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Thread: cam chain tensioners

  1. #16
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    I've done a few now and all the updated one piece plungers (no loose spring) will only fit into the 15mm head.


    This picture is courtesy of ADV riders - note the hex size difference
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    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    Don't wait
    There are those that believe that the old style tensioners contribute to the chain guides breaking and that is real bad news. Replace if you have the old style.
    The LHS cam chain is being improperly tensioned with original tensioner, it's just a question of how long one can get away with it.
    That said, OP can probably wait till 50k maintenance.

    My LHS tensioner failed at about 130k miles. The plastic chain guides had been worn through, then shattered, then the chain jumped off the sprocket and kinked.

    Some speculation on causes, perhaps real experts will comment:
    -the old LHS tensioner (17mm bolt head, 1998-2006?) failed due to clogged oil port, causing the piston to stick instead of pushing down on the upper chain guide.
    -the RHS tensioner never (?) fails, because its piston pushes UP and somehow the oil drains from it without problem.
    -it's possible that frequent oil changes help prolong the original LHS tensioner, which depends on very clean oil.
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    Doug Raymond
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougRaymond View Post
    The LHS cam chain is being improperly tensioned with original tensioner, it's just a question of how long one can get away with it.
    That said, OP can probably wait till 50k maintenance.

    My LHS tensioner failed at about 130k miles. The plastic chain guides had been worn through, then shattered, then the chain jumped off the sprocket and kinked.

    Some speculation on causes, perhaps real experts will comment:
    -the old LHS tensioner (17mm bolt head, 1998-2006?) failed due to clogged oil port, causing the piston to stick instead of pushing down on the upper chain guide.
    -the RHS tensioner never (?) fails, because its piston pushes UP and somehow the oil drains from it without problem.
    -it's possible that frequent oil changes help prolong the original LHS tensioner, which depends on very clean oil.
    Thank you for the explanation.

    I have read that the Left one drains down on a hot shut off. When the bike is started the next time there is little tension until the oil pressure builds.
    The Right one does not drain down because it is inverted under the cylinder.
    Last edited by GSAddict; 03-14-2014 at 03:07 PM.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    ..I have read that the Left one drains down on a hot shut off. When the bike is started the next time there is little tension until the oil pressure builds.
    The Right one does not drain down because it is inverted under the cylinder.
    That makes much more sense, thanks.
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    Doug Raymond
    R1150RT '02
    Ambler, PA

  5. #20
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougRaymond View Post
    That makes much more sense, thanks.
    Yes it does. Look at those photos of the old and new styles.

    On the left side the old style "cylinder" or housing screws down from the top and the piston sticks up from the bottom, giving gravity the perfect opportunity to suck the oil out of the upside-down cylinder.

    Notice that the new style has an entire tensioner similar to those on the F650 and F800 which sticks up inside the new style housing. And not that the tensioner cylinder goes in down and the piston sticks up ito the housing - keeping the oil inside the tensioner, inside the housing screwed down from the top.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

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