Clattering noise -- can't tell if it's cam chain, radiator fan, or something else
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Thread: Clattering noise -- can't tell if it's cam chain, radiator fan, or something else

  1. #1
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    Clattering noise -- can't tell if it's cam chain, radiator fan, or something else

    Hi All,

    I noticed that my bike was making a loud clattering noise, especially when I'm accelerating. The sound is much worse when the bike is cold. It sounds the worst right where I have a "flat" spot in my carbs (from about 2500-3250 rpm), which is from when I rebuilt them. I just about to fix that issue when I noticed this one. I would be somewhat surprised if it was the fan, since I replaced that <2000mi ago, and also felt no free play when I reached behind the shroud and tried to wiggle it, but it does sort of sound like it's coming from that area. It also might be two separate noises...?

    I took a video of the noise, but it was when the bike was warm. I'll take another one when it's cold. Here's the warm video: https://goo.gl/photos/iBkrwJSiTHe9zoDh8

    Thanks!
    '79 CX500 Standard

  2. #2
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    quit revving it that stops the noise

    keep your hand off the throttle and let it idle then do the walk around
    purplecx500 likes this.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member purplecx500's Avatar
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    i have a problem with sound bytes so

    maybe when you get a cold 1

    in the mean time when was the last time u checked the

    timing chain adjuster ?

    have you checked after noise started ?

    with the cap off is it louder ?

    don't ride it or run except to locate/troubleshoot

    rattlel

    look in the oil for metallic flake.
    Last edited by purplecx500; 05-03-2017 at 02:11 PM.
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  5. #4
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    I have never checked the timing chain adjuster. I'm going to get a dental mirror tonight so that I can check...the bike only has ~15k miles on it, so I assumed I was ok with the cam chain. I'll update you when I a) get a cold video and b) have checked the adjuster.

    For whatever reason, the sound is by far the worst when the engine is cold and I'm revving it.
    '79 CX500 Standard

  6. #5
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    that is not good
    GET AN OIL FILTER ADAPTER

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    email me at murray at murrayscarbs.com

  7. #6
    Senior Member rscottp's Avatar
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    You have to adjust the tensioner before you check with the dental mirror.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member ZCarFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rscottp View Post
    You have to adjust the tensioner before you check with the dental mirror.
    Before and after so he can see how far it moves. Only takes a few seconds more since you're there already.

    atomicgoose, always assume it's not OK. So in this case, unless you have a full service history (FSH) you should assume that none of the maintenance was ever done and undertake that immediately. Next rule is, assume what WAS done was done incorrectly and check it anyway.
    rscottp likes this.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member purplecx500's Avatar
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    had a feeling u might say that.

    If the chain is left unattended too

    long the chain slap will break the

    guides or worse.

    even IF it quiets down for now(big if)

    no matter the mileage u should

    open it up and fix it right.
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  10. #9
    Super Moderator CXPHREAK's Avatar
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    I have trouble seeing the manual tensioner with a mirror. Strangely, I can see auto tensioners OK but this does me no good as all the motors in my shed are manual tensioned.

    I do the adjustment and then feel for chain slack using the cooling fan.

    I have one sitting on my bench now I opened simply to check the chains. As it turns out the camchain has about 60% life left. I actually consider this to be 80% as the chain takes up close to 1/3 adjustment when the new chain beds down. Subsequently I'll be leaving that chain in place. I did replace the oilpump chain though.
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  11. #10
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    Here're some more videos of it running, cold. They're kinda dark, because my garage isn't well lit, but I figured I might as well take some while I was out there...I can definitely take more tomorrow. It's a little difficult to take cold videos, because when the bike is cold, I have to keep the revs up all the time to keep it running.

    https://goo.gl/photos/WFn3Ke73wYC1J14f7
    https://goo.gl/photos/rE3DtJRVLpnD2WYG8

    To be totally honest, I didn't know until now that you could adjust the cam chain without dropping the engine. As is probably obvious, I'm a total noob -- this is my first vehicle, and the first mechanical thing I've ever worked on. So, I'm making lots of dumb mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZCarFan View Post
    atomicgoose, always assume it's not OK. So in this case, unless you have a full service history (FSH) you should assume that none of the maintenance was ever done and undertake that immediately. Next rule is, assume what WAS done was done incorrectly and check it anyway.
    Good to know -- I didn't even know this was an issue until relatively recently, and I figured if I wasn't hearing anything weird that all was well. I'll keep what you said in the mind in future, although it does in some ways remind me of Murray's "rant" that I read earlier today, saying that if you always worry about things breaking you'll never actually ride. However, I'm not saying that to take away from your point...just that I want to keep both things in mind.

    One thing that you all may find to be a stupid idea is that my cousin and I have very concrete plans to spend 5 weeks riding across the country this summer...so I need this thing to be working, and consistently.

    Anyways, from what everyone has said, it sounds like I should be dropping my engine regardless of whether or not what I'm hearing is the cam chain. I guess I'm starting a new adventure!
    OCR likes this.
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