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Up Topic Chat Forums / C1 Chat UK / Uneven idling?
- - By Victor Date 16.04.10 08:37
Hi All,
     My C1 has just had service from Mocheck inc valve adjustments,new idling thigymajig,new Lamber sensor,new plug. And now it wont idle evenly.It,s fine when first started but once warmed up,it starts to race and falter until eventually it stalls.
     Pat at Mocheck did a diagnostic test whish didnt show a problem so he took it Vines Guildford,with the same result. Pat is taking the bike away next Tuesday to do a compression test and further investigation.
     Have any of you had similar problems? This is now getting expensive,£100,s and I dont want to be throwing good money after bad.Any suggestions?
     Thanks,Victor
Parent - - By alunt Date 17.04.10 08:46
Sounds like the valve adjustment has resulted in the gap(s) now being too small on one or more valves. They should recheck the clearances.
Parent - By john wells Date 17.04.10 11:02
My first thought was the same as Alunt's - it sounds very typical of a valve gap problem. The valves close ok when the engine is cold and the compression will be ok also but when it is hot the thermal expansion causes the gap to close too much so that the valve does not seat properly - once the revs are up the slight sensitivity is masked but at low revs the fuel balance is upset and the engine stalls.
Parent - - By HelmetHair Date 17.04.10 18:19
Yup, what they said.......

A compression test when hot *may* show the valves not closing properly.
Parent - By Mad_Accountant Date 17.04.10 21:23

>      My C1 has just had service from Mocheck inc valve adjustments,


To be told the valves have been checked and indeed be charged for this task when it has not actually been done is unbelievably common.

To check valve clearances it is my understanding that the engine must be released from the rear shocks and swung to near vertical, the head is then reached through the gap under the seat. Do you believe this was done in the back of a van or at the roadside?

And guess which well known dealer would NEVER pay it's technicians to check the valves even though the unsuspecting customers were charged at each service?

It's no wonder so many C1s fell prey to dreaded valve failures (including my 200 at 13K miles after Cooper Reading (now defranchised) omitted that task at the 9,000 service). The valves should be checked at the 600 mile running in service, at 4,500 miles and every 4,500 mile service thereafter.

From what you describe valves must be checked and eliminated before anything else is looked at (IMHO)

Good luck
Parent - - By HelmetHair Date 18.04.10 13:14
Incidentally, when the valve shims are replaced, the calculated values are used.
However, tightening the cam carrier can result in the calculated gap being reduced, so the gap must be checked again when assembled.
How many do that!?!
Parent - - By Victor Date 19.04.10 14:16
Thanks to all your responses. At least I ve got something to discuss with the mechanic when he comes tomorrow. The issue will be that he told me that he has adjusted the valves and swooped around the discs to get the clearances right. Will he do it again but this time correctly, if that's where the fault lies, and will he charge me, and will he be professional enough to admit a mistake? I'll give you a follow up post. Thanks again for your support. Victor
Parent - - By Victor Date 21.04.10 15:25
Hi All,
      Latest update. Pat did compression test and also "leak down" test.He found that the compression is down on the exhaust side. He reckons it needs a new cylinder head that,ll take some time to arrive and approx £400.Plus removal and fitting! 
      I,m stuck on what to do. Pat says to cut my losses and buy a BMW650.Not very helpful as I,ve paid out £1,400 so far and also I like the C1(when she,s healthy).
      Does anyone know if it,s possible to get a reconditioned 125 engine or cylinder head? Or,has anyone got any ideas? I,m really struggling to decide what to do.
      Thanks,Victor..
Parent - - By john wells Date 21.04.10 15:58
mmmm  How does Pat diagnose needing a new cylinder head without taking off the current cylinder head? Incorrect valve clearances is still favorite in my view. Did Pat recheck the valve clearances? If not, maybe get someone else to check valve clearances - there should be a friendly C1er near you - any offers anyone?
Parent - By V2k Date 21.04.10 16:28
If you need a new head you are the first..itll be a valve clearance issue me thinks.
Parent - - By superted Date 21.04.10 20:16
Presumably when you say that "the compression is down on the exhaust side" you mean that on the leak-down test the pressure would seem to be escaping through the exhaust valve/s. If this is the case then it would have to be a negative clearance holding the valve open slightly, or a burnt exhaust valve or valve seat. I haven't heard of seats burning, but valves are quite common, so I would suggest that you should be looking in that direction. It would be comparatively simple to check that you have at least some clearance, which would eliminate the first possibility, and after that the head would have to be removed to check whether it was the valve or the seat. A new head would only be required if the seat was so badly burnt that it couldn't be recut, or if it was actually cracked. I agree that you need a friendly C1er to look at it for you

Should you really need a head we have one in the c1ub stock, but I'd have to see what condition it's in
Parent - - By Mad_Accountant Date 22.04.10 07:42
So, does that tell you anything about whether the valves were checked/ adjusted at the service? :-(
Parent - - By superted Date 22.04.10 14:31
Well if the service had just been done there should be clearance, so if there is no clearance...

But if the valve is burnt it could have the correct clearance but still leak
Parent - By actd Date 22.04.10 17:36
If the valaves are burnt, then it may have burnt the seat slightly but it should be possibly to regrind the valve seats with grinding paste - can't see that you would need a cyclinder head unless it's cracked.
Parent - - By Tizzy Date 01.06.10 10:54
I'm currently also having problems with idle on hot after a recent hobby\hack valve job on my 200 by an 'experienced friend', and as I actually own a compression tester I'm wondering what a 'leak down' test is, can anyone please clarify how to work it?

Anyways, I also have no faith left for local dealers (here in Holland) and so it looks like I'm going to check\adjust the valve clearance myself. I'm reasonably technically-inclined; have replaced a waterpump and crankseal in the past so do have some C1 tinkering experience and have glimpsed it done twice so think I should be able enuf to at least try to check. Any tips on the correct order of execution?
Parent - By superted Date 01.06.10 18:14
A leak-down test is where an adaptor is screwed into the spark plug hole and air is pumped into the cylinder. A pressure gauge is attached to the adaptor and by seeing how long pressure is maintained you can get an idea of the condition of the valves and piston/rings. Obviously if the valves are burned or bent you will hear the hiss as air escapes, but otherwise you will just see the gauge fall as air gradually escapes past the piston rings, and the speed of drop shows the degree of wear
Parent - - By bolt-on-billy Date 03.06.10 00:09
if the valves are tight then it will stall, they all idle irregularly and there are many reasons.

when you say a hobby valve job do you mean you have blown a valve allready?
Parent - - By Tizzy Date 03.06.10 08:09
I meant a friend who appeared to be quite knowledgeable in all matters C1 but without proper training and perhaps too little experience :) did the valves on a C1 group tinkering day in Germany. One other (hobby) result is that the valve head now actually leaks a bit so will definitely be taking everything apart again.

I must say tho that only one of the exhaust valves needed adjustment so I'm also wondering whether the ECU reset might have anything to do with it. The reset was done on a cold engine after which it was allowed to idle till the fan came on. Should be fine, no? Could it be the ECU itself?

In the meantime (in an effort to eliminate other causes) I've also swapped the injector, idle actuator, lambda sensor and sparkplug without result (and each time resetting the ECU). I've also adjusted the throttle screw to increase revs on idle but that does no good at all and really makes the engine jump all over the place on idle...

Methinks the only plausible option left at this moment is to recheck the valves, correct?
Parent - By superted Date 03.06.10 08:55
Yes :-)
Parent - - By HelmetHair Date 03.06.10 15:55

>only one adjusted


I assume you mean only one had the bucket shim replaced?
Did he recheck the gap after bolting it all back together?
Parent - - By Tizzy Date 03.06.10 17:33
yep, just the one bucket needed replacement. Went from 275 to 265 which I thought was surprising as the bike has only done 11000 but not impossible
and no, no recheck after bolting up so will do that as soon as I can find the time.

Is it a major risk to keep on driving as is if the valve is indeed too tight?
Parent - By bolt-on-billy Date 05.06.10 21:54
it depends on the symptoms, a tight valve will cause it to stall at idle once its warmed up and eventually the valve will burn out again.
Parent - By bolt-on-billy Date 23.04.10 05:33 Edited 23.04.10 05:35
where does he get that from? I've only come across one nasty head and that had a hole in it. there's no real way of telling till you strip it down as worn or stuck rings will also lose your compression.

they do often idle unevenly especially when the weather is changing and it struggles to relearn the best mixture.

its more likely to be the valve having a bit of blowby. I have spare heads but I dont think thats the reason. I've been working on one in hendon which stalls when warm but its either the ecu or bad wiring and as I've done everything else and had the engine apart to make sure and adjusted the valves and also had them out to check them.

where's the bike now?
Parent - - By HelmetHair Date 24.04.10 02:37 Edited 24.04.10 02:44
Oh yes, two things that bugged me here
"swooped the discs around"

very, VERY unusual to be able to do this.
The chances that the inlets need bigger shims, and the exhausts need smaller shims( or vice versa) and that the right sized ones are already in the engine, is minimal at best.

I'm sorry to say that i think (from the lmited info we have)he bodged it.

Next thing to do is valve clearance check. I see no point in going down ANY other road right now.
Any local Clubbers/forummers up for it? I'd NOT get the last guy to do it again -he's not goingtyo admit he did it wrong.
( if he did)
Parent - By razor Date 24.04.10 10:22
the gentlemen on this site are a fountain of knowledge i would go with whatever they say and get rid of this geezer who in my opinion is taking you for a mug good luck and i hope you resolve the issues ray
Parent - - By bolt-on-billy Date 27.04.10 22:17
new lambda and idle valve? thats definately wrong and probably overpriced so I hope you go the parts back, I often swap parts back and forth between bikes I'm fixing and often one which wont work on one bike will work on another.

sometimes they just misbehave, and all you can do is swap bits about which gets expensive when they have to buy the bits in to do so.

it does sound like either a tight valve or the ecu is leaning the mixture early and its struggling
Parent - - By Victor Date 02.05.10 12:09
Hi All,Thanks again for all your postings and also for the private messages to avoid the chance of the mechanic seeing what my concerns were.   
      On Tuesday he brought the C1 back and charged me £200 for the trouble, (I was shocked) He told me it was £140 for the pick up and drop off and £60 for the compression test and "leak down" test! I feel Ive been totally ripped off by Pat Keenan at Mobitec, he was unhelpful,uncommunicative and expensive.
     I dont know why he,s on the BMW C1 Forum which I saw as an endorsment. Ive now got the C1 booked in at Vines for another valve check and am seriously hoping to get an honest job done. If it solves the idling problem I will be going back to Pat Keenan for some explanations!! I,m about £1,600 down now and really fed up. Looking at the "For Sale" section,I could of brought an honest second hand one for less! Victor
Parent - - By bolt-on-billy Date 02.05.10 12:58
thats just wrong when he hasnt fixed it or left you with an explanation.  years ago I went to see lee as he needed a new water pump but the garage had quoted 500+ quid on top of the 700 he had just paid to have the sprag changed. they had destroyed his engine in process and we had to buy a new one but managed to cancel the payment as he had paid by credit card. I wonder if thats a tactic more should be taking as some of these service and repair prices are getting silly.

in his defense 60 quid for the leak down is probably fair as the gear isnt cheap but you only do a leak down if it fails the compression test. the bike drop off rate - well you can get a bike delivered to inverness for that.

its a shame no-one was interested in the service classes we tried to set up as 'they were too busy' to give up a saturday morning. a bit like the meets I suppose.

as for second hand there's a lot of bikes ridden to death which are being put on the market where the sellers arent being honest at the state of the bike yet still think they can get 2k for it and refuse to deal with any problems found afterward

these bikes are 10 years old and showing it so need a bit of care every now and again if you want to keep riding.
Parent - - By HelmetHair Date 02.05.10 18:02
I just checked, and Pat Keenan posted 5 times in total here, all on one day in september 2005!!!

Once to try and sell lawrie a pair of front forks,

4 times to advertise himself....by recommending his own services as a mobile tech, without mentioning he was the one being recommended.

Sorry, sounds fishy, bad practice, just plain wrong to me.
Also noted he offered to take away another members Willy "for parts".

I'd put my money elsewhere
Parent - - By bolt-on-billy Date 02.05.10 21:34
yeah I think vines is expensive but I'd still recommend putting a troublesome bike there if you could. mind you london seems to be more costly full stop, I picked a standard battery up for 45 quid whereas it should have cost me around 28. I must admit that I charge extra for london but thats to allow for the 5 hour 200 mile commute and sometimes I'm there till 10 oclock at night. :-)

I think some of the mechanics log on to here, read what park lane charge and think they can do the same but at least park lane used to fix them when they were told to, even if it is at £140 an hour.

I reckon if a garage was serious then they'd have a bike on hand unless they knew them very well, I'd be stuck half the time if I didnt do comparisons and swapsies when I fix em and even though self taught I could probably build one blindfold now :-o

back when we were arguing about the running of the forum pre split I did comment that anyone who didnt post in a year should be removed so we could get a true idea of the owners out there instead of the eight thousand or so listed on the books. I have seen several mechanics or garages pop up to advertise their services but if they were serious they would have stayed.

it seems we cant keep good mechanics or they go bad on us like the on off love affairs with chas bikes or jap and german who seem to change from week to week. a lot of garages like the one I spoke to in hendon hate them because they are so fiddly and the owners dont look after them. the mp3 is getting similar reviews because its suffers the same italian build quality. I knew what to expect last week when I was working on a bike for lee but still didnt think it would take me over an hour to take the belly panel off.

an unskilled day in the sun with some screwdriver bits, copper grease and wd40 winterising/drownproofing can save hours of time later on which at an average of £40 an hour garage rates makes sense.
Parent - - By actd Date 02.05.10 22:12

>an unskilled day in the sun with some screwdriver bits, copper grease and wd40 winterising/drownproofing can save hours of time later on which at an average of £40 an hour garage rates makes sense.


This does make a lot of sense - years ago, I had a Firestorm which needed servicing every 3000 miles (at the time, that was about every 6 weeks) to keep it under warranty - I used to remove any extra body panels before servicing so I wasn't paying £60 an hour (this was 10 years ago) for the garage to do it.
Parent - By bolt-on-billy Date 03.05.10 00:14
when the mp3 came out maxiscoots had a couple of mechanics on the forum and they said before you do anything with it strip it down and grease it up - its italian :-)

it must be the subcontractors but the paint is never thick enough, they dont use enough volts on the chroming and I reckon they pre-wet the electrical parts :-o

every bike I've been to I test the 2 dozen or so bolts which are prone to seizing and grease them up just in case I have to go back at some point, if I dont then at least some poor sod doesnt have to fight with a stuck airfilter, fork or exhaust bolt.
Parent - - By HelmetHair Date 02.05.10 17:54
That's unreal-he seems to have been the source of the problems, and he's still charging you for trying to put his mistakes right?

Please, anyone thinking of using him, don't.

I would also cancel any payments that I could asap, adn get on to your local trading standards office to find out if you can take any other action.
Parent - - By Mad_Accountant Date 03.05.10 19:37
I'm sorry to report that Vines are victims of their own success at the moment - you will have to wait several weeks for workshop time as they are run off their feet with work.

I have three bikes stacking up for their attention right now and I have had to book about 6 weeks forward - call Peter or Kathy on 01483 207000 to confirm the exact date they are booking for.

I have strong views on independent mechanics - a few years ago I had a Boxer destroyed in front of my eyes by an indie in SW London. The job would have taken 1 hour max at BMW dealer and the job would have been guaranteed for a year. My bike was so badly damaged I was left with no option but to sell it. Having said that I have the utmost confidence in Jap & German and due to the likely wait at Vines plus their obvious confidence with C1s you perhaps should consider them? What you should avoid are one man bands who think they know it all and are too busy trying to maximise their income to ever take time out for the training / refreshers/ updates that they so obviously require.

Sorry for all the grief you are having, I know how it feels - my naughty 200 had me running round the houses for 6 months and cost me quite a bit.
Parent - By toby_holland Date 12.05.10 05:41
... strong views indeed!.....
and totally valid too - there is a lot to be said for a Main Dealer that cares & stays up to date - all too rare these days, but the last few months seem to have 'focussed' those that remain - and those that stayed busy throughout have proved they were doing it right all along!
survival of the fittest [or survival of the most competent?] !

hope the idling troubles are sorted soon, its a bummer when you feel as though you've paid loads to get less.............
Parent - - By Victor Date 15.06.10 00:03
Hi All,Just to give you an update.
         My C1 with the idling problem went back to Vines last week to have valves checked(again!)but this time by them and also another diagnostic test (3rd one!!).
Results-Valve clearances OK, but diagnostic test showed "some software issue that needed update". Anyway,whatever it was,worked and she,s now purring like a good un and not stalling. Cost me another £115 or so and I,m refusing to add up total as I dont want to get too upset:)
        Interesting observation,they loaned me a 650cc BMW which I must say went like the proverbial s**t of a shovel and was rock steady at silly speed on the traffic free A3 but crikey was I buffetted or what! Made me realise how well we are protected in a C1.If only they had made a 400cc or a 500cc..........
        Many thanks again for all your advice and support. Vic
Parent - - By bolt-on-billy Date 17.06.10 10:58
check with vines whether pat actually took it in to them as surely it should have been picked up then?
Parent - By bolt-on-billy Date 17.06.10 11:00
its a shame we cant do our own updates, I know jerome was looking at it but he's moved since then. it would be good to be able to back the system up as being an eprom it cant stay stable for ever.
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