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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever gauged the front and rear tensioners for useable length? I ran a search but didn't find much. I forget how many teeth are on the extender, but it seems the chains could be loose long before all the teeth are out.
I had 9 teeth showing on the front tensioner in November, and now I have 12. There's still lots of teeth left, but I wonder how many can be used before it's too loose.
 

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I don't know.. but I do know our shop always replaced chains on every rebuild regardless of miles..well unless it was just done. When the chain stretches and the gears & chain wear, even though the tensioners keeps the slack out of the non load side, the valve timing will retard. Probably notice this when setting it.. that it's off a bit but one link forward or advanced is too much. Kickstart...replace the chains! All of them.. and the cam gears....and the bars. :) You won't believe how much better it will run with the valve timing spot-on. My Brute was on the 5th notch when I sold it...and I though that was getting there. Can't imagine the 12th. Gota be past it's limits or getting real close.
 

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The brute 750 only has like 12 notches. Take her out of gear and set in neutral, pick a cylinder and remove the tensioner . Once the tensioner is out, you can extend it to see where full extend is and full compression is. When I installed new chains on my 750 recently, I think I was at 2 - 3 notches showing.

Correction: there is 22 notches on the cam chain tensioners.
 

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Ignore the tensioners.
Did you replace the chains last rebuild? If not, do it now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had a feeling you all were going to say that!:laugh:

You are correct NMK, all original chains and guides at 17,666 miles.
They've not been making any noise, and I have been listening for it for awhile. But as I was breaking in the new piston last night, I think I might have heard the front one. Hard to say though because it sounds so different with all the plastic off, and a new exhaust. But, I did notice it was easier to get the chain over the camshaft when I was setting the timing. Last time, it was a bear.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The brute 750 only has like 12 notches. Take her out of gear and set in neutral, pick a cylinder and remove the tensioner . Once the tensioner is out, you can extend it to see where full extend is and full compression is. When I installed new chains on my 750 recently, I think I was at 2 - 3 notches showing.

Correction: there is 22 notches on the cam chain tensioners.
I just had the tensioners off to fix the oil burning issue. I think you're right.....I think I counted 22 teeth too. I know 12 looked about halfway out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, so here is the front chain tensioner where it is now vs all the way out:

 

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Discussion Starter #9
And here is the rear. Only 7 teeth out.


So, it looks like the rear has some time yet. So for now, the question is, can I replace just the front chain? Or do you have to take everything apart on the left side anyway to change the front so I might as well change all the chains? Service manual isn't real clear on that.
 

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Yes you can, the front is the last chain installed. Pull the clutch and the plug behind it. Its a tight fit getting the chain back on the sprocket, couple picks will do the trick to guide it back on. Just line up the marks before you take the chain off.

This is a good video to show the process of it all.
 

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The front-to-back tensioners is not necessarily symmetrical.
And just because there's 22 teeth, it doesn't mean that it actually can extend all 22 teeth. At some point the chain guides run out of travel.
Don't you dare just replace one chain. I've seen engines that weren't noisy due to loose chains, but they broke a chain anyway.
 

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The front-to-back tensioners is not necessarily symmetrical.
And just because there's 22 teeth, it doesn't mean that it actually can extend all 22 teeth. At some point the chain guides run out of travel.
Don't you dare just replace one chain. I've seen engines that weren't noisy due to loose chains, but they broke a chain anyway.

Yeah...so have I...and they all had higher miles like 8,000 + miles. All of yours should have been replaced ...long ago. It's not just the tensioner position, it's time, heat and wear on the chain's links and sprockets.. and bars. In my opinion, at 17,000 miles..your just asking for it my friend...:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The front-to-back tensioners is not necessarily symmetrical.
And just because there's 22 teeth, it doesn't mean that it actually can extend all 22 teeth. At some point the chain guides run out of travel.
Don't you dare just replace one chain. I've seen engines that weren't noisy due to loose chains, but they broke a chain anyway.
I'm really, really not wanting to tear into the left side. I'm kinda tapped out mentally and physically at the moment. It's 95 frickin degrees in my shed every evening, my back is killing me, I've got parts scattered around from hell to breakfast, and I'm missing out on some great riding time. And the worst part of it all is when (if) I'm ever done working on this machine, I still don't know if I've actually fixed a damn thing because the front cylinder is still just a parasite on the engine.
I'm about to push a green machine off a cliff, and go buy a blue one.

IF I can find more time and energy to keep going:
Do I get a three jaw flywheel puller, or buy one of the Yamaha Warrior type pullers?
Any other special tools I will need?
How many gaskets do I have to buy?
Do I need to replace the guides too?
If replacing a piston is a 6 on a scale of ten, what is replacing the three chains on the left side?
 

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40 psi on the front is nothing to sneeze at. Lots of engines out there with that little and less, and if you could get it to start, it still ran awesome.
If you had both cylinders off, you were 3 hours away from having the chains swapped.
The proper puller is the best way to get the flywheel off.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The front-to-back tensioners is not necessarily symmetrical.
And just because there's 22 teeth, it doesn't mean that it actually can extend all 22 teeth. At some point the chain guides run out of travel.
Don't you dare just replace one chain. I've seen engines that weren't noisy due to loose chains, but they broke a chain anyway.

Yeah...so have I...and they all had higher miles like 8,000 + miles. All of yours should have been replaced ...long ago. It's not just the tensioner position, it's time, heat and wear on the chain's links and sprockets.. and bars. In my opinion, at 17,000 miles..your just asking for it my friend...:)
I hear ya buddy. :wink2: I'm just not liking WHAT I'm hearing.:crying: I'm not a mechanic, and I'm sick of wrenching! I feel like I'm back in the 2 stroke days.:wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, fwiw, in case anybody in the future digs this thread up and is curious what a front chain with 17,667 miles looks like compared to a new one.........here ya go:



You gotta be $#*||ing me....:blink:
 

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That's worse than it looks. It doesn't take into consideration the wear to the individual contact surfaces.
Plus the metal fatigue that could lead to a broken chain.
 

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That's worse than it looks. It doesn't take into consideration the wear to the individual contact surfaces.
Plus the metal fatigue that could lead to a broken chain.
So right. Chains don't physically stretch all that much in normal use, its more the wear on the contact surfaces and the play that develops on the chain's link pins that causes the slack and timing changes. Yes..they do stretch some and metal fatigue along with warn pins is the major cause of failures. You should also know that there are cases where the valve timing is retarded enough that the exhaust valve can make contact with the piston on the overlap portion of the exhaust stroke. Here's a couple of examples of how the valve timing is retarded by warn/stretched chains. Nova- do you have any warn-out Kawie chains and sprockets around the shop you can post pics of the warn areas of ? It would help people to see what to look for. I don't have any...and can't find and good shots on the web.







 

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That's worse than it looks. It doesn't take into consideration the wear to the individual contact surfaces.
Plus the metal fatigue that could lead to a broken chain.
So right. Chains don't physically stretch all that much in normal use, its more the wear on the contact surfaces and the play that develops on the chain's link pins that causes the slack and timing changes. Yes..they do stretch some and metal fatigue along with warn pins is the major cause of failures. You should also know that there are cases where the valve timing is retarded enough that the exhaust valve can make contact with the piston on the overlap portion of the exhaust stroke. Here's a couple of examples of how the valve timing is retarded by warn/stretched chains. Nova- do you have any warn-out Kawie chains and sprockets around the shop you can post pics of the warn areas of ? It would help people to see what to look for. I don't have any...and can't find and good shots on the web.
I have a set of worn out chains and a set of sprockets on a set of cams. I'll try to get some pictures.
 
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