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  1. #1
    Very Active Member KX5062's Avatar
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    Default Cam chain tensioner problem?

    I've noticed over time several people have posted comments that their 1330 Spyders sounded like "someone shaking a can of washers" upon start up. I've not noticed anyone posting anything about what is causing that symptom or possible fixes.

    Well, my 2014 RT is starting to do this too. It started a few months ago, but seems to be getting worse. (I haven't been riding it much during the winter, but spring is almost upon us.) It is intermittent with no discernible pattern, doing it with a cold engine and sometimes it'll do it with a hot engine also. It will last a split second or two, or sometimes will go on for up to as long as about 30 seconds. But, then other times nothing and it sounds like a new bike. Either way the noise does go away and it always runs flawlessly without any codes showing. From my motorcycle background it appears to be a failing cam chain tensioner. From what I can see the 1330 uses a hydraulic pressurized tensioner using the oil pressure to apply tension with a spring assist. In certain motorcycles their tensioners are known to fail and need replacement early and often, so this is not an unheard of problem.

    Anyone have any insight or further information???
    2014 RT SE6

    Previously 2008 GS SM5



  2. #2
    Very Active Member Chupaca's Avatar
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    Default Very possible...

    Have heard the grumblings but never a solution. Thoughts were clutch, gears etc. Having worked on bikes those tensioners caused a lot of problems but were adjustable. Then they went to the self adjusting and not much you could do. Some models had an inspection bolt that you could remove and insert a rod to put pressure on them and see if they were operating properly. Don't guess they do that anymore. May be a mechanic stethescope could get you in the area....
    Gene and Ilana De Laney
    Mt. Helix, California

    ​2012 RS sm5

  3. #3
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    Default Mine does this too

    My 2014 RTS does the same thing periodically, especially after setting all winter...Then mine usually won't do it again until it sets another winter...Mine will do it several times after setting all winter but it seems to go away when I start using it regularly...

    I thought it sounded like maybe the starter sprag/clutch was staying engaged and when the engine started the one way clutch in the starter was making the noise...(like at ratchet turning the free wheeling way)

    Your description of shaking washer in a metal can is right on...

    I talked to my dealer about it last spring and they said they have no other complaints like I was describing...

    I too would be interested if anyone else has experienced the problem and if anyone has a definite cause cure or fix...

    larryd
    Last edited by larryd; 03-26-2018 at 11:29 AM.

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Ex-Rocket's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KX5062 View Post
    I've noticed over time several people have posted comments that their 1330 Spyders sounded like "someone shaking a can of washers" upon start up. I've not noticed anyone posting anything about what is causing that symptom or possible fixes.

    Well, my 2014 RT is starting to do this too. It started a few months ago, but seems to be getting worse. (I haven't been riding it much during the winter, but spring is almost upon us.) It is intermittent with no discernible pattern, doing it with a cold engine and sometimes it'll do it with a hot engine also. It will last a split second or two, or sometimes will go on for up to as long as about 30 seconds. But, then other times nothing and it sounds like a new bike. Either way the noise does go away and it always runs flawlessly without any codes showing. From my motorcycle background it appears to be a failing cam chain tensioner. From what I can see the 1330 uses a hydraulic pressurized tensioner using the oil pressure to apply tension with a spring assist. In certain motorcycles their tensioners are known to fail and need replacement early and often, so this is not an unheard of problem.

    Anyone have any insight or further information???

    How many miles do you have on your Spyder? I haven't noticed it on my 2015 RTS with 22,000 miles but I used to have a 2006 Triumph Rocket and they had problems with their cam chain tensioners.

  5. #5
    Very Active Member JayBros's Avatar
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    Default

    I haven't heard of any tensioner problems; have 36K+ on mine, running like a clock. Do you have a B.E.S.T. warranty? If so, get it to a dealer.
    Artillery lends dignity to what would
    otherwise be a vulgar brawl.
    ******************************
    Cognac 2014 RT-S

  6. #6
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    Default I had the same issue.....

    My 2014 RTS SE6 did the same thing. Did it twice when I had about 10/12k miles on it. Reminded me of a severe pinging noise. Took it to the dealer and was told that's what it could have been, pre-detonation, but more likely a fuel pump going bad. Anyway it's never happened again, but it was dam scary when it did happen.

  7. #7
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    Default Noise

    Quote Originally Posted by larryd View Post
    My 2014 RTS does the same thing periodically, especially after setting all winter...Then mine usually won't do it again until it sets another winter...Mine will do it several times after setting all winter but it seems to go away when I start using it regularly...

    I thought it sounded like maybe the starter sprag/clutch was staying engaged and when the engine started the one way clutch in the starter was making the noise...(like at ratchet turning the free wheeling way)

    Your description of shaking washer in a metal can is right on...

    I talked to my dealer about it last spring and they said they have no other complaints like I was describing...

    I too would be interested if anyone else has experienced the problem and if anyone has a definite cause cure or fix...

    larryd

    Another Note: The noise on mine would usually continue as long as I left it idle after starting..The noise would immediately stop the instant you touched the throttle and raise the RPM's...That is why I was thinking starter drive???

  8. #8
    Active Member Buckeye Chuck 54's Avatar
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    Default My 2 cents

    Been a gear head all my life, overhauled car engines and many motorcycle engines
    as well.
    These 1330 ACE engines are a marvel of engineering. Know why the valves don't need adjusting?
    They're hydraulic. The camshaft has a lobe that pushes a lifter, like a car engine, that lifter is adjustable,
    it adjusts when it gets filled with oil. Then that expanded lifter pushes a rocker arm, working the valves.

    As soon as the throttle is applied the lifters get the pressure and they expand, the valve clearance
    is reduced, noise gone. Our Hyundai has the same valve and lifter set up. When started cold this
    engine rattles for a couple seconds then stops. I think the oil in the hydraulic lifters drains out
    when the engine stops overnight causing them to collapse some. Upon start up the lifters are then
    pressurized and expand. It has nothing to do with the timing chain or adjusting it. As I said,
    these engines are the most automotive advanced engine in motorcycling. BMW engines last
    hundreds of thousands of miles, but they all need the valves adjusted occasionally.
    They don't have hydraulic lifters. Instead they have a rocker arm riding directly off the camshaft.
    My 2014 1330 ACE SE6 has almost 150,000 MILES on it. I have no doubt it will last another 150,000.
    MY engine sounds and runs just like it did when I rode it off the lot June 6th 2014.
    Just keep good oil in it and ryde!!
    My 2 cents worth.
    Chuck

    Quote Originally Posted by larryd View Post
    Another Note: The noise on mine would usually continue as long as I left it idle after starting..The noise would immediately stop the instant you touched the throttle and raise the RPM's...That is why I was thinking starter drive???

  9. #9
    Very Active Member KX5062's Avatar
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    Default

    To answer the questions posed.

    My bike has a little over 42k miles and it is a fairly recent occurrence. Yes, I do have the BEST warranty. However, being a gearhead type I would prefer to diagnose and fix it myself. However, I do have a conundrum. I don't have a whole lot of free time (or desire right now) to do a major repair, but I also have little faith in the mechanics at any dealership. My local Spyder dealer is new and just picked up the line mid-year last year. Spyders have been a VERY slow seller with this dealership and one of the employees told us privately the owner is already thinking of dropping the line due to slow sales and lack of factory dealer support. (Supposedly Can Am is changing their district sales and support staff like most of us change socks. Not good if true.) Side note: the next closet dealer did drop Spyders last year after the aforementioned problems, after carrying the line almost from the beginning.

    I feel fairly certain it's the cam chain tensioner just because I've owned motorcycles that have had problems with the tensioner and they sounded like this one. I've also had problems with a motorcycle sprag clutch on the starter gears and it sounded different.

    My understanding of how the cam chain tensioner works is similar to the valves and I believe they are supposed to maintain oil pressure when sitting, which I think is what's going on with the tensioner, it's losing oil pressure.

    Whatever the case, it started slowly and very infrequently and the noise went away almost immediately. However, as the miles go on the noise is more frequent and lasts longer, getting worse. I don't like odd noises and I sure don't like letting things go only to find it worse and more expensive to fix.
    2014 RT SE6

    Previously 2008 GS SM5



  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye Chuck 54 View Post
    Been a gear head all my life, overhauled car engines and many motorcycle engines
    as well.
    These 1330 ACE engines are a marvel of engineering. Know why the valves don't need adjusting?
    They're hydraulic. The camshaft has a lobe that pushes a lifter, like a car engine, that lifter is adjustable,
    it adjusts when it gets filled with oil. Then that expanded lifter pushes a rocker arm, working the valves.

    As soon as the throttle is applied the lifters get the pressure and they expand, the valve clearance
    is reduced, noise gone. Our Hyundai has the same valve and lifter set up. When started cold this
    engine rattles for a couple seconds then stops. I think the oil in the hydraulic lifters drains out
    when the engine stops overnight causing them to collapse some. Upon start up the lifters are then
    pressurized and expand. It has nothing to do with the timing chain or adjusting it. As I said,
    these engines are the most automotive advanced engine in motorcycling. BMW engines last
    hundreds of thousands of miles, but they all need the valves adjusted occasionally.
    They don't have hydraulic lifters. Instead they have a rocker arm riding directly off the camshaft.
    My 2014 1330 ACE SE6 has almost 150,000 MILES on it. I have no doubt it will last another 150,000.
    MY engine sounds and runs just like it did when I rode it off the lot June 6th 2014.
    Just keep good oil in it and ryde!!
    My 2 cents worth.
    Chuck
    What brand and WT. Oil do you use?.

  11. #11
    Active Member Buckeye Chuck 54's Avatar
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    Default Oil brand

    I started out using the BRP recommended oil. XPE is it? I forgot.
    I thought it was good enough and the general manager of the dealer said
    I'd never have any issues with it. However it's a synthetic blend, half synthetic
    and half conventional. I ran the XPE for 100,000 miles.
    Now I use Amsoil, it's fully synthetic. I've used it in all the bikes I've owned
    in the last 15 years. I think there's no better oil made.
    My RT-S engine sounds just like it did when it was new.

    I read on this thread about how noisy the engine is. Take all the tupperware
    off and listen how much more noisy it is! It does sound like a diesel.
    Chuck



    Quote Originally Posted by bluep View Post
    What brand and WT. Oil do you use?.

  12. #12
    Very Active Member KX5062's Avatar
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    Hmm. I can't say mine ever sounded or sounds like a diesel. However, as a former Triumph triple owner it does have that lovely triple cylinder noise that is quite unique. To many (including me) think this sound is very attractive and unquestionably unique.
    2014 RT SE6

    Previously 2008 GS SM5



  13. #13
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    I have a 2014 rts 18000 milesthat had the same rattle at startup then one day it steered misfiring. The cams had jumped time the tensioner were so loose. Get the rattle on startup fixed before you have an expensive repair.

  14. #14
    Active Member Jetfixer's Avatar
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    The service manual has a procedure for removing and checking the tensioner. This tensioner is very similar to hydraulic valve lifter. It is oil charged and very hard to compress when working properly, but easy to compress when not properly holding the oil charge. The tensioner is the first thing listed to be checked when there are abnormal noises or vibrations from the engine.

  15. #15
    Very Active Member KX5062's Avatar
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    I have the service manual and pulling the tensioner is fairly involved and requires a special tool. After posting my original stuff I went out and bought the replacement parts, but not the crank holding tool. I was preparing to do the job when it basically stopped making the noise. Go figure. It still does it, however, it's not all that often now for whatever reason(s). I'm keeping my eye (ear) on it and when it starts getting obnoxious I'll do it.
    2014 RT SE6

    Previously 2008 GS SM5



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