xs1100 - cam chain, rear brakes
The cam chain started clicking last season. It was at its max adjustment so it was time to replace it. I was not about to do it last year after all the time I put in on the front brakes. I put it off. Well finally this year I had a little spare time so I decided to go for it. The cam chain can be replaced with the engine in the bike. Just put the bike at top dead center, remove the gas tank, valve cover, and pull out the top cam chain guide. Then all you have to do is cut the original chain, making sure it does not fall into the engine case. The new chain has a rivetable master link. I riveted the new chain to the old one and then used the old chain to guide the new chain down into the case and around the crank and back up the other side. I then cut off the rivet master link I just used, then joined the new chain to itself with a second rivet master link. You have to buy an extra master link but it sure beats separating the engine case. The original cam chain was most likely original and had about 25k miles on it. It was fully 1/2 inch longer than the new one. This caused some problems trying to fit the new chain. I had to manually turn the 2 cams to get them back to the correct position for a brand new chain. Just make sure not to move them too much while they are not connected to the crank or you may crush valves with your pistons.