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Honda Going crazy setting timing on a 400ex

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I have a 02 400ex that I just put a new top end in and I am bout to take it out back to shoot it.

Have everything together up to the head and currently when installing the cam, the timing chain is off the lower gear on the crank.

I've tried resetting it with a long screwdriver with the head on, also, took the head off to get closer, all while keeping tension on the chain... but nothing works...

The moment I allow slack in that chain to time the cam... it slips off the lower cam gear and I'm back at square one.

At this point I am thinking the chain is stretched and not getting a good grip on the sprocket... or... I'm an idiot and can't properly set the timing on this quad... I hope this is the case.

I am trying to stay away from cracking the clutch cover to get to the crank shaft... Any help will be greatly appreciated as I am going insane right now.

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There should be a chain guard at the lower end that helps keep the chain in place. You can continue to do it your way and you will get it sooner or later. OR just take it apart!

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There should be a chain guard at the lower end that helps keep the chain in place. You can continue to do it your way and you will get it sooner or later. OR just take it apart!

Bahh... I've already spent enough time and money on this thing. I don't want to buy a clutch cover gasket.

This chain guard your talking about is different from the two black-poly chain (guides)?

The chain was lodged in the bottom end from transport without top end installed and I had to use slight force to get it free... Is it possible to break this "guard" that you speak of, or dislodge it?

I went back out to the garage after a 2 day hiatus and I'm still having no luck... I fell like the lower sprocket does not have enough teeth or they are too small to grab the chain good enough to keep it on without tension.

I know that enough of these EX topends have been replaced and the chains have been dropped in the case by others because I have done it myself to numerous other rebuilds and have never had this much of an issue re aligning the chain. I find it hard that others have not had this issues and don't have any good ideas for me.

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