Cam chain tensioner removal.

Alexs650e

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Hello all,

I have finally built my shed, purchased a tool bench, pulled the engine out, took top end apart, to find out, in order to replace the camera chain tensioner, I'd have to cut the cam chain. I don't want to cut the chain. I am going to try and replace the riveted part of the new assembly, not at the pivot point, with a bolt and locknut. It doesn't even seem like that rod is needed mechanically. I don't have the tool to rivet a new link, and I won't buy something I'll use once in a lifetime, and possibly not do it right. You might say, you built a shed and bought a bench, what's $100 more? The shed and bench I use daily. I'll never use a rivet tool probably ever again, and I use clip style drive chains.

Thoughts? On the mechanical item, not my wallet.
 
Which chain tensioner? It's the front guide that usually needs replaced.
Do NOT cut or remove the master link!
tap out the dual bearing off each end of the cam. Then the cam will drop down far enough to get the chain off the sprocket. You can now remove the cam.
I'm replacing the guide and the tensioner assembly. I figured out the cam removal, that wasn't hard. The cam chain guide is falling apart. The cam chain tensioner has grooves from the cam chain, so that needs to go too.
 
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That's pretty much normal wear on that rear tensioner blade. I never replace them. They don't fall apart like the front one does. I always replace that one. If the bike has around 20K or more on it, I always replace the cam chain too. You can get a chain rivet tool off eBay for less than $20.
It does have 23k miles on it. It just looks in really good shape. Have the tensioner. I might just not update the tensioner, not cut the chain and finish the top end rebuild for now. If the engine survives this, I'll put in another 7k, and I'll do another top end rebuild/check up. Maybe throw in some Wiseco pistons to lighten up, and a new cam chain with the tensioner.
 
I changed the cam chain mostly because the timing adjustments were at the ends of adjustment indicating chain stretch.
I have the new and old cam chain length comparison in my thread.
I was planning on changing the front guide out of caution only to find plastic was totally delaminated when I pulled top valve covers off.
I'd look at your timing screws to see if its in the middle or at the end and change it if its close to the end or you may end up not having enough timing adjustment range. The stretch also affects the valve timing, its like rotating a cam lobe some. Did I notice more power when I was done?, not really. But I feel better knowing I took care of 2 of the known wear issues on the bike.
If you look at the photo you can see at the top left how that slot the screw goes into is all the way to the left of the slot. I could not rotate the points CW any more to advance the timing to the correct setting.


IMG_7491.jpg
 
I changed the cam chain mostly because the timing adjustments were at the ends of adjustment indicating chain stretch.
I have the new and old cam chain length comparison in my thread.
I was planning on changing the front guide out of caution only to find plastic was totally delaminated when I pulled top valve covers off.
I'd look at your timing screws to see if its in the middle or at the end and change it if its close to the end or you may end up not having enough timing adjustment range. The stretch also affects the valve timing, its like rotating a cam lobe some. Did I notice more power when I was done?, not really. But I feel better knowing I took care of 2 of the known wear issues on the bike.
If you look at the photo you can see at the top left how that slot the screw goes into is all the way to the left of the slot. I could not rotate the points CW any more to advance the timing to the correct setting.


View attachment 324850
Gotcha. No, my plate was sitting somewhere in the middle. So it probably has more life. I feel much more confident re-opening the engine in another 7k miles, now that I'm doing it for the first time. I haven't ridden it since 2019, so I just need to put her back on the road...
 
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