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Cam Chain Adjuster check (Read 9134 times)
verslagen1
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Cam Chain Adjuster check
09/30/07 at 08:43:49
 
The art of Zen riding is more fun then Zen wrenching IMHO.  But in order to ride with a clear mind some wrenching must be performed.  In this case every 5k miles.

To check your adjuster you have to remove a few things, gather a few tools and buy a gasket or 2.

Supplies:
You need a clutch cover gasket about $17
Or form-a-gasket, I like Ultra Grey.
And you may need a exhaust header gasket about $4
Your favorite oil.
Oil filter if you like.

Tools:
A 8mm socket for the clutch cover bolts.
A 19mm wrench or an adjustable metric wrench.
A 17mm socket for the foot peg mounting plate nuts.
A 14mm wrench to hold the other side.
A 17 or a 14mm wrench to drop the oil.
A 8mm allen wrench for the filter cover.
A 12mm socket and wrench for the muffler/header.
A Torque wrench
A big flat bladed screwdriver.
And External Snap ring pliers for small rings
And your favorite cake tin to drop the oil in.

Instructions:
Drop oil
Remove filter
Remove the right foot peg, leave the cables on, just get it off and let it hang out of the way, be careful not to over extend the brake switch cable, that little SOB is held in place with a plastic something or other that I've never seen cause I overextended it and it went poof!  Micro roach clips are a good replacement.
Remove the muffler and header together as one piece.
Disengage clutch cable, careful with the little tab that holds it in place, don't bend it any more than you have to.  If it snaps off, you can use a cotter pin instead.
Remove clutch cover bolts, note which ones have seals (3) and which ones are long (2).

W marks location of washers, arrows marks location of longer screws.
Remove the clutch cover.

Tip: 19mm wrench fits on the clutch lever to pop the cover loose or use the adjustable metric wrench.  And use big screwdriver on the offsets around the case to ease it off evenly.  There are 2 big pins which align the cover to case and they hang up the cover unless you pull it off evenly.  If you intend to reuse the gasket, you can ease the cover off about an 1/8" all around and check which side the gasket is stuck to, either the case or the cover.  It doesn't matter which, just not stuck to both.

The plunger attaches to the rear guide, aka "tensioner"
And it rests in the housing.  The plunger and the housing together are the adjuster.  Measure the amount the plunger sticks out of the housing.  When it sticks out more than 18mm (.71") It's time to do something.

Note: Past time to do something

To remove the adjuster remove the bolt that attaches it to the tensioner.  And don't loose the spring, it will come flying out.  Then remove the ring that holds the housing in place.  Housing should slip easily off then.  Don't loose the ring either.  And if your pliers has an adjustable stop use it, don't over extend these rings or you'll have to replace it.  That's a buck you don't need to spend.

Several things affect this projection.
Chain Stretch: SSM states the limit for 21 pins center to center is 128.8mm (5.07"),  when new it's 127mm (5").
Guide Wear: No specifications exist for this.  In extreme cases they have been known to separate from the steel backing and clog the oil pump.  So look for deep cracks or loose bits.  Pull the chain taunt (to the right) and the guide to the left and inspect round portion of the guide for wear.
Chain/Sprocket Wear: No sprocket wear has been reported.  Chain wear may contribute to plunger extension.

Once you've finished dropping everything on the floor, replace in reverse order.  Check the condition of your exhaust gasket and replace if necessary.  Check the condition of your clutch cover gasket, replace if necessary.  About 10 ftlbs on the oil filter and clutch cover, 50 ftlbs on the footpeg, 20 ftlbs on the header, muffler nuts tight.  All from memory so check your bibles for the actual range.

Make sure upon reinstalling the cover that your clutch cable hanger is in the upright position.  But if you've forgotten, put a wrench on the arm and swing it up, then you'll have room to swing the hanger up.

Don't forget to use antisieze on the header bolts, you may want to remove them some time in the future.


Leave the folded zip tie in place until the tensioner is bolted into the bike.

Then when it is all bolted in place....take out the folded zip tie.
The tensioner will self-adjust into place....you don't need to do anything.



If you chain has stretched enough to extend all the way out.....then use the 2nd hole.
Only once the plunger is all the way out, and it is held in place by a pawl on the bottom of the housing.  
Push it in and compress the plunger, and lock it in place with the folded zip tie.  
Readjust the chain guide to the 2nd hole, and pull the folded zip tie again.

I estimate 1mm is about 1,000 miles, it’s a rough guess, and w/out the pin and slot I wouldn’t go past 20mm (.787”).  
19mm (.748”) is the recommended max to prevent damage to the housing.


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« Last Edit: 02/25/17 at 23:09:20 by verslagen1 »  

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verslagen1
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #1 - 10/08/07 at 13:50:51
 
Since these are hard to find, I'll include method's for fixing.

Aeres wrote on 12/31/69 at 16:00:03:
Today I was just replacing my timing chain in the '95 engine I have, and thought I would put in my $0.02 since there seems to be some weirdness going on with these chains and tensioners.

I recently bought this engine used, it was still running but was making a hellova racket, which turned out to be severe chain noise.  The tensioner had ratcheted out beyond the end of the plunger rack, popped out and was about to let the main spring loose into the case.

After pulling out the chain and measuring the 20 links as per the SSM, I found the chain was still within tolerances.  128.3 mm vs. the 128.9 wear limit in the book.

Why would the tensioner plunger pop out if the chain was in spec?  This was a factory build, so there was no shaved head or any other apparent goofiness.  Why was the chain so loose?

I put in a different known good chain, but the new tensioner was still about two clicks from bailing out like the last one.  This was unacceptable.

So my solution was to modify the main tensioner guide.  This guide has a metal insert for strength, so I carefully bent it to provide a longer curve in the center.  Adding this mild curve allowed it to take up more chain slack than the stock shape for a given displacement of the tensioner.

Once I installed this mod the plunger of the tensioner ratcheted out to only 10mm (measured between the plunger shoulder and tensioner face) before it tightened the chain completely.  This means that about 2/3 of the plunger rack is still within the tensioner body.  Much better...



Quote:
If I succeeded in loading the pics right (I am a newbie to this forum stuff, as you might be able to tell) you can see the slight bend in the top one vs the bottom one.

So, I'll fire it up tomorrow and find out whether I fixed it or whether I have a new boat anchor.  

I'll let you know what happens...



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« Last Edit: 05/18/11 at 21:22:43 by verslagen1 »  

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verslagen1
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #2 - 10/08/07 at 14:37:57
 
slavy wrote on 12/31/69 at 16:00:02:
I made some mod. to my tensioner- just made the part that slides out longer /welded  about 1" extension/ and drilleed a new hole 12 mm ftom the old one . Now the cam chain tensioner is almost all the way IN. And No, I did not check how does it work, because the engine is still on the bench, waiting for a proper paper work for the bike where it will go.
If somebody wants a picture, just send me an e-mail and I'll send You back a picture.

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« Last Edit: 05/18/11 at 21:24:01 by verslagen1 »  

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verslagen1
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #3 - 11/27/07 at 11:22:44
 
Want to check the condition of the cam chain and can't wait to change the oil?  Lean her over and the oil all runs to the other side making it possible to open her up and check the chain, clutch, or whatever.  Only a little bit (less than a cup/more than a teasp00n) of oil leaks out from being trapped on top of the gasket.   Grin
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #4 - 06/25/08 at 20:42:34
 
You could look at every time you torqued the head bolts which the owners manual say every 3500 miles or every year.  right.  I know we'd rather ride than twist wrenches and getting to the clutch cover off is an hour of low down stuff.  A quick trip to the chiropracter. and an hour to put it back together.

Some adjusters have fallen out at 7k miles.  So 5k seems like a winner.  Take a measurement and make a guess when you want to look at it again.  One fellow here went from 17mm to 23 in 60 miles.  So don't take this measurement for granted, keep your ears peeled.

One thing I would definitely recomend to check out the condition of a new to you bike is to do this inspection asap.  It will tell you how the bike was kept.  If the bike is ran with out oil, this chain and the guides are going to suffer.  And there's a possibility that the owner is selling cause of this as this maitenance is probably in the neighborhood of $750.  Anybody have this done?  How much did the stealership nail you for?
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #5 - 06/30/09 at 19:55:31
 
verslagen1 wrote on 09/30/07 at 08:43:49:
......
Instructions:
Drop oil
Remove filter
Remove the right foot peg, leave the cables on, just get it off and let it hang out of the way, be careful not to over extend the brake switch cable, that little SOB is held in place with a plastic something or other that I've never seen cause I overextended it and it went poof!  Micro roach clips are a good replacement.
Remove the muffler and header together as one piece.....


If I may, I'd like to input a slight modification I made to Verslagen's excellent instructions:

I found it was not necessary to totally remove the starboard footpeg bracket from the frame.

I loosened both footpeg bracket nuts.  Then, I tapped the upper-forward long bolt inboard with a brass hammer.  I tapped it in enough so that the forward portion (only) of the footpeg bracket could now be tilted downward, thus clearing the clutch-side engine case.  (Note that you cannot tap in the aft footpeg bracket bolt if the kickstand bracket is in place on the port side of the motorcycle).

This way, you don't have to struggle against the stiff rear brake cable to remove the rear portion of the footpeg bracket from the frame - and you still have clear access to the clutch-side engine case and its bolts.

Here is a picture of the starboard footpeg bracket after performing this procedure:





IHTH someone!
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #6 - 07/05/09 at 20:26:58
 
verslagen1 wrote on 09/30/07 at 08:43:49:
....
Supplies:
You need a clutch cover gasket about $10
Or form-a-gasket, I like Ultra Grey.
And you may need a exhaust header gasket about $4
Your favorite oil.
Oil filter if you like.....


To the list of supplies, I would add three washer gaskets (Suzuki P/N 09168-06023 or 09168-06024).  FYI, the gasket washers used with some of the head cover bolts are Suzuki P/N 09168-06023.

Some may consider new washer gaskets to be optional when doing this job, however, they are so cheap I put them in the category of "there is no reason NOT to replace them."

IHTH!
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I don't own a cage.
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #7 - 07/06/09 at 20:09:27
 
verslagen1 wrote on 09/30/07 at 08:43:49:
.....About 10 ftlbs on the oil filter and clutch cover, 50 ftlbs on the footpeg, 20 ftlbs on the header, muffler nuts tight.  All from memmory so check your bibles for the actual range...


Just for the record:

On my bike (see signature), the FSM does not specify a torque for the oil filter and clutch cover bolts.  If you want to torque them anyway, the generic torque for "conventional" grade 6 mm bolts is 3-5 ft-lbs.

The other torques mentioned above are all close enough for government work.
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #8 - 07/30/09 at 11:47:23
 
Checking the Cam Chain Adjuster is a great way to gage the condition of your bike.  How fast this wears is a good indication of how well the head is getting oiled.
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #9 - 08/08/09 at 12:28:17
 
The Clutch/Crankcase cover bolts (6mm) torque specs are listed at 6.6 to 9.6 ft/lbs. I just torqued them at 100 inch/lbs = 8.3 ft/lbs
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #10 - 08/21/09 at 20:53:59
 
vtail wrote on 08/08/09 at 12:28:17:
The Clutch/Crankcase cover bolts (6mm) torque specs are listed at 6.6 to 9.6 ft/lbs. I just torqued them at 100 inch/lbs = 8.3 ft/lbs


FWIW....

For my bike (see signature), the FSM lists the torque range for these bolts as being 3 -5 ft-lbs.  If the bolts are hardened, then the torque range is listed as 6 - 8.5 ft-lbs.

I don't think that these particular bolts are hardened.
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #11 - 11/10/09 at 21:56:01
 
For those of you w/o mechanical talent and want to know when to get fleesed by the stealership, teach your ankles to listen to the engine.  Press the sides of your shoes against the top of the covers on both sides.  When the vibes are uneven, your timebomb is ticking.  I've been hearing intermitant ticking for a month now.  Yesterday, the alarm rung, 21mm.
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #12 - 01/24/10 at 22:48:58
 
Couldn't find the detailed sketch I know is in the SSM.  
This picture shows new on top and a used chain on the bottom.
And he's measuring the stretch over about 14", not the required 21 pin measurement.
So, stretch out the chain like shown, and it would be good to stretch it a bit.  One end on a nail, the other with a bungee cord, weight, whatever.  count off 21 pins, measure from center to center, but left edge of the pin to left edge is the same.
127mm or 5" is brand new.
service limit is 128.9mm or 5.075"
While you got it in your hand, check for any stiff links.
I'd replace it if you have any.

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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #13 - 02/01/10 at 10:52:36
 
Here's a chain check procedure I'm trying to work out.

Take the clutch and primary gear off.
http://suzukisavage.com/cgi-bin/YaBB.pl?num=1262974235/5#5

Remove the adjuster assembly.
Tie or hold back the rear guide aka adjuster.
Wiggle the chain links about and check for any stiff links.
mark the leading and last link that you can check somehow (white grease?)
Rotate the engine to make another section available.
Repeat check and rotate until all links are checked.

And please note that when you replace the clutch, on the oil pump drive gear, the teeth should be directly over the drive pin.

And other thing to check is the oil pump gear shaft, push in the gear and check alignment with the drive gear.  Then pull out.  Either way it should not be in danger of coming off.  If it comes off, the dangerous little oil pressure you got becomes non existant.
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Re: Cam Chain Adjuster check
Reply #14 - 05/03/10 at 19:42:40
 
I think this post probably should be in rubber-side down, but if I get the answer then it will help others with little/no mechanical knowledge like myself Wink when they find this thread.

I get why we do this check, but I don't seem to have found anything in this thread that tells a newbie like myself, what to do to fix the problems.

I mean if the chain is stretched I assume that obviously means replace cam-chain if passed the maximum stretch point.
And if the arm the plunger goes into has become (I think the term used was oblongated) through misaligned plunging, then a new arm is needed.

Am I correct here?

At 17822km on the clock I should check (I bought at 13000km) and without having any knowledge of what has been done mechanically before, it is a sure bet the plunger is not far off popping out of the arm.
I just don't want to check it only to find myself wondering 'ok it's almost farked...so now what?'
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