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Thread: Linked or linkless timing chain ?

  1. #1
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    Linked or linkless timing chain ?

    I have my 1993 R100RS stripped down to the timing chain and thought it would be prudent to install a new chain at 67,000 miles. Max BMW sent me a new linkless chain whereas the chain installed has a link. So my questions.
    1. What did they come from the factory with. I'm guessing linkless in which case my chain with link is already a replacement chain.
    2. Depending upon the answer to '1' do I need to worry about having a chain with link.

  2. #2
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    Either will work. If you go with a chain with no link all you have to do is totally dismantle the engine down to get the chain around the sproket of both the cam and the crank. This usually means a total engine rebuild. That's why you go with a chain with a link. With only 67,000 miles and a chain with a link, it's probably still usable. I think a timing chain is good for 75,000-100,000 miles, at least.

  3. #3
    Nutfarm
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    The cam drive chain is link less from the factory and you have to remove the sprockets to install a new one. If you install the chain with a master link, you should install it with the clip to the inside, or toward the crankcase. In my opinion the clip is safer back there.

    You should take a look at the chain tensioner shoe as well while you're in there.

  4. #4
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    Excellent, thanks

    If the cam/timing chain is linkless from the factory it would appear mine at 67,000 has already been replaced since I have a linked chain. Excellent news as that's one less job to do.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Luddite Looney wecm31's Avatar
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    Hmmm. I did the chain on my bike at 100k miles and it had the link.
    Pretty sure it was the factory original.

    I (a punter amateur) can't imagine installing a linkless chain. I was challenged
    enough to get the new cam fully seated, hate to have the chain to deal
    with at the same time.

    OTOH...putting on that link was no picnic either. Definitely on the trickier end of
    things I have done on the bike. Used a zip tied through the links to get things
    rough set, then installed the master from the back. Then the clip on from the front,
    "swimming downstream". The clip was on the front before I started and is again.
    Gerald P
    The last thing I want to be is just like everyone else...
    1985 R80RT
    1969 Sport Fury Convertible

  6. #6
    Registered User Manitou_Commando's Avatar
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    Well men, I have read this thread and some others and have now undertaken some deep inspection of my 1988 R100RS. It has 84,000M and I bought it nearly 10 years ago when it had but 24,000M on it. It was very nicely maintained though I have not not been as responsible as the previous owner.
    I took off EME alternator that I installed 9 years ago. It has held up well. Then I got the timing chest cover off. No brainer.

    How do you know when the chain and sprockets need to be replaced. The teeth on my sprockets are still flat rather than pointy. Is this a testament to thinking pure thoughts while in the bikes presence? Or is it prudent at this juncture to just buy all the sprockets, chains and seals and tensioners? Or should I continue to think pure thoughts and change the dino-squeezins every 3,000M?
    Rick

    Lord, please rescue me from your followers.

  7. #7
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    If I had gone this far, I think I'd go ahead and change some of the parts...it's been 84K miles. From what I understand, the large cam gear doesn't really wear that fast...it is constantly bathed in oil. The smaller crank gear teeth will usually show signs of cupping. The chain stretches but not really in way that is easily measured. So, it would seem prudent to change the smaller gear, the chain, and the tensioner parts. That should get you another 84K!!
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  8. #8
    Registered User krpntr's Avatar
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    I did the job twice on my '82 R100. The first time I changed the chain only. It lasted about two years or about 20 k miles, or rather, until Mr. Vallantine, of Vallantine Motor works of Seattle, pointed out the noise from the loose chain rattling about. The second time, I changed both gears and the tensioner as well as the chain. That was about 90 k ago and I don't think I need to go back in any time soon. Both times it was a linked chain with the clip on the outside. The second time in, is when I discovered how the judicious use of heat makes things come apart and go together again with relative ease. As much as I enjoy working on my bikes, I'm not looking forward to doing it again. Even it It was a tremendous learning experience with tons of opportunity to better my mechanical skills and dexterity.

  9. #9
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    They do the linkless in the factory, because during new assembly it cuts down production time while bringing better quality control and consistency - in that environment using the linkless is superior.

    For field repairs, assuming you are changing only the chain, the linked saves time, but you have to double check link direction, chain length, and peening quality where applicable.

  10. #10
    Registered User Manitou_Commando's Avatar
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    OK, so I am now going to hijack this thread as I am doing the same work and am a deep believer in saving electrons.
    I have gotten down to the point of being able to see the timing chain and sprockets. At this point i read some instructions and see that it's recommended that the engine be set to TDC before dismantling the timing gear. How important is it to be at TDC?
    Rick

    Lord, please rescue me from your followers.

  11. #11
    Registered User krpntr's Avatar
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    Vital. most important. The marks on the gears must be lined up exactly or all is lost effort. Even slightly off will result in a poor running engine if it even starts. This is what times the valve train.

  12. #12
    Registered User Manitou_Commando's Avatar
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    OK so I put it at TDC to remove the timing gear. As I was unable to pry it off with a crowbar, I was forced to go to the auto parts store for a puller. The guys at Advance lent me a puller and I got it off lickety-split.

    BTW, TDC does not allow one to remove the master link, so I nudged it a bit to a point where I was able to get the master link removed. after removing the chain, I mounted the puller on the crank and its arms behind the sprocket. HA! This was way too easy, right? Cranked the bolt down onto the crank and lo and behold, the bearing and sprocket began to lift off.

    Unfortunately, the crank turned a bit. So now the crank and camshafts are no longer registered as they were when the chain was in place. So while I am waiting for the parts to be shipped, I will have plenty of time to contemplate the error of my ways.

    Anyone able to point me in the direction where the answer to registering the two sprockets can be found?

    BTW, I was going to add some photos but this lame website failed to allow uploading. I'm sure it has nothing to do with me, right?
    Rick

    Lord, please rescue me from your followers.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manitou_Commando View Post
    OK so I put it at TDC to remove the timing gear. As I was unable to pry it off with a crowbar
    OUCH! Wrong tool!

    As far as the timing, point the timing marks at each other. Loosen the valves (if you haven't already) so the cam will stay put. The mark on the crank pulley is not easy to see with the bearing in place, so mark it on the teeth before the bearing is installed.

  14. #14
    Registered User Manitou_Commando's Avatar
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    DSC_0190.jpgDSC_0189.jpg
    This is the puller I borrowed for free at Advance. Made the job a snap.
    Rick

    Lord, please rescue me from your followers.

  15. #15
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manitou_Commando View Post
    BTW, I was going to add some photos but this lame website failed to allow uploading. I'm sure it has nothing to do with me, right?
    It shouldn't be a problem to upload pictures...there's a limit of 3 per post, though. People have been uploading pictures routinely today. The process does take some time once you go through the steps...you have to wait on it.

    That said, I've been unable to upload pictures for several weeks now...it could be due to the large number of pictures that I have out there...haven't figure it out yet.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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