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Hello everyone, I know this whole cam chain issue on the VL800/C50 has been talked to death before, but I have a question. What actually goes wrong with the tensioners that requires replacing them? I bought my 2003 VL800 for cheap and I'm having a hard time spending almost $1000 dollars in parts for a bike I only paid $1000 for. My bike has 32000 on the clock and is just starting to make noise. Being on a budget I'm thinking about just replacing the chains if the tensioners and guides look good. Is it one of those cases where everyone just replaces them just because there already in there and might as well do it anyways?
 

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As the chains stretch, the chain tensioners will automatically ratchet out to take up the slack. Once the chain reaches its service limit, the tensioners can no longer apply sufficient pressure and you hear the tell tale clatter. This is not a project where you want to half ass the repair. Yes, the parts are expensive, it's why these bikes are considered disposable. But if you're going to cough up the money to do the chains, the extra $300 or so you spend on replacing the tensioners is well worth the effort, especially since you will likely have to tear back into the engine to replace them soon anyway.
 
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