Cam Chain Tensioner/Timing Question - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-11-2012, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Cam Chain Tensioner/Timing Question

Here's what I've got going on if anybody has any advice. I'm probably just doing something wrong, but I can't figure it out.

I lined up my cams and timing chain with the lobes out, engine at TDC and the lines on the camshaft gears parallel with the top of the cylinder head.

I reset the chain tensioner, installed the housing in the case, then put in the spring, washer and bolt.

I've tried this twice and whenever I completely install the chain tensioner, the marks on the camshaft gears are no longer parallel with the top of the cylinder head with the engine TDC mark still lined up. If I turn the engine (always counter-clockwise) to where the marks on the camshaft gears are parallel, then the engine TDC mark is off.

When I first put the tensioner in, the chain will move a little bit as the tensioner pushes against it and nothing moves, but when I install the spring and tighten the center tensioner bolt, everything winds up out of whack when I'm done.

If the marks on the gears are parallel to the top of the cylinder head when I start, by the time I get the tensioner installed, it seems both gears have rotated slightly clockwise and the marks are no longer parallel with the top of the cylinder head.

I was certain I had the marks lined up the first time I reinstalled my cam shafts, but after getting everything back together, found all the marks were off in this manner.

Convinced I must have done something wrong, I took it all back apart and carefully lined up the engine TDC mark and the camshaft gear marks again and then put it all back together again but had the same results in the end.

If anybody has any ideas, I'd appreciate hearing them because I'm kind of stumped.

I would note that before I took anything apart, I checked the TDC reference and the arrow references on the camshaft gears and noted that the arrows on both gears were pointed slightly "down" toward the front and weren't perfectly lined up with the top of the cylinder head. I turned the engine over about 10 times and checked and re-checked that the TDC mark was perfectly centered with the same results.

Is there just a little inherent slop in the chain? My reference arrows are now pointed ever so slightly "down" or "clockwise" from the top of the cylinder head, both to the same degree. They're really close, but not what I would call "perfectly parallel" with the top of the case. It seems to me the teeth on the camshaft gears aren't really that fine and if you've got one of them even one tooth off, it results in a pretty evident disparity between the reference marks on the camshaft gears themselves.




Last edited by planalp; 01-11-2012 at 11:10 AM.
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-11-2012, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Not the best photos, but here's what my camshaft gear marks look like at TDC.

FRONT

[IMG][/IMG]

REAR

[IMG][/IMG]

Couldn't get a photo including both gears with the marks visible.



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post #3 of 22 Old 01-11-2012, 11:42 AM
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planalp -

When I have done DOHC engines, including the KLR, I have been careful to get the marks all lined up with a slack chain. Then I walk the chain around the gears to make sure that the chain run opposite the tensioner is taut. If that's done, the the tensioner takes up the slack on the backside and all is well.

It looks as though you may have one tooth worth of chain slack existing on the front side chain run, so when you tension the chain that slack is taken up, rotating the cams.

Your engine is relatively new and I don't think that the chain should have worn to contribute to this; I think you're simply one tooth off, having started with a tooth's worth of slack on the front.

T

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 01-11-2012 at 11:45 AM.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-11-2012, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
planalp -

When I have done DOHC engines, including the KLR, I have been careful to get the marks all lined up with a slack chain. Then I walk the chain around the gears to make sure that the chain run opposite the tensioner is taut. If that's done, the the tensioner takes up the slack on the backside and all is well.

It looks as though you may have one tooth worth of chain slack existing on the front side chain run, so when you tension the chain that slack is taken up, rotating the cams.

Your engine is relatively new and I don't think that the chain should have worn to contribute to this; I think you're simply one tooth off, having started with a tooth's worth of slack on the front.

T
Thanks for the reply, Tom. Manuals and videos still lack the element of experience.

I would say you're exactly right and my misalignment problems are due to my manipulation of the chain when lining up the sprocket marks with the top of the cylinder head. It seems when I put the reset tensioner back in without the spring, nothing should move but the chain itself, but yet it does.

If I understand you correctly, I need to pull the chain up and taut over the front gear while it's correctly aligned, then pull it taut over the top of the rear gear while aligning it, letting any slack in the chain be "hanging" below the rear cam gear, where the tensioner will take up only the slack in the chain without causing anything to move. Or, as you more clearly put it, make sure the gear marks are correctly aligned, then work the chain over them from the front to ensure there's no slack in the chain below the front gear.

I think I qualify for the award of Longest Valve Shim Adjustment Ever, this going on for over a month now, working on it here and there when I can. In my defense, I did have to wait for a couple of shims and a suitable torque wrench since I didn't have a good low inch-pound torque wrench.

I appreciate you sharing your wisdom with me. It makes sense and I would say you're exactly right about what I'm doing wrong. Thank you.




Last edited by planalp; 01-11-2012 at 11:59 AM.
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-11-2012, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
Here's what I've got going on if anybody has any advice. I'm probably just doing something wrong, but I can't figure it out.

I lined up my cams and timing chain with the lobes out, engine at TDC and the lines on the camshaft gears parallel with the top of the cylinder head.

I reset the chain tensioner, installed the housing in the case, then put in the spring, washer and bolt.

I've tried this twice and whenever I completely install the chain tensioner, the marks on the camshaft gears are no longer parallel with the top of the cylinder head with the engine TDC mark still lined up. If I turn the engine (always counter-clockwise) to where the marks on the camshaft gears are parallel, then the engine TDC mark is off.

When I first put the tensioner in, the chain will move a little bit as the tensioner pushes against it and nothing moves, but when I install the spring and tighten the center tensioner bolt, everything winds up out of whack when I'm done.

If the marks on the gears are parallel to the top of the cylinder head when I start, by the time I get the tensioner installed, it seems both gears have rotated slightly clockwise and the marks are no longer parallel with the top of the cylinder head.

I was certain I had the marks lined up the first time I reinstalled my cam shafts, but after getting everything back together, found all the marks were off in this manner.

Convinced I must have done something wrong, I took it all back apart and carefully lined up the engine TDC mark and the camshaft gear marks again and then put it all back together again but had the same results in the end.

If anybody has any ideas, I'd appreciate hearing them because I'm kind of stumped.

I would note that before I took anything apart, I checked the TDC reference and the arrow references on the camshaft gears and noted that the arrows on both gears were pointed slightly "down" toward the front and weren't perfectly lined up with the top of the cylinder head. I turned the engine over about 10 times and checked and re-checked that the TDC mark was perfectly centered with the same results.

Is there just a little inherent slop in the chain? My reference arrows are now pointed ever so slightly "down" or "clockwise" from the top of the cylinder head, both to the same degree. They're really close, but not what I would call "perfectly parallel" with the top of the case. It seems to me the teeth on the camshaft gears aren't really that fine and if you've got one of them even one tooth off, it results in a pretty evident disparity between the reference marks on the camshaft gears themselves.

Try counting the pins on the chain as per below.


No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9

Last edited by Spec; 01-11-2012 at 12:57 PM.
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-11-2012, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Try counting the pins on the chain as per below.
Thanks, Spec. Diagram noted and I will give the pin-counting a try tomorrow when I re-do it.



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post #7 of 22 Old 01-12-2012, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Success! Thanks Tom and Spec for the wisdom. I used your techniques and wound up with everything perfectly aligned.

Waiting until tomorrow for the RTV to seal on the left side of the cover then I'll add a gas tank and battery and roll it out and see if it runs......

Thanks again.



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post #8 of 22 Old 01-12-2012, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
Success! Thanks Tom and Spec for the wisdom. I used your techniques and wound up with everything perfectly aligned.

Waiting until tomorrow for the RTV to seal on the left side of the cover then I'll add a gas tank and battery and roll it out and see if it runs......

Thanks again.
Now that you have all the practice, can you come and do mine??

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post #9 of 22 Old 01-12-2012, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Now that you have all the practice, can you come and do mine??
LOL Yeah, nothing like doing a job 3 times to get it right, but it all worked out and will be a piece of cake next time. I even managed to do it without dropping anything down into the left side of the engine case.

It was a pretty fun job to do: nothing much to it with the additional help I got from folks on here in addition to the manual.

I'd do yours, but I can guarantee you that if I were working on yours I would wind up accidentally dropping a bolt or socket down into the engine.




Last edited by planalp; 01-12-2012 at 11:55 PM.
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-13-2012, 01:00 AM
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Yeah, mine is WAY overdue. Ride east a bit and check mine. I have a 6-pack for ya, and it doesn't come in 2 liter plastic bottles.

Erik
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2009 KLR 650

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