Loose chain?!

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Loose chain?! Empty Loose chain?!

Post  ThunderTim on Sun Apr 10 2016, 17:09

Hey everyone,

I need a bit of advice regarding my chain. Every time I tension it, it always seems to loosen off to worryingly slack within about 200-300 miles! I recently replaced my sprocket coupling bearings because they were ruined, which I hoped would have fixed it but it hasn't.

I'm almost 100% certain that I'm doing all of the basics correctly, its not too complicated a process. And since struggling to get a good tension on the chain I've started tie wrapping a link to the sprocket at 6 oclock and rotating it so the tie is at about 7 oclock. I then tension the chain, torque everything back up, then snip the tie wrap. That leaves the chain tight but with 20-30mm of movement.

Anyone else had any issues with a slack chain? Amd amyone got a tip or two?

Cheers guys


Last edited by ThunderTim on Sun Apr 10 2016, 18:58; edited 1 time in total
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Post  ThunderTim on Sun Apr 10 2016, 18:52

I'm gonna add to this a rubbing that I can hear from the chain as it passes through the front sprocket housing. It's regular and has been for a while, but quiet and only occurs during one section of the chain. For a want of a better way to describe it, it feels like about an eighth of my chain doesn't meet the sprocket teeth smoothly.

I'm looking more into this, keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't lead to deeper problems. But any advice is welcome

(Posting from phone or I'd be more descriptive, lemme know if you might need more details)
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Post  ThunderTim on Sun Apr 10 2016, 19:44

We think the rubbing might be caused by a stiff chain link. It's been lubed and manipulated so it's free-er now but I'll have to see, might be time for a new chain and sprockets. Doesn't exactly diagnose the chain slackening but we'll see
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Post  Wooster on Sun Apr 10 2016, 21:41

I've never heard of that method of tensioning.

I generally whack it on the stand, rotate the wheel until I find the tightest bit of the chain (it stretches unevenly) under the swingarm, then tension it up so that there's about 10mm of play up and down.
Ideally there should be none of it slack enough to slap the bottom on the swingarm.
If you tension it on the slackest part, then the tight length of chain will likely grind against the sprockets.

You also need to check for excessive play side to side.
Can't recall off the top of my head what the limit is on this though.
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Post  The White One on Mon Apr 11 2016, 07:46

When you tighten the chain using the marks on the swingarm when it then gets loose has the rear wheel moved, i.e is it on different marks on the swingarm? If not then the chain is old and worn and is stretching so will need replacing.

If you hear a clack, clack, clack when pulling off and getting up to speed then your front sprocket will be hooked and will need replacing.

I would say you def need new chain so change the sprockets as well.
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Post  Wooster on Mon Apr 11 2016, 08:35

?
It would need to be on different marks, otherwise it wouldn't have been adjusted. Neutral

-edit- Unless it's a really bad chain and has severely stretched in one area while the tightest section has barely changed since new. Shocked
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Post  Wooster on Mon Apr 11 2016, 08:41

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Post  The White One on Mon Apr 11 2016, 09:24

I meant after its been adjusted, if it's on different marks after he takes it for a ride then the spindle nut isn't tight enough and the wheel has moved.
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Post  Wooster on Mon Apr 11 2016, 17:06

That would be a nightmare, the lock nuts would have pulled through the end plates as well.
A 1/2" torque wrench and a 24mm deep impact socket should only cost about £35.
...probably a lifesaver as well.
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Post  ThunderTim on Mon Apr 11 2016, 18:35

Thanks for your input guys.

Regarding using the tie wrap for tensioning, I haven't seen that method before either :p Because I kept having to retensino my chain I looked up methods of easily getting the right amount of slack, I spotted a "Chain Monkey" and figured there's no point spending money if I understand the basic principle; putting a small kink in the chain so you can simply tighten the chain up so it's taught, then remove the kink and it leaves perfect.

The axle doesn't seem to be moving, I did check the marks after and before and they didn't seem to change. Then axle nut is definitely torqued and the adjustment nuts are definitely tightened to each other.

There's a light popping from the front sprocket when pushing it but when we removed the cover we found that the sticky link in the chain would make a small pop when it met the teeth. A chain and sprocket change is in the pipeline. I'm imagining now that my chain is old, there is no note for the last time it was replaced by the previous owner and I haven't done it. Hopefully it fixes the issues, it should. I hadn't anticipated that the chain might stretch unevenly, that'll be it I reckon, just an old chain
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Post  yamahamad on Mon Apr 11 2016, 18:54

It sounds to me that the chain is past its best & reached what I call death stretch, whenever you adjust it within only a small mileage even only a hundred it stretches further.

Paul
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Post  Wooster on Mon Apr 11 2016, 19:15

I agree, it sounds like it's on its last legs. :/
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