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Once and for all, Truth about Timing Chain Failure

25894 Views 76 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  jasonpinson143
There has been a lot of talk about timing chain failure on the C 50 Boulevard engine. I find it hard to believe Suzuki built a motor and continues to build the same motor with a timing chain weakness considering todays advances in motor technology. Any well designed motor should be able to go 100,000 miles with proper maintenance today. So here is the question. has anyone ridden their C 50 motorcycle 100,000 and did you have to replace the timing chains and tensioners. And if you did have the Timing chain problem, how many miles were on your motorcycle. Please include the year so we can look for problem years.
Thank you for participating.
I just bought a 2007 C 50 Boulevard with 13,000 miles on the clock and want to know whether I can plan on riding it another 87,000 miles without a timing chain failure or whether I should sell it at 25,000 for something better designed. Thanks and hopefully we can get to the bottom of this timing chain issue
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I don't think this is an issue exclusive to the C50. I've replaced the cam chains on other bikes when the mileage gets a bit high.

The first was a V Four Honda and I only noticed when I was replacing the cams, the issue was not the tensioner but the fact that the chain had stretched. Although it looked perfect, for the same amount of links it was about 1/2" longer. I simply ground down a link pin, attached the new chain and fed it through the engine.

When fitted I just reset the tensioner, according to the manual the C50 system isn't much different.

If there are concerns make it part of your maintenance plan for 30, 40 or 50K, you can do the valve clearances, check cams etc and make sure everything is OK at the same time.
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What exactly is involved in changing the timing chain? Does the tensioner need changing? What's the big deal? My car will need the chains changed at about 180,000 miles. That's $2000 in work. Not too bad for a $50,000 plus car.
I haven't done the C50 but an engine is an engine.

If there is significant chain slap and the chain is the correct length, i.e. the timing marks etc all line up, then it is a tensioner and or guide issue which may need a strip down to replace. If the timing marks won't line up then the chain is stretched.

The chain should be able to be replaced with everything in situ, remove the cam gear and split the chain, attach new chain to the old one and hand turn the crank to feed it through the motor, remove old chain, reconnect new one, refit cam gear, reset tensioner, repeat.

PS. Could I do it myself?, yes. Would I do it myself these days?, probably not, but any good mechanic should be able to do it for a reasonable cost, dealers will charge you what the bike is worth.
If it's the second one were in trouble....(where'd the pics go..?)

Looks like the first one according to the manual. The second looks like the oil pump drive chain.

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Wellz, if you was careful you should be able to split it....maybe. Anyone here ever split one?
Same type of chain on the Honda's, old chain splits no problem, grinder and a pin punch.

When I've done it the replacement chain was too long and had to have links removed so it was an open chain.
One of the other issues was releasing the tensioner so that you could get the cam chain back on the cam gear and bolted back onto the cam, you will never get it on under tension. The Honda had something that you could force the tensioner to a locked position and then release it when the new chain was on.

PS. The manual says to remove the cam gear and cam as part of the head removal so maybe there is enough play to get it on and off whilst under tension...
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