Easy custom tensioner for steel frames

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Paintin' started by maniac57, May 9, 2013.

  1. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    Cut the slotted portion off the stock kit tensioner and welded it on the frame.
    Much more reliable and spoke-friendly!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Chain seems to run a bit quieter as well as tracking onto the rear sprocket much better.
    Plus it's bulletproof.
    (and free)
     
  2. Wickedest1

    Wickedest1 Member

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    Nice job bro...thanks for the tip...someone with the capabilities will definitely benefit...
     
  3. dodge dude94

    dodge dude94 New Member

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    Sometimes it's actually beneficial to be able to move that idler back and forth along the frame to correct for (cheap) chain stretch early on. Granted, somebody with a 415 chain likely wouldn't have that issue.
    BTW, nice weld job.
     
  4. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

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    That's a great idea, & it looks great... How'd you come up with it? haha :D
     
  5. bigbutterbean

    bigbutterbean New Member

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    I have to agree with the advantage of being able to move the tensioner back and forth on the frame. I have a spring-loaded tensioner, which is working out great and a lot less risk of it spinning into the spokes because the force that would normally transfer from the chain to the idler, causing it to twist into the spokes, is now transferred to the spring instead. Anyway, even with a spring loaded tensioner, I've still had to reposition it a few times as the chain wore in.
     
  6. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    The bracket doesn't need to move. If you allow enough adjustment by making the slot long enough the welded bracket will work perfectly.

    I did this one on a 24" bike I built a couple of years ago. After two owners It's still on the bike and still working.

    Good Job, Maniac. But my paint matched better than yours :)

    Tom
     

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  7. scotto-

    scotto- Custom 4-Stroke Bike Builder

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    Chains don't normally wear in...........they wear out :D

    I really like being able to adjust the motor-drive chain tension with the rear entry horizontal drop-outs.........the spokes don't even know that it exists laff and no welding at all.

    Keep it simple and strong, no matter what.

    [​IMG]
     
    #7 scotto-, May 10, 2013
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  8. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    That's true IF you have horizontal drop outs or the frame design allows it. Some frames, like the one I pictured above with the severe taper of the chain stay from front to rear, do not lend themselves to running without a tensioner or some type of guide to keep the chain away from the frame.

    I run no tensioner whenever I can but it's not always possible with every frame design.

    Tom
     
  9. scotto-

    scotto- Custom 4-Stroke Bike Builder

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    Yes Tom, and that is one of the more important things to consider when selecting a bike or bike frame that you want to motorize. Even moreso when you're running three chains like I do on my current builds.......race or not.

    [​IMG]

    and look at the paint match..........perfect!

    dnut
     
  10. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Ditto, Scotto.

    The problem with most new builders is that without the experience of installing an engine and knowing what it takes to get everything aligned, they won't see the benefits of certain frame designs. Therefore we have to keep them in mind and offer alternatives to running without a tensioner if they end up with a bike without the clearance needed.

    Maniac's idea is a good one but limited to those with fabrication and welding skills. All too often we see a newbie who will say he doesn't have any tools or experience and his tensioner just rolled into his spokes. "Now what do I do?"

    That's where we come in to offer those alternatives, and be glad that we don't have 3 chains to watch over. :)
    Awsome looking bike, by the way and yes, your paint matches quite well.

    Tom
     
  11. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    You must not of seen pictures of my Pig.
    Looks are secondary to function and I had black paint already.
    (Translation: I'm lazy)
     
  12. 577-Jersey

    577-Jersey New Member

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    Thats an awesome idea maniac!!

    I just tacked my tensioner to the frame yesterday,,I used tape and spray paint and it looks great,,I will use this idea eventually,,just need to make sure its perfectly lined up before you buzz it.There is no need to slide the stock tensioner around on the frame,,once the chain is adjusted to the point where the slide is all the way up,,its time for a new chain anyway,,unless you want to remove a link or half....new ones are cheap :)

    Good Times...

    Tom :)
     
    #12 577-Jersey, May 10, 2013
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  13. Daement

    Daement New Member

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    Nice work. and I like the chrome muffler. I was wondering if anyone knows what kinda steel alloy this crap stock tensioner is made of. And also was this an arc weld?
     
  14. 577-Jersey

    577-Jersey New Member

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    I used a cheap Harbor Freight 90 amp.030 flux wire welder,,kinda same thing as stick but self feed and not as clean as MIG,,but it works great,, don't know what kind of steel the Chinese use but it welds ok.Best $100 I ever spent,,I have welded up custom front mounts,exhausts,tubing, reinforced my bumper hitch on my pup truck,even made a custom bike stand out of an old angle iron bed frame I found on the side of the road.Great little welder for the hobbiest,,only downfall is the fumes,,if you don't have a good ventilated area like an open garage door you should use it outside,,cause the fumes from flux core will tear you up eventually :)
     
    #14 577-Jersey, May 31, 2013
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  15. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    I use a cheap Harbor freight stick welder and 1/16 rods. Bought it on sale for under $100 bucks.I prefer stick welders for small home use because rods are cheaper than mig tips and wire.
     
  16. 577-Jersey

    577-Jersey New Member

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    I hear that,,
    Ive spent prolly around 40 extra bucks on tips and wire so far,,might just get a stick next :)
     
  17. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    harder to lay pretty beads but just as strong if not stronger than mig. Mig is harder to get full penetration than stick, especially for new welders.
    I pay about $6bucks a box for 1/16 6013rod.
    Cheaper is gooder in my world.
     
    #17 maniac57, Jun 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2013
  18. Jumpa

    Jumpa New Member

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    I like the angle you cut the bottom of yours on it contours with the upper frame bar for a more natural sleek look . Very professional looking

    The O.P. is also awesome a little paint and also a very professional look added to the bike. I've always disliked the way the bolt on tensioners look. They stick out like a turd in a punch bowl Good work men!!
     
  19. Jumpa

    Jumpa New Member

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    Is that a Huffy Cranebrook
     
  20. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    Huffy Newport
     

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