Replaced my timing chain at 131,000km

NEBO

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Hey guys, just wanted to share about the timing chain job I performed on my 2009 FZ6S about a year ago. Lots of helpful information on this forum and still very active so I thought I'd contribute with my experience.
My bike had 131,000km at the time. With that mileage I suspected the timing chain was probably stretching to its limits, so this was the first 'major' service I would challenge myself to do.
This isn't a How-to, I'm far from being a qualified mechanic, so please do use some sort of service manual if you plan on doing this too :)

I went by the Yamaha service manual instructions, removed all the parts that were in the way: airbox, battery tray and ignition coils, AIS system, drained the coolant and removed radiator, valve cover and timing cover on the right side of the bike. Didn't need to drain the engine oil since I left the bike on the side stand, none came out from the timing cover opening.
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Removing the 3 chain guides, all of them had rather deep grooves worn in by the timing chain. The tensioner also had witness marks on it showing that it was already fully extended in the engine.
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Pulled the camshaft caps and removed camshafts, proper unknown territory now for a newbie like me. The camshafts had some weird brown spots on it, anyone know what these are?
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The old timing chain (right) next to the new one (left), it visually didnt look too much longer than the new one, but i found the old chain links could flex sideways a lot more.
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Removing the pickup rotor. I didn't follow the service manual for this step, which calls for a special flywheel tool to hold the magnet rotor on the other side of the bike. I just put it in first gear, tied down the rear brake lever and pushed as hard as I could on the ratchet to undo the pickup rotor bolt. It was TIGHT. But with luck it finally broke loose, really happy win right there!
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Dropped in the new chain guides and timing chain, and torqued the pickup rotor back up to spec. Was so relieved when the torque wrench finally clicked.
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Lining up the timing marks and slowly tightening down the camshaft caps up to spec. Had to really go slow on this step or the camshaft would 'bind' and refuse to seat fully. Then I forgot to install the tensioner before turning the engine over by hand, of course the timing chain jumped a couple teeth and I had to take it all back out and restart. :p
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Finally got everything lined up again and put in the new tensioner, gave the engine a few revolutions by hand and it all checked out! Super happy at this point. Checked the valve clearances, all were in spec. Also put in a new timing cover gasket (this ultimately fixed a slow leak I was having there).
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For anyone putting in ignition cables, the service manual has a very clear diagram of the cable layout, should've checked that first before I wasted half an hour doing trial and error. o_O
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NEBO

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Put everything else back in, fresh coolant, and it started right up! Words can't describe that satisfaction I felt when the engine burst into life after cranking for a couple seconds.
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All done, took me three late nights but the feeling of accomplishment is indescribable. The bike was noticeably a lot smoother at high rpms, I used to get some insane buzzing when I passed 6k rpm, but its a lot more muted now. Currently, the bike is approaching 143,000km as of April 2023.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I took my time doing this process, a seasoned mechanic could probably do this entire job in less than half the time I took.
 

Motogiro

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Great job NEBO! Thank you for sharing!
This site has so many great contributing members.
Even if someone comes here needing help it opens an opportunity for all of us to refresh or research our knowledge and experience as motorcycle life enthusiasts.
 

fazil

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Removing the 3 chain guides,
Are there 3 guides, i thought there were just two.
Did you also change tensioner?
Very nice work. I'll do the same soon, and this topic will be very helpfull for me. Thanks
 

NEBO

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Are there 3 guides, i thought there were just two.
Did you also change tensioner?
Very nice work. I'll do the same soon, and this topic will be very helpfull for me. Thanks
Besides the two long guides that slot through the cylinder head, there's also a tiny one that snaps onto the bottom of the valve cover. Service manual calls for all 3 to be replaced together.

Yep I changed the tensioner too. Old one was very slightly rougher than the brand new one in operation.

Glad that this helped you!
 

NEBO

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Are there 3 guides, i thought there were just two.
Did you also change tensioner?
Very nice work. I'll do the same soon, and this topic will be very helpfull for me. Thanks
This is what the 3rd chain guide looks like. Its a tiny piece that snaps into place on the underside of the cam cover.

Attached also the yamaha service manual which calls for all 3 chain guides to be replaced.

Part number is
5BE-12241-01-00

 

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