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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
That seems to be a common question, so here's one answer.


T
 

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Very nice, Tom. That about says it all.

I predict you'll still see lots of the same questions AND hear a sad, sad story from a stranded Gen II rider.

Good post.
 

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Maybe the doohickey (not the spring) DID get fixed!

That seems to be a common question [Did the doohickey get fixed on Generation 2 bikes?], so here's one answer.
Seems to me the video clip addresses a TENSIONER SPRING PROBLEM, in contrast to a doohickey (idler shaft LEVER) problem.

The distinction between spring and lever may be a fine one, but . . . the stock Generation 2 doohickey lever shown appeared to be in servicable condition. Rather, a slack tensioner spring appeared to be the deficiency.

An aftermarket coil spring, or a "torsion" spring (the latter with a Moto-Tooled notch applied to the stock doohickey) can be used with an OEM doohickey.

Thus, seems to me what we have here exhibited is a slack tensioner spring, in contrast to a failed doohickey.

Generation 1 doohickeys (the levers themselves) sometimes failed with catastrophic collateral engine damage. Evidence of any failed Generation 2 doohickeys (the levers, not the springs) remains scarce and elusive, I think hardly illustrated by the video clip above of a slack tensioner spring.

FULL DISCLOSURE: An Eagle Mike doohickey (with its superior fit, finish, and extended adjustment range) and torsion spring grace my Generation 1 KLR650!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The colloquial question "They fixed the doohickey on the Gen 2, didn't they?" is meant to convey the hope that finally the balancer chain tensioner is something we no longer need concern ourselves with.

I look at the "balancer chain tensioner" as a system. Were the spring easily accessible without removing the the rotor and inner case I might not see it as a system, but as two separate components.

Whether it is the lever that fails (Gen 2 ones don't) or the spring that fails, the end result is the same. At a minimum (and likely most commonly) the chain loses tension, makes noise, and annoys. At a maximum (and likely very rarely) stuff get's loose inside the engine and munches on things.

If either fails the rotor needs to come out, and if the spring fails the inner case needs to come off. Failure is not limited to breakage, but includes ceasing to function due to a poorly specified part (too long a spring).

The point is often made that "they fixed the doohickey!". They redesigned the lever, yes, but it's all the more aggravating that a good adjuster lever is let down by a bad spring.

In my mind, then, they didn't "fix the doohickey".

Your point is well taken, though, Damocles. I shall modify the title a bit...

T
 
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Just to add, although the gen2 lever is now machined and not welded, it fits sloppily on the shaft, allowing for excessive movement from vibration possibly causing premature spring failure, even aftermarket ones. The only true fix is to replace both with genuine Eagle Mike parts!!
 

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Seems to me the video clip addresses a TENSIONER SPRING PROBLEM, in contrast to a doohickey (idler shaft LEVER) problem.

The distinction between spring and lever may be a fine one, but . . . the stock Generation 2 doohickey lever shown appeared to be in servicable condition. Rather, a slack tensioner spring appeared to be the deficiency.
In my mind it's the same thing. Lever or spring. It don't matter. If either one fails then it's a problem. It's all part of the doohickey.
 

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I agree and it's just nit picking to try and say one part of the system is good to use when if one part goes bad, the concequenses can be very bad!

I just don't see the need for this arguement? It has been around now since 08 and we all know what is what......why do some still try and defend a known issue?

Just fix it and move on.....simple....why argue for arguement sake?

We all know what the fix is, an Eagle Mike DOO and either the straight spring he supplies in the DOO kit or the better Torsion spring.

And yes I'm waiting for my commission check as usual.....ya right.....I have no affiliation with any product. I just do the fixes for those who pay for my services. I offer advice freely to anyone who asks......without baiting for the outcome.:13:

The original video clip is an excellent way to show this issue......plain and simple.
 

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Your point is well taken, though, Damocles. I shall modify the title a bit...
Tom Schmitz, I appreciate the thread title revision, resulting in more accurate and precise prose!

And, I've no problem with anyone's lexicon whose nomenclature of "doohickey" includes idler shaft lever and spring only.

If the term, "doohickey," is an umbrella for the entire balancer chain tensioning system, other components may be involved besides the idler shaft lever and spring alone. For example, a dozen separate parts in this fiche comprise the balancer chain tensioning mechanism:

http://www.kawasakipartshouse.com/oemparts/a/kaw/500b5734f8700223e4796ac8/balancer

I consider the doohickey (idler shaft lever) and the tensioner spring as two separate parts. These components are identified and sold separately by Kawasaki, and marketed individually by Eagle Mike and other aftermarket vendors; that is, no "doohickey assembly" consisting of lever and spring exists, AFAIK. The doohickey-and-spring are not distributed as a "set," either may be replaced independently of the other.

Parts in the fiche: cap/bolt, idler lever/O ring, 7mm/lever, idler shaft (doohickey)/circlip-type-c 20mm/llever/washer, 20.3 x 36 x 1.5/spring/shaft-idler/sprocket-idler, idler/bearing-needle/spacer.

Generation 1 doohickeys (idler shaft levers) sometimes failed, disintegrated, broke, "grenaded." This malfunction sometimes resulted in catastrophic engine damage; cam chain de-sprocketing, bent valves, burst piston crowns, etc. Don't know of any Generation 2 OEM doohickeys with similar failure mode and consequent engine damage.

Spring issues surface, but as in the videoed example, without the trauma and carnage of the Generation 1 doohickey (idler shaft lever) failures.
 

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Spring issues surface, but as in the videoed example, without the trauma and carnage of the Generation 1 doohickey (idler shaft lever) failures.


This is only true IF the owner takes the cover off and realizes the spring is broken or not doing it's job. IF they just continue to loosen the DOO adjuster without knowing this is at fault, it may allow the DOO to move in the more slack position resulting in the same carnage as if the old DOO had broken. Yes at a slower pace but the end product is the same.

IMHO....you are splitting hairs and doing the newer member or owners a disservice saying what you are saying. Sure technically you may be correct to a certain extent, but the concequences are the same.

You seem to live in a strange world of technical manuals and manufacturers recomendations. You offer advice as if you were the manufacturer.....which in some cases isn't the best way to help. Why not offer real world advice to help people rather than always muddying up the water to confuse a somewhat clearly outlined plan to solve this issue?

Your approach is a poor way to teach or help people who are looking for a simple solution to a simple problem. As usual.:13:
 

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What, an ad hominem (personal) attack on me, rather than addressing the Generation 2 doohickey maintenance history issue?

I'm shocked, SHOCKED! :)

willys, I cannot tell you how much I value your literary criticism, and character guidance!

As a highly-renown KLR Guru, your remarks mean a great deal to me, and--I'm sure, to many others!

Thanks for serving as an example to which others may aspire.

BTW, while we're discussing aftermarket parts, what do you think of the Thermo-Bob?
 

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Yet again....another trolling post from our resident troll .....it seems...carry on and lets see how fast you can ruin another good thread???

As I have said before this started out as a great way to discribe this issue.....it fully shows the problem.....nothing to hide...plain and simple.:13:
 

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Question?

What exactly failed? No humor here but what caused the failure? The spring broke? Sprink got weak? Did the mounting point of the spring fail? Did it just come off? I cant see the video clear enough to tell. Work locks u-tube so I am viewing on a cell phone.....

Why replace the lever if nothing is wrong with it? Can only the spring be replaced and whats that procedure? I have been told to use the torsion spring you have to grind some material on the lever?
 

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What exactly failed? No humor here but what caused the failure? The spring broke? Sprink got weak? Did the mounting point of the spring fail? Did it just come off? I cant see the video clear enough to tell. Work locks u-tube so I am viewing on a cell phone.....

Why replace the lever if nothing is wrong with it? Can only the spring be replaced and whats that procedure? I have been told to use the torsion spring you have to grind some material on the lever?

Basically the factory springs do not have sufficient tension in them to keep the doohickey lever adjusted. I believe that you can retain the factory lever and replace it with a spring that Eagle Mike supplies with his Doohickey lever. Don't know if he sells the springs separately. I am not talking about the torsion spring. That's an optional item either way and you seem to be aware of what is required to use that with a factory lever.

Long story short. To change the spring you need to remove the lever anyway. Why not replace it with a better one and be done with it. It's not rocket science folks and we're talking $40 which I'm sure most of us can afford.

.
 

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I dont agree. Although they machine the lever now, it's fit on the shaft is not adequate and even with an upgraded spring of any type the sloppy fit allows the lever to move and vibrate, compromising the spring.
I am with Willys. We can beat this issue into the ground but we all know the are still problems with the system. Just upgrade everything already. I now put this doohickey discussion in with oil and tires... It has been beat to death enough that it is becoming comical.....
 

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I dont agree. Although they machine the lever now, it's fit on the shaft is not adequate and even with an upgraded spring of any type the sloppy fit allows the lever to move and vibrate, compromising the spring.
I am with Willys. We can beat this issue into the ground but we all know the are still problems with the system. Just upgrade everything already. I now put this doohickey discussion in with oil and tires... It has been beat to death enough that it is becoming comical.....
I agree. That's what I was basically trying to say.

There are folks that don't want to spend the money on the EM lever and changing the spring is all they want to do. I know a few and it's been done. So that option is there should that be they way you want to go. There will always be someone who goes against conventional wisdom and bucks the trend.

And ya I've heard about as much about Doohickeys as I ever want to hear. This is one horse that just won't die.

:beatdeadhorse5:
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
What exactly failed? No humor here but what caused the failure? The spring broke? Sprink got weak? Did the mounting point of the spring fail? Did it just come off? I cant see the video clear enough to tell. Work locks u-tube so I am viewing on a cell phone.....

Why replace the lever if nothing is wrong with it? Can only the spring be replaced and whats that procedure? I have been told to use the torsion spring you have to grind some material on the lever?
I'll reiterate what KLR4ever and SkiBumBrian have said as an intro to personal comment.

There has never been a documented failure of a Balancer Adjustment Lever on a Gen2 bike ever ever ever in the whole wide world. It's all better now.

The spring is now the weak point and is well known for going slack quickly and some have reported them as slack before the first oil change. I have no cite for that, but it must be true because I read it on the Internet.

This bike is new to me at 16,000 miles and still has an extended warranty that was transferred to me and is good for two more years. I could have let the whole thing go and relied on the warranty to repair anything that went wrong with it.

In my tool box I have several of Mike's extension springs. I could have gone in there and left the stock lever in place and merely put a new spring in. The engineer in me agrees with Brian, though. The stock lever doesn't fit that well on the shaft, which allows the shaft to oscillate, putting the spring through many cycles. Engineers don't like the things they rely on to oscillate or vibrate un-necessarily as that leads to component failure. Engineers don't like that even when there is not a single case of documented failure. The potential is scary enough, for engineers are worry warts with furrowed brows who curse the accountants that keep them from making everything totally bitchin'.

What I want in a balancer chain tensioner system is one that I don't ever have to think about again. Seriously - I don't want to take that damn rotor off ever again. I'm old; my shoulders have arthritis and I can barely get the bolt back up to proper torque. I'd much rather be doing something else, even if it is equally stupid. Alas, with the KLR that is not possible because the basic design is a Rube Goldberg affair that no self-respecting engineer would think of except in some sort of acid-induced nightmarish flashback. Cue the Jefferson Airplane tracks...

The closest we can come to set and forget is Mike's lever and his torsion spring.

Sure, you can get out your Dremel tool and put a groove in it and use the torsion spring with it. It's your time, your part, your bike. If you have modest talent with tools the job will turn out fine, though the lever will still fit a bit sloppy on the shaft. If that doesn't bother you, have at it.

You can just put in a new spring and keep an eye on it and go back in at some point in the future should that one, too, become slack. Mike gives you a couple different lengths.

The way I figure it, though, is that once you're far enough in to the engine to remove the stock spring, you have already invested a couple hours of time, bought a pair of gaskets, a new rotor bolt, and have gone to the trouble to get the tools required. Why in the Wide Wide World of Sports wouldn't you just take the easy way out and install a spring and lever that are designed to work together and have a pretty fair track record for an additional $40?

Hey! Who moved my horse while I was talkin'? Here I am, beating on a warm soggy spot where a dead horse once lay....

T
 

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Thanks Tom

Thanks for the details Tom. I am one of those that the old "Just do it because someone said it needs done" holds no water. What I know is below on this subject.

1- I now really fully understand the Doo, its problems, why it fails on both types of bikes, why you have to grind the factory lever (kind of) and why its easier to just replace the lever and spring at the same time.

2 - If you question the Doo and its need for replacement some get hot around the neckline. Of those that have that problem I think about half of them know what they are talking about, the other half just read it and now are the online experts if you will.

3 - Do you know what some lawn mower engines, countless 900 inch diesel engines, a bunch of car engines, many automatic transmissions, enough rear end gears to gag a dog off a gut wagon just to name a few have in common with the "DOO"? Nothing.. I have never done the DOO. I will however now that I understand it.
 

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Hey Bruce! Good to see you over here.... Thanks for the compliments. Most of the KLR community enjoy helping our brothers. We pass on our experiences and acquired knowledge to those who need the insight and will listen. KLRists are a rare breed, holding our inexpensive steeds high for all to see and are not intimidated or embarrassed when compared to KTMs and Beemers.... We are here to help, we have differences of opinion at times but we are all part of the KLR family. There are those that wish to irritate and be judgemental but then we must town the other cheek....
 
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