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Need some experienced ears

Discussion in 'Griso-Bella Chat & Tech' started by ChappyBoffins, May 25, 2017.

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  1. ChappyBoffins

    ChappyBoffins Just got it firing!

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    Hello all!
    Wondering if anyone might be able to give me some advice about my 2012 Griso. My bike started making a slightly off engine sound while riding. I recorded a short dash video so you can hear it.



    It's subtle but definitely not the normal healthy running sound. Most apparent around 1:13 seconds when i first set off and rev it up. The off "snappy" sound is paralleling the RPMs.

    Need some guidance here on what might be causing this. Visually the bike looks normal, nothing leaking, nothing missing (that i can tell). The exhaust header bolts (on both sides) were a bit loose but I tightened them down before taking the video.

    Please keep in mind I'm not much good at fixing my own machine and currently do not have a good space to take things apart. I have some basic tools but I'd much rather take it to professional. Which brings me to issue #2. I'm newly moved to Rhode Island, anyone have a service center in the area they recommend? Had Sloan's in Murfreesboro, TN and was spoiled. Not much around the new area. I've heard good things about Razee's down in North Kingstown and they are a Moto Guzzi Dealer, just not sure about service.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. scottmastrocinque

    scottmastrocinque Scott Mastrocinque GT Famiglia

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    Please, what is the VIN number of your motorcycle? If you can, also get the date of manufacturer on the VIN plate on the bike. Both will give us valuable information so I can answer your question.
     
  3. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    Has it been rollerized?
     
  4. scottmastrocinque

    scottmastrocinque Scott Mastrocinque GT Famiglia

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    Hello Paul,

    So I checked on our registry page, and you gave your information there which is very helpful.

    "Hello My Name is Paul and I live in Middle TN. This past march I was lucky enough to snatch up my dream bike, a 2012 Griso 8V SE in Tenni Green (VIN#ZGULSU029CM111401) from Sloan's in Murfreesboro, TN. I'm it's second owner and I plan on keeping this bike until the end of time. I really could not be happier."

    So, I'm Scott and I genuinely want to help you. In order to do this, I am assuming from your previous posts which I went and read, that you are a rider, not a mechanic. I can respect and appreciate that, however you need to understand fully the situation you may now be in, so I will break it down for you here in a way that I hope you can understand.

    I am almost certain that kiwi dave's question of "Has it been rollerized?" means absolutely nothing to you. This doesn't surprise me because most of us were exactly the same with regard to this issue.

    Even here, in the excellent GuzziTech forums, you would have to read multiple posts, with multiple conflicting information, from multiple authors, and even then, you still would have a hard time understanding what exactly is going on, I know I did and I've been wrenching on motorcycles for 40 years, so let me give you some helpful information, here in one single post, to educate you on a potentially serious problem with your motorcycle, so you will understand.

    BEFORE WE GET STARTED, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THIS

    Nobody can perfectly diagnose a motorcycle issue fully and competently via a description and a sound clip over the internet. Experienced individuals may be able to narrow the issue down, and even have a strong opinion about what the problem is, but there is no substitute for actually being able to touch, and listen to a motorcycle which is right in front of you.

    Having clarified this point, in my opinion, based upon very limited information, this issue which I am about to explain, may be your problem.

    I am not saying that your motorcycle has this problem but rather, that I believe it is a prime candidate for this issue, and that the best and final definitive diagnosis will have to come from your local Moto Guzzi certified mechanic.

    So, here is the situation:

    • The valvetrain (valves and associated components) is basically the part of the motor which controls the movement of the air and fuel mixture "charge" during intake, to be allowed into the cylinder, trapping it there during the compression phase, and the power stroke, and then during the exhaust phase, allowing the burnt hot waste gases out of the cylinder to be passed into the exhaust pipes to be expelled out into the atmosphere.

    [​IMG]

    • All of the Moto Guzzi 1200 8V engines manufactured prior to mid year production in 2012, have a potential serious issue with the valvetrain.

    • This problem is due to an engineering design flaw in the choice of materials used in the construction of the valve train on all of these affected engines.

    • This design flaw was not known until after the motorcycles were already sold and into the hands of customers. It took time for it to begin to appear on different motorcycles.

    • Not every Moto Guzzi 1200 8V engine has exhibited this problem yet. Some motorcycles have many miles on them without any issue, while others have relatively low mileage and have developed the issue. Because this is not a universal guaranteed failure, and no injuries have occurred due to it, there is no formal recall by Moto Guzzi for this particular problem. However, it is the concerted opinion of the majority of competent mechanics and many educated owners, that failure is only a matter of time; that in essence, the affected valve train is a proverbial "ticking time bomb". I happen to be one of the people who is convinced of this problem and its eventual manifestation in all affected Moto Guzzi 1200 8V engines at some point in time.

    • Since this issue was discovered by customers, dealers and mechanics and subsequently reported to Moto Guzzi, the company, without admitting any wrong-doing, changed the way the valve train is constructed.


    As a matter of goodwill, Moto Guzzi has previously followed this protocol with regard to repairs to affected motorcycles.

    Motorcycles which have a dealer confirmed problem, and for which the customer can demonstrate a complete service history being performed solely at authorized dealers, have received free of charge, both the parts and labor to convert the affected engines to effectively the same design as the new designed engines.​

    Motorcycles which have a dealer confirmed problem, but for which the customers cannot demonstrate a complete dealer service history being performed, have been provided the conversion kit parts free of charge, and have had to either pay for a mechanic to install the parts, or if they are highly skilled, they have installed them by themselves.

    Motorcycles which have exhibited no problem, have received nothing as Moto Guzzi's official position is "if there is no problem, then there is no problem".

    Moto Guzzi believes that use of any oil in the 1200 V8 engine, other than the factory specified oil, has been the proximate cause of any and all valvetrain damage, and this is why they will only pay the entire repair bill if a dealer has performed all services and this can be verified.

    Now, so you will understand the nomenclature used here:

    • All 1200 8V engines manufactured before the implemented design change, are called "flat tappet" engines while all 1200 8V engines manufactured after the implemented design change, are called "roller" engines. This term relates to the type of valvetrain that the particular engine has in it which I will explain in a moment.

    • Furthermore, engines with the implemented design change come in two varieties, "rollerized" engines (an engine which has been updated with the kit to repair the defective design), and "factory roller" engines (indicating an engine which was produced at the Moto Guzzi factory after the implemented design change).

    • As you might expect, "factory roller" engines have no problem at all.

    According to Piaggio, motorcycles produced after these specific Serial Numbers / Production Dates, have the implemented design change valve train, and are "roller" engines.

    Model - Engine Designation - Last 5 Digits of Serial Number - Date of Production

    Stelvio - AC - After AC12596 - 03/12/2012
    Griso - A8 - After 13524 - 04/12/2012
    Norge - AA - After 12214 - 04/18/2012


    Your Griso VIN is ZGULSU029CM111401 so your engine is most definitely a "flat tappet" engine.


    What exactly is the problem?


    "Flat tappet" refers to the early production 1200 8V engines only. What they are talking about is what type of surface is the contact point between the camshaft lobe and the lifter (a.k.a. a "tappet").

    The 1200 V8 engine uses a "cam in the head" design to operate the valves. This is a generic camshaft, not the Moto Guzzi one. On it, you can see the round "bearings" which allow the camshaft to spin, and the cam "lobes", the oblong shaped parts that when the camshaft rotates on its axis, that lobe will have a low spot which rotates to a high spot, and then back down to a low spot over and over again:

    Motorcycle-Camshaft-For-font-b-Bajaj-b-font-font-b-Pulsar-b-font-Spare-Parts.jpg


    A general picture of how a camshaft presses a tappet, which moves a pushrod which presses a rocker arm which opens and closes a valve is here. As the camshaft rotates, the lobe presses against the tappet which will move in and out with the shape of the cam lobe. This motion is transmitted through the components to open and close the valves, controlling the movement of gases:



    Pushrod2.PNG


    In "flat tappet" engines, the cam lobe rides directly against the face of the tappet. This is the original Moto Guzzi design that has the problem. In "roller" tappet engines, there is a rolling bearing, which rotates around as it presses against the camshaft, thereby the two surfaces glide smoothly against each other. Here is a drawing showing the basic difference:

    flat vs roller.jpg


    OK, now that you understand what I am going to talk about here, let's get to the heart of the problem!

    In the Moto Guzzi 1200 8V flat tappet engine, the camshaft lobe runs directly on the tappet face itself, which had an anodized black coating put on it called DLC "Diamond like Carbon Coating". This coating is an exceptional coating traditionally used on high end components like fork tube suspensions on superbikes like GSXR's etc, because is protects the fork tube sliders and makes for excellent smooth movement of the fork leg. It is also used on internal engine parts including camshafts and even tappets and it is an excellent coating for what it was designed for but as with anything, there are varying degrees of quality and Super High Quality DLC is an expensive process.

    However, whomever Moto Guzzi contracted with to make their particular DLC coatings, did a poor job because, in this particular instance within the Moto Guzzi 1200 8V engine, as an internal engine part coating on the flat tappets, which are subjected to the high speed and high heat abrasian of a uncoated yet hardened cam lobe riding directly against it, it quite frankly, sucked. One surface eventually ends up destroying the other.


    Here are some examples of DLC coated engine parts (not Moto Guzzi parts):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]





    Moto Guzzi engineers believed that with the proper oil with specific wear resistance additives, their coating would be very durable. Unfortunately. the coatings fail, leaving a hardened cam lobe riding upon a softer steel tappet face, and behold, the tappet faces started to wear!


    This is what the wear looks like in the Moto Guzzi 1200 8V engine. You can see the coating obliterated from the lower tappet face, and beginning to fail on the upper tappet face, and that same location on the tappet faces, is precisely where the camshaft lobes rides against the tappets:

    [​IMG]


    When this DLC coating failure happens, the valve train will continue to wear and this wear will accelerate as the face becomes more and more beat up and marred, until the point where the cam will start to slowly disintegrate from riding (but literally banging) on this rough beat up surface. It will slowly and steadily get NOISY progressing to very NOISY over time as things are whirring fast in there and surfaces that are not perfect, that collide against each other, become more damaged, and the distance between the two material faces increases, and this increased distance makes a lot of bad banging sounds.


    Now...

    A roller engine has the flat tappet modified with a rolling bearing face that is now the contact point with the camshafft lobe. This rolling bearing is the same hardness as the camshaft and the DLC coating was deleted. So now, there is no more problem.

    Furthermore, oil is forced under pressure into this area and the two surfaces ride against each other with a super fine hydraulic coating of oil between the surfaces and the roller bearing relieves the friction between the two surfaces so there is no appreciable wear on either. Again, problem solved!


    This is my personal 2012 Moto Guzzi 1200 8V Stelvio NTX engine with the valve cover removed. It is a factory roller engine. You can see the rollers at the top of the engine, inside those two round holes. The silver metal roller bearing in the roller tappet is running horizontal and you can see it, especially in the zoomed in picture:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    So,

    For engines like yours, Moto Guzzi has created different "kits" based upon which Engine Designation you have. I provide this table to you as an overview and visual, however, your dealer should check the VIN in the Piaggio database which will give the correct kit:


    [​IMG]


    This is a kit which one of the GuzziTech members purchased while he was in Italy. This is why he also has the cool logos and stickers!

    If I remember correctly, he was going to "rollerize" his engine even though he had experienced no failure yet. So, he was proactively doing this conversion, and Moto Guzzi will not pay for proactive repairs:

    [​IMG]



    Still with me? Good. Almost done.

    So, based upon your VIN number, and your audio tape, I believe but cannot be absolutely certain, that your engine is experiencing this DLC / flat tappet failure and that the sound you are hearing is an indication of this. If I am correct, the sound will only get louder over time.

    Unfortunately, you cannot actually see the tappet faces (like in the earlier photo above) unless the camshaft box assembly is removed. You will need a mechanic for this. The good news is that if you have perfect service records, then you will be fixed for free, of this I am certain. Otherwise, you will have to pay the labor to repair it which still, isn't a bad deal from Moto Guzzi.

    The 1200 8V engine is an awesome engine but it is picky and I recommend that you always use the factory recommended oil which you can get online. Just Google "Eni 4T 10W-60"

    [​IMG]


    I know this was a lot to read and digest, but I have shared with you everything you need to know to make an informed decision about this. Please get your bike to your mechanic ASAP and have it checked and hopefully repaired.

    If you have another question Paul, let me know.

    Best wishes!

    Scott
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  5. ChappyBoffins

    ChappyBoffins Just got it firing!

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    Wow, Scott thank you so much for this amazing reply. Holy cow that was epically informative.

    I’m the second owner and up to this point all my service was done at Sloan’s in Murfreesboro, TN (also where I purchased the bike used) and I’ve kept every scrap of paper relating to it in a file. To my knowledge the first owner bought this bike new from Sloan’s, rode it for 2 years, then traded it in. Unfortunately I’m now living over a 1,000 miles away from there but I might still be able to contact Sloan’s and see if they can provide proof of full life service. It's possible owner #1 already had this conversion performed, if so that would help to know. If not and it is still the original flat tappet design, it might cost me less to get repaired.

    I’m going to try and get my Griso down to my local MG dealer (Razee’s) to have them look into this. Extremely awesome to have all this information going in. That was way more info than I could have ever hoped for, again thanks so much Scott, you really went above and beyond here. Once I’m through this I’ll post a recap and let you know how everything went.

    Thanks again Scott (and kiwi dave)!!
    - P
     
  6. scottmastrocinque

    scottmastrocinque Scott Mastrocinque GT Famiglia

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    You are very welcome Paul. I'm very glad you found it helpful.

    I truly hope Sloan's has a complete service history on your bike, because then you are "home free" in the clear and Moto Guzzi will pony up both parts and labor for you, if this is indeed your issue.

    Good Luck!

    Scott
     
  7. RightD

    RightD Just got it firing!

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    FWIW... Although I had all of my service records, the dealer that performed my rollerization did not need them.

    According to the service writer, since all of the relevant maintenance had been performed by a MG dealer, MG could see it as part of the vehicle history in their system.

    You may be okay either way.

    - RightD
     
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  8. scottmastrocinque

    scottmastrocinque Scott Mastrocinque GT Famiglia

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    Again, I learn something new everyday!

    Thanks RightD!
     
  9. Raven

    Raven High Miler GT Famiglia

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    The VIN on my 2012 Norge is 12216 just 2 numbers away from the 12214 starting point for rollers. Now that is too close for comfort.
     
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  10. Radiator

    Radiator Just got it firing!

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    This is simply an awesome post, and I am very glad to have come across it as I am considering possibly picking up a used Norge, or perhaps some other Guzzi. Just wanted to add my thanks here.
     
  11. Godfrey

    Godfrey High Miler GT Famiglia

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    Nicely done, Scott! Glad someone awakened this older post ... Although it might never happen, I have been fascinated by the Griso since I first saw one last year and could see my way to buying one at some point. :D
     
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  12. Adam Davis

    Adam Davis Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    Just cool how you stepped up and got the info you needed here on this forum. A response no less.

    Mine is a 13 1200 Griso so I lucked out I suppose in regards to my model year I purchased. More importantly, given a wealth of info in regards to quirks of the machine. It is a blast to work on it and learn something new along the way.
     
  13. Adam Davis

    Adam Davis Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    Hello Scott,

    May have indicator of flat tappet failure on left cylinder on my bike. I am cutting it close on the numbers could they have put a bad cam set in my Griso?

    I originally made diagnosis of two possibilities of tack tack noise and overheating.
    Current total miles 15,569
    1. Oil breakdown at 5,106 miles on oil. AGIP 10W-60 oil was very non viscous and black with real dark purple undertone color. Oil was ready to change for sure. Also 300 miles of that oil was Tail of the dragon, N.C. HIGH rev miles.....
    2. Loose spark plug. I may have undertorqued when checking clearances upon return of trip from mountains.

    Be aware that the tapping noise started and continued last 100 miles here at home. Sometimes quieting down after heated up. Also same cylinder side header came loose and the gaskets at the mid point of exaust came loose and deformed. After i noticed that i immediatly stopped riding and dropped oil and started troubleshooting ect........

    Help any one, cause I'd rather not get into the motor deeper than lash area if replacement situation by Guzzi is accommodated.

    Thank you sir for helping us all.....

    Attatching photos of vin/dates and motor number.... 20180909_203929.jpg 20180909_203855.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  14. Adam Davis

    Adam Davis Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    Help any high level Guzzists.....?

    RE: Possible bad roller set....see my reply on Paul's original forum post.
    " Need some experienced ears"

    Thank you
     
  15. scottmastrocinque

    scottmastrocinque Scott Mastrocinque GT Famiglia

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    Hi,

    Sorry but I haven't been around here lately. I sincerely doubt that you have a non-factory roller engine. I would recommend you take the bike to a competent local Moto Guzzi mechanic and let him hear it. From your limited description to me, I suspect you just need to check and reset the clearances on the valves - in essence, a major service.

    Let me know if you have another question.

    Good Luck!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
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  16. V700Steve

    V700Steve High Miler GT di Razza Pura

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    I have not seen any bad roller tappets. You say you set them 100mi ago, I would go back and reset them again. AND when you set them, spin motor and recheck while it's apart. I always recheck after rolling motor over a few.
     
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  17. Adam Davis

    Adam Davis Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    Found and fixed problem and it's not a non factory roller system. TY
     
  18. Adam Davis

    Adam Davis Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    Nor was it oil breakdown or loose spark plug. I will be donating to forum soon in future. These motors have do' s and dont's unlike any other internal combustion motors I've seen.
     
  19. Trout

    Trout GT Reference

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    Suspenseful music plays.......
     
  20. Adam Davis

    Adam Davis Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    Lol. Can't wait to ride with you Trout man. Lotsa typing trying to avoid. Plus, exhaust parts and oil kit arriving today, finally. Vroooom!
     

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