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Author Topic: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB  (Read 450 times)

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Offline OILLEAK2008

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CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« on: January 12, 2019, 05:53:52 am »
Hi all. I want to make sure the Cam Chain is correctly tentoned in both my 79 XL185s and my 72 CB350/4.
I purchased both Climer and Cycleserve manuals and they both say the same procedure for both bikes. That is: Idle a warm engine, undo the cam tensioner (engine still running) nut and if all works well I will see the centre piece and nut rotate indicating the tensioner has auto adjusted. Tighten the nut and all good. Sounds simple. Then I looked at YOUTUBE but for my models, they show a totally different procedure that involves a stopped engine - setting the engine to top dead centre, checking cyl rocker arms and only then undoing the cam chain adjustment lock nut.
Two very different procedures. One easy, the other not?
Can someone with experience please give me advise on which system is correct. Cheers and thanks. David
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 05:55:58 am by OILLEAK2008 »

Offline bryanj

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2019, 09:54:21 am »
The way i have always done all the Hondas(and ive been doing it 40+years) is put pressure on the kickstart by hand until you feel that the engine is just about to turn then holding that pressure loosen the adjuster lockbolt and nip back up again. This makes sure that the front rin of camchain is tight and all the slack where the tensioner is.
Some people on here have tried to shoot me down for this but i was taught this in the mid 70's by a Honda regional mech rep.
Semi Geriatric ex-Honda mechanic and MOT tester (UK version of annual inspection). Garage full of "projects" mostly 500/4 from pre 73 (no road tax in UK).

Remember "Its always in the last place you look" COURSE IT IS YOU STOP LOOKIN THEN!

Offline Deltarider

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2019, 10:39:14 am »
Bryan's method is the same I learned from a Honda dealer mech who - no doubt - was instructed himself by Honda The Netherlands.
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Offline OILLEAK2008

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 09:05:06 pm »
Thanks Brian and Delta. You have now given me a third process to ponder. I am so confused - One would think that manuals sold world wide would have the correct process (engine running), Not sure about the youtube education as I have no idea on the experience of the person in the video and now your own tried and tested version.
Yours sounds easy enough but I did wonder and perhaps you may be able to clarify......Given you both were told this method back in the glory days of Honda sales - 1970's I assume - would your process be best suited to what was then basically newish bikes of the day that may not have 30 to 40 year old malfunctioning or stuck cam adjusters??   
I really want to learn and do my own work but am also terrified of causing more damage than I actually intend to correct.

Offline bryanj

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 11:17:40 pm »
Still works on my 40 yr old 500. Only time it dont work is if the adjuster is siezed or the chain is worn out.
Semi Geriatric ex-Honda mechanic and MOT tester (UK version of annual inspection). Garage full of "projects" mostly 500/4 from pre 73 (no road tax in UK).

Remember "Its always in the last place you look" COURSE IT IS YOU STOP LOOKIN THEN!

Offline OILLEAK2008

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2019, 03:44:12 pm »
Cheers B.

Offline low-side

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2019, 05:34:10 pm »
I've always read the TDC method and done the slack in the front run method.  I would never loosen the tensioner while running.

Offline jakec

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2019, 06:04:39 pm »
Wow this kickstart method sounds way easier than TDC method. The only bike I've ever checked chain tension on was DOHC. But that was straight from the manual.
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Offline bryanj

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2019, 07:16:11 am »
DOHC doesnt have kickstart but you can take generator cover off and use socket on rotor bolt, good idea to check rotor brushes on DOHC regularly anyway!
Semi Geriatric ex-Honda mechanic and MOT tester (UK version of annual inspection). Garage full of "projects" mostly 500/4 from pre 73 (no road tax in UK).

Remember "Its always in the last place you look" COURSE IT IS YOU STOP LOOKIN THEN!

Offline OILLEAK2008

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2019, 11:02:51 pm »
Well - of all old things, I managed to pick up an original 350/4 Honda Factory Shop Manual via Gumtree.  Its dated 1972 by Honda Motor Co Ltd.

Page 8 states:

CAM CHAIN
1. Start the engine.
2. Set idle speed to 1200rpm. Loosen the lock nut and tensioner adjusting bolt using box wrench contained in toolkit.
3. Retighten the adjusting bolt and secure the lock nut.
NOTE: Do not pull or push the tensioner push bar since it is self-adjusting type.

Interesting - it backs up the adjustment procedure that modern non Honda service manuals say.

oilleak
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 11:05:07 pm by OILLEAK2008 »

Offline bryanj

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2019, 01:25:09 am »
Yes it does but my way still works and in a workshop "service" enviroment where you are doing everything it saves time and a big plus is you dont burn your hand on the exhausts
Semi Geriatric ex-Honda mechanic and MOT tester (UK version of annual inspection). Garage full of "projects" mostly 500/4 from pre 73 (no road tax in UK).

Remember "Its always in the last place you look" COURSE IT IS YOU STOP LOOKIN THEN!

Offline Deltarider

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2019, 03:24:01 am »
CB500/550 owners may find this tool handy.
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Offline bryanj

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2019, 04:24:10 am »
Bought those in various sizes from Snap On in 77!
Semi Geriatric ex-Honda mechanic and MOT tester (UK version of annual inspection). Garage full of "projects" mostly 500/4 from pre 73 (no road tax in UK).

Remember "Its always in the last place you look" COURSE IT IS YOU STOP LOOKIN THEN!

Offline Bodi

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Re: CAM CHAIN ADJUSTMENT - XL & CB
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2019, 09:32:23 am »
"2. Set idle speed to 1200rpm. Loosen the lock nut and tensioner adjusting bolt using box wrench contained in toolkit."

My theory is that the 40 year old springs that push on the adjuster for this method are just plain worn out, their tension is a fraction of new. This method has not worked on any bike I've tried it on in years - not so many engines I suppose but more than 10. It does work well (on a 350 or 400 four at least, other engines have different tensioner systems) if you remove the upper cap bolt and push down on the adjuster rod from above just enough to quiet the chain rattle (making up the lost spring tension), and then lock the adjuster rod.

 

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