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Rejoining a timing chain

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Eddo, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. This may be a silly question but here goes. My fj1200 has a stretched timing chain...tensioners working fine, pulled it out and its at its maximum adjustment point. Apart from splitting the crankcase to replace the chain I was wondering if its possible/advisable to split and rejoin a timing chain?


  2. From memory, most aftermaket timing chains come with a soft link that you peen over when fitting. I used to know a lot of people with this type in their engines and noone ever had a problem with them.
  3. Do you want to take a link out? You may find even one link makes it way too tight.
  4. You can fit a new chain without splitting the cases, the abbreviated version is, remove cams, split old chain, join end of new chain to old chain, feed new chain around crank by pulling on old chain/turning crankshaft, join new chain with soft link, as suggested earlier, SET ALL TIMING AND CAM POSITION MARKS CORRECTLY. reinstall cam chain tensioner as per manual. Be aware that incorrect fitment of cams/chains/tensioner may result in catastrophic engine failure.
    I would Not recommend removing a link from a cam chain. Theyre made from steel, they dont stretch, they wear out between pins and bushes. If it fails you buy another engine unless youre very lucky.
  5. Thanks for your replies.

    Theyre made from steel, they dont stretch, they wear out between pins and bushes.

    Thats interesting...as I thought that over time the chain did stretch and the automatic adjusting tensioner took care of any stretch.

    Anyways at least I now know that I do have an option instead of having to split the crank case and that is buy a new chain and use a soft link (with a chain tool) to join it up.

    Point taken re the correct cam and tensioner install. Actually I'm rather peeved with the Clymers manual I'm using I've found 2 mistakes in it already including the directions on how to re install the tensioner, the picture had the thing being installed upside down and with the tensioner bolt extended 35.5m. The advice I've had since is to install the tensioner with the tensioner bolt pushed back into the tensioner housing then insert the spring and end cap and allow the tensioner to reset itself.

    Thanks again
  6. It's colloquially referred to as stretch but, as foot69 implies, what you're seeing is actually the collective result of all the pin/roller/sideplate clearances opening up and developing slop.

    I've taken links out of drive chains when desperately poor, but I'd never consider doing it with a camchain.
  7. I was re[placing top gear on an xs1100 many years ago, fairly straight forward job, remove engine, tip upside down, pull the bottom half of case remove gears and swap the worn cogs out. I hadnt done on before so got the owner to buy a manual for it, read through it, and it says remove 7 bolts holding the final drive box to cases. You think the bloody thing would comeoff?, I figured it must be hnging up on the shaft some how, carefull application of force and it would move Just enough to make me think it was coming then pull back. Went back to it a few times over the day and the blooy thing wouldnt move. Checked a few times to make sure all 7 bolts were out.
    Finally found the 8th bolt hidden somewhere I wasnt looking..