Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 58 Old Mar 14th, 2019, 9:42 pm Thread Starter
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Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Okay,

When I disassembled the camshaft, I carefully put the #30 drill bit in the hole in the front of the engine and after some effort it slid all the way in. So I assumed that the chain tensioner was disabled. When i pulled the second sprocket off I found out differently. The sprocket was pulled from my fingers and I knew I needed some help.

My bike has been down since October after a crash and not running. After doing repair on the windshield assembly,I decided it was time to measure the valve clearances before putting all the plastic back on. After doing so I found four valves that were slightly tight. Because my bike has not been running since October I assumed that the tensioner was probably in a relaxed position. That is what Kirk showed us in the video.

I am ready to put the camshaft back in and the sprockets back in place. The chain tensioner is actuated. So nothing will go back together easily. I put the camshaft in and torqued it properly. I mounted the upper sprocket and got the bolt in place and screwed all the way in finger tight. Then I found out that there is no extra play to get the second sprocket on. And the chain guide is not going to fit without some slack.

Does anyone have experience disabling the cam chain tensioner after disassembly? I could really use some ideas. I assume I can use a long screw driver but I am not sure whether i need to remove the drill bit first or do I leave it in? I cannot see the tensioner, so it is a blind effort to get the screw driver to work. It seems the only way I can get the screw driver in is by removing the bottom sprocket and chain and go in from the bottom. is the tensioner then underneath the chain from this position. Should i just work the screw driver under the chain and then try to collapse the tensioner?

If you have done this before please give me some pointers.

thanks in advance,

Alex

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post #2 of 58 Old Mar 15th, 2019, 6:50 am
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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Okay,

When I disassembled the camshaft, I carefully put the #30 drill bit in the hole in the front of the engine and after some effort it slid all the way in. So I assumed that the chain tensioner was disabled. When i pulled the second sprocket off I found out differently. The sprocket was pulled from my fingers and I knew I needed some help.
...
.....

Does anyone have experience disabling the cam chain tensioner after disassembly? I could really use some ideas. I assume I can use a long screw driver but I am not sure whether i need to remove the drill bit first or do I leave it in? I cannot see the tensioner, so it is a blind effort to get the screw driver to work. It seems the only way I can get the screw driver in is by removing the bottom sprocket and chain and go in from the bottom. is the tensioner then underneath the chain from this position. Should i just work the screw driver under the chain and then try to collapse the tensioner?

If you have done this before please give me some pointers.

thanks in advance,

Alex
This subject has been discussed recently within another thread,
The Thread TITLE/SUBJECT has to do with a trip preparation to Alaska, so you might have missed it.

More info below with another link to a previous post,
The short answers to your questions:
1) It is much easier to re-insert the pin into the tensionner BEFORE the sprockets are removed. I understand that in your case it is a bit late for this...

2) If you press with a long tool at proper place, you can force the tensionner piston down AND then you will be able to re-insert the pin (drill bit or tool). See picture below: RED arrow is place to push down - the YELLOW arrow is where the tensonner piston is pushing-up unto this rail. BE CAREFULL as to push only on the metal part of this lower rail (not the plastic inside part). See CLYMER manual for more pictures of the internals if you need....

Picture is showing without timing-cover in place for clarity - of course you are doing this with your cover in place, so you need a good light shining inside to see where to push.

3) Do NOT ROTATE engine while the tensionner is locked in down position (or half way down). Wait until the pin (drill bit) is removed and sprockets + camshafts are installed and tightened, before you rotate engine.

You will get a lot more details and some pictures to help you if you start from this link below, and CONTINUE READING UNTIL THE END of thread.
https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt...ml#post1902535
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post #3 of 58 Old Mar 15th, 2019, 7:19 am Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

thank you for reply, picture and link. I will study all of this carefully.

alex

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post #4 of 58 Old Mar 15th, 2019, 7:43 am Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

John,

I read the whole thread , thank you.

(2) The other method that you can do alone or after method 1 above: use a long thin screwdriver (or any appropriate long thin tool) to slide between the chain and the timing chain cover. Using a good flashlight, you should be able to see the edge metal section of the lower tensionner rail. You want to press down on this rail to compress the piston (piston is pushing up where the yellow arrow is in photo). Get your pin / drill bit in ready so that you can push the pin in AT SAME TIME as you compress the rail down.

It appears my only recourse is method 2 as I cannot get enough chain tension rotating a cam. Only one sprocket is currently in place.

I have a much better understanding from the link and the pictures.

thank you again.

alex

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post #5 of 58 Old Mar 15th, 2019, 8:19 am
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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Originally Posted by acuningham View Post
John,
...
.....

I have a much better understanding from the link and the pictures.

thank you again.

alex
As stated in the previous link, make sure you measure and mark your pin (drill bit 30 , 1/8 inch diam) with proper needed insertion depth. Otherwise you might be ONLY 90% inserted into tensioner - in such case piston will pop back up again due to strong spring under.

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post #6 of 58 Old Mar 15th, 2019, 8:59 am
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Looks like it is time to offer up these pins again.

They are fool proof in locking the chain tensioner. Once inserted all the way, rotate them as per the diagram. If the piston is trapped properly then the pin will rotate easily in direction and will be harder to rotate in the other.

They are made from 1/8 inch music wire. If you are interested PM me for details.
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post #7 of 58 Old Mar 15th, 2019, 9:05 am Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Yes, I will mark my drill bit at 35mm from tip to tape and will know if I have full insertion if tape is flush with timing cover.

thanks,

alex

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post #8 of 58 Old Mar 15th, 2019, 6:43 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Okay, I definitely have the chain tensioner all the way down and locked in place. I can lift up on the yellow tensioner and then let it fall back down. I am talking about the yellow plastic tensioner that pushes against the chain. The drill bit is all the way in and doing its job just fine.

I have verified this several times and yet I don't have any extra slack to put the second sprocket back on. I removed the existing one from yesterday and tried to make sure the chain wasn't bound somewhere. It's all straight as far as I can tell. I can get the chain guide back on and I can almost get the second sprocket on but I am lacking probably a half inch to easily slide the sprocket onto the camshaft.

With the chain tension removed how much slack should I have in the cam chain to put the sprockets on?

Anybody want to give me a call and offer some advice. I would sure appreciate it.

thanks for your help and patience as this is the first time I have pulled the camshaft on my LT.

alex

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post #9 of 58 Old Mar 15th, 2019, 7:11 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Here are pics of where I am so far.
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post #10 of 58 Old Mar 15th, 2019, 8:04 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Looks like you are close. Try bumping the engine in a CW direction (from the front). This would be done by putting the bike in 5th gear and bumping the rear wheel backwards. That will take up the slack in the chain from the bottom of the lower gear and allow the upper gear to reach the cam. An alternate way would be to cut the cable tie on the lower gear and rotate the lower cam to take up the slack and pass it to the upper gear.
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post #11 of 58 Old Mar 15th, 2019, 9:16 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Had the exact same experience the first time I adjusted my valves. After the sprocket got snatched out of my hand, I was able to push down the adjuster and get the pin properly in place for assembly. However, unlike your situation, my sprockets went back on fairly easily as I recall. I do believe I installed the top sprocket first, but I am not sure why the order would matter.

I am not sure why you are lacking 1/2Ē unless the chain came off the drive sprocket when it snapped the cam sprocket free. Hopefully, that isnít the case. One question, is the black guide that bolts between the sprockets still loose? In your second photo, it almost looked like the bolts were in it. I believe I left mine loose until until both sprockets were in place.

Hopefully, Johnís advice to roll the engine a little will help. Alternatively, you might put a wrench on the hex part of the lower cam and use the wrench to turn the exhaust cam counter clockwise which would put tension on the lower part of the chain and might give you the extra slack you need for the intake sprocket.

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post #12 of 58 Old Mar 16th, 2019, 12:02 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Well I went and read the Clymer and found out two things. The camshaft is supposed to protrude through the sprocket and they recommend installing the intake first, then the guide loosely and then the exhaust.

I first had to re-position my intake camshaft. It was not protruding through the sprocket. So loosen all bolts. Slide camshaft to left, tighten and re-torque. So now the camshaft is in the right position and protruding. Install the intake sprocket, triangle lines up, washer fits over camshaft, all good.

Install chain guide loosely. I just put the nuts on finger tight.

Now to install exhaust sprocket. Still not enough slack to just slide the sprocket on. Use a wrench on intake camshaft and get closer. Put the bike in 5th gear and bump the tire and get just a little more slack.

If I put some tension on the sprocket it just might go on. It does but will not go on completely. I tapped on it with a wood block and then realized that I would need to re-position the exhaust camshaft. So I loosened it and put it back in place and re-torqued to 10 Nm. no more prying.

So if there if there was just one more link in the chain it would go on . LOL. I am a little confused and not sure what to try next. What am i doing wrong?

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post #13 of 58 Old Mar 16th, 2019, 12:22 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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Originally Posted by acuningham View Post
Well I went and read the Clymer and found out two things. The camshaft is supposed to protrude through the sprocket and they recommend installing the intake first, then the guide loosely and then the exhaust.

I first had to re-position my intake camshaft. It was not protruding through the sprocket. So loosen all bolts. Slide camshaft to left, tighten and re-torque. So now the camshaft is in the right position and protruding. Install the intake sprocket, triangle lines up, washer fits over camshaft, all good.

Install chain guide loosely. I just put the nuts on finger tight.

Now to install exhaust sprocket. Still not enough slack to just slide the sprocket on. Use a wrench on intake camshaft and get closer. Put the bike in 5th gear and bump the tire and get just a little more slack.

If I put some tension on the sprocket it just might go on. It does but will not go on completely. I tapped on it with a wood block and then realized that I would need to re-position the exhaust camshaft. So I loosened it and put it back in place and re-torqued to 10 Nm. no more prying.

So if there if there was just one more link in the chain it would go on . LOL. I am a little confused and not sure what to try next. What am i doing wrong?
I am out to lunch now and don’t have any of the manuals handy. I was thinking that the top guide was not supposed to be bolted at all until both sprockets were on. Also, be sure that you have the sprocket lined up properly as I believe there is an index pin that can get damaged if not lined up correctly.

I am not sure I understand the comment about the cam not protruding through the sprocket. If the end caps that serve as the thrust bearings are on correctly, I am not sure how you could slide the cam all that much end to end.

If I was you, I would take a break and read the manual again through the entire section, starting at the disassembly. Make sure that you did every step. I can’t think of anything that could have been left in place during disassembly that could cause your problem, but stranger things have happened. I would take a deep breath, get a good cup of coffee and spend some time out of the garage in the easy chair with the manual. I have often had this help get me over a frustration point.

The only other thing I can thing of is that the chain came off the drive sprocket in which case I think you have to pull the front cover to fix that. Hopefully, that isn’t the case as that makes a big job much bigger.

Whatever you do, don’t pry or pound on things to try to force them. That simply isn’t required with the cam system and will only cause damage. If the sprockets don’t go back on reasonably easily, something is wrong somewhere and needs to be fixed.

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post #14 of 58 Old Mar 16th, 2019, 4:39 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

The only caps you torque are the four on the body of the cam the end cap is only torqued after the bolt is torqued on the cam gear. Either way the cam will slide for and aft even with the caps torqued, you just need to rotate it for least resistance and then it will slide. I always put the intake on first then the exhaust.

Even if you did have the chain move on the engine sprocket you can fix that without pulling the cover. But Matt's advise on falling back and regrouping has merit at this point. Start by removing both gears and rotate both of the cams to make sure they are all the way forward. Then try the intake cam gear first (don't torque it yet) just snug the bolt up then try to install the exhaust cam gear. If it does not just pop right on as you rotate the cam then some thing is off and you may have to resort to the two pictures I attached.

If you have to re-time just shine a light down the front of the engine and line up that pin on the crank (you will be able to see it). Then line up the intake cam so the slots at the rear are as shown and the cam gear pin should be pointing to the crank as shown. Install the cam gear while taking up tension on the chain from the top.

With that in place install the guide and lower cam gear on to the chain and line up the cam just as you did the intake. The gear should take up all the slack from the upper gear and go right on the end of the cam. If all is well the triangles will be at the 12 o'clock position on both cams.

You can now torque the cam gear bolts and then the thrust blocks.
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post #15 of 58 Old Mar 16th, 2019, 7:20 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

John,

thanks for your help. I did as you said and got away from it the rest of the day. I played 18 holes of golf and walked the whole course. I will get back on this tomorrow.

I only torqued the 4 inner bearing caps. not the end one next to the sprocket. The chain guide is not tightened either. I know not to torque the cam gear bolt until both are in place.

Is it possible the chain has kinked some place. Chain does that sometimes when a link falls back on top another and sometimes it catches and sticks that way.

I will take it apart again tomorrow and see if i can get things to assemble more easily.

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post #16 of 58 Old Mar 17th, 2019, 8:23 am Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

If i have to retime the engine, do I remove both cam gears and then turn the engine over with the rear wheel while in 5th gear? Then I would line up the timing mark per your figure? If the chain has come off a link would i just turn the engine over several times to run the cam chain through several times too?

I noticed yesterday that the intake cam gear triangle was in the correct position; 12 o'clock. After bumping the rear tire and turning camshafts to create slack, the exhaust triangle is currently at 1:00 o'clock.

Does that mean I need to go ahead and re-time the engine.

thanks,
alex

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post #17 of 58 Old Mar 17th, 2019, 8:42 am
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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Originally Posted by acuningham View Post
If i have to retime the engine, do I remove both cam gears and then turn the engine over with the rear wheel while in 5th gear? Then I would line up the timing mark per your figure? If the chain has come off a link would i just turn the engine over several times to run the cam chain through several times too?

I noticed yesterday that the intake cam gear triangle was in the correct position; 12 o'clock. After bumping the rear tire and turning camshafts to create slack, the exhaust triangle is currently at 1:00 o'clock.

Does that mean I need to go ahead and re-time the engine.

thanks,
alex
Did you zip tie the chain to the sprockets prior to removal? I thought I saw zip ties in your earlier picture. If you did, then the timing between the cams should not be off (the position of the cam triangles with respect to each other), but the crank to cam timing could be off if the chain slipped off the drive sprocket.

I am still perplexed as to why you lack slack. Is the chain down inside the guide and not riding up on the edge? I believe it has somewhat of a U shape so the chain needs to be in the channel. I will look at mine next time I am in my garage as the fiche does not really show the shape very well.

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post #18 of 58 Old Mar 17th, 2019, 5:52 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

from memory wouldn't rotate the engine with the cams in, I think you will bend valves.

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post #19 of 58 Old Mar 17th, 2019, 6:01 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Quote:
Originally Posted by acuningham View Post
If i have to retime the engine, do I remove both cam gears and then turn the engine over with the rear wheel while in 5th gear? Then I would line up the timing mark per your figure? If the chain has come off a link would i just turn the engine over several times to run the cam chain through several times too?

I noticed yesterday that the intake cam gear triangle was in the correct position; 12 o'clock. After bumping the rear tire and turning camshafts to create slack, the exhaust triangle is currently at 1:00 o'clock.

Does that mean I need to go ahead and re-time the engine.

thanks,
alex
You may be alright as I counted 7 links in John's photo between the gears and 7 links in your photo between the gears. You should only have to re-time if one of the cable tie came off OR the chain jumped a tooth on the crank. Either way the relationship of the triangles should remain the same. Here is a shot of my install after the re-ring and there are 7 links between gears as well.

I have added another shot from a different engine and the triangles are in alignment there as well.
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post #20 of 58 Old Mar 17th, 2019, 6:56 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Today I took it all apart again and started over. I followed the manual step by step. Before I attached the intake gear I examined the top and bottom guide rails to see if the chain was binding, up against the edge etc. The chain looked good. I then attached the intake cam gear and pulled it tight per the manual. i then pulled the chain tight and installed the guide. I left the nuts off the screws. Then I pulled the exhaust cam gear and tried to slide it on the camshaft. I would not fit. I turned the intake cam with the 19 mm wrench and got closer. The space remaining is less than a 1/4 inch. I even pushed on the lower chain guide to try and get just a little more room to install the gear. I was Not successful.

Did the chain come partially off the crank shaft gear on the exhaust side? Has that happened before to anyone? That doesn't seem very likely. I know that my wire ties have been in place the whole time during the disassembly. I know that my chain tensioner was not disabled properly during disassembly. When I removed the second cam gear. The tension on the chain pulled the gear out of my fingers. It is completely disabled now. I can lift the guide up with a screw driver and it returns to the lower position.

What should be my next task? Do I need to remove the timing cover? I guess I will start reading the section on removing the timing cover.

thanks for your help and support.

alex

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post #21 of 58 Old Mar 17th, 2019, 7:55 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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Today I took it all apart again and started over. I followed the manual step by step. Before I attached the intake gear I examined the top and bottom guide rails to see if the chain was binding, up against the edge etc. The chain looked good. I then attached the intake cam gear and pulled it tight per the manual. i then pulled the chain tight and installed the guide. I left the nuts off the screws. Then I pulled the exhaust cam gear and tried to slide it on the camshaft. I would not fit. I turned the intake cam with the 19 mm wrench and got closer. The space remaining is less than a 1/4 inch. I even pushed on the lower chain guide to try and get just a little more room to install the gear. I was Not successful.

Did the chain come partially off the crank shaft gear on the exhaust side? Has that happened before to anyone? That doesn't seem very likely. I know that my wire ties have been in place the whole time during the disassembly. I know that my chain tensioner was not disabled properly during disassembly. When I removed the second cam gear. The tension on the chain pulled the gear out of my fingers. It is completely disabled now. I can lift the guide up with a screw driver and it returns to the lower position.

What should be my next task? Do I need to remove the timing cover? I guess I will start reading the section on removing the timing cover.

thanks for your help and support.

alex
It sure sounds like the tensioner is still not completely retracted. Are you really, really sure it is all the way down?

It is hard to believe that the chain came off the drive sprocket, but I suppose it is possible. My first disassembly went just like yours as the sprocket was also snatched out of my hand. The only difference is that when I got the lower guide pushed down and got the drill bit fully inserted, my sprockets fit back on the shafts with little drama.

If you are really sure the lower guide is all the way down, then it does sound like removing the front cover is your only next step.

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post #22 of 58 Old Mar 17th, 2019, 8:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

I suppose I could push it all the way down and remove the drill bit completely and then reinsert the drill bit and make sure it goes a full 35 mm into the timing cover.

Right now when I push down on the guide it does not go any further. It is bottomed out. But I really don't want to remove the cover so I will try other things first.

alex

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post #23 of 58 Old Mar 17th, 2019, 9:12 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Sounds like the tensioner is not secured yet. Pull the drill bit out while watching the guide, if it does not move it wasn't secured. Then push the guide down and while holding it insert the drill bit. Make sure you are going straight in, check with a block or square to make sure it is perpendicular to the front of the engine. Then rotate the drill bit (probably need to use a plier). If it has the piston secured it will turn CW easier than it will CCW. Your Special tool will be in the mail tomorrow.
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post #24 of 58 Old Mar 18th, 2019, 8:08 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

John,

I did just as you asked. I pulled the drill bit and let the guide go free. it stayed down. I then lifted it with the screw driver all the way up. Then I pushed it all the way down and inserted the drill bit in as far as I could. I repeated this 3 times to make sure that it is all the way down. I include a picture of the guide. Is it supposed to go lower than this? I made sure the bit is going in straight.

So after that I put the top cam gear on and just attempted to put the lower cam gear on without installing the guide. I was hoping it would just slide right on. But no, I am still a little short. So then I took them both off and pulled on each chain and tried to pop each to create slack. I then reversed the order and put the bottom cam gear on. I was thinking there may be slack in the top part of the chain. Still both cam gears will not go on.

Should the guide go all the way to the base of the timing cover when it is pushed down. Or does mine look correct in the photo?

thanks,

alex
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post #25 of 58 Old Mar 18th, 2019, 8:19 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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John,

I did just as you asked. I pulled the drill bit and let the guide go free. it stayed down. I then lifted it with the screw driver all the way up. Then I pushed it all the way down and inserted the drill bit in as far as I could. I repeated this 3 times to make sure that it is all the way down. I include a picture of the guide. Is it supposed to go lower than this? I made sure the bit is going in straight.

So after that I put the top cam gear on and just attempted to put the lower cam gear on without installing the guide. I was hoping it would just slide right on. But no, I am still a little short. So then I took them both off and pulled on each chain and tried to pop each to create slack. I then reversed the order and put the bottom cam gear on. I was thinking there may be slack in the top part of the chain. Still both cam gears will not go on.

Should the guide go all the way to the base of the timing cover when it is pushed down. Or does mine look correct in the photo?

thanks,

alex
The picture is so close and at an angle that I canít tell if the guide is all the way down. You may want to mark the drill bit where it passes through the cover and then remove it and see if 35mm was inside the cover. That is the fully seated depth when the pin is in place correctly.

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post #26 of 58 Old Mar 18th, 2019, 9:23 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

You have NOT pushed the guide down far enough based on the first photo in the latest post. Compare the relative location of the guide in John's photo with the timing cover off then compare it to your recent photo. The lip of the guide is well below the cam itself in John's photo. Yours is just below the the cam surface that the gear fit onto. It needs to be below the thrust bearing block's lower edge. It must be PUSHED down, you are going against a strong spring.

When you had the drill in did you try to rotate it?
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post #27 of 58 Old Mar 19th, 2019, 8:27 am Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

I see what you mean. The picture from my bike is not all the way down. I guess I did not realize how much force is necessary to compress the spring. It is going to take a whole lot of force to get the guide down another 2 inches or so.

I will work on that tomorrow night after work.

alex

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post #28 of 58 Old Mar 19th, 2019, 10:15 am
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

The best way to get it down is take off the intake gear, the guide between the gears and install the exhaust gear. Then rotate the exhaust cam CCW with a wrench and it will pull the guide down. While holding the wrench on the cam, you should be able to insert the pin and notice a difference when you release the wrench. Then quickly check the intake cam gear with out the guide and see if there is a difference. Then proceed with the normal assembly order.

You got this!
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post #29 of 58 Old Mar 19th, 2019, 3:03 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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The best way to get it down is take off the intake gear, the guide between the gears and install the exhaust gear. Then rotate the exhaust cam CCW with a wrench and it will pull the guide down. While holding the wrench on the cam, you should be able to insert the pin and notice a difference when you release the wrench. Then quickly check the intake cam gear with out the guide and see if there is a difference. Then proceed with the normal assembly order.

You got this!
So close you can taste it.

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post #30 of 58 Old Mar 19th, 2019, 3:48 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

I can't wait to get home and try it.

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post #31 of 58 Old Mar 20th, 2019, 11:47 am
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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I can't wait to get home and try it.
I finally got some gumption today and headed to the garage to do some more work on my LT valve adjustment. I got one of Johnís pins and wanted to try that out. I marked it at the 35mm mark that Sailor said was the insertion depth and went to work. I used a wrench to turn the exhaust cam slightly to pull the chain against the guide. That worked a treat and the guide dropped right down and I could see slack in the chain in the top guide (see picture below).

I then inserted the pin, but it went in much deeper than 35 mm almost to the point where the loop was touching the case. And it did not want to turn very easily in either direction. I was perplexed for a moment, but then decided to release the wrench and let the cam return to its static position. This seemed to let the pin now turn CCW, but not CW as John said. I suspect the guide may have been pushing down on the pin a little, but that is just a guess. Anyway. I still could see a touch of slack in the links in the top guide so I felt it was safe to remove the sprockets. Thankfully, the sprockets came right off and were not snatched out of my hand as happened my first time through this procedure.

Here is a link to video where you can see how far Johnís pin went in and the one way rotation of the pin. I will try to remember to mark the pin before I remove it to see what the insertion depth was. I am not sure why Johnís pin went in so much father than then 35 mm Sailor mentioned, but it looks to me like it went in at least 40 mm and likely more.

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post #32 of 58 Old Mar 20th, 2019, 12:01 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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...
....
I will try to remember to mark the pin before I remove it to see what the insertion depth was. I am not sure why Johnís pin went in so much father than then 35 mm Sailor mentioned, but it looks to me like it went in at least 40 mm and likely more.
I guess I should have been more specific in my post - let me try again:
35 mm is a minimum to reach the full depth of the far hole / hook in tensionner. However, unlike the K100 or K1100, on the K1200 the tensionner is bolted to the cover, hence there is still some room behind it before you hit the actual crankcase wall. This is the reason why you can still push deeper than 35, although not needed.

Thanks for the video. I am sure this will be useful in future to help members here. If a picture is worth a thousands words.... when attempting to explain a difficult concept a video is even better.

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post #33 of 58 Old Mar 20th, 2019, 12:15 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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I guess I should have been more specific in my post - let me try again:
35 mm is a minimum to reach the full depth of the far hole / hook in tensionner. However, unlike the K100 or K1100, on the K1200 the tensionner is bolted to the cover, hence there is still some room behind it before you hit the actual crankcase wall. This is the reason why you can still push deeper than 35, although not needed.

Thanks for the video. I am sure this will be useful in future to help members here. If a picture is worth a thousands words.... when attempting to explain a difficult concept a video is even better.
Got it. I had originally read it thinking that it bottomed out at 35 mm.

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post #34 of 58 Old Mar 20th, 2019, 12:35 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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Got it. I had originally read it thinking that it bottomed out at 35 mm.
I think I had not shown this picture before...
As you can see the pin / drill bit can go thru both holes, as deep as there is room before hitting crankcase wall behind.
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post #35 of 58 Old Mar 20th, 2019, 12:49 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

I like the video Matt it shows the "test" by turning in one direction and not so well in the other. Oh and the "U" tubes showed up today - Nice!

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post #36 of 58 Old Mar 20th, 2019, 4:54 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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I think I had not shown this picture before...
As you can see the pin / drill bit can go thru both holes, as deep as there is room before hitting crankcase wall behind.
I marked andmeasured the pin after removing it and it appears that full depth on my LT is about 45-46mm. The loop on the tool just barely cleared the case when fully inserted. Worked like a charm though.
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post #37 of 58 Old Mar 21st, 2019, 8:28 am Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

I finally got a chance to work on my chain tensioner and guide last night.

I started with trying to push the guide down with a screw driver but had a problem keeping the screw driver against the guide while applying force to compress the spring. It was taking a lot of force to move the guide and things kept slipping. I did not have a tool that had some friction to use. Could not think of anything at that time.

So then I put the exhaust cam gear on and turned the exhaust camshaft to compress the guide.

Holding the camshaft I attempted to insert the drill bit. I had trouble inserting the bit. If I backed off a little with the wrench then the drill bit would go all the way in. I thought I was set and ready to attach both cam gears. So I removed the exhaust cam gear and attached the intake cam gear. Then I tried to attach the exhaust cam gear but still did not have enough slack. It is closer now than ever before. Just a small amount to go. How much force are you using on the camshaft to compress the guide? From your description it does not sound like very much.

So I disassembled the intake cam gear and reattached the exhaust cam gear and tried again to compress the guide and get it locked in. I am having to put a lot of force to compress the guide. Is that normal? I am afraid something is going to break. Still not enough slack. I tried all of this three more times later that evening. No success.

Is there a tool that would allow me to push down the guide that will not slip against the guide surface? I need a rubber tip on a metal dowel or something. Just how much force is required to compress the spring such that the guide drops all the way down?

I think I do need that special tool instead of the drill bit.

thanks,

alex

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post #38 of 58 Old Mar 21st, 2019, 8:48 am
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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I finally got a chance to work on my chain tensioner and guide last night.

I started with trying to push the guide down with a screw driver but had a problem keeping the screw driver against the guide while applying force to compress the spring. It was taking a lot of force to move the guide and things kept slipping. I did not have a tool that had some friction to use. Could not think of anything at that time.

So then I put the exhaust cam gear on and turned the exhaust camshaft to compress the guide.

Holding the camshaft I attempted to insert the drill bit. I had trouble inserting the bit. If I backed off a little with the wrench then the drill bit would go all the way in. I thought I was set and ready to attach both cam gears. So I removed the exhaust cam gear and attached the intake cam gear. Then I tried to attach the exhaust cam gear but still did not have enough slack. It is closer now than ever before. Just a small amount to go. How much force are you using on the camshaft to compress the guide? From your description it does not sound like very much.

So I disassembled the intake cam gear and reattached the exhaust cam gear and tried again to compress the guide and get it locked in. I am having to put a lot of force to compress the guide. Is that normal? I am afraid something is going to break. Still not enough slack. I tried all of this three more times later that evening. No success.

Is there a tool that would allow me to push down the guide that will not slip against the guide surface? I need a rubber tip on a metal dowel or something. Just how much force is required to compress the spring such that the guide drops all the way down?

I think I do need that special tool instead of the drill bit.

thanks,

alex
Mine did not require much force. I was using a 3/4Ē wrench to turn the cam (I think it is 19 mm, but I didnít have a metric that large readily at hand and 3/4Ē fit pretty well) and it took fairly little force to rotate the exhaust cam enough to retract the guide rail and get the pin in place. Keep in mind though, that my bike was stil fully assembled at that time so both sprockets were in place. Not sure why that would matter, but it is a difference between my situation and yours. And I could easily see the slack build up in the top guide as shown in my picture as the links of the chain began to ďbunch upĒ in the guide itself on top as soon as I pushed upward on the wrench.

What size drill are you using? I believe 1/8Ē or #30 are the recommendations. #30 is slightly larger so that might hold the plunger down just a tad more. I really donít think your issue is the tool itself. It sounds like something else is going on. Any chance you can make a video showing you turning the exhaust cam and letting us see what the chain and guide are doing when you do this?

I am really wondering at this time if something didnít get bound up in the chain such as a link getting crosswise enough to bind somewhere down near the drive sprocket. Do you have someone to help you who could bump your wheel a little to rotate the crank slightly while you hold the sprockets so they donít get pulled into the case? If you could bump the wheel a tad in each direction while keeping the chain taut by holding the sprockets, you should be able to feel the top and bottom of the chain pull against your hand as the crank is rotated. This would have to be done very carefully given that the sprockets are zip tied to the chain and thus you donít want more than a link or two length of motion each direction. If you could do this and find that only one side of the chain is moving, then you would know that something is amiss deeper down in the case.

One more question just to be sure, do your cams rotate easily with the wrench when the sprockets are not attached? Just what to be sure that there isnít something binding in your cam itself. The cams should turn fairly easily with the wrench, but will be jerky as different lobes go overcenter on the buckets.

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post #39 of 58 Old Mar 21st, 2019, 11:01 am Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

I am doing something wrong then. I am having to apply a lot of force to compress the chain guide. Previous pictures show that my guide is not all the way down. So I have been trying to push it all the way down and then insert the drill bit. I have a 1/8 inch bit.

I am pushing hard on the camshaft with the 19 mm wrench to compress the chain guide. I then can insert the drill bit. I compress it and then the bit will not go all the way in. So I have to back off on the cam until the bit goes in.

My cams do rotate easily. There is no binding. Only when the lobes go over the follower do you hear them.

I keep thinking I am going to break something trying to compress the chain guide.

I will try to make a video this evening.

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post #40 of 58 Old Mar 21st, 2019, 12:10 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

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I am doing something wrong then. I am having to apply a lot of force to compress the chain guide. Previous pictures show that my guide is not all the way down. So I have been trying to push it all the way down and then insert the drill bit. I have a 1/8 inch bit.

I am pushing hard on the camshaft with the 19 mm wrench to compress the chain guide. I then can insert the drill bit. I compress it and then the bit will not go all the way in. So I have to back off on the cam until the bit goes in.

My cams do rotate easily. There is no binding. Only when the lobes go over the follower do you hear them.

I keep thinking I am going to break something trying to compress the chain guide.

I will try to make a video this evening.
That is perplexing. Maybe you mentioned it in past posts, but I donít remember. What is the history of this LT? Did you buy it new? Do you know who did the last valve adjustment? Do you recall if the chain seemed very tight prior to removal of your sprockets?

I admit that your situation is very perplexing. I am having a hard time understanding what could be preventing the guide rail from fully collapsing the tensioner piston. Then again, I have not had the front cover off my LT so I donít have intimate knowledge of what the parts look like in there. However, looking at the fiche, I see nothing that should be able to block the movement, unless someone during a prior adjustment broke off a drill bit of something in there and it is now blocking things from moving. That seems a very long shot, but you certainly are seeing unusual behavior from the tensioner assembly.

Any chance you can do the crankshaft movement as I suggested earlier and confirm that both the top and bottom parts of the chain move in and out in unison with crank rotation? That should rule out any binding of a link deep down inside.

Also, you say the bit goes all the way in, but how do you know that? Have you measured the insertion depth? On my 2007, the rod goes in a good 45 mm when fully seated. You may want to measure the insertion depth as another check.

You are right not to force things. I really donít think it took more than 10-15 pounds of upward push on my 3/4Ē wrench to fully depress the tensioner rail. Given that this wrench is maybe 10Ē long if that, we are talking well under 15 lb-ft of torque on the exhaust cam.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #41 of 58 Old Mar 21st, 2019, 2:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

The LT is a 2008 model that I bought from a friend of a friend with less than 2000 miles. I measured the valves at 20K miles and they were good. I rode the bike for many more miles and realized I should measure again. This time at around 68K miles 4 intake valves measured 0.13 mm. When I disassembled the cam gears I did not notice an overly tight chain. I don't recall seeing any slack in the guide area. When I removed the second cam gear the chain pulled the cam gear from my fingers. I have been struggling ever since then. LOL.

I can try to get a buddy to help with the crank rotation. I think the chain is moving on both sides unimpeded. I say that because when I first attempted to use the chain to compress the guide and turned the camshaft which pulled the intake cam gear closer to the block and made one of my wire ties disappear. I was using a lot of force. Too much force I believe. The crankshaft was turning a little.

I will measure the insertion depth on the bit. It is in farther than ever before.

I was using a lot of force to compress the guide. Maybe 25 foot pounds or so. From your response that should not be the case.

I will take a new picture of my guide too.

Alex Cuningham
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post #42 of 58 Old Mar 21st, 2019, 4:14 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

I vaguely remember someone having problems with the tensioner, it was sticking, metal piston inside aluminum housing. He replaced tensioner.Quite a few years ago, memory may be wrong.

Gary
2018 R1200RT
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post #43 of 58 Old Mar 21st, 2019, 7:00 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Some thing is just not right. Have you shined a bright light down and looked at the chain on the crank gear? Does it look fully engaged, like all the teeth are into the chain and not on the edge of the chain? I wish you were a little closer than 4+ hours away, I would jump on the LT and come give you a hand.
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2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
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2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #44 of 58 Old Mar 22nd, 2019, 7:32 am Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

My chain tension tool arrived yesterday. Thank you. I put it to good use last night. I pressed the guide down and inserted the tool. It went all the way in.

I am finally resolved that the cam chain on my LT is just tight. I was finally able to push down on the exhaust cam gear and slide it onto the camshaft making sure that the keyway fit in the slot of the camshaft. So both cam gears are back on and the guide and all is torqued correctly.

Even after turning both cams to create slack, turning the exhaust cam to compress the chain tensioner against the guide, trying over and over to get the guide all the way down, when I assembled both cam gears and then looked at the finished assembly both triangles are at 12:00 o'clock. Wow. The timing should all be correct.

Tonight I will turn the rear wheel and listen for any problem. Also I will re-measure all the valve clearances. After that , start it up and listen to that pure LT sound.

Thank you jzeiler and voyager, and sailor and others for your patience and help.

alex
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post #45 of 58 Old Mar 22nd, 2019, 9:21 am
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

I am glad you finally got it back together. Now you can get back to enjoying the ride!
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2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #46 of 58 Old Mar 22nd, 2019, 10:23 am Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Yes, the first trip is to Road Atlanta April 5 for the MotoAmerica Superbike races. There are four of us that will leave from Maryville and ride to Tellico Plains, then the Cherohala Skyway and then through the North GA mountains down to Winder GA. The track is about 10 miles away. Should be a good trip.

Did you get the Paypal payment?

alex

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post #47 of 58 Old Mar 22nd, 2019, 10:29 am
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Yes I did. You have some pretty good riding up in your area. I explored quite a bit of that when the MOA was in Johnson City. We will be up in the Stecoha area of NC (near Cherohala) in mid April. We stay at the Chateau Elan Winery and Resort every now and then (when we are restocking our wine cellar, I can get two cases in the Bushtec with our luggage); with in ear shot from Road Atlanta.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #48 of 58 Old Mar 22nd, 2019, 12:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

I have played golf at the Chateau Elan with my son before. Never been to the winery. I do like the tastings; especially when they bring out the single barrel varieties.

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post #49 of 58 Old Mar 22nd, 2019, 10:26 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
I like the video Matt it shows the "test" by turning in one direction and not so well in the other. Oh and the "U" tubes showed up today - Nice!
Looked at getting my cams off tonight. I found a small screw driver that was exactly 1/8 inch so I cut the head off to use it as the tensioner lock. It goes in about 44 mm but I have no one way tension and I think my tensioner may be sticking. I used the exhaust cam bolt to put tension on the chain to compress it and it did but there is no spring tension on it. The pin goes in 44mm and stops and if I cock it a little, I can feel it hit and not go in the hole. Before I take off the cam gears, should I be doing anything else?

Gordon
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post #50 of 58 Old Mar 22nd, 2019, 10:40 pm
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Re: Camshaft assembly and disabling the chain tensioner

Did you do the turn test? I never had to put much force to get the tensioner down, but the turn test always worked.

Did you cut the blade off or the handle?

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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