of your custom sockets for final drive installation.

I spent (wasted) a bunch of time today welding up a tool for valve spring compressor. I had fabricated a spring compressor for the several Airheads I rebuilt; tried something similar for the KLT head but it is very time consuming. I did disassemble one valve before I concluded taking you up on your offer to borrow yours. I'll send you a PM.
You have any fondness for Pure Maple Syrup?

At this point I'm thinking I'll replace all the valve seals, put in new piston rings, replace the crankcase ventilation components and put it all back together.

I'm sort of at a loss of identifying a cause for my oil consumption. Finding a broken piston land would have been satisfying. As it stands, I still don't have a good diagnosis. That is a little frustrating. So now I'm taking the "shotgun" approach.... Sad, 'cause there is probably a simple explanation for the oil consumption that is eluding me.

Thanks again to all who have offered suggestions and advice.

Last edited by CharlieVT; Nov 25th, 2014 at 4:53 pm.
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post #32 of 87 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 5:36 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

I'm new to BMW m/c world, but when I rebuilt my Porsche with Nikasil cylinders, I was told that honing should be avoided. Here's a link that you may find interesting. Since your cylinders still bear the factory cross hatching they would appear to be in good shape.

BMW airhead motorcycle cylinders and studs, shims, sealants, Nikasil, Galnikal

Wayne
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post #33 of 87 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 5:47 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

I think I remember someone having problems with some wear to the ring lands. That let the rings move too much. But that was years ago on a R90/6 with 250,000 miles on it. It had new rings @ 140,000, but the pistons had too much wear in them the next time he took it down.

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post #34 of 87 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 8:14 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
Hi Dave,
--------------- I did disassemble one valve before I concluded taking you up on your offer to borrow yours. I'll send you a PM.
You have any fondness for Pure Maple Syrup?
Packed to ship, see PM to you.

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post #35 of 87 Old Dec 13th, 2014, 6:58 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

Progress update:

I've found no obvious causes for my oil consumption.

I'm replacing piston rings, valve seals, replacing crankcase vent tubing, and putting things back together.

Won't know how things turn out until weather turns to riding season again here in the Deep South of Vermont.

Last edited by CharlieVT; Dec 13th, 2014 at 7:07 pm.
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post #36 of 87 Old Dec 14th, 2014, 11:25 am
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
Progress update:

I've found no obvious causes for my oil consumption.

I'm replacing piston rings, valve seals, replacing crankcase vent tubing, and putting things back together.

Won't know how things turn out until weather turns to riding season again here in the Deep South of Vermont.
I was hoping you would whip out those chains you have a report in before April, guess we will have to wait now.

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post #37 of 87 Old Dec 14th, 2014, 6:36 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

An after thought....

Look at the oil rings closely. Have they lost tension? Just experienced that with another engine, not a motorcycle. Former owner condemed the engine for excessive oil consumption and tossed it in the scrape metal pile. Soon as I find a set on the 'net at a good price, It'll be back in service.

doubt its got anything to do with dino vs synthetic.

Plugged cat converter?
Patric likes this.

B D R
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post #38 of 87 Old Dec 17th, 2014, 7:00 am Thread Starter
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Pitted exhaust valves

After cleaning them up, removing carbon deposits, I found the intake valve and seats in good shape.

The exhaust seats were good, but the exhaust valves were pitted. When inspected before cleaning, the mating surface of the exhaust valves looked smooth, but mottled; the pits were filled with carbon deposits. The compression before tear down was good; it won't be anymore if I don't do something about the exhaust valves.

After cleaning, the exhaust valves are clearly badly pitted.
The service manual says lap them or replace them. Lapping isn't going to fix these.

At $115 each...Ouch!

Can I have them ground? Are they surface hardened so that you can't grind them without ruining the hardness?

I'll be checking with a friend who has as small dealership today to see what he says, but I thought I'd ask here in case any one has been through this.

Thanks
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post #39 of 87 Old Dec 17th, 2014, 11:09 am
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Re: Pitted exhaust valves

Take the valves to any good automotive machine shop, yes they can be ground. You may as well take the head and have them grind the seats too. Easy work in a machine shop. You should be able to get all the grinding done for what 2 or 3 valves would cost, especially since they are already disassembled. Of course you will then need thinner lifters for all the ground valves. Another thing to do, is measure from the end of the valve stems to the top of the valve guides before grinding, then again after. Have them grind the difference off the end of the valve stems, then you will be close on the lifters at reassembly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
After cleaning them up, removing carbon deposits, I found the intake valve and seats in good shape.

The exhaust seats were good, but the exhaust valves were pitted. When inspected before cleaning, the mating surface of the exhaust valves looked smooth, but mottled; the pits were filled with carbon deposits. The compression before tear down was good; it won't be anymore if I don't do something about the exhaust valves.

After cleaning, the exhaust valves are clearly badly pitted.
The service manual says lap them or replace them. Lapping isn't going to fix these.

At $115 each...Ouch!

Can I have them ground? Are they surface hardened so that you can't grind them without ruining the hardness?

I'll be checking with a friend who has as small dealership today to see what he says, but I thought I'd ask here in case any one has been through this.

Thanks

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post #40 of 87 Old Dec 17th, 2014, 5:12 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

Anybody know what direction the coolant flows through the head? Just thinking the progression through the head could correlate with the difference in the condition of the cylinders. In other words, the rear cylinder may be hotter than the front and therefore cause more rapid wear. So logically running the coolant through the back cylinder first would be best. Just curious if it flows that direction.


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post #41 of 87 Old Dec 17th, 2014, 5:20 pm
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Re: Pitted exhaust valves

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post

After cleaning, the exhaust valves are clearly badly pitted.
The service manual says lap them or replace them. Lapping isn't going to fix these.

At $115 each...Ouch!
BMW never fails to amuse me with their prices.

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post #42 of 87 Old Dec 17th, 2014, 5:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

Update:
Valves and cylinder head have been delivered to machine shop.
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post #43 of 87 Old Dec 17th, 2014, 6:43 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

Curtis, I am curious about these exhaust valves, it would be good to get some information back from the machine shop as to the material and technology used in the valves. Reason being, BMW states lapping or valve replacement, which may mean the valves are nitrided, which typically can be as thin as 0.0005" and a light lapping does not adversely affect that coating, whereas re-grinding will. Also, regarding the valve seat geometry on the exhaust side, is the information available regarding seat width, angle etc ? I think cylinder heads on these engines are typically very good in this area, as not too much is written about problems.

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post #44 of 87 Old Dec 17th, 2014, 7:39 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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Originally Posted by K100Dennis View Post
Curtis, I am curious about these exhaust valves, it would be good to get some information back from the machine shop as to the material and technology used in the valves. Reason being, BMW states lapping or valve replacement, which may mean the valves are nitrided, which typically can be as thin as 0.0005" and a light lapping does not adversely affect that coating, whereas re-grinding will. Also, regarding the valve seat geometry on the exhaust side, is the information available regarding seat width, angle etc ? I think cylinder heads on these engines are typically very good in this area, as not too much is written about problems.
Dennis, good questions.

Stopped by my local BMW shop and talked about grinding my exhaust valves. They have a local machine shop that they work with. Apparently, they do grind the valves on K bike engines.

Here's a cut n' paste from AJ Cycle's website:

"AJ Cycles Services
Full Service BMW & MOTO GUZZI dealer. Certified Master mechanic with 38 years motorcycle experience.
Parts and Sales personnel with 48 years motorcycle experience.
We have excellent machine shop services which include: Welding (Fin Replacement, Crack Repair in Cylinder Heads, or General Repairs), Boring, Valve guide and Valve seat replacement.Vacuum Testing. Valve Jobs
If it needs to be machined, we can do it all with state of the art equipment."

So at this point, my head and valves are going to the machinist for his evaluation and comments. We shall see what he recommends/does.
Also of note is the official BMW Service Manual states that if the valve seat is ground, new valves should be ground in. Hmmm....what does that mean?

Also, the gent (Alan) at the BMW shop repeated something DShealey posted above, which was that lapping was an "outdated" procedure.
When I said the BMW Service Manual mentioned lapping, the gent at the BMW shop questioned me: "Are you sure that BMW says that?". So I went back and looked; actually the BMW Service Manual does not mention lapping. BMW simply states three things regarding servicing the valves:
1) "Machine the valve seat with turning tool BMW No. 00 3 530.",
2) "When remachining, the correct width of the valve seat must always be maintained.",
3) and "NOTE: If the valve seat has been machined, install and grind in new valve."

The Clymer manual has a more extensive section on valves and does discuss lapping. But then Clymer could just be adding generic, general info on customary valve procedures which are not really BMW specific.
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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"AJ Cycles Services
Full Service BMW & MOTO GUZZI dealer. Certified Master mechanic with 38 years motorcycle experience.
Parts and Sales personnel with 48 years motorcycle experience.
We have excellent machine shop services which include: Welding (Fin Replacement, Crack Repair in Cylinder Heads, or General Repairs), Boring, Valve guide and Valve seat replacement.Vacuum Testing. Valve Jobs
If it needs to be machined, we can do it all with state of the art equipment."
Small hi-jack;
Ridden by that place a number of times but never stopped in, always wondered if they were still in business or the sign out front was a leftover from another time.

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post #46 of 87 Old Dec 18th, 2014, 12:53 am
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
Dennis, good questions.

Stopped by my local BMW shop and talked about grinding my exhaust valves. They have a local machine shop that they work with. Apparently, they do grind the valves on K bike engines.

Here's a cut n' paste from AJ Cycle's website:

"AJ Cycles Services
Full Service BMW & MOTO GUZZI dealer. Certified Master mechanic with 38 years motorcycle experience.
Parts and Sales personnel with 48 years motorcycle experience.
We have excellent machine shop services which include: Welding (Fin Replacement, Crack Repair in Cylinder Heads, or General Repairs), Boring, Valve guide and Valve seat replacement.Vacuum Testing. Valve Jobs
If it needs to be machined, we can do it all with state of the art equipment."

So at this point, my head and valves are going to the machinist for his evaluation and comments. We shall see what he recommends/does.
Also of note is the official BMW Service Manual states that if the valve seat is ground, new valves should be ground in. Hmmm....what does that mean?

Also, the gent (Alan) at the BMW shop repeated something DShealey posted above, which was that lapping was an "outdated" procedure.
When I said the BMW Service Manual mentioned lapping, the gent at the BMW shop questioned me: "Are you sure that BMW says that?". So I went back and looked; actually the BMW Service Manual does not mention lapping. BMW simply states three things regarding servicing the valves:
1) "Machine the valve seat with turning tool BMW No. 00 3 530.",
2) "When remachining, the correct width of the valve seat must always be maintained.",
3) and "NOTE: If the valve seat has been machined, install and grind in new valve."

The Clymer manual has a more extensive section on valves and does discuss lapping. But then Clymer could just be adding generic, general info on customary valve procedures which are not really BMW specific.
All interesting stuff Curtis. I get a kick out of the notion that lapping is an "outdated" method of dressing up the valves. If a valve is lapped and the seat/valve is measured within specs... well what's wrong with that? The process of lapping the valves, in my experience, does not mean removing a lot of material. I mix water with the paste and take a light cut.

Anyway, it is not a big deal since you are going to have the valves/seats ground. The cost of the valves at BMW is crazy expensive. Interesting that the factory manual instructs a "new" valve be used for every valve seat that is ground. I guess they assume there would not be enough material to grind?

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post #47 of 87 Old Dec 18th, 2014, 7:30 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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.... I get a kick out of the notion that lapping is an "outdated" method of dressing up the valves. If a valve is lapped and the seat/valve is measured within specs... well what's wrong with that? The process of lapping the valves, in my experience, does not mean removing a lot of material. I mix water with the paste and take a light cut....

.....Interesting that the factory manual instructs a "new" valve be used for every valve seat that is ground. I guess they assume there would not be enough material to grind?
Lapping: Makes sense to me. Some things are a matter of degree. It would seem to me that small imperfections could be corrected with a light lapping. I can appreciate how more aggressive lapping would create the "lip" that DavidS referred to.

While chatting with Alan at AJ Cycle, he looked at my K1200lt exhaust valve and compared it to a couple of valves out of a two valve twin cylinder engine. BIG difference. The K1200lt exhaust valves are small, there really isn't much room for a grind before the valve is going to be too thin setting the stage for overheating. So any grinding has to be a very light grind; just "skin" the surface.

Also, DavidS made a really good suggestion regarding shortening the valve stems to compensate for the valve grind. All the cam-follower "buckets" are going to be too thick and I'll have get all new buckets. (I did pass on DavidS's suggestion about shortening the stem to compensate the grind, we'll see what happens with that. There is a cost benefit analysis to be done: time and labor measuring the change, and grinding the stem, versus the time and expense of measuring for and purchasing new buckets.)
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post #48 of 87 Old Dec 18th, 2014, 9:05 am
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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Lapping: Makes sense to me. Some things are a matter of degree. It would seem to me that small imperfections could be corrected with a light lapping. I can appreciate how more aggressive lapping would create the "lip" that DavidS referred to. ------------------------
As I stated in one of my posts about lapping, Good shops that use any lapping at all only use fine compound, and just enough to insure the valve is seating all the way around by looking at the gray pattern produced, never to correct any bad seating pattern. Even better shops will use bluing, not lapping compound.

In any case, valve should be ground only the smallest amount necessary to clean up the surface, which is usually only a few thousandths. If burned deep enough to cause the valve edge to get too thin when grinding, then yes, replace the valve.

That price for valves is pretty insane! I have replaced a few auto valves in the past, usually just a few bucks apiece. But I have not done that for over 20 years now.

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post #49 of 87 Old Dec 18th, 2014, 12:25 pm
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Re: Cylinder head and piston removal

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As I stated in one of my posts about lapping, Good shops that use any lapping at all only use fine compound, and just enough to insure the valve is seating all the way around by looking at the gray pattern produced, never to correct any bad seating pattern. Even better shops will use bluing, not lapping compound.

In any case, valve should be ground only the smallest amount necessary to clean up the surface, which is usually only a few thousandths. If burned deep enough to cause the valve edge to get too thin when grinding, then yes, replace the valve.

That price for valves is pretty insane! I have replaced a few auto valves in the past, usually just a few bucks apiece. But I have not done that for over 20 years now.
I think I stated that too David (clean up and checking with bluing). That is how I do it, and have done it for over 45 years of building engines. This is also why I do leak down tests instead of compression testing. The leak down test will identify where to look for issues in the combustion chamber. Compression testing just does not give enough information.

As far as oil consumption is concerned it could be valve stem seals on the intakes (a lot of residue on the valves and stems would be evident). Oil rings are usually as good as the compression rings unless there is a reason for failure like a massive overheat or running very low on oil. Leaking is the next issue and if it hasn't dripped on the ground or blown out top (breather hoses) it could only go out through the rear seal. There should be evidence at the engine rear housing if that were the case (they are not that well sealed).

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post #50 of 87 Old Dec 18th, 2014, 5:42 pm
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Re: Pitted exhaust valves

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
After cleaning them up, removing carbon deposits, I found the intake valve and seats in good shape.

The exhaust seats were good, but the exhaust valves were pitted. When inspected before cleaning, the mating surface of the exhaust valves looked smooth, but mottled; the pits were filled with carbon deposits. The compression before tear down was good; it won't be anymore if I don't do something about the exhaust valves.

After cleaning, the exhaust valves are clearly badly pitted.
The service manual says lap them or replace them. Lapping isn't going to fix these.

At $115 each...Ouch!

:
Perhaps a low mileage salvage motor is the ticket. You could get one for the price of a set of Exhaust valves.

Pete Murray
IBA # 359 and
2014 RT
1973 R75/5
2002 LT 171 K Gone
2008 FJR 36 K Gone
Stroudsburg, PA
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