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Home made chain tensioner

11 posts in this topic

So I have a 1979 Honda CB 750 DOHC in an old Amen hardtail frame with an HD front end and well, I had swapped out my chain for a new one and it was at that point I needed some kind of chain tensioner and being the cheap ass, make it yourself kinda guy, I couldnt justify (or really afford) paying over $100 for one of them aftermarket tensioners so after 2 failed attempts and doing a solid mount tensioner, I came up with this fancy piece of machinery in about an hour or so (Not including the trip to the local hardware store to get the spring). Best part was, I had the skateboard wheel laying around and was brand new (Still going to get a wider one eventually), the steel I had laying around here along with the 2 bolts I cut down to fit, and the spring cost me under a dollar at the local hardware store. I did cut about 3-4 coils off the spring to fit and work better. But here are the pictures. Never mind the super dirty bike. Its been washed since and is nice and clean now. haha

Here is the bike it is on. The old cruddy solid mount is in this picture.

How I built the tensioner. I can get measurements if anyone needs but honestly, I didnt make any when I built iy. I just mocked everything up a few times until it worked perfect for me.






It works AMAZING and no more sloppy chain. I am eventually going to redo it a bit so it looks cleaner on the frame but for now, it works and thats all that matters.

Also, there is no way for it to over center the way it is with that set up and spring. Trust me, I took that into account. Main reason I did it this way is cause of the fender. I couldnt have it the other way without cutting into the fender to clear everything the way I would have liked and I did not want to do that at all or with everything on the outside. I have put it through its paces (about 500 miles on it) and so far not a single issue and works like a champ! No more floppy chain for this guy.

Anyways, I hope that helps someone else also. I prob have $15 tops into it if you include the cost of the wheel. Also, the arm that the wheel is mounted too, I might redo it and make it a little longer so I can move the mount back a bit for a cleaner look if I cant figure something else out with how its mounted now. Took me all of an hour to make once I settled on a design/idea.

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I really like this tensioner and have shown it to many.

One thing that I might suggest?

I would think that the tensioner should be facing the other direction with the chain moving across it from the front to rear?

This would allow the spring to function better I think by being forced into the spring with chain movement?

Edited by CustomizeIT

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I actually took that into consideration and without cutting into my fender this is how it worked out. I put it through its paces and had it not worked out I would have made another one. Not like it cost me a lot to make so had it not worked out this way, no feelings hurt. It actually works surprisingly well the way I have it. Still need a little wider wheel though/ This one works but more of a pice of mind thing.

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Just not the conventional way of mounting it. And really there is no reason why it would not work mounted like that. The chain is still exerting a force on the spring.

As long as the bearings do not fail. The roller tensioner wheel locks up and there is enough friction to pull the arm backwards?

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I seen this on my phone and had to take a look at it on the big computer

really nice job!

I might have to put a chain tensioner on Lynns trike

so what you have done gives me ideas (that might not be good) lol


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Diggin it. Could always weld a bracket on too and bolt the assembly on.

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