Cam chain tensioner etc

Hello Gents

Fired up the engine of the '85 VF1000F2 this afternoon with the assistance of a good mate who worked on them back then.

Had to bypass the fuel pump and gravity feed the carbs.

We have an inoperative fuel pump, I will check function of that and also the fuel pump relay tomorrow. the fuel tap also passes [leaks] fuel in the “off” position but I reckon I can fix that.

Question is where can I get a new rear cyl bank cam chain tensioner assembly ?

Is there a modification available to increase durability of the “screen door closer” mechanism ?

Thinking perhaps knurling of the shaft and hard chrome or whatever.

Cease all panic !!

I had been told that the cam chain tensioner was hard to find and cost an arm and a leg, guess I was lucky as the Spares Blokes at my brand new favourite Honda Dealer located one locally for $AU140.oo.

Apparently also “old stock” and discontinued by Honda Australia, I wonder has anyone tried knurling or similar on the rod which forms the male part of the screen door closer catch type mechanism ?

Been studying fuel pump relay also, described in manuals as “fuel cut relay” interesting arrangement.

I took off the rear valve cover today to adjust the valve (and to see what was making the ticking noise) and discovered that the cam chain is slapping between the two cams… as the engine turns it goes tight then goes slack… My question is this, is there a way to adjust the tensioner or does it need to be replaced? I have a parts bike that should have a good tensioner if it needs to be replaced, and are the front and rear cylinder tensioners the same?

hi windex, i had the same problem when i rebuilt my FE engine earlier this year, turned out to be the slipper blade that wasn’t located properly into the slot at the base of the crank case,
On mine when i turned the crank by hand as the exhaust valves closed it made some slack chain between the cam cogs,
if it is the same as mine When you look down where the slipper blade fastens onto the cam tensioner arm (where the little “R” clip is) the arm will be right down probably touching the side of the head, this will indicate the bottom of the slipper isn’t in properly. hope this helps.

Thanks for the advise… I will take a look at that next chance I get… If the blade is out of position can It be fixed without removing the head? I’m assuming that at least the intake cam has to be removed to gain access or to see where the blade connects to the tensioner arm… I’m quite mechanically inclined, just never worked on one of these engines in the past, this is all a first for me… Want as little down time with the bike since the biking season is so short here…

hi windex, no you wont need to remove the head or the inlet cam, where the slipper blade fastens onto the tensioner arm is situated just below/behind the exhaust cam, assuming the blade is not located into the pocket at the base of the crankcase,(mine had shot past the pocket and wedged between edge of pocket and cam chain) it may be possible to relocate the the end of the blade by releasing the tensioner lock and pulling the tensioner arm/slipper upwards with a piece of strong wire, untill the end drops into the pocket, ive not tried this myself but it looks possible, personaly myself i would remove the exhaust cam and tensioner to see whats happened and if any damsge has occured,new tensioner springs and slipper blades used to be available from silvers,

Ok, perfect… I will see if I can get it apart this afternoon… if the slipper arm is located correctly and the chain is still slapping does that mean that the spring on the tensioner arm needs to be replaced?

yeah, its possible, i changed my springs and slipper blades a few years ago as my cam chains were making a whuring noise, the new springs were deffo stronger than the old ones,
have a good look at the cam chain tensioner, make sure the round shaft that the locking plate fits over hasn’t got any grooves worn into it,
other than that i can’t think of anything else it could be.

Hi, Just a Thought, but has anyone looked at maybe a stretched chain? That would give the same look of chain slap. I would check to see how far the pin is through the tensioner to give an indication of weather the chain is stretched or not. do they have a measurement in the manual? maybe you could measure the chain in place accross the top. I have in the past changed chains without stripping the engine (good fun). good luck to all.

I will take a look at the tensioner tomorrow, took a look at and played around with the parts bike this afternoon to familiarize myself with it… how would you go about changing the chain without tearing apart the engine? is there a masterlink with a clip that you can just hook the old chain to the new chain and pull it through? I’m thinking it may be a stretched chain since when i did have the valve covers off it seemed looser off the back of the sprocket than it did with the parts bike…

hi windex, the cam chains are endless, i think you may be able to get them with a soft link to join them to the old and sort of feed them around the crank then re-join at the top, it wouldn’t be something i was comfortable with,every time i opened the bike up i would be constantly thinking something was going to give…(heaven knows i got enough to think about) i suppose there isn’t the same amount of pressure on the cam chain as say a drive chain which i quite happily join, but the consequenses of a cam chain breaking would be quite costly.

hi pberkhoutxr630 its a good point about the cam chains possibly being stretched, honda’s way of measuring them dosn’t give any indication as to how many links it is measuring, if it did you could probably work something out like you say and measure across the top of the cams. (that would be too easy, mr honda. lol). i think if the chains were stretched excessivley the valve timing marks would be a fair way back, (unless some one’s jumped the cogs forward a notch or two)… worth checking

Didn’t have a chance to take the valve cover off today, had to change the tire since it was pretty much toast, hoping to get a look at it tomorrow morning as long as it doesn’t rain… Just from what I remember from looking at it the other day it looks like the exhaust cam has to come out in order to get the tensioner out, is this correct? Im going to check to see if the tensioner is stuck, if I can’t adjust it I will replace the tensioner. If that still doesn’t tighten it up I will have to replace the chain…

hi windex, yep the exhaust cam has to come out to get the tensioner out… a tip i picked up from my own mistakes, set the timing marks on the altinator to T-13, then check exactly where your valve timing marks are in relation to the top of the cylinder head, they are supposed to be flush but seldom are, then mark the cam cog and chain with tipex so you know when you reinstall you’ve got it back in same place.

Cam sprocket index marks are flush with the top of the heads. To remove the exhaust cam from the rear cylinders there are to of the large cylinder head bolts that are unable to be removed. Cannot pull them out since they will not clear the frame.

OK, i have removed the tensioner and slipper from the parts bike, hopefully tomorrow I will have time to get into checking the good bike. I’ll check to make sure the slipper is seated properly and also that the tensioner is not stuck in mid position… if I can’t get the chain tight from fiddling with it I will replace the tensioner… If that still doesnt tighten it I will have to look into replacing the chain itself… Hopefully will be able to do it without splitting the case… Might be a project when there is a meter of snow on the ground :slight_smile: Does anyone know the size of the chain? is it possible to get one with a clip/rivet master link? Just looking for a way around splitting the crank case :slight_smile:

I’ve also noticed that there are dots on the cam sprockets as well… Its seems that when you look at the sprockets from the right side of the bike the “lines” are flush with the head and the “dots” are one tooth off, but if you look at the sprockets from the left of the bike its the “dots” that are lined up with the head and the “lines” appear to be one tooth off… Are you suppose to line up the “lines” from a specific side of the bike?

Correct me if i’m wrong guys but i am sure it is the lines facing left of bike line up with top of head?
In my XR600 manual it gives a measurment for chain links, haven’t looked at VF manual enough to find out about these.
Cam chains on Ebay for about $80.00 delivered (probably cheaper for you guys) they are split, use a chain braker to split your chain, join them together with string or wire, then feed them through PULLING GENTLY (you dont want to drop one at this stage), join the new chain ends and peen the joiner pin with hammers (hold one hammer against pin and hit the other side to mushroom both ends) worked on my XR600 5 years ago, still running after 2 trips to phillip island and back (2500kms each trip)
Good luck Windex

On a different note; finally got enogh to get the ‘HO’ regestered next week, cant wait to give it a decent run, give an update and photos of first ride in a few weeks. [:D] [:D] [:D] [:D]

ride it like you stole it [:o)] [;)] [}:)] [B)] [?] [:D] [:D] [:D] [:D]

Just reading through other threads on here and it appears that the timing is viewed from the left side of the bike, I haven’t looked at the good bike but the parts bike was timed from the right side… Going to give everything a go tomorrow, hopefully I don’t have to replace the chain, but if I do I do have a couple chains, just need to find the chain breaker to get everything apart… I will keep you guys posted! Thanks for all the help!!

Hi windex … yep its the lines you need to line your valve timing up… can’t see as ive noticed them being different front either side of the engine

The marks on the sprockets are definitely different from one side of the bike to the other… There is a “dot” right beside the “line” on the sprockets, one side the lines line up and the other the dots… I took it apart and played played around a bit with it today, never replaced the tensioner or anything, but most of the rattle is gone… managed to break one of the little bolts on the cam holder torquing it down (threw the torque wrench in the trash and used a different one after that) but was able to drill and remove it without any issues and replaced it with another one… about 20 minutes after I had it together I had a brain storm so i might be taking it apart tomorrow… the chain used to be so slack that the rattle was coming from the chain (between the tops of the sprockets) dropping and hitting the guard on the h pipe, then when it tightened it would come up and hit the chain guard… Now its tighter but it still slacks off and hits the chain guard when it tightens…going to see if when the chain is slack if there is enough slack to jump the chain one tooth on the sprocket to tighten it up between the sprockets and hopefully the tensioner will pick up the rest of the slack… Is it possible to run it without the chain guard? put washers on the bolts so that they can be installed without the guard? Im sure its possible but is it a very bad idea?

What an ordeal working on the bike today… Finally got into the guts of the heads… Solved the rattle, the slipper blade was either not seated right and damaged at some point, replaced the slipper blade, one of the tensioner base bolts was broken, got it out and replaced with a new one, the bolts for the oil H pipe and the outer bolts of the cam holders were mixed up, nearly stripped the heads putting them back in until I realized that they were mixed up, don’t know who was working on this bike before I bought it but I spent most of the day fixing their mess. Bike seems to be running excellent now. Little bit of a tick in the front heads but that will be a winter project since I don’t feel like removing the rad and air box right now after the headaches today…
Thanks for all the advise and support!
Keep the shiny side up!