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Replacing cam chain

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liverpool_f_
the 900
the 900

Posts : 368

Replacing cam chain

Post by liverpool_f_ on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 1:13 pm

Has anyone considered changing their cam chain before failure? My bike has 69k miles on it and that is rising by 1k per month. I have absolutely no issues with timing but I wonder if it would be wise to change it before it gives in and destroys the engine along with it. I understand it is a very involved piece of work changing the chain so not to be taken lightly. The Honda will be racking up big miles for the forseeable future so I wonder if/when I will need to consider it.

All thoughts and experiences welcome. Cheers folks
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Jameshambleton
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Location : Bedale, North Yorkshire

Re: Replacing cam chain

Post by Jameshambleton on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 1:54 pm

Take the rocker cover off and see how it looks with a small light if you should be able to see how tensioned it is. As for replacing it I have no clue.
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alanp
Rossi
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Posts : 53
Location : Norfolk, UK

Re: Replacing cam chain

Post by alanp on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 2:29 pm

Others may have more experience with this than me, but my understanding is that the chains are not really a weak spot as such. I've found (on other bikes) that it is normally the tensioners and guides that you need to keep an eye on. Or rather an ear on - if it starts to sound really rattley then check / replace the tensioner and guides first. If that doesn't do the trick then it might be time to look at the chain.

Others more experienced with the CB engine are worth listening to though - I've not reached the kind of mileage yet where it's an issue for me.
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liverpool_f_
the 900
the 900

Posts : 368

Re: Replacing cam chain

Post by liverpool_f_ on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 9:31 pm

The chain is worn as I my mechanic pointed out when he did my valve clearances. I suppose that is to be expected but I really don't want to break the chain by hacking it everyday long distances. 

Can anyone shed some light on whether they think chain replacement would be wise for high mileages and also how much of a pain is it to replace the chain guide et al.
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Beresford
the 900
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Re: Replacing cam chain

Post by Beresford on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 11:21 pm

I would think that the only time the chain would need to be replaced is while doing a complete engine rebuild.

And how often is that necessary with the CB500 engine?
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alanp
Rossi
Rossi

Posts : 53
Location : Norfolk, UK

Re: Replacing cam chain

Post by alanp on Wed 03 Aug 2016, 4:29 pm

Are you sure the chain is worn at the moment? Excessive noise is normally the indicator of something being amiss, and then you'd normally start with the tensioner and guides. Most camchains will have some 'give' up and down on the sprockets when you inspect them in a static engine. If the timing goes way out that might point to a bit of stretch or wear (once the tensioner and guides have been seen too).

If it's definitely toast (which just seems unusual even on high mile CB's) then you might be able to get a split link replacement. I've not done one of these on a CB500 but I saw one fitted to another bike many moons ago. It wasn't straightforward - you've got to break the current chain, thread the end of the new one to it and run it round the sprockets, then join it up properly.

If such a thing isn't available for a CB then a full replacement would I think mean a total engine strip. It may be more economical to get a replacement low mileage engine if you could find one?

Hope you get sorted one way or the other - be interested to hear what you decide to do.
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Jameshambleton
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Location : Bedale, North Yorkshire

Re: Replacing cam chain

Post by Jameshambleton on Wed 03 Aug 2016, 11:00 pm

@Beresford wrote:I would think that the only time the chain would need to be replaced is while doing a complete engine rebuild.

And how often is that necessary with the CB500 engine?

Want me to answer that? 

But as a serious response, there is a cog in the bottom end that it chain goes around so if you get an endless chain then I can only say as much as @Beresford and that a full engine rebuild would be required. 

IIRC @andyc has changed his cam chain 3 times so asking him might be helpful. scratch
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liverpool_f_
the 900
the 900

Posts : 368

Re: Replacing cam chain

Post by liverpool_f_ on Fri 05 Aug 2016, 10:16 pm

Thanks for the responses gents. I will take that as an "if it's not broken, don't fix it." I certainly don't have issues at the minute and it runs well so I will rest easy and stick a whole bunch more miles on it!

sullivj
the 900
the 900

Posts : 2121
Location : Gatwick

Re: Replacing cam chain

Post by sullivj on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 6:29 am

Why would someone need to replace their cam chain 3 times?? 

I would leave it well alone. There's many bikes with huge mileages, running their original chain.
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ceejay
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Location : Bournemouth

Re: Replacing cam chain

Post by ceejay on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 10:11 am

I think he did over 200,000 miles on his CB in his defense
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Jameshambleton
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Posts : 1908
Location : Bedale, North Yorkshire

Re: Replacing cam chain

Post by Jameshambleton on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 10:48 am

I'm sure it was over 250k miles, I mean we have a whole topic dedicated to it http://www.cb500club.net/t4631p50-high-milage-bikes-on-the-forum#42647
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eternally_troubled
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Re: Replacing cam chain

Post by eternally_troubled on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 2:11 pm

To weigh in with my twopennth: I'd side with the 'if it aint broke don't fix it' idea.

The CB500 can have tensioner issues (which results in rattling) and I bet that the tensioner blades/guides can wear but the chain itself should be fine. The only case I've heard of was a cam chain snapping after someone had installed manual tensioner and then forgotten to keep it tight.

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