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Strange Metallic Tinging (SOLVED)

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Strange Metallic Tinging (SOLVED)

PostAuthor: V-RAGE-O » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:48 pm

I recently bought a 1999 virago xv250 and got it running great. However, I'm concerned with what I'm thinking is cam chain slap. A very light, rapid, metallic tinging. I'm mostly hearing it in Neutral right after I blip the throttle and the engine is decelerating. but I can hear it other times as well. It seems like it's mostly on the left side, near the front cylinder. It Also happens when stopped, in gear, with the clutch in. It definitely does not sound like valve lash or an engine knock. If I had to put a sound on it, it's almost like a tiny, old school alarm clock bell, but not as rapid or consistent. Maybe some of you have heard what I'm hearing. I immediately suspected cam chain tensioner. I removed the front cylinder tensioner and it seems to be operating properly. The Spring pushes the ram out to full extension and the ratchet doesn't let it retract. Textbook. There was even an indentation on the guide from where the tensioner ram applies pressure. The tensioner ram was about 1/2 way extended when I pulled it out. The chain guide did not move when I tried to push it in with my finger. I was kind of expecting to be able to move it in some. Didn't pull the tensioner off the rear cylinder yet because I damaged the gasket of the front and didnt need 2 damaged tensioner gaskets, at least until I get replacements.

I have seen threads talking about manual tensioners but I guess I'm not completely clear on why they are effective. I suppose simply because they can apply more tension than the spring? Is there any good way to see that my tensioner is taking out enough slack in the chain? Maybe try running the motor with the cam chain cover off and observe? Perhaps I'm working in the wrong direction completely? If anyone has any idea of the sound I'm talking about or has any experience that may be valuable to me, I would LOVE to hear your input. Thanks for your time.
V-RAGE-O
Last edited by V-RAGE-O on Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cam Chain Slap

PostAuthor: Wesso » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:21 am

Ok V-RAGE-O, First things first... I have had a 1989 XV250W and in my experience they have rather noisy engines at best. I mean compared to most other conventional bikes.
I would be less inclined to put more pressure on the cam chain than is necessary because it will just wear through the rubber coating on the chain guide and then you will have metal on metal which is not a good combination.
Perhaps that is already the issue that you are faced with.
Have you had this bike from new?
If it is a Pre-loved bike then the previous owner may have already done the damage to the chain guide and it may already be running the chain on a metal surface.
I don't recommend running the engine without the cam chain cover unless you want to have an oil shower. It can get very messy if you run the engine without that cover.
It has been quite a while since I have worked on my old XV250W so I can't really recall what it sounds like, but it was fairly noisy I think.
I probably haven't been helpful at all but they are from my observations.

Good luck and travel safely.
Cheers
Wayne



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Re: Cam Chain Slap

PostAuthor: V-RAGE-O » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:53 pm

Wesso wrote:Ok V-RAGE-O, First things first... I have had a 1989 XV250W and in my experience they have rather noisy engines at best. I mean compared to most other conventional bikes.
I would be less inclined to put more pressure on the cam chain than is necessary because it will just wear through the rubber coating on the chain guide and then you will have metal on metal which is not a good combination.
Perhaps that is already the issue that you are faced with.
Have you had this bike from new?
If it is a Pre-loved bike then the previous owner may have already done the damage to the chain guide and it may already be running the chain on a metal surface.
I don't recommend running the engine without the cam chain cover unless you want to have an oil shower. It can get very messy if you run the engine without that cover.
It has been quite a while since I have worked on my old XV250W so I can't really recall what it sounds like, but it was fairly noisy I think.
I probably haven't been helpful at all but they are from my observations.


Thanks for the input. I've owned this bike for almost 5 weeks. Bought it used, not running. Got it going with a$35 TCI from Amazon. I'm a Yamaha certified outboard mechanic and have years of wrenching experience but I am new to Viragos. I would have to look again at the chain guide but I'm pretty sure it's a heavy plastic, not rubber or metal. I will look again. Also, I was surprised to hear you say these are noisy engines at best compared to other conventional bikes. If it wasn't for this slappy tinging sound I'm hearing (only sometimes), it sounds like a purring little kitten. I appreciate your consideration. Thanks.
Good luck and travel safely.

I KNoW this sound is not good, and is not part of normal operation. i will try to get video of the sound tonight and post to YOUTUBE. Any other Virago whisperers got any ideas??? Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: V-RAGE-O » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:12 pm

https://youtu.be/iFH6Rru5EEA

Here is the link for the YouTube video that illustrates this sound nicely. You will hear it after each rev. I changed the name of this thread bc im quite sure it is NOT cam chain slap anymore. I brought my mechanics stethoscope home from work and after poking around EVERYWHERE on the engine with it, it is definitely most pronounced on the forward cylinder exhaust pipe right where it comes out of the head. I was listening all over the cylinder(s), crankcase, heads, and tranny for any source or remnants of this sound but it is by far most significant coming out of the front exhaust. Nothing when i listen to the rear exhaust. A little fainter when i listen downstream towards the muffler. Im not seeing any broken welds or big red flags on the exhaust pipe. And I dont hear anything of concern while listening to the head, cylinder crankcase, or tranny. I still have no clue what this sound is. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: Wesso » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:43 am

OK, thanks for the Youtube video as it shines a whole lot more light on the problem.
Please don't get me wrong and I'm not questioning your mechanical expertise but it sounds like the polished head covers might be the cause of the sound.
My old XV250 made a sound the same as that at one time and I found that one of the rubbers were missing from where the bolts hold the cover onto the head.
I checked everything to the point where it almost drove me crazy. I went around the engine making sure that everything was tight and then one day when I was totally frustrated with it and I was tapping a tune on the engine with a length of nylon rod and I happened to hit the head cover and found the ever so elusive sound. When I checked it again, having a mother's look I found that one of the rubbers was missing. I replaced it and the sound was gone.
I was happy that I had eventually found the source of the noise but at the same time I was fairly peeved at the fact that I had stupidly missed such a simple thing.
Now if I may say, your bike has a really gutsy sound and it sounds like it is running really well. So if it isn't the head cover/s then I hope you find this annoying sound so that you can start enjoying your little bike. They are a lot of fun :bg:
Cheers
Wayne



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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: V-RAGE-O » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:34 am

Wesso, thank you! These are the exact types of nudges I'm looking for when I log into these forums! The more I listen to it, the more it sounds like a minor rattle rather than a detrimental engine noise. Like I said, this bike is brand new to me and Ive had very sparing time to play with it. Ill be looking into the valve cover and all over for something loose. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: V-RAGE-O » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:13 pm

So I was able to pull all of the polished head covers off and run the motor. There was one bolt missing, but all of the rubber grommets were there. I'm still hearing the strange metallic singing. Still listening around all over the place, and it seems most pronounced on the exhaust pipes. At this point im going to start chasing a rattle in the exhaust. Im thinking a joint or weld has come loose.
Still looking for any input or suggestions i can get. Thanks for the time.

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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:30 am

Here's a shot in the dark..seemings how you've moved from possibly coming from front exhaust to maybe 'anywhere'. Have you checked around the exhaust flange, screws, studs? Since these engines work with pulses, wondering bout the exhaust gasket. If piece or area could have blown out, leaving just enough room for slight hammering effect? Or a loose exhaust/muffler hanger jiggling?
Running the engine without cam chain cover or valve cover will not flood ya (so to speak) with oil. It'll fling alittle, but compared to maybe isolating a noise..worth a few rags, IMHO. Person could also use some flex rod, of some sort, to poke down the cam chain area, with engine NOT running of coarse, possibly feel'n if there's, notable, tension on the came chain. One time, I chased a noise, not Virago, with cam chain covers, valve covers, bout everything open and turning engine by socket & electric drill on crank, while someone else listened. Desperate times...lead to...etc etc etc..

Note: I was just out doing something on the bike and started thinking bout your dilemma. Wondered if you were to put a ratchet on the crank and turn one way or the other and observer the cam gears movement. Should show if there's any kind of lag between the chain having to tighten up before the gear(s) start turning. Meaning: if there's constant tension or not. If that would give ya any info..who knows. Just saying... :):
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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: Tom Boyte » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:37 pm

That's the best video showing a problem I have seen posted here. My 09 Star had the same sound at times. It only had 2,000 miles on it and was 3 years old when I took it apart and sold it here on the forum...so I never did find out what it was. It would be interesting to know.
Tom

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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: Wesso » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:38 pm

:yup: Aye Tom! It's been a while mate. How are ya?
I agree... that was a very good video wasn't it. It's got me stumped what could be causing that sound because he has done all the tests that I would have done and it still hasn't turned anything up. :ops:
My XV1100 used to have a sound like that and I found it was a loose rivet that holds the heat shield on the exhaust pipe so I drilled it out and put a new rivet in and the noise stopped, so that was good.
I have to wonder if it might be that snake exhaust pipe from the rear cylinder. It might be flexing just enough to make a sound like that. But I think he has checked that one and ruled it out.
Geez! I dunno this one has me stumped... :help:
Cheers
Wayne



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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:32 am

That sound, when it's running, sounds the same as the starter gears clack'n as it's turning over. Have you pulled the left engine cover off and checked any of those gears. 250's have that one way starter clutch set up, IIRC.
Then again, slapped the headphones on..give's a different tone. Kinda reminds me of a flag pole chain hitting a hollow, metal flag pole in the wind. Oh Great..Now I got that earworm dance'n in my head! :ops:
Just that momentary clank. Always at that same point and same rpm frequency, at every hit of the throttle, isn't it? Hmmm Almost like a cam chain tensioner jiggl'n.
The front exhaust on those 250's, they are double walled, aren't they?
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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: Wesso » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:56 am

As the proud owner of a 1989 XV250 Virago I can tell you for sure that it is NOT the starter gears and it's not the cam chain. Which is why I never said anything about them in my diagnosis of the problem.
I feel certain that it is not an internal problem as it is too clear. And after owning such an old model Virago I have had to deal with just about every rattle and clatter that they make and I have heard that same sound on my bike. It turned out to be a loose chain guard. I tightened all the screws and the noise was gone.
Yes it is definitely noise that comes in at the exact same revs which indicates to me that it is something loose that is vibrating each time the revs cross that same frequency.

Yes the front header pipe is double walled which is why they don't discolour with heat. Well not as quickly as a lot of other bikes that don't have double walled exhaust pipe headers.
We have also been assuming that V-RAGE-O has the OEM pipes on the bike. After all he hasn't stated if the bike has had any modifications before he took ownership of the bike.
All that information would be most helpful in solving this issue. :thanks:
Cheers
Wayne



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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:12 pm

Well...OK then.
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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: Tom Boyte » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:25 pm

Wesso,
Iv'e been doing well Wayne. Been riding the wheels off the harley. I had it on the table lift in my shop for a week, just doing general service but I went over it from stem to stern. All was well. Weather here in Phoenix has been in the low 80's (F) for the past few weeks. So I have been taking care of outdoor chores before the summer heat arrives about May. Took the old 89 Route 66 out in the desert for a bit of exploring it still runs when I need it to.
Hope all is well with you.
Re: the metallic tinging. When I pulled the engine off the 09 Star all the manifold exhaust nuts were finger tight. I thought that was unusual.
Tom

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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: Wesso » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Sorry Flyingdog, I wasn't having a shot at ya mate. I just get up on my :sbox: sometimes when I can't see that another person has not owned an XV250.
I didn't mean to upset you in anyway.

@Tom: It's good to hear you're doing well mate. I'll keep it brief 'cos I don't wanna :jack: here.
I hope you guys won't be having a heatwave like we are at the moment. We've been having temperatures in the low 100's (F) to 110 (F) or in our Temps. High 30's (C) to low 40's (C). Further north had 48 (C) the other day 118.4 in your terms. So needless to say I haven't had my bike out from under the covers much in the last six months. I've been out once during the day and a few times at night when it's much cooler but that's all. I can't wait until the end of March to mid April when it begins to cool down here again so that I can start the wheels turning on my bike again.
Anyway mate I better not chat any longer in here as it is way off topic and I'm supposed to be setting an example :cl:
Cheers
Wayne



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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: Tom Boyte » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:12 pm

Right back at you Wesso,
Here we average 110-115 (F) daily during the summer with a 120 thrown in for fun. But, Hey! I still ride albeit it early!
Tom

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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: V-RAGE-O » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:36 pm

99.99% sure Ive got this resolves.

With a cold motor Im able to grab the exhaust pipe(s) bare handed while i give the motor small revs. This completely eliminates the strange metallic tinging. For 1, there is an exhaust leak right where to 2 pipes come to 1 and this is where im grabbing the exhaust. Also, after looking more closely at the exhaust im seeing it is after market/home made with some pretty ugly wleds. Im nearly certain this is my source. I DID check the chain guard but everything is tight and the noise persists while revving and holding the chain guard with my hand, but that was an excellent suggestion. Ill try to post a video of revving while holding pipes woth my hand to show the sounds A vs B. Thank you for all your contributions and considerations!

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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: Wesso » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:39 pm

Congratulations on finding a resolution.
So if you're happy that the problem is SOLVED then I will mark the Topic as SOLVED so that others don't keep looking for a resolution for you.
Just let me know please.
Cheers
Wayne



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Re: Strange Metallic Tinging

PostAuthor: V-RAGE-O » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:40 am

Wesso wrote:Congratulations on finding a resolution.
So if you're happy that the problem is SOLVED then I will mark the Topic as SOLVED so that others don't keep looking for a resolution for you.
Just let me know please.


Definitely SOLVED. Thanks.

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