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firechicken93

KLR250 with loose cam chain...need help!

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 I just purchased a 96 KLR250 with what i suspected was valve chatter. When I removed the valve cover I found the cam chain to be pretty loose and the tensioner maxed out. The bike only has 9,xxx miles so I wouldn't think the chain would be maxed out already. The bike runs and doesn't smoke at all or show other signs of being run low on oil. Is it more likely that a guide is the problem? Additionally, as i rotate the motor the chain seems to be tight in some places and loose in others, is this normal? Has anyone else had similar issues from these bikes?

 

please help, I over payed for the bike and want to figure out how badly I screwed up. 

 

thanks,

 

-Calvin

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Calvin,

I don't know if the KLR250 uses the same cam chain tensioner as the KLX 250 but that is a known failure part on the KLX. Even if the stock tensioner has maxed its travel, a manual cam chain tensioner may have more travel and be your solution.  If you Google Kreiger Cam Chain Tensioner, his site may tell you if your motor will accept the tensioner he makes for the KLX, or if he make a tensioner for your KLR250.  Kreiger is a nice guy and has a real cost-effective product that works!

Oh, the loose-then-tight thing is just a product of force of the valve springs pushing against the lobes when the cam comes up on, or just passes max lift.

 

Good luck and don't be discouraged, if you stick with it and get the bike all working well, you will know more about it that someone who did not have to troubleshoot a few issues.  Plus, once it is working right and you are enjoying the ride, you won't think so much about what you paid for it!

 

God Bless, 

TC

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Hi, 

 

You probably fixed your bike by now, but my brother has a 1986 KLR 250. We broke the engine down over the winter with suspicions of the counter balancer being loose. It turns out that the cam chain was worn out. Replaced it and now it runs like a top. We also broke a 1987 kawasaki mojave 250 engine apart over the winter. The whole top end from the mojave and the KLR are interchangeable. Anyway, we found the quad to have stiff spots in the cam chain. I'm not sure if what I threw out there is even relevant, but I figured that I would do it anyway.

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Calvin,

I don't know if the KLR250 uses the same cam chain tensioner as the KLX 250 but that is a known failure part on the KLX. Even if the stock tensioner has maxed its travel, a manual cam chain tensioner may have more travel and be your solution.  If you Google Kreiger Cam Chain Tensioner, his site may tell you if your motor will accept the tensioner he makes for the KLX, or if he make a tensioner for your KLR250.  Kreiger is a nice guy and has a real cost-effective product that works!

 

 

I think the whole manual cam chain tensioner is hocus pocus. It's a wear item like anything else.  The manual ones if you don't follow the directions perfectly you could cause more damage by over tightening.  My sons bike was making some chain noise.  I replaced the valves because they needed it.  The cam chain and put an OEM tensioner on.  The chain was out of spec according to the manual and the tensioner maxed out.  I probably could have tightened up a manual one to eliminate the noise however, it would have caused more damage. 

 

I have yet to have someone who has shown me a KLX300 tensioner failure.  (Not saying they aren't out there, but I have yet to see one)  It's not as common as you might think.  Plus the first one lasted 19 years, and quite frankly I didn't see anything wrong with it, but I put a new one in with a new chain just in case.  It was still functioning as it should.

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I think the whole manual cam chain tensioner is hocus pocus. It's a wear item like anything else.  The manual ones if you don't follow the directions perfectly you could cause more damage by over tightening.  My sons bike was making some chain noise.  I replaced the valves because they needed it.  The cam chain and put an OEM tensioner on.  The chain was out of spec according to the manual and the tensioner maxed out.  I probably could have tightened up a manual one to eliminate the noise however, it would have caused more damage. 

 

I have yet to have someone who has shown me a KLX300 tensioner failure.  (Not saying they aren't out there, but I have yet to see one)  It's not as common as you might think.  Plus the first one lasted 19 years, and quite frankly I didn't see anything wrong with it, but I put a new one in with a new chain just in case.  It was still functioning as it should.

 

OK, the info may still be useful to the OP.

 

TC

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It ended up being a malfunctioning cam chain tensioner and a misplaced front guide. The tensioner looked and opperated fine but when i took it apart I found that it was only extending about 60% of the way out then stopping. The loose cam chain somehow popped the front guide loose. I bought a new chain, guide, and tensioner and installed it all in about a day. The front guide is a pain in the ass and you have to remove the cam chain and balancer chain before replacing it. The good news is that you can leave the head on the bike. I just lubed up the new guide and used a lot of force to pop in back into place. The old chain was barely worn and probably could have been reused, but since i had just bought a new K&L chain i used that. I used a manual tensioner and I am satisfied with it. The balancer chain assembly wasn't bed. If you do this job for the first time like i did, just make sure you mark everything and take some before pictures to aid in your reassembly, this helped me a lot. The bike runs well now, so well that now i can feel the clutch slipping. Such is the way, next job, clutch replacement. But slowly I am turning this pile back into a reliable bike. 

 

Balancere chain tip*** the balancer chain is not adjustable and mine was pretty loose, however, the 2 bolt holes for the lower balancer chain guide are at least twice as large as the 8mm bolts that attach it. This gives you plenty of wiggle room to push the guide up into the chain as you tighten the guide, removing a little slack from the chain. It sounds confusing but if you are looking at the balancer chain assembly it all becomes obvious.

 

-Cheers. 

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Hi, sorry to revive this post. anyone have a procedure for replacing the cam chain on a klr250? thanks!


This is my old post. I don’t remember following a write up but if you just google a timing diagram that’s all you need (picture of timing marks). Just make sure you are at tdc on compression stroke just like when you adjust the valves . Marks are on the cams and crank. disassemble and reassemble the same way. There are markings on the crank and cams so you can’t really mess it up if you leave it at tdc. When removing the balancer chain I just marked the chain and sprockets in a couple places with a sharpie so I knew I was putting it back exactly as it came off. The problem with mine ended up being the forward guide had popped loose from the head. I replaced it with a new one. Ran like a champ. It was my first cam chain removal. If I can do it you can do it. Take picks as you dissassemble to help with reassembly

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Thanks for the response firechicken. So the flywheel doesn't have to come off? how it you get it routed through the motor?

2018-12-12 11_10_56-Clipboard.jpg

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Oh yes you absolutely have to pull the flywheel. The only way to do it easily is with a flywheel puller with Kawasaki threads, and an impact gun. The puller is Available on eBay for about $20. It’s reverse threaded so keep that in mind when you break it loose. I use a rubber oil filter strap wrench  to hold the flywheel while I remove and install it. 

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