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Lakota chain really loose

7786 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  timhwag
Hello everyone. I have been beating my head against the wall trying to figure this one out. I purchased a 98 Lakota from a guy and it appears to be bone stock. Dont know how much it has been ridden bet lets just say average use. I pulled it in the garage and gave it a once over. Checked fluid levels, brakes, cleaned air filter, oiled chain, etc. Anyway everything seemed pretty much in order.
So the first day out riding everything is going smooth. I put it in reverse to back out of an area and hear a strange popping noise. Put it in first and hear it again for a couple feet and then it seems fine. Get off the quad and look at the chain. At first it seems ok but when I rolled it backwards the chain slacked so far it was about wrapping around the rear sprocket. Of course I was in the snow and far from anything so I couldnt do any adjustment on site. I nursed it back to the trailer and took it home. The next day I go to adjust the chain by sliding the goofy axel housing thing and it moved but was no where near taking up all the slack. A new chain and sprockets was ordered. Everything arrives and installed the sprockets. Go to sling in the new chain and it looks exactly like the old one as far as length goes. Verified that it is 100 links and that is what everything calls for. Removing 1 link wont work and removing 2 was going to be way to short.
At this point I am back where I started. Everything seems to be in order but the chain is extremely loose. Bad enough that I wouldnt ride it. I took a pipe wrench and put in on the axel housing and shoved it down. The chain was getting tighter. Beat on the wrench with a hammer and the chain is now ok to ride on. According to the manual I twisted it way past the norm, but that was the only way it would work. So what did I do wrong or what else could be wrong with this thing? I have had street bikes and dirt bikes over the years and am fairly familiar with chains and adjusting slack, this is not normal.
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Your chain is adjusted by an eccentric cam style tensioner. If the axle is all the way to the aft plane of the carrier and it is still too loose. You may want to check the carrier bearings to ensure they are not giving and causing the chain to get loose. You should only have to go to the 2 o'clock or 10 o'clock position.
Thanks jonboy. The 10 and 2 position is what I was gathering from the directions in the owners manual and also the service manual. I am way past that. Not sure if there were "stops" built into the cam action, but if there were they are broken now. Mine current is at about the 6 o'clock position. If i were to insert that little bar that comes with it, then it would be pointing straight at the garage floor. There is nothing else obviously wrong with it like a bent swingarm or missing idler roller. Would trashed bearings cause this behavior? I didnt want to shove it that far, but nothing else was working.
I'm just tossing ideas out here, hopefully they're wrong.....has the swing arm been replaced with one from a mojave (that'd make it an inch shorter than normal)? Is the chain the right size (100 links of the wrong size will make a chain that is the wrong length)? Are the bearings at the swing arm's pivot shot? The sprockets you bought...are a matched set, and stock sizes?

Take a picture of it if you can. Maybe we can spot something out of place.
Timberwolf beat me to the punch but definately check the sprocket sizes the stock sizes are 12t and 43t. I would recomend getting the 14t front anyway due to you being able to get more usable power and the tranny is geared so low.
The kit that I purchased was a front sprocket 12t a rear sprocket 43t and a chain 100link. Just holding the chain next to the one that was on there, you could tell they were the same size. Wrapping the new chain around the sprockets only confirmed that. The current front sprocket is worn, but not bad enough to make that big of a difference. Also both current sprockets are the factory size.
As far as the swing arm goes, I really dont know. I bought it used from a guy that seemed pretty straight forward and he never mentioned anything about it. Again nothing is bent or obviously wrong with it. It rolls fine and never makes any strange noises like bearings being crushed or anything like that. The axle housing also moves fairly easy. I shot a little WD 40 around the pinch bolts and that made it move easier.
I will try to snap a picture or two over the weekend. By the time I get home it is dark out and the picture would turn out crappy. Is there any visible difference between the lakota and mojave swing arm that I could see?
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I'm having the same problem. My chain is extremely to long. Did you ever figure out what the problem was???
Not really. What I did to make it work was to take a pipe wrench, put it on the housing for the axel and shove it down towards the ground. It seems like the housing will turn to a certain position and then stop, both up and down. I literally hit the pipe wrench with a sledge hammer and forced it towards the ground. It isnt right, but it was the only option I had. I could find no other adjustment in the swingarm or where the motor attaches to the frame.
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