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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
87 trx 350, messed up while checking cam chain tension

I was checking the amount of slack in my cam chain, and I removed the adjuster BEFORE putting the crank to tdc. Once I remembered I was supposed to do that I figured it'd be alright if I did it then, without the chain tensioner in place. So upon rotating the crank I heard a "click". Once I got it to tdc I rechecked the tension and still had 5/16" between the ears of the tensioner body and the motor. The wheeler will not start now, did I just throw the timing off? I had planned on removing the valve cover anyway because it has been weeping oil for some time now but today it got a lot worse. I suppose I'll get my answer when i take the valve cover off but I was just hoping someone would know whether I simply threw the timing off and not something worse. Thanks very much. I feel stupid but there's only one way to learn!!
 

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Ya, go ahead and pull that valve cover now. No harm done... you can put it back where it belongs while the cover is off. After doing so, check the chain slack before putting the cover back on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks a lot man. I felt like an idiot once heard the "click". I feel better knowing that's all I did to it. Thanks for replying so quick. I'll post again once I get it done or,more likely,I'll have a question or two (or 5) once I'm into it. Lmao. Have a good night!
 

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I do stuff like that all the time! Its called Oldzhiemers disease. LOL Today I looked for an o-ring that I knew I had put with the others, but couldn't find it for over an hour. Thought I was going to have to go buy one... then as I was giving up and heading out to put tools away I found it. Right where I put it earlier and right where it belonged... ON THE PART I WAS PUTTING ON MY MACHINE! LOL

Keep a smile on...
 

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CRS I call it , can't remember chit ------- I have a story about Alzheimer's that is funny , I worked in the Gulf of Mexico and was flown into Morgan City with another crane mechanic for crew change , 10:00am we hit a bar and ordered long necks , they had 3 guys that looked pretty rough and appeared to be there from the night before sitting at the bar chit faced , one of them says " only people drink out of bottles around here are ladies , babies and sissies " , so they guy I am with is ex-Ranger who served 3 tours in Viet Nam and has a very short temper and one click off of mental , I am thinking how I don't want to go to jail on the first day off of 7 , so I intervene , armed with an article that I had just read that theorized that drinks in an aluminum cans will absorb molecules of aluminum and when you drink it , the molecules will collect in your brain and they linked that to Alzheimer's , so I tell the guy a story , you know I use to drink out the cans also , till my uncle had a bad thing happen to him , he loved to fish and hunt and had a camp in Cocodrie , he use to drink a case of beer in aluminum cans every day and he got the Alzheimer's so bad that he would get lost for days at a time , the aunt had to hide the keys to the truck , he couldn't go to the camp or in his boat by himself any more , it got so bad that he would forget to go to the bathroom and would pee and crap on himself all the time , and it was from drinking out of aluminum cans ------- the guy changed his attitude and told the bartender to give them guys another couple of long necks and give them 3 too !
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is one of those cool stories! Thanks for taking the time to write it! Funny stuff. When replacing the valve cover, can I reuse both the decompression lever rubber seal and also that round rubber plug in the right center in line with the cam? Do I just put the sealant around those and they'll stop weeping oil? I'm already impatient to be back riding it and want to make sure I have what I need. Thanks. Another rainy week in Maine!
 

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if the decompression lever seal isn't leaking then I would leave it alone , same with the rubber cam journal plug , I put Honda Bond around it
 

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if the decompression lever seal isn't leaking then I would leave it alone , same with the rubber cam journal plug , I put Honda Bond around it
I'll second that, I also put hondabond around the rubber cam journal, no issues at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
K great thank you. The decompression lever seal IS leaking! But I think its because the old sealant is bad. It's leaking around the outside of it. Same with cam journal plug. Am i right in thinking I can reuse both? They look fine. They aren't scratched or misshapen or anything.
 

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if you are leaking around the decompression lever seal , even if it were around the o.d. and not at the shaft i.d. then I would change it
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do happen to have any idea where I can find a replacement decompression lever seal? I tried google-ing it but came up short. I'll keep looking... thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you fishfiles! I ordered one! I hate to wait three or four days for it to arrive but if it's worth doing, its worth doing right! I'll remember to check partzilla from now on if I can't find something. I'm gonna study up on adjusting the timing now to get ready. Any tips for me you can think of? Also, I'm just curious, what state do you live in? I'm in maine. About a half hour from Mt. Desert island (Bar Harbor is major tourist destination). Up on top of Mt. Cadillac (which is on Mt. Desert island) is the first place the sun hits in America each morning! Kinda cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I fear I may start sounding like an incompotent moron soon(maybe it's too late), but where in the service manual can I find where to adjust the timing? I just got done pouring over the "valve and camshaft" section and cannot find it. I'll keep looking but does anyone know? I figured it should be there!
 

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It begins on page 7-13 (Camshaft Installation). Basically, you'll need to remove the two plugs with a big flat blade screwdriver on the left side cover. You'll use a socket on the flywheel bolt to rotate the crankshaft in the normal direction of travel until the TDC mark ("T") appears in the small plug window and line that mark up with the mark on the window. Watch the camshaft lobes as you rotate the crank... When both of the camshaft lobes are facing down in the head, that is the compression stroke, so match those two marks with cam lobes facing down, then proceed to line up your camshaft and sprocket (you'll probably only need to move the chain one link, since you heard only one "click" :)) until the timing marks on the sprocket match the machined area on top of the head, as shown in the service manual.

Note the side that the timing marks on the cam sprocket are facing when you take it apart... I think they will be facing the left side of the head but don't trust my memory... just don't flip it around or it won't work. Double check your work after you get the sprocket back in time by first installing the chain tensioner per the manual (or use my instructions in the thread I linked a few days ago), then rotate the crankshaft two full revolutions (slowly) and stop at the "T" mark again. Then verify that your camshaft is still in time.

Also note that those cam sprocket timing marks may be ever so slightly out of alignment once the chain tensioner is installed... that is normal... the chain stretches as it wears and so the camshaft timing retards slightly...

Don't drop the chain while you have it apart. That'll have you cussing as you attempt to fish it back up out of there. :) A length of wire to the frame somewhere will hold it up while you are doing stuff.

Once its verified to be timed correctly, before you rotate the motor away from those timing marks remove the chain tensioner again and check the chain wear slack... unless you do that before taking it apart....

Your turn to have some fun...!
 

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Thank you fishfiles! I ordered one! I hate to wait three or four days for it to arrive but if it's worth doing, its worth doing right! I'll remember to check partzilla from now on if I can't find something. I'm gonna study up on adjusting the timing now to get ready. Any tips for me you can think of? Also, I'm just curious, what state do you live in? I'm in maine. About a half hour from Mt. Desert island (Bar Harbor is major tourist destination). Up on top of Mt. Cadillac (which is on Mt. Desert island) is the first place the sun hits in America each morning! Kinda cool.
Maine , I watch that show on wildlife agents filmed in Maine , looks like a cool place ------------ I live in Lacombe , Louisiana , Bayou Lacombe is a bayou that goes into Lake Ponchatrain , 20 minutes north of New Orleans
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So I have the valve cover off. I can tell someone has been in there before because I can see their sandpaper scratches from removing the old gasket material. AND worse for me, they installed the camshaft sprocket on backwards so the timing marks are on the inside of the motor. I have the crank to TDC on compression stroke and looking from the other side of the motor I can see the timing marks are not exactly parallel with the motor. Should I just remove the tensioner and move the chain 1 tooth in the other direction? And just leave the cam sprocket on bacwards? The cam lobes are slightly pitted, rocker arms look beautiful. There is hardly any old gasket material left! So far I'm able to just wipe it off. Thanks for any advice. I wish one of you guys lived closer. I'm a quick study but I've always benefited from seeing things done once the right way.
 

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The service manual shows (and mentions) that the sprocket timing marks should be viewable from the left side of the head. Sounds like that is what you found... or no? Any minor cam pitting is not a worry... its common to see casting pores in the iron after the cam lobes are ground. If your rockers and lobes look good, all is well and good...

Line up "T" mark on the flywheel (with both cam lobes facing down in the head) then adjust the sprocket in the chain until you get the best match for your timing marks... then verify that the crankshaft "T" mark is still lined up and put the chain tensioner in the bottom of the jug... Then check the timing again after rotating the crank two revolutions and stopping on the flywheel "T" mark. If all is still well you can either proceed to reassemble the topend or check the chain slack... depending on whether you have checked the chain wear yet. Use some rubbing alcohol on the valve cover mating surfaces before applying sealant thinly to each and clean the outer diameters of your rubber cam plug and decompression shaft seal before rubbing a bit of sealant into them....
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
K will do. Can't thank you enough. I guess the sprocket IS on the correct way... I get nervous doing this stuff and miss little details. Not good I know!! Okay I'm gonna get to work! I will post pics
 
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