GSX-R 750 Pictures of how I checked or replaced the timing chain tensioner on my 1985 1986 1987 Suzuki GSX-R750 motorcycle.

But first, lets pay some bills:

  1. The timing chain tensioner puts pressure on the timing chain, so it has no slack, so it will not jump a tooth on a sprocket, so the camshafts will stay timed with the crankshaft.
    If the timing chain gets loose, it rattles around in there and sounds like a bag of pennies. Hey, my old GSXR sound like a bag of pennies! isn't that just the valve train? Don't all old GSXR's sound like a stoner going to Taco Bell at 2 AM with all the change from under the couch cushions?
    Yes. But still. It could also be the timing chain.

  2. There's the timing chain tensioner, right in the middle.

  3. I loosened the large bolt in the middle to reveal the spring. The spring pushes on a rod that pushes on the timing chain guide that pushes on the timing chain to keep the timing chain tight.

  4. To check if the spring has been doing its job, I used a screwdriver to push on the inner piston. If I am able to push the piston forward, and I feel it click forward, then I know the spring is bad or the tensioner is bad.
    I push and I can't budge it.

  5. So to see if I am missing something, I take out the two hex head bolts on the sides of the tensioner, and remove the tensioner.
    Clockwise from the top, here is the allen wrench, the two hex bolts, the tensioner spring, the bolt that holds the spring, and the tensioner itself. The tensioner has a piston in the middle, and a ratcheting mechanism that lets the piston move forward to apply more pressure to the timing chain, but does not let the piston move backward, which would remove pressure from the chain.

  6. I couldn't find anything wrong with it, so I put it back together and tightened it up. The gasket was even ok, so I reused that and no leaks. I guess that rattling is just the valves. I guess a valve job is next.
    reinstall tensioner

  7. Update:
    Turns out leaking carbs flooded into the cylinder and dumped a quart of gasoline into the oil. That thinned the oil and made everything rattle as parts slammed against unlubricated parts. The good news is the tensioner was fine. Fwew, what a relief!

  8. Next I sold out to make 02ยข so I can fulfill my lifelong dream of owning a 1986 944 with blown head gaskets.

    But no minivans!

  9. Then I finished my beer.

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Last modified: 11/25/2014