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New chain, and it broke first ride

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So I finally ordered and installed a new chain on my bike, a 520 x 112 O-ring chain. And I spent a little more to get a blue one to match my blue bike. I install it Saturday evening, and am surprised how easily went together with the masterlink and got all the o-rings in and the clip on fairly quickly for the first time doing a chain i thought. And I went to ride it sunday and about 2 miles into the ride I'm playing on some large speedbumps on a back road when i hear the sound of a chain dragging.

I pull off to see my new chain dragging on the ground and appears to be split right at the master link with no signs of the masterlink ever being there.

I just got off the phone with the place i bought it from and they said they are sending me a new master link but I'm wondering what the heck caused it to fail like that so quick? and will it do it again? And should I be pushing them to send a whole new chain not just a new masterlink? This happened on a gravel road which turned into asphalt so the chain dragged over the gravel and partially on to asphalt b4 i stopped, and its covered in dirt and small gravel pieces all over it since the oil on it just grabbed everything it touched.

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Most of the time master link failure is due to incorrect install:

Was this a three piece master?

With the outer piece being a spring clip?

Did you spread the clip to install? or place it on top of the lint pins and snap in to place?

With the master installed, and on top of the swing arm.. was the closed end of the clip facing the front of the bike?

or an overly tightened chain, and the weak link (master) busts when the swing arm is moved to it's "longest" point.. Straight out from the counter shaft sprocket.

So I finally ordered and installed a new chain on my bike, a 520 x 112 O-ring chain. And I spent a little more to get a blue one to match my blue bike. I install it Saturday evening, and am surprised how easily went together with the masterlink and got all the o-rings in and the clip on fairly quickly for the first time doing a chain i thought. And I went to ride it sunday and about 2 miles into the ride I'm playing on some large speedbumps on a back road when i hear the sound of a chain dragging.

I pull off to see my new chain dragging on the ground and appears to be split right at the master link with no signs of the masterlink ever being there.

I just got off the phone with the place i bought it from and they said they are sending me a new master link but I'm wondering what the heck caused it to fail like that so quick? and will it do it again? And should I be pushing them to send a whole new chain not just a new masterlink? This happened on a gravel road which turned into asphalt so the chain dragged over the gravel and partially on to asphalt b4 i stopped, and its covered in dirt and small gravel pieces all over it since the oil on it just grabbed everything it touched.

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Did you put the master link clip on in the proper direction. I was told that the open end should face to the rear, because if it's facing towards the countershaft sprocket it can get caught on components, dirt, sticks, or other debris and the clip can pop off causing your master link to fail.

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With the master installed, and on top of the swing arm.. was the closed end of the clip facing the front of the bike?

Oops, you beat me to it!

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did they send you explicit instructions with how to install the ML and then re-iterate them on the phone ?

so far i've never seen a master link fail, it was always the installation that was a failure.

in this case, the chain lived it's entire life on a stunt bike, and when it failed the master link was still free, working, and intact:

DSCN0656.JPG

DSCN0657.JPG

DSCN0658.JPG

ignore the grim and rust, that's what they look like ridden/stunted on florida backroads. ;-)

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I was told that the open end should face to the rear, .

If on the bottom of the swing arm, then yes, closed end facing the rear.. If on the top of swing arm, closed end facing forward.. so when the spring clip rubs against debris , or the chain slider, the closed end is pushed in to the link pins..If you install it backwards.. the spring clip is pushed to the open ends and the spring clip ow "wiped" off the pins..

A very common error with a new chain install .. Have a look at the next group ride you do.. trail or street,, your likely to find one installed backwards.. :lol:

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To answer one question, no it came with no instructions at all, and I'm pretty sure i had it all installed correctly Except possibly that clip, which I didn't know had to go one way or another because I had nothing to reference. Like I said I've never done it before, so its possible I put that clip on the wrong direction but I'm not 100% sure which way i put it looking back. I know i lined it up and didn't pop on down over the pins but more 'slid' it in to place.

So assuming thats all it was It shouldn't fall apart again if I put the new one in the right direction, But how should i go about cleaning the chain and what should i use to re-oil it? I am really ticked that this happened because the chain looks like junk now covered in rocks, dirt and scratched up all over from dragging on the gravel and asphalt. Is it going to affect the life or use of the chain ? because it was noticeably smoother after I put on the new chain and I'm going to be really freakin upset if thats gone and the 'new' chain is now worse than the old one.

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If on the bottom of the swing arm, then yes, closed end facing the rear.. If on the top of swing arm, closed end facing forward.. so when the spring clip rubs against debris , or the chain slider, the closed end is pushed in to the link pins..If you install it backwards.. the spring clip is pushed to the open ends and the spring clip ow "wiped" off the pins..

A very common error with a new chain install .. Have a look at the next group ride you do.. trail or street,, your likely to find one installed backwards.. :lol:

That's what I attempted to say, I guess the easiest way for me to describe it is that:

The closed end of the clip should always be installed so that it's pointed in the direction of chain/countersprocket travel. (Counterclockwise)

Quoted from OP:

"But how should i go about cleaning the chain and what should i use to re-oil it? I am really ticked that this happened because the chain looks like junk now covered in rocks, dirt and scratched up all over from dragging on the gravel and asphalt."

A typical day in the woods would have my chain covered in rocks, dirt, and junk as well, and it's a few years old, and still holding up. As for as cleaning, I soak mine in diesel, dry, and re-oil. Can't guarantee that the diesel will not affect your once pretty blue chain though. I stay away from colored chains for this reason, and the fact that it tends to look like crap after a few rides on the trail.

Edited by mikewrf18

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I put that clip on the wrong direction but I'm not 100% sure which way i put it looking back.

Ok, well no you know.. :lol: So take a moment this time, armed with better info, and you make sure it's good to go.

I know i lined it up and didn't pop on down over the pins but more 'slid' it in to place.

Perfect, just how it should be.. Too many people try and spread the clip one and lever on side of the clip over the pins. That just ruins the spring clip.

So assuming thats all it was It shouldn't fall apart again if I put the new one in the right direction,

Correct.

Then to clean Wipe the chain down with a light oil on a lint free rag...... Install, run till warm, wipe down again, and then oil with your preferred chain lube.

Never cared for the painted chains, they look like crap with use and lube soon enough. The hard plated chains in gold or what ever, at least the finish does not wear or flake off and can be cleaned.

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Added info/questions.

What brand of chain is this? and what did it cost? and where did you buy it?

Modern sealed ("O" ring) chains that use a clip style master link (there are other styles) generally have to be presses together. And generally do not come apart right away even if the clip is lost.

So my question is - did the outer link plate need to be pressed on to the pins and if so, how did you do that?

Next trick is - once the link plate is pressed on far enough to allow the clip to seat in the groove and the clip has been installed correctly (pushed on laterally) and faces the correct direction (tail to the rear on the upper run). Now the link plate should be pried out just enough to bear against the clip so the clip does not flop around on the pins. More to assembling a master link than just putting the clip on any old way.

Cleaning the chain is no problem. Kerosene, diesel, soap and water, stoddard solvent. Gasoline not recommended, too aggressive.

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it was 'factory spec' brand which cost about $55 and It took some large adjustable pliers to 'squeeze' get the outer link plate into place before installing the clip.

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OK. I don't recognize that brand. Price is a bit on the cheap side but in the ball park for a quality chain. Master link presses together the way it should. Vise grips and a 6mm nut to clear the pins works as a press. Following directions given above with a new master, you should have no more problems.

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OK. I don't recognize that brand. Price is a bit on the cheap side but in the ball park for a quality chain. Master link presses together the way it should. Vise grips and a 6mm nut to clear the pins works as a press. Following directions given above with a new master, you should have no more problems.

'factory spec' is an ebay item far as I've seen.

Quality 520 112 link chain is in the $50-100 range give or take.

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