Can I attach a chain tensioner upside down?

Discussion in 'Transmission / Drivetrain' started by bigkev81, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. bigkev81

    bigkev81 Member

    Hey guys,

    Almost ready to take my bike for a test ride and see if the engine still runs after sitting for 2 or 3 years.
    My biggest problem was chains breaking. After the new chain not fitting on the drive sprocket, and my chain being too short, I have fixed those problems with grinding the sprocket down, and using a chain breaker to add 2 links to my chain.

    But now, I cannot get the tensioner to fit underneath the chain. Putting the roller in the lowest position there is not enough slack in the chain. :(

    How about installing it upside down and against the top chain, like I've posted in the photo below.

  2. bigkev81

    bigkev81 Member

  3. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    many folks have problems with tensioners mounted normally, so unusual mounts seem a bad idea (top of chain is where all the force is, while bottom is where slack occurs)

    have you considered adding a link or half-link?, also, if chain run is fairly straight some folks do OK with no tensioner until chain begins to stretch enough to need one

    get back wheel in air with clutch locked out and spin pedals enough to watch chain run at high speed to see what it needs
    bigkev81 likes this.
  4. bigkev81

    bigkev81 Member

    I have considered adding more links to the chain, but was looking for an easier solution.
    What exactly do you mean by half-link? Don't links need to be added in pairs? Forgive my noobishness, I have never dealt with chains before this week.
  5. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    links have 3 rollers, but a half-link has only two - a bit harder to work with, so without experience you should probably add a full link

    might want to just take out extra link you put in and replace it with a longer one rather than add yet another master link
    bigkev81 likes this.
  6. gary55

    gary55 Well-Known Member

    I think that is the right idea. Add links as needed to allow your tensioner to fasten to the chain stay. Chain work is a pain, but it gets easier the more you do it. I set the roller high enough in the slot to allow a box end wrench on the bolt head + about 1/8" extra in case it's a bit tight after mounting is complete. Mount it loosely on the chain stay and move it forward or back till you find the spot where you can replace the outer link with a master link and tighten it there.. Use the tensioner to line up the chain feed onto the sprocket. Rotate wheel till the chain is at it's tightest spot and adjust tension there. You should get some grade 8 or better bolts for the tensioner to frame connection so you can tighten and loosen them several times without them stripping. The ones supplied with the kits are trash. Since you have already tightened the tensioner once so you may need to manipulate the swells of the tensioner with a hammer making them closer together and allow them to clamp tight enough to the frame for the second mounting.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
    bigkev81 likes this.
  7. bigkev81

    bigkev81 Member

    omg this is driving me crazy, lol.
    So I have added 1 link (meaning 2 sections of the chain, the inner and outer) and now it seems the chain is way too friggen long! :eek:

    So I took that extra link back off, and played around until i was able to get the tensioner in the perfect position.
    But everytime I go to try and tighten it down, it seems to pull out and away from the bike :(
    I am almost ready to start pulling my hair out lol
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  8. gary55

    gary55 Well-Known Member

    This is how your tensioner should be set up. The smaller piece to the outside of the frame, and all the nuts facing outward. The flat washer then the lock washer then the nut. then you install the assembly loosely to the frame, and move it rearward till the chain is tight. What ever you have wrapped around the frame isn't going to hold up, so don't worry about the tensioner being in that exact spot. Read what I said in reply 6. Sometimes twisting the larger piece of the tensioner just below the slot can help align the roller to the sprocket if needed. If you look on the other side you should have room for a box end wrench on the bolt head below the roller + 1/8th in.
    bigkev81 likes this.
  9. bigkev81

    bigkev81 Member

    Thank you Gary. I had the larger bracket on the outside. Anyways, I feel I may have it sorted now. I will post a vid of me turning the pedals by hand shortly (God bless the double kickstand :) )

    What do you guys think. Am I ready to gas her up and try and take her for a spin?

    To get the tension right, the roller clears the wheel by only a few mm's. Will that be a problem?
  10. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    no problem, as chain stretches you can move whole thing to rear a bit
    bigkev81 likes this.
  11. gary55

    gary55 Well-Known Member

    Fire it up then drop that double stand an see how she acts. If all is good take her for a hell ride. Keep an eye on that roller to wheel thing. Glad you goter dun and still have all yer hair
    bigkev81 likes this.
  12. bigkev81

    bigkev81 Member

    I'd love to jump on her right now and fire her up, but I'm gonna wait till tomorrow.
    Somebody recommended me a 2 stroke oil to use and said stay away from synthetic and semi synthetic as they stuff your engine.
    Lookingonline it seems most (that i've read anyways) disagree with him and synthetic is better, lol

    So I'm gonna exchange the Oil I got for something synthetic.
  13. bigkev81

    bigkev81 Member

    oh, how rude of me! I forgot to thank everyone, lol
    So thank you everyone for your input! :)

    Im just having a grilled cheese for lunch, then I will put my chain guard on and take her for a spin on pedal power to see how the chain and tensioner hold up.
    I have already checked for spark by pulling the spark plug out the head, holding it next to the engine bolts and pedalling, and am glad to say we have spark!
    The fuel will be the last item to check off :)

    I am planning to get myself a better tensioning system. Since I live in Australia I will need to wait 3 weeks (and sometimes pay outrageous fees) for shipping.
    Do you guys recommend the spring-loaded tensioners, or the arch tensioners?
    Can you recommend a good vendor? And please not Bikeberry. They want to charge $50 shipping for their tensioner kit, lol
  14. bigkev81

    bigkev81 Member

    NO JOY!!!
    After getting some good quality synthetic oil (Castrol TTS at $30 a litre) I was super excited to get my bike going again.

    So I mixed my fuel:eek:il ratio at 20:1 putting 200mls into a jerry can with 4Litres.

    So I switched both fuel taps on and noticed fuel leaking from the top hose. So I changed it out with a hose with a tighter inner diameter.

    I then tried pedalling and releasing the clutch but apart from being harder to pedal, nothing else much happened. :(
    I thought I had no spark for a while but after fiddling with the boot on the cable I did get spark going again.

    Anyone know what the problem could be? Could it be I maybe didn't set my clutch plate up properly after opening it to put my new chain in?

    I don't remember how much resistance the wheel had in gear before, but if I push my push with the clutch disengaged the back wheel spins without much resistance. I think I remember not being able to push the bike unless clutch was pulled in. But it was a couple years ago, so I don't really remember much.

    Sorry for the long as post lol, and thanks again to all the helpers, I really do appreciate your advice! :)
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
  15. gary55

    gary55 Well-Known Member

    There should be noticeable change in resistance with the clutch out. Check out you tube for motorized bike clutch adjustment. If she's been setting for two years chances are that the carby may need cleaning out as well.The gas in the bowl will probably have turned into a jet clogging goopy mess.
  16. bigkev81

    bigkev81 Member

    Hi Gary,
    I've done a little research on adjusting the clutch and it says the clutch plate should only move 1/8th of an inch. Is that correct? That is 31.75mm which is tiny. I'm pretty sure my clutch plate moves alot more than that. I will adjust it to see how I go. I thought the fact that the drive sprocket would spin when engaging the clutch, and stop when releasing it meant it was okay.

    As for cleaning out the carb, I'll need to do a little reseach before I attempt that. Hopefully I'll find the info on here as I couldn't find anything on youtube.

    Oh, one more thing that may help diagnose my problem. When disengaging the clutch and pedalling, I am not hearing any noise at all from the engine. Silent.

    Cheers :)
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
  17. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    sounds like you're looking in wrong place for cable/clutch adjustment - plate movement isn't even relevant to this

    search this board
  18. gary55

    gary55 Well-Known Member

    transmission drive train section covers clutch probs. So plate movement would be relevant here. The carby issue wouldn't. That should be 2 stroke engines, but that's my fault. I tossed that in cause I recalled him saying the bike was setting for 2 years and could be another issue. Now I'm going to try to see how he figures 1/8 in. is equal to 31.75 mm. or1 1/4 in in.
  19. gary55

    gary55 Well-Known Member

    First off 31.75 mm is about 1 1/4 ins. 1/8 is roughly 3.2 mm.. It does sound like you have clutch adjustment probs. Playing with this how you will catch on to setting your clutch. With the cover off move the star nut in and out till you find the spot where the lever with the hold open pin engauged will just allow the the wheel to spin without turning the engine over. There should be barely noticeable plate movement.The clutch should start to engage in the last 1/4 +- of the levers throw. Mess with this for a bit and you will get it. Don't forget the set screw once you got it where you want it. It's easier than chain work.
  20. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    pressure plate movement isn't relevant to cable/clutch adjust

    with lever unlocked, set just a bit of free play in cable at clutch arm (arm should be pointing close to straight back)

    with lever locked, adjust flower nut until clutch spins freely when bike is rolled

    with lever locked, tighten flower nut until it just starts to drag when bike is rolled, then loosen one notch and put in locking screw

    with lever unlocked, recheck free play in clutch arm