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Old June 11th, 2019, 03:20 AM   #1
FluxX
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Question Timing Chain Replacement

Hey all, recently bought a Ninja 250r 2012 FI model. Just sent it in for major service at the Kawasaki dealership in my area. Mechanic completed the service and let me know that my timing chain/ belt needs urgent replacement and he highly recommends it. Netherless I gave him the go ahead. I dont know much history on the bike unfortunately and it has 27000km on the clock. My question is what is the purpose of the timing belt, is this something that has the tendency to go? Is it due to the bike possibly being ridden hard in the past? I have had issues where the bike would stall on the odd occasions and the FI light would light up. Could that also be due to this issue?

Sorry for the questions ,I'm by no means a pro. The bike is my weekend toy not a daily comuter or anything.
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Old June 11th, 2019, 11:27 AM   #2
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Timing-chain connects crankshaft to the camshafts. This spins the camshafts which opens and closes the valves

Not very likely timing-chain wore out in just 27k-km unless there was severe maintenance neglect. No it would have to be intentional abuse with putting sand into crankcase in order to wear out chain. If chain was worn out with this little mileage, your piston-rings, valves and bearings would also be worn out. Engine would smoke and sound like a shaking bucket of rocks! There are many examples of these bikes with 150k-km and chain is fine with just valve-adjustments needed. If they didn't give you specifics on why it needs to be replaced, it's a kak diagnosis.

If it's not too late, take bike elsewhere for 2nd opinion.

Stalling is probably not related to timing chain. Most likely a vacuum leak throwing off MAP-sensor. If it does it more when cold, could be ECT sensor not detecting cold-engine properly and ECU not using cold-start enrichment. Could be idle-speed not set correctly. Any number of things. Competent shop can get dash to blink error-codes to troubleshoot (if there's any stored from past events).
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Old June 11th, 2019, 12:11 PM   #3
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I will stop there on the way to work tomorrow . I actually spoke to the receptionist over the phone not the mechanic, she definitely said timing chain(perhaps she meant the actual chain between the sprockets instead??) was worn and that the mechanic highly recommends replacing it. She made it sound pretty dramatic to. Id like to speak to him directly tomorrow then. I cant imagine they would misdiagnose as they a pretty large professional service center with multiple mechanics...
A few people have now mentioned that it isn't something that occurs with that amount of mileage though which makes it quite questional. I would also have to basically pay double the price I intended to because it was only due for a service. Thank you @DannoXYZ for the helpful info, much appreciated.
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Old June 11th, 2019, 02:34 PM   #4
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You're most welcome!

Replacing timing-chain requires engine removal and removing heads and cams. Along with splitting bottom case to remove crank. Better option is to replace complete engine with used one from breakers. Ends up taking less time and costs less. Good luck!
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Old June 11th, 2019, 02:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluxX View Post
I cant imagine they would misdiagnose as they a pretty large professional service center with multiple mechanics..
Ha ha, sure. There's a reason I don't let others work on my vehicles.
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Old June 11th, 2019, 08:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluxX View Post
I will stop there on the way to work tomorrow . I actually spoke to the receptionist over the phone not the mechanic, she definitely said timing chain(perhaps she meant the actual chain between the sprockets instead??) was worn and that the mechanic highly recommends replacing it. She made it sound pretty dramatic to. Id like to speak to him directly tomorrow then. I cant imagine they would misdiagnose as they a pretty large professional service center with multiple mechanics...
A few people have now mentioned that it isn't something that occurs with that amount of mileage though which makes it quite questional. I would also have to basically pay double the price I intended to because it was only due for a service. Thank you @DannoXYZ for the helpful info, much appreciated.
I think you may have answered your own question. Big dealership, lots of mechanics and staff in general and big overhead costs. Professional yes but perhaps with a tendency to over service on occasion when things are a bit quite. I would get a second opinion on the cam chain or compared how your engine sounds to a similar one. If it is in fact the drive chain and sprockets they are referring to well fair enough as they can easily wear out by that sort of mileage.
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Old June 12th, 2019, 07:13 AM   #7
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Well I returned to speak to the manager and the mechanic.They were helpful and insisted to demonstrate the issue .I could actually hear how loose the cam belt was when he covered the exhaust with his hand to dampen the engine noise . Bike is pretty loud and has a straight pipe. Previous owner used it as a track bike. ... it's rather concerning that it had worn so quickly netherless it will be replaced. Going to replace the exhaust with a Yoshi or something decent and get it re-mapped once everything is running perfectly. Thanks to everyone for their input!

Last futzed with by FluxX; June 12th, 2019 at 09:20 AM.
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Old June 12th, 2019, 10:04 AM   #8
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They're just saying it's loose? Are you sure it's not just the chain tensioner that's bad? That's an easy fix.
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Old June 12th, 2019, 10:52 AM   #9
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Danno's suggestion of a second opinion is a very good one. Timing chain noise is almost always caused by a tensioner that needs some assistance.
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Old June 12th, 2019, 11:20 AM   #10
FluxX
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This is also true @Triple Jim @Ralgha, perhaps a second opinion should be my next move. Definitely going to have to start learning to do some more self maintenance besides oil changes and that. But yes he basically just pointed out the sound. I asked if he opened the chassis he said no but upon completion of service and during checks he mentioned he could "tell" that the cam chain needed replacing due to his years of experience and the sound it produced. As mentioned above surely checking and adjusting the tensioner should be first resort, I honestly didn't realise it has a manual tensioner such as the common chain and sprocket.
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Old June 12th, 2019, 11:28 AM   #11
Triple Jim
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You should get a copy of the manual so you can understand things better.
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