Author Topic: yikes! cam lobe pitting  (Read 919 times)

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Offline batboy

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yikes! cam lobe pitting
« on: June 29, 2019, 12:08:45 pm »
Seriously, is there any camshafts that don't pit? I cleaned the oil and grease from the ZX1000 Ninja cams that I had stashed away and inspected them. Sadly, the intake has pitting on the lobes. Mostly it's along the front edge. I toyed with the idea of running them anyway, but one area of pitting catches my thumbnail when I run across it. I'll try to take a photo of the worst lobe and post it. But, I think maybe I should look for another cam without the pitting, if that's possible.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 02:53:51 pm by batboy »
1988 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 - Ninja Edition
Bike has the usual accessories and modifications

Offline DC Concours

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2019, 02:11:15 pm »
That's nothing. Your current c10 lobes probably have way worse pitting.

Offline batboy

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2019, 02:33:06 pm »
My first gut reaction was: that pitting is terrible. Two other lobes have some too, but the photo shows the worst one.

But, thinking about it, that is only on a small part of the lobe. The tappet runs on the whole width of the lobe. What if the pitting is polished a little so it was smooth? Wouldn't oil just pool in the pits? On the other hand, why install a part that is known to be defective when I'll be spinning this to 9k rpm?

Perhaps I'll look into having these cams welded up and reground?

I see DC posted as I was writing this, looks like he thinks it's rather minor.
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Bike has the usual accessories and modifications

Offline connieklr

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2019, 05:18:25 pm »
My first gut reaction was: that pitting is terrible. Two other lobes have some too, but the photo shows the worst one.

But, thinking about it, that is only on a small part of the lobe. The tappet runs on the whole width of the lobe. What if the pitting is polished a little so it was smooth? Wouldn't oil just pool in the pits? On the other hand, why install a part that is known to be defective when I'll be spinning this to 9k rpm?

Perhaps I'll look into having these cams welded up and reground?

I see DC posted as I was writing this, looks like he thinks it's rather minor.

No you won't. The cams run at 1/2 half crank speed.

And YOU - don't ----- with it. These things have been pitting since Christ walked the earth. Unless in extreme cases, replacement is not necessary. Somewhere in my old stash of paperwork, Crane Cams responded to questions about this very issue. I can't remember their exact wording, but the basic attitude was: Don't worry about it.

NOTE: I've had my wrist slapped for supposedly trying to bypass some cuss blocker, or whatever it's called in Rule 8. I don't intentionally try to offend anyone, and I certainly don't need watched over by some forum Nazis.

This will be my last post here. Ya'll have fun, watch your language, and ride safe.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 07:13:56 pm by connieklr »
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Offline DC Concours

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2019, 05:27:26 pm »
As Guy says... Don't worry about it.

Offline Mettler1

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2019, 05:59:07 pm »
  Mine looked a lot worse. Got a new set of cams from SiSF. Beautiful!! :great:

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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2019, 06:52:35 pm »
as us "old timers" have said, and do say...

no big deal, fuggitaboutit... that ain't a pit... it's a mere "beauty mark".. run 'em.. seriously..
 ;) ;)
that cam is FINE... lotsa people would love to have a cam like that.. :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

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Offline batboy

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2019, 08:25:16 pm »
A beauty mark? I'll tell that to the queen when I go back out and kneel before her.

Ok, so hypothetically, what do folks think about only installing the ZX1000 intake cam (paired with the ZG1000 exhaust cam). Has anyone flow tested the ZG1000 head? I suspect the intake valves and ports flow a bit better than the exhaust side. If so, a split duration might be a  good thing. The ZX1000 exhaust cam is packing a lot of overlap. I played around with calculations (see below). Seems like a good compromise for a little more HP at the top end and a bit more TQ in the mid range.

ZG1000 cams: duration 275/275, intake centerline 100, exhaust centerline 100, LSA 100, overlap 75

ZX1000 cams: duration 290/290, intake centerline 105, exhaust centerline 100, LSA 102.5, overlap 85

ZX intake ZG exhaust: duration 290/275, intake centerline 105, exhaust centerline 100, LSA 102.5, overlap 77.5
1988 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 - Ninja Edition
Bike has the usual accessories and modifications

Offline DC Concours

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2019, 12:15:12 am »
You really are not messing around. You really want to change her up.

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2019, 12:18:39 am »
You really are not messing around. You really want to change her up.

I have seen this many times.
 :-X :-X :-X :-[ :-[ :-X :-X :-X

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Offline batboy

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2019, 03:07:29 am »
I will do more research and try to I decide what to do with the cam or cams. In the meantime, I have a question about the timing chain adjuster. Some people seem to think the stock auto one should be thrown away and replaced by a manual adjuster. I was thinking more of if it ain't broke don't fix it. Is there a high rate of these chain adjusters going bad?
1988 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 - Ninja Edition
Bike has the usual accessories and modifications

Offline DC Concours

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2019, 04:21:26 am »
No the oem chain adjuster does not fail often. It works fine... don't mess with it.

Really, if there is anything to want to start doing to the bike perhaps start by making it more comfortable for you. After hydrolock protection... Front and rear shocks, seat, lowering kit if needed, pegs, change the handlebar to bring it closer, windshield is crap. Add lights.

Mechanically this bike for its era is superb as-is.

Offline batboy

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2019, 02:29:25 pm »
DC, I have already done those things. I installed Race Tech 1.0 fork springs and new 15W fork oil, I converted to a ZZR1200 rear shock, swapped the old flat saddle for a 2004 seat, and added lowering links (I got the Soupy links to work after I was told it wouldn't fit with the shock spring). The handlebar risers and Rifle windshield were curtesy of the previous owner. I also did the Vulcan Mean Streak 17" rear wheel and rear brake conversion and got new tires.

As for getting info from Steve, I have read every performance related forum post that Steve has authored. In fact, Steve gave me the idea of using the ZX1000 intake cam with the ZG1000 exhaust cam. Here's what he posted:

Quote
You can mitigate some of the overlap effects by running a stock ZG exhaust cam and the ZX intake.

When I crunched the numbers, I found that Steve is right about the cam overlap.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 04:03:04 pm by batboy »
1988 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 - Ninja Edition
Bike has the usual accessories and modifications

Offline DC Concours

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2019, 01:25:51 am »
I didn't know. You have done a lot. Time to buy a C14 ;)

Offline kkja13

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2019, 04:48:01 pm »
Those pits are very minor. 
Most of mine had pits you could feel but they didn't extend all the way across the lobes.
I consider it improved oiling!  :motonoises:
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Offline batboy

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2019, 04:55:13 pm »
No C14 or anything else for that matter, I love this bike. It's the last motorcycle I'll ever own. Sort of a bucket list thing...

Right now, I'm going for a ride and will attempt to use the stopwatch feature on my GPS unit to time the interval between 40-60 mph and 60-80 mph (WOT runs). If you have any suggestions about monitoring or logging with a Garmin GPSmap-64st, let me know. I also want to see how far off my speedometer is compared to the GPS.

Then if I swap cams and carbs, etc. I can time more runs and compare the new data to my baseline to see if I get improvements. Sort of a poor man's dyno (closest bike dyno is 2 hours away). I might make one trip to the dyno when I'm all done with performance mods and tuning (but that won't be for a while).

The bike is already half-naked right now, so when I get back from my test ride, I'm going to pull the gas tank and valve cover to take a look at the stock cams. If the stock intake cam has pitting on the lobe too, I'm going to swap it out and put in the ZX1000 intake cam.

I found some 800 grit emery, then carefully and lightly touched up the one spot that was catching my thumbnail. I got it smoothed out with minimal polishing. I'll report back later, probably this evening.
1988 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 - Ninja Edition
Bike has the usual accessories and modifications

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2019, 05:41:18 pm »


The bike is already half-naked right now, so when I get back from my test ride, I'm going to pull the gas tank and valve cover to take a look at the stock cams. If the stock intake cam has pitting on the lobe too, I'm going to swap it out and put in the ZX1000 intake cam.

I found some 800 grit emery, then carefully and lightly touched up the one spot that was catching my thumbnail. I got it smoothed out with minimal polishing. I'll report back later, probably this evening.

you seem to have done a lot of modifying in your quest for hopping up the engine, but your above comment does make me ask if you have actually inspected, and adjusted all of the valve clearances, prior to any of these other things you are doing...? Every single element of the way this engine runs, is based on correct valve clearances, and cam conditions.

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Offline batboy

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2019, 07:34:39 pm »
Well, I had a nice ride and got the adrenalin pumping from several WOT runs. According to the GPS unit, the bike is going slower than the speedometer indicates. When the speedo shows 55 mph, the GPS says 51 mph. One run I went up to about 102-103 from what the speedo said, but the GPS said 92.7 mph. I really am clueless I guess. None of my GPS logging worked. Back to reading the manual to see what I did wrong. It looks like I might need an app for this to work. But, I don't have a smart phone.

MOB, I did pull the valve cover off briefly when I was blocking off the air injection. I checked the clearance on a couple of the lobes that happened to be pointed up and they were ok. I know that's not thorough, but I was figuring on swapping the cams out soon anyway which requires a complete adjustment. At the time I did that, I was not thinking of cam lobe pitting, so I didn't even look at the lobes other than to confirm if they were pointed up or not. When the valve                                  cover comes off this time, I'll give it the once over, twice.
1988 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 - Ninja Edition
Bike has the usual accessories and modifications

Offline batboy

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2019, 02:10:34 pm »
MOB, I could have easily not said anything, but I have to salute you. Now I see why you get grumpy with us apprentices when we don't do a thorough job. At least I man up to my errors and learn from the experience. Half the valves are in the ok range and half are too tight. Funny thing is they are in pairs, so not sure what to make of it. But regardless, my point is I should have checked them all. I definitely learned my lesson.

One exhaust lobe has a bit of pitting. Nothing on the intake lobes that I could see. I thought that usually the intake cam lobes tended to pit more than the exhaust.

* * * * *

In the spirit of getting this right the first time, I want to ask a couple questions for clarification.

(1) The service manual says to remove the cam chain tensioner assembly. Steve's video says to gut the tensioner. I'm know Steve's is probably the preferred way, but why the difference? (2) The service manual says to remove the rocker shafts (guess there's a little one and a big one?), but Steve's video never mentions them. Do they need to come out if I'm replacing the intake cam?
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 03:36:36 pm by batboy »
1988 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 - Ninja Edition
Bike has the usual accessories and modifications

Offline batboy

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2019, 03:57:23 pm »
I watched Steve's video again and he was clear about gutting the tensioner, so that's what I plan to do (famous last words).

Disregard the question about rocker shafts. Cam came out without messing with it.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 07:37:42 pm by batboy »
1988 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 - Ninja Edition
Bike has the usual accessories and modifications

Offline batboy

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2019, 05:20:45 pm »
UPDATE: I figured out that I have the early type tensioner. It does not look like the one in Steve's video. How to proceed? Guess I'll follow the service manual.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Stock intake cam is officially removed. No pitting at all on any of the lopes. I'll keep it. It'll probably end up back on my bike at some point.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 07:42:32 pm by batboy »
1988 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 - Ninja Edition
Bike has the usual accessories and modifications

Offline batboy

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2019, 09:53:39 pm »
It's ready to go back together. I'm trying to figure out which sprocket holes to use. I know the ZG1000 uses round holes for both cams. Is the ZX1000 the same or different? I need to find a ZX1000 manual I guess.

Searching suggests the square holes would retard the intake by 5 degrees. That adds a little high RPM power, if I remember my cam timing correctly.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 10:37:02 pm by batboy »
1988 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 - Ninja Edition
Bike has the usual accessories and modifications

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2019, 11:12:37 pm »
 :-X :-X :-X :-X :truce: :truce: :-X :-X :-X

maybe, call Steve...

 :-X

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Offline batboy

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2019, 02:38:11 am »
Yes, I might need to talk to Steve. I found one thread where he said this:

Quote
the square holes are only for the zx1000 intake, although the clymers says it's for the zg1000. the clymers is wrong.

The round holes [he meant square holes, see below] result in a 5* retard of the intake from the round countersink setting. The round countersink yields  100* LC both in / ex. That's how connies are timed. The zx100 was 105 / 100. IF the square countersink was used and the correct tooth established, it would result in a 5* retard of the EX to 95*...

Yes, the SQUARE holes are the 5* retard. I guess I better proofread better

The ZX1000A intake cam is in and the caps are torqued down. The chain tensioner gave me pause, because it was not like the one shown in Steve's video. I have an early type OEM tensioner. Once I figured out how it worked, it was quite easy peasy.

At the moment, I have the sprocket bolts in the round holes (see photo). I've figured out the ZX1000 intake cam is supposed to use the square holes on the sprocket. If I use the round holes like I have it set to now, then I'll be really advancing the intake which helps mid range torque and reduces overlap.

Please note the following about the photo: the top guide is not torqued down when I took the picture. It is now though. I did use thread locker on the sprocket bolts.

UPDATE: I have positively confirmed the ZX1000 intake cam is installed from the factory using the square holes. I flip-flopped back and forth as to which way to set this up. There are pros and cons for both options. I'll think about it for a little while longer, but I'll probably change it to the square holes (retarding it  5 degrees from where I have it  set now. I can always go back to the round holes later if I want.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 12:54:51 pm by batboy »
1988 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 - Ninja Edition
Bike has the usual accessories and modifications

Offline batboy

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Re: yikes! cam lobe pitting
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2019, 12:59:40 am »
Yesterday, I had to deal with a semi-emergency (wife's car broke down) and today is a holiday. So, not a lot done. However, I made a little progress.

I took it back apart and used the square sprocket holes to bolt it to the intake ZX1000a cam. I'm glad that I watched SISF's cam video a couple of times. It was a big help. I also found this diagram taken from the ZX1000A manual. I counted the chain links and I get exactly 36 like it shows.

Here's a pic of what it looks like now. I have all the intake valves adjusted. Tomorrow, I'll check the exhaust valves (I know at least a pair is tight). Since this is my first time adjusting valves, I will recheck the intakes one more time just to be sure. Then, throw it back together and see how it does.
1988 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 - Ninja Edition
Bike has the usual accessories and modifications