Rear Chain Adjust

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jhughes556
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Rear Chain Adjust

#1

Post by jhughes556 »

Going through this new bike has been a lot of fun and an eye opener. It would appear that over the past few years, not a lot of maintenance has been done and as I'm sure you all will attest, these old bikes need a lot of TLC, certainly more than their modern counterparts. In chasing what I thought was an excessive puddle of oil under the primary case drain, I found the primary chain slack was probably 2"-3" and riding on the bottom of the case. So I've adjusted that down to about 3/4" and now am tackling the final drive chain. The chain was almost dragging on the brake rod before the primary was adjusted and now is, well, really loose. So, off come the saddlebags for better access and following the "book" to make the final chain adjustments. I removed the top 1" nut and lock washer on the left side of the axle bolt and loosened the jam nuts on the adjuster bolts. This should allow me to turn the adjuster bolts equally to tighten the chain. But the left side adjuster will not turn. The right side is fine and moves easily. Does the second axle nut (1-5/16"), the one that sits next on the frame need to be loosened too? The "book" doesn't indicate that loosening this nut is part of the process. Or am I just reading it wrong? Maybe there was too much torque put on the inside axle nut when the wheel was installed last?



Bigincher
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Re: Rear Chain Adjust

#2

Post by Bigincher »

Yes, the 'second axle nut' you mention is actually the brake sleeve nut. You need to loosen it, too, to allow the brake backing plate to move also.
Also, there is usually a 'tight' spot in the chain, be sure you find it and adjust the slack to that tight spot.
It's easy to move the adjusters too far, which you'll find when you tighten the axle nut and brake sleeve nut, it usually tightens the chain just a hair. So try to 'creep up' on your final adjustment.
If you go too far, you'll have to move the wheel forward a bit and try again. I used to sit on the floor behind the motorcycle and push it with my foot.
Hope this helps.........

jhughes556
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Re: Rear Chain Adjust

#3

Post by jhughes556 »

Bigincher....Yes, thank you, that helps a lot. Being a panhead greenhorn, I just don't want to screw anything up. I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities down the road! It seemed logical that the brake sleeve nut needed to be loosened but since it wasn't in the procedure I thought best to ask. More stupid questions to follow I'm sure. Thanks again.

Bigincher
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Re: Rear Chain Adjust

#4

Post by Bigincher »

Don't sweat it. We all started somewhere.
It has been said, "The only stupid question is the one not asked."
Personally, I would rather ask a stupid question rather than f#ck something up.

Are you using the Panhead Service Manual 1948-57...?
If you have to move the rear axle a lot in order to adjust the chain, you may also have to adjust the brake pedal or linkage.
Also, if you want to use a torque wrench, use around 45-50 FT/lbs on the axle nut. Just "tight" on the brake sleeve nut.

jhughes556
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Re: Rear Chain Adjust

#5

Post by jhughes556 »

Yes, I'm using a combination of the Panhead Service Manual (a copy from the Knowledge Base). I also found and purchased from Australia on fleabay, an original Riders Manual from 1955 that has virtually the same rear chain adjustment language. I'm also perusing the threads from knowledge base for anything I do. More options are better than what I currently have for experience. Yes I agree, rather than screw the pooch, stupid q's are better than none. Nothing good or cheap can come from mistakes. It's pretty humbling being around all the knowledge you guys have.
Yes, I have disconnected the brake control rod already, knowing that with as much adjustment that was needed, the brake linkage wound also need to be adjusted.

Bigincher
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Re: Rear Chain Adjust

#6

Post by Bigincher »

You're on it....!
Common sense goes a long ways, you already know that.

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