Chains Newbie! Can't even tension chain!

Discussion in 'Transmission / Drivetrain' started by taylormade93, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. taylormade93

    taylormade93 New Member

    How you going guys,

    I'm a complete newbie to the motorized bicycle game. I got my bike yesterday (already built) and when I was riding today the bike suddenly cut out and tire did a loud screech. At first I was confused and had no idea what happened.

    However it appears that the chain got jammed up the top area (not sure what it is called) so had to get it put in a maxi taxi to take it home as the back wheel would not move forwards or backwards. Now I believe I have re-aligned the chain but I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO TIGHTEN THE CHAIN :confused::confused:

    I don't think the chain on there is too long as the previous owner told me he never had a problem with the chain.

    I really want to get back to riding this thing as I love it! So if I could get some advice that would be greatly appreciated.

    Pictures are attached for reference.

    Cheers 1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg

  2. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    If you don't have a bench grinder you can just file the pin down. You can also get a chain breaker tool from tractor supply, but they're a little pricey and you'll probably never use it again
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  3. taylormade93

    taylormade93 New Member

    Is there a reason for why I would now need to shorten the chain if it was previously okay?

    I don't have many tools at all at my place so was hoping it would be an easier fix.

    So I need to take off chain from masterlink, then file down and punch it out and put it back on? actually sounds easy enough but is it necessary?

    Cheers for the reply.
  4. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    It sure does look as though you need to shorten it. The previous owner said all was okay there? I can't account for that. But that chain needs to be shortened. The slack is the reason that it jumped the sprocket and jammed up your rear wheel.

    It's also possible that your axle slid forward a bit, contributing to the slack. But that wouldn't account for that much slack.

    One thing that I would recommed, too, is shortening that engine chain until you can get it nice and tight without a chain tensioner at all on that side. Then you're liable to have trouble tensioning the pedal chain. The tensioner can be used there.

    tensioner on pedal side.jpg

    This takes a whole lot of stress off of that tensioner and makes your engine chain more reliable. By subtracting a source of trouble.

    And you probably should resign yourself to keeping some more tools around and being ready to use them. These bikes are just great. But tinkering is a must. They demand it.

    Best of luck.
  5. gator joe

    gator joe Member

    yes you need a shorter chain when I first started reading this I assumed you were talking about the motor chain that chain does not belong to that bike that is clearly visible you should not need an idler pulley on the chain you pedal with the idler pulley or chain tensioner as so many people like to call it is there to guide band I just very slight amount some slack mainly its for guidance
  6. gator joe

    gator joe Member

    yes you will have way too much slack you should move idler pulley closer to the motor and you may need to remove a link or two also on the idler pulley you can loosen that I noticed it was halfway up put it all the way up slide closer almost right next to the tire - mine is about 3 centimeters behind tire and it is in the all the way up position sometimes you need to bend themso they line up right
  7. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    assuming it was reasonably tight when you got it, it won't get that loose unless the engine has come loose or the rear wheel has slid forward, or the tensioner has moved closer to the engine

    first, be sure you cannot move the engine while holding it on top and holding frame near the gas tank

    next, see if you can loosen the rear wheel & move it farther back in the dropouts

    next, move the tensioner closer to the rear wheel, and then raise the pulley to a point at which chain is tight enough

    if this doesn't do it, then something serious is going on so you might want to call the guy that built it
  8. taylormade93

    taylormade93 New Member

    Thanks for the replies guys,

    Firstly I went and checked the engine - there is A LOT of movement there, so I slide it back up closer to handlebars and that cut the amount of slack in half - but not sure where to tighten to keep engine steady? Also my exhaust fell off somewhere when riding yesterday would this contribute to the issue at hand?

    Secondly, I couldn't really move the back wheel in the dropout, I got it to move maybe half an inch but didn't do much. I'm going to go play around with the tensioner and see if that will get rid off the remaining slack.

    Lastly, even though I have unjammed the chain I can still not roll the wheel forwards or backwards??? The clutch isn't connected at the moment so that shouldn't really cause an issue right?

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  9. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    You have to get your engine mounted so tight you can't move it no matter how hard you try.
    You can get to making the chain right after that.

    Your wheel doesn't spin even with no chain on it?
    That is the grubee back wheel with a band brake or bearing problem, they have to be done right to work.

    Hope that helps.
  10. taylormade93

    taylormade93 New Member

    Update: Manage to move the engine even more towards handle bars and now their is minimum slack.

    Is there just two bolts on the bottom for tightening the engine?

    Chain is still on the bike but the wheel won't roll which is confusing. I can rotate it maybe a quarter turn forwards and backwards but that is it.
  11. taylormade93

    taylormade93 New Member

    GOT IT!!! :detective::clap::scooter::punk::tt2:

    I unjammed chain from inside drive sprocket.

    Pulled wheel back in the drop out.

    Pulled engine up and made sure it was tightened properly.

    I took it for a test ride (not motor just pedal cause I don't have any type of exhaust on at the moment!)

    However it seems a bit noisy, would putting some lubricant on the chain solve this? Can't remember if it was this noisy prior to the incident?

    Lastly, thankyou all for your input - it helped me to get to the problem and to learn more about my bike. Will definitely stick with this forum as it is extremely useful. I will also invest in some tools as these definitely need tinkering with haha - but the feeling when you fix it is of great accomplishment!

  12. Timbone

    Timbone Active Member

    If you don't have an exhaust/muffler, that thing is gonna be very noisy!
  13. taylormade93

    taylormade93 New Member

    Yeah I know, that's why I haven't started the motor yet. Don't want to **** off the whole neighborhood.

    My exhaust fell off somewhere yesterday, my Dad has 3 of these bikes which he is working on so I will steal one of his exhausts.
  14. Timbone

    Timbone Active Member

    I am going to soon describe my design for popping a lawnmower muffler onto the exhaust manifold. Cheap, efficient, and no heavy weight pulling on two little 6mm studs.

  15. taylormade93

    taylormade93 New Member

    I am eventually going to make some sort of better muffler to try and reduce the noise that this thing makes as they are quite loud. Let me know how you go with your lawnmower idea!
  16. fattirejack

    fattirejack Member

    You said you moved engine more towards handlebars, I am unclear on how you did this. you should have 2 motor mounts, 1 on seat post, and 1 on lower frame post. your engine should rest on both tubes and be clamped tightly to both of them. it sounds like you are missing a mount. A picture of how it is mounted would help a lot. If your chain is noisier you should check the alignment of your sprockets. If you run a string from center of front sprocket to center of rear sprocket, string should be in center of chain the full length. You can do the same thing with a laser if you have one available. I just looked at your pictures again, I don't see a rear motor mount, You do need both motor mounts,and they need to be tight. Happy Motoring
  17. taylormade93

    taylormade93 New Member

    The mounts were lose when I bought it - therefore engine had slid down when riding causing chain to become slack. So because mounts were loose I just slid it back up and tightened them, now the engine does not move.

    I have included pictures - there are only two bolts on the bottom which I can see.

    As for the chain it turns out it was hitting the fender so I re adjusted the fender - think it is all good now.

    5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg
  18. fattirejack

    fattirejack Member

    You should have 2 more bolts and clamp on the seat post they should be almost inline with your lower side of chain. If you don't have them as soon as you try and start it, your engine will move again. the studs may have broken off, they can be removed if that is the case.
  19. taylormade93

    taylormade93 New Member

    I think I can see where you are talking about. What studs do I need? Do I need to take the engine of to put them in?


  20. fattirejack

    fattirejack Member

    You will need to take the engine off. You will most likely have to drill them, and use an easyout. If you haven't done this before try and get someone to help you that knows what they are doing. Before you try and drill them you need to use a center punch and mark the center of the bolt. If you get your drill of center you won't be able to get the stud out, and you will cause a lot more work for yourself. There was a thread in the last week about removing the studs, see if you can find it. If you can't I will find it for you. I am glad you didn't try and start the engine,you would have just jammed your chain again, and possible bit the pavement. A helmet is always advisable.