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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.
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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/181997-alaska-preparation-2.html#post1902535
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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2005 K1200LT
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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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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
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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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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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 1/2” unless the chain came off the drive sprocket when it snapped the cam sprocket free. Hopefully, that isn’t 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, John’s 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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Discussion Starter #12
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #15
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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Discussion Starter #16
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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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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from memory wouldn't rotate the engine with the cams in, I think you will bend valves.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #20
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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