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...Paul or Tom or anyone: do you know what the spec is for free length? (I don’t have my manual handy).
Pete,

I could not find a spec for the spring's free length in the KLR600 base manual, the '97 to '02 supplement, or the Gen 2 manual. The parts fiche doesn't show it as a separate part.

I have heard of the teeth on the adjuster getting messed up but never heard of a sacked spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Apologies, for my vagueness and confusion. I wanted to test if more tension on the chain would help so I didn't completely reset the tensioner. I removed the spring first and then body, so that I could see how far the spring was engaging the tensioner. Then, instead of compressing the tensioner, I extended the ratchet one click. Installed the body and then spring. It seemed to go back to a normal operating sound after adding a bit more tension. Although, I only had the engine running for a few minutes as a test. I'm thinking of getting a manual tensioner before it's put under any actual load from riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I just did the screwdriver test that pdwestman suggested. I reset the tensioner per manual specs then removed the top cap plug and inserted a screwdriver. The screwdriver was chattering in and out a bit so I added a little pressure to it. The tensioner clicked to add a ratchet tooth and the screwdriver stopped moving and was completely smooth. Does this mean it just wasn't getting the correct tension it needed?
 

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Apologies, for my vagueness and confusion. I wanted to test if more tension on the chain would help so I didn't completely reset the tensioner.
So you did that before or after reading my post?
Next I suggest that you remove the tensioner, extend it and inspect the area of previous setting for the condition of the sliding bar locking teeth.

I'm thinking of getting a manual tensioner before it's put under any actual load from riding.
I would never install a manual tensioner on my KLR!

There are very good reasons that the factories invented the Automatic cam chain tensioners clear back in the 1970's.
And the sliding bar ratchet tooth design is one of the best, imo. It's spring-loaded design ensures that the chain has minimal slack, yet is Never adjusted Too Tightly.
If one click tighter made it quieter to your ears, ride it.
 

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Well, I just removed my cam chain tensioner and measured the spring. As a point of reference, it’s 3.315 inches long. If your spring is significantly shorter than that—say 10%—I’d be concerned. My 1998 has 40,000 miles on it, so it’s probably as worn-in or sacked as it’s gonna get, and it still works fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Pdwestman, I did that before I read your post. After I saw it I reset the tensioner per manual specs and then went with your screwdriver method. Everything seems to be better now so I'm just going to let it ride. It's a KLR. It'll be alright, right?

I appreciate the help everyone. Y'all are the bees knees.
 
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