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Discussion Starter #1
That beginner being me!

I have bought a new set of chain & sprox from Wemoto, here...
Honda NX 650 V/W/X Dominator RD08 (Brembo Front Caliper) 97-99 DID Chain and JT Sprocket Kit Parts at Wemoto - The UK's No.1 On-Line Motorcycle Parts Retailer
(but paid 15% less when they had an offer on last week)

and have also invested in / wasted money on a good quality chain splitting / riveting tool, here...
Draper Expert 12921 Chain Splitter Riveter Kit: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools

Many fings wot I ave red sez it's best to attack the old chain with an angle grinder first, to make it easier to press out the old pins, otherwise you risk bending your expensive new chain splitter tool. Now, I don't have an angle grinder, nor do I intend to invest in / waste money on buying one. I wondered could a normal electric hand drill be used with an angle grinding disc using a suitable adapter. Apparently the answer is no, drills don't spin at a fast enough speed to make an angle grinder disc effective, so you can't use a drill for that purpose.

So I could:

1) hire a grinder for a day;
2) hand the job over to a reputable mechanic (but then I won't get to learn how to do it and my investment in a splitter / riveter will definitely be filed under Waste Of Money);
3) press on (ha!) with trying to split the chain without first grinding the old rivets.

Any suggestions, fellow Dommie owners?

And my next beginner's question: the chain tool comes with adapters for 3, 4 and 5mm pins. I can just measure the diameter of the new rivet link to decide which to use for the new chain, but for the old chain that's not so easy. Any suggestions? Or, hopeffully if the old chain was DID as well, could I assume it's the same diameter as the rivet link for the new chain?

See, told you I was a beginner!

Cheers
Fitz
 

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There is an alternative (on the fx at least) - take the chain off in one piece!
About to do the same job when it comes to service time (soon)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
£15 buys an angle grinder?! That sounds like a solution to me.


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Discussion Starter #8
A hacksaw? I've got one of those. Of course! I'm not going to re-use the old chain so total obliteration is the answer, rather than trying to push out old pins to split the chain. Duh.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Update:

I am now the proud owner of a cheapo angle grinder. So before I set about hacking the old chain to death, is there anything else I need before starting the job?

Chain incl new soft link
Sprox
Angle grinder
Grinder disc
Chain riveter
?

Are there any consumables like washers that need replacing? Cush drive rubbers were replaced when I had the rear wheel out for rebuilding. Bearings are sound. I even have a spare chain slider (plastic thing that prevents the chain from rubbing the swing arm) lurking in the shed which I may be able to squeeze on while the old chain & sprox are off the bike.

I have an array of tools incl. a torque wrench for tightening everything up at the end.

JamieB76 of this parish warned that the front sprocket will be a bitch to remove. Any tips on that, good people?

Thanks!
 

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The only thing I can think of that might cause issues is very tight sprocket fittings. You could have a go at loosening them with the wheel still in the bike, that way it will be held still.
 

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Get yourself some 1mm thick slitting discs if you haven't already much better for cutting and less mess and cover any parts the sparks may hit especially paint :thumbup:
 

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Hi mate
Sorry to be the H&S person but really do wear safety glasses with your grinder. I love my bike, I love my power tools, but I love my sight more.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi mate
Sorry to be the H&S person but really do wear safety glasses with your grinder. I love my bike, I love my power tools, but I love my sight more.
I'm all over it. Goggles, gloves, oil-stained cotton overalls... Oh, hang on.

Thanks for the warning / reminder though.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Get yourself some 1mm thick slitting discs if you haven't already much better for cutting and less mess and cover any parts the sparks may hit especially paint :thumbup:
Do you mean for cutting clean through the side plates of the old chain, rather than grinding off the soft rivet heads?
 

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Do you mean for cutting clean through the side plates of the old chain, rather than grinding off the soft rivet heads?
Yes, but these discs are so useful i always have a box of them in the shed then again i do get them from work FOC :thumbup: Their not to be used for grinding only cutting
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I am no longer a chain & sprocket replacement virgin! Many thanks to everyone on this thread for the help, advice and encouragement along the way. If any other virgins need the same, here's my pocket guide. It's all from memory now as I didn't make contemporaneous notes as I went along. And sorry, but I didn't take any photos as I went along either...

1) I ordered a DID chain and JT sprockets as a set from Wemoto.
Honda NX 650 V/W/X Dominator RD08 (Brembo Front Caliper) 97-99 DID Chain and JT Sprocket Kit Parts at Wemoto - The UK's No.1 On-Line Motorcycle Parts Retailer

2) I also ordered a replacement locking washer for the front sprocket and the two bolts that retain it.
Honda NX 650 V/W/X Dominator RD08 (Brembo Front Caliper) 97-99 Retainer Front Sprocket Parts at Wemoto - The UK's No.1 On-Line Motorcycle Parts Retailer

3) I already had a replacement chain slider (plastic thing that prevents the chain from rubbing the swing arm), a good time to get that job done while the chain and front spocket were off the bike.

4) I bought a chain splitting / riveting tool from Amazon. It now says RRP £121, I got it for £43. Shop around!
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Draper-Expert-12921-Splitter-Riveter-x/dp/B007574GW4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

5) I bought a cheap angle grinder for £15 on eBay, ostensibly for grinding off the heads of the soft link on the old chain.
600WATT 4 ½ ANGLE GRINDER IN COLOUR BOX SET 115MM DIY TOOL KIT DICS POWER | eBay

6) I set to work, please note though that my bike was already in bits following major airbox surgery (see pic on link below), which made access to everything very easy. At the very least you need the front sprocket cover off, the chainguard off and the rear sprocket lower guard off. And the rear wheel will have to come out. Before sparks start to fly from an angle grinder, it would be best to protect painted surfaces and take precautions against possible combustion. Wear gloves, eye protection, ear protection and something other than your Sunday-best suit.

http://www.xrv.org.uk/forums/dominator-fmx/145769-replacing-airbox.html#post1208513

7) Let's get to work. Bike on the ground, in 1st gear. Loosen ( = don't remove yet) 6x bolts securing rear sprocket to hub. Allen bolt facing you with nut behind. Mine were not difficult to move but it's not been long since I dismantled it all when I had my rear wheel rebuilt. Loosen 2x bolts holding locking washer onto front sprocket. Mine came loose fairly easily, which was a nice surprise. Loosen rear wheel spindle nut.

8 ) Get the rear of the bike up off the ground (I used a paddock stand), and loosen the chain tension adjuster bolts at the ends of the swingarm. Shove the rear wheel forward to slacken the chain enough to lift off rear sprocket and leave hanging over swingarm.

9) Remove the rear wheel spindle nut. Support the wheel as you pull / tap out the spindle, noting the positioning of spacers as they come out. Drop the rear wheel out and place to one side. The rear brake caliper should be fine balanced in its slider on the swingarm, or you could hang it from a bungee, just don't allow it to dangle and stress the brake hose. It's also worth shoving something between the faces of the brake pads (a bit of wood or some folded up stiff cardboard would do), just in case some berk comes along and decides to press the rear brake pedal.

10) Now you can finish removing the 6x bolts holding the sprocket to the carrier on the rear wheel. This might also be a good time to inspect / replace your cush drive rubbers (between the sprocket carrier and the hub) but again, mine were replaced when I had the wheel rebuilt. Install the new sprocket (I re-used the old bolts & nuts), any markings stamped on the sprocket should be facing you. Leave the rear wheel to one side, for now.

11) I took this opportunity to remove the chain adjuster blocks from the swingarm and have a good old clean up with degreaser and brake cleaner. Inside the ends of the swingarm too. A good dab of grease all round on re-assembly and note that the back-plates have grooves on the inside that need to be at the bottom on re-assembly. A spot of copper grease on the adjuster threads is also a good idea.

12) Pull the chain free of the front sprocket and remove the washer retaining bolts. The washer may need some gentle persuasion with a flat blade (e.g. screwdriver) to ease it off the shaft. Once it's off, the sprocket should pull straight off.

13) With all that out of the way, now's the time to replace the chain slider (see 3 above) if that needs doing. Mine didn't really, it's quite tough plastic, but as I'd bought a new one ages ago anyway, I went ahead and replaced the old one.

14) Install your new front sprocket (with any markings facing you), push on the washer (noting how the two bolt-holes are NOT diametrically opposed) and secure with the two bolts (I bought new bolts when I bought the washer but the old ones seemed fine).

15) Clean and lightly grease the rear wheel spindle then re-assemble the rear wheel. I find it easiest to sit on my bum behind the bike and rest the rear wheel on my feet while offering it up and pushing the spindle through. A few taps on the spindle with a soft mallet while wiggling the wheel into position should do it. Make sure you get the position of the spacers right. Make sure the brake disc slots neatly between the pads (having removed whatever was holding the pads apart - see 9 above) and the brake caliper is correctly positioned in the slider on the swingarm. You don't need four hands for all this, just a little patience and methodicalness, if such a word exists. Tighten the spindle bolt, just hand tight at this stage.

16) Turn the left side chain adjuster just to get a bit of tension in the chain. It doesn't need to be super tight, but you don't want it flopping onto the swingarm. Don't bother with the lock nut or the right adjuster, for now.

17) What you should have now is a bike with new sprockets and old chain. Ready? It's TOOL TIME!

18 ) I repeat the warnings about using an angle grinder. It would be best to protect painted surfaces and take precautions against possible combustion. Wear gloves, eye protection, ear protection and something other than your Sunday-best suit when operating your grinder.

19) The Theory is that you grind off the heads of the soft link on the old chain, unlink the old chain, link the end of your new chain to the old chain and pull the old chain around the sprockets until the new chain is right round the sprockets, discard the old chain and press & rivet the soft link to complete your new chain...

20) I found it easy to grind off the heads of the soft link on the old chain (hint: it's the only link in the entire chain that looks different to all the others) but then I couldn't push out the pins using my new chain splitter tool. So I resorted to cutting the old chain (same power tool, different type of disc) because it's not going to be re-used so what's the point in pussy-footing around?

21) Thread your new chain around the sprockets, taking great care not to let it dangle on the floor and pick up any dirt or grit. You will need to back off the chain adjuster again as your new chain will be shorter than the old.

22) Assemble the new soft link that came with the new chain, noting the positioning of the o-rings and using all of the little packet of grease to lube everything up before assembly.

23) Follow the instructions for the chain tool to press the side plate onto the soft link pins. Better men than I can do this with pliers or mole grips but I'm glad I bought the chain tool.

24) Follow the instructions for the chain tool to splay the pins on the soft link to secure the side plate. Again, better men than I can do this with a hammer and a punch or other selected hand tools but I'm glad I bought the chain tool.

25) You should now have a bike with new chain and new sprockets. Get the bike down off the paddock stand and onto the side stand. Set the chain tension to the desired spec by adjusting the left adjuster only, then the lock nut to secure it. Measure how long along the "window" the adjuster block is on that side then use the right adjuster to set the right window to EXACTLY the same spec, then the lock nut to secure it. There are other methods for ensuring wheel alignment involving straight edges, blocks of wood, paddock stands, etc. but I find they're all a bit of a faff.

26) Torque up the rear wheel spindle nut to the correct spec.

27) Replace any parts removed like the chain guard, lower sprocket guard. Job's a good'un, assuming there are no stray bolts or fasteners lying around. Pack up your tools and go for a test ride. The new chain won't need lubing for the first 100 miles or so as it's already greased out of the box.

Well, that's how I did it anyway, or at least how I remember doing it! Yes, some investment in new tools required, and a competent pro mechanic could probably do the entire job in under an hour. It took me considerably longer than that but one of my objectives when buying my simple, single-cylinder, air-cooled, carb-fuelled Dommie was to learn a bit about maintenance and to do some of the jobs myself. Box very much ticked!!

The order of play would have been slightly different had it been my original intention to just cut off the old chain, but I was hoping to use the chain tool for all of its intended purpose, including pushing out the pins on the old chain.

Hope this helps someone who fancies DIYing the same job. Not difficult but worth taking time over, at least the first time!
 
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