Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Auburn Hills, MI
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Hydraulic Tensioner Explained
I've had a lot of issues with my bike running well recently. After going over everything else (replacing charging system, checking coils and plugs, checking fuel pump and injectors, valve clearances), I ended up on the cam chain.
I pulled out the chain and attempted to measure it per the procedure in the manual and it seems to be out of spec/too long. So I ordered a new one.
I pulled out the tensioner and was going to order a manual one, but after conversing with Jamie Hanshaw from Hanshaw Race Engines, who's built many a Triumph race engine, he said:
"The manual cam chain tensioner probably the worst thing you could install. The inline 3 cylinder engines have the highest cam torque energy as there is no canceling cylinder to cylinder like the I4’s have. You must retain the stock tensioner."
I'm sure based on experience some people on this forum disagree, however I think I am going to stick with the hydraulic for now.
That being said, when I pulled it out, I noticed the clip was on the very last groove on the cylinder - the cylinder was basically adjusted as far out as it could go. This also seems to me to be proof the chain is stretched out.
I've read the instructions on another thread about how to "reset" the tensioner, by pushing it all the way in and setting the locking clip on the end....then once installed, to release it by pushing on it slightly. My question is this: how does this other clip operate? What causes it to adjust and jump grooves on the piston? Does it happen automatically when the chain loosens and oil pressure pushes the cylinder out farther? I'm worried I'll put it on the first groove and it won't jump grooves/adjust if/when needed.
I appreciate any insight, thanks!