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Accuracy of Snail Chain Adjusters on 2017 DRZ400s

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I recently picked up my bike from its 600 mile service and noticed the shop had tightened the chain on the sprocket side by two "notches", but not on the brake side.  The numbered indents on the snail chain adjusters didn't match on either side of the rear wheel.  The sprocket side was set 2 notches tighter (pushed back) than the brake side.  I called the shop, the guy told me the technician measures the chain alignment with a tape measure from swingarm bolt to axel bolt, explaining why the number settings were different. 

I have adjusted my chain back to the same number on each side.  When I measure both sides with a tape measurer the same way the shop did, they're within a quarter inch of one another.  Is this close enough?  

I really hope I can rely on the snail numbers to adjustment my chain, it makes it that much quicker and easier.

Edited by NewEngland400

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What are you measuring To? 

The best way to align  the wheels is to run two straight edges (I used 4x4 posts) tight to either side of the rear tire and the front should be perfectly  centred between posts. Raise posts as high as you can against the rear tires.

The snail cam numbers were perfectly aligned on my 08 400s

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the snails are fine unless the bike was run into a brick wall and all bent up ... its probably not perfect but what is ... i doubt the clown at the shop measured a damn thing, he screwed it up and the guy you talked to covered for him ..

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1 hour ago, jjktmrider said:

Put it back to where they had it , keep the tire straight . 1/4" isn't good enough for me , the few times you'll need to adjust the chain what's so hard about measuring ?

 

.

Do you think they had it tighter on the left side for a reason?  

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49 minutes ago, bucket list said:

What are you measuring To? 

The best way to align  the wheels is to run two straight edges (I used 4x4 posts) tight to either side of the rear tire and the front should be perfectly  centred between posts. Raise posts as high as you can against the rear tires.

The snail cam numbers were perfectly aligned on my 08 400s

I'm going to attempt this rope method tomorrow hopefully.  But, I do have faith that those numbers are accurate.  How could they be off by that much? 

Edited by NewEngland400

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4 minutes ago, cowpie said:

the snails are fine unless the bike was run into a brick wall and all bent up ... its probably not perfect but what is ... i doubt the clown at the shop measured a damn thing, he screwed it up and the guy you talked to covered for him ..

I want to believe they must put the damn snails on for a reason.  I think the guy had a dumb moment.. 

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9 minutes ago, NewEngland400 said:

I want to believe they must put the damn snails on for a reason.  I think the guy had a dumb moment.. 

yeah, he probably gets lost in his own shop ...

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I made a simple alignment tool from 1/8 welding rod, a small cork and a nail.  Motion Pro sells one for about $20.00.

I spent the $20.00 on something else.

Edited by Melkor
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1 hour ago, RollieW said:

Adjust and spin the wheel until the chain no longer rides against either side of the rear sprocket, done. Those marks are a joke.

That's got to be the worst way of doing the wheel alignment, you may get lucky. I like a little more certainty and accuracy. 

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2 hours ago, Melkor said:

I made a simple alignment tool from 1/8 welding rod, a small cork and a nail.  Motion Pro sells one for about $20.00.

I spent the $20.00 on something else.

Thank you for making me aware of this tool, I'm definitely picking one up.   

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5 hours ago, bucket list said:

What are you measuring To? 

The best way to align  the wheels is to run two straight edges (I used 4x4 posts) tight to either side of the rear tire and the front should be perfectly  centred between posts. Raise posts as high as you can against the rear tires.

The snail cam numbers were perfectly aligned on my 08 400s

I measure from the axle center to swingarm pivot center both sides , fool proof way to make sure your axle is straight with the rest .  Same way as the tool mention in this thread . That's the best way, IMO , I've seldom seen the lines/numbers on snails come out identical on each side when the axle is perfectly lined up with the frame like that , but some are. Then a person can run a straightedge down the chain to see if the sprocket is inline . If not the spacers need altering , but seldom and mostly when the swingarm has been bent some.

 

But to each there own.

 

.

Edited by jjktmrider
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6 hours ago, jjktmrider said:

I measure from the axle center to swingarm pivot center both sides , fool proof way to make sure your axle is straight with the rest .  Same way as the tool mention in this thread . That's the best way, IMO , I've seldom seen the lines/numbers on snails come out identical on each side when the axle is perfectly lined up with the frame like that , but some are. Then a person can run a straightedge down the chain to see if the sprocket is inline . If not the spacers need altering , but seldom and mostly when the swingarm has been bent some.

 

But to each there own.

 

.

Great, so your rear wheel is aligned with your swing arm pivot. I want to see the relationship to the front wheel.

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If the rear wheel isn't inline with the front by making it inline with the swingarm pivot shaft(which is on the main frame) , you have more issues to worry about , like a bent frame , or messed up triples . Think about it !!!

 

.

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7 hours ago, jjktmrider said:

I measure from the axle center to swingarm pivot center both sides , fool proof way to make sure your axle is straight with the rest .  Same way as the tool mention in this thread . That's the best way, IMO , I've seldom seen the lines/numbers on snails come out identical on each side when the axle is perfectly lined up with the frame like that , but some are. Then a person can run a straightedge down the chain to see if the sprocket is inline . If not the spacers need altering , but seldom and mostly when the swingarm has been bent some.

 

But to each there own.

 

.

How close should the axel to swingarm measurement be in your opinion?  If not identical, what's the acceptable variation?  

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Alignment of the front wheel to the back is not correct. Rim widths, rim offsets are different. So you will deliberately 'cock' the wheel to make it appear lined up.

Correct rear wheel alignment is done from the rear sprocket to the counter shaft sprocket. A straight edge of the correct length is terrific though string can be used as well. Once it has been done, THEN you can measure from a relative point suck as the swing arm bolt center to the axle bolt center. Note any differences in distance and when adjusting the chain in the future, retain the relationship.

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So with your method you line up the sprockets adjusting the axle forward/ back and then once done even if one side is 1/4" or whatever longer than the other you leave it as is, that's the right way ??? So leave the tire going crooked is right ???? Yes you have to line up the sprockets but no matter what the axle to swingarm pivot should be equal , unless the frame is bent or the pivot holes are off in the frame which is a major datum point when they build the frame. If the sprockets are crooked with the axle to pivot center points equal, the motor is crooked in the frame or frame is bent , both should be fixed. Theoretically they both should come out the same regardless of which way it done.

Anyways that's all for me , to each their own way .

Edited by jjktmrider

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I hold a the edge of a metal ruler against the sprocket above the lower run of the chain. If the wheel is straight, the edge of the ruler will be parallel to the inside of the links along the whole distance. I also put a rag between the top of the sprocket and the chain and roll the wheel backwards to snug the axel against the stops before checking the alignment and as I tighten the axel nut.

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