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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

I'm new to the Kawi world and new to the forum, didn't see anything quite matching the problem I'm having so figured I'd post here.

Checked the valve clearance on my 2011 ZX-10R as I just bought the bike used, sure enough ten were reasonably out. Replaced the shims, put the cams on (0-28/29 teeth), TDC etc. Buttoned up the cam holders and upper chain guide, pulled the tensioner back so 3-4 ridges were exposed and dropped that in with the rod/spring/nut, things looked peachy.

I turned the crank over by hand (plugs are out obviously) and the cam chain skipped on me down by the crank. Intake and exhaust timing is still money but it's now 25% off TDC. I didn't push the crank any further, hoping the valves are okay. Removed everything, tried it again, still slipped when turning the crank.

Any tips on how to keep the cam chain from slipping on the lower crank sprocket? Do you need to pre-load the tensioner? Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
*to clarify, intake and exhaust timing is money in relation to the two cam positions only, while the entire timing is 25% off compared to the crank
 

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Hi madcat welcome to the forum. 2 scenarios, there both mildly insulting 🤣 fit the tensioner without spring rod and bolt then fit those as you screw in the top nut you should here a few little clicks once top nut is screwed in turn the engine over forward you should here a few more clicks as the tensioner takes up the slack that is now presented to it. number 1 you could have been turning the engine reward. The other potential issue is the spline itself did you remove that? number 2 is the spline on and is it fitted correctly. A tip is once you have lined up the exhaust cam timing marks with crank and the chain is straight use a zip tie threw the cam sprocket and over the chain then line up the inlet cam with a straight chain and zip tie that also. When you have started to turn the motor and heard the tensioner take up the slack cut the zips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi madcat welcome to the forum. 2 scenarios, there both mildly insulting 🤣 fit the tensioner without spring rod and bolt then fit those as you screw in the top nut you should here a few little clicks once top nut is screwed in turn the engine over forward you should here a few more clicks as the tensioner takes up the slack that is now presented to it. number 1 you could have been turning the engine reward. The other potential issue is the spline itself did you remove that? number 2 is the spline on and is it fitted correctly. A tip is once you have lined up the exhaust cam timing marks with crank and the chain is straight use a zip tie threw the cam sprocket and over the chain then line up the inlet cam with a straight chain and zip tie that also. When you have started to turn the motor and heard the tensioner take up the slack cut the zips.
Thanks for the response SkyDork. I torqued down the tensioner housing first then added the rod & spring, then torqued in the top nut. Yes spline is on. Didn't hear any clicks that whole time, maybe give it a light deadblow whop to jostle it? Zip ties aren't really necessary up top as its not slipping on the cams themselves, I could try that on the crank sprocket for the 1st few degrees if I can get a good hold on it.
 

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Thanks for the response SkyDork. I torqued down the tensioner housing first then added the rod & spring, then torqued in the top nut. Yes spline is on. Didn't hear any clicks that whole time, maybe give it a light deadblow whop to jostle it? Zip ties aren't really necessary up top as its not slipping on the cams themselves, I could try that on the crank sprocket for the 1st few degrees if I can get a good hold on it.
From that i think your not lining up correctly, turn crank to top dead centre number 1 & 4 pistons are at top, then pull the slack out the chain and onto the exhaust cam so the chain is straight (up against the guide) with the exhaust cam lined up on its mark which you may not re do a few times until it does then fit the inlet cam making sure there is no slack between the two cam sprockets, then holding those inplace with your fingers if your not using zip ties, screw in the tensioner spring to take up the slack at the back. It reads to me like your leaving slack on the chain between exhaust cam and crank or your allowing the exhaust cam to turn forwards when fitting the inlet cam creating slack which means the chain slips off the bottom spline.
 

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Ha! I don't think I ever hit the 'post' button. I can change michael's screen name to SD and come up with something else for myself. I don't have much to add to michael's suggestions anyway.

The tensioner should be fully reset, not just a couple notches. Then after it's installed in the motor, you can put the rod and spring back in it and tighten the bolt on the spring. That will put more force on the plunger as the spring is compressed and to force it out correctly against the guide. I've always had good luck putting some tension on the crank to put the chain slack on the back side of the chain. That tightens the front of the chain while putting the slack on the rear guide where the tensioner pushes as you put some force on it with the tensioner spring. That's without turning the crank. Michael's zip tie suggestion is another good one as always.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good stuff, I'll try pulling slack out of the chain between the exhaust --> crank sprockets tonight. Thanks Michael for the two replies and SD thank you for your likes and additional tidbits. Will update later
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Alrighty I realize I never updated - lesson learned, slack on the tensioner/intake side of the cam chain, have the exhaust side taught. Worked like a charm, feel a little silly about it but now I know. Thank you all for the help!
 
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