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Thread: Cam chain + tensioner vs milage

  1. #11
    Senior Member Randall-in-Mpls's Avatar
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    Mine sat for 19 years, and I could still be using the original chain, if I hadn't gone in to change the alternator.

    Chains wear prematurely because they aren't kept properly tensioned. If you have a low-mileage barn-find with a wrecked cam chain, the chain was worn out before it went into the barn. The original owner just didn't keep up the maintenance.


    R
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  2. #12
    Super Moderator Sidecar Bob's Avatar
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    It is also possible that your camchain could have failed shortly or damaged the tensioner if you had not replaced it when you did the alternator. As I said, when a section of the chain becomes "stretched" after sitting for many years it can hammer the tensioner as the tension varies when the loose section passes the tensioner.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member Randall-in-Mpls's Avatar
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    I had already been in the engine 7 years earlier, and left the chain in place then. There was no additional wear indicated by the adjuster, but I happened to have a new chain on hand the second time.

    If a chain will stretch (exceed its yield threshold, as stated by Peter above) loaded only by the valve springs, it would never resist deformation in normal operation.


    R
    10th Annual Minnesota Spring Ride and Barbecue - Saturday, May 13, 2017
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1978 CX500 Standard - The Grub


    1981 GL500 Basket case -> AdventureWing (Dual-sport conversion in progress) - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3


    1979 CX500 Deluxe rolling chassis -> Hmm?

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  5. #14
    Senior Member Randall-in-Mpls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reclinedrelic View Post
    So would it be a good idea to take the tension out of the cam chain when storing the bike? Over winter or longer term storage?
    Don't let Bob scare you into unnecessary work. Even for long-term storage, just make sure it has clean oil and fresh coolant, and protect it from corrosion. Then carefully verify lubrication when it's brought back into service.


    R
    10th Annual Minnesota Spring Ride and Barbecue - Saturday, May 13, 2017
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1978 CX500 Standard - The Grub


    1981 GL500 Basket case -> AdventureWing (Dual-sport conversion in progress) - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3


    1979 CX500 Deluxe rolling chassis -> Hmm?

  6. #15
    Senior Member reclinedrelic's Avatar
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    Could the problem with long term storage be from deformation of the guide or tensioner when under the pressure from chain tension rather than chain "stretch"?
    Mike

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  7. #16
    Super Moderator Sidecar Bob's Avatar
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    It is a different form of stretch than you guys are talking about, more like the way a chain stretches from wear. I guess it is hard to understand if you don't have a good grasp of acoustics & vibration.
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  8. #17
    Senior Member reclinedrelic's Avatar
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    I assume that "stretch" comes from either an increase in the size of the hole in the side plates or a decrease in diameter of the pins?
    Mike

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    1981 GL500 (Jacob)
    1982 GL500I (Phil)
    1981 GL500 (Blackie) parts bike
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    198? CX500C (Adam) only a few parts left
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  9. #18
    Super Moderator Sidecar Bob's Avatar
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    Yep.
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  10. #19
    Super Moderator CXPHREAK's Avatar
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    Motors stored long term are best rotated by hand or spun on the starter motor rather than actually started. Every time you start the motor you put acid combustion byproducts into the oil. If only run up to operating temp and shut down they do not get burned off and blown out the breather. Periodic starting of motors in long term storage does more harm than good IMHO.
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  11. #20
    Senior Member johnste1960's Avatar
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    here is the old chain (20,000 miles) versus new chain.



    0.0835 inch stretch in old one = 5/64 inch = 2.12 mm. I wonder if you measured numerous new ones what the standard deviation would be. When on the sprocket, without tensioners, you could not even tell the difference. The amount of slop seemed the same.

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