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DIY Manual Cam Chain Tensioner...

Old 07-21-2010, 07:15 PM
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Default DIY Manual Cam Chain Tensioner...

Hello, folks! Long-time lurker, first-time poster here. Actually, I just bought my F3 a week ago, so I'm really a short-term lurker! Anyway, after reading numerous threads about replacing the CBR's automatic cam chain tensioner with a manual one, I decided to see if I could build one myself, for several reasons: 1) I'm cheap, 2) I like to create stuff and 3) I didn't want to wait for a pre-made one to arrive in the mail. The pictures kind of say it all, but I'll give a quick written run-through on what I did anyway. First, I found a piece of scrap steel lying around in my basement, collecting dust (and rust), so I bought a replacement CCT gasket to use as a template (and eventually, a new gasket for my CCT). Using a hacksaw and my Dremel tool, I made the steel look just like the gasket. I then drilled three holes in the steel - again, using the gasket as a template - one for each mounting bolt and one for the CC tensioner bolt. All three holes are 1/4". The hole in the center does not need to be as big as the center hole in the gasket, so I drew that hole onto the steel and drilled my center hole as close to the center of that circle as I could. I then went to the hardware store and bought two stainless steel 1/4" nuts, one 4-inch-long 1/4" stainless bolt, one 1/4" stainless acorn nut and two regular steel nuts. The dude at the hardware store welded one steel nut to each side of the mounting plate I made and charged me a total of 5 bucks. I then came home and used my Dremel and a sanding drum to buzz off as much of the slag as I could, so the gasket sits flush against the mounting plate. I'll test fit the whole thing to see how long the tensioner bolt actually needs to be, then cut some off the internal end of it, so it's not obscenely long, then before fitting the thing permanently, I'll Loctite the acorn nut to the internal end of the tensioner bolt and use one of the stainless nuts as a jam nut. The other stainless nut will go on the external side of the tensioner bolt, to use as a locknut, once the tensioner has been properly adjusted. Oh, yeah - and I'm gonna paint the mounting plate (not the hardware) with either black or red engine enamel, because engine enamel "eats" into the steel and bonds with it permanently (or so I've been told).

I know she's not pretty to look at, but I bet I have less than $15 into the whole project, including the Honda gasket. Besides being ugly, is there any reason this thing won't work? To adjust it, I should hand tighten the tensioner bolt until I can't hear the cam chain clattering anymore and then back it out half a turn or so, right?

Seeing as this is my very first post on the board, I'm hoping this sets me in a positive light, right off the bat. Lemme know what y'all think, eh?!

Scrap steel mounting plate: Free
Honda gasket: $3.96
Two stainless nuts: $0.36
One stainless bolt $1.89
One stainless acorn nut: $1.39
Two steel nuts and tack weld: $5.00
Total: $12.60
Attached Thumbnails DIY Manual Cam Chain Tensioner...-tankding.jpg  
Old 07-22-2010, 01:55 AM
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Which model ?
Or did I miss it ?
Old 07-22-2010, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by CB-aRrgghh! View Post
I just bought my F3 a week ago
You missed it.
Old 07-22-2010, 04:19 PM
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Thanks, Donny!
Old 08-31-2010, 01:39 PM
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Location: Peabody, MA
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i like this idea because im very cheap as well...i feel like that scrap metal is a little thin... idk what exactly the CCT does so i am not sure if the scrap metal would fail..

im about to take comp aid manufacturing this semester so i might just make a manuall cct as a project

Last edited by Michaud85; 08-31-2010 at 02:24 PM.
Old 09-04-2010, 10:59 PM
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Is manual that much better?
Old 09-05-2010, 12:30 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: alexandria, la
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Originally Posted by acollaro View Post
Is manual that much better?
The OEM one starts to fail and the noise you get from it will make you want to kick your bike over whenever your at a stop light. Manual is nice, set it and forget it.
Old 09-09-2010, 03:13 PM
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impressive I must say, never thought of just making one myself and ur really is a fairly simple part. Goodwork!
Old 10-01-2010, 06:39 PM
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I have to say: So far, so good. When I first installed this thing, I didn't realize the bolts that hold the OEM CCT bottomed out in their mounting holes. I cut them down a bit, then stacked a bunch of washers between the head of each bolt and the CCT, because the OEM bolts aren't threaded all the way to the flanged head. I just had my fairing off to do an oil change and did notice a slight amount of oil seeping from the bottom mounting hole, so I bought a pair of bolts that are threaded the entire length of the bolt, with a 10mm flanged head on 'em (versus the stock 8mm head) and snugged everything down again. I recommend going this route right from the beginning. I think the new bolts were maybe a half inch long. I didn't take both bolts out either - I replaced 'em one-at-a-time and then readjusted my tensioner before buttoning everything back up again.

I guess you have to add another .60 to the build total of this thing!
Old 10-15-2010, 11:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ohio, US
Posts: 64

The inside nut that will actually do the tensioning( can't remember specific part name) worries me. If that is a nut welded to the backside of the plate to make your threads, why didn't you weld the inside nut on as well? I haven't installed a CCT yet so forgive me if there are clearance issues that occur during install/removal. perhaps what seems a bit safer to me would be to increase the plate a bit, then increase the bolt size and just round off the end of the bolt to where it'll serve it's purpose, but still be able to thread off. Don't get me wrong- I'm not trying to put your design down because the concept is great and what- $40 cheaper than the APE? So please don't take offense. Just my .02

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