Cam shaft and Chain install 03 "L"

I've been reading the manual on how to re-install the cam shaft and cam chain. The manual calls for a special tool "cam chain tensioner holder" for the install. I have priced this tool at a Honda dealership at $45. I was able to get everything off without it. Any tips/tricks on the best way to install the cam and cam chain back into the bike.

I've been reading the manual on how to re-install the cam shaft and cam chain. The manual calls for a special tool "cam chain tensioner holder" for the install. I have priced this tool at a Honda dealership at $45. I was able to get everything off without it. Any tips/tricks on the best way to install the cam and cam chain back into the bike.

You needed to do a cam already?

I have an XR600, and has the same cam chain tensioner system. It is a pain to get it back together. The tensioner wears out at about the same time as the valves. It's not too expensive. The chain gets loose makes all kind of noise as it slaps around and the engine runs poorly because it screws up the valve timing. I have never used the "proper" tensioner tool. I just got done with a transmission rebuild and I the only special tool that I used was a flywheel puller. Nothing more than a bolt that screws into the flywheel. The biggest problem that I have with this procedure, is the chain slips off the sprocket on the crankshaft. It's hard to get back on unless you take the right side cover off. I always take that cover off now and it's much easier that way.

First thing its to get the motor at TDC. There are two options.

First does not require taking off the side cover. This method is shown in my Clymer aftermarket manual. Compress the spring and use a piece of wire to hold it. Install the tensioner (no 6mm bolt yet) and then put the sprocket on. When done cut and remove the wire. I don't like this method. I've had better luck just using a screwdriver to push the tensioner back. The worst part is when I'm done I find that the chain is now off the sprocket at the bottom and I have to start over, :thumbsup:

The second is to have the right side cover off. Install the tensioner, but don't put the 6mm bolt to the head. Then I just push against the chain guide. The spring isn't that strong. Install the sprocket, and when everything is done, put that 6mm bolt in the tensioner.

A tip for the side cover. I don't scrape off the old gasket. I just put a bit of silicone on it and reassemble. Never had leak. Works even if the gasket splits and some is on the engine and some is on the cover.

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