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Thread: Well, I managed to snag another one!

  1. #1
    apriliaforum expert pete roper's Avatar
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    Well, I managed to snag another one!

    Having moved on the V7 'Racer' for a healthy profit after it had fulfilled its map development duties I was on the hunt for another orphan to rescue.

    Managed to find a 2009 Small Tank Stelvio with only 12,000 km on the clock up in Bundaberg in Queensland languishing on Gumtree, (Like an Oz Craigslist type flea market.). Sure it's a flat tappet shitter but at 12,000km it won't of had time to kill itself so I'll fly up, ride it home and rollerise it. Voila! Almost new, 50mm fork, roller Stelvio for a very reasonable price!

    So much win!

    Pete
    Professional Goat Burster.

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    Pete, what makes those early Stelvios hand grenades? I came very close to buying one of those originals, in fact what put me off was its front tire spontaneously deflating in the showroom. When the shop pulled it apart they found a rubber O-ring had split under a spoke nipple. Today I see that as fortuitous.

  3. #3
    apriliaforum expert pete roper's Avatar
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    The pre mid 2013 8V motors used a flat tappet system to open the valves. The engineering was fatally flawed, all the flat tappet motors destroy their top ends. there are no exceptions although you won't know this unless you pull the cambox to inspect them. There is no outward sign of damage until the problem is well advanced. Clearances don't change appreciably until all the DLC is off the tappet. By then its all too late.

    I now have a policy of ANY flat tappet 8V that appears in my shop HAS to be inspected. If the owner says "No' then my tools stay in the box. Since instituting this policy I have had a 100% failure rate on any bike with over 20,000 Km. Michael and I have completed about a hundred rollerisations now.

    The spoke O-ring thing is not really much of an issue. Pull the wheel, take the tyre off. Drop the spoke and re-o-ring the nipple, lubricate it before reassembly and you're good to go. My Griso has wire wheels because I like them and I'm a tosser. My Stelvio I bought a pair of alloy wheels for simply because they're easier and my Stelvio is a workhorse, and a turd!

    Pete
    Professional Goat Burster.

  4. #4
    apriliaforum expert pete roper's Avatar
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    Typical early damage.





    Look at the nose circle of the cam lobe. You can see the damage caused by the tappet leaving the opening flank at certain engine speeds and hammering on the lobe.



    If you leave it too long it gets much worse and you end up feeding DLC and steel fragments through the bottom of the motor.



    The results are ugly and cost me my 2008 engine.

    You can see the particulate DLC embedded in this big end.

    Professional Goat Burster.

  5. #5
    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    A classic case of "let's cut the production costs and worry about brand reputation later".

  6. #6
    apriliaforum expert NUMBER41's Avatar
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    You think? As an optimist, I'd LIKE to believe that they didn't see it coming, and just hoped for the best after issues revealed themselves. Better (from a bottom line standpoint) to hope that the bikes had moved on to second owners who could blame the original owner for neglect/etc when the issues really came out? Sure, you have to contend with the long-term implications for the brand, but it's not like MG has a giant following anyway, so the die-hards probably wouldn't change their biases..............All of this is conjecture, mind you!!!
    I find tinsel very distracting.

  7. #7
    apriliaforum expert pete roper's Avatar
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    My belief is that the 8V was originally designed to use the roller tappets. Looking at the cambox castings it is evident that the tappet bores were cast large enough for the rollers and far too large for the flatties. My guess is that the bean counters over-rode the engineers who were asked for a cheaper option to the rollers.

    The initial run of 8V's used chilled cast iron tappets and they started failing very early, especially in cool, damp climates. There was a mad scramble and by mid 2009, (From memory.) a recall had been announced and they swapped them it to first series forged steel tappets with a DLC coating on them. Unfortunately it became evident very early in the piece that this wasn't going to cure the problem and by the middle of 2010 it must of been clearly apparent that a change to the roller system would be required.

    The problem was that at that time they were gearing up for the launch of the California 1400 and not only was it wanted to be the 'First' model to have the roller top end but there was I would imagine a supply issue. These things don't grow on trees and the sub-contractors who would supply such componentry would probably have limited capacity so they all went into the *New* Calis.

    So what did they do? Well, they continued producing and selling flat tappet models knowing they were going to fail but they already knew the fix, rollerisation, but to save themselves money down the track when the inevitable failures started rearing their heads they started puting the *Other* bits of the conversion into the flat tappet top ends, (Namely the preload shims to increase the seating poundage of the valves and combat surge with the heavier roller tappets.) and marked the heads accordingly so that it is possible to know before you start whether the engine will need the more expensive to supply and install 'C' kit or the much easier and less expensive 'B' kit. In going down this route there were also savings to be gained by not having a recall as some bikes would be written off before the damage became apparent and some might not get to the point where the damage is critical within a *Reasonable* time period allowing them once more to wriggle out of the cost of owning their fuck-up!

    Look. I may be completely wrong! But if it walks like a duck? And quacks like a duck? I think it highly unlikely it's a giraffe!

    Also the myth is still being propogated that failures are rare. Believe me, they aren't. Since I instituted my 'Inspect every flattie that comes into the shop or my tools stay in the box' policy I've discovered a 100% failure rate on machines over 20,000km. I've done about 100 rollerisations now and have more buggered tappets, rooted cams and scrap camboxes lying around than you can point a shitty stick at.

    For the record bikes made before the middle of 2012 are all flat tappet machines. 2008-mid '10 bikes require a 'C' kit, mid '10-mid'11 roughly need a 'B' kit and mid '11-mid '12 need an 'A' Kit. There is also a 'Stand alone' 'D' kit for late model 1200 Sports which never went to the USA.

    I love the Guzzi 8V, I think it is a superb motor and it enrages me that its reputation is so tarnished. Once rollerised they are unburstable and once mapped up correctly behave and perform in a very similar manner to a 'HEAVY' V1000 Rotax engined Aprilia! No, they aren't everybody's cup of tea but they are mine. Its demise in anything other than the Cali series bikes, (In which I include the MGX-21.) is a crying shame. The CARC series bikes deserve so much more than to simply become 'Orphans' but I fear that may be exactly what does happen.

    Pete
    Professional Goat Burster.

  8. #8
    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    Your testimony is that of an expert witness, Pete. Very convincing.

  9. #9
    apriliaforum Junkie
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    One day I must move on to an 8v engine.

    The Bellagio is still a nice bike though!

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