camchain tensioner 550GT - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-24-2010, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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camchain tensioner 550GT

Hi Everyone,

I'm new on this forum.
My question: My wife has a kawasaki 550GT 1991.
I want to check the tension of the camchain.
Does anyone know how much the tensioner has to stick out on the side, after removing the aluminium bolt where the spring is in?

Or, anyone know where i can download a repair manual of this bike?

Thanks a lot.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-24-2010, 08:17 AM
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Re: camchain tensioner 550GT

If the GT set up is anything like the Zephyr 550, the tensioner is supposed to be automatic and has just plain failed. I had that on my 1990 ZR550 Zephyr. The "new improved version was a ratchet type like that in the KLX 650 (I've had bad experience with the Kaw automatic unit in my KLX) I tried to buy a manual unit. No one made one, at least that they admitted to nor would they answer my request if they would make one. With some tips and egging on from fellow Zephyr riders I made one for mine, along with five others. That was a year and a half and about 200 tensioners ago.

From what I am learning, skip dealing with the stock unit all together and go with a manual unit. I've got 27,000 miles on one bike and 8000 miles on the 550 with them and they're less headache than the malfunctioning stock "automatic" ones.

KLX650
Zephyr 550
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-24-2010, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: camchain tensioner 550GT

Well, I've no problems with my automatic tensioner, I really just want to know how much the pin in the right site of the tensioner has to stick out min.
Only to see if my chain has to be replaced.
Thank you for your respons.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-24-2010, 10:15 AM
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Re: camchain tensioner 550GT

If the tensioner works right your chain should almost last as long as the bike itself. The HyVo chains are known for durability. They have been used in car engines for cam drives for years from Detroit. If the tensioner either fails or runs out of adjustment the manual unit is a breeze to use and about 1/3 the cost of a new manual unit or far less than the cost of replacing cam chains. I've got 27,000 on the KLX and 20,000 on the Zephyr without any need for new chains. The thing that wears the chain out is if they are run loose or the tensioner starts allowing play as one did for one member here, whom I listed in my note to you.

Here was his email to me:

Just wanted to let you know the tensioner came in today. First off, the craftsmanship is second to none. And the included gasket is a nice touch. A bit of grease kept in place during instalation.

Instalation was a breeze "I left the carbs on" and setting it up was also pretty easy. The directions you include are perfect, and easy to follow. Now, what I was expecting it to do as far as shutting up the engine, and what it actually did was far more then my expectations. I COULD NOT believe how well this thing works! I knew the chain was slapping around a bit, but what I thought was valve chatter was also the cam chain. The engine just freaking purrs now, and no noisy tapping or slapping. It's like running a brand new engine, I swear. I am simply blown away, and to be honest, should have done this when I bought the bike.

I inspected the old "auto" tensioner, and from the looks of the 2 wedges that are suppose to lock it in place, and the end of the push plunger, it's pretty obvious the thing was moving back and forth.... a lot.Thank god the cam chain didn't jump a few teeth. This old bike is my pride and joy.

I've spent a TONNE of $$$ getting the old girl to where I wanted it...next to perfect. With all the money I have spent, and this is no ****, this tensioner is hands down the best thing I've gotten for the old girl, and for next to nothing. Considering the shops here want $100 plus taxes for an APE tensioner, with NO gasket "should be called RAPE for that price" I consider $38 shipped to my door a **** steal.


I'm going to post a review over at Beartooth, but wanted to be sure you're kosher with that. I usually just buy **** and thats that. But when something so simple, cheap, and well made makes such a HUGE improvement, then I like to let people know.


Man, hat's of to ya for getting into this. Not to sound repetitive, but you make a great product that gives great results. And the peace of mind I'll get knowing I can light the old girl up again without fear of engine damage, man ya can't put a price on that.


We'll see if he does post a note. Regardless, you can look up his name and PM him to verify this.

KLX650
Zephyr 550
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