Primary-chain tensioner

Transmission, clutch, chains and belts
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58flh
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Primary-chain tensioner

#1

Post by 58flh » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:06 pm

Hello everyone, been getting hammered with rainfall bigtime here on the Eastcoast-N.J. :( Anyway I have been thinking about a primary-chain tensioner set-up! I was wondering if anybody has tried a tensioner from a serpentine-belt configuration? I recently did a charity case waterpump on a 1995 4.3L V-6 . When the light went-off! I measured the tensioner,& it would fit in the stock-primary on my rigid. Im sure I can make a back-up plate of 1/8inch steel, then mount the tensioner in the correct position. Now these tensioners have alot of spring-tension on them!. I would twist it so your not getting full force on the chain, but just enuff to keep it right. And all it takes is a 5/8 socket to loosen tension & remove chain for whatever reason. Also these tensioners are about $30.00 & were made for rubber-serpentine belts!. The only mod. I would have to work-out is the roller surface where the chain will make its home!. I was just wondering if any body tried this as I could not find it in posts. The plus side of this is you dont have to adjust the plastic-shoue that also has a tendency to wear badly--Ive replaced a few in my time half the time the shoes gone laying in pieces in the bottom of the [rimary-case!. The auto tensioner would do this on its own for a long time to come!. And they can take a severe beating with no adverse effects! Im going to mock-one up & I will post a few pics. when done. Any feedback is truly needed & appreciated!. Many Thanks in advance 8) 58flh



kitabel
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#2

Post by kitabel » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:23 pm

If it fits inside the tin primary, tensioning the bottom (slack) chain row from below:
1. a roller bearing and a small 428×2 sprocket won't fit (way too big)
2. what will it be attached to?

Panacea
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#3

Post by Panacea » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:36 pm

You would have to make the chain long enough to go over the top of the tension pulley. It would also require a solid backing plate behind the inner primary to fasten securely. What's wrong with the stock system?

58flh
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#4

Post by 58flh » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:56 pm

Panacia---Nothing wrong with the stock system!---I was just going for an improvement. You would not have to raise the shoe when needed, this will automatically be done! Like I said its just an idea for now,& I appreciate all input! :) Also you can set what the tension will be by rotating it. When the sweet-spot is found-thats where it gets bolted! Then a 5/8s socket on the tensioner & replacement of chains or clutch-work will be faster!. Hey I hate to hack-up a nice piece of history as much as the next!. But if it works its olny adding a small 1/8 steel plate to the inner primary & bolt-up the tension-unit. Just thinking & putting the idea outthere. Thanks----58flh

panhead
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#5

Post by panhead » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:07 pm

Already discussed: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=355

58flh
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#6

Post by 58flh » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:25 pm

Panhead thanks for the link!.---- I read it & it is still for the shoe set-up,& that requires going in & setting the chain tension by lossening the bolt & raising the shoe & tighten it all back-up again. What Im trying to accomplish is as the chain stretches the slack-adj. will be taken-up automatically!. Also the changing of primary-chain & working on your clutch-hub would be quicker! There would be no bolts to remove just put a 5/8s socket on the tensioner & remove the chain! No shoe to worry about or nuts & bolts, lockwashers. ,Nothing to break! I will make a drawing & post-it in the near future, I have to learn how to use that fucntion on my pc. Thanks for your input!----58flh

kitabel
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#7

Post by kitabel » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:41 pm

Still not clear on this.
If the tensioner is attached to the primary, the primary will just bent out of the way.
If the tension wheel can fit under the bottom chain row, you need a new longer chain.

Bosheff
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#8

Post by Bosheff » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:35 pm

Tensioners were available 30-35 years ago for primary belt set-ups. Obviously they did not use an idler gear. What they used is memory serves me was a water pump bearing on a slider set-up for lumium primaries. I've seen the guts for 65 and later adjuster set-ups adapted to work with tin inners. Basically a bracket was welded to the frame so one could mount the up/down adjuster to its mating piece on the frame. The inner was cut away for the adjuster to protrude into the inner. The shoe on 65 and later setup for a Big Twin is considerably smaller than any sprocket set-up would be, so it would be more practical. Also, maybe 20-25 years ago, someone marketed a spring loaded drive chain tensioner that was frame mounted to keep the slack out of the drive chain. Neither set-up ever really caught on. Many have gone to belt primaries, in which case if set-up properly initially will seldom need adjustment. Most guys with chain primaries won't spend the time or money because they want originality. Just the way I see it....bosheff

Cotten
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#9

Post by Cotten » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:50 pm

Folks,

It seems like a whole lot of hassle just to dampen a bit of vibration at the price of some power to the rear wheel.

....Cotten

Panhead Ed
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#10

Post by Panhead Ed » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:20 pm

Part of owning & riding a vintage machine is the regular maintenence and " Hands on attention " that allows you to establish that special bond with your bike . You say you would hate to hack up a piece of history ? well dont , sell the pan and get one of them twin cams , then take it in for the factory scheduled stuff and youll never have to get dirty again ..

58flh
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#11

Post by 58flh » Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:29 pm

Hey guys--58flh here----I am not trying to keep my hands clean--Im not afraid to do the maintainence required that we all have to do with these great bikes!!. As far as having to get a chain with more links--no you dont! A stock-diamond 82-link works just fine!. O.K. picture this your primary cover is off--- if you have a shoe -the tensioner will bolt in the same location!. Now for tension-- you just have to turn-it clockwise until your satisfied with the outcome & put the other bolt there/DONE!. As the miles pile-on the stretch will be taken-up automatically, also the plastic shoe will be no more----which means no more grooves cut-in from chain, never again you will have to buy another shoe-tensioner set-up!. I had my cover off & looked at this--it is doable & cheap to!. I think autozone has the one I need for $30.00 ,then a 1/8inch steel plate about 4inches by 21/2inches. The plate gets 2 bolts to mount to inner primary(I was thinking 5/16-18). The tensioner needs only one which is a 1/2inch stud--this goes into the plate & through the inner cover,bolt-up w/ a lockwasher & done!. The reason I know it will fit is ---there are different length tensioners on the market for all diff. model cages. I have found that the 1995 chevy v-6 4.3L motor serpentine-belt tensioner is of workable size!. The pully that actually puts tension on the serp.-belt is wide, to allow for wobble if a bering would wear-out!. Thats the pully I would change to a motor-sprocket pully, just looking at it by eye ,I would say its 1/2 to 5/8 inch narrower. And fitment looked plausible!. Again guys just an idea Im tooling with. Im thinking when you go on them 500 mile runs, you know as I do----primary-chain adj., rear-wheel adj. check-shifter, clutch & all bolts & Ill tell ya mine, I can get a 1/2 to a full turn out of some! This would maybe take a little stress off the clutch & help us guys who have rigids a little, You wouldnt have to move the tranny--it would be inline with engine-sprocket. Just adj. the rear-wheel. I appreciate the imput guys -keep it coming maybe im overlooking something! I never said the original set-up was no-good! Just had an idea & wanted to share with others who ride thier rigids daily as I do!. Its been my only source of transportation for 2&1/2yrs. now since the economy went down the toilet-Im sure im not the only one who got-rid of the car to save on insurance! For the last year i have been working on trucks, cars & H.D.s from my house to make ends! It has been tough, but some weeks are great/like when you get a tranny or valve-job! Enuff babble please send your thoughts on this ,The ones sent already were great & made me ponder it more! Thanks-Guys----58flh

58flh
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#12

Post by 58flh » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:08 pm

chaintensioner.jpg
hEY GUYS ,THIS IS THE TENSIONER I was talking about. The black wheel would be replaced with a motor-sprocket! As you can see it doesent take-up alot of room. The 1/8 plate would be mounted behind & through the inner cover.(5/16-18 ,2 bolts with appropriate washers. And the mounting of the tensioner is prety self-explanatory. All feedback welcome! Thank-You---58flh
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awander
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#13

Post by awander » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:02 pm

58flh:

I, as others have commented, don;t think a tin primary is going to be strong enough to mount a chain tensioner to.

Also, I am confused where you talk about mounting this unit in place of the stock tensioner. As far as I know, no 58 Pan ever came with a stock tensioner.

If you are talking about a later bike, with a cast primary case, then it might work ok.

58flh
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#14

Post by 58flh » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:39 pm

Awander I hear where your coming from!. I dont run a tensioner on mine. My motor is in a 49 wishbone rigid set-up. Many yrs. ago an opportunity arose for a 58flh motor & trans, needless to say the whole shootin match was there so I jumped on it for $1700---ahh the good ol days,& that was with spare-parts to!!!. I always had a kick-start scoot even as a kid racing the circuit my dad enter me in. My 1st street-bike was a ol-sportster(69) that me & pops rebuilt together, sadly to say that was the last bike me & pops built-he got sick-didnt last to long. Anyway I was the only kid in my high-school with a harley at 161/2yrs. old!. So Ive been kickin eversince. Never had an electric-start pushbutton bike. Not that theres anything wrong with it!. I was just pondering the idea of going on those long-run---4 to 5 day party em up times. It would save the amount of time to bring tranny back--line up cogs--then tighten-up & check it over again!. Then pull rear wheel back. As you & others have said---about the flexing in the inner primary, thats why I tried different steel,--1/16 had a tendency to flex a little---1/8 did not move whatsoever!. My ? is how big to make the backing-plate from the 1/8-steel,& with all this great feedback -the more I look at it, it would have to be probably in the area of 6"x6" & thats a bit much- it would have to nicely shaped-& notched to fit proper. Maybe a definite waste of time! I was just thinkin outloud again. Again thank-you everyone for your feedback,-- nothing wrong with doing it the way Ive always did it!!!.---- The old saying----If it aint broke ,dont fix-it!. Hope everyone has a good weekend!-cheers-58flh

awander
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Re: Primary-chain tensioner

#15

Post by awander » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:06 am

Well, speaking only for myself, I enjoy hearing about and discussing this kind of idea. Even if I don;t use it on my Pan, I will now have another way of attackimng mechanical problems.!

Thanks,

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