Tensioner issue solved for $5 and a hacksaw
After toying with my first engine and now on my second, here are some observations that will help the noob (i.e. people like me who own just a few tools and aren't machinists).
~ Start with the sprocket, because it is the most tedious if done right. Get all the hardware set as perfectly as possible tightened just enough so it does not move. Flip your bike upside down, put the wheel in the holder and spin. Look good? Remove it and in a sort of north south east west pattern, tighten each a little in turn until it's good to go.
~ Put the wheel on and tighten it just enough to hold it in place.
~ Next flip the bike over and mount the engine tight enough so you can wiggle it left to right and put the chain on. Move the engine to a point that, when the chain length is eyeballed from the rear of the bike it's as straight as it can be. tighten engine mounts, trying to maintain this position. These two steps are your starting point.
~ Add the factory shipped tensioner, but don't tighten it all the way, maybe 60%.
~ Prior to all this you'd have gone to the home depot hardware section and purchased a 4 ft piece of pre-drilled flat steel and cut off an appropriate length. Add this from your rear wheel to your roller mount (I took out the bike wheel washer and used this as the new washer).
~ Tighten the wheel. Strange, but it makes a big difference; Tighten the the nut on the right side (Bike chain side) and then the left.
~ Finally, tighten the tensioner.
Thanks so muck to Bikeguy Joe and Norm for their insights.
Last edited by East82; 10-17-2011 at 06:43 PM.
Reason: Left out a few things