Cam chain tensioner not moving in 20000 km. Is that normal? - Page 2
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Thread: Cam chain tensioner not moving in 20000 km. Is that normal?

  1. #11
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    57mm is the end of the road, that's the point the chain has stretched beyond the tensioner, and is slapping around , looking to do damage, plus of course timing marks are way out.
    my bottom line is 5 mm before that. its £30 ish for a chain, where am I going to get a replacement engine ?
    I will be interested to see what you find, is the timing chain good and you have found the secret of saving the engine .

  2. #12
    Senior Member tucandugu's Avatar
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    Agree to do not push the limits when the engine integrity is at risk. Main concern is to know if the rensioner and guide are working properly. If all is working correctly, 49mm is a quite proportional measure by the mileage, and means that still is chain there; but why the guide has not moved in the last 20000 km?, that´s the question to solve. I think that when new, the chain elongates quite fast until adapting with the working parts, but after this change, remains quite a long time without significative variations. So, before openning the cam cover I will take out the tensioner and check if the guide has a free play by pushing upon it. If yes, that will indicate all is right and I can be enaugh relaxed to be proud of how I save my engine.
    Will post what I find.
    Benelli TNT 1130 Sport EVO 2008 - Benelli 750 Sei 1977 - Moto Guzzi 65cc 1957 - Vespa Primavera 125 1977

  3. #13
    Senior Member Engenia's Avatar
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    I think that when new, the chain elongates quite fast until adapting with the working parts, but after this change, remains quite a long time without significative variations. So, before opening the cam cover I will take out the tensioner and check if the guide has a free play by pushing upon it. If yes, that will indicate all is right
    The Tornado generally moves 2 - 3 mm on the first 6000, then 1 - 2 mm after that, so you think right. I can only remember it not moving once, and then I put it down to a bad measurement the service before, or it could have advanced just prior that earlier service, and was set to move shortly after that service. It has NEVER not moved in 12,000 km.
    My advice it to take the cam cover off. If you simply remove the tensioner :-

    1. you will learn next to nothing because you won't be able to observe the chain in it's current state, &
    2. you open your self up to the chain slipping because it has no tension. I've done it, but I hardly breathed while I did it. I didn't enjoy it!
    hooroo, Errol www.engenia.com.au [136,351 km - and counting .....]

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  5. #14
    Senior Member tucandugu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engenia View Post
    The Tornado generally moves 2 - 3 mm on the first 6000, then 1 - 2 mm after that, so you think right. I can only remember it not moving once, and then I put it down to a bad measurement the service before, or it could have advanced just prior that earlier service, and was set to move shortly after that service. It has NEVER not moved in 12,000 km.
    My advice it to take the cam cover off. If you simply remove the tensioner :-

    1. you will learn next to nothing because you won't be able to observe the chain in it's current state, &
    2. you open your self up to the chain slipping because it has no tension. I've done it, but I hardly breathed while I did it. I didn't enjoy it!
    Thanks, Errol. Good to comfirm that. If in your 900 Tornado the tensioner has not moved in 12000 km, then, doesn´t seems too wild that mine haven´t moved in 19000. I have checked the tensioner and it works perfect. The spring has enough power to displace widely the plunger until the limit of 73 mm. Also I pressed with my finger the guide. Contrary to yours, my experience was pleasant, ha, ha ... It had a smooth and free movement until making contact with the chain. I noticed clearly when the tensioner was touching the chain, not having further displacement once in contact.
    Agree to open the cam cover. I will do soon. But I think that all indicates the chain is about a 55-60% of its life expectance. However, that should not be extraordinary in a well cared bike.
    Cheers
    Carles.
    Benelli TNT 1130 Sport EVO 2008 - Benelli 750 Sei 1977 - Moto Guzzi 65cc 1957 - Vespa Primavera 125 1977

  6. #15
    Senior Member Engenia's Avatar
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    Errol Kowald
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    If in your 900 Tornado the tensioner has not moved in 12000 km
    You mis-read me. My words were "NEVER not moved" I should have written "has ALWAYS moved".
    If Nell went for 12,000 km without the tensioner moving I would be shitting myself!
    I have an engine in my garage that had broken it's cam chain, and it did it in 10000 km.
    freeatlast likes this.
    hooroo, Errol www.engenia.com.au [136,351 km - and counting .....]

  7. #16
    Senior Member ManiacMotors's Avatar
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    hi

    well the discussion is interesting, in my experiance the chain is stressed by the kind of driving, we hade tre chains at 25t km that where totally at the end and we hade chains from tnt at 40 Tkm not half so bad but in the next case we had chains from TnT R at 30T km complete worn..... but in the end latest at 40000 Km the camchain has to be replaced by a new one, and in my experiance you should act so.
    we hade some ripped chains in the past and that demage is much more expensiv than a big service with replacing the chain ;-)

    ciao Alex
    tucandugu likes this.
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  8. #17
    Senior Member tucandugu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManiacMotors View Post
    hi

    well the discussion is interesting, in my experiance the chain is stressed by the kind of driving, we hade tre chains at 25t km that where totally at the end and we hade chains from tnt at 40 Tkm not half so bad but in the next case we had chains from TnT R at 30T km complete worn..... but in the end latest at 40000 Km the camchain has to be replaced by a new one, and in my experiance you should act so.
    we hade some ripped chains in the past and that demage is much more expensiv than a big service with replacing the chain ;-)

    ciao Alex
    Interesting info. Alex, thanks!. Good to comfirm that the way how is treated the engine is the main reason of the durability of these parts, even being quite logical, you can demonstrate in real facts. In the same way, I supose that the Tornado engines like the TNT 160 R have a shorter cam chain live expectance due to the higher regimes they are working. Although I have decided replace soon the cam chain as prevention, I´am sure is one like you mention, at half of its life, as the tensioner shows. Also I can see a clean, not notched chain when taking out the clutch cover, with no play within the crankshaft sprocket. And also I supose that a loose and worn cam chain must be detectable by an extra noise in the right side of the engine, at least compared with other TNT.
    Cheers!.
    Carles.

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    Benelli TNT 1130 Sport EVO 2008 - Benelli 750 Sei 1977 - Moto Guzzi 65cc 1957 - Vespa Primavera 125 1977

  9. #18
    Junior Member haydn's Avatar
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    Just to add my 5p worth i haven't got my Tre yet but if its got an auto tensioner ill change it for a manual one, i bought one of the very first Triumph 675's and found the cam getting noisy i can only describe it as a loud whizzing noise when revving, turns out when the engine got excessively hot as i raced it at club meetings the metal would shrink and expand the tensioner would take up the slack but when the metal expanded again the tension was way too tight, i knew this could lead to the chain snapping or jumping a tooth so i changed it for a manual adjuster, fixed the problem
    2004 GSX1400, 2008 Aprillia Tuono Factory V2, Nearly a 2006 Tornado Tre

  10. #19
    Senior Member Engenia's Avatar
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    Errol Kowald
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    manual tensioner

    People have talked about a manual tensioner but none have actually done it as far as I know.

    I would love to know how you would set the tension. You certainly won't hear the noise of the chain over the cacophony. This is no Gixxer or Triumph. Benelli made no attempt to silence it .....
    You might use a torque wrench, but what torque setting?
    I guess you would have to reverse engineer the auto tensioner then consider the advantage a thread gives you, when lubricated. An interesting problem.

    Apparently an auto tensioner HAS failed, but that is just anecdotal.
    My understanding is that the chains that have failed or skipped teeth have done so because the tensioner wasn't ABLE to do it's job. The guide was blocked.
    That's certainly what happened to the engine I have here that broke its chain (not mine when it happened). Its guide was bent, I assume due to internal stress relief. No amount of manual adjustment would have made any difference. Without eyeballing it you wouldn't know.
    The earlier guides were machined from a billet. The current ones are molded.

    The service manual states that the cam chain must be checked at every service, but doesn't state how to check it.
    The way I do it, and recommend, is to measure the tensioner depth from new (after turning it over by hand and then running for a couple of minutes), and again at 500 - 1000 km, then at each service.
    Expect the depth to advance 1 mm in the first 1000, then another mm every service.
    If it moves more than 2 you may have a problem - maybe poor lubrication (that happened to me more than 10 years ago)
    There IS a limit to how far it can move.
    If it doesn't move at each service, get worried.
    Expect that, on a Tornado, with it's massive valve springs, the chain will have elongated by 0.5% by 25,000 km, but the tensioner may not move much post 20,000 km.

    The TNT 1130's have much weaker springs, and their cam chains last to 40,000 as a consequence.
    Not sure about the R160 or the 1130 Tornado. It depends on their rev limit. The higher it is, the heavier the valve springs must be, and with it the wear.

    Here's the measurements I've taken on Nell for the last 3 chains. The second in the list had me concerned, but at 109,000 I had the head off to fix a sticking valve and re-used the chain. It hadn't quite reached its max depth by the time I removed it

    Date Odometer (km) Total (km) interval Depth (mm) Δ mm Δ/5000 mm
    max. 57.50
    04Oct09 63,578 0 46.70
    22Feb10 67,130 3,552 3,552 47.60 0.90 1.27
    12Feb11 79,022 15,444 11,892 51.50 3.90 1.64
    10Sep11 83,980 20,402 4,958 52.45 0.95 0.96
    09Feb12 89,245 25,667 5,265 53.40 0.95 0.90
    09Feb12 89,245 0 45.00
    10Nov12 93,758 4,513 4,513 48.60 3.60 3.99
    15Feb15 104,585 15,340 10,827 51.77 3.17 1.46
    11Mar15 109,612 20,367 5,027 54.10 2.33 2.32
    16Nov15 109,612 20,367 0 53.80 -0.30
    14May16 112,978 23,733 3,366 57.00 3.20 4.75
    14May16 112,978 0 0 46.00
    19Feb17 114,679 1,701 1,701 46.80 0.80 0.80
    31May17 120,424 7,446 5,745 47.80 1.00 1.80
    09Nov17 125,106 12,128 4,682 48.70 0.90 2.70
    17Oct18 130,304 17,326 5,198 48.90 0.20 2.90
    hooroo, Errol www.engenia.com.au [136,351 km - and counting .....]

  11. #20
    Member Mcivor047's Avatar
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    Cam Chain Repacement on 1130TnT

    I replaced the cam chain and guide on my 2006 TnT at 40,000klms (4000ks ago) and used your instructions from your website Errol. Great website and much appreciated. I compared the old chain with the new one i was putting in and it was miniscule the length difference over 10 links there was nothing in it. I felt needn't have bothered bar the peace of mind it brings.

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