Cam chain tensioner etc

Hi windex … glad to here your up and running again… that’s the only problem with old bikes especially vfs . they have nearly always been built and rebuilt a few times. sometimes by people who just bodge then sell them on…

Hi guys
I’ve recently been told two pearls of wisdom regarding VF cam chain tensioners. Firstly, one was to cut off the rubber surrounding the spring on the tensioner. Apparently this can cause binding of the spring, and therefore dodgy tensioner operation.
The other came from a guy who I met at the Manx GP last weekend. He was racing a Vf1000R done up like a factory racer. Now, I know the ‘R’ has a gear drive but he reckons you can rip the guts out of a VF1000 tensioner and convert it to manual operation but putting in a bolt and lock nut set up. He said he had to do this to a CBR600 race bike years ago because of tensioner issues.
Any thoughts on both of these ideas?

You can replace the chains without tearing the engine apart, I did it recently. If I remember the size correctly it is a 219 chain, but don’t remember the number of links. You should get a peen over link as pberkhoutxr630 said.
It’s a bit fiddly but definitely do-able just mark the sprockets as mentioned earlier and set the flywheel to the T13 mark.
My chains were badly stretched and rattling loudly but the tensioners were ok, quiet as mouse now.
Good luck, Tony Brown

Ugh… Yesterday the bike started making a weird whining noise between 2500 and 3500 RPM… Drove it home, started it and the noise was gone… Went for another little drive and it ran beautifully… Started it up today to go for a spin and it seems the rattle is back, though it goes away significantly after its warmed up… I’m going to check the valve clearances again to make sure none backed off… As far as the slipper blade on the tensioner, is it possible for it to come out of the slot in the crankcase if the tensioner base mounting bolts were not removed? For example is there enough room for it to come out of the slot if you unlock the tensioner and lift the tensioner arm with a hooked wire? Also wondering about what picko was talking about, not so much the manual aspect, but the removal of the rubber spring surround… I might be removing the tensioner tonight and test the spring to see how strong it is, I dont have a scale but I’ll hang a weight off it and measure the length, then do the same with an extra spring to see which one is stronger…

What could possibly cause the loud whining noise?

Found out what went wrong. The slipper blade base must of been not in it’s slot. Wore the tip with the curled metal right off. How can you tell if the slipper blade is in its base after you unlock it?

just had a look at my spare engine, when the slipper is in its correct position it measures 53mm from the top of the slipper, where it fixes onto the tensioner (where the small “R” clip is) up to the upper surface of the cylinder head, i would have a guess that if its not in its socket it would measure about 60mm + (these measurements will vary from engine to engine due to wear)

Also try hooking a peice of stiff wire around where the small “R” clip is and pulling upwards whilst releasing the tensioner lock, then slowly let it go back down while the wire is still attached, you will feel a deffinate bump as the end of the slipper bottoms out in its socket.

How did you go replacing the tensioner Tiger?

To replace the tensioner tower you need to pull up on the tensioner arm with a clothes hanger or some other stiff wire while pushing on the locking plate with a wrench or something… after you lift it up, stick an allen key or nail or some sort of pin in the holes that line up on the side of the tower… You have to remove the chain guard, oil H pipe, and exhaust cam and sprocket. Unbolt the tensioner base and pull it out. I stuff a rag down into the engine to keep small parts from falling in at this point. Remove the R clip, washer and pin from the arm of the tensioner and remove the tensioner base and the slipper blade…
Pretty easy to take apart, pain in the arse to get the blade back into the slot in the crank when reassembling.

OK… took the rear cylinder cover off again because that ticking came back… Took the tensioner out again and the rounded end of the slipper blade was wore down again… started fiddling with everything trying to find a way to get the blade into the little slot in the crankcase… Came to find out that the little slot was a lot smaller than it should be… Came to this realization after I thought I dropped the pin to lock the tensioner into the crankcase (which turns out it wasn’t at all). But while I was dipping my magnet through the crank case I managed to pull a fairly large piece of metal up from the depths. Turns out its the guide that guides the slipper blade into the slot! no wonder I was having a hard time seating it! Anyways, I looked at a parts diagram and see that it is actually a unit that is bolted to the crankcase. What is involved in replacing this piece?

It’s the slipper base, can it be replaced just by taking the oil pan off and leaving the engine in or do I have to take the engine out and split the crank case?

hi windex, so its this little sucker thats causing all the problems, ive just opened my spare engine up with a view to reconditioning it. will have a look to see if its accessable from the sump tomorrow and let you know.

yep, its quite easy to get to from the sump, you may just need to remove the oil pick up pipe.

So I can remove and replace the slipper base without taking out the engine and splitting the case? I hope that’s what your saying! The guide part with the side tabs was broke off leaving only the slipper slot still connected, found the guide part in the crank case, would of been bouncing around in there for who knows how long, glad i got it before something really went wrong. Next nice day I will see if I can get it apart and get the spare one in it.

This is the piece I found in the crankcase and the reason I have been having so much trouble trying to get the slipper blade into the slot.

Is it just two bolts holding the slipper base to the crank case? A picture without your finger would be great! :slight_smile:

Thanks so much

yep, thats deffo a piece off the rear slipper base/slot. here’s a picture as viewed through the sump, ive circled in red the two bolts that hold the “base/slot” in place, the only things you have to remove will be the exhaust,the sump and probably the pick up pipe from the oil pump (not shown). its a good job you found that, it could have done some seriouse damage if it had got into the gear cogs.

P.S. hope you dont find anything else in the sump when you remove it. good luck

I’m very glad I found it… I’ve put about 6000 kilometers on it with that in the sump and I’m very lucky it didn’t blow up anything… Next nice day I’ll pull the sump off the parts bike and get the slipper base out of it and get it in the good bike. You made my week vfpete… when I pulled that guide out of the sump I referred to the manual and was thinking it was going to be a complete engine overhaul to get the piece switched out and with the riding season almost over, have to put the old girl away till April… Nothing like a Canadian winter lol. Instead I should have her back on the road by the end of this week!
Already changed the sprockets, chain, and rear tire a couple weeks ago… went with an 18 tooth front sprocket… With the new drive sprocket and tire my RPM’s have dropped 750 at 120 kph (~75mph)… Getting about 300 km’s (~180 miles) range before the reserve and still lots of ummmmmph…
Thanks again vfpete for the picks and the help! I will keep ya posted!

no problem, your lucky in a way that its the guide/base for the rear cylinders as the one for the front would would be more difficult as the bolts are the other way up and face inside the engine, but thats a different story… good luck

I fear I’m back to square one… I removed the sump from the parts bike and your right pete that the bolts are very easily accessible… Removed the bolts but I am unable to get the slipper base out of the engine, It looks like its not possible to remove it without splitting the crank, not enough room to maneuver it into a position to get it out. Tried for about 2 hour wiggling it from the sump and also trying to remove it from above the engine.
Taking a break to have a smoke and collect myself, and will try it again.

Finally got the slipper base out of the parts bike, had to bend the tab on the side down in order for it to fit out the bottom. took the sump of my bike and cleaned out the oil strainer which had pieces of the slipper base and slipper blade in it as well as gasket sealant strands… removed the broken slipper base and it was in bad shape, even one of the bolt holes was broken off… got the good one in adjusted the valves and balanced the carbs…Bike is running better than ever! Thanks pete! It was so much easier to get the slipper blade in the slot with the guide there!

hi windex, i had a play around with my spare engine last night when i came home from work and your right about it not coming out, i also noticed the steel tab which comes off the guide/base at about 90 degrees to the bolt holes, to me it serves no purpose at all except to make things hard to remove, i was going to suggest bending it then grinding a few mills off the end when refitting, i also noticed on my main engine that one of the mounting points was missing and a previous owner had cleverly fastnend a piece of strap metal under the nearest crank case bolt, then nut and bolted through guide/base bolt hole, when i first noticed this i thought it was a bit of a bodge job but its been on over 20 years so cant be so bad, anyway glad youve got it sorted now, its been a bit of a ordeal from start to finish. good luck.