Rod knock? Timing chain rattle? Both? - Page 2 - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 11:46 PM
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It is very possible if it has been run with loose chains for a long time, the stock chain tensioners may not have enough reach even when fully extended to properly tension them. If that is the case, you could very well be looking at a broken chain in the near future. The fact that the tensioner nearly knocked the screwdriver out of your hand is positive proof that they are toast. The internal threads in the housing that the tensioner plunger turns will be beat to pieces. You can take the tensioner off and take it apart and see for yourself. As long as you don't turn the engine you can retract the tensioner and put it back in without doing any further damage.

I am by no means a fan of JB Weld, I've had it fail dozens of times. You can try it, if it stops the noise, ride around a few weeks, if the noise doesn't come back, then I would go ahead and get the TOC tensioners. They are strong enough to outlast several engines.

It is possible to replace the upper chains, but the engine has to come out, and the top end has to come off. If you take it down that far, you are likely to find the chain guides are damaged as well, and need replacement. These engines use a HyVo type cam chain that is supposed to run quieter than a normal cam chain, but I don't believe they are as strong.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VN750Rider/Jerry View Post
It is very possible if it has been run with loose chains for a long time, the stock chain tensioners may not have enough reach even when fully extended to properly tension them. If that is the case, you could very well be looking at a broken chain in the near future. The fact that the tensioner nearly knocked the screwdriver out of your hand is positive proof that they are toast. The internal threads in the housing that the tensioner plunger turns will be beat to pieces. You can take the tensioner off and take it apart and see for yourself. As long as you don't turn the engine you can retract the tensioner and put it back in without doing any further damage.

I am by no means a fan of JB Weld, I've had it fail dozens of times. You can try it, if it stops the noise, ride around a few weeks, if the noise doesn't come back, then I would go ahead and get the TOC tensioners. They are strong enough to outlast several engines.

It is possible to replace the upper chains, but the engine has to come out, and the top end has to come off. If you take it down that far, you are likely to find the chain guides are damaged as well, and need replacement. These engines use a HyVo type cam chain that is supposed to run quieter than a normal cam chain, but I don't believe they are as strong.
I can only seem to find the cheap ones on eBay-20$ ones. I’d imagine them are junk. Do you happen to have a link to the better ones you are talking about?
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 05:27 PM
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Manual Tensioner

1986 VN750 27k miles
1999 EN500 32k
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 10:06 PM
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Yes, those are the ones. Will last forever and never get out of adjustment. Solid steel, no aluminum. But remember, if your chains is seriously worn and on their last legs, they may not be long enough to put enough pressure on the chains to quieten them down. That is why I suggested converting the automatic tensioners to manual, without using JB Weld, just using the threads that are there for the plugs to screw into first, and see if it helped, before spending money. Then I remembered yet another problem. On the rear cylinder, there is not enough room for a really long bolt. I remember having to remove the coolant reservoir to get the TOC tensioners installed, and it may be necessary to remove it just to remove the oem tensioners. It's been a long time ago when I did that. I don't remember if there is anything else besides the coolant reservoir that is in the way. The TOC tensioners fit fine with the reservoir in place you just have to remove it to install them and then put it back. If nothing else is in the way, you could just unbolt it and let it hang while you installed a long bolt and see if that quieted things down.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 10:43 PM
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Those $20 tensioners shouldn't be too bad. They're a solid aluminum threaded block. The major thing I see is, the adjuster bolts are a bit long. That's probably only a problem on the right side behind the coolant tank, but it shouldn't be too hard to find shorter bolts.

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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I will give it a shot, I do believe if the stock tensioner would hold in place it would take care of the timing chain noise..... sadly the only place that will have the bolt I need is an hour away...

Let’s say I do have to change the timing chain, what years will interchange? I’ve seen some chains on eBay saying 1986-2006 but I’ve also message sellers who had chain for a 97 say they will not work on a 86. So I’m a little curious about that.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 03:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loneWolf View Post
I will give it a shot, I do believe if the stock tensioner would hold in place it would take care of the timing chain noise..... sadly the only place that will have the bolt I need is an hour away...

Let’s say I do have to change the timing chain, what years will interchange? I’ve seen some chains on eBay saying 1986-2006 but I’ve also message sellers who had chain for a 97 say they will not work on a 86. So I’m a little curious about that.
Timing chain part number is the same for all years.

1986 VN750 27k miles
1999 EN500 32k
1983 GL650i in pieces. Someday it will ride again.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 12:17 AM
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I would not even consider using used chains. Most of them are either damaged or worn out, considering this bike has known tensioner problems. Replacing them is too much work to take a chance on doing it for nothing. Same thing with manual tensioners. Spend $20 on cheap Chinese made aluminum ones or $50 on precision U.S. made steel ones. Considering just how important they are, that does not seem like the place to cheap out later. Like the old saying goes, you can do it right the first time, or you can do it again later.


I can't imagine any other bike where someone would even consider doing this kind of work on an old bike that will almost certainly cause more problems down the road, probably many of them. But I am glad to see there are people interested in keeping these old mechanical carbureted bikes alive. Bikes without computers are becoming more and more rare, and need to be kept going.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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My biggest problem is finding parts I need.. or maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places... I figured it would be fairly simple finding new chains that was Not Chinese made but that’s all I seem to run across or used.....
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 10:32 AM
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https://www.ronayers.com/oemparts/a/...ft-s-tensioner

1986 VN750 27k miles
1999 EN500 32k
1983 GL650i in pieces. Someday it will ride again.
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