Author Topic: Tik tik tik in UCE  (Read 487 times)

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grey pegasus

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on: March 16, 2021, 11:39:04 am
The common C5 user will know what I am talking about – the tik-tik-tik sound of the UCE. There are many videos available at YouTube, especially from India, dealing with this problem. It is a very common issue and of course, my C5 is affected, too.

I bought the bike new from a local dealer and after about 300 kilometers   the ticking and annoying sound started.  No problem – a warranty issue I thought. However, the dealer was not amused by the plan to have to deal with it. “That is a normal sound and all C5’s have it. No reason to worry. I will not do anything against it.”  Moreover, even the RE sales manager the factory sent was not concerned. “All C5’s have it …… .“ Sounds very familiar.
To make a long story short I started myself to look what is about the annoying sound. May be, there is no reason for worrying as “all C5 have it”, but there must be a specific reason why this sound appeared after a very short time. 

Well, there may be a number reasons as you can learn from the YouTube videos and I checked all the parts affected, changed a lot of parts, but with no positive results concerning the ticking sound.  A trustful dealer (no, not my local one!) told me that they were never able to locate the source of the sound and some C5's are running like a clockwork while others like a sewing machine.  It sounds like I own one of the old mechanical sewing machines. 

Not very satisfying being not able to find the source of the annoying sound. It was clear that it comes from the valve train in the cylinder head. (No, not what you are thinking now. I already checked and exchanged what you have in mind. Believe me! ) 
“All C5 have it” is not a reason to accept it, so I made more intense investigations of the problem – and found the reason. It was none of the already  ones published by a lot of people, but a new one. Obviously, no one recognized this problem before. Therefore, I decided to discuss it here.
I will not explain here what efforts were already made to fix the problem by changing some parts and modifying other ones to make the UCE more reliable. I will deal here only with the rockers and their surroundings. Different other aspects you may find in other topics, other forums or in future in this place.

The rocker arms have an axial play in the rocker bearings and are traveling back and forth when the engine is running. It is not much. I measured a tenth of a millimeter, but with the time in will increase as the rocker arm made of steel rubs on the side surfaces of the rocker bearings made of aluminum. When the engine is cold and the oil is viscous the thick oil reduces the axial movement, but the axial movement increases when the oil becomes hot and thin. When the rocker moves in an axially wayand hits the side surfaces of the bearings, the ticking sound is generated. You may simmulate it by holding the rocker bearing in one hand and with the other one you move the rocker arm back and forth.

It is no good idea to have steel rubbing on aluminum and I would like to know which incompetent engineer thought that up. 

How can we fix it ?  Well, we have to reduce the axial play and prevent such play in future. I made a mounting plate for the rocker bearings and milled them to increase the axial play to about two tenth of a millimeter.  Yes – I increased the play by shorting the bearings a little bit – on tenth of a millimeter.
I intended to put thrust washers on each end of the rocker axle. As the thrust washers are available in a thickness of minimal 0.1 mm (and in +0.1 mm steps increasing) and my plan was to put one of them at each end of the rocker axle I had to have at least a play of 0.2 mm in total.  If it is more, no problem as I can choose a thicker thrust washer to compensate the play.  So far, it should work. However, we have a small problem as the rocker arms and the rocker axle are made from one solid piece of metal and we cannot get a thrust washer on the axle easily.   

We can!  I cut the thin thrust washer with a pair of scissors so they have slot on their outer perimeter. We carefully can twist the thrust washer in a way that we can fit it on the rocker axle. Put a good amount of oil in the bearing parts. With a thrust washer on each end of the axle carefully place the rocker arm in the bottom part of the two-part bearing with the slot in the thrust washer in the down position (6 o’clock).  Be careful when placing the top part of the bearing on the bottom one not to damage the thin thrust washer. When all is done correctly, there will be no more axial play for the rocker arms. If there is play left, measure the play with a feeler gauge and exchange the thrust washer(s) to appropriate one(s). There should be no signs of friction and the rocker arms have to move smoothly, but do not show an excessive axial play (up to  0.05 mm should be fine. Thoroughly check for the smooth movement. If the rockers do not turn smoothly you may chose thinner thrust washers. This is an try-and- error approach but worth to do it correctly.

The rocker arms will now have a guide of steel and will not rub on the aluminum at the side surfaces of the rocker bearings. As there is a steady oil flow from the bearings, the thrust washers are lubricated very well and will not wear-out easily. In future, you may be able exchange the thrust washers quickly if necessary, but I doubt it will be necessary.

After adding the thrust washers to the rocker arms, the annoying ticking sound has gone, even with a hot engine.
Mission accomplished.  Needless to say that I used the opportunity to add O-rings to the bottom side of the rocker bearings to ensure a leak free joint between the cylinder head and the rocker bearings. A little bit of milling was necessary, but no big matter.
Sometimes it is better to give the impression of incompetence by remaining silent than to finally dispel any doubts about it by talking
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Richard230

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Reply #1 on: March 16, 2021, 01:36:11 pm
And here I was going to recommend dumping a pint can of STP thickener into the sump to get rid of your noise.   ::)  No doubt you have come up with a more permanent solution. BTW, no tik, tik, tik, noise from my 2011 Bullet - unless I forget to soak a new oil filter with fresh oil before starting the engine up after an oil change. Then I hear, "bang, bang, bang", for the first few seconds.  :-[

Having owned several BMW air heads in the past, it was always said that hearing a "tick, tick, tick" sound was a good thing as it told you that your valve clearances were not too tight.  ;)
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ace.cafe

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Reply #2 on: March 16, 2021, 01:40:54 pm
Is there sufficient space remaining for the oil to exit the bearing and oil the valves?
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grey pegasus

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Reply #3 on: March 16, 2021, 02:25:26 pm
Yes, I know the sound of the BMW's valves as I had some BMW's in the far past. We do not have to think about valve clearances, as the UCE is equipped with hydraulic lifters (which can produce some noise if they are working not properly).

The jet holes where the oils is squirting out towards the valve stems are not affected by the thrust washers.  Inside the bearings, there is a groove where the oil can collect and flow out of the bearing. The cut in the thrust washer will allow the oil to well out of the bearing. When the engine is running, you can see a constant oil flow out of the bearing as without the thrust washer installed. The amount of oil flowing through a slide bearing is not as important as the pressure of the oil inside of the bearing.
Sometimes it is better to give the impression of incompetence by remaining silent than to finally dispel any doubts about it by talking
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ace.cafe

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Reply #4 on: March 16, 2021, 03:17:31 pm
Good.

I understand about the bearing lubrication aspect, but the amount flowing out lubricates and cools the valve and springs, so I wanted to ask about that part.
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grey pegasus

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Reply #5 on: March 16, 2021, 06:06:55 pm
To get an impression how much oil is fed to the cylinder head you may run the engine with the valve covers removed. The main amount of oil is supplied by the two nozzles in each of the valve bearing blocks to the tip ends of the rocker arms and the valve stems. The amount pouring out of the bearings is much smaller than this. But as already statet, the slot in the thrust washer will  allow the oil to leave the bearing unhindered.
Sometimes it is better to give the impression of incompetence by remaining silent than to finally dispel any doubts about it by talking
(Abraham Lincoln)


Haggis

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Reply #6 on: March 16, 2021, 08:56:36 pm
Having just done the top end on my 2017 C5 euro3. There was zero side play on the rocker arms in the mounting blocks. One can only guess that its down to quality control?
Off route, recalculate?


grey pegasus

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Reply #7 on: March 17, 2021, 02:09:03 pm
What a fascinating thought that RE could possibly have a quality control .....
Sometimes it is better to give the impression of incompetence by remaining silent than to finally dispel any doubts about it by talking
(Abraham Lincoln)


grey pegasus

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Reply #8 on: March 19, 2021, 07:19:56 am
Some pictures
Sometimes it is better to give the impression of incompetence by remaining silent than to finally dispel any doubts about it by talking
(Abraham Lincoln)


Karl Fenn

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Reply #9 on: April 01, 2021, 09:30:08 pm
Good lord l used that STP in my rattler of a spite fire in the 70s, sill eventually knocked the crank out, do the still make it?


suitcasejefferson

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Reply #10 on: April 03, 2021, 09:26:53 am
My 2013 B5 Bullet, converted to an Amal carburetor and with an aftermarket exhaust, which now has just over 14K MILES on it has never made any sound I didn't like, or expect, from a 1950s British designed engine. The only thing I have to compare it to is my former 1966 Triumph Bonneville. I don't remember it making any noises that I considered unusual or that bothered me. The C5 uses the exact same engine (as far as I know) as my B5. I bought the B5 because it looked more like the old Iron Barrel models, which is what I originally wanted, when I first decided to buy an Enfield, 10 years before I actually got one. I even removed the rubber inserts from the fins, and that didn't change anything. The only thing I can think of is the hydraulic valve lifters. I have heard MANY cars that made a ticking or clicking noise because the valve lifters leaked a tiny bit, but they still ran fine. I use Mobil 1 20w50 full synthetic oil, also known as "v twin" oil. The old school long stroke 500 single needs a heavy oil. The bearings really take a pounding, and thicker oil has a much stronger film strength. It might also be good for the lifters.

Has anyone had an engine fail because of this noise?
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Ove

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Reply #11 on: April 06, 2021, 10:57:35 pm
My bullet ticks, but I'd say it's the quietest motor I own. In town, I've started to check before I change gear on my Harley, after the loud clank made a child dive for cover. That's an unpleasant racket.  :-\