Author Topic: Replacing Camchain tensioner  (Read 1301 times)

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Offline 56gr8tdfuybh

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Replacing Camchain tensioner
on: 17 January, 2022, 09:18:29 AM
Hi folks,
I have had an on-going battle with a rattle when the engine is hot. I replaced the cam-chain spring as it was 2mm under spec and used the Sprint Engineering replacement which is  LOT stronger. The noise definitely reduced but is still there. On advise from well trusted mechanic who knows triples I have bought a complete new tensioner as the old one has got considerable marking on the shaft, although the teeth appeared to be in good health.

I was advised I can remove the bottom chain cover and 'jam' the chain which will prevent it from skipping a tooth, then replace the tensioner, insert the spring and all should be good in the world. I was wondering in your experience
- Will this method work given it saves me having to pull the bike apart and remove that rocker cover which is really messy?
- What did you use to jam the chain?
- Should I put the engine at TDC before starting? Will that prevent any of the valves from being compressed and hence 'load' the cams so that they are more prone to slipping?
- What post-checks can i do to ensure all is good before hitting the button?

many thanks for your help
APW

#1

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Re: Replacing Camchain tensioner
Reply #1 on: 17 January, 2022, 02:59:10 PM
The guides blade for the cam chain pivot at the bottom.  With the crank cover off you can easily squeeze the two together by hand (the right run's guide shouldn't actually move), maintaining tension on the chain while you remove the tensioner unit.  A block of wood wedged between the edge of the casing and the guide blade will work if you don't have a spare strong hand.
Put the crank at TDC1 (using inspection plug window) before you take main cover off though.  Turn engine by hand clockwise, only clockwise using the sprag to crank bolt, you'll be fighting compression if spark plugs are in but it's easily doable.  Do a few revolutions to get a feel for how it feels.
Once crank cover is off you lose the TDC1 ref mark, so put a bit of tape or pen mark the cover mating face where it points.

On new unit make sure tongue pops fully out, undo big bolt and remove spring etc. then push the tongue all the way in.
Once you take the old unit out keep close eye on chain and wedge and guide that they don't move.
Swap the tensioner unit, use new gasket bolt in place etc.  push the tongue firmly out by hand so it contacts the guide blade, i use an allen key for this, inserted in the hole where the spring normally goes.  Install spring and big bolt.  You should now be ok to remove he wedge.  Check you are TDC1 still on the crank.  Rotate engine by hand (clockwise!) a few times.
Replace covers and done!

Note, manual has you take the cam cover off to ensure the cam gears are kept in snyc etc.  but as long as you keep tension on the chain and the TDC1 mark doesn't move you should be fine.

TBH I see no reason to replace the whole unit as there is no  part of it to wear out really.  If I were you i'd remove the bolt/spring and use an allen key (eg) to try to push out the tongue by hand to see if you can get another click.
Also check how much adjustment is left by measuring depth of the hole from face the big bolt sits on to the bottom; 1st tooth is 38.5mm deep, last is 60.5mm.
Last Edit: 17 January, 2022, 03:05:00 PM by Sidewinder

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Offline 56gr8tdfuybh

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Re: Replacing Camchain tensioner
Reply #2 on: 17 January, 2022, 04:12:58 PM
Hi Sidewinder, thank you so much for taking the time to detail this so well.

Believe me I was hesitant to spent over 100 on a new tensioner which is why I went the spring replacement route first, it is a lot better but this is still not right. My trusted mechanic (and believe me I trust very few of them) told me that in his experience the Triumph tensioner can develop play both vertically and horizontally which he believes is responsible for the clicking/catching sound. I definitely get your point and would agree but i am running out of time. I am planning a big trip in May and don't want to be stranded in eastern Europe with cam-chain problems!
 
When you say TDC1 (one) I assume that means TDC for cylinder #1 ?

Also before I pull out the old one I will definitely check the amount of adjustment remaining, those measurement's are really useful.

I will be having a go at this on wednesday so I will let you know how I get on.

Thanks again!!

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Re: Replacing Camchain tensioner
Reply #3 on: 17 January, 2022, 04:20:59 PM
Yeah TDC1 is cyl 1 at TDC.  Sprag clutch is marked with a "T".

FYI the tongue cannot retract even if spring is out due to it's ratchet mechanism.

I suspect you won't solve your 'issue' but will be happy to be proved wrong.  Some bikes are just more ticky than others it seems.

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Offline Rhead

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Re: Replacing Camchain tensioner
Reply #4 on: 17 January, 2022, 06:08:27 PM
I think that the noise happens when the tensioner is between teeth. A stronger spring might help with the noise (which I fixed by wearing earplugs) but will also put more pressure on the other parts ie faster wear. Mine is still all original at 200k miles, but of course I use the best oil...Mobil 1 15-50 $22 / 5 qts at walmart so.....

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Offline 56gr8tdfuybh

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Re: Replacing Camchain tensioner
Reply #5 on: 17 January, 2022, 09:50:41 PM
*Originally Posted by Rhead [+]
I think that the noise happens when the tensioner is between teeth. A stronger spring might help with the noise (which I fixed by wearing earplugs) but will also put more pressure on the other parts ie faster wear. Mine is still all original at 200k miles, but of course I use the best oil...Mobil 1 15-50 $22 / 5 qts at walmart so.....

Hi Rhead, thanks for that. I have already replaced the spring with a stronger version from Sprint Engineering across in the UK. It did quieten things down lot but the 'catching' sound is still there intermittently. I originally though the tensioner was between teeth but this has been developing over 20k KM, I would have imagined, and I may well be wrong, that it would have moved more than 1 tooth by now?? But maybe not. The tensioner did show mechanical wear along the sides where it was obviously moving out but possibly IN as well. Either way I have bought a new tensioner and it is going in on Wednesday so I will of course update you all.

200K Miles - WOW! That is amazing, I assume it is still on the same engine interiors, bore, pistons, rings etc?

Thanks! 
Thanks!

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Offline 56gr8tdfuybh

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Re: Replacing Camchain tensioner
Reply #6 on: 20 January, 2022, 02:20:21 PM
Hi folks,
I got the tensioner fitted, using a block of wood to hold the blade and a buddy watching it while i replaced the tensioner.
One thing to watch for is the new tensioner from Triumph comes with the end-cap screwed on partially. You must screw it a turn INWARDS in order to engage the copper sleeve and release the spring. So what i think they intend is that you fit the tensioner with the gasket and 2 bolts, snug those up and then turn the cap clockwise, this allows the spring to release and the tensioner pops out. Then just tighten the cap the rest of the way.
I started it and it sounds fine so far but the proof is really in taking it for a run and getting it good and hot which i will do on saturday.
Thanks again for all the help folks :031:


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Re: Replacing Camchain tensioner
Reply #7 on: 20 January, 2022, 03:54:04 PM
Notice any difference between new an old unit's tongue waggle etc?

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Offline indytiger1050

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Re: Replacing Camchain tensioner
Reply #8 on: 21 January, 2022, 12:30:43 AM
OP how many miles on your bike. 

This is the first one I've heard of being replaced. 

Proof is in the pudding, how is the sound now.  Quieter than before, hope you took a video so you can listen to the audio back to back.

Well done if it runs with no extra bolts.  :038:
Support the forum.   :031:

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Offline 56gr8tdfuybh

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Re: Replacing Camchain tensioner
Reply #9 on: 21 January, 2022, 08:42:37 AM
Hi
There was some side to side and vertical play in the old tensioner. Also there is a wear area on the old tensioner, see the original thread in https://www.tiger1050.com/index.php/topic,42192.msg468679.html#msg468679 Any vertical play in the plunger would possibly allow the ratchet to slip which could be the root of the issue.
Changing the tensioner spring definitely made a difference but the 'catching' was still there just not as bad.
I have not had a chance to ride it yet and the noise was always much worse when the engine was really hot, but I will try it tomorrow.

There is 24k KM on the bike, the noise has been in it since I bought the bike with 6k KM but has been getting worse progressively.

BTW Triumph in Ireland told me that this is definitely a high-volume part, I will report back once I get a good spin out.
Thanks!

 



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