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APE CCT Install - help!

Old 07-25-2010, 06:07 PM
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APE CCT Install - help!

Just installing the front CCT. Rear is done. Following Lazn's PDF instruction sheet (and peaking into Haynes every once in a while). So after installing the rear CCT, I removed the zip ties from the chain and rotated 450' (one full rotation and a quarter) till "F" mark was aligned. Zip tied the chain again (rear cover is removed, didn't remove the front cover). Removed the front CCT - no sounds, no skipping, all seems OK, and then (why, oh why?) for no reason went to check Haynes. In there image shows the mark as "FT". From what I see (it's hard to say, though) from Lazn's image it looks as an "F", which is what I have - the letter "F" sideways, just above the mark. No letter "T"?!?
So, the question is now: are there two different marks - "F" and "FT", or is that the same mark (just marked diferently on different bikes), pretty please?!?

Was hoping for a test ride tonight, but now don't want to move ahead untill I confirme this - don't want to break something...

TIA

Last edited by dannyz; 07-25-2010 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:33 PM
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Yes there is both an F and a FT mark there is also an F by the RT mark also. It's where the cylinder fires when the bike is running at idle.

To get to the FT mark from the F mark you need to rotate the flywheel about 10 degrees or so counter-clockwise.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:50 PM
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At this point you are close enough to where you need to be that (as long as you didn't hear anything bouncing around when you removed the old one) you can install the new tensioner, then rotate the motor until you are in the right spot. Then recheck the tension and go from there.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:42 AM
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Arg.

Ok, what would happen if someone theoretically aligned to the F and not the FT, then put everything back together? Would he (or she) have to go back in, take off the valve cover, remove the front CCT and more or less start from scratch..? What if said bike sounded fine at idle?
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:26 AM
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Well... Being that close to TDC, you should have very little tension on the chain, so unless you heard it skip, it should be all good...
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:58 AM
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Thanks guys, am going to do it now and report... wish me luck with that skipping sound
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:25 AM
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Why not make life easy and remove both covers and check your valve clearence at the same time?

That will save you the time and effort to do that separately later, and if you do the CCT's with the covers of and chain zip-tied it's a no-risk operation...

But I guess I'm not lazy enough to blow up my engine...
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:01 AM
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while I agree with Tweety, that front valve cover is a pain in the a$$ to remove while the engine is positioned how it is. I have a spare engine that will be easy to practice checking the clearances on, as soon as I read how to do it in the Haynes manual.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:04 AM
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You need to cultivate laziness. It doesn't come natural to everyone. Watch more TV and you'll get there.

Anyhow, I just finished my CCTs. I DO have an extra engine, if this one blows up. Seems ok so far. Good luck with yours Danny.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:17 AM
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So far so good... I'm sure there will be more oportunities for that to happen until everything is assembled, but so far Mr. Murphy did not show up!

Removed those zip ties, rotated engine ~10 degrees counter-clock wise (thanks Hawk!) and found and aligned that "FT" mark. No sounds whatsoever, skipping or other wise! So, both CCTs are now up. After installing it (man do I hate my fat fingers) I turned the engine 5-6 full rotations counter-clock wise (as suggested by Lazn) and everything turned OK, without any obstacles or skipping. Does this mean that I am in good shape to fire the engine?
Well, it's going to take some time before I can do that since I have to put everything back first - with said fingers @#$%^&!

Now, for "finger tight". I did rear CCT "finger tight - 1/4 turn". At "finger tight" it felt (and I could see this, since the cover is open) as if the chain is just getting a bit of tension. When I backed 1/4 turn, it seemed as if the guide is just touching the chain with little or no tension. Does this sounds about right?
For the front CCT I just tried to replicate tightness, since cover is on and I can't see the chain. I just hope this is OK, because it would be PITA if it needs adjustment after I put everything back in place. Before doing this I was imagining adjusting CCTs tension would be easy with everything in place, but now after going through the process it seems that would be impossible, at least for the front CCT, once the tank and everything is in place. Or is this strictly because of my fat fingers?!?
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:23 AM
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isn't it finger tight + 1/4 turn?

edit:
yep "(14) If you used APES, Tighten the APE ccts to “finger tight + ¼ turn” and lock them down with the
retaining nut."

hope you see this!
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:26 AM
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Ha, ha, Tweety, you may call me lazy, but I can tell you that my hands and fingers are not making anything easy around this engine. Maybe some place else this would be advantage (although I can't think of any) but is definitelly not helping in wrenching in such a confined space. I may be lazy but that was not the reason I didn't remove the front cover. You know, Mr. Murphy is my good friend, and he usually shows up whenever I do things like this. So, I decided to do this in a shortest possible way, with the least amount of bolts and nuts removed, since every bolt and nut is a chance for me to screw up something
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:28 AM
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Actually I find it very easy to remove the front cover... Just do things in the right order and it's all a ten minute operation...

BTW Crashrat, yeah... For some reason I now have 4 more or less complete VTR engines in my workshop (not counting the one in my bike)... One of them with a CCT failure, one being rebuilt with cams/pistons/the works, and two of them I bought mostly by accident when people decided to go off-roading with their VTR's... I think my VTR parts are procreating... I also have various other parts...
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Crashrat View Post
You need to cultivate laziness. It doesn't come natural to everyone.
I almost spilled my coffe over the keyboard, lol!

Originally Posted by Crashrat View Post
Good luck with yours Danny.
Thanks Crachrat. So far so good - or so I think. But there are still plenty of chances to screw up by the time everything is back in place. Will report back either way...
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:34 AM
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Heh... Ok, I can understand the reasoning...

BTW the "fingertight" is a very subjective measurement... But if you have got the covers of, the point where they just hover above the chain without thouching when in rest is about right... Should get slight, very slight tension when turned by hand... And remember, this is only the starting point for getting the engine running so you can adjust them to correct spec once warmed up...

Tension when running is a completely different matter than when turning by hand...
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
Actually I find it very easy to remove the front cover... Just do things in the right order and it's all a ten minute operation...
Tweety, right now I hope all is good, will report once engine is running - hopefully. After this, I don't want to do any more major work on the VTR before winter. Season is too short around here anyway, and I want to ride, not to wrench. If it wasn't for the fear of failure after all the stories around here, I wouldn't do this either... the engine was working just fine.

Anyway, once the riding season is over, and the bike is in the shed for the winter, I'll open both covers and give some love to my VTR, and throughout inspection and maintenance, promise
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:40 AM
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I could remove the front valve cover in 10 minutes only with divine intervention or high explosive. Tweety, if you ever feel driven to record the process on video and post it on YouTube, thousands would be grateful.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
Tension when running is a completely different matter than when turning by hand...
Tweety, are you saying than once the engine is running (I assume after tank and all the hoses/wires are in place) tension can be adjusted without taking everything apart again?
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:06 AM
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No... I'm saying if you do not adjust the tension once the bike is rideable, you will end up with a blown up engine...

How would you then adjust the tension over the engine lifetime if it required a teardown? How would you correctly tension them if there is no way of measuring the tension, or no reference point? Again, since "fingerthight" is highly subjective...

Please note that I'm making this as clear as humanly possible, no chance for mistakes! The intention is not to berate or belittle you... Just to get you thinking on your own...

I have said this on numerous threads about manual/APE CCT's... So I'll say it again...

Once you have completed the install, and have the bike running... Warm the bike up to operating temperature... Let it idle, don't f**k around with the throttle, it makes for bad things to happen... Then slowly and carefully adjust the CCT's until they are as quiet as possible... Again, going a quarter turn on the bolt and hearing metallic clanging from then stuff that isn't supposed to meet did meet is normal... Don't do that... Slow and carefull means just the literal interpretation...

The chain will now make a slight noise during engine warm up... Then once it reaches operating temp, the tolerances in the engine are at the point they will be with load on the engine/cam chain and the CCT is set to at that point "hold" the chain in place, not tighten it to the point where it creates wear, not let it slap... Then all is well...

Last edited by Tweety; 07-26-2010 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by comedo View Post
I could remove the front valve cover in 10 minutes only with divine intervention or high explosive. Tweety, if you ever feel driven to record the process on video and post it on YouTube, thousands would be grateful.
Well... Those 10 minutes assumes you have the fairings and tank/airbox and such off already to give you that access, that adds to the time... But at the point where I can easily remove the rear cover... Yeah, then the front becomes just as easy, and takes around 10 minutes or so...

All it takes is practice and the right tools... Also having the bike on a lift makes life a lot easier as you don't have to crawl around on the floor...

I'm at the point now that I could probably tear down the top end of a VTR engine half asleep... Not cuz I intentionally practiced... But because I have helped a couple of other VTR owners fix CCT aftermaths, both CCT failures, and CCT install failures... And then I have experimented on my own bike with various things...
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
... Then slowly and carefully adjust the CCT's until they are as quiet as possible...
While the engine is running?
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by dannyz View Post
While the engine is running?
Yes...
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:02 AM
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Thanks Tweety... now back to the garage. Whish me luck.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:05 AM
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Glad you got it back together..... but I am with Tweety in that I always pull the front valve cover also. It really isn't all that hard to do, even with my big hands. Plus you really do need all that stuff out of the way to check the front timing marks.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by nothing View Post
isn't it finger tight + 1/4 turn?

edit:
yep "(14) If you used APES, Tighten the APE ccts to “finger tight + ¼ turn” and lock them down with the
retaining nut."

hope you see this!
Thanks nothing, sorry didn't catch this before. I know Lazn says finger tight plus 1/4. However, Calitoz (author of the original CCT thread from the KB) and several other posters further in the same thread used finger tight minus 1/4. When I do MY finger tight, it feels (and looks, at least on the rear CCT) that the chain already gets some tension. I'm affraid this may be a bit too much, since I assumed that tensioner/guard should only be touching the chain, not pressing - Tweety confirmed this in the post above. Also, this whole "finger tight" thing is a mute point. Your finger tight may be totally different than mine, or anyone elses. So, I'll probably just take a deep breath and start the engine. Warm it up, and then adjust, like Tweety suggested.

Thaks for the warning anyways, much appreciated.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by 8541Hawk View Post
Glad you got it back together..... but I am with Tweety in that I always pull the front valve cover also. It really isn't all that hard to do, even with my big hands. Plus you really do need all that stuff out of the way to check the front timing marks.
You, guys

JK. Hawk, I know what you mean, but please understand that our mechanical competence and inclination may not be the same. I would really like to be a good mechanic, but between my fat fingers, lack of knowledge and experience, lack of space and time - it's hard... But, I try Plus, with that said, I still trust myself more than someone else. With all due respect, professional mechanics that I used so far - YMMV - did not make me wish to go back to their garage. They either wouldn't care , or - in case of my current mechanic - are too expensive for my taste... So, I am trying to draw the line between the jobs I want and CAN do myself, and jobs that are critical and will go to the shop, regardless of the price. This one - TO ME - seemed to be the borderline and I took a chance. Hopefully will be able to finish it - with the help of good people here... but am trying to minimize the number of steps where I'd be able to screw up... hope I'm explaining myself clearly.

BTW, seems that VTR will have to wait till later afternoon, or tomorrow. Work (working from home) is crazy today...
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:27 AM
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Well... The idea with "finger tight" is that if you do it without a tool you won't get it tight enough that something will blow up even though it's actually too tigh in real riding conditions... But looser than that and it's likely to cost money... So it's a "safe" baseline starting point... Again, key point... Don't go throttle happy until it's dialed in...
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
Well... The idea with "finger tight" is that if you do it without a tool you won't get it tight enough that something will blow up even though it's actually too tigh in real riding conditions... But looser than that and it's likely to cost money... So it's a "safe" baseline starting point... Again, key point... Don't go throttle happy until it's dialed in...
+1

A bit too tight as a starting point is safer than too loose and allowing the chain to deviate from it's intended use, and fingers shouldn't be strong enough to put so much pressure on it as to stretch the chain. :P
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:43 PM
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OK, I was almost done with this, but then didn't leave good enough alone...

Assembled everything late, late last night. This morning started the engine and everything worked smooth. Rear tensioner was a bit loose, about 1/2 turn - BTW, now I know how it sounds when loose - so I tightened it up, tightened the locknut and was happy that the front tensioner had no noise. Went for a test ride and everything worked fine, no chain noise whatsoever... and then it hit me: what if the front one was too tight? There was no way to establish this, other than release it untill it starts rattling, and than back it up. So, I did just that, with engine running at the working temp, I released it - why, oh why... it turned out it was perfect before I released it! And now I am having troubles - since I still have those same hands with fat fingers from the posts above - to tighten up that locknut! @#$%^&*!

So, here is a question: there is a hose that runs right in front of the (front) tensioner, I am not sure but believe it must be coming from the radiator. I am sure everyone who installed CCTs would know what I'm talking about. What would happen if I unplug that hose, tighten up my tensioner and then plug the hose back in place? Would I screw up my cooling system or something?
Or, are there any special wrencehes or something that I could do this without removing the hose?

TIA

Last edited by dannyz; 07-27-2010 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:50 PM
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You'll empty to cooling system..... So first drain the system (if the coolant is fairly fresh and you want to reuse it) into a clean container, or it can also be a good excuse to change the coolant. Remove the hose that is in the way. Tighten the lock-nut and then reinstall everything. Refill the cooling system and you're good to go.
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