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Thread: Flat Tappet problems on 8V Guzzis permed 2012.

  1. #1
    apriliaforum expert pete roper's Avatar
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    Flat Tappet problems on 8V Guzzis permed 2012.

    Just as a heads up all of the flat tappet bikes are likely to fail.

    It seems that diagnosis is in some cases poor and in many cases there may actually be shameful gouging of customers who choose to have their tappets inspected to check for wear.

    For what its worth every flat tappet bike I have inspected after my revision to my earlier opinion on the matter having been proven wrong has shown signs of wear. Every one. Not a few, many. I now have a veritable alp of dead camshafts and tappets in my workshop. Believe me when I say that you DO NOT want to wait until the problem becomes unavoidably apparent as by then it will of fed shit all through the engine and the chances of you loosing the big end bearings increases exponentially. at that point it starts getting REALLY expensive.

    Unfortunately at least one person I know was charged eight hours to have their tappets inspected on a Griso. This was so patently barmy that my mate Mark who was over today videoed me stripping a left hand cambox on another low mileage bike today. We only filmed the LH side but stripped both. The LH side is the harder of the two but can be done without removing the tank. The video, which I will link up here later, lasts for 13 minutes. This is from start to the point I've disassembled the cambox on the bench. I wasn't working fast. The RH box took about ten minutes longer as I had to remove the tank to de-tension the cam chain on the RH side and the 'Quick Disconnect' didn't want top so i dropped the injectors off the manifolds.

    One bloke in So-Cal was charged EIGHT HOURS for this job, (Plus the reassembly which takes only a fraction longer.) and was told his tappets were fine. No pictures were supplied and to be honest I doubt the veracity of this claim.

    Yes. We are here to make money from our skills but as the likes of Micah will I'm sure attest there is a difference between diligence and a fair price and rampant gouging and bare faced stupidity!

    Below are three pics of the cam and, most importantly, the tappets. This sort of wear is NOT normal, or acceptable. Failing to address it s per the instructions for upgrade will result in you trashing your engine, sooner rather than later.







    Even the tiny amount of wear visible on a couple of the tappets above is too much and must be dealt with by rollerisation. There is no other fix.

    If you own a flat tappet 8V Guzzi do NOT delay. Inspection is cheap, (On some models it will cost more than others due to more shit needing to be removed but its still easy and inexpensive in the scheme of things.) To get Piaggio to supply an upgrade kit you will need to have a FULL service history. That means that your bike has to have been serviced either on TIME or on DISTANCE travelled, whichever is the greater. If You only have 20,000Km on a five year old bike and only have two recorded services? No dice. it IS written in the warranty and service book so there can't really be any comeback legally, no matter how rough that may seem. Any bike out of its two year warranty you'll have to pay for the install which varies depending on what kit you need.

    Video to come.

    Pete
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  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert pokeyjoe's Avatar
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    Diamond Like Coating, indeed.
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  3. #3
    apriliaforum expert RossGuzzi's Avatar
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    I had a V10 Centuro that had the cam followers (I think is the right term) wear thru the hard coating.

    Carn`t Guzzi get there shit together FFS !!
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  4. #4
    apriliaforum expert pete roper's Avatar
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    The roller tappet system has proven super reliable. It was very disappointing that the flat tappet system failed, (It cost me my engine.) but all manufacturers goof up from time to time. What was inexcuseable was continuing to sell vehicles they knew had a flawed top end for two years after they knew about the problem and how to fix it, but didn't!

    The earlier hi-cams weren't particularly weak in the top end. It was their oil pumps and gears that were their Achilles heel!

    Pete
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  5. #5
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    So, Pete. What is the flaw in the flat tappet engine?

  6. #6
    apriliaforum expert pete roper's Avatar
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    Don't know for certain but I've been researching the issue, with the help of some very highly skilled and knowledgeable people, for seven years. Up until this year I'd never seen a failure on a bike I'd serviced from new. Problem was I wasn't pulling the camboxes to inspect, simply relying on the clearances not changing. Unfortunately this wasn't a good enough indicator as my revised regime of inspecting every Flattie I get through the shop has shown 100% failure rate on even comparatively low mileage bikes, (Sub-10,000kms.).

    There are certainly factors that seem to make failure occur more rapidly but what the actual 'Smoking Gun' consists of continues to elude me. DLC though was probably a bad material choice especially when combined with the cam profiles needed to get the Nuovo Hi-Cam to work properly. Getting it to adhere to a ferrous base is also difficult.

    As is usually the case with an issue like this though as soon as it becomes apparent a host of *Experts* will pop their heads up and start spouting unresearched opinion and it just muddies the water. At this point I think it will be highly unlikely we'll ever get a definitive answer.

    As it is it would appear that the change to a roller timing system has completely cured the issue, (The Cali 14 was launched in 2012. It was the first roller top end engine. I have yet to hear of a single problem with the roller top end in either the Cali's or the post June 2012 roller 1200's.). It's a great shame, it's a magnificent engine and a joy to work on.

    Pete
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  7. #7
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    It is a shame.
    I am not sure about DLC being the wrong way to go.
    I hope Guzzi hasn't given up on flat tappet engines.

  8. #8
    apriliaforum expert pete roper's Avatar
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    Not clever enough to transfer the link but here's a link to the thread with the cambox removal vid in.

    http://www.grisoghetto.com/t1987-tap...attie-8v#28157

    It is NOT an eight hour job!

    Pete
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  9. #9
    apriliaforum expert ScottG's Avatar
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    What years & models are affected, I've looked at a couple Griso's that were nice but didn't realize they had cam/tappet problems before.

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert
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    It is the 8 valve 1200 cc Guzzi's. Some time in 2012 they started fitting the heads with roller tappets. Before that they were flat tappet.
    I believe Pete is saying all 1200cc 8 valve Guzzi's that are flat tappet will eat their valve trains.
    The issue is well documented and a quick internet search should pull up plenty of info. About the only thing you won't find is a clear explanation of why.
    The older 1100 2 valve motors have flat tappets but they do not eat their valve trains.

  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert Bill in OKC's Avatar
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    I don't know about Guzzi's but there are threads and threads on the EPA-reduced ZDDP causing cam/tappet failures on older engines. The air cooled Porsche forums are crazy with oil zinc level threads to keep the engines from eating themselves alive.
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  12. #12
    apriliaforum expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in OKC View Post
    I don't know about Guzzi's but there are threads and threads on the EPA-reduced ZDDP causing cam/tappet failures on older engines. The air cooled Porsche forums are crazy with oil zinc level threads to keep the engines from eating themselves alive.
    http://www.enginebuildermag.com/2014...-cam-failures/
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  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert pete roper's Avatar
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    (Sigh.) With a DLC coating ZDDP can actually be counterproductive in terms of wear resistance. I read this somewhere other than the web. Oh, thats right, in three engineering papers from two European and one American university but then an article in a popular mechanics magazine is going to carry much more weight.

    There are also a host of other factors that are pretty much unique to the Nuovo Hi-Cam which I can't be bothered going over again.

    pete
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  14. #14
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    Sorry you feel that way Pete. I would like to hear your explanation for why the 8 valve Guzzi's eat their valve trains. If you have already posted your explanation somewhere else would you consider posting a link?
    As to the DLC / ZDDP issue, there is information about that on the internet, not just in papers. While they still seem to be learning about DLC's, there is already evidence that some DLC's don't like ZDDP.

  15. #15
    apriliaforum expert pete roper's Avatar
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    Sorry, I wasn't meaning to be snappy, I apologise. It's just that I've been trying to get to the bottom of this problem since it first reared its head in 2008. I've spent quite literally months reading up on the physics of valve trains, the chemistry of oil additives and the assorted properties of assorted surface coatings. I've also has componentry hardness and fatigue tested at one of the most well equipped and staffed metallurgical facilities in the Southern Hemisphere and failed parts examined by electron microscopy in the hope of finding a 'Smoking gun'. Yes, I have my theories and I'm pretty sure I have a pretty good idea why the failures occur and what makes them occur a lot earlier and more obviously in some environments.

    Every time new evidence presents itself or new data appears I have to review what I know and sometimes change what I believe. Thing is though I'm not writing a PhD paper on the subject and I'm certainly not getting paid but I do spend a fair bit of time getting trolled by idiots if I try and share what I've found out and am expected by some to endlessly repeat explanations that have been published many times over the years. I simply don't have enough life left to waste on that.

    I think it a great shame that the engineers screwed up so badly as it has done enormous harm to the reputation of Guzzi and has left a black cloud over the 8V which is a magnificent engine that not only delivers wonderful performance for a 'Road' bike but maintains all the great hallmarks of simplicity and ease of maintenance. The reason I've taken so much time trying to get to the bottom of the matter is really for my own satisfaction and understanding. I'm more than happy to share what I've found out but I'm not going to waste time arguing about it or constantly repeating and justifying the same facts.

    Pete
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