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Thread: CL 450 Timing Chain

  1. #11
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    Sep 2005
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    After a day of looking at this engine, and calming down from being P.O'd, I am wondering if the chain is just a bit tight, and that's just the way a new chain will be. The chain tensioner does not have a powerful spring, and I mean it can be compressed by hand so it's doesn't have the tension of something like a valve spring. I have no experience with Hondas, and the factory manual that I'm using doesn't give a spec. or an empirical example of how taunt the spring should be; hence, I don't know what the hell I should expect. The timing marks on the cams, and the crank come very close to lining up, but there is a possible 4 degree mis-alignment of all the marks and that is what has been bothering me the most, and makes me wonder if a looser chain would fix that. I can only relate this to the old American bikes I've messed with that have timing gears which wear with use, and can give you doubts about how accurate your pinion gear is to your points cam. So, unless some Honda expert chimes in and says DO NOT try to run that engine with even the slightest mis-alignment of marks, then I'm going to carry on and go for the gold I deeply thank those who have given me advice, and it is very much appreciated.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    From memory, if the spring is fully compressed, and locked in place, then installed on the motor. When the spring is released and locked again, the shaft will have moved maybe 1/2".

  3. #13
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    There's some good information. Thanks aumicm10; I'll give it a whirl
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  4. #14
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    Nov 2018
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    I think the chain is 128 links.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Eric
    Get a good manual. Take the chain adjuster out of the engine and lay it on the workbench. If you need the correct parts for your old Honda, call Western Hills Honda in southern Ohio (Indiana?)
    Good luck, Fred
    Fred Davis AMCA #9176

  6. #16
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    I certainly appreciate all the good advice I have been getting; THANKS. I have a genuine Honda manual for this bike which is quite good, and much better than the Haynes manual. I did a link count on the new chain and it is 128 links. Experience is everything with a new motorcycle and I don't know what is too tight, or just right. It seems tight to me, but when I think about it, a sloppy timing chain would play hell with the timing. So, I'm going to go with what I've got. Thanks for the Western Hills Honda recommendation, Fred.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    1 mile east of the Rocky Mountains.
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    Eric, given you are going with factory 128 links you are on the right track. the cam chain cannot have any slack and it will feel taut when properly adjusted. Two other excellent parts resources i've used are

    https://www.davidsilverspares.com/

    and

    https://www.cmsnl.com/honda_model8286/

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    21

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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    I certainly appreciate all the good advice I have been getting; THANKS. I have a genuine Honda manual for this bike which is quite good, and much better than the Haynes manual. I did a link count on the new chain and it is 128 links. Experience is everything with a new motorcycle and I don't know what is too tight, or just right. It seems tight to me, but when I think about it, a sloppy timing chain would play hell with the timing. So, I'm going to go with what I've got. Thanks for the Western Hills Honda recommendation, Fred.
    Eric, I'm in the middle of a CB450 rebuild as well... Weird motors... I'm at the same point where I need to install the chain. Unfortunately the chain that was shipped had a link fall out right away... Waiting for a replacement. The heads on these are weird.

    I had the same issue with my CL160 with the chain not reaching and was short. It ended up being the "NOS" gaskets I so happily picked up were too thick and pushed the head up just enough to make the chain tight without the tensioner installed. I bought some new gaskets and it fit together MUCH better. My CL also has a traditional clip master link with no peen/rivet nonsense...

    Probably not your problem but just sharing my experience. I also got frustrated with the 160 (it also got cold) and didn't touch it for a year. Now it's happily fixed up and the cam tensioner bolt is stuck .

  9. #19
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    This has really turned into a great thread, and far exceeded my expectations thanks to the people that have posted their knowledge, and advice. The 450 is a strange motor, Will but I think it is the best looking Honda engine, and I guess I like it so much because it's historical weirdness makes me think of the knucklehead. You mentioned the gasket thickness, and how that very slight height difference could have a profound effect on the chain tightness. I'm thinking that the head will need to be re-torqued and that may loosen things up a bit. . . I've not parked it yet, as I'm still in love with it, so I'll keep plugging away and my goal is to feel confident enough to put the motor in the frame.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

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