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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a used 2005 DL650 with ~ 78000 miles.

The previous owner's mechanic suggested to replace the cam chain/tensioner because he thought the front cylinder was noisy (Imperative to replace in ~1000 miles according to him). I asked another mechanic for a second opinion, and he was positive that the noise was not from a defective cam chain/tensioner. Rather, he suggested I ride 65-70 mph to prolong engine life and just replace the entire engine if it gives out.

I'm pretty new to motorcycles, so I can't really tell what's normal sounding and not.

I have some audio recordings of my vstrom here:https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vkjrcyhd2darcog/AADdKM9PzZzW8RT7DQu7JUxja?dl=0

Also, I checked the rear cylinder valve clearances (were within specs) and the cam chain (no excessive play).
According to a mechanic friend, the tensioner looked loose and not properly under tension. I've attached a photo of the rear cylinder/tensioner.

Joe
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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That sounds like idle hammer. It has nothing to do with the cam chain. Use the Google Custom Search box to find threads on idle hammer. It's just harmless noise but it may irritate some riders.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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If the tensioner is on its last detent, it's time to change the cam chain. That is what's worn.
 

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If you ever use a Strom to the point of needing a cam chain replaced, I would replace the tensioner also as a preventative maintenance item. Probably the chain guides also.

greywolf is correct though, from all indications the timing components on Stroms are very durable.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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This thing is not going to wear out. The cam chain and cam chain guide might and it's good to replace both at the same time.

 

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I did a valve adjust at 80K on my K7 and the cam chain adjuster was no where near the limit. After the valve adjustment the motor sounded fine but a few days later it sounded like yours when I was idling. The next day the sound was gone so I think the adjuster did its job. It hasn't made a sound since.

I couldn't tell from your picture if the adjuster was fully extended but if it is then the chain is at EOL but I am skeptical of that. I'd pull the center bolt and inspect, if not replace, the spring. It could be a weak or broken spring. Someone could have put in the wrong spring or the spring is wedged in crooked and not applying the necessary force. Also, from the top side I'd blast the ratchet and the pawl with WD40 or something similar with a strong jet of spray. There could be a chunk of gasket sealant in there hanging up the mechanism. Some people reuse valve cover gaskets when they should be replaced and use too much sealant to prevent leaks and bits can get into the motor. When you reinsert the bolt and spring, if the pawl and ratchet are working smoothly you should hear clear ziiiiiip sound as the adjuster extends past the pawl. Its a unique sound and very distinct and if the extender goes in without a sound then the pawl is not engaging the ratchet properly.

If the chain really is at EOL, you could look into a manual adjuster for SV's that might have a bit more reach but you'd just be buying time and risking a snapped chain if you push it. On the other hand, if the cam chain is at EOL the motor's days are numbered anyway so, why not?
 

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Maybe so GW. But it's a cheap part when you look at labor involved. How does it actuate? I have seen my share of spring driven CCTs fail with age. Always brought me good karma to do the CCT anytime I did a chain and guides. Even if its my labor only, I follow the mantra parts are cheap and labor is expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Jim, that looks great. Well not really, the cam chain looks done then :furious: How much longer miles until it fails?

Someone could have put in the wrong spring or the spring is wedged in crooked and not applying the necessary force. Also, from the top side I'd blast the ratchet and the pawl with WD40 or something similar with a strong jet of spray.
Good idea, I'll have to try that. I'm guessing water or compressed air will work too?

On the other hand, if the cam chain is at EOL the motor's days are numbered anyway so, why not?
I haven't heard this before. The engine just fails? Is there anything preventative that could be done or, would I just have to buy a new motor?
 

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Thanks Jim, that looks great.
Great work Jim, Let's Enhance!

Well not really, the cam chain looks done then :furious: How much longer miles until it fails?
I agree, that adjuster looks all the way out to me, that chain is done. At 80K I was seeing about half of the ratchet marks which is consistent with riders usually not having cam chain issues till 150K. I'm guessing at some point the adjuster got stuck (or wasn't installed correctly during a valve adjust) and the PO rode it and the chain ran loose for 1000's of mile thus accelerating the wear.

Good idea, I'll have to try that. I'm guessing water or compressed air will work too?
Compressed air would work if you could get the nozzle down in that hole but my idea won't help with the stretched chain.

I haven't heard this before. The engine just fails? Is there anything preventative that could be done or, would I just have to buy a new motor?
The motor's days are numbered because that chain is going to get looser and looser until it jumps a tooth (or three) and mangles your top end or just snaps. Its okay to ride like that but difficult to say how much longer it will last and it might leave you stranded.

Replacing the cam chain and guide is difficult, I don't know if you have to split the crankcase but you probably have to drop the motor and once you do that its much easier and cheaper to just replace it with a $600-$800 used ebay motor. I'd visit svrider.com and see what they say about manual chain adjusters and whether they can extend more than the auto-adjuster (or if it can be modified to do so). A manual cam chain adjuster might buy you some time while you consider your options. Option a) ride it till it dies then part it out, b) cut your losses and sell it, c) replace motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've found that a cam chain costs ~ $150, so I would like to replace that rather myself (Or ask a mechanic for an estimate for the job).

I'm not sure if I have to take out the entire motor (manual only shows disassembly when the motor is already isolated),
but this guy sure makes it look easy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkSl0ZUDnZc

Guess I'll do more research before fully committing to the project.
 

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Just a comment, I have had a cam chain tensioner fail.

Mechanic picked up that one cam chain was badly stretched, the other near new @80,000k's. At about 105,000 I started hearing this 'ting ting ting' sound when the bike was hot. Had the bike serviced and that tensioner, chain and guides replaced. The sound is VERY distinctive.
 

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Guess I'll do more research before fully committing to the project.
lol, I almost added an "option d) other" to my list in case someone thought of a different plan of attack but I never would have thought of this strategy. If you go down this path be sure to post some pics here of how you do it, I'd love to see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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It was there in some countries. For example, USA Stroms did not have oxygen sensors until the second generation but UK bikes had them in the first generation. It's about meeting emissions standards which vary from country to country.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't have plastigauge and a torque wrench yet, so I went ahead and measured the outer diameter of the camshaft journal with a micrometer.

Both were around 0.865 and service specs are 0.8645 - 0.8654.

The cam heights for the intake camshaft were 1.386, 1.395 (service limit 1.385) and for the exhaust camshaft 1.317, 1.313 (service limit 1.306).
 
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