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General Category >> Rubber Side Down! >> Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
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Message started by KwakNut on 01/19/08 at 04:56:42

Title: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by KwakNut on 01/19/08 at 04:56:42

I bought this bike very cheap (£250, about $480) because it had a bit of a tapping sound at the top end, and a lot of the alloy and chrome was pitted due to neglect, it had the wrong front mudguard, the tank and side panels have been badly aerosol sprayed and the rear fender has been brush painted.
That aside, it had good tyres and brakes and had just passed its annual MOT (a UK legal road safety test).
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Ls650Savage1.jpg

It was tapping and I suspected that could be the cam chain problem, so I bought it and rode it a couple of miles home on a dark and rainy night.  It seemed to be running just fine, but these things really don’t have any power for a 650, do they?

Anyway, yesterday I started to worry when I got the bike up on the lift and drained the oil – there was nothing showing in the sight glass and maybe a pint came out, not 1.8 litres.  This could be bad – what kind of muppet doesn’t put oil in his bike???

Stripping the bike I found the cam tensioner was out by maybe half an inch – I’ll weld on the mod but that wasn’t the problem.  I was also delighted with the state of the bore, the honing looks like new and everything is good and tight.  However, when I looked closer at the bits I took off, I found these:
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Followersshagged1.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Camshaggedex.jpg
I guess that's what you can expect when you don't put oil in a bike - at least the bore and bottom end were oiled and ok.  The exhaust cam and follower are worn down by nearly a mm each, and the inlet lobe is chipped too – you can see the scuffs on the inlet follower.  Time to find somebody who’s dismantling a good motor – I dread to think what a new cam and followers would be from a dealer.

While it's apart I'll port the head (the exhaust side is horribly restrictive) and I’ll put before and after pictures up later today.  I was also thinking of skimming the head or barrel to up the compression a little, but while there’s about 4mm of free cylinder above the piston to play with, the valves protrude all the way in when open, and I don’t want to start recessing a standard cast piston in case it weakens it too much.  Anybody know how much you can skim off these before you have to recess?

Main jet was already a 155, the needle spacer is long gone and the slow screw was 2 ¾ out.  I’ll keep that as it is until I’ve tried running her with ported head and freeflow filter, then see what she runs like.

I can see the restrictive nature of the exhaust too – I priced up a Raask header over here in the UK and they’re £140 for the 50mm slash-cut custom pipe and £180 for the 60mm drag pipe.  I’m just wanting the one with the 1.5” internal bore, like this which was posted on here:
Can anybody confirm which Raask system has the 1.5" ID?
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Raaskvsstdexhaustheaders.jpg




Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by azjay on 01/19/08 at 06:20:47

good catch! you caught that thing prior to complete engine failure, i think the sight glass is the dumbest thing in whole world  >:(

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by Savage_Greg on 01/19/08 at 06:31:59

Confirm?  That's my photo and pipe.

Man, those rockers are really bad.  I bet the valves weren't adjusted correctly either.  Just shows what someone can do to a bike without having a manual (hate to think they actually had one).

Get a new cam shaft from Lancer...I did.

What do the bearing journals look like in the headcover?

At least it has a fork brace :P

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by KwakNut on 01/19/08 at 08:16:36

Yes, I borrowed the photo from another post on here, still need to know which of the Raask pipes was in the photo - was it the 50mm custom with slash cut tail or the 60mm drag with straight cut tail?

If I can’t find a good used cam I may try Lancer for one of his.  The cheapest I can get a factory cam new is £95 plus carriage, plus about £82 for the rocker arms which are also toast.

The guy actually had an original Suzuki workshop manual - but didn't think to check his oil level, even when the engine was getting noisy.

Cam bearing journals are okay, not a mark on them - which is lucky on a head with no cam shells!

As for the fork brace, it’s come off and it’s staying off.  The guy who had this bike really should be shot if he ever goes near a toolbox again.  The brace was a bodged from something to fit another bike, and the resulting mess was held together by 4 little short M6 cap heads – about as stiff as a banana – and he’d ‘custom fit’ it to the LS’s forks by taking a Dremel or something to the inside of the brace sleeves – producing a fit that was out of round by nearly a mm, and he’d compensated by wrapping blue electrical tape round the forks before clamping it all together.  I’ve never seen such a shoddy piece of workmanship before on a bike.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/MicronBrace1.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Micronbrace2.jpg


So, it’s brace off – I quite like the cleaner look without it, and to be honest I enjoy scratching on a tricked-up ZX12-R so all I want from this bike is something to pootle around on locally, don’t really care if it handles as long as I have enough power to get past cars round town.

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by YonuhAdisi on 01/19/08 at 09:22:46


1D21373D182322560 wrote:
I bought this bike very cheap (£250, about $480) because it had a bit of a tapping sound at the top end, and a lot of the alloy and chrome was pitted due to neglect, it had the wrong front mudguard, the tank and side panels have been badly aerosol sprayed and the rear fender has been brush painted.
That aside, it had good tyres and brakes and had just passed its annual MOT (a UK legal road safety test).
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Ls650Savage1.jpg

It was tapping and I suspected that could be the cam chain problem, so I bought it and rode it a couple of miles home on a dark and rainy night.  It seemed to be running just fine, but these things really don’t have any power for a 650, do they?



Actually these Savages have quite a bit of power, but you have probably already realized that the lack of power from yours was due to the mangled cam and followers.

When working properly you can almost snap your head off of your neck when taking off too hard.  ;) ;)

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by LANCER on 01/19/08 at 09:34:24

I just sent some camshafts off this past week to be reworked into some fine power & torque producing works of art, and as of today I have one that is not called for.

I may also have a set of used but usable rocker arms (followers) that would work for you.  If you got the Performance Camshaft I would throw in the followers for just a small stack of coins.

Let me know if you have an interest.

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by KwakNut on 01/19/08 at 09:36:51


5D6B6A716C45606D776D040 wrote:
Actually these Savages have quite a bit of power, but you have probably already realized that the lack of power from yours was due to the mangled cam and followers.

When working properly you can almost snap your head off of your neck when taking off too hard.  ;) ;)

I've tried a couple of others that are running fine, and thought they were really flat too.

My other bikes are a 1986 ZL1000 Eliminator running stage3 filters and dynojet, which will out-drag most sports bikes to about 75, and a ZX12-R with nitrous that puts out around 250bhp at the crank and over 200bhp through the back wheel.

30bhp just isn’t enough - I don't see how any bike with less than 100bhp can be a neck-snapper even with low gearing.  I’ve recently had a GasGas 400 enduro and a KTM 450, both of which produce about 45bhp, and they’re not that quick, but the poor old Savage is positively slow.

I’m afraid I do find the Savages to be very under-powered – but they’re still cute!  

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by KwakNut on 01/19/08 at 18:28:53


606D626F697E3E3B0C0 wrote:
I just sent some camshafts off this past week to be reworked into some fine power & torque producing works of art, and as of today I have one that is not called for.

I may also have a set of used but usable rocker arms (followers) that would work for you.  If you got the Performance Camshaft I would throw in the followers for just a small stack of coins.

Let me know if you have an interest.
Just sorted a deal with Lancer  - this guy is a star!!

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by KwakNut on 01/19/08 at 20:08:56

Okay, here we go - before and after shots of porting, just stage 1 stuff with standard valve sizes, nothing radical.
The information below is intended as guidance for the novice to reassure those not familiar with motorcycle maintenance that it's not really all that difficult to port a head - the experts will know more than this, I'm not trying to teach grandma to suck eggs!

Inlet port  
The inlet port is actually pretty good as it comes, it's not a restriction on the motor excpet for the really silly protruding screw coming through the ceiling - maybe not on all bikes!:
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Inletportbeforeafter.jpg


Exhaust port  
The most work is here.  I was amazed at how restrictive this port is - it has to be a deliberate design to keep the power down to levels required for certain European and Japanese license categories.  Let's fix it!! :
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Exhaustportbeforeandafter.jpg


Chamber  
With standard valve sizes, the key is blending the ridge between valve seat and port (they can be BIG steps), and de-shrouding the valve recesses (get rid of sharp edges, but don't remove too much material or you can drop the compression ratio a little).  Watch those valve seats - one 'doh' with a grinder or sand wheel and you'll be hours grinding the valve in deep enought to cover your error!!:
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Chamberbeforeafter.jpg

Inlet manifold
Don't forget the misalignment of the inlet - and the same will apply to the neck of your exhaust.  Just make a template and trim the plastic/rubber to suit.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Inletmanafter2.jpg


Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by YonuhAdisi on 01/19/08 at 20:46:57


64584E44615A5B2F0 wrote:
[quote author=5D6B6A716C45606D776D040 link=1200747403/0#4 date=1200763366]Actually these Savages have quite a bit of power, but you have probably already realized that the lack of power from yours was due to the mangled cam and followers.

When working properly you can almost snap your head off of your neck when taking off too hard.  ;) ;)

I've tried a couple of others that are running fine, and thought they were really flat too.

My other bikes are a 1986 ZL1000 Eliminator running stage3 filters and dynojet, which will out-drag most sports bikes to about 75, and a ZX12-R with nitrous that puts out around 250bhp at the crank and over 200bhp through the back wheel.

30bhp just isn’t enough - I don't see how any bike with less than 100bhp can be a neck-snapper even with low gearing.  I’ve recently had a GasGas 400 enduro and a KTM 450, both of which produce about 45bhp, and they’re not that quick, but the poor old Savage is positively slow.

I’m afraid I do find the Savages to be very under-powered – but they’re still cute!  
[/quote]

After being used to the power of those bike set-ups, no wonder you believe the Savage is underpowered  ;) . You're right, they are cute.  ;D

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by Savage_Greg on 01/20/08 at 06:07:37


2A16000A2F1415610 wrote:
Yes, I borrowed the photo from another post on here, still need to know which of the Raask pipes was in the photo - was it the 50mm custom with slash cut tail or the 60mm drag with straight cut tail?

If I can’t find a good used cam I may try Lancer for one of his.  The cheapest I can get a factory cam new is £95 plus carriage, plus about £82 for the rocker arms which are also toast.

The guy actually had an original Suzuki workshop manual - but didn't think to check his oil level, even when the engine was getting noisy.

Cam bearing journals are okay, not a mark on them - which is lucky on a head with no cam shells!

As for the fork brace, it’s come off and it’s staying off.  The guy who had this bike really should be shot if he ever goes near a toolbox again.  The brace was a bodged from something to fit another bike, and the resulting mess was held together by 4 little short M6 cap heads – about as stiff as a banana – and he’d ‘custom fit’ it to the LS’s forks by taking a Dremel or something to the inside of the brace sleeves – producing a fit that was out of round by nearly a mm, and he’d compensated by wrapping blue electrical tape round the forks before clamping it all together.  I’ve never seen such a shoddy piece of workmanship before on a bike.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/MicronBrace1.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Micronbrace2.jpg


So, it’s brace off – I quite like the cleaner look without it, and to be honest I enjoy scratching on a tricked-up ZX12-R so all I want from this bike is something to pootle around on locally, don’t really care if it handles as long as I have enough power to get past cars round town.

Still need to know?  Geez man.  If you do a little looking around you'll find that Raask is only making the 60MM pipe, but you can order the straight or slash cut.

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by KwakNut on 01/20/08 at 06:14:57


7045525068010207370 wrote:
Still need to know?  Geez man.  If you do a little looking around you'll find that Raask is only making the 60MM pipe, but you can order the straight or slash cut.

Thanks for that - rest assured I'd been doing a LOT of looking around.
The retailers in the UK are quoting both as available, and the Raask website shows both.
I'll try again speaking with one of the retailers.

Still trying to confirm inside diameters of the Raask 50/60mm pipes - anybody know???

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by KwakNut on 02/04/08 at 14:33:18

Latest step in the renovation.  Should have taken a shot before I started - they were pretty furry.

Looking better now!

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/LSpolishedcases1.jpg

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by Savage_Greg on 02/05/08 at 15:51:35

How did you get that good polish on those covers?  Are they clearcoated?

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by KwakNut on 02/08/08 at 10:42:06


6154434179101316260 wrote:
How did you get that good polish on those covers?  Are they clearcoated?
Just old fashioned 8 inch buffing wheels and course/medium/fine polishing soaps.  A whole lot quicker than going down the 400/800/1200 grade wet'n'dry work.  I like to finish with Alu Belgom and a soft rag - I think that's the best metal polish for the finishing touch, seems a bit finer than most of the others.
I don't like coating the alloy when polished - too much risk that it will chip/peel/discolour and look worse than ever.  I just lightly buff it with metal polish every few weeks once it's done, just a half hour job to go over the whole bike, and a good excuse to crack open a beer or two.
Belgom has some wax in it, so when you've polished there is some protection against moisture, but I always put put a good auto body wax on top of the polished alloy as well - I prefer Autoglym, but any good wax will protect the alloy.  I even use wax on exhaust chrome.

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by KwakNut on 02/08/08 at 11:01:34

Not much stuff comes up for the Savage on ebay in  the UK, so this little lot was a rare find.

Freshly rebuilt wheel, re-chromed everything apart from the hub and drum which have been metallic powder-coated.
It looks even better in the flesh than on the shots, I'm really looking forward to getting this bike put back together.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Rearwheelbare1.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/5000SE/Rearaxlebits2.jpg

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by Savage_Greg on 02/08/08 at 13:11:28


7D41575D784342360 wrote:
[quote author=6154434179101316260 link=1200747403/0#13 date=1202255495]I prefer Autoglym, but any good wax will protect the alloy.  I even use wax on exhaust chrome.

Me too...which reminds me of the topic about "smells", but I digress :P

That rear wheel looks great.  That powder coat and chrome is beautiful.

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by gj859 on 02/10/08 at 08:36:03


1B27313B1E2524500 wrote:
[quote author=6154434179101316260 link=1200747403/0#13 date=1202255495]How did you get that good polish on those covers?  Are they clearcoated?
Just old fashioned 8 inch buffing wheels and course/medium/fine polishing soaps.  A whole lot quicker than going down the 400/800/1200 grade wet'n'dry work.  I like to finish with Alu Belgom and a soft rag - I think that's the best metal polish for the finishing touch, seems a bit finer than most of the others.
I don't like coating the alloy when polished - too much risk that it will chip/peel/discolour and look worse than ever.  I just lightly buff it with metal polish every few weeks once it's done, just a half hour job to go over the whole bike, and a good excuse to crack open a beer or two.
Belgom has some wax in it, so when you've polished there is some protection against moisture, but I always put put a good auto body wax on top of the polished alloy as well - I prefer Autoglym, but any good wax will protect the alloy.  I even use wax on exhaust chrome.[/quote]
KwakNut, can you give us a supplier of the polishing soaps and alu belgom?  Thanks.

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by KwakNut on 02/10/08 at 11:42:10


5954060B073E0 wrote:
KwakNut, can you give us a supplier of the polishing soaps and alu belgom?  Thanks.
I buy AluBelgom off the shelf in my local motor factor, it's widely available in the UK.  It's not much better than Autoglym or Maas, but I think it gives a slightly better finish.  It's a bit of a cult product among custom bike builders in the UK.  if you can't get any over there, let me know and I can post you some cheap enough - though I think it's about $20 a bottle.

This is a link to the last polishing gear I bought - picked it up on ebay. My old buffing wheels were a bit dog-eared, so I bought a full new kit, same kit and supplier as this link:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/8-Bench-Grinder-Polishing-Kit-Buffing-Accessories_W0QQitemZ260199362070QQihZ016QQcategoryZ9946QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

I'm sure you'll find something similar West of the Atlantic, just try to be sure that whatever kit you buy has a Calico finishing wheel - it's down to the quality of the cotton.

Also, if you don't already have an 8" bench grinder and are looking to buy one, make sure you get the most powerful one you can.  polishing is hard work on the electric motor and you'll keep slowing a 250-350W wheel down.  If you can get something that's at least 500W, that's better - the more power you have, the less the wheels will slow.

If you have heavy-duty 3-phase electrics, you're laughing all the way to shiny results.

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by gj859 on 02/10/08 at 12:24:56

Thank you, thank you very much.

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by Willaction on 03/15/18 at 15:30:33

Kwaknut, did widening the exhaughst port make a noticeable difference?

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by snels516 on 03/16/18 at 03:30:46

This thread is ten years old. OP hasn’t logged in since 2012. Maybe try sending him an email

Title: Re: Cam and followers gone on an 8000 mile bike
Post by Fast 650 on 03/16/18 at 10:18:21


083633333E3C2B3630315F0 wrote:
Kwaknut, did widening the exhaughst port make a noticeable difference?


I have done a street port job on a couple. Yes, there is a noticeable difference, but not a huge difference with that alone. It is along the lines of what you will get by replacing the stock muffler with a Sportster muffler. But you will really feel the difference after the port work if you change the pipe and muffler, open the airbox (see the Oldfeller thread about his cheap air filter) and rejet to compensate for the increased flow. That lets the beast out of the cage then.  :D

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