What exactly is wrong with the Cam Chain Tensioner Assemblies? - Page 2 - Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 10:00 AM
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OK,so how do you know when you have to replace the chains and sprokets? Mine has more then 30K and has the infamous" Sewing Machine Noise"
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 10:18 AM
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You will know when the chain gets too much slack. It will make a horrible racket in the bottom of the engine that you cannot mistake for anything else.

Changing the chain and tensioners requires removing the engine from the frame, removing the clutch cover, clutch and valve covers from the engine. There is a bit more tear down required to get to the tensioners, then it is a matter of removing the cams, pulling the chain through the engine, putting the new chain on, realigning the cams, installing the tensioners and buttoning up the engine. The one I did took 5.5 hours start to finish. Your time may vary. The parts were not terribly expensive, but the labor was so I did it myself.

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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pit Viper View Post
OK,so how do you know when you have to replace the chains and sprokets? Mine has more then 30K and has the infamous" Sewing Machine Noise"
I'm waiting to hear that unmistakable clamor with more than 50K miles and counting everyday. I guess a lot depends on riding styles which could impact metal fatigue faster than others. Sometimes I think I hear it but Skrapiron says I would not mistake it for anything else, so not yet. Can't wait... yes I can but hate to have to tear into it possibly this year the way I roll on miles.

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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Skrapiron View Post
You will know when the chain gets too much slack. It will make a horrible racket in the bottom of the engine that you cannot mistake for anything else.

Changing the chain and tensioners requires removing the engine from the frame, removing the clutch cover, clutch and valve covers from the engine. There is a bit more tear down required to get to the tensioners, then it is a matter of removing the cams, pulling the chain through the engine, putting the new chain on, realigning the cams, installing the tensioners and buttoning up the engine. The one I did took 5.5 hours start to finish. Your time may vary. The parts were not terribly expensive, but the labor was so I did it myself.
Thank you Skrapiron,guess I won't worry till then.lol Bike runs great just a little noisy.
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-05-2013, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skrapiron View Post
You will know when the chain gets too much slack. It will make a horrible racket in the bottom of the engine that you cannot mistake for anything else.

Changing the chain and tensioners requires removing the engine from the frame, removing the clutch cover, clutch and valve covers from the engine. There is a bit more tear down required to get to the tensioners, then it is a matter of removing the cams, pulling the chain through the engine, putting the new chain on, realigning the cams, installing the tensioners and buttoning up the engine. The one I did took 5.5 hours start to finish. Your time may vary. The parts were not terribly expensive, but the labor was so I did it myself.
Skrapiron, what kind of system does the Vulcan use for the upper cams, if you know? I read over on the Vulcan forums that other than bad Stator's and a wonky gas gauge (which there is a fix for both issues) the Vulcan 900's seem pretty bullet proof.

What's your take? Thanks.
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-05-2013, 08:29 AM
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The Vulcan 900 also uses a ratcheting cam chain tensioner as well. But I have found very few complaints on the Vulcan forums about the chains stretching beyond their service limit. One member I converse with regularly has 156,000 miles on his '06. He measured the chain at 90k when he changed his clutch and found it to still be in spec and the tensioners still had play in them. Better design? I don't know. The only Achilles heel I found with the Vulcan is the stator issue. But that is most likely the result of too much heat, either in the electrical system or the engine, causing the epoxy to degrade on the stator itself. I relocated my R/R to the side of the frame (got rid of the steel cage around it) and have been running 20w50 full synthetic oil to combat high engine temps. We'll see if that is a permanent fix or not. Just flipped 6k miles on the odometer last night, so far so good!

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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 02:42 AM
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The problem with the Vulcan electrical issues is mainly the Rectifier going bad because of the heat from the exhaust system.
I had an 85 Vulcan VN750 and the can chain adjusters were always sticking and the chains would get a lot of slack in them and the chains would rattle. And when they rattle you will know it, sounds nothing like the valves. The thing I liked about the Vulcans was the tensioner assemblies were on the outsides of the jugs, and were really easy to get to to fix. Another nice thing is that they have hydraulic lash adjusters, and you never needed to adjust the valves on them. I wish Suzuki would have adopted that design. The Vulcan 750's had a redline of 8500 RPM's. They are a DOHC design with 4 valves per cylinder.
I guess we can't have the good stuff on all engines.
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 09:58 AM
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I'm not so sure the chains are stretching beyond their service limits. If the tensioner design is typical Suzuki, it is failing to ratchet in when it needs to. One thing to try is, with the bike in gear and pushed forward against the motor, push it back the other way as quick and as hard as you can. I've heard that this can get the tensioners to click into the next position, but it might be different on the C50. Also try it with the clutch in moving backward (engine off) and then pop the clutch out and let it bump against the motor compression.
The chain is running in an oil bath in a fairly low RPM motor. I would be very surprised if the chain had actually stretched (worn the pins) that much.

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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 12:02 PM
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I don't know I have over 65 k on my 05 C-50. I know it should have been serviced at 50 k but to date as soon as it starts sounding noisier then usual I change the oil and all is well for another 2000 miles.
Last year I asked my dealer about the cost to do the tensioner. He advised me the cost would be $1,400 but that included new rings that he recommended doing and all parts.
Maybe this winter.

I didn't do anything yesterday and doubt I'll have time to finish the job today
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trent View Post
bump. How'd it go?

So, how do you prevent the cam chain from stretching, low mileage excluded?
Change the oil every 2000 miles and and keep the rpm's down. That's all I can think of
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