How do I tension the cam chain on a 1990 Kawasaki ZR550? - Page 2 - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 04:51 AM
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How do I tension the cam chain on a 1990 Kawasaki ZR550?

The partzilla catalogue shows that youíve a stock automatic tensioner.

Unless the cam chain is worn beyond its limit then thereís nothing for you to do.

As said above, they all sound a bit rattly as they have both cam drive and primary drive chains.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Hugojose/davidr1963: Thanks for your great input. It really helps.
I do intend to check the valve clearances. Is there a way to also evaluate the cam chain for ware and tightness while I have the top covers off?

Last edited by AZFIREBALL; 08-20-2019 at 06:34 PM.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 08:25 PM
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I believe the Kawasaki service manual would say 20-links should be between 127 and 127.4 mm. Service limit at 128 mm. Again, I have the 750, and the 550 is very similar, but unless something was abused real bad, even at 64k km, I would not worry too much about. this is to say, unless the cam chain tensioner runs out of play, there should not be any problem....

…...remember this, cars have the engine way out there in front, and most of them (OHC or DOHC) have rubber belts, not chain, thus sound very quiet. This is an DOHC air cooled engine between your legs with a metal cam chain...….actually three, with the primary drive, and final drive.

…..checking valve clearances, or worse, adjusting clearance, have some tricks. This is a shims under bucket design, and it takes removal of cam shafts to adjust....if you get into that, ask for tips. In those days Kawi asked for valve clearance check every 6K miles (8K km), very exaggerate, but still after all those km, I'd rather check.

Last edited by Hugojose; 08-20-2019 at 08:32 PM.
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