Cam Chain Tensioner problem - Kawasaki ZX-10R.net
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post #1 of 22 Old 12-25-2016, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Cam Chain Tensioner problem

So it has been 2 weeks since I turned in my bike to the dealership to get the "cam-chain tensioner" fix. 3 days ago they called me and gave me an update about it and they told me that they have installed the new parts - I waited 2 weeks to get the parts in - from Kawi, but it is still making the noise.

They told me that they are going to get in touch with a Kawi tech sometime next week to pinpoint the problem.

Has anyone had this problem with their 2016 ZX10R? Service wise......

I trust the dealership because I already bought two bikes from them and I know their service techs (well experienced) very well, but installing some new parts still hasn't fixed the problem........

Thanks!
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post #2 of 22 Old 12-25-2016, 11:18 AM
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Personally I've not had a lot of noise out of my '16 (yet) and I really wouldn't get too concerned if I did get some cam chain noise personally. I also have a '14 ZX10R and a couple of ZX6Rs. Both of my ZX6Rs would get pretty noisy and my '14 ZX10R is much worse than my '16 at the moment. But, you have to expect a certain amount of noise from a ratcheting type cam chain tensioner.

It should be the quietest right after it auto-adjusts to the next click, and that is the point when the tension should be at it's "optimal". As the guides and chain wear the tension will get lower and lower until which point it's low enough for the tensioner to click another notch. During that time the chain will get a bit noisy, and not necessarily bad mechanically, it's just annoying to the ear and it "sounds" like something is wrong when it might not be. One thing people do that is a very bad thing and shouldn't be done, is they back the bolts on the tensioner until they hear the next click and then tighten them back up. Sure, it stops the chain noise, but it also puts too much tension on the chain which at best will cause things to wear faster than they should. I put manual tensioners in my ZX6R so I could fine tune the tension. Manual tensioners are infinitely variable where the OEM ratcheting type adjusts tension in increments.

Having said that, I believe the OEM tensioner has a tendency to stick, and not adjust when it should. When that happens you should pull the tensioner completely out, clean and lube it with oil and verify it's working then reinstall according to the manual. The chain may still not be at the point where the adjuster is between clicks and still making noise, but it will be adjusted properly.

In your case, the dealer replaced the tensioner with a new one and it is still making chain noise and I would say there are 2 likely reasons for that. 1) The chain is between clicks on the tensioner and is normal noise, confirmed that both your old and new tensioner exhibit the same amount of noise or 2) the noise is completely unrelated to the cam chain tensioner and possibly unrelated to the cam chain.

It's hard to accept that some noise coming from the cam chain area is "working properly" but that certainly can be the case. Hard to say without hearing it in person.
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post #3 of 22 Old 12-26-2016, 07:15 PM
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The hell with the dealers. If it is the same tensioner as the 11-15, you can manually adjust. Pull it out and pull the plunger a click or two out. It's a one way plunger. I would say go one click at a time. If you can't install the tensioner back in, you've probably pulled it out too far. But, if the thing doesn't fully seat (1-2 mm gap), toss the bolts in and tighten them down. Did this on a bike, got rid of the noise.
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post #4 of 22 Old 12-26-2016, 07:50 PM
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My bike started making the clicking noise at about 300 miles and only got worse through 1000 miles. I self diagnosed/assumed it was the CCT based on a youtube video posted by another forum member, and all the complaints about the CCT. My dealer finally decided to replace it under warranty, and I confirmed on their parts order that the part they ordered was a different part number than the original CCT. It's the same part # that OEM parts sites now show - something like a bunch of 99999-999

12048A
TENSIONER-ASSY
12048-0096[old] 99999-0573[new]

One of the techs said the new part is actually the tensioner from their older models, I think pre-2016. My point here is maybe the dealer put in the bad tensioner, part # 12048-0096

Anyways, after the dealer replaced the tensioner, the issue is gone, and now my bike sounds like an old MAC truck ;)
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post #5 of 22 Old 12-27-2016, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJR View Post
The hell with the dealers. If it is the same tensioner as the 11-15, you can manually adjust. Pull it out and pull the plunger a click or two out. It's a one way plunger. I would say go one click at a time. If you can't install the tensioner back in, you've probably pulled it out too far. But, if the thing doesn't fully seat (1-2 mm gap), toss the bolts in and tighten them down. Did this on a bike, got rid of the noise.
It is NOT the same tensioner as the Gen 4. It can't be easily adjusted manually like the older style.

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post #6 of 22 Old 12-27-2016, 11:29 AM
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You actually can back it out like the older models to advance a click at a time. I did it with mine. Loosened one bolt then very slowly loosened the other until hearing a click, tightened it back up. That method worked but since there is the chance of over tightening the chain I decided to install an APE tensioner. Wish I had done it a lot sooner. Also folks say the tensioners rarely fail but I have seen pics of several that had failed (teeth on the plunger worn slightly allowing the plunger to go back and forth across several teeth). Install a manual tensioner and enjoy your bike. The stock tensioner is a piece of cake to put back in if you happen to need to take it in for warranty work.
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post #7 of 22 Old 12-27-2016, 11:40 AM
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Loosening until you hear a click and tightening back up may stop the noise but it puts too much tension on the chain and will cause the chain and guides to wear out more quickly. That's why there is a big bold warning in the service manual saying not to do that.
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Last edited by tdh; 12-27-2016 at 12:45 PM.
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post #8 of 22 Old 12-27-2016, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys. Bike is still under warranty so I didn't hesitate to bring it in to the dealership. The only thing that worries me is that they have installed a brand spanking new CCT and they said it is still making the noise.

They said they are going to talk to a kawi tech tomorrow and diagnose it from there. Hopefully the kawi tech knows the real answer to their question.
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post #9 of 22 Old 02-20-2017, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen-Eric View Post
My bike started making the clicking noise at about 300 miles and only got worse through 1000 miles. I self diagnosed/assumed it was the CCT based on a youtube video posted by another forum member, and all the complaints about the CCT. My dealer finally decided to replace it under warranty, and I confirmed on their parts order that the part they ordered was a different part number than the original CCT. It's the same part # that OEM parts sites now show - something like a bunch of 99999-999

12048A
TENSIONER-ASSY
12048-0096[old] 99999-0573[new]

One of the techs said the new part is actually the tensioner from their older models, I think pre-2016. My point here is maybe the dealer put in the bad tensioner, part # 12048-0096

Anyways, after the dealer replaced the tensioner, the issue is gone, and now my bike sounds like an old MAC truck ;)

after having the new CCT installed, has the problem come back?
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-26-2017, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdouglas119 View Post
after having the new CCT installed, has the problem come back?
No, issue appears to be resolved.
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