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Cylinder head removal

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I'm not even swapping pistons I'm swapping top ends because my titanium valves are shot and I still have the original factory head with valves

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The piston is still brand new only 8 hours IF that on it.. besides I don't have the 200 hundred for a new big bore piston.

Will I need new a new head gasket?

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yes you need a new head gasket. make sure you line up all your timing marks when going back together. i like to put it at TDC on teardown too. and if you dont know how the tensioner works just make sure you turn it in before tightening the bolts down or it will put added pressure on the chain causing failure

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I've heard a bazillion people say get the manual chain tensioner...is it really necessary? I have an 07 and don't really want one more thing to check...but if they fail i will put one in. My question really is do they fail a lot, or is it the rarity..or do people put them in without releasing them and ruin it themselves?

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I don't think they're necessary. I believe the 02-03's had troubles, so it's stuck in our minds to replace them. My O.EM tensioner has held up fine for 8 years. You can 'test' yours pretty easily, just press it into the palm of your hand in its released state and wiggle it around, you should not be able to make it retract. However, I'll probably buy a new one when I replace the ti.ming chain since they're only like $45.

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A manual Cam chain tensioner is the cheapest insurance there is. Its like 45 bucks and they NEVER fail. I had my 03 jump once. Got lucky. Replaced it with an 05 style unit and it failed when I put it back on after a top end job. Never started the bike...thank god.

If youve got the thing apart, make the change.

The 04 and up part is better, but they still fail.

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i know the automatic ones are easier and tend to rarely fail.the problem i have seen with manual ones is people overtighten the tensioner and it wears out the chain i know one guy has went thru 3 chains in a years time by doing this,

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make sure you check things over well when you put it back together. You wouldn't want to throw it together and blow it up the first ride because of old, worn out, parts.

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A recent review of Dungey's new factory KTM 450 said it had a spring-loaded CCT versus the manual or hydraulic versions.

And I bet it never gets used twice either. It probably doesnt use a stupid curly spring to set tension and a suspect jamming device to lock it in place.

If the OEM Honda tensioner was a coil spring over plunger type that pushed directly on a tensioning wheel or gear...ya...that makes sense. But it isnt.

The OEM Honda tensioner is assembly line friendly. And not much more.

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i know the automatic ones are easier and tend to rarely fail.the problem i have seen with manual ones is people overtighten the tensioner and it wears out the chain i know one guy has went thru 3 chains in a years time by doing this,

.. and how is that the fault of the manual cam chain tensioner?? it's operator error, if done right, a MCCT is the way to go.

A recent review of Dungey's new factory KTM 450 said it had a spring-loaded CCT versus the manual or hydraulic versions.

what Shawn_mC said, your talking a FACTORY bike and FACTORY mechanics (as in plural mechanics, lots of them.. )

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.. your talking a FACTORY bike and FACTORY mechanics (as in plural mechanics, lots of them.. )

Exactly. You have to ask why a factory team (Roger D.) would risk a season/factory bike/rider on an auto CCT if its such a risk. Maybe its not really an issue even at the National level?

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I've been riding CRF450's since '03 and never had a problem with the stock cam chain tensioner. None of my friends with CRF's have had any problems with them either. I'm sure there are occasional failures but they are rare in the big picture. If the engine has a lot of hours, I would just install a new OEM tensioner while doing the overhaul.

Manual cam chain tensioners aren't idiot proof and I would not recommend them to someone with limited engine building experience.

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