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'03 vn 750 red and grey
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, '03 bike. When I start it cold, I'm hearing kind of a clacking noise coming from the lower right side of the engine.Comes and goes abit but mostly there, then goes away in about 5 minutes as I ride and bike warms. Not there again unless bike has sat awhile and completely cooled off. Any thoughts? Thanks
 

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I'm a rider
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964 Posts
Chain Tensioners. Try to "pop" them and see if it helps, otherwise do the manual conversion. Remove the 10mm nut from the end and stick a very slim eyeglass sized flathead in there and twist them all the way back and let go. They'll pop back in and it helps sometimes until you replace them.

bunch of examples here, almost always the tensioners when it goes away when warm. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=vn750+noise

Here's my video a few years ago when mine needed replaced. I went to manuals.

 

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1986 VN750
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3,255 Posts
Sounds like the cam chain tensioners, a typical 'issue'. They use a spring to keep tension on a chain, but that spring weakens over the years.

I also put on manual tensioners to replace my failing ones.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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16,193 Posts
Later on I'll dig up some links on how to make Manual tensioners
 

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'03 vn 750 red and grey
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you. I was afraid of that. I thought it was the same noise. This will make the 3rd time in 5 years that my tensioners are giving out. A dealer has done the 2 changes. Are they doing something wrong? Any thought why so often? I'm assuming the manual switch means the engine comes apart again? I think I'm done. Anyone wants a nice '03 that needs cam tensioners, let me know. Harley dynaglide here I come!!!!!!.
 

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1986 VN750
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3,255 Posts
Engine doesn't come apart, they're on the outside.

Takes 5 minutes a side.......

Maybe don't start jumping to conclusions, nor always trusting a dealer. Should have went manual tensioners the first time.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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16,193 Posts
The ACCT's wear quickly
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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16,193 Posts

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I'm a rider
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And I'll add if the cam chain makes a bit of noise when cold, but goes away once the engine warms up....I fail to see the rush to fix it. The thing ain't going to blow up. Search "Grambo Trick"....
Taking it to the dealer to fix this is usually a bad idea....

There's a few quick fixes that cost you nothing and are fairly easy to do and can likely solve your non-issue.

What you should worry about is if they start making noise all the time.

Dynaglide? They don't have cams?
 

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If the noise goes away after it's warm, the acct isn't quite shot yet, but it's headed that direction. Noise does equal wear however.

These aren't as nice and beefy as TOCs, but they are about half the cost. A bit better than home made ones, but a smaller and longer adjuster bolt compared to TOC. I think the shorter bolt on the TOC would be easier to adjust, and less interference on the coolant bottle.
For Kawasaki VN 750 Vulcan 86 06 Timing Cam Chain Tensioner Manual Adjuster Bid | eBay
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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16,193 Posts
Shim the coolant bottle with a spacer and use a longer bolt
 

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'03 vn 750 red and grey
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for the help. I will get the manuals and make the switch myself. I'm a good diy'er but not being familiar with these bikes at the time, I chose to send it to the dealer. I will be going to have a nice chat with them, cause for what they charged me both times, I think I was taken.
 

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What's everybody's thoughts on replacing just the springs with better springs (with those offered at TOC)?

ACCT Springs
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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16,193 Posts
About the same as new acct's.much less issues with manual ones,there are no springs and you can adjust them
 

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1986 VN750
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3,255 Posts
What's everybody's thoughts on replacing just the springs with better springs (with those offered at TOC)?

ACCT Springs
They don't last long enough, imo.

If you're going through the hassle there's no reason not to get manual.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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They don't last long enough, imo.

If you're going through the hassle there's no reason not to get manual.
I believe its an inherit design flaw.
 

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Why couldn't the stock housing be tapped out for a larger bolt? That would make meatier threads in the housing. Could maybe even saw some length off the housing to make the bolt shorter. Might depend on what's left for sealing surface on the washer, larger bolt head covers more. O-ring under the washer .... have to look into it.

Quite a few people have replaced springs, only to do MCCTs later. Springs vs. new ACCTs, replacement interval is probably about the same. I'll do MCCTs when the time comes.
 

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2000 VN 750 Senior Member
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2,501 Posts
Thank you. I was afraid of that. I thought it was the same noise. This will make the 3rd time in 5 years that my tensioners are giving out. A dealer has done the 2 changes. Are they doing something wrong? Any thought why so often? I'm assuming the manual switch means the engine comes apart again? I think I'm done. Anyone wants a nice '03 that needs cam tensioners, let me know. Harley dynaglide here I come!!!!!!.
Thank you all for the help. I will get the manuals and make the switch myself. I'm a good diy'er but not being familiar with these bikes at the time, I chose to send it to the dealer. I will be going to have a nice chat with them, cause for what they charged me both times, I think I was taken.
If the dealership told you that they had they had to remove the engine each time just to this procedure I would drop a line to your state consumers protection office after I went and asked them to explain why they would do that. Also if they went out and had to be replaced that quick they did something to cause that also. I would give them a chance to explain first but then report them for sure. In the future if you have a problem with your VN 750 just ask here first. No matter how difficult of a problem it is to fix you will at least get a straight answer as to what is involved and you can then make a decision as to tackle it yourself or seek professional help. You stated that you are a good diy'er so give yourself a chance. There are complete step by step directions on here that can be printed out and many full videos for the majority of problems. Give it a try.
 

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I'm a rider
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964 Posts
Why couldn't the stock housing be tapped out for a larger bolt? That would make meatier threads in the housing. Could maybe even saw some length off the housing to make the bolt shorter. Might depend on what's left for sealing surface on the washer, larger bolt head covers more. O-ring under the washer .... have to look into it.

Quite a few people have replaced springs, only to do MCCTs later. Springs vs. new ACCTs, replacement interval is probably about the same. I'll do MCCTs when the time comes.
Biggest issue with DIY MCCT's is getting them to seal. The expansion of heat and cold over and over requires a well engineered solution beyond a simple washer if you want to compensate for changing conditions. Personally I'd just mimic the TOC's if I made my own. I love those freaking things, just hate the price. I will likely try to make my own since I have a spare set of ACCT's, then buy the TOC's if I don't feel like I accomplished making something equally impressive.
 
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