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08 RMZ450 Cylr head Cam Journal wear, Help!!!

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I'm new on here so i'll tell you a little about myself and my bike. I am a licenced Truck and Coach Technician of 13 years, I work for Metro Freightliner in Ontario Canada. I have been riding bikes since I was 11 yrs old and learned to work on bikes and cars when I was 13, owned a 87 KX80 since 91-96, bought a 01 RM125 new and sold it in 08(needed the cash). I bought my 08 RMZ450 in Oct of 2010 from the original owner. He said the bottom end cases had been updated by Suzuki in Japan before he bought it. When I bought it, the topend had just been replaced due to cylinder head damage to both cam shaft journals, the previous owner replaced the Piston, valves, cams, head, cylinder, gaskets, rings... Everything from the tranny up, he purchased it from a eBay seller in Markham who had it as a back-up engine for his race bike. He said it was brand new parts, assembled then run for an hour to break it in, and then crated. It didn't even look like it had been run, when he received it, it looked and still looks brand new even to this day on the bike. when I bought the bike from him he said he hadn't even broke in the new stuff yet and it had fresh motul oil and filter in it. I believe him and his info, we have become friends since I bought the bike and don't feel as though he is withholding any info from me. I use Amsoil and first after breaking in the top end after 2 hrs of 1/2 to 3/4 throttle, then changed the oil again after 6 hrs and it's now due for an oil change again, that's why i pulled the top end to check the valve train cause the note of the engine changed the last time I was out on it. As much as I would love to ride it all day all weekend long in reality I'm lucky if I can get 3 hrs of riding in on it at one time, and I only rode it 4 times before winter and only 3 times this spring, so i would say conservatively it only has approximately 15 hrs on it since I bought it.

The bad news:banghead:, last night I checked the valve clearance and it was out a little, after rotating the engine to the timing marks I measured valve clearance then removed the cams to spec the shims and looks like the Head and Cam caps are starting to gall again, it's in the initial stage and I'm in the process of looking to see if a machine shop can possibly machine the journal slightly larger to possibly fabricate a brass or at least a replaceable bearing/bushing of some kind in there to avoid this problem down the road, I would rather replace a small bearing/bushing as a maintenance item, say once a year for preventative maintainance or in the event of a failure. However I am begining to suspect that there may be a oil pressure or flow/lubrication issue that he may have missed when he replaced the parts last time.

My question is has any one else heard of or had issues with the head cam journals or oiling issues on these bikes of this year? Is there any machine shops capable of fixing the journals or is there a aftermarket company that sells upgraded heads etc? Any info or help you guys have would be greatly appreciated, much thx, Roost.

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I have the same bike and I also use AMSOIL which I change with filter every 5 hrs. I have 31 hrs. on bike and I have not had any issues. The RMZ 450 is a pretty solid bike. Maybe something wasn't done correctly on the rebuild. Keep us up to date with your findings.

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I have the same bike and I also use AMSOIL which I change with filter every 5 hrs. I have 31 hrs. on bike and I have not had any issues. The RMZ 450 is a pretty solid bike. Maybe something wasn't done correctly on the rebuild. Keep us up to date with your findings.

Thanks for the reply NSF3537, I agree with you, these bikes are solid all around which is why I bought it, I'm agree with you on the possibility of something being overlooked or installed wrong with the build. I've been conversing with Ken, the guy I bought the bike from and this is the message i just sent him, he was asking me about the sound it made cause he said there was no noise when he had problems with it, it just became difficult to start.

"When i say the note changed, i'm referring to the light tapping sound the valve train makes at higher rpm's coasting under no load, though some sound is normal, the last time i rode, the sound got more noticeable and i just assumed the valves had seated, when i measured the cam/tappet clearance the intakes were tight [ i measured 0.038mm on both valves (spec is 0.090-0.160mm)] and the exhaust was just slightly in excess [i measured 0.279mm on one valve and 0.254mm on the other (spec is 0.170-0.240mm)] . Cams seem to be ok, but will at the very least need polishing, there isn't any metal transfer yet but the cam journals are shiny where the galling has started, as much as i'd love to save some cash right now and clean up the journals in the head and journal cap, i've made peace with the fact that if i can't machine the journals back to 100% with a bushing i'd feel a lot better with a new head and avoid this problem again, but before i fix the head i have to find the root cause of the problem. After dinner i'm gonna go out to the garage and check out both oil pumps and both strainer screens, i'm keeping my fingers crossed that i find something wrong there that will explain the wear, cause in my search on the net, i haven't noticed anyone experiencing this problem, so i doubt that it is design-related as far as the head goes and i'm leaning more towards a lubrication issue just due to my experience with failure analysis with engines(both auto and bike related) in the past and 9 times out of 10, when a bearing or journal fails in this manner it's lacking lube, i'm hoping to find an issue with oil pump #1 since the cams are on that circuit. Pump #2 feeds the trans so i doubt i'll find a problem there."

By the way, on a different note, how is your bike when it comes to cold or hot starts? Mine was ok hot but difficult cold, prob due the the valves being way out as stated in the quote above, thx, Roost.

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Ok so I found the problem, shit from the last time the head wore out must have gotten missed and went though the engine and destroyed the oil pumps and bottom end cases, in the pics below you can see the junk on the strainers and scoring and wear to the cases and gerotor oil pump gears, basically the topend starved of oil due to internal leakage in both pumps. At this point I think it's safe to say that this engine just became a parts engine(if anything in there is still useable) and my fastest/cheapest route is to find a near-new 09 or newer engine, anybody know where I can find one that doesn't cost $1700 bucks, just a shame. . .

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Man I'm starting to miss 2 Strokes, my old bike gave me 8 years of trouble free service besides the obvious maintainance stuff. 01 RM125, that thing was awesome.

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Edited by Roost_abuse
spelling/gramer

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Wow, I'm sorry to hear about this. something like that is my biggest nightmare with the the bike. My bike takes about 8 to 10 kicks cold to start and I was told that it is due to the charging coil or something like that. Once started, starts during the day 1 or 2 kicks and the same with hot start. Had valve clearence checked at 25 hrs. and were still in spec. Every time I change my oil, (5 hrs.) I change oil filter and also check the screen on ignition side. I stick a magnet in there and have not had any metal shavings knock on wood. I think that was a freak thing that happen to you. I've seen brand new 09 RMZ 450 engines on ebay for $2200 to $2500 no hrs. That is not a bad deal, since I've heard stories of engine rebuilds costing over $3000.00. I could never rebuild one of these, a 2 stroke yes but not a 4 stroke. You seem to have the ability to rebuild, so in parts it may only run you between $1000 and $1500. Good luck with it.

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On another note, how do you like the acerbis seat. I was considering getting one. They look cool but I don't know anyone that has one.

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On another note, how do you like the acerbis seat. I was considering getting one. They look cool but I don't know anyone that has one.

I haven't actually rode on it yet, but i did set it on the bike a couple days ago, it looks awesome and fits the contours of the bike better than stock in my opinion, just as furm as stock but curved more side to side, the edges where the blue and black of the seatcover seam meet are uncomfortable to me, after about 3-4 hrs of aggressive riding my ass has had enough, the X-seat seems much more comfortable, when I get the bike running again:ride: i'll let you know how it works under fire so to speak.

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You seem to have the ability to rebuild, so in parts it may only run you between $1000 and $1500. Good luck with it.

As far as the engine is concerned I could never have 100% faith in the engine after this, i don't want to patch it along with a little wear here and there, i would prefer to have the confidence in it to run the Dakar Rally, figuratively speaking, and i'll only get that with parts and components with no wear. I found a used 09 engine on ebay for $1500 and a brand new one for $2500, i'd prefer the new one so i'm selling my cavalier that i'm not driving any more, should be able to get $1500 for it cert and etest.

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Thanks for the seat info and good luck with the rebuild or new engine purchase. Let us know how you make out.

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hey

Do you know what the rubber came from thats on your strainer? the reason i ask is a while ago i found the same stuff on mine but never found out where it came from :smirk:

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hey

Do you know what the rubber came from thats on your strainer? the reason i ask is a while ago i found the same stuff on mine but never found out where it came from :smirk:

I believe it is material from the gaskets, the case and side cover gaskets are steel coated with some kind of fiber or paper. At lease thats what seems to be on my strainer, if yours hase rubber on it, you may be into a totally different problem that mine.

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Good news, I just ordered my replacement engine today, should be in on thursday and back up and running:ride: by the weekend. 100% brand new:banana:, never kicked 09 RMZ 450 engine.:smirk:

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Good deal, a lot of money, but cheaper then a total rebuild unless you did all the work. It will also be nice to have a back up engine. With proper maint., you should get a lot of life out of this new engine. I think you had a lemon before, rebuild not done correctly. I think these are great all around bikes, and when the time comes I will buy a new engine or rebuild this one because I'm very happy with this bike. I'm not a pro rider and no need to buy new bikes all of the time. Good luck Roost abuse.

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Good deal, a lot of money, but cheaper then a total rebuild unless you did all the work. It will also be nice to have a back up engine. With proper maint., you should get a lot of life out of this new engine. I think you had a lemon before, rebuild not done correctly. I think these are great all around bikes, and when the time comes I will buy a new engine or rebuild this one because I'm very happy with this bike. I'm not a pro rider and no need to buy new bikes all of the time. Good luck Roost abuse.

:cheers:Dude I couldn't agree with you more, now I have a fresh slate to work with. With proper break-in and diligent preventive maintainance I should get years of service from this machine. I bought my last bike (2001 RM125) brand new and pounded that thing for 8 years but always did the maintainance and it never let me down, I'm confident that this bike should do the same.

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Well, got the calf'd engine out, now for cleanup of components to be re-installed and prob give the suspention a cleaning and re-grease, waiting on dealer for a couple gaskets to complete the transplant, will keep posted, I lost my digital camera on the weekend so pics to follow once the camera is replaced.

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Finally on the mend, bike is near completion, some minor details to work out, more picks and info to come.

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