Honda Rincon Forum banner

Cam chain tensioner repair

52723 Views 64 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  Corndog
Do any of you have the "rattle"?

There have been several threads over the years about replacing the OEM cam chain tensioner (cct) with aftermarket manual type (no spring). This is a fine method but I wanted to fix the stock one. This is done to eliminate the rattle that shows up in the Rincon. The rattle is worse when cold and goes away when hot…eventually it will not go away. The rattle is your cam chain whipping around due to inadequate tension and will wear out the chain more quickly than a properly tensioned one.

There are several threads relating to parts of this issue and repair, so some of what I suggest is not my original thinking. Here goes.

The stock cct uses a spring loaded ratchet that extends as the chain wears. This is the issue. The ratchet has 4 revolutions from full in to full out. When the chain is new, the cct does not extend much and the spring is tight. As the chain wears, the ratchet goes further out and the spring unwinds thus having less force available. Somebody posted once that they tightened the spring but had no more details how they did it.

On my atv the OEM cct started to rattle at 7500 or so miles and I just replaced it. Problem solved for a while. Then lately at 11,300 miles the rattle returned. I was going to put a manual cct in but did not want to always wonder does it need to be adjusted or not (and I am cheap). So I removed my cct to have a look.

Sure enough, on my bike the cct is currently at 3 revolutions out and I only have a little more travel left (1 revolution). The remaining spring tension in the cct was not enough to extend the ratchet any further. I had a spare cct from the first change. I disassembled it to see how to tighten the spring.

Here is the best description I can give.

· Remove the retaining circlip with the plunger held by a finger so it does not pop out of the cct body.
· Let the interior mechanism come out until the circlip groove is just above the cct body still holding plunger with finger.
· Use installation key or screw driver and add 2 to 3 “extra” full twists (complete 360 revolutions) to spring. I would not add more spring tension than this as the spring would have unwound the amount I am rewinding it.
· Then push plunger back inside cct body until circlip can be reinstalled.
· This seems complicated and took me a few hours to figure out it could be done without fully disassembling the cct.
· The difference in force the cct applies after fixing is very noticeable.

I reinstalled the cct and my bike is now purring again when cold at start up. When it starts to rattle again, I likely will need a new cam chain.

I had pictures but they were not good enough to show what I was doing...sorry. I will check in on thread if anybody has questions or comments about my repair. Happy motoring.

Rattle free again in Kentucky.
See less See more
41 - 60 of 65 Posts
Honda Rubicon Clutch Puller ATV Tool 07ZMC-HN2A10 is the part number I have ordered you can google for an image. Rincon is different to others when I get the part I can confirm its the proper puller and it's easy of use. State of bike atm hope the picture works

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Rubicon is a vastly different machine..
TC removal tool part number for the Rincon is 35 x 1.0 , 07933-HA80000, or 07933-HB3000A for 03-05 Vintages

Best bet is to acquire the correct service manual.
Lol you r correct I screwed up ordered the wrong part

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Rubicon is a vastly different machine..
TC removal tool part number for the Rincon is 35 x 1.0 , 07933-HA80000, or 07933-HB3000A for 03-05 Vintages

Best bet is to acquire the correct service manual.
My Rincon is 2005 model so I need the part number 07933-HB3000A according to your post above. However, when I google this and find it on ebay it states at the bottom of the ebay link below that "This is not a Torque Converter Puller" but is a "Clutch Puller". Is this coorect.

Can you link to the Torque Converter puller needed for a 2005 Rincon please? And is this a special type of puller that will only work on the rincon or will I be able to use any standard puller tool?
I think this one is the one you r looking for I'm screwed as I am in Canada don't want to wait to get it.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Sorry it doesn't state year so it might be wrong

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
If... you open your Rincon 2003-2005 shop manual, you will find your answers. Already provided for you above. I believe my service manual before any google search or e-bay.
I installed my "old" tensioner which I have tightened the spring on. It seemed to be quieter and drove ok for about 10 mins, then it lost power, back fired twice and died. I started it up again and after about another 5 mins driving it done the same thing again but didn't back fire, just died.

It didnt want to start then, I had to leave it for 5 mins, then started it up and then it drove for 10 mins before it died again. This is exactly the problems I had 2 years ago with this tensioner, the quad was noisey and was stalling, the only difference with this tensioner now is that I tightened the spring as Corndog described.

So obviously, this tensioner is completely knackered, my timing must be going out with it fitted hence the quad dying issue?

I'll refit my "newest" tensioner back in and see if the quad is back to normal driving but just with the bit of noisey chain.

Anyone got any suggestions / thoughts on why the old tensioner is causing the quad to die? It can only be that the timing is off, yeah?
See less See more
I am doing it in frame, it's not hard but the manual had me take the shift pump, water pump to remove the cover. It seems I could of left them in place till I removed the cover but not sure. Waiting on torque converter puller atm, if I had the parts beforehand it would be a weekend job. This is my sons bike so I took it apart and only ordered the must have parts as he is on a budget, I am replacing the oil pump chain while inside the front case. Just look for the oil tubes when removing cover. Great thing is we get a chance to see how the inside looked as its a new purchase you never know, great learning experience for me as well. I still need to find a tube of hondabond ht as I just seen they are not shipping it with my parts order. I am in Canada and ordered thru partzilla but they are slow as crap due to no stock on some parts. Ballpark $400 us in parts with the puller, which we will resell and recoup $50. If funds are available recommend changing all orings and the mechanical seal in the water pump while it is apart if you have any seeping. Our Rincon is a 2005 and I found a thread about the mechanical seal from another bike will work as Honda only lists a complete pump for this bike. Hope this helps and gives you some insight.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
@wsg - I've a few questions maybe you could assist with. I've printed out the entire Honda workshop manual. Am I correct in saying there's no specific section on just replacing the cam chain, it's sort of detailed within the other sections "removing the camshaft". Am I correct in thinking the camshaft itself and the cam holder plate don't have to be removed just to replace the chain. Will the chain be loose enough to remove with just the tensioner removed?

Also, can the chain be removed without disassembling down as far as the crankshaft? Is there room for the chain to be taken off the crank sprocket and released with just the cyclinder head off?

Whats the general order of disassembly to replace the chain and its guides:

- spark plug leads off
-cyclinder head cover off
- Head off
- Tensioner off
- Chain off
- guides off

Why are you taking off the torque converter? Ok, I had another look at the manual and component drawings, you're having to take the front case off the engine as well as the head to get to the chain, yeah? This seems like a lot of dismantling now. :(
See less See more

Here are a couple pictures as I just started to put it together.
Top end has to come off
Front crank case has to be removed.
The manual had me remove a lot of pieces to remove this.
I did not break down all components as my main goal is to replace the parts in the picture.
Hope this helps some.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
See less See more
If you are mechanically inclined with some experience this job is not terribly bad. It would be easy to make a mistake. I have done timing chains on cars before but this is my first atv. Check and double check when reassembling. As this is a recently purchased bike it is nice to know that it has this work done and should be good for many miles to come.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I posted more pictures in a new thread as not to take away from this great tensioner repair thread

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Do you have to remove head to get tensioner cam chain out?
on a different thread, I think it was either Corndog or Oilcan that properly diagnosed my "rattle" as CCT. I just got around to changing it and - YEP - it runs lik enew again. THANK YOU for the tip. Next problem: setting myu my ride at hatfield McCoy for Thanksgiving week.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I've been reading this post with great interest. My 07 Rincon 680 has an intermittent clanking that sounds like someone tapping a frying pan with a metal spoon. It doesn't matter if it's hot or cold, accelerating or decelerating, and only has 1900 miles on it. I took the spark arrestor out and cleaned it and beat on the muffler and heat shields with my fist and no rattles. I'm at wits end and ordered a tensioner. It doesn't have any pattern on when it decides to do it. I know this is an old post but hoping that someone has had this issue and can clue me in. If not, I'll just swap out the tensioner and see what happens.
Let us know what you find. The one I just rebuilt has a noise that I think might be the tensioner as well. I took it off, checked it out, looked ok, put it back on and the noise is lessened, but still louder than I think it should be. I installed a new cam chain when I had the motor out.
If you think it is the tensioner, you can use a screw driver and add tension to it easily to verify. It is easier to try this with a cold engine because your hand will be near the exhaust pipe (go back and read post # 7)

Cam chain tensioner usually will rattle when started cold and quit after it idles for 30 seconds or less.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Well. I put in a new tensioner and the noise seems to be gone. It would sometimes go for a while with no noise and then start up again. It didn't make any difference if it was cold or hot. Anyway. I have only ridden it a mile or two but it's still quiet. The old one looks fine. When I get some spare time, maybe I'll fiddle with it.
  • Like
Reactions: 1

My Rinny has had quite the engine knock and I found this thread. First of all, I'm not all that mechanically inclined but thought I could handle this. I tried the original method posted by corndog by removing the tensioner, removing circlip, letting plunger out a bit, and then tightening the spring about 3 full rotations, then reassemble. My gasket was not in great shape, but I did not have a spare, so I installed it anyway to see if the problem went away. I also did not have the installation KEY so I tried with a small screwdriver, which did not fit in there well. I had problems fitting the tensioner back in place while keeping the plunger retracted with the screw driver. Basically, I could not keep the plunger fully retracted while fitting the tensioner. I ended up tightening it in there anyway and it seemed to be flush. I started the rinny and it sounded great. No knock at all. I then throttled it up a bit and it started to KNOCK LOUD. I shut off the bike. I started it again at idle. Very quiet, no knock, sounds better than ever. Rev up, and LOUD KNOCK. I shut off immediately and it remains off. WHat did I screw up? I just ordered a new OEM tensioner with key and gasket.
See less See more
41 - 60 of 65 Posts