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Potential cam chain problem on 1998 Trophy 900

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  • jwidholm
    Hello All, Since purchasing my 1998 Trophy 900 sight-unseen about a year ago I have been chasing an engine noise that I am certain is not the normal Triumph
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 4, 2005
      Hello All,
      Since purchasing my 1998 Trophy 900 sight-unseen about a year ago I
      have been chasing an engine noise that I am certain is not the
      normal Triumph engine sounds. It is a rhythmic knocking that
      increases with engine rpm, gets worse when the motor heats up, and
      changes based on whether I am accelerating or decelrating. Also, it
      is very "clacky" sounding just above idle. I am familiar with the
      clutch-related noise of these Triumphs and the noise I am hearing is
      not clutch-related (I also had the alternator off and everything
      looked fine with it). I recently adjusted the valves and had the
      cams out (but foolishly neglected to examine the cam chain sliders
      while the cams were out) to try to eliminate the noise (at the time
      I thought it might be excessive valve clearance). Anyway, after I
      re-assembled everything I discovered that the noise is actually
      worse than before. I actually consider this to be a good thing
      because now I can hear the noise more clearly and I am fairly
      certain I have a cam chain and/or cam chain tensioner problem. I
      have read through the previous posts on this list and several
      members have reported cam chain tensioners that failed and caused
      the cam chain to destroy the chain sliders. As I understand it,
      there was a bad batch of chain tensioners that had weak springs (is
      this correct)?

      Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew what years were affected? Is
      1998 a possible problem year? Did you have to replace everything
      cam-chain related? Any information that you are willing to provide
      would be greatly appreciated. I am trying to figure out if I am
      going to have to replace everything cam-chain related or whether I
      can get by with just replacing the tensioner (or a slider). As a
      side-note...When I had the tensioner off I measured the spring
      length and it was shorter than it should have been (by about 2-3
      millimeters).

      Thanks in advance.

      Sincerely,
      John
    • BWG3COY@aol.com
      In a message dated 04/11/2005 19:02:05 GMT Standard Time, jwidholm@yahoo.com writes: As I understand it, there was a bad batch of chain tensioners that had
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 4, 2005
        In a message dated 04/11/2005 19:02:05 GMT Standard Time, jwidholm@...
        writes:

        As I understand it,
        there was a bad batch of chain tensioners that had weak springs (is
        this correct)?



        Yes and 1998 as well

        Cofion. Regards in Welsh.
        Reidio y balchder. John Bonnewell. Secretary. _Blue Knights Wales 1_
        (http://www.bkwales1.co.uk/)


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Tom
        ... spring ... John, My 1999 BBBB had a tensioner failure, not sure if it was related to the spring. Replace the tensioner ASAP, and do not ride the machine
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 4, 2005
          --- In TriumphTrophy@yahoogroups.com, "jwidholm" <jwidholm@y...> wrote:
          >
          >> Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew what years were affected? Is
          > 1998 a possible problem year? Did you have to replace everything
          > cam-chain related? When I had the tensioner off I measured the
          spring
          > length and it was shorter than it should have been (by about 2-3
          > millimeters).
          >
          > Thanks in advance.
          >
          > Sincerely,
          > John


          John,
          My 1999 BBBB had a tensioner failure, not sure if it was related to
          the spring. Replace the tensioner ASAP, and do not ride the machine
          until you have preformed this task! I do not think it would be anything
          else.
          Tom D.
        • jwidholm
          John, Thanks for the info. I read about your troubles from earlier posts on this list and I am grateful that you replied to this message. At present, I am
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 4, 2005
            John,
            Thanks for the info. I read about your troubles from earlier posts
            on this list and I am grateful that you replied to this message. At
            present, I am just trying to gather as much info as I can. I am not
            looking forward to taking things apart (again) to see what condition
            my cam chain and sliders are in, but if it means ridding the bike of
            that annoying clacking noise, then I am willing to do it. I have
            already got a price quote for the parts (about $300 and that doesn't
            include the head gasket which will be necessary if I have to replace
            the front slider) so I just need to make sure that the cam chain is
            the problem.

            Thanks again for the input :-).

            John
            --- In TriumphTrophy@yahoogroups.com, BWG3COY@a... wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > In a message dated 04/11/2005 19:02:05 GMT Standard Time,
            jwidholm@y...
            > writes:
            >
            > As I understand it,
            > there was a bad batch of chain tensioners that had weak springs
            (is
            > this correct)?
            >
            >
            >
            > Yes and 1998 as well
            >
            > Cofion. Regards in Welsh.
            > Reidio y balchder. John Bonnewell. Secretary. _Blue Knights Wales
            1_
            > (http://www.bkwales1.co.uk/)
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • jwidholm
            Tom, Did you have to replace the sliders along with the tensioner? John ... affected? Is ... everything ... related to ... machine ... anything
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 4, 2005
              Tom,
              Did you have to replace the sliders along with the tensioner?

              John

              --- In TriumphTrophy@yahoogroups.com, "Tom" <motoworld2001@y...>
              wrote:
              >
              > --- In TriumphTrophy@yahoogroups.com, "jwidholm" <jwidholm@y...>
              wrote:
              > >
              > >> Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew what years were
              affected? Is
              > > 1998 a possible problem year? Did you have to replace
              everything
              > > cam-chain related? When I had the tensioner off I measured the
              > spring
              > > length and it was shorter than it should have been (by about 2-3
              > > millimeters).
              > >
              > > Thanks in advance.
              > >
              > > Sincerely,
              > > John
              >
              >
              > John,
              > My 1999 BBBB had a tensioner failure, not sure if it was
              related to
              > the spring. Replace the tensioner ASAP, and do not ride the
              machine
              > until you have preformed this task! I do not think it would be
              anything
              > else.
              > Tom D.
              >
            • Phil Smith
              If you are near a T dealer check with them I d also let him listen to the engine. It might be something else. We are used to hearingf our own bikes and they
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 4, 2005
                If you are near a T dealer check with them
                I'd also let him listen to the engine. It might be something else.
                We are used to hearingf our own bikes and they are all different.

                phil

                > Hello All,
                > Since purchasing my 1998 Trophy 900 sight-unseen about a year ago
                I
                > have been chasing an engine noise that I am certain is not the
                > normal Triumph engine sounds. It is a rhythmic knocking that
                > increases with engine rpm, gets worse when the motor heats up, and
                > changes based on whether I am accelerating or decelrating. Also,
                it
                > is very "clacky" sounding just above idle. I am familiar with the
                > clutch-related noise of these Triumphs and the noise I am hearing
                is
                > not clutch-related (I also had the alternator off and everything
                > looked fine with it). I recently adjusted the valves and had the
                > cams out (but foolishly neglected to examine the cam chain sliders
                > while the cams were out) to try to eliminate the noise (at the
                time
                > I thought it might be excessive valve clearance). Anyway, after I
                > re-assembled everything I discovered that the noise is actually
                > worse than before. I actually consider this to be a good thing
                > because now I can hear the noise more clearly and I am fairly
                > certain I have a cam chain and/or cam chain tensioner problem. I
                > have read through the previous posts on this list and several
                > members have reported cam chain tensioners that failed and caused
                > the cam chain to destroy the chain sliders. As I understand it,
                > there was a bad batch of chain tensioners that had weak springs
                (is
                > this correct)?
                >
                > Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew what years were affected?
                Is
                > 1998 a possible problem year? Did you have to replace everything
                > cam-chain related? Any information that you are willing to
                provide
                > would be greatly appreciated. I am trying to figure out if I am
                > going to have to replace everything cam-chain related or whether I
                > can get by with just replacing the tensioner (or a slider). As a
                > side-note...When I had the tensioner off I measured the spring
                > length and it was shorter than it should have been (by about 2-3
                > millimeters).
                >
                > Thanks in advance.
                >
                > Sincerely,
                > John
                >
              • Greg Andrews
                Hi John, Strange noises can be hard to chase down, but I like a good mystery. The rear slider can be replaced without removing the head, the front slider will
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 4, 2005
                  Hi John, Strange noises can be hard to chase down, but I like a good
                  mystery. The rear slider can be replaced without removing the head,
                  the front slider will require the head to come off. The cam chain
                  tensioner has a one-way rachet mechanicanism so its not really
                  dependent on the spring to keep it tight. How many more notches can
                  your tensioner move? How many miles do you have on the engine? The cam
                  chain on my '95 900 went 120,000 miles before being replaced.
                  Greg Andrews
                  '95&'96 900 Trophy
                • jwidholm
                  Hi Greg, My 1998 Trophy 900 has about 7k miles on it. Way too early to expect cam chain troubles. But, I had read some stories of Trophy owners who had cam
                  Message 8 of 10 , Nov 4, 2005
                    Hi Greg,
                    My 1998 Trophy 900 has about 7k miles on it. Way too early to expect
                    cam chain troubles. But, I had read some stories of Trophy owners who
                    had cam chain noise/trouble after a few thousand miles. I had the
                    tensioner off a few weeks ago and it had plenty of room left to
                    extend. It seemed to operate normally, but the spring length was a
                    few millimeters shorter than the specification listed in the Haynes
                    manual. I am wondering if there is not enough spring tension to take
                    up the necessary slack in the chain so the chain is constantly loose.
                    I guess I will never know until I open it back up again (sigh).

                    Again, thanks to everyone who has participated in this discussion. I
                    will keep you posted about what I find.

                    John


                    --- In TriumphTrophy@yahoogroups.com, "Greg Andrews"
                    <greg.andrews7@s...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi John, Strange noises can be hard to chase down, but I like a good
                    > mystery. The rear slider can be replaced without removing the head,
                    > the front slider will require the head to come off. The cam chain
                    > tensioner has a one-way rachet mechanicanism so its not really
                    > dependent on the spring to keep it tight. How many more notches can
                    > your tensioner move? How many miles do you have on the engine? The
                    cam
                    > chain on my '95 900 went 120,000 miles before being replaced.
                    > Greg Andrews
                    > '95&'96 900 Trophy
                    >
                  • Tom
                    No, they were in perfect condition! Got to love that Mobil 1!!!
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 4, 2005
                      No, they were in perfect condition! Got to love that Mobil 1!!!




                      --- In TriumphTrophy@yahoogroups.com, "jwidholm" <jwidholm@y...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Tom,
                      > Did you have to replace the sliders along with the tensioner?
                      >
                      > John

                      > > John,
                      > > My 1999 BBBB had a tensioner failure, not sure if it was
                      > related to
                      > > the spring. Replace the tensioner ASAP, and do not ride the
                      > machine
                      > > until you have preformed this task! I do not think it would be
                      > anything
                      > > else.
                      > > Tom D.
                      > >
                      >
                    • Tom
                      John As I have suggested, replace the tensioner and do a visual on the sliders. A spring that is a few mm s short is a concern regardless, be sure to check the
                      Message 10 of 10 , Nov 4, 2005
                        John
                        As I have suggested, replace the tensioner and do a visual on
                        the sliders.
                        A spring that is a few mm's short is a concern regardless, be sure
                        to check the new one before you pay for it!
                        Tom D.


                        --- In TriumphTrophy@yahoogroups.com, "jwidholm" <jwidholm@y...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi Greg,
                        > My 1998 Trophy 900 has about 7k miles on it. Way too early to
                        expect
                        > cam chain troubles. But, I had read some stories of Trophy owners
                        who
                        > had cam chain noise/trouble after a few thousand miles. I had the
                        > tensioner off a few weeks ago and it had plenty of room left to
                        > extend. It seemed to operate normally, but the spring length was
                        a
                        > few millimeters shorter than the specification listed in the
                        Haynes
                        > manual. I am wondering if there is not enough spring tension to
                        take
                        > up the necessary slack in the chain so the chain is constantly
                        loose.
                        > I guess I will never know until I open it back up again (sigh).
                        >
                        > Again, thanks to everyone who has participated in this
                        discussion. I
                        > will keep you posted about what I find.
                        >
                        > John
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In TriumphTrophy@yahoogroups.com, "Greg Andrews"
                        > <greg.andrews7@s...> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Hi John, Strange noises can be hard to chase down, but I like a
                        good
                        > > mystery. The rear slider can be replaced without removing the
                        head,
                        > > the front slider will require the head to come off. The cam
                        chain
                        > > tensioner has a one-way rachet mechanicanism so its not really
                        > > dependent on the spring to keep it tight. How many more notches
                        can
                        > > your tensioner move? How many miles do you have on the engine?
                        The
                        > cam
                        > > chain on my '95 900 went 120,000 miles before being replaced.
                        > > Greg Andrews
                        > > '95&'96 900 Trophy
                        > >
                        >
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