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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi MV lovers.
I’ve just joined and happy to be amongst fellow enthusiasts.
I bought a 2015 F3 800 track bike a few months back, which has done about 15,700kms on road and about 400kms on track. I haven’t had a ride on it yet as I’ve been customizing it to suit me, and have fitted some tasty MWR items to improve the air intake.
A problem arose however whilst being flash tuned on the dyno. The engine started making a loud noise. They switched off and restarted, even louder, switched off again.
Suspected a failed cam chain tensioner.
however after removing the rocker cover, the cam chain seems tight, although replacement would be paramount when putting it back together. But whenever the fresh racing oil was drained, it was grey, instead of the expected gold colour, after less than 30 mins of engine runtime. No large metal flakes or shavings in the oil, but just atom fine grey particles, giving it an overall dirty appearance.
I suspect that a main bearing or maybe all of them are on the way out.
Has anyone else had experience like this?
Cheers
****.
 

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Dark coloration might happen that fast, but grey means (usually) aluminum particles, and thats a LOT to happen that fast. A broken or missing cam chain guide could do that as the chain saws its way through the case😰 Gold flakes is bearings.
The cam chain could still feel tight simply from where is on the lobes when you pulled off the cover but a tensioner failure itself wouldn't cause the grey oil.
Do you have a better description of the noise? At engine RPM (crank/pistons) or 1/2 that speed (valve train). Low/loud knocking? Or rattling? Or buzz saw (chain).

No matter who has "experience" with an engine failing... whatever happened to theirs is moot. It's what YOUR engine is doing that matters. You will have to continue dis-assembly until you find what happened, there is no magic internet fix for you my friend.

Currenty diagnosed that exact issue on a high mile Buell 1125CR with very grey oil😣. He ran with a broken cam chain guide for probably 10k!. The only question is a cheap case + time or a replacement engine and quick turn around.


Small side note. If you're making a track day bike (not race bike) then dependability FAR outweighs a few extra horses. 'Winning' a track day means going home happy with your ride (and you) in working order🏁🏍
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dark coloration might happen that fast, but grey means (usually) aluminum particles, and thats a LOT to happen that fast. A broken or missing cam chain guide could do that as the chain saws its way through the case😰 Gold flakes is bearings.
The cam chain could still feel tight simply from where is on the lobes when you pulled off the cover but a tensioner failure itself wouldn't cause the grey oil.
Do you have a better description of the noise? At engine RPM (crank/pistons) or 1/2 that speed (valve train). Low/loud knocking? Or rattling? Or buzz saw (chain).

No matter who has "experience" with an engine failing... whatever happened to theirs is moot. It's what YOUR engine is doing that matters. You will have to continue dis-assembly until you find what happened, there is no magic internet fix for you my friend.

Currenty diagnosed that exact issue on a high mile Buell 1125CR with very grey oil😣. He ran with a broken cam chain guide for probably 10k!. The only question is a cheap case + time or a replacement engine and quick turn around.


Small side note. If you're making a track day bike (not race bike) then dependability FAR outweighs a few extra horses. 'Winning' a track day means going home happy with your ride (and you) in working order🏁🏍
Thanks for your detailed response Cooter. I’m not able to elaborate on the type of noise but I’ll talk to the guys tomorrow that we’re tuning it and hopefully they can be a bit more accurate with the description.
I’ve been able to acquire a 2016 Brutale 800 engine with about 34000kms. I thought about putting my F3 head on the Brutale, because most of the hp difference is apparently in the head (cams, valves and compression ratio). However, I’m now thinking of doing a complete engine swap just to get the bike on the track, and get a complete rebuild of my F3 engine over the next year or so, as parts availability and affordability become possible. In the meantime, learn to ride a sweet handling MV with the softer engine. I wholeheartedly agree with you about dependability over hp. I don’t really have any intentions of modifying the F3 engine. The only extra horsepower I was looking for were in race exhaust, MWR velocity stacks, filter and oversized air intake snorkels, plus ECU Studio flash tune. I’m happy to keep the engine stock standard.
 

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Welcome to the family @MickyGee !! Where in these United States are you located? Who is doing your ECU flash?
You could have a dropped valve and the gray stuff is piston debris ? Anyway, time to take the sump off (that will show you the crank) and probably the head. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome to the family @MickyGee !! Where in these United States are you located? Who is doing your ECU flash?
You could have a dropped valve and the gray stuff is piston debris ? Anyway, time to take the sump off (that will show you the crank) and probably the head. Good luck
Thanks mate for your input. I’m not in the USA. I live in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic of Australia.
Pardon my cynicism. Brisbane to be more precise.
The shop that were doing the tune is Cube Performance Centre, south of here on the Gold Coast. They jointly run the Desmo Ducati Superbike team with a man called Troy Bayliss. I’m sure you’ve heard of our three times WSBK Champion.
I don’t think it’s a dropped valve as I ran it on idle for 15 mins after changing the already grey oil to new racing oil and no noise on that occasion. Then the guys at Cube ran it a couple of times on the Dyno,
and all seemed okay. It was on the third or fourth run or just after start up before that run that it started making noise. They also checked compression after that, and compression was fine.
 

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Ahh, well... then they blew up your engine !!! Just kidding.
Your avatar flag is USA...that is driven by the IP address you are using? Are you here in the US in LA on business at the moment?
Of course I know who Troy Baylis is....saw him race a time or 2.
Based on good compression then I would guess you have something other than valve train issues.
Let us know what they find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ahh, well... then they blew up your engine !!! Just kidding.
Your avatar flag is USA...that is driven by the IP address you are using? Are you here in the US in LA on business at the moment?
Of course I know who Troy Baylis is....saw him race a time or 2.
Based on good compression then I would guess you have something other than valve train issues.
Let us know what they find.
Thanks mate. I think the reason for the star spangled banner is that the VPN I subscribe to was logged on through LA when I signed up for this forum. BTW Look out for Troy’s 17 year old son, Oli, in the new look World Supersport Championship in season 2022. He’s a chip off the old block.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dark coloration might happen that fast, but grey means (usually) aluminum particles, and thats a LOT to happen that fast. A broken or missing cam chain guide could do that as the chain saws its way through the case😰 Gold flakes is bearings.
The cam chain could still feel tight simply from where is on the lobes when you pulled off the cover but a tensioner failure itself wouldn't cause the grey oil.
Do you have a better description of the noise? At engine RPM (crank/pistons) or 1/2 that speed (valve train). Low/loud knocking? Or rattling? Or buzz saw (chain).

No matter who has "experience" with an engine failing... whatever happened to theirs is moot. It's what YOUR engine is doing that matters. You will have to continue dis-assembly until you find what happened, there is no magic internet fix for you my friend.

Currenty diagnosed that exact issue on a high mile Buell 1125CR with very grey oil😣. He ran with a broken cam chain guide for probably 10k!. The only question is a cheap case + time or a replacement engine and quick turn around.


Small side note. If you're making a track day bike (not race bike) then dependability FAR outweighs a few extra horses. 'Winning' a track day means going home happy with your ride (and you) in working order🏁🏍
Hi Cooter.
Cube Performance Centre advised me that the noise in my engine was a loud knocking.
They also said the cam chain was slack when they removed the rocker cover but had not jumped any teeth. Also, as I said previously, the compression figures were still good after that drama. So it’s got me scratching my head!
 

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however after removing the rocker cover, the cam chain seems tight,
They also said the cam chain was slack when they removed the rocker cover
This is why it's so difficult to answer a question accurately on the internet. See my sig...

I wouldn't expect something described as a "loud knocking" to be valve train related* and good compression means the pistons/rings/valves are sealing, and the valve timing is close (not jumped).
But doesn't explain the from-new-to-rapidly-grey-oil. A bad tensioner or missing valve chain guide could still be the culprit, but the noise would be more of a higher pitch snapping or grinding. A "loud knocking" that scares a shop enough to stop a dyno test could be crank bearings, wrist pins, big things in the rotating assembly but I'd think you'd see brass chips in the oil with that kind of clearance issue.

That said. I'd assume any shop worth paying... would be familiar with how an engine works. They're the ones that heard it. Why doesn't the shop have an idea?

*besides absolutely thrashed cam journals (that they could see with the rocker cover off).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is why it's so difficult to answer a question accurately on the internet. See my sig...

I wouldn't expect something described as a "loud knocking" to be valve train related* and good compression means the pistons/rings/valves are sealing, and the valve timing is close (not jumped).
But doesn't explain the from-new-to-rapidly-grey-oil. A bad tensioner or missing valve chain guide could still be the culprit, but the noise would be more of a higher pitch snapping or grinding. A "loud knocking" that scares a shop enough to stop a dyno test could be crank bearings, wrist pins, big things in the rotating assembly but I'd think you'd see brass chips in the oil with that kind of clearance issue.

That said. I'd assume any shop worth paying... would be familiar with how an engine works. They're the ones that heard it. Why doesn't the shop have an idea?

*besides absolutely thrashed cam journals (that they could see with the rocker cover off).
Thanks again Cooter. The reason the shop isn’t sure what has caused the problems is because, as you previously stated, the problems are unique to my engine and disassembly will be required until the culprit/s are revealed, but they don’t have the bike now. I picked it up and brought it home and just yesterday got the engine out.
 
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