Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioner Installation Success (with a few anxious moments)

motomanjim

New member
Recently, I completed the installation of the hydraulic cam chain tensioner on my 2013 C650GT and while the project went fairly well, I did encounter some stubborn, if not seized, fasteners. Little did I imagine that the cylinder head bolts, or as BMW calls them, "collar screws," would be the major culprits since they are installed with only 10 NM torque. And what added to the challenge is their location with two fasteners in a recessed area of the cover and very close to a frame cross member. Looking back on what I did, I probably would have had more success had I used an 8 mm 6-point shallow socket rather than the 12-point socket in my collection of tools. Of the four fasteners, one came out just fine with the others removed using bolt extractors.
IMG_1178[168].jpg

It was at this stage in the procedure that I was beginning to think I had bitten off more than I could chew for the next test came attempting to remove the cam chain cover which gives access to turn the engine to firing TDC (top dead center.)
IMG_1176[170].jpg

As you can see, I murdered the face of the cover using and impact wrench which is designed for removal using a flat blade screwdriver. BMW did improve this design as shown in the pic that follows.
IMG_1175[172].jpg
If I had had the foresight to use a punch and drill to make a dimple at a point in the outer circumference of the cover and strike it from an angle with a chisel, then that may have gone better.
Thankfully, things started to improve once the cover was removed for I was able to use a socket and wrench to turn the nut (and engine) which has a marking on the side. The goal here was to turn the engine clockwise so the mark was directly facing the "I". I must say here I had no idea how to turn the engine for the workshop manual makes no referral that I could find regarding the process. Thanks to forum members Pappy13 and Orlandopalladino for helping me here. When the engine is at firing TDC, the alternator side is at overlap TDC.
IMG_1166[178].jpg



Difficult to see, but the mark or dimple on the cam is parallel and facing the mark of the opposing cam which is not visible in the pic. If those marks are facing away from each other, then the engine is at overlap TDC.
IMG_1160[180].jpg
After removing the old chain rail guide which came out easily, the next step was to install the new chain guide with "jump guard." I was able to torque three of the bolts to specifications (20 nm) but could not reach the bolt with my torque wrench located in a recessed area. I had to tighten that one by feel and what I thought was appropriate. Removing the second-generation tensioner was accomplished using a t-30 T-handle wrench and it was installed the same way as getting my torque wrench in the cavity was impossible.
IMG_1172[176].jpg
If you'll look closely, you can see the tensioner's date of manufacture which is August 6, 2014.
Now it was time to remove the dreaded oil plug next to the oil filter for the hydraulic line. Removing a plastic shroud covering a portion of the case housing the alternator, enabled me to focus my heat gun at the oil plug without damaging the side stand connector wiring and the shroud itself. Surprisingly, the plug came out with about three minutes of heat.
IMG_1155[184].jpgIMG_1153[186].jpg
In summary, this project probably stretched the limits of my DIYer abilities, but I really enjoy working on my scooter as I have done on other motorcycles. If you're thinking about doing this upgrade, then you will hopefully benefit from my mistakes and have greater success.
 

wspollack

Active member
Good documentation -- nicely paid back to the forum.

I almost wish I had an early 650, and that I was young enough to still want to do maintenance chores. (Instead, I'll stick with my new 400, and dealer service.)
 

motomanjim

New member
Good documentation -- nicely paid back to the forum.

I almost wish I had an early 650, and that I was young enough to still want to do maintenance chores. (Instead, I'll stick with my new 400, and dealer service.)
Thank you for the kind remarks. I do appreciate being a part of this community for I have received far more than I can ever hope to give back. So many of the members, including yourself, take time to respond to questions and provide detailed information. Living in New York State, you may be near one of the Max BMW dealerships and while I haven’t experienced the results of their service department, I have nothing but praise for the parts department. And with that said, I’m sure their technicians are very familiar with BMW scooters and their requirements.
 

wspollack

Active member
I’m 25 minutes from the Troy location. Ordered my 400 from them in June. I had them install protection bars, luggage rack, and topcase before delivery, and rode there for my post-break-in service. No complaints at all.

Additionally, my riding buddy bought his RT new from them in 2012, and has had them do all service. They’re not cheap, but they seem to be very thorough, in terms of sales, service, and, yep, parts knowledge. The parts chief saved me some money when I broke a switch involved with the underseat flexcase.
 
Last edited:

Rooltje

New member
Recently, I completed the installation of the hydraulic cam chain tensioner on my 2013 C650GT and while the project went fairly well, I did encounter some stubborn, if not seized, fasteners. Little did I imagine that the cylinder head bolts, or as BMW calls them, "collar screws," would be the major culprits since they are installed with only 10 NM torque. And what added to the challenge is their location with two fasteners in a recessed area of the cover and very close to a frame cross member. Looking back on what I did, I probably would have had more success had I used an 8 mm 6-point shallow socket rather than the 12-point socket in my collection of tools. Of the four fasteners, one came out just fine with the others removed using bolt extractors.
View attachment 3582

It was at this stage in the procedure that I was beginning to think I had bitten off more than I could chew for the next test came attempting to remove the cam chain cover which gives access to turn the engine to firing TDC (top dead center.)
View attachment 3583

As you can see, I murdered the face of the cover using and impact wrench which is designed for removal using a flat blade screwdriver. BMW did improve this design as shown in the pic that follows.
View attachment 3584
If I had had the foresight to use a punch and drill to make a dimple at a point in the outer circumference of the cover and strike it from an angle with a chisel, then that may have gone better.
Thankfully, things started to improve once the cover was removed for I was able to use a socket and wrench to turn the nut (and engine) which has a marking on the side. The goal here was to turn the engine clockwise so the mark was directly facing the "I". I must say here I had no idea how to turn the engine for the workshop manual makes no referral that I could find regarding the process. Thanks to forum members Pappy13 and Orlandopalladino for helping me here. When the engine is at firing TDC, the alternator side is at overlap TDC.
View attachment 3589



Difficult to see, but the mark or dimple on the cam is parallel and facing the mark of the opposing cam which is not visible in the pic. If those marks are facing away from each other, then the engine is at overlap TDC.
View attachment 3585
After removing the old chain rail guide which came out easily, the next step was to install the new chain guide with "jump guard." I was able to torque three of the bolts to specifications (20 nm) but could not reach the bolt with my torque wrench located in a recessed area. I had to tighten that one by feel and what I thought was appropriate. Removing the second-generation tensioner was accomplished using a t-30 T-handle wrench and it was installed the same way as getting my torque wrench in the cavity was impossible.
View attachment 3586
If you'll look closely, you can see the tensioner's date of manufacture which is August 6, 2014.
Now it was time to remove the dreaded oil plug next to the oil filter for the hydraulic line. Removing a plastic shroud covering a portion of the case housing the alternator, enabled me to focus my heat gun at the oil plug without damaging the side stand connector wiring and the shroud itself. Surprisingly, the plug came out with about three minutes of heat.
View attachment 3587View attachment 3588
In summary, this project probably stretched the limits of my DIYer abilities, but I really enjoy working on my scooter as I have done on other motorcycles. If you're thinking about doing this upgrade, then you will hopefully benefit from my mistakes and have greater success.
Hi,
May I ask what workshop manual you have and where to buy it? Thank you very much,
Cheers, Roland
 

motomanjim

New member
Hi,
May I ask what workshop manual you have and where to buy it? Thank you very much,
Cheers, Roland
There are two sources for the workshop manual which require the Windows operating system environment. The first manual is available here.
BMW RSD 09/2017
It's free and interactive. The other source is from eBay and it's available for $29.90 USD plus shipping. The seller does a great job processing the order and shipping is fast.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1653716172...v8RmvwzOZ6LnyIZh8xaEitzN8=|tkp:Bk9SR4K85YWaYQ
I hope this helps. My computer skills need work. Let me know if I need to revisit this attempt.
 

motomanjim

New member
My attempted link thing didn't work. Go to the BMW S1000RR forum and do a search for BMW RSD 09/2017. That should bring up the link to download the manual.
 

wspollack

Active member
My attempted link thing didn't work. Go to the BMW S1000RR forum and do a search for BMW RSD 09/2017. That should bring up the link to download the manual.
I think this is the link you're trying to post ...


... as specified in this thread there:

 

chummy

New member
Recently, I completed the installation of the hydraulic cam chain tensioner on my 2013 C650GT and while the project went fairly well, I did encounter some stubborn, if not seized, fasteners. Little did I imagine that the cylinder head bolts, or as BMW calls them, "collar screws," would be the major culprits since they are installed with only 10 NM torque. And what added to the challenge is their location with two fasteners in a recessed area of the cover and very close to a frame cross member. Looking back on what I did, I probably would have had more success had I used an 8 mm 6-point shallow socket rather than the 12-point socket in my collection of tools. Of the four fasteners, one came out just fine with the others removed using bolt extractors.
View attachment 3582

It was at this stage in the procedure that I was beginning to think I had bitten off more than I could chew for the next test came attempting to remove the cam chain cover which gives access to turn the engine to firing TDC (top dead center.)
View attachment 3583

As you can see, I murdered the face of the cover using and impact wrench which is designed for removal using a flat blade screwdriver. BMW did improve this design as shown in the pic that follows.
View attachment 3584
If I had had the foresight to use a punch and drill to make a dimple at a point in the outer circumference of the cover and strike it from an angle with a chisel, then that may have gone better.
Thankfully, things started to improve once the cover was removed for I was able to use a socket and wrench to turn the nut (and engine) which has a marking on the side. The goal here was to turn the engine clockwise so the mark was directly facing the "I". I must say here I had no idea how to turn the engine for the workshop manual makes no referral that I could find regarding the process. Thanks to forum members Pappy13 and Orlandopalladino for helping me here. When the engine is at firing TDC, the alternator side is at overlap TDC.
View attachment 3589



Difficult to see, but the mark or dimple on the cam is parallel and facing the mark of the opposing cam which is not visible in the pic. If those marks are facing away from each other, then the engine is at overlap TDC.
View attachment 3585
After removing the old chain rail guide which came out easily, the next step was to install the new chain guide with "jump guard." I was able to torque three of the bolts to specifications (20 nm) but could not reach the bolt with my torque wrench located in a recessed area. I had to tighten that one by feel and what I thought was appropriate. Removing the second-generation tensioner was accomplished using a t-30 T-handle wrench and it was installed the same way as getting my torque wrench in the cavity was impossible.
View attachment 3586
If you'll look closely, you can see the tensioner's date of manufacture which is August 6, 2014.
Now it was time to remove the dreaded oil plug next to the oil filter for the hydraulic line. Removing a plastic shroud covering a portion of the case housing the alternator, enabled me to focus my heat gun at the oil plug without damaging the side stand connector wiring and the shroud itself. Surprisingly, the plug came out with about three minutes of heat.
View attachment 3587View attachment 3588
In summary, this project probably stretched the limits of my DIYer abilities, but I really enjoy working on my scooter as I have done on other motorcycles. If you're thinking about doing this upgrade, then you will hopefully benefit from my mistakes and have greater success.
 

chummy

New member
I purchased the upgrade kit sometime back and had been putting it off but after reading how you did it, I am about to do the same with my 2015 BMW C650GT so thank you for the information
 

motomanjim

New member
I purchased the upgrade kit sometime back and had been putting it off but after reading how you did it, I am about to do the same with my 2015 BMW C650GT so thank you for the information
I’m glad that you found my write up helpful. Removal of the cylinder head fasteners may be the most challenging part of the job. I ordered three new collar screws (as BMW calls them,) from Germany as there were none available in the US. They arrived about a month later and are an improved design as the bolt heads have a deeper surface for the 6-point socket. I have ridden my bike several times after doing the installation and am really pleased with the result. As you get into the upgrade process, you may have questions so please let me know if I can be of assistance. And there are others who have done the upgrade so I’m sure they will be helpful also.
 
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