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Cam Gear Timing Marks 180 Degrees Off??

Old 09-15-2015, 06:57 PM
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CCT woes: mistaken TDC stroke & stock CCT cap fallen down engine!

I just bought a 1998 hawk a couple weeks ago with about 5000 miles on the clock. It seems to run great and I've ridden it about 600 miles so far. After reading about sudden/catastrophic CCT failure, I decided not to ride anymore until I'd replaced the stock CCTs with manuals. I got around to starting this today and am now stuck and confused...

I put the bike up on a center stand, put it in 6th gear, opened the crank timing hole, and rotated the engine to the RT mark via the rear wheel. I then proceeded to carefully remove the rear CCT and install an APE manual CCT in its place. Everything went smoothly with no "clicks", so I moved onto doing the front. However, I could no longer easily rotate the engine with the rear wheel, so I got worried that maybe the timing had jumped even though I hadn't heard any clicks. So I removed the rear valve cover to see what was going on. Turns out the engine wouldn't rotate because I had the APE tensioned to much - I loosened it a bit and the engine began rotating freely again.

BUT, with the the valve cover off, I noticed that at RT, the rear cam timing marks are aligned with one another, but on the inside edges on the gears (RI an RE are upside down), and the cam lobes are touching the edges of the valves (pics attached). Judging from everything I've read, including the service manual, the rear cams seem 180 degrees off?? I need some advice before finishing this job so I don't screw anything up. Thanks!
Attached Thumbnails Cam Gear Timing Marks 180 Degrees Off??-img_1686.jpg   Cam Gear Timing Marks 180 Degrees Off??-img_1689.jpg  

Last edited by hawking; 09-17-2015 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 09-15-2015, 08:50 PM
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Doh. I was looking at the wrong stroke. The RT mark on the right stroke eluded me quite a few times before I finally saw it. Everything seems in order now.
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:38 AM
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Better to be safe than sorry.

When doing anything with the cams , timing and tensioners it's best to double check everything.

There is a lot of information about how much slack you should have with the cam chain when you fit the manual tensioners.

5-7mm up or down movement is the go with the chain between the cam gears.

Be prepared for your motor to be noisier until it warms up with manual tensioners fitted.
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:24 PM
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Hawking (Steven?), follow this tutorial. It has pictures that help immensely. I have used it on quite a few Superhawks now with zero issues.

www.vtr1000.org ? View topic - Manual Cam Chain Tensioner Installation Guide (MCCT's)
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:57 PM
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Steven Hawking? Not after missing something as obvious as exhaust vs. power stroke

Thanks for the tips and awesome tutorial guys! I was able to get both tensioners in, and will reference your shared info for setting proper chain tension.

Unfortunately, I have a bigger problem now. It may be worthy of a separate thread, but I'll mention it here. When I removed my 2nd OEM CCT (front), I noticed that it had a metal cap over the rubber bit on the end - something my rear one didn't have upon removal...hmmm. I checked the rear again, and sure enough, that metal cap had been left behind next to the cam chain! I never would have known if I hadn't done the other tensioner. I'm really lucky I didn't run the engine after doing the rear tensioner. So I got a magnetic retrieval tool and tried to get the cap out through the CCT hole. It didn't fit through easily enough and ended up falling further down...so I grabbed at it from the top, through the open cylinder cover (cap was sitting underneath the cam chain still, not visible and hard to get at) and it fell further down into the engine. There was a "kerplunk" sound on this fall, so I'm thinking maybe it went into a pool of oil (oil pan?). I've been fishing around for hours with a magnet trying to avoid taking anything off the bottom of the engine to look for it. No luck yet. This sucks. A simple job turned into a nightmare - **** these stock CCTs! If anyone has any suggestions on where to look for the cap, that'd be awesome. I'm trying to figure out where it most likely would have fallen before taking anything further apart.

Last edited by hawking; 09-16-2015 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:31 PM
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Flexible telescoping magnet through the oil drain plug?

James
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:08 PM
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James, thanks for the suggestion, but I think the cap is too big to fit through the oil drain hole. Maybe I could thread a magnet through the oil drain hole, grab the piece and push it up into the engine and grab from above? That might be a long shot...

The fallen cap is the metal piece on the tip of the stock CCT (see pic).
Attached Thumbnails Cam Gear Timing Marks 180 Degrees Off??-dsc03699.jpg  
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:26 PM
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On the front cylinder, that CCT cap physically cannot fall into the oil pan. I just went and doubly made sure of this on my spare engine. Your only course of action is to remove the cap from the front CCT hole.

I would get a flexible telescoping magnet and try reaching it from the CCT hole. Are those caps metal? For some reason I thought they were plastic. You might want to check before trying this.

Next course of action, would be a flexible inspection camera tool, a.k.a. endoscope. You can get them pretty cheap nowdays. Some come with magnets and hooks that attach to the camera.

Last edited by CruxGNZ; 09-16-2015 at 09:37 PM. Reason: Fixin' the wordage
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:06 PM
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CruxGNZ, thanks for checking on this and sorry if I was unclear, but the cap fell through my rear cylinder. Any idea where it could have gone from there? The cap is ferrous metal and can be picked up by a magnet. A camera tool is an interesting idea...
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:49 AM
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Dang, bad luck with that CCT part dude. I thought I had it bad when I lost a copper washer off the cam holder down the spark plug tunnel on my VFR.

My guess (and it is an just educated guess) is that you might get lucky if you were to remove the clutch cover; I'm pretty sure the cam chain sprocket is behind the clutch, so logically anything that drops down the camchain tunnel should wind up behind the clutch.

Maybe BigJIm while chime in; he know the VTR inside out.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:18 AM
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Cadbury64, I'm going to make a longer magnet tool and try fishing from the top for a few more hours. If that doesn't work, maybe I'll try looking behind the clutch. I'd be great if someone like BigJIm could chime in who has the knowledge to pinpoint right where the part should have fallen, or tell if it's possible it could have gone a couple different places.
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:50 PM
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I'll look at my spare engine again to see where the rear CCT could go. I'll get back to you in a few minutes and edit this post.


EDIT: The cap will fall onto the gear behind the clutch basket. If it stays there, you might be able to get it. Otherwise, it most likely fell down and plopped into the oil pan, in which case you will not get it through the oil drain bolt. Worst case scenario, order a $12 clutch cover gasket on eBay, and some new coolant, unless its new and you recycle it in a clean container. This will give you a chance to check the clutch and as well.

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Last edited by CruxGNZ; 09-17-2015 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Adding information
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:42 PM
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Thanks, CruxGNZ. Very helpful info! Assuming the CCT cap fell all the way into the oil pan, do you think there is a clear enough path from the cylinder to the oil pan for a long enough, flexible magnet tool to go? I will give this method a good last try if there's a possibility of it succeeding.
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:44 PM
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Good job Crux. Hope you get lucky Hawking.
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:23 PM
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Fishing with a magnet is the first thing I would try. Failing that, I suggest that you pull the pan and the clutch cover and find the offending piece. It's true that in most cases, if the piece has made it into the pan, that it will lay dormant until the end of time but that's not always the case. There are places where it could hide. There are violent forces at work in the engine room of the beast and if it were mine I would want to find it.

Also: be careful and do not be in a rush. Motorcycle maintenance starts with great peace of mind. You know now but I will just say it for the record, when ever you are working around the valves with the valve cover off always stuff a rag down the cam chain tunnel.

Last edited by Big_Jim59; 09-17-2015 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by hawking View Post
Thanks, CruxGNZ. Very helpful info! Assuming the CCT cap fell all the way into the oil pan, do you think there is a clear enough path from the cylinder to the oil pan for a long enough, flexible magnet tool to go?
No. It physically will not work. The flexible shaft would have to make several turns. Sorry man.

Originally Posted by Big_Jim59 View Post
Fishing with a magnet is the first thing I would try. Failing that, I suggest that you pull the pan and the clutch cover and find the offending piece. It's true that in most cases, if the piece has made it into the pan, that it will lay dormant until the end of time but that's not always the case. There are places where it could hide. There are violent forces at work in the engine room of the beast and if it were mine I would want to find it.

Also: be careful and do not be in a rush. Motorcycle maintenance starts with great peace of mind. You know now but I will just say it for the record, when ever you are working around the valves with the valve cover off always stuff a rag down the cam chain tunnel.
Big Jim knows his stuff. However, you do not need to pull the pan as well as the clutch side engine cover. Once the engine cover is removed, you have enough room to use a magnet on a flexible shaft to find the cap. I had a similar problem and was able to fish a small spring out of the oil pan with only the engine cover off.

Now, this got me thinking. What would be easier? If you were absolutely certain it fell into the oil pan, then pull the oil pan. There is no gasket to replace, just some RTV around the oil pan mating surface and no coolant to deal with. But, if the cap didn't make it down into the oil pan, and you just pulled the oil pan off, chances are you won't be able to find it up inside the engine with the oil pan off. Your best bet would be to remove the engine cover, buy a gasket, coolant and don't forget to change the oil, because some coolant makes its way into the oil pan when you remove the engine cover.

If you haven't done so yet, download a copy of the Superhawk Owners manual in the Knowledge Base here. Read it before attempting anything on your bike.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:02 PM
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Gotta pull the front header pipe to remove the pan...

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Old 09-17-2015, 08:17 PM
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Doh! Forgot about that.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:39 PM
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No luck with the magnet fishing. My hunch is that it's in the oil pan, so I'm going to take that off and hope for the best. If it's not in the pan, maybe I can get a magnet up through the open pan and grab it. If not, I'll go at the clutch cover and deal with the coolant and gasket. Will update once the pan is off.

Really appreciate everyone's help with this BTW, and glad there's such an active community of hawk riders out there! The few miles I've had on my hawk have been awesome, and I'm itching to get her back on the road. That said, I will keep Big Jim's advice in mind and not rush anything
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:46 PM
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If you use a magnet in the oil pan and can find it and bring it to the drain hole, then you at least know you can pull the pan off and get it that way...

James
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:29 PM
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Good point, James. I'll try that first.
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Old 09-18-2015, 07:06 PM
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If you try going through the oil pan first, then have a look at what the inside of the oil pan looks like. Take a look at eBay, for instance, this auction shows the inside quite well.
Honda VTR1000 F 1998 Super Hawk Oil Sump Pan Drain Bolt Lower Fairing Mounts | eBay
This way you will know how to bend the flexible magnet.

Remember to get your oil and filter.

EDIT: If you have never changed the oil on your Superhawk before, take a look at this thread. Most specifically, post #13 (post numbers are in the uper right hand corner of every post).
https://www.superhawkforum.com/forum...-change-30376/

Last edited by CruxGNZ; 09-18-2015 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Information
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:08 PM
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Pulled the pan and found the cap sitting inside! I did send a magnet through the drain plug beforehand, but didn't get a confirmation. Would have indeed been helpful to know the oil pan layout for guiding the magnet, but I felt confident enough to pull it without confirmation. I heard the oil "splash" when the cap fell in - was a very distinct sound.

I actually just changed the oil and filter before this all happened (maybe 60 miles ago), so I drained the oil into its original container for re-use and will just keep the filter on. LOL at 7moore7's comment in that oil change thread, CruxGNZ.

Well, time to clean up the mating edges of the pan, throw on some Hondabond and put everything back together. With any luck, I'll have a bike again tomorrow.
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:31 PM
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Cool! I'm pulling my pan this winter to powdercoat it... Super excited!

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Old 09-18-2015, 09:13 PM
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Awesome! Glad you found it with somewhat minimal effort.

I'm curious, since you had the valve covers off, did you follow that thread I posted and end up setting the cam chain tension at 5-7mm?
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:31 AM
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Old 09-19-2015, 02:49 PM
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Success, indeed! Bike's all back together and idling smoothly. Phew!

Now I'm just trying to get the CCTs at the right tightness before going for a ride...

CruxGNZ, I only had the rear valve cover off, so didn't set the tension via the 5-7mm measurement - I did the finger tight & back off 1/4 turn thing and am now dialing the tension in by ear. I'm being conservative so far with how far I'm backing the tensioner out to hear the chain start to rattle. Anyone know if the rattling will be obvious? I can definitely hear it on the rear cylinder, but am not sure about the front. Might it be easy to back the front out too far and not realize it? Also, I can clearly hear cam "whining" noise, on both cylinders I think. Is that a normal sound for hawks, or could it mean my tensioners are too tight?
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Old 09-19-2015, 04:17 PM
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Take your valve covers off. Set the tension at 5-7mm and be done with it. Everyones ears hear differently. Please just take the time to do it correctly. Once you set it, you are DONE!

Lets say you did it by ear and you unknowingly set the tension a little to tight. You are now wearing out parts faster than normal. Examples of our engine have gone 100+ thousand miles in stock form. Do you understand what you are doing to your engine? You are wearing out your battery, starter, cam chain guides, ect. prematurely. Understand? Spend the very small amount of time and do it correctly. How much is peace of mind worth to you?
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Old 09-19-2015, 04:43 PM
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I don't mind taking the time to do it right, but read conflicting messages about whether it's more reliable to adjust by measurement or by ear. I understand that having the tensioners too tight will cause premature engine wear, and am willing to avoid that at high cost! Unless anyone else has a good reason why the 'by ear' method is better, I'll go ahead and remove the valve covers.
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Old 09-19-2015, 04:57 PM
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From what I have read, on the VTR1000.org site, the 5-7mm measurement was figured out by using the stock CCT's and taking a measurement of the slack between the cams. If it was my engine, I would stick with the stock CCT tension.

I'm not trying to be hard on you. I just want you to do it right, and have many trouble free miles ahead of you. That's all. You have already taken the valve cover (covers?) off, so you are almost there. Just take a few more steps and be finished with it. No more worries.
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