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Thread: 2010 (DOHC) R1200GS Engine Vibration

  1. #1
    Registered User strmboui05's Avatar
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    Angry 2010 (DOHC) R1200GS Engine Vibration

    I am writing in regards to a problem I am having with my 2010 BMW R1200GS. Have any of you experienced a high-mid frequency vibration isolated to the engine with a loss of power starting at 3700 up to 8000 RPM?

    The base line is an engine that has the throttle bodies sync, valves adjusted and reprogrammed engine control unit by the dealer. This bike was very smooth through this revolution range up to the 24 K service. Now both hands and feet become numb due to the engine vibration that was not there prior to 24K. This bike did have a recall performed for the camshaft sensor reductor replacement.

    The local dealers are stumped and their only answer is keep riding it and perhaps it will get better. I would appreciate any help/advice to get the bike to run as it use to prior to the 24K service.

    Right now I have two options, ride it like it is or sell it!

    Thanks
    rac

  2. #2
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Hi Rac,

    This sort of screams ignition problem to me.. either a faulty plug, or a bad or not-fully seated coil. Sounds like the spark is failing at high RPMs, which is a sign of this sort of problem.

    Sounds like the dealer's mechanics are simply praying that the diagnostics computer will tell them what the problem is. This is a real problem with many mechanics now - they don't have the experience, or knowledge of how things REALLY work to diagnose a problem themselves, especially if it's electrical. They rely on the computer to tell them what to "replace".. in this case, AFAIK, the BMS-KP does not report engine misfires, which would tell you what plug/coil is causing the problem.

    Has the dealer tried replacing the new plugs they installed at the 24,000 mile service (the camhead spec's new plugs every 12,000 miles - there is an ongoing discussion of this in another thread I believe..) And it's not hard to not quite seat the coils fully, so that's worth checking (and very easy to check.)

    "perhaps it will get better" would have me looking for a new dealership posthaste and pronto.. clueless dolts are the words that comes to mind.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  3. #3
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    I'd add to Don's comment the fact that its falrly simple to damage a wire to stick coil connection by ham handed pulling though a dealer mechanic ought to know better and avoid it. And I agree that higher rpm misfires most often have an ignition cause. Anything that produces a weak spark as a result could be the reason.

    Another possible (but again a mechanic error) is failure to get the plug seals on right and the resulting oil leak onto the insulator causing a weak spark- though if the leak is of any significant amount, soner or later you should see it around the plug. Any decent dealer mechanic shouldn't make this error- the seals are pretty forgiving if installed correctly.

    Note that the bike computers don't show codes related to weak stick coils and sparks for many of the possible failure modes. So hooking it to dealer computer or GS-911 will show exactly nothing- which is why you need a real mechanic to troubleshoot this type of problem.

    Maybe a good indie shop in your area if all your dealership has is parts swappers?? Or maybe you need to make a specific request that they put their best guy on this one. If they have multiple mechanics perhaps there is one who is the electrical or ignition guru.

    This one of those cases that illustrates why the best mechanics are underpaid for their knowledge and skill.

  4. #4
    Registered User strmboui05's Avatar
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    Unhappy 2010 (DOHC) R1200GS Engine Vibration

    Thanks All for your help on this problem. I have experienced twice a cut-out or misfire when accelerating in the higher RPM range (3700-8000). Perhaps this is problem you have described that it may be the stick-coils. I am going to examine the sparkplugs and coil connectors for dirt/carbon burns and clean and replace (SPs). However, how do you test a stick-coil and to what specification? Aregular coil I can test with load using an old SUN machine, but a stick-coil, I'm clueless. Is this a BMW "Plug &Play" technique utilizing a new and known "good" stick-coil"?

    I am looking forward to your recommendations.

    Thanks,
    RAC

  5. #5
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strmboui05 View Post
    Thanks All for your help on this problem. I have experienced twice a cut-out or misfire when accelerating in the higher RPM range (3700-8000). Perhaps this is problem you have described that it may be the stick-coils. I am going to examine the sparkplugs and coil connectors for dirt/carbon burns and clean and replace (SPs). However, how do you test a stick-coil and to what specification? Aregular coil I can test with load using an old SUN machine, but a stick-coil, I'm clueless. Is this a BMW "Plug &Play" technique utilizing a new and known "good" stick-coil"?

    I am looking forward to your recommendations.

    Thanks,
    RAC
    That's pretty much BMWs technique - replace and if it gets better - that ones bad..

    As an alternative - you could try unplugging coils, one at a time. You can unplug the primary input to the coil right at the coil. It's a be very careful - the parts are delicate and easy to break.. there is a little tab you have to lift up and then use your thumbnails to wedge the connector out.

    Do it one at a time. The one that doesn't make things worse is the bad one.

    I'm working a bit with Stephen at HexCode - GS911 on trying to diagnose bad coils by cylinder firing quality. That's a work in progress.. so the replace, or disconnect are the current options.

    Good luck and let us know if you come to any conclusions..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  6. #6
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    If it wasn't there before the dealer did the 24K service, and it was there right after the dealer did the 24K service, it seems obvious that the dealer did something that is causing it. (as per Dave's Rule # 1 of mechanical repair - "if something is wrong...that wasn't wrong before...look where you last worked...because you probably screwed something up...)

    Why was the engine re-programmed??

    What was the camshaft sensor reductor replacement??...as you know, the camshaft is a rotating part...did they screw something up doing that??

    I would probably ask the dealer to put everything back the way it was, and look where they last worked.

    Good luck,

    Dave McDougall
    2011 BMW R1200GS

  7. #7
    Registered User strmboui05's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Thanks for all of your recommendations and instruction it has helped in the trouble shooting.

    Let me start with the dealer questions first. The local cetified BMW dealer service departs 3 out of 4 are "Plug and Play" maintenance only. This means that if the BMW Maintenance computer does't tell them to to replace something they start guessing and their first guess is re-flash the ECU. This has occured twice. The first time was due to incompetance of the tech and the in ability to understand basic electricity (24K service). The second time it was reflashed after an attempt to balance (Sync) the throttle bodies with a GS911 and a Twin Max and ECU would not take over the Idle actuators. Therefore the bike would not idle and would die unless held rpm up utilizing the throttle. The second time it was flashed was done by a different BMW Certified Dealer and the bike idled but the vibration was still there. Came back to the same dealer 2 weeks later with same vibration and they re-sync Throttle bodies and checked valves and were in tolerance.(by this time I am up over $300 for the 2 visits) By the way the CAM Sensor was a BMW recall for early 2010 models adn was done at 6-7000 miles by the dealer and it ran even better, no vibration. So I am afraid I have one other Certified BMW Dealer, which I am saving for last ditch before I give up and sell this bike.

    I have made some progress since the beginning of this post, I have put 1000 mils on the bike and vibration is still there after using BGK44 injection cleaner. This has not changed anything the vibration is still there, a constant from 3700-8000 RPM. Cleand all stick-coil connections and sparkplugs, plugs looked good: tops-light brown no burns, Bottoms-dark brown deposit, no burns. Before removing the lower stick-coils I noticed some play in the rubber elbo groment. Is that normal? Swithed plugs around since same type#. I have not tried the disconnet test to determine which stick-coil will effct the engine.

    A couple of other possibilities has occured to me. First perhaps the CAM timing needs to adjusted. That would definately throw things off. Also, there is a engine balance weight on the back of the engine thaat may have jumped the 2 small protrusions on the Balance shaft. Just thinking (BMW Guessing) !

    I will keep you all updated!

    Thanks Again,
    RAC

  8. #8
    Registered User strmboui05's Avatar
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    Unhappy 2010 (DOHC) R1200GS Engine Vibration "Un-Fixable"

    Took the bike to the local Beemer master and he was unable to figure out what is causing this vibration. It seems that everyone seems to think it is ok for your hands and to go to sleep with in 15 minutes of riding over 4000 rpms. If this had been the way it had always run I would not have bought the bike. I had a great 24 k miles on this bike and as long as I keep it under 4000 rpms the engine stays smooth. I guess BMW can't fix what they make, unfortunate.

    Thanks all for sending your recommendations this helped troubleshoot and eliminate possibilities. Something has change inside this engine/ECU but unable to identify it.

  9. #9
    Registered User strmboui05's Avatar
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    2010 (DOHC) R1200GS Engine vibration

    Taking the bike in for a final reflash of the whole engine ECU. If that does not fix the vibration the bike goes up for sale. No fun riding electric sanders that numbs your extremities. I will let everyone know the outcome. Unfortunate that my dream bike became my nightmare bike!
    Thanks for all of your recommendations.
    rac

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by strmboui05 View Post
    Taking the bike in for a final reflash of the whole engine ECU. If that does not fix the vibration the bike goes up for sale. No fun riding electric sanders that numbs your extremities. I will let everyone know the outcome. Unfortunate that my dream bike became my nightmare bike!
    Thanks for all of your recommendations.
    rac
    Any updates on this? I've seen many posts like this and it usually ends up with the bike being sold or traded in unfortunately

  11. #11
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    Did they replace the plugs when you took it back? I received a bad plug new in the box once. It cut out at high RPM. It happens.

    If they have not changed them, ask them to.

    If they wont, then buy one plug and try it on one side. If there is no change, put the plug you took out on the other side and see what happens.

    Corrected. 4 plugs, not 2. But you can still swap out the plugs one at a time.
    Last edited by TinyTrains; 09-20-2013 at 05:28 AM.
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

  12. #12
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTrains View Post
    I believe you only have 2 plugs on that engine.
    The DOHC is still 4 plugs, 2 per cylinder.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  13. #13
    Registered User strmboui05's Avatar
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    Unhappy Stump the Dummy! Still has the Vib!

    Wanted to report back after so long to let everyone know the latest result. Took the bike to the dealer and re-flashed the ECU, checked the valves (In mid-), Re-sync TBs, new sparkplugs, new alternator belt (new Part#) and result was: Vibration still there start at 4000-6000 RPM. Had bike checked at another dealer same problem. Took to non-dealer BMW specialists, same problem. All three said valves were set correct.

    Enter the GS911 and pro-motion manometer. After re-sync of TBs still has vibration but less intense. Re-checked cable slack (.5-1.0mm). Left side off, reset to .60mm. this brought the butterfly to the complete stop position. Reset slack on right side to complete stop (.6 0mm). Re-synced TBs using GS911.

    A reminder: when you get to the end of the Re-sync and it says to turn off the engine right after it says un-locking the steppers, "WAIT FOR IT"! Listen for the steppers to come back on, the engine will run smooth. Then shut the bike off or you will have to do it again.

    After the re-sync with the GS911 the vibration was still there less intensive but still enough to put your hands and feet to sleep. The range was at 4000-5500 RPM in any gear (the Sweet spot!)

    Next checked Coil sticks and head temperature, all still good. Steppers were good and O2 Sensors as well. Pretty well stumped! The idle is near perfect which is determined by the valves but may still break open the valves and check one more time.

    I have close to 33K on this bike and the first 24K was great, but now it just isn't fun anymore. I will update if any new developments.

  14. #14
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strmboui05 View Post
    Next checked Coil sticks and head temperature, all still good. Steppers were good and O2 Sensors as well. Pretty well stumped! The idle is near perfect which is determined by the valves but may still break open the valves and check one more time.

    I have close to 33K on this bike and the first 24K was great, but now it just isn't fun anymore. I will update if any new developments.
    This is what stumps me.. it was good, now it's bad. I had an '04 R1150RS that had buzz in it that drove me off the bike, and like you - I went through it with a fine tooth comb. Never was able to solve it - the R1200R solved it. But that engine was buzzy from new as far as I know.

    Good now bad means something changed.

    How did you check the coils? (They are all "stick" coils..)
    What does the O2 sensor pattern look like when it reaches the critical speed?

    An off the wall thought.. Tupperware and the tank.. I assume that's been removed/replaced a number of times. ALL boxer engines have a bit of vibration at around the RPM that's bothering you, but it's well enough damped so as to not be annoying. On my RS - I got lots more vibration when the tank was near empty. I checked fuel pressure, it wasn't changing. What was changing is the tank/fuel combo was damping out some of the vibration when full. Not so much when it got near empty. Could something be loose, could a bushing be worn, could an accessory have changed that might cause the frame to resonate in sync with the normal engine vibration, making it more intense? Like I said - off the wall - but the tanks are usually rubber mounted, and the bushings have been known to wear or get lost..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  15. #15
    Registered User strmboui05's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Stump the Dummy

    The Lamda Sensor voltage was dead on and the Graphical display wss inbetween the the Green uper and lower linses with minimal spikes at eithe end for the O2 sensors.

    The only thing I was able to to do with the Coil Sticks was to determine if all four had a strong spark and they did. I believe the only true test for Coil sticks is substitue each CS with a known operational CS and ride the bike.

    I will start through the the bike tourque list and see if something is loose and has setup a harmonic distortion/vibration. I have riden the bike with all the accessories (Crashbars, Valve cover protectors, Skid plate, Panniers, top box) off the bike to see if any of these make a difference. Hopefully it is just a loose motor mount bolt all is well.
    Thanks,
    rac

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