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March 25th, 2015, 11:16 PM   #1
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I Ride: 2005 FE550
Worn Cam?

2005 FE550. 3rd owner, 358 hours, 13000km, unsure when it was last rebuilt, or ever. Iím getting lots of metal sludge and shavings on my drain plug magnet and Iím trying to track down the source.

The plug in the picture is after 1.8 hours (fresh oil) and thereís quite a bit of stuff on it. The largest chunk was 2.5-3mm long and was super thin, so it didnít seem like it came from a blunt force trauma.



I inspected the top end and the follower bearings seemed OK. They turned freely and I couldnít feel any radial play (by hand).
CFBs:


The cam looked OK to the eye, but the close-up photos are actually showing a lot more pitting and wear than I noticed in person. Still, nothing as bad as other examples of ďcam failureĒ that Iíve seen. The profile was still intact and looked OK at arms length.

Does the cam (especially the intake) look worn enough to cause metal sludge and shavings in the oil? OR should I start looking further down into the engine? (I know, if the cam is really worn, the bottom end likely will be too)

Intake:


Exhaust:


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March 25th, 2015, 11:36 PM   #2
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There's surely more qualified people than me on this forum and they'll probably chime in at some point but to me this cam should be replaced because the top - hardened surface is worn. From this point to a total cam failure there are only a couple of hours of riding, maybe not even that much.

Also, I don't think that the cam is the cause of that much metal shavings on the plug.

M.
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March 26th, 2015, 12:41 AM   #3
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Oil on the magnetic plug looks like efter 18h not 1,8h.
What oil do you use?
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March 26th, 2015, 12:59 AM   #4
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your shim may well be off the starter clutch so if you are getting a whizzing noise when you press the button then this is more likely it.

if not , it will be a crank shim.

the cam can be cleaned by an engineer AND no lose of performance as they do a base grind as well. when you fit it again make every effort to push the cam to the back for more load bearing area. the CFB should be changed at the same time as the cam is changed/done.

Taffy
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March 26th, 2015, 09:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by hacker33 View Post
Oil on the magnetic plug looks like efter 18h not 1,8h.
What oil do you use?
I was using Motul 5100 and this is with Bel Ray EXS. I'm not prepared to blame the oil as I'm sure there are other factors at play.

Something else worth mentioning (although embarrasing) is I drowned the bike in a puddle in the fall. The water was not clean and got into the oil. I flushed throughly with at least 4 oil changes (cheap oil) so I was satisfied that the engine was clean, but I could be wrong about that. I rode it once more after that (new oil, 2 hours, similar metal sludge on magent), changed the oil/filter and this is the latest after 1.8Hr.

Originally Posted by Taffy View Post
your shim may well be off the starter clutch so if you are getting a whizzing noise when you press the button then this is more likely it.

if not , it will be a crank shim.

the cam can be cleaned by an engineer AND no lose of performance as they do a base grind as well. when you fit it again make every effort to push the cam to the back for more load bearing area. the CFB should be changed at the same time as the cam is changed/done.

Taffy
I'll pull the side cover tonight and see what I can find behind the starter gear.

Taffy, when you are talking about the crank shim, is that the same as the thrust washer? They are only $1 so it will be a cheap fix! (I kidd...)

Do they need to harden the cam after removing material?

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March 26th, 2015, 10:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by KentJ View Post
I was using Motul 5100 and this is with Bel Ray EXS. I'm not prepared to blame the oil as I'm sure there are other factors at play.

Something else worth mentioning (although embarrasing) is I drowned the bike in a puddle in the fall. The water was not clean and got into the oil. I flushed throughly with at least 4 oil changes (cheap oil) so I was satisfied that the engine was clean, but I could be wrong about that. I rode it once more after that (new oil, 2 hours, similar metal sludge on magent), changed the oil/filter and this is the latest after 1.8Hr.
From an engineering standpoint, the water in the oil would have no effect on the pittng / loss of carburization. This might cause parts to become rusty if the bike sits for a long while, but the heat of the oil should cause any water to become vapour and escape through the crankcase vent. I suppose if the water vapour settled in the head, and the bike sat, then the water could cause the cams to ozidize (casuing pitting eventually), but I find that hard to believe since all parts should have at least a film of oil.
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March 26th, 2015, 10:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jmscrttndn View Post
From an engineering standpoint, the water in the oil would have no effect on the pittng / loss of carburization. This might cause parts to become rusty if the bike sits for a long while, but the heat of the oil should cause any water to become vapour and escape through the crankcase vent. I suppose if the water vapour settled in the head, and the bike sat, then the water could cause the cams to ozidize (casuing pitting eventually), but I find that hard to believe since all parts should have at least a film of oil.
The water part was OK I think. BUT, it was muddy water...
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March 27th, 2015, 12:17 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by KentJ View Post
I'll pull the side cover tonight and see what I can find behind the starter gear.

Taffy, when you are talking about the crank shim, is that the same as the thrust washer? They are only $1 so it will be a cheap fix! (I kidd...)

Do they need to harden the cam after removing material?

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phew!
1) well if it is not behind the starter gear it means nothing because you don't know whether there were any shims there before you even started!

that is why i asked about pressing the button! if you lose a shim it will defo whizzz all the time.

3) no, if you did, I would have said. in all honesty there are enough used cams out there not to have to worry about a repair. short as it is long I reckon.

regards

Taffy
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March 27th, 2015, 01:00 AM   #9
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FWIW a new cam is currently $130 US from munn
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March 27th, 2015, 11:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bushmechanic View Post
FWIW a new cam is currently $130 US from munn
How long ago was that they show $164 now unless I'm looking at the wrong part # ?
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