Tappet Failure?

Are ya having a problem with your rig? We'll try to help. Share your tech tips and experiences here. Dr. Billy Glaser, author of the "Unofficial 750 Ural Service Manual" site myural.com, is moderating this section.
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Here is the place for you to ask questions about or share your experiences about servicing or repairing your Ural or Dnepr. Please post topics concering modifications or accesories in the "Modifications and Acessories" section. Please post oil related questions in the "Oil Threads" section.

Tappet Failure?

Postby Fullbore » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:08 pm

Just bought a new Gobi and my only gripe right now is @ 12km I'm dead in the water with a valve problem. Sierra Hotel I guessl. I'm trying to look at this as a lesson in patience. Yeah that's it. I thought, "man the freakn valves are gonna fly out of this thing." Called my dealer and he says yeah it’s a Ural, loud valve save lives ck them at the 500k, remember its Russian, trust but verify. Sure enough 500K... WAY out on right intake. SO, all adjusted and off we go. Wow, this is much better for a while and then clack clack clack. Hey...this thing sounds like the valves are about to fly out of it again! If loud valves are gonna save lives it sure as heck aint gonna be the monkey that gets saved…

Note to self: put ballistic armor sheeting on sidecar left side panel for monkey protection.

Off with the valve covers again... more slack... 4 times in 1200k. No adjustment left on screw. Ha they are going to fly out!...well not really. Replaced pushrod and around the block we go for a test ride...same same. #^&%%$#&!!!!

Off with the cover and pushrod will not rotate nor will it come out. We think it may be a bad tappet or sleeve. ...and so arrives my only frown thus far. Weather is great but I'm dead in the water waiting to get it back to the dealer so they can warranty the issue. To their credit they want to document for factory in hopes to prevent this in future bikes.

I have decided the solution to this problem is to buy another one to ride while one is out of commission. I'm really liking the idea Solo St right about now. GF’s response…OK Rockefeller, good luck with that. Well that’s the look she gave me…
Anybody else had valve/tappet issues? Any recommendations?
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby windmill » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:46 pm

Sounds like you have a problem, noisy is normal, going out of adjustment that fast is not.
If you need to adjust your valves more often than the 2500 km oil change interval something is wrong. I'm averaging 5000km between adjustments.

Check the set screw securing the rocker arm pivot pin, if the screw came loose the pivot pin can slide down enough to allow the rocker to be loose but it will still run. A guy at the Blackdog rally had this problem on a new Gobi. There were several of us looking at it yet didn't see it until we really started taking things apart.
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby Faultline » Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:59 pm

Ural lifters are solid. When the rocker stand is removed, the pushrod should just fall out through the guide tube.
If the pushrod won't move with everything out of the way, it may be bent or collapsed.
As to your other symptoms, the valve clearance continually falling out of adjustment, this is often an indication that the cylinder stud thread is pulling out of the case. A stripped case thread can be easily verified with a torque wrench. If the head nut won't get to spec, you've .got a problem
As far as I know, the factory still doesn't heli-coil the studs.

Since you're still under warranty, you get a pass.

Enjoy the Gobi.
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby sputnik » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:17 pm

my dealer knows me to be an impatient one. He got no problem with me tearing into the bike at his shop.Go do the same at your dealer. find the problem. Next day the parts, and put it back together. Very simple engines to fix. This way your not waiting for them to have the time to get to your bike. you can tear it down with the tools in your tool roll.
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby isldtime » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:28 pm

Oh Yea.....It's a URAL!!
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby Fullbore » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:07 am

Folks, Thanks for the replies.

@windmill, thanks for the idea. Man, I was hopeful that it was something I may have overlooked but unfortunately that wasn’t it.

@ faultline, I wondered about the threads as well but they torque fine, plus its only on the right intake valve, also no leaks around the jugs.

@sputnik, I think I must be in with the right bunch of folks because I was thinking the same thing. I live about 4 hours from the dealer. I agree these things are crazy simple/easy to work on. I can have the thing apart in no time but I’m not sure they are too keen on having a vagrant in the shop. I surely don’t mind doing the labor if they don’t mind if I squat for a while.

@ isldtime, Roger that. Thanks.

Honestly, the dealer has been really cool about it. It’s just unfortunate because they are 4 hours away. I joke about the loud valve issue because as we all know these things tick a bit. It’s a good thing. Old School ya might say so a little noise isn’t a problem. The wrong noise… well that’s something different. Here’s another data point for anyone interested. Oil residue on tappet end of pushrod (intake side only) was indicative in color, texture and odor of excessive operating temperature. This is the only area that shows such effect. Engine oil is fine. Exhaust valve shows no sign of an oil temperature problem. The pushrod is definitely in a bind at the tappet end. It will not rotate and it’s like the tip of the tappet is shot and the pushrod is forced to far into it.

The plan is to make the 4hour trek to the dealer and rip it apart down to the tappets. Document everything and hope IMZ can use the info to improve quality controls.

I have some pictures and video if anyone’s interested. Also just got a message that others have had the same problem and replacing the tappets and pushrods fixed it up.

More to follow. Thanks everyone.
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby Coluralado » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:32 am

:lurker:
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby Fullbore » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:46 am

Here's a quick video clip to demonstrate that I wasn't full of :bs: about the valves sounding like they were going to come unglued. I may full o crap about a lot of things but this aint one of em. In any case, per request here ya go.

Also I have a clip showing the results after replacing the right side pushrods after adjustment #4.

Once we get down to the guts of the thing I'll post a few more pictures. It will be interesting to see what the head of the right intake tappet looks like.

More to follow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpmnG1rGQGM
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby Msblu79 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:11 am

Ouch, looks like mine just before the rocker arm broke in half. Early 2010's had bad rocker arms that bent until they failed at about the same mileage, I think I got 3 days out of it before they broke and was in adjusting 3/4 times. Dealer overnighted new rocker assemblies to me and was up & running later that day. Hope they figure out what's up with yours, rest assured though that you will be taken care of. :foilhead:
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby fmaxwell » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:45 am

Fullbore wrote:Once we get down to the guts of the thing I'll post a few more pictures. It will be interesting to see what the head of the right intake tappet looks like.

I'm hoping that it's not a problem of the camshaft lobe being wiped out, but make sure to carefully examine the cam and the face of the lifter. If they show signs of damage, investigate whether the oil you are using has sufficient ZDDP for use in a flat tappet engine. I won't get into oil recommendations, brands, or chemistry here (I'll save that for the hated "Oil Threads" forum), but it's been an issue with modern oils and old engine designs.
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby JamesG » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:01 am

I think it would take some kind of catastrophic gear train failure to grind down a cam shaft in 580 kms. Plus any failure at the cam or tappet would shrek holy hell and he'd see debris in the valve cover because oil would w@$# it down the pushrod tube.

I'm going with a bad rocker arm. Maybe one from the bad batch made it on to his bike?
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby Coluralado » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:44 am

JamesG wrote:I think it would take some kind of catastrophic gear train failure to grind down a cam shaft in 580 kms. Plus any failure at the cam or tappet would shrek holy hell and he'd see debris in the valve cover because oil would w@$# it down the pushrod tube.

I'm going with a bad rocker arm. Maybe one from the bad batch made it on to his bike?


+1 I'm thinking he would've saw some evidence in his oil.
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby Msblu79 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:04 am

I couldn't tell from the pics which rocker arms you have. I have a photo showing the good & bad ones but it's at home, I will post later. Main thing is there should be a support rib going across the entire back of the arm, if there is a gap or a low section in the middle of the arm you have the bad ones. Without the full rib they will bend until they fail completely. :foilhead:
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby Darkblood » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:26 am

Might be a silly question but you are rotating the engine to TDC for each side when you adjust right?
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Re: Tappet Failure?

Postby VWK75S » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:52 am

Darkblood wrote:Might be a silly question but you are rotating the engine to TDC for each side when you adjust right?

That's a good point.
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