What exactly is wrong with the Cam Chain Tensioner Assemblies? - Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Cool What exactly is wrong with the Cam Chain Tensioner Assemblies?


I own a 2005 Suzuki Boulevard M50 VZ800. Not sure how many miles are on it. Tach/speedometer never worked. Iím guessing around 12K-15K. I bought it off a guy who rode it a little hard and didnít maintain it and by the looks of the piston heads didnít use the good gas. On top of that he laid it down while parking it once. I have ridden the bike and it rides great beside the noise coming from the front top end.
I had the same issue that dozens have had, with the louder than normal sewing machine sounds. I did the Valve adjustments and I had it get worse. I then redid the valves and it sounded better but the loud slapping sound was still there I figured out it was the cam chain. Then I found that it is the cam chain tensioner assembly thatís faulty.
At this point my two options are take a hit and lose the bike and try to scrap it, or (what I picked) to tear down the engine myself and try to find and fix the problem.
I did it.
NowÖ..
What exactly is wrong with the Cam Chain Tensioner Assemblies?
I have taken apart my engine, and I have taken out the tensioners, they donít look like they are busted or that they are broken or anything, they actually look good and the ratchet mechanism works good from what I can see. Could the cam chain tensioner assembly and cam chain guide have just slipped off of each other?
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 04:29 AM
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They tend to stretch over time my 07 did this at about 35,000 and it was still going strong at around 70,000, when the deer killed it.

May God bless you and keep you
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 06:48 AM
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There's nothing wrong with the cam chain tensioner assemblies. They're doing their job and taking up the slack caused by chain wear and stretch in the cam chain. There is a limit of how much slack they can take up, before they no longer can do their job. Your chain has stretched to the point that the tensioner assemblies can no longer keep proper tension on the chain, which is why you're hearing the noise. You need to replace both cam chains and both tensioners as a matter of maintenance.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 01:02 PM
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If the chain has stretched and you are replacing it you should also change the sprockets as they will wear as well.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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OK my next hair pulling, wall punching, bicycle throwing (donít ask) issue is this:
When I was done removing the u-shaped washer thing from the sprocket, i forgot to take the sprocket off, and mark the position of the sprocket and chain, like my buddy told me, and when i went to loosen the head bolts, i nudged the sprocket with my hand, and it fell off the cam shaft, it was the front end by the way. The chain is still good on the bottom "sprocket" it hasnít moved off the teeth.
Since Iím changing the sprockets, cam shafts, chain, tensioner assembly, and guides, is this going to be a huge issue, as far as timing is concerned? I know where the cam shafts are sitting and i know how the sprocket is supposed to fit on to the cam shaft.

Or am I fcuked?
If i need to elaborate then please let me know. Iíll tell you what i can.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 11:29 PM
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No it's not a big issue to fix. You'll just have to make sure everything is in their correct position for correct timing. You might want to get a service or
Clymer Clymer
manual to show you how to correctly line everything up.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05m50bully View Post
OK my next hair pulling, wall punching, bicycle throwing (donít ask) issue is this:
When I was done removing the u-shaped washer thing from the sprocket, i forgot to take the sprocket off, and mark the position of the sprocket and chain, like my buddy told me, and when i went to loosen the head bolts, i nudged the sprocket with my hand, and it fell off the cam shaft, it was the front end by the way. The chain is still good on the bottom "sprocket" it hasnít moved off the teeth.
Since Iím changing the sprockets, cam shafts, chain, tensioner assembly, and guides, is this going to be a huge issue, as far as timing is concerned? I know where the cam shafts are sitting and i know how the sprocket is supposed to fit on to the cam shaft.

Or am I fcuked?
If i need to elaborate then please let me know. Iíll tell you what i can.
Not having had one of these timing chain/cam sprocket assemblies apart on these bikes, and not knowing how the sprocket is located to the cam, I can only suggest that you totally understand and follow the timing procedure in the manual to the letter when you reassemble the engine. make sure that each cylinder piston is in the correct position when you put things together!!

As to your original Question, the stretch of the chain refered to is really wear in the pins and bushings that hold the chain links together. Only two reasons for that come readily to mind.... excessive tension and lack of lubrication. A third would be excessive mileage but that doesn't seem to be the case in most of these happenings.

The one thing that I know I avoid altogether on these engines with timing chains is rotating the engine BACKWARDS. Turning the engine backwards tensions the chain on the opposit side to where normal tension exists and it is likely that the misplaced tension does damage to the tensioner and over tensions the chain causing problems or something similiar.

This is just my idea on this but if you over shoot the timing mark when positioning the cylinder for setting the valves, just keep rotating the engine two more turns and don't let it slip past....

Some hints to prevent slipping past the timeing marks.... remove both spark plugs and fill the plug cavity with paper shop towel to keep falling bolts, nuts and washers from getting in the cylinder and use a swing handle on the socket instead of a ratchet so you have more control of engine position.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much guys, that really helps and puts me at ease. I'll be working on it as soon as I get the parts. I'll let you all know what comes of this whole thing.

Any good sites any one can suggest for good quality parts?

I have carts @ bikebandit.com, Motosport.com, and cheapcycleparts.com
haven't checked the Suzuki site yet.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 02:17 AM
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bump. How'd it go?

So, how do you prevent the cam chain from stretching, low mileage excluded?

2006 Suzuki C50T. All OEM.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 08:32 AM
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You can't. It is a roller chain. The pins inside the links elongate the holes and create 'slack' as the chain rotates under pressure around the crank sprocket and the cam sprockets. It wears just like any other roller chain and needs to be periodically tightened (which is where the automatic tensioners come into play). After a time, the wear is too great and the tensioners have no more travel left in them, which creates slop and allows the chain to slap around inside the engine. It is a common failure in ALL overhead valve engines that use a chain, belt or rubber bands for that matter. Eventually, they will wear out and require replacement.

Current Bikes ---->
- 1969 Indian MX125 -10-2009 to Present
- 2008 Yamaha FZ6 - 11-2008 to Present
- 2006 Star Virago - 05-2011 to Present
- 2014 Honda CTX1300 - 05-2015 to Present

Past Bikes -------->

-1973 Yamaha RD350
-1991 Harley Sportster 883 XL
-2000 Yamaha XV125
-2003 Piaggio Fly
-2004 Suzuki LS650
-2005 Boulevard C50 - 07-2008 to 5-2012
-2012 Vulcan 900 05-2012-05-2015


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