I found this on another web site and thought it might be useful to many of us here. It's basically a compilation of a bunch of posts off of gixxxer.com
It's got a bunch of useful information about the cam chain tensioner, where to get an after market one and why you would want to change it out.
Tee Tee, if you've got anything to add to this..feel free. Keep the great posts coming!
Cam Chain Tensioner For GSXR
** NOTE: This info is applicable only to 96-99 750's and 97-00 600's **
This post was created from a bunch of info collected from old posts, but mainly this info is from Phinsup, Jon T Flesh, and GSXR-Freak. mucho props to these guys who have been up to their ears in this CCT issue for a long time.
Which GSX-R's are affected by the Cam Chain Tensioner (CCT) problem?
Any year and model bike can develop this problem ! The Suzuki automatic CCT is widely regarded as a total POS, and can go bad on any year/model GSX-R. The issue did not become a recall until 1999, where Suzuki finally realized this problem and owned up to it (NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 99V132000). Suzuki superseded the old CCT's with the revised 99 part, so if you order this from Suzuki you will get the good CCT, albeit most agree the manual CCT from APE is a better part anyways. It's your call.
What are the symptoms of the CCT going bad?
A ticking/clicking noise from the right side of the motor, very noticeable at idle. Some say the bike sounds like a diesel, if the tensioner has failed you can cause internal engine damage so if the motor ever sounds terrible like this, do not run the motor and do not ride the bike. The automatic tensioner bolts can back out and cause timing jumps, which can bend your valves or cause other internal damage. This $50 quick fix can turn into a $500+ looooong fix or lead to a seized motor which can cause a crash etc.
Jon T Flesh reported a hydraulic automatic tensioner going bad in only 100 miles, and GSXR-Freak recommends checking the tension every 6000 miles or so (tension can only be adjusted on the manual tensioner though, of course). If you have the manual tensioner already and get the "diesel" or clicking sound, it is wise to check the tension in the cam chain immediately.
What should I do about this problem?
The most widely used replacement cam chain tensioner from the guys on this board is the manual CCT from APE. It is around $50 and is available from http://www.aperaceparts.com (part number for the 96-99 GSX-R750 manual CCT is ST750GX). Make sure to get the CCT gasket as well, as it needs to be replaced when you remove the old CCT. John at APE is a veyr nice guy and will get you rolling quick.
Ready to tackle this yourself? If not, take your bike to a qualified mechanic. You dont want to screw this up.
If you are going to tackle this yourself, its best you have a service manual. It is a good thing to have one, but not totally necessary. Everything contained in this post can get you through this. Or you can just ask the CCT gods (Flesh, Freak, Phinsup, jeff, etc).
Parts / Tools:
New CCT (duh)
New CCT gasket
2 zip ties
angle snips to cut said zip ties
metric alan wrench set
metric socket set
drive wrench / extensions for the socket set, fool!
Long phillips-head screwdriver
Gasket Maker (High Temp RTV silicone, usually the red stuff)
** NOTE: some of these steps are not necessary, i.e. it may be possible to leave the tank propped up, it just makes life a lot easier to remove the tank. Also to remove the tank you might want to remove the tail bodywork, but it is not totally necessary. **
-Remove the right side fairing (bunch of alan head bolts).
-Remove the rider's seat (2 bolts under rear corners of seat).
-Lift (4mm alan) then remove the fuel tank (this procedure is a little different for the 98-99 750's), but in general - unhook the electrical and hose connections to the tank, remove the (2) 12mm bolts that hold the tank hinge bracket to the top of the subframe, lift the tank away from the bike and set it aside.
-Remove the airbox (10mm bolt in front and Phillups for the TB's etc)
-Loosen the TBs from the motor, then push them down and back as far as you can.
-Pull out the spark plug wires (and cam sensor wire if applicable)
-Remove the valve cover (6mm alan) and the top chain guide
-Remove the crank bolt cover on the right side of the crank (10mm alan, silver in color, larger of the two silver caps)
-Turn the crank CLOCKwise (14mm socket) until you can see a hole in both cam sprockets. Never turn the motor counterclockwise.
-Use the ziptie on each cam to hold the chain to the cam (this keeps the chain from jumping when you remove the CCT)
-Move the TBs as far to the front of the bike as you can
On the right hand side (inside) frame rail there is a bracket that holds a few parts to the frame, the bracket is held in with 2 bolts (10mm), remove them then push the whole bracket out of the way.
-Remove the stock CCT (5mm alan). Inspect the old CCT to make sure it was not eaten up by the motor, and little bits are floating around the motor.
-Put a *small dab* of Gasket Maker on the edge of the new CCT gasket and put the gasket on the new CCT. Put the Gasket Maker only on the CCT side of the gasket, not the motor side. And, only use enough to hold the gasket in place so you can get the bolts threaded and down... you shouldn't need much.
-Put the new CCT in the bike and tighten to 16.5 ft-lbs (you can use Loctite if you like)
-Turn in the CCT adjusting bolt until you see the cam chain start to get tight.
-Cut off the two zip ties
-Tighten the CCT until there is about 1/4" deflection in the chain. Measure this equidistant between the two cam sprockets, from top to bottom.
-Turn the motor by hand about 1/2 turn and check the chain again (do this a few times to make sure you get it correct)
-Tighten the lock nut on the CCT to the base of the CCT
-Replace the Valve cover and the bracket on the right side of the frame. Be sure to seat the gasket properly and torque the bolts down to spec. Do not overtighten these bolts!!! they could make your life a living hell if you mess this up.
-Replace the TBs
-Replace the airbox
-Replace the tank
-Replace the crank cover cap
-Replace the right side bodywork
-Replace the seat
I am not sure if the valve cover gasket *must* be replaced, if it looks deteriorated in any way it is wise to replace it, but you will be able to tell if it is not seated properly very quickly if you run the motor --- as it will puke oil like mad!
If you have done everything correct then the motor should start up and not make any abnormal noise. I check and adjust mine about every 6K miles. - John (GSXR-Freak)
Adjusting the Cam Chain Tensioner
There has been some questions about how to properly adjust the Manual cam chain tensioner.
Remember that it is very important that you pull the valve cover and cam chain guide to check the chain for tension when you adjust the tensioner. DO NOT adjust the tensioner with the motor running. You cannot accurately tell how tight you are making the chain. Overtightening it can lead to increased cam chain wear, loss of horsepower, or other possible engine damage.
Now once you have the valve cover off, here are a couple descriptions on how to properly adjust the chain tension.
The proper tension is all the slack out without any tension in the chain. Since its pretty tough to hit that point exactly, most err on the side of slightly loose. The smallest slightly you can still see.
The way I do it is to rotate the crank back and forth to create slack in the chain between the cams. Then I rotate the crank in the running direction to take up all the slack on the drive side of the chain, but not rotate the exhaust cam. The tensioner is tightened until the slack between the cams is almost taken up, with almost being as close as I can cut it.
This is where you would want to measure 1/4 inch deflection, like in the original post's description.
Now if you have a dial indicator and a cam degree wheel, you can do it this way.
Frank Adams Said:
I use the info from the dial indicater & degree wheel to set My manual cam tenioners up.
With the dial indicater setup on either cam, you can bump the crank back & forth and watch for movement on the indicater. First roll the motor forward and stop. After you stop, make a note of the indicating number on your degree wheel. Then while watching the dial indicater on the camshaft, softly bump the motor in the opposite direction. As soon as you see the dial indicater move, STOP!
Check you number on the degree wheel. Subtract the difference of the two numbers between the starting & finishing points. I always set My manual cam chain tenioners up with between 3-4 dregees of chain adjustment reading on the degree wheel. But no less then 3 degrees.
Hopefully this will clear up any confusion on how to adjust your new MCCT.