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Old 10-11-2015, 06:51 PM   #1
ieathonda
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F4I Engine knocking/clacking sound

Hey guys, Since a few months ago when I got this bike it has been completely repainted repaired and is on the streets legally. It was running strong with no hiccups for about two weeks. This is a 2002 Cbr F4i with 12,500 miles.

On Thursday night, I let a buddy ride it and it shut off on him while we were on 90. We then both pulled into a parking lot and inspected the bike. The motorcycle would barely start and only did so while applying slight throttle. I noticed the starter was a tiny bit slower than usual. After starting and idling it, It make an extremely distinct knocking sound. This sound was located near the upper half of the block and is in sync with the throttle.

Fast forward a few days, I charged up the battery (was at 11.9v) then went ahead and changed out the cctl because that usually fixed the problem for most people. I swapped it out with a PSR unit from Motorcycles Unlimited and adjusted accordingly. The sound hasnt gone away so I checked the plugs (looked ok).

I went ahead and pulled the valve cover and made sure everything was in time, which it was. I now have made measurements and ordered the materials necessary to do the valve lash and get new plugs in. A few of the valves were off but some of the exhaust valves are way off by .15 from the lower specified values.

Any idea what it could be? Can valves really be that loud? I heard that the exhaust valves would actually become quieter as tolerances become smaller but never associated with any knocking sound. Not too sure but need your opinions and possible fixes

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Old 10-11-2015, 06:56 PM   #2
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:59 PM   #3
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Yes I installed a manual cam chain tensioner. Yeah I fiddled with it a bit but it didnt change much.

Another important description, I do feel a loss of power. Very "laggy" if you pin the throttle.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:04 PM   #4
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Bent valves. That's why the clearance is so loose. When the valve bends it sit further into the combustion chamber and the clearance at the cam/bucket increases.
A compression/leak down test will identify which cylinder for sure.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:15 PM   #5
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Interesting, would a misshift or user error be the reason for bent valves? It rode great right before all of this happened that night
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:23 PM   #6
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:12 PM   #7
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Maybe low engine oil played a factor. I've owned f4is with 70k plus miles and I've never had an issue like this. Could also be a rod knock.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ieathonda View Post
Interesting, would a misshift or user error be the reason for bent valves? It rode great right before all of this happened that night
Most common way of bending valves is a missed shift at high rpm or down shifting at too high of an rpm.
Especially the latter. If you down shift at too high of an rpm the rear wheel is what's driving the engine. At that point no rev limiter in existence can do anything.
Hard to tell for sure from the video but it sounds like the top end, If I was there I could tell you for sure where the noise was coming from
Add the fact that the valves have excessive clearance and it leads me to believe that's what wrong.
As I said earlier, a compression and leak down test will verify it for sure.
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Last edited by Patrick; 10-12-2015 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Most common way of bending valves is a missed shift at high rpm or down shifting at too high of an rpm.
Especially the latter. If you down shift at too high of an rpm the rear wheel is what's driving the engine. At that point no rev limiter in existence can do anything.
Hard to tell for sure from the video but it sounds like the top end, If I was there I could tell you for sure where the noise was coming from
Add the fact that the valves have excessive clearance and it leads me to believe that's what wrong.
As I said earlier, a compression and leak down test will verify it for sure.
Okay that complicated things more haha. I am familiar with valve lash sounds and it definitely is louder than that. I will do a compression test tonight and confirm which cylinder it is. Do you guys do top end rebuilds? I'm going to shoot you a pm
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:17 AM   #10
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If its worst case scenario....

HMU I've got an f4i engine
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:52 PM   #11
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Another important detail I left out..

When my friend was riding it, he mentioned that the oil light was blinking before the bike shut off. I thought that was odd because I did the oil change not even 50 miles before with rotella t6 5w-40 and a k&n filter. Ive read on some forums with people having problems with kn not being able to supply the correct oil pressure in the engine.

Could an oil pressure drop cause all of my problems? I'm trying to narrow the variables down so when I repair this problem, it wont come back. Any insight or has anyone had this problem? I find it really hard to imagine a valve got messed up because of aggressive riding.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:56 PM   #12
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Real hard to see the K&N being involved
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:01 PM   #13
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Motors are cheaper than labor rebuild. I would buy a known good running motor and just swap it out.
Then take apart the old one to statisfy your curiosity and possibly fix to have a spare.
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:05 PM   #14
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Either the engine was extremely low on oil or the oil pump died out or maybe something got stuck in the pickup screen. More than likely the engine is locked up at the crank. You can take the plugs out and take off the stator cover and try to turn the engine over by hand. From what you described it sounds like the motor is done for. A swap is cheaper than a rebuild
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:19 PM   #15
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I checked the oil level right after the bike turned off and it was at the max indicator. Bike still runs and drives but not very quick like it used to. Turned the crank by hand with no problems either...

Just bummed that after a 4 month rebuild and resurrection it only ran for two weeks and took a . All after letting a friend ride it.... I dont think I will be letting anyone ride it soon lol.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:42 PM   #16
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Quick update. Compression test yielded these results.. Cylinder 1 150psi, Cylinder 2 155psi, Cylinder 3 150psi, Cylinder 4 150psi

Doesnt look like a bent valve to me... even though the sound is coming right where the valves are located. I will go ahead and do the valve lash and hopefully something comes out of it.

These are the values I recorded for the valve clearances respectively..

(TABLE) Cylinder 1 Cylinder 2 Cylinder 3 Cylinder 4

Exhaust (.23 / .23) (.15 / .18) (.13 / .10) (.15 / .20)

Factory Spec
(.28 +/- .03)
(.25 - .31)

Intake (.18 / .15) (.18 / .15) (.18 / .18) (.18 / .15)

Factory Spec
(.20 +/- .03)
(.17 - .23)

Last edited by ieathonda; 10-12-2015 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:52 PM   #17
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Compression is good if a little low. Are you able to run a leak down?
More than likely though it's deeper in the engine.
Time to look for other issues.
Drain the oil into a clean pan and look for metal flakes.
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:00 AM   #18
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Wasnt able to find my tester yesterday at home. Its probably hiding somewhere at my shop haha.

Some speculation.. could a stuck valve bucket be the issue? maybe bending a valve in the process? I dont *think* it could be the rod bearings because the sound is closer to where the valve cover meets the head rather than the bottom end. Would a way off spec valve clearance lead to the valve in question? I may check clearances again to be sure...

Btw, I pulled out the spark plugs and Cyl 1 had a plug that wasnt really torqued down tight, it didnt take much force to pull out vs the other ones.. Would a dead or loose spark plug cause an issue? I have ordered new ones because I am wary of reusing spark plugs since the crush washer is really only meant to be used once
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:25 AM   #19
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Could it be something bouncing around in the combustion chamber. I've seen broken spark plug pieces in fords cause a noise like this.
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:40 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Wasnt able to find my tester yesterday at home. Its probably hiding somewhere at my shop haha.

Some speculation.. could a stuck valve bucket be the issue? maybe bending a valve in the process? I dont *think* it could be the rod bearings because the sound is closer to where the valve cover meets the head rather than the bottom end. Would a way off spec valve clearance lead to the valve in question? I may check clearances again to be sure...

Btw, I pulled out the spark plugs and Cyl 1 had a plug that wasnt really torqued down tight, it didnt take much force to pull out vs the other ones.. Would a dead or loose spark plug cause an issue? I have ordered new ones because I am wary of reusing spark plugs since the crush washer is really only meant to be used once
I know you've got decent compression but I'm still leaning towards valves hitting something or something bouncing around in the combustion chamber.
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