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Waiting on Parts

Posted by TravellingStrom on December 6, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

This morning we checked the bike again, Fuark was not sure we had inspected everything correctly, so we went over what we did yesterday and after checking the difference between the front and rear cam chains, we found that the front one was loose. It did not seem a lot, but once the chain guide was taken off the top, then the looseness could be seen. The chain between the the two camshafts could be depressed about 15mm, and there was a lot of slop.

So, in the above photo, the bit of chain bridging the gap between the two gears could be moved up and down, this apparently is not a good thing! The next thing to look at was the cam chain tensioner, this is all new territory to me, but there is a spring loaded steel pin which forces itself against this chain which keeps the chain nice and tight. When this one was removed, it had failed or become stuck and this was the cause of the problem. Or so they believed, I can only take their word for it. Because the timing was so far out, they were a bit concerned with the fact maybe the valves had come in contact with the piston, so the next job was to remove the front cylinder head. This is no easy task and there are a lot of bits and bobs to remove just to get at it. It took a few hours but in the end, while I was away paying for my bike rental, they had everything off and lying on the ground.

After inspecting everything, Fuark said the chain has stretched and will need to be replaced. So, he chased up a part from his supplier, price and availability, while I went and did a search online and in the end spoke to a chap from the Bike Doctor in Western Australia on Skype. After chatting with him I agreed that the thing to do was replace the chain and the tensioner as well, as it was the part that had failed and after some more thinking, I decided to replace both chains and tensioners, just to maybe ward off another potential problem that might crop up during this trip.

I decided to go with the online purchase because they were the correct parts, the ones Fuark was sourcing from Thailand would suit a Kawasaki and would have to be shortened to fit. As it is he will have to cut both chains to get them in and rejoin them, but he has the gear for that. The parts would have to come from Melbourne to Perth, to start with, then be sent here, so after that was sorted, it looked like I had about 7-10 days of doing bugger all, so I got stuck into that right away, and lazed around back at the hotel garden 😉

Lucky I have a Kindle with a bucket of books on board, so I don’t get bored 🙂

Cheers from Vientiane

2 Responses to “Waiting on Parts”

  1. Steve Rahm said

    I had a hondaSuperhawk 996 v-twin and those cam chain tensioners were the Achilles heel. Only good for about 30000 miles and they would lunch the engine. I had never heard of it with the strom. Superhawk owners would ditch the auto adjuster and put manual ones in. I have never even thought about it on the strom. How many miles (or km if you want to make me do math) does your bike have?
    Enjoy your kindle books and thanks for letting us join you vicariously.

    • Bob said

      Many Stroms, at least the earlier ones, have upwards of 80,000 miles on them (a few over 100,000) without cam chain failure. This is the first I’ve heard of on the 650cc engine. However, one thing I now will check is tensioner function when checking valve clearance (tensioners are already involved if shims have to be replaced)

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