Think I have issues

Ok here's the story. Bike has been (and still is running great). Last weekend I changed my oil. I was at 650 miles, so I decided to change it before a weekend of riding. Usually change it between 500 and 800 miles. Went riding Saturday and all was great. Sunday I went out for another ride and noticed that my top end was rattling more than usual (bike has always been pretty quiet as far as DRZ's go). Did some research and had a hunch it was the auto decompressioner. (Im running Hot Cams from 2006 with about 11k on them). I figured I would pull the valve cover and check the exhaust cam and valve clearances. The valves are is spec according to Hot Cams specs. The auto decompressioner had a lot of side to side play and probably 1/32+ of rotational play. It was very loose in all aspects. I decided it was time to remove it, so I did. Put the bike back together and went for a ride. The majority of the noise went away, and it sounds pretty DRZ ish now, but it still has a slight rattle/knocking noise that historically wasn't present in the bike. It's not the cam chain, I can loosen the mcct and get the can of rocks sound, and make that noise go away by tightening the mcct. The rattle/knock is most present above idle, maybe 2000 to 3000 RPM, then seems to quiet down above that. I decided to change my oil again today just to inspect it (has been 250 miles since the last change) and the oil had tiny sparkling particles in it and on the magnetic drain plug. I filled it back up and started it for a second to see if I could pinpoint the sound. It seems to be coming from the head, but is not very loud at all. To be honest I'm not positive is any louder than it has ever been because now I'm trying to hear noises, so I may be convincing myself that the noises are more than they are. This doesn't explain the glitter in the oil though. Is it possible that the particles are from the loose auto decompressioner?

Here's a little info on the bike:

'06 sm with roughly 13k on it.

Installed hot cams at around 2k miles

Installed a 95mm cylinder with weisco high comp piston, and FCR at around 2k miles

MRD exhaust

What do you guys think may be going on? I'll probably pull the head and cylinder this week and see if anything obvious is going on. Assuming everything looks ok, should I replace the piston and rings while I'm in there? Any other advise, comments?

. This doesn't explain the glitter in the oil though. Is it possible that the particles are from the loose auto decompressioner?

Not likely if you changed the oil after getting rid of the auto decomp. If the particles are sticking to the magnetic drain plug, they have to be steel. There's not that many things in the top end that will generate steel glitter, The bottom end on the other hand...

Most often, bright glittery looking oil is aluminum. I know you had the exhaust cam out and would have noticed if the cam journals in the head were galled. How about the intake cam? Cut the oil filter open and spread it out for additional clues.

Had both cams out and everything was perfect. Removed valve buckets, and no issues were apparent.

Did to maybe overtightened the cam's?

Did to maybe overtightened the cam's?

Possible, but I doubt it. Can't fit a torque wrench in there, but for 7ft lbs I go finger tight + 1/8 to 1/4 turn. Very little pressure. I thought that may have been a possibility so I opened it back up and pulled the cams and inspected. Everything looks perfect.

you know the noises of your bike better than the next guy, i would go with your gut. a NEW amount of glitter vs what you're used to seeing is usually a clue that something is wearing:

 

clutch steels ? 

a transmission bearing ? 

cylinder ?

cam journals ? 

water pump

oil pump ? 

 

you've already inspected the cams/ cam journals, so i'd bet it's one of the others listed. if you are planning to pull the cylinder, i would wait until i had gaskets and rings to install. the piston is usually a long wearing item if the engine is oiling like it should. 

Yeah, think I'm gonna order up some gaskets. Either way it's never a bad thing having a spare set. Going to pull the side covers tonight and see if I can find anything.

It sure sounds like the head, but sounds can be misleading. I'll try to eliminate the clutch and stator sides before I pull the cylinder and head.

I would be pretty surprised if it's in the bottom end/crank area.

I've got to figure it out soon because I'm not going to ride it until I figure this out and summer weather won't last forever.

Was thinking (hoping) that the glitter may have come from removing the ADC from the exhaust cam. It's possible that when I cut it off with the dremel that cutting debris got into the oil passage of the cam. I did wash/dry the cam and hit it with compressed air before reinstalling it, but I suppose there could have been debris caked in the passage that survived the cleaning process. Probably wishful thinking though.

Ok here's the story. Bike has been (and still is running great). Last weekend I changed my oil. I was at 650 miles, so I decided to change it before a weekend of riding. Usually change it between 500 and 800 miles. Went riding Saturday and all was great. Sunday I went out for another ride and noticed that my top end was rattling more than usual (bike has always been pretty quiet as far as DRZ's go). Did some research and had a hunch it was the auto decompressioner. (Im running Hot Cams from 2006 with about 11k on them). I figured I would pull the valve cover and check the exhaust cam and valve clearances. The valves are is spec according to Hot Cams specs. The auto decompressioner had a lot of side to side play and probably 1/32+ of rotational play. It was very loose in all aspects. I decided it was time to remove it, so I did. Put the bike back together and went for a ride. The majority of the noise went away, and it sounds pretty DRZ ish now, but it still has a slight rattle/knocking noise that historically wasn't present in the bike. It's not the cam chain, I can loosen the mcct and get the can of rocks sound, and make that noise go away by tightening the mcct. The rattle/knock is most present above idle, maybe 2000 to 3000 RPM, then seems to quiet down above that. I decided to change my oil again today just to inspect it (has been 250 miles since the last change) and the oil had tiny sparkling particles in it and on the magnetic drain plug. I filled it back up and started it for a second to see if I could pinpoint the sound. It seems to be coming from the head, but is not very loud at all. To be honest I'm not positive is any louder than it has ever been because now I'm trying to hear noises, so I may be convincing myself that the noises are more than they are. This doesn't explain the glitter in the oil though. Is it possible that the particles are from the loose auto decompressioner?

Here's a little info on the bike:

'06 sm with roughly 13k on it.

Installed hot cams at around 2k miles

Installed a 95mm cylinder with weisco high comp piston, and FCR at around 2k miles

MRD exhaust

What do you guys think may be going on? I'll probably pull the head and cylinder this week and see if anything obvious is going on. Assuming everything looks ok, should I replace the piston and rings while I'm in there? Any other advise, comments?

Hey 128, my bike has the same noise you describe with yours, off idle and goes away above 4k, with some glitter in the filter. I'll be interested to here what comes of yours. Mine I'm going to wait a couple of oil changes to see how it goes, if the noise gets louder or more glitter. As long as the engine doesn't have a rod knock I'm just going to monitor it.

If you find anything, for sure let us know.

Edited by bucket list

I will keep you updated. I'm thinking a new cam chain may be in order. I'm certain that the noise is in the head area, and from what I can tell so far everything looks good.

IMO aluminum pieces have more of a silver grey appearance and lack the glitter look.  the steel particles will retain that shiny glittery look as evidenced by the particles sticking to your drain plug magnet.

 

certainly some of those particles could have come from the ADC removal, i would pay attention to the noises and at least drain and check the oil in ~250 more miles....

Ok. Update time. Well I replaced the cam chain, and the noise was still present. I removed the cylinder and found that I have a fair amount of play on the big end of the connecting rod. Cylinder looks perfect, and the piston skirt has a little bit of scoring. Now it's time for me to decide what my next steps will be. I will replace the piston/rings with the same setup I am running now (weisco 94.5mm 12.5/1). Now, what to do about the crank. I am tempted to go stroker, but I'm not sure if I want to put any money into the head. Everything in the heads looks to be in pristine condition. The bike has 13,500 miles on it now. What is recommended in order to run a stroker crank as far as the valvetrain? I should probably just put in a HotRods stock crank and be done with it, but the extra grunt is tempting. Any advise is welcome.

 Dam, i was hoping that wasn't going to be the case. I just finished PMing Radtech because he has run his in three different configurations, BB/stroker, just BB and stock. He liked the full BB/stroker even with stock head, cam and carb. Because it added torque and didn't require reving as high to get the same power. He got 60k miles out of his BB/stroker.  But if you have all the breathing (cam,pipe,carb) and love to rev it high and run it hard, i wouldn't expect alot of life out of it.

 

I may be taking mine apart sooner than i'd hoped. If my next oil change produces more of the same glitter as last one, i'll be going in for exploritory surgery.

Yeah, I'm kind of bummed. I did find that the cam chain was stretched quite a bit. I was really hoping that would solve the problem. I guess I'm lucky that I dug into it before it gave out and became a real problem. I guess after 13k you get pretty familiar with the sound your bike makes. I knew something wasn't right, but to be honest the noise was not that bad. At times I wasn't sure if I was hearing something because I was trying to hear something. Kind of psyched myself out. I was shocked to find as much play in the crank as I did. I thought it would have been MUCH louder for the amount of play that was found.

What type of play did you find, up and down, side to side, rocking?

Didn't get a chance to measure yet. I pretty much checked up and down and once I realized it wasn't going back together I cleaned up and called it a night. I will spend some time after work measuring. Up and down is worst than side to side from what I can tell though. Up and down is visible. At TDC I would guess between 1/32 and 1/64 of an inch.

Ouch !!! even 1/64th is alot. I know theres spec's for rocking and side to side, but i don't believe there should be any up and down on a roller brg.

I know you said (like mine) the engine was fairly quiet accelerating between 4&6k rpm, which is amazing if you have that much play.

With only 13k miles on you bike though, you must either run it hard or just have a bad one.

What are you leaning toward for replacement? Or you waiting to asses what it all looks like after the tear down?

Right now I'm trying to decide whether to go with a stroker crank or standard. If I go stock I need to figure cost of replacement vs buying a low mileage used bottom end. Kind of thinking about picking up a used bottom end and then building a stroker with wide ratio gears out of my current bottom end over time. Decisions decisions.

Thats kind of interesting, but your sort of rolling the dice on a used bottom end. Why don't you just throw the stroker and wide-ratio in now?

Really not wanting to drop that kind of money right now.

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