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Discussion Starter #1
I had a lot of can chain noise so I installed a APE CCT. Made the motor sound beautiful. 40-50 miles later it is louder than ever! So I tightened it again back to beautiful and after 30 miles.... Guess what. Loud as hell again. Is it possible to stretch like that?? The tensioner does not appear to be backing out. Also when I bout the bike i replaced the CC guides and made sure the timing was accurate.
 

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That is why I don't like manual cam chain tensioners. It's too easy to overtighted them (even if you don't think you did), and then it stretches the cam chain.

I have always used the OEM automatic tensioners, and I have never had any excessive noise (it may get slightly more noisy right before the tensioner goes to the next adjustment notch, but that is normal operation).
 

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It's possible that you over tightened it and stretched the chain ? Seems to be quite a common problem with manual CCT's.

*edit*
Beat by Strider.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think at this point I'm going to ride it a while and see what happens.... Yesterday I rode most of the day and at times it seemed louder than others. If I can't get it right I'll probably re install my stock one with a stiffer spring in place. Waiting on new driven sprockets to come this week so when I'm doing that I'll probably make a decision on it. Thanks for the info guys! Side note: motor has 30+k miles so a swap to a lower milage motor is in my near future. I'm just trying to get the most use out of this one.
 

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As said above- unlikely the chain is "stretched".......... I rarely see them wear out actually, and even some 50,000 mile plus ones I have removed measure the exact same length as a new one (and produce the same cam timing numbers, so you know they are the same)


Also as said- manual tensioners are so easy to over tighten which wears out the guides and thus the chain gets loose again
you likely need to replace the guides again! and definitely change oil/filter to get the debris out of there.......... Are there visible indentations on the cam sprockets?, are they big enough to be able to feel them?
Are you even sure the cam chain was actually the source of the noise to begin with? ie- did you check valve clearnaces, throttle body sync, make sure the engine is actually running smoothly as it should (injectors clean and working as designed, equal compression, not tons of carbon build up, ignition timing, spark etc are all good etc...)

finally.......... 30k if well taken care of is not cause for alarm or to think you need to replace the engine with something with less miles
depending on how cared for and how ridden I have seen way more sub 15k engines blow up than I have engines with 30k, 50k, 100k, 200k----- mostly due to too fucking many owners all assuming the previous dumbfuck did maintenance and each of them pounding the fuck out of it knowing in just a few months they are going to dump it on some other schlub
 

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Auto tensioners with the OEM spring provide just enough tension on the shoe to reduce chain slap when the load on the engine changes. There is very little wear on a chain with fixed geometry, running in a continuous oil bath in an effectively sealed system. Clean oil. Very little contamination.

There's a reason why the design has not changed in 40+ years. It works.

Hydraulic valve adjustments are similar.... Automatic adjusting takes out the guesswork. (Shim under bucket has such long service intervals, most riders won't need to learn how.)

Same thing with solid state ignitions. Get the naked ape out of the works, and it'll last a long time.

Making things more reliable takes away many of the opportunities for people to learn how to do stuff. Necessity is the mother of invention, as it were.

If you want a reliable bike, the best thing you can do, is leave it alone and just ride. Do the scheduled maintenance as it comes due.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So I do not believe that I over tightened it, I read about it extensively. I tightened it down until it was quiet then backed it off until it was noisy and then barely tightened it back. I did this multiple times until I thought I found a sweet spot that was just barely enough to keep it quiet.if it's going to continue to sound like shit then I might as well go back to the OEM I guess. I took out the one I bought the bike with and replaced it with an oem but one I knew was good and functional. I may go back with that one.
 

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So I do not believe that I over tightened it, I read about it extensively. I tightened it down until it was quiet then backed it off until it was noisy and then barely tightened it back. I did this multiple times until I thought I found a sweet spot that was just barely enough to keep it quiet.if it's going to continue to sound like shit then I might as well go back to the OEM I guess. I took out the one I bought the bike with and replaced it with an oem but one I knew was good and functional. I may go back with that one.
it is impossible to install a manual adjusting tensioner without overtightening doing it the .. by 'sound" method

The one and only correct way to install one is with the valve cover off and the ability to physically measure the actual tension on the chain. Anything less than this is just guesswork and using a hope&pray method that you are "close enough"

Once (proper installation) that is done..... sure you can adjust one without removing the valve cover ... 1/16th or 1/32nd of turn or so, when it starts to get "noisy"-
6 flats on a bolt and even one flat is an extreme adjustment!- just look at how coarse the threads on those aftermarket manual adjusters.... What you really need is just thousands of movement, not fragmants of an inch


I get bikes in all the time that people installed manual tensioners on (incorrectly 99.9% of the time), then they bitch they need to adjust it every few hundred miles
manual "click type" adjusters rarely move......... case in point, bikes I maintain for tens of thousands of miles or hundreds of thousands of miles and I see them every 15-20k for valve adjustment service....... I always note and measure where the adjusters are at, and quite often they are on the 4th or 5th tooth and sit there for 50k or more before moving to the next tooth, nearly never do I see one past the 5th tooth unless catastrophy has preceded its arrival
hell even 250k+ bikes still on the 5th tooth
My own 98k zzr is sitting on the 4th tooth, same place it has been since brand new, and over 20k of those miles are on a track running 8-14k

Sure a failure of the oe style would be catastrophic, and it would be easier for the oe to fail than most the aftermakets..... But that doesn't make the aftermaket units any better at all!
 

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Side note: motor has 30+k miles so a swap to a lower milage motor is in my near future. I'm just trying to get the most use out of this one.
30K isn't that many miles unless somebody has really mistreated the poor thing. My 2009 has 70,000+ miles on it now, and it still runs just as good as when it was new. However, I do all of the maintenance on it myself, so I know its done correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I appreciate all the input!! So I I've driven in about a hundred and fifty miles and I think I found a happy medium with ithe tensioner. Bike sounds good and it's running strong. I'm a millwright, basically that's an industrial precision mechanic so I'm huge on preventive maintenance. Everything I own gets routine oil changes but I do ride hard. I can tell the previous owners werent that much for it, seeing how the oil I took out of it was terrible. (Have changed twice in 500 miles to assure the old junk was out) I've had it for under a month and I've completely ran through the entire bike to include the valves which to my surprise were still in tolerance. She will be well maintained under my watch and if she continues to perform the way she is now I will ride the motor until it has a massive failure. I live in the country and do a lot of highway driving so I changed the 14 and 45t sprockets I got it with to 16 and 43t Driven sprockets today and I love the extra room it gave me! I previously had a R6 and I'm loving the kawi and this forum. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Also if it loosens up anytime soon and starts making noise I will go back with the good OEM one that I have.
 

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Race teams with the time and resources to pull and/or rebuild engines every week can risk running manual tensioners. I pulled my oem tensioner and to my surprise, didn't influence me to lean towards either way, instead I have a better understanding of how both work and their faults that can lead to unforeseen failures. Only thing I did to my oem was install a small washer behind the spring to add a slight amount of preload (bike has 29,000 miles) and reset it properly before reinstalling. Notice the locking mechanism spring hung off the edge in the pic below? This + a worn tension spring could cause failure. I'm convinced at a bike's half-life a oem tensioner replacement would be a wise choice (my personal opinion).
 

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Had a Yamaha FZ6 with 46,000 miles, a 2012 CBR600RR with 18,000 miles and 7,000 miles on my 2014 ZX6R. I would swap tensioners if the noise bothered me but it seemed a bit random - probably got louder just before moving a notch. Looked like the placement of the tensioner resulted in it only getting a slash of oil which the engine running. I've taken them off and cleaned and lubed with oil and re-installed and significantly reduced the noise which would re-appear later. I've had one or two that the action was noticeable different between a new one and an older one but not by a big amount. Cleaning and oiling would get them close.
 
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