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Chain Joining Methods?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by mjt57, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Just put on a new chain and sprockets on the Blackbird.

    Just wondering, though. For the DIY'ers, how do you guys join the chain?
  2. Just did mine recently MJT, I went out and bought the tool, fairly easy to use. Had the option of "C" clip or rivet type in the chain kit, needless to say I went the rivet. Money well spent and I know it's done right.
  3. I have used the clip type link and just used a c-clamp to press the plates together and a set of pliers to lock the clip in.
    I have plenty of mates that have just used a hammer with a ball end to peen the rivet style links, although using a breaker/joiner tool is much easier.
  4. You buy the tool, use the tool and only use a rivet link. There are some tricks to get it right tho, very easy to press the side plate on too tight or split the rivet. Not really a job for a noob.
  5. Tend to agree with the rivet type link. However, I have used the conventional joining link (clip-type) in the past on other bikes with no issues.

    I used a pair of thin nosed vise-grips to clamp the side plates together, then had a large hammer as a backing and peened the rivet over.

    What do the joiner tools cost?
  6. I've done both of these in the past. Didn't even know you could get a tool to do the rivetty jobs until quite recently.

    With the spring clip type links, it is vital that the clip is seated properly. Whilst this may seem obvious, it's remarkable just how much fiddling can be necessary to get the clip fully into place. Left to their own devices, in my experience, in >50% of cases they'll snap into what seems to be the right spot, close enough for a casual glance, but, in fact, is not. This, IMHO, is the cause of the majority of split link problems.

    That said, on a high powered bike, I'd be inclined to go for the rivet type. Years ago ISTR endless chains being available but I haven't heard of them recently. I can see them being a bastard to fit, requiring quite a bit of dismantling depending on frame and suspension layout, but they'd be pretty much guaranteed never to part at the joining link.
  7. My GSX1100 used to run an endless chain. Yes, it was a PITA to replace, requiring the removal of the rear shocks and the the swingarm.

    When I was at the bike shop yesterday getting the bits and pieces I looked at the chain tools. None of them appeared to join the links, only to "break" them by pressing out the pin.

    They recommended the old fashioned method of using a G clamp and a small socket over the pin and press the side plate on that way, and then to peen it over with a hammer.

    When I peened mine over I simply levered a sledge hammer between the rim and the chain. Worked perfectly. Didn't need a second bod to hold a hammer for me while I belted the heck out of it...
  8. I purchased the breaking and riveting tool at MCAS in sydney for about $80, very heavy duty, does a good job. Done about 8 chains on it now. No need to belt shit out of anything, you just need a dremmel or angle grinder to knock a head off before you press a pin out to break the chain.
  9. OK, so you still need to grind the head off of the rivet.

    I use a cold chisel to separate the plate from the pins once I've ground the pins down.
  10. I use spring clip links and as stated above it is VITAL to get them seated properly.

    Use a magnifying glass and mae sure they're in the grooves, I've never had a problem in
    330,000 klms on Lolita. (1988 FZR1000)

    Swaping a chain is a five minute job, unclip, hook new to old, pull through, put split link clip in place. Done.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. That right there is experience, simple .. quick.. effective
    • Like Like x 1
  12. New chain onto old sprockets?

    How often do you do that?
  13. As I noted in a previous thread, back in the bad old days before good o-ring chains became affordable, it was common for a front sprocket to last two or three chains and a rear maybe more. Go back even further and take a close look at the sprocket arrangement on a 1950s Brit and it becomes obvious that it wasn't intended for the rear sprocket to be changed on a routine basis at all.

    These days, with a good chain, a Scottoiler and a relatively low powered bike, I'm starting to wonder if my current chain is actually going to last the life of the bike :D.
  14. Changed the sprockets on the 1000, (just looked it up) at 206,000.

    So the answer is 124,000 ago about 4 chains. She will get a new one next week.

    To be fair I use "O" ring chains from the chinese copy bin so they are way
    softer than a top quality sprocket.

    Chains are cheap, just bought one....$39.90 free shipping on flea-bay

    I have a $330 chain and sprocket set on the 600 that doesn't look like it will
    last much longer....31,000 so far. chain has tight spots, it's an "X" ring DID
    sprockets are showing signs of wear as well.

    Cheap chains, top quality sprockets seems to be the way to go.

    Point of interest, I only use old engine oil for lube, every 3 to 400 klms

    PS chain on e-bay for the 600, found a 520 for 29.95+five bucks postage from Honkers
  15. You interest me Mr Bond. Whose sprockets do you use/consider top quality?
  16. My last chain (which went into the bin yesterday) was an Ebay purchase, about $50.

    It went onto old sprockets which had at least 25,000km on them (I bought the bike second hand).

    The chain lasted about a year.

    Sprockets (and chain) were absolutely rooted.

    New sprockets and DID o-ring chain cost me $280. This will last the life of the bike under my ownership.

    Dunno about that. Fast wearing chains are sure to accelerate wear on the sprockets, aren't they?

    As an aside I remember a mate who scored some "heavy duty" industrial chain from work, about 30 years ago for his then newish Z1000 Mk II. The chain was designed for low speed work. On his bike it lasted about a month, as well as chewing out the sprockets.

    So much for saving a few bux...

    How do you stop it spraying everywhere? Commercial chain lube is s'posed to have bonding agents to try (note the word "try") to keep it on the chain...
  17. You don't. That way you get a bonus in the form of comprehensive corrosion protection and an effective theft (or, indeed, contact) deterrent :D.
  18. That's why old bikers always wore jeans that were dirtier on the left leg than the right, "sump lube" from the chain, either that or they rode a Norton,
  19. Just to add to the debate on rivet versus clip joiners, I will never use a clip link. I have had 2 of them come off on the same bike, and I can assure you they (the clips) were seated correctly. I put it down to the fact that the bike in question did not have a cush drive hub, and the shock loadings were enough to somehow unseat the clip. Shat myself completely on both occasions, as the bike in question got ridden rather enthusiastically in the twisties on a permanent basis.
    Bought myself a DID breaker/riveter copy, and have lived happily ever after. For the 40 odd bucks it cost me, it has more than made up for the f#cking around with chisels, clamps, vicegrips big hammers and other assorted hair pulling frustrations. It's now a rather pleasent 5 minute job, and the end result is complete satisfaction of a job well done.
  20. Yeah, MrsB's Amazing Brakeless Commando tended to be well anointed on the left side. To the extent that roundabouts were "interesting". You'd be dragging the undercarriage on the right all the way round but then you'd flip it left to exit. Onto the bit of the back tyre that collected all of Castrol's finest :shock: :LOL:.

    It became much less fun after I fixed the head gasket :D.