What's the expected life of a cam chain? - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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What's the expected life of a cam chain?

Hey,

My 96 Speed triple has done 75000km's. My mechanic mentioned that i might need to schedule in a new cam chain. It's gonna cost a bundle, but if necessary, I would get it done. (Even though I only bought the bike 2 months ago and my missus will probably divorce me because I promised her I wouldn't need to fork over any more cash for a while...)
However, the bike sounds perfect, no rattles, which, apparently there would be a rattle if the chain was wearing - according to another thread on this forum. So I don't know if I need to worry about this just yet?
When is the recommended time to change these things over? And what is the potential for it letting go if i choose not to do it?

Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 11:22 PM
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If anybody knows better pipe up, but AFAIK:

-There is no scheduled replacement.

-There would be a rattle. (And if there is a rattle that sounds like the cam chain, it's probably the alternator bolt.)

-There are some people here who have had their cam chains let go, but it's a fairly rare problem. Much less common than the alternator bolt or the sprag clutch.

-If I had to pick a replacement interval out of my, ahem, hat, it would be 100,000 miles.

In short, I wouldn't worry about it. If you hear a rattle, check the alternator bolt. If that's ok, then start worrying about the cam chain.

Cheers, HTH,
-Kit
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2010, 10:06 AM
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LS,
I replaced my cam chain at 76,000 miles (122,000 Km if my math is correct). I noticed a definite rattle from the top of the engine and a drop in performance. The cam chain had stretched but the bigger issue was the chain tensioner blade had worn down badly. I replaced the chain and tensioner blade at the same time. It's a tricky job but not rocket science. I just followed the shop manual and was really careful and it all went smoothly. The difference was apparent immediately. But at only 75,000 Km (or 46,000 miles) I think, unless the engine has been constantly abused, you shouldn't need one just yet. To check it remove the valve cover and inspect the cam chain tensioner and blade. If the tensioner is fully extended and there is still slack in the cam chain then yes you need to replace it but I seriously doubt it given your mileage.

Stretched cam chain top, new chain bottom


Worn tensioner blade left, new one right


Shiny new cam chain installed


good luck, feel free to ask me more questions,
dc

Last edited by daytonacharlie; 04-16-2010 at 10:14 AM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks heaps for the info guys. I'll follow your advice and have a look at it first. cheers.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2010, 06:46 AM
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Hi Cliff. Who did you end up getting to service your Speedie?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2010, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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hey Syd,

As it so happens, I just got off the phone with Skip. He's going to do it next Wednesday, which will be fantastic. Really want someone knowledgeable to give the bike a good going over for me. He's also gonna give me the basics as far as maintenance goes (tighten chain, clutch, brakes etc).
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daytonacharlie View Post
LS,
I replaced my cam chain at 76,000 miles (122,000 Km if my math is correct). I noticed a definite rattle from the top of the engine and a drop in performance.
dc
my 99 900 trophy has a rattle at exactly 5k. The bike has 38k miles. There was a rattle that started at 4k, but that turned out to be a loose exhaust pipe (thanks to a lazy mechanic who changed my tires). Its a ringing sound. I removed the tensioner and measured the spring. it was at 68mm, which is out of factory spec of 73.3mm. I replaced the tensioner assembly but the sound has remained. Can you describe the rattle? was it a ringing sound? was it really loud? on the highway at speeds over 75 I can't hear it at all even though i can hear the engine perfectly behind the windscreen. The exhausts are almost silent. I pulled the alternator, and the rubbers are perfect, with no play at all in the shaft or the impeller. The sound is identical to a loose set of keys vibrating on the top yoke.
Any suggestions?

Last edited by indesq; 09-11-2010 at 02:28 PM. Reason: forgot to add something
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 03:10 PM
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indesq,
The rattle I was hearing sounded, well... like a loose chain clattering over metal surfaces. But more of a low growlish sound than what I'd expect keys to sound like. I'm not sure what your ringing sound is but I haven't heard that on my bike so far and mine is a 1200 so that may make a difference too.


dc
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 04:04 PM
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As above at 38k miles mine was rattly but it was the tensioner spring shagged. Deep joy at buying the whole assembly for the sake of a spring. All else in there seemed fine. Since replacing the tensioner it's been much quieter and better sounding camchain wise.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 05:10 PM
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I have 80,000 klms on mine, all good at this stage, just the normal mechanical noises that these engines seem to make!

I might change the chain one day when I have nothing better to do but not really worried about it at the moment....

Cheers,

Roden
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