Thursday, September 01, 2011

Yoshie is on the road again.......

The stronger type 530 (16,000 lbs Tensile Strength) chain from Sidewindersprockets arrived (finally!) yesterday.

I set about installing it as soon as I got home and got a verbal run-through the procedure from my Rounder friend in Texas, Ken Phenix.  I would be calling him several times during the process to "make sure" I wasn't about to bugger up this expensive new chain, his patience and sage advice are most appreciated.  Thanks Ken!

The first step was to remove the old stock chain (with a mere 8800 lbs tensile strength).  I used my brand new angle grinder (how did I get along without this tool, I don't know).  Below you can see the first rivet ground almost flush.  I picked a random link to break the chain at:

Below is the result of less than 1 minute of grinding, did I mention I love this angle grinder? 

Next, I broke out the chain breaker tool I got from HarborFreight, I had also bought a combo 
chain breaker/chain riveter from elsewhere but figured for the price, have a dedicated tool

 I positioned the tool's working end on the now rivet and just simply turned the 
hex shaped cap with a 17mm wrench, presto, the chain was apart.  

 With both chains cut, I laid them next to each other to measure chain stretch
on the stock chain (lower one in the picture above).  As you can see, it had stretched by one
link length apparently.  Each rivet is a link.  The new chain was 120 links from the supplier.
Note how much "beefier" the new chain is compared to the 525 chain.

 Next, I threaded the new chain above and below the swing arm and loosely around
the front sprocket.

 Chain threaded, it was time to remount the rear wheel with its new
sprocket (purty ain't it?), above you can see the start of the 
axle insertion.

 With the axle fully forward (I had previously retracted fully the chain tension
adjustment screws), I took the ends of the new chain and hung them on the
rear sprocket to check link counts.
I would end up cutting off the excess at link 8 from the end of the chain.

 To hold things in place while I used my spiffy grinder again, 
I used a simple zip tie as you can see above.  
I also used a sharpie pen to outline the rivet
to cut off .

Again, using the harborfreight chain breaker above, it was simple
to "cut" the new chain's excess links off.  It was a lot harder to take
the rivet off the new chain, much tougher construction I guess.

 Above you can see the chain ready to receive the master link
I made sure at this point the chain was as tight as I could get it by hand.
I also made sure it was routed onto the front sprocket!

 You have to grease the masterlink's rivets for proper lubrication
Also make sure you've the included o-rings in place before riveting!

 Took me a few minutes to line up the outside plate.  Had to use vise
grips to get the rivets to "hold" enough to allow me to position the 
chain riveting tool without the outside plate falling off the rivet ends.
As you can see above, a few turns and the chain was "whole" once again.

 The chain riveting tool has the above component to ensure when you
apply pressure you spread the top end of the rivet by "dimpling" it

Here's the masterlink, I made sure the plates were lined up
and that things still moved freely.

As the chain was complete again, I used it along with the big screwdriver blocking the rear wheel spokes, to secure the front sprocket mounting nut with a little bit of blue Loctite and a big wrench.  Torqued it down to specs and proceeded to the rest of the components.

I started re-assembling the front sprocket cover and the slave clutch cylinder back onto their locations on the tug.  Things went in too easy.  You see, I forgot to release the clutch lever which I'd bound (per the service manual) in the "engaged" position prior to initially removing the clutch slave cylinder.  This is done to prevent pressure from pushing out the clutch cylinder's piston over time.

Turns out, you don't have to bind the clutch lever, you use zip ties or a small c-clamp to keep the piston from coming out.  I know now, dammit.

Anyways.  I forgot to release the clutch lever before re-installing the slave clutch cylinder, so when I tightened things down, it caused the actuator rod to move and mis-align the clutch plates!  Aaaarrrrgggghhhh.

I didn't know what I'd done at this point of course, just that the transmission was stuck in neutral.  Bled the clutch circuit thinking perhaps air had gotten into the system, no joy.  I went online to the stromtrooper's forum and after some searching found that this was a pretty common occurrence for wrenchers who a. forget to free the clutch lever or b. insert the actuator rod at an angle.  

Fortunately, there was a posting with instructions on how to realign things.  You access the clutch plate through the oil fill hole on the right side engine cover.  Carefully, you insert a large flat screwdriver between the outer clutch basket wall and the clutch plate, engage the clutch lever which allows the screwdriver to go down a bit further, repeat until you see the clutch basket wall and clutch plate "engage".  Work the screwdriver blade free and this will allow the "self-adjusting" clutch to mate up once more.  Victory!

I took Yoshie, now with engageable gears, out for a quick test ride around the block.  Gears worked fine all the way to third gear (couldn't go faster in the neighborhood), no klunking

It was quite late 10:30 PM or so by now, so I just left things as they were in the garage and went in to get some late dinner and rest a bit before hitting the rack.

This morning, I checked and secured all related bolts and nuts.  Put away my tools and after a quick crossing of the fingers, headed out for a longer test ride.  I had her up to 85 mph for a few miles on the expressway and she did great!  

What a learning experience, I really hope this chain and sprockets hold up to the strains of sidecaring.  If not, Yoshie will continue under my care as a two-wheeled steed.

Today's Sunset, a reward for my efforts from the Motorcycling gods


Chris said...

hehe, I had problems with my clutch the first time I changed the chain on the SV too.

re: the chain break tool, just use the angle grinder and keep going. I can cut an entire chain off a bike in 45 seconds with my dremel. just go for the soft metal in between the links -- no need for the chain break tool. be lazy next time :)


Sideslip said...

Congratulations on your first chain replacement, and Go Rounders!

RichardM said...

"I had her up to 85 mph..."

Now we know why the chain keeps stretching ;-)
Good write-up.


redlegsrides said...

Chris, a moto guzzi would be tempting....and yeah, I'd been told re cutting off the old chain, but wanted the practice with the tool....first time for me and all.

Typhoon, thanks for reading this stuff.

Note: sunset photo just added

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, I have to stress test the new chain don't I? : )

The new chain did fine by the 85mph, aerodynamics cause some pulling to the right....guess 70mph will be my highway cruising speed.

Bluekat said...

Okay this, and the last post basically is over my head with all the mechanical stuff. On the other hand the stripped nut and assorted following carnage is quite familiar, very similar to the stuff I find when Ron has been let loose in the garage. :)

I think the new chain and sprocket are very pretty! In the end it sounds like Yoshi is quite happy with the new set up and purring along nicely. That's what's important.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Well your love affair with hack rigs is now free to continue unimpeded. Man, you must real love the three-wheel life. I'd be curious to see the stretch, if any, on this new chain. Please keep us posted... (Like tht wouldn't happen? :) )

Fondest regards,

redlegsrides said...

It's OK Kari, most of it is really above my head as well, I just follow instructions and guess a lot.

Jack, Love Affair? I believe my wife would describe it more as a sickness...

thanks both of you for reading this stuff.

Unknown said...

Nice work, Dom,

Not that I own a Stormtrooper, but I wouldn't have known about the clutch. This one was informative and interesting - I like all the technical nonsense most people seem to shy away from, though.

Also, that's a very nice victory picture at the end.

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life