DRZ Manual Cam Chain Tensioner

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Mercury264, May 14, 2007.

  1. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

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    1. How do you adjust it ?

    2. How often do you adjust it ?

    I installed one a while ago and I have been hearing funny noises from the engine ever since - probably just me, so I am curious as to how best to actually adjust it and how often do you do it.

    Cheers....
    #1
  2. ThumperDRZ

    ThumperDRZ Bouncing off Rocks!

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    Unloosen - back out until you hear a sound that sounds like rocks being shaken in a soda can. . Then turn in until the noise just goes away. If you do it a few times you'll hear it. Tighten up and go ride. I check mine every 1000 or so miles.

    BTW - the DRZ engine is inherently noisy.
    #2
  3. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

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    Thanks :thumb

    Am I to assume that the adjustment is done with the engine running ?

    Just want to make sure as the instrucitons that came with the tensioner said to turn the engine over by hand.
    #3
  4. WoodButcher

    WoodButcher Long timer

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    When you first install it, adjust it by hand so it isn't so loose as to allow the chain to jump teeth. ie. follow the instructions. then it is safe to start and adjust it as described above. If your bike is new you will want to check the adjustment a little more often because the cam chain is more likely to stretch. Once it settles down you will find that you are seldom changing anything when you check it.

    I haven't checked mine in a couple of tire changes, so I better go do it.
    #4
  5. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

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    Thanks Rusty :thumb

    I get it now - I did install it as per the book (i.e. engine off, turning the engine by hand) and I can see why now.

    It's a 2K E model so it's no spring chicken. I'll be sure to adjust it before the next ride. I was getting a little concerned since while just cruising on the road, I could hear what appeared to be the chain slapping (for want of a better explanation). I'll adjust it and try again.

    Cheers....
    #5
  6. ChrisCrossed

    ChrisCrossed Now sans KLX...

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    I installed mine at approx 5000km and adjusted it by hand as the instructions state. The bike has now done probably 10,000km and I haven't had to adjust it since. The soda can method will be the one I use when I feel the need.

    I guess you're certain the noise is camchain. With the drive chain going through the guides and especially if the front sprocket is exposed there is a lot of ancilliary chain thrashing going on down there.

    I also heard a worrying tinny rattle from the camchain side a while back. It was the exhaust heat shield rattling because of perished mount rubbers. They are mechanically noisy bikes for sure.

    Chris
    #6
  7. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

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    Soda can method :ear

    At this point I am really not sure what the noise is. It does seem to only be there when just cruising - it's not there when hard on the throttle or on the over-run and it just sounds like a chain flapping - maybe it's the drive chain as you say.

    If you think the DRZ is a noisy engine....you should try listening to my Speed Triple. Get a bag of nuts and bolts and throw 'em in an old coffee can. Shake vigorously. That's the sound my S3 makes - and they all genuinely make that noise :D
    #7
  8. adaycj

    adaycj Been here awhile

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    This may not be a popular view, so take it with a grain of salt. I found a few reported cases of pre-2003 DRZ400 cam chain and adjuster failure. Some included pictures and descriptions that sounded like real adjuster and chain failure. I have not found a case of a 2003 or later failure. Why? Maybe not enough miles yet, but the adjuster was updated in 2003 or thereabouts. Currently if you order a new one you get the updated part number.

    My suspicion is that the problems are all taken care of with the new "automatic" adjuster. For people like me that are not that great at "by the way it sounds" tuning of a sensitive internal engine part, this may be the best solution. I ordered and installed a post 2003 tensioner on my 2001 DRZ.

    I have an inherent "pop can noise" in my head along with a high pitched squeal and some other yelling :jump , so this plan saves me much trouble.
    #8
  9. RubberDown

    RubberDown Long timer

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    maybe not.....the newer ACCT from '03 and beyond will prematurely stretch the cam chain. This is why many people call it the automatic cam chain stretcher ACCS. The MCCT is simple to adjust and requires very little in the way of adjustments. :1drink
    #9
  10. adaycj

    adaycj Been here awhile

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    Can you please provide links, or other data to support the ACCS theory? I'm not challenging you, but I own one of these things and love to research this stuff. A search at TT and Google did not reveal any immediate data.
    #10
  11. ThumperDRZ

    ThumperDRZ Bouncing off Rocks!

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    I have not read of any failures with the post 03 design on TT.
    If you start a thread and ask on TT - you might get your answer but this newer design "seems" to be doing its job. I still installed the MCCT though.
    #11
  12. adaycj

    adaycj Been here awhile

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    I agree ThumperDRZ, I have not read of any either. I do know that my DRZ sounded quieter with the 2003 and newer tensioner. I don't like things that are "by ear". Maybe I'm deaf but I can imagine getting it way off. My experience in a great many engine applications is that a normally operating cam chain setup does make some noise. Only a little noise, but still some noise. I can also imagine that tightening the chain more could quiet it more, even though it is too tight. This spells trouble to me because a younger person with good hearing will achieve a different setting than a half deaf "older guy" like me.

    As a somewhat funny side note. I have a commercial van, and employees that drive it. One day I drive the van with an employee (usual driver) as passenger. The spark knock is so bad I'm sure it will destroy the engine. It sounds like a turbo engine with a weak fuel pump. I ask him "how long has it been making that awful noise?" His response "What noise?". He has high frequency hearing loss, and its out of his range of hearing. To him nothing is wrong ... :huh
    #12