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Arrgh...the Primary chain. #274164
09/11/09 12:56 am
09/11/09 12:56 am
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,202
Atlanta, GA USA
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Semper Gumby Online content OP
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So I have a new primary chain on the 1971 Thunderbolt and I've got just about 1500 miles since the re-build and the adjuster goes in and in and then I take the primary cover off to discover that the fiber tip on the adjuster is off (making the chain even looser. The chain picks up about an 1/8 of an inch off the back of the clutch basket so I guess it is not completely worn out. (1/4 inch is max?)

I though even cheap Japanese chain was supposed to last 10,000 miles?

The two sprockets are lined up within a millimeter of each other.

Any ideas about what is going on? Thanks in advance...


Gaggle of BSAs
a Honda
an old BMW
and a Montesa
Parking lot Elf in training
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Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: Semper Gumby] #274168
09/11/09 1:15 am
09/11/09 1:15 am
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,516
Auckland NZ
Ignoramus Online content
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Sember:
new chains quite often take 2-3 adustments till they settle down, they pretty much all stretch a bit from new ....I would retension it and have another look in a few more miles.

I stuck a decent brand chain in mine and it took 3 adjustments over about 3k miles till it settled ....i wouldnt worry to much unless its been running dry

replace the adjuster tip though.


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: Ignoramus] #274169
09/11/09 1:19 am
09/11/09 1:19 am
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Atlanta, GA USA
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Semper Gumby Online content OP
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OK and I'm going to put some JBWeld under that tip so it doesn't pop off again!!!

I think next time I will go for the Reynolds chain or perhaps a belt drive.


Gaggle of BSAs
a Honda
an old BMW
and a Montesa
Parking lot Elf in training
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: Semper Gumby] #274193
09/11/09 8:36 am
09/11/09 8:36 am
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,337
Bega NSW Australia
Mark Parker Online content
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I'm not a fan of belts having non productive expense and breakdowns due to using one once, the belts wouldn't last more than about a month or two. I think the problem with the triplex is that when the chain gets a bit out of alignment the teeth on the sprocket hit the side plates, some cheaper chain side plates fracture, and also it gets pushed sideways so the rivetts are then under a bit of pressure, and the more power the worse.
From what I heard from good sources Hy-Vo chain kit is very good and would be on my wish list. Otherwise the reynolds on there now seem best of the triplexes I've seen. I'd like a Hy-Vo kit with steel front and alloy basket, the triplex alloy basket I have now holds up really well. I wonder if there would be a market for Hi-Vo kits for twins, I'd like to get everything bulletproof.


mark
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: Ignoramus] #274198
09/11/09 10:03 am
09/11/09 10:03 am
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 64
Finland
FinBSA Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ignoramus

replace the adjuster tip though.
What harm does it do if tip is not on??
I dont have this tip in my adjuster and tensioner seems ok. Adjuster screw hasnt done any mechanical damage to tensioner.


BSA 650 Lightning `69
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: FinBSA] #274206
09/11/09 12:11 pm
09/11/09 12:11 pm
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Atlanta, GA USA
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Well it was originally adjusted with the tip on. So when the tip popped off the adjuster went completely slack.. frown But to answer your question: no - I don't think it matters if the tip is on or not as long as it is adjusted properly and you don't let the chain get slack.

This is all my fault I suspect I was supposed to adjust the new primary chain every 250 miles for 3 times until it takes a set?

Is that right? Somehow I missed this important information in my reading during my break-in process with the new motor...

I found the half sawed off tip left in the bottom of the primary side. I have also blocked off the chain oiler with a 3/4 inch 1/4-20 bolt and a crush washer to stop this "leak" so the chain doesn't end up running dry. And I have switched to Walmart 20W50 oil in the primary. All the manuals call for 20Wt oil and I have found this a good compromise. ATF seems to thin to me (Nomex suit on) and the Walmart 20W50 (big blue jug) is just a basic oil and doesn't contaminate the clutch.

Off to get a new tip from Beno this AM and adjust what is left of my chain...where's my JB Weld?

TTFN,

Last edited by Semper Gumby; 09/11/09 1:24 pm.

Gaggle of BSAs
a Honda
an old BMW
and a Montesa
Parking lot Elf in training
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: Semper Gumby] #274208
09/11/09 12:38 pm
09/11/09 12:38 pm
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,337
Bega NSW Australia
Mark Parker Online content
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The tensioner can make a noise on the metal bolt end, I guess the tip is just to stop that, its fine without it, just might have one more noise, haven't had one on mine for 20 years cause the thread stripped out and I put in a different type of adjuster bolt.


mark
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: FinBSA] #274213
09/11/09 1:07 pm
09/11/09 1:07 pm
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Posts: 406
Chelmsford MA
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MarcB Offline
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Originally Posted By: FinBSA
What harm does it do if tip is not on??
I dont have this tip in my adjuster and tensioner seems ok. Adjuster screw hasnt done any mechanical damage to tensioner.

I would guess that the tip makes adjustment easier, as the adjuster isn't metal-to-metal. Also, the top of the adjuster is hex-shaped, so if the corners are hitting the pad, adjustments would not be precise.

Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: MarcB] #274228
09/11/09 3:32 pm
09/11/09 3:32 pm
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Atlanta, GA USA
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Hi Mark,

I have also re-check the alignment of the two sprockets and the look to be aligned. So what I think happened is that the chain ended up dry do to the BSA chain oiler (now removed). The the tip of the adjuster then fell off (and got chewed up) and the chain got really slack.

My bad for not paying more attention to it. I was more concerned with properly breaking in the motor than I was to properly breaking in the primary chain. I heard something (the metal adjuster tapping the metal bottom of the slipper?) but I ignored it because I didn't understand what I was listening to. <sigh> More information learned the hard way.

Last edited by Semper Gumby; 09/11/09 3:37 pm.

Gaggle of BSAs
a Honda
an old BMW
and a Montesa
Parking lot Elf in training
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: Semper Gumby] #274290
09/11/09 10:40 pm
09/11/09 10:40 pm
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,516
Auckland NZ
Ignoramus Online content
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FinBSA wonders why worry about the tensioner adjuster tip. IMO there are several reasons:

just looking at it from an engineering point of view on any high speed chain drive suject to varying loads probably the worst thing you can do is have a totaly inflexable adjuster. The little tip helps to cusion some of the vibrations. As MarkP says these vibrations will show up as noise. Any metal to metal hammering around a high speed chain drive is a real bad look.

Sember
I use 20/50 and recon it helps to shut things up. I would say first adjustment at 250 miles like you said, second at 750 and 3rd at 1500. If the amount you need to adjust is less each time just check it when you remeber after that. A decent primary chain will last for yonks.

Just be glad you spotted the problem before your chain appeared through the case....well done!


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: Ignoramus] #274291
09/11/09 10:52 pm
09/11/09 10:52 pm
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Ah thanks for the reply. I will add your information to the maintenance list.

Let me ask one more dumb question. The tip is on and the chain adjusted. So just for grins I pull up on the chain and the clutch basket moves ever so slightly. In fact I feel it move and I think I can feel the rollers squishing around.

Should the clutch basket be absolutely solid on its shaft or do I need to dig a bit deeper here? There is no play laterally on or off the shaft. It moves ever so slightly forward towards the alternator.

Thanks for your patience,


Gaggle of BSAs
a Honda
an old BMW
and a Montesa
Parking lot Elf in training
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: Semper Gumby] #274295
09/11/09 11:50 pm
09/11/09 11:50 pm
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,337
Bega NSW Australia
Mark Parker Online content
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Put your foot on the rear chain, push it a bit, and watch the primary, the clutch basket is out on the end of the G/box main shaft that is supported way back in at the G/box bearing, the more power in the motor the more pull on the basket, the reason the flat track racers adopted the Hy-Vo type chain kit I'm guessing is because it tolerates misalignment better than roller chain. I put a support bearing plate on the G/shaft just behind the clutch and also one on the end of the crank to stop deflection there, but then if the taper on the shaft at the keyway is a little torn up, not perfect, the basket wobbles, or if the thrust washer is not flat plus where it sits it wobbles which also gives misalignment. Its not a bad idea to start it with the cover off and make sure there isn't a lot of wobble in the basket, but otherwise the fact that you can move the basket a little is normal and not a problem unless you are racing with a lot of power.


mark
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: Mark Parker] #274297
09/12/09 12:18 am
09/12/09 12:18 am
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Atlanta, GA USA
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Thanks Mark. I'll spin it and look for wobbles. Not racing - just riding!

TTFN,


Gaggle of BSAs
a Honda
an old BMW
and a Montesa
Parking lot Elf in training
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: Mark Parker] #274298
09/12/09 12:24 am
09/12/09 12:24 am
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,516
Auckland NZ
Ignoramus Online content
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Sember
like Mark says on std set up u will get a bit of movement in the basket.
The thing to be consious of when adjusting chains is there is a big diferance between 1/8th "freeplay" and "I can only move it 1/8th with presure", the latter will be way too tight!

Like you say the basket moves a bit and can give a misleading feel to achieving the correct 1/8th free play (in the center of the top run of chain)

Becasue sprockets NEVER wear evenly find the "tight spot" (with least play) on your chain and set the 1/8th adjustment at that point so at its tightest it will still have freeplay.


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: Ignoramus] #274533
09/14/09 11:06 am
09/14/09 11:06 am
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Posts: 4,987
Stone Creek OH USA
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Rich B Online happy

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I check chain tension with my finger just as a check. For actual adjustment, I remove the primary cover and adjust so a 1/8" piece of stock just fits between the button and tension shoe. With the primary off, it is a good time to remove all the goo that accumulates in the primary case. shocked

The early A65's used a hollow adjuster bolt with a plunger containing the button. You could set chain tension by inserting the a drill bit or piece of rod to raise the plunger to check tension.


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
Re: Arrgh...the Primary chain. [Re: Rich B] #274589
09/14/09 6:49 pm
09/14/09 6:49 pm
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Hollow adjuster: I read that in my A65 Star manual and I couldn't believe it. How simple is that! I now have a piece of coat hanger wire for this purpose...


Gaggle of BSAs
a Honda
an old BMW
and a Montesa
Parking lot Elf in training

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