Chain guidance

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by iamcanjim, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. iamcanjim

    iamcanjim Face drop

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    756
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    Cape Breton, NS
    Bought a new chain for my 1988 Suzuki GSX1100F. The PO put a 530 kit on it to change it from a 535. I checked the sprockets and they were fine, for I used a chain breaker to trim the new chain and used the master link to fasten the new chain on. I did not get an O ring chain, because it's an old bike and I am cheap.

    I have put about 500 km on the new chain. Yesterday, the chain broke at low speed at the master link.

    The chain was a bit too hot to touch sitting on the ground.

    I had forgotten to put one bolt back in the plastic chain guard and it was rubbing the chain.

    What happened?

    Bad Chain?

    Friction from the plastic rubbing heated the chain causing a failure?

    Improper installation of the master link? I have never done that before, but followed the instructions precisely.

    I had the rear tire changed the day before the failure. Did the shop somehow screw something up?

    Is it safe to put a new chain on?
    #1
  2. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    What kind of master link was it? Clip or rivet? I wonder why the PO purposely decreased chain size (and strength) on an 1100cc bike?
    #2
  3. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    which model chain did you use? if its not a oring it might have a very low tensil strength and got hot and broke from the power of the 1100.
    #3
  4. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    A high-quality 530 o-ring chain will have no problem handling the power of that bike. The mighty Hayabusa comes with a 530 chain. Converting older bikes to 530 is very common simply because 530 chain is so much easier to find nowadays.

    A low-quality and/or non-o-ring chain won't last long on a moped, let alone a powerful streetbike. Plus, you installed the new chain on old sprockets, which is a sure recipe for fast wear, and you may have also installed the master link incorrectly.

    That bike originally came with an o-ring chain (532 or 630, I think), so I'm not sure I follow your reasoning in installing a non o-ring chain.

    In sum: you got very lucky because cheaping out didn't kill or injure you. A broken chain can also destroy the engine cases and create all sorts of havoc.

    Park the bike until you can spend the money to replace the sprockets and chain with high-quality items.

    An excellent source with great prices and the expertise to source the correct parts for vintage bikes is Z1 Enterprises -- they ship worldwide. You will need to email or call them, since they can't list every conversion application and gearing option on their web site.

    http://z1enterprises.com


    And before you ask, the cheap Chinese o-ring chains on eBay are complete garbage.
    #4
  5. dmn0507

    dmn0507 Been here awhile

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    +1 on checking chain specs, 530 is good enough unless is really a cheapo chain.

    well, most probably the chain was way too tight after they put the wheel back, it's a very common issue with many shops, hence the overheating. --> if the chain broke due to excessive tension i wouldn't trust it anymore

    Perhaps the master link failure was just a coincidence, if the plate broke it's not because of bad assembly.

    PS: an o-ring chain probably is cheaper in the long run, unless u dont ride a lot.
    #5
  6. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

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    I'd bet the tension was too tight, along with the worn sprockets as the cause for the failure.


    the bike may be old, but it can STILL bust a chain, it seems . . . .perhaps you should be less cheap ;-}


    btw, the plastic rubbing on the chain had nothing to do with it.
    #6
  7. iamcanjim

    iamcanjim Face drop

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    Sprockets are fine. Really, they are. No really sign of wear. I should take pics and post them. I will when I get the front sprocket cover off.

    Sounds like cheap chain and powerful bike = bad combination.

    The clutch is soft now, so I may have destroyed the clutch slave cylinder.

    And it was a clip.

    Sorry, it was a 532 originally. PO changed it to get cheaper chains.
    #7
  8. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    The direction of the clip is the most important instruction to follow.

    [​IMG]

    If installed in the opposite direction, that loose chain-guard could have helped the clip getting loose and fall.
    Once the external plate leaves the premises right after the clip, the master link will fail.

    As others have mentioned, the chain could have been over-tensioned due to insufficient slack and/or misalignment of the rear sprocket respect to the front one.

    Always quality control any work done to your bike, especially related to the chain and tires. :1drink
    #8
  9. iamcanjim

    iamcanjim Face drop

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    Front Sprocket

    [​IMG]
    Rear Sprocket

    [​IMG]

    Inside of front sprocket cover. Destroyed one bolt and the link from the hydraulic clutch to the gearbox. Nicked the engine too, but nothing serious.

    [​IMG]

    Looks like I will need a never front sprocket cover and a new clutch link between slave and clutch. Plus a new chain.
    #9
  10. iamcanjim

    iamcanjim Face drop

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    Ok, I installed the master clip right. That's good.
    #10
  11. iamcanjim

    iamcanjim Face drop

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    Sorry about the size of the pics. I will fix them in a bit.
    #11
  12. Elkster88

    Elkster88 Adventurer

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    Don't use clip style master links! :eek1

    You can buy an inexpensive chain breaking tool (for mushrooming the rivet style link pins) at Harbor Freight for cheap. Press the sideplate on using Vise-Grips or a C-clamp and a couple of sockets over the pins if you don't have a chain press.

    You say the sprockets aren't worn, but how can that be if the previous chain (before you put on the cheap non-o-ring chain) needed to be replaced? I'd replace the sprockets to keep my new high quality chain from wearing out prematurely.
    #12
  13. iamcanjim

    iamcanjim Face drop

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    Take a look at the pics. Are they worn out? If so, I probably need to relearn what constitutes worn out. I understood if you use steel sprockets its 1:2 sprocket:chain changes.

    Another problem is with the 530 conversion kit it's tough to find new ones.

    I will keep that in mind though.
    #13
  14. iamcanjim

    iamcanjim Face drop

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    The chain was a DID. It was $112 CDN.
    #14
  15. dnrobertson

    dnrobertson Big Bike, Slow Rider

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    I have never understood the problem with clip style master links.

    I would have ridden 100,000 kms in my life (40+ years of riding) on dirt, sand, mud, gravel and bitumen and NEVER had a failure with a master link (or a broken chain).

    But then I don't buy cheap shit chains either.

    As an aside, how do you know if you have mushroomed a rivet style correctly?
    #15
  16. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    Yes. They are worn out. The front is very worn.
    #16
  17. iamcanjim

    iamcanjim Face drop

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    Ok. I guess I thought they had to be shark toothed to be worn. Thanks. I will definitely get new ones.
    #17
  18. mbrick

    mbrick Been here awhile

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    Do you have a photo of the broken chain? In the break area.

    You should take a look at the DID chain chart, and look at the tensile strength of many sizes before starting the replies with a comment like that.
    #18
  19. dnrobertson

    dnrobertson Big Bike, Slow Rider

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    Are you sure the clip of the master link was fitting properly in the grooves of the pins?
    #19
  20. iamcanjim

    iamcanjim Face drop

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    Oddometer:
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    I will have to try again tomorrow. My cell takes crummy pics at night.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the chain I used. Man did I ever overpay. Stupid dealers.

    [​IMG]

    Tensile strength is 6930 lbs. Is that enough?
    #20