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Any advice/ experience of `O' ring drive chains?

ray vinmad

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Any advice/ experience of `O' ring drive chains on our Vincents out there?

I seem to remember something mentioned a few months ago (probably more), but the `advanced search' didn't find it.

Best wishes to all for the New Year,

Ray
 

CollingsBob

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
"O" ring chains offer a superior ability to hold their lubrication inside themselves, as well as holding the gritty stuff on the outside. A member of my section told me to use a #520 "O" ring chain on sprockets machined for that purpose.
 

john998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hello, fitted a 520 with new sprockets, and have not adjusted since. Looks like it will see my out.
Also fitted a Scott oiler, a wonderful device that I would recommend on any chain.
Snags- need to rivet it, this makes rear wheel removal awkward but no more than that.
Kit came from Conways, not cheap but top class. John.
 

vince998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hello, fitted a 520 with new sprockets, and have not adjusted since. Looks like it will see my out.
Also fitted a Scott oiler, a wonderful device that I would recommend on any chain.
Snags- need to rivet it, this makes rear wheel removal awkward but no more than that.
Kit came from Conways, not cheap but top class. John.

Hi Ray,
I think the key is in the rivet here.
I tried fitting an o ring chain with a split link to an egli a few years ago.
Everything worked fine until on turning the wheel, the split link (being a bit wider) jammed between G50 and the gearbox casing.
I have heard of people that have removed the offending surplus material on G50 and the casing.
I just fitted a standard chain as a rally was coming up.
Just something to watch out for.
 

Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I have put O ring chains on several Vincents.
First, the sprockets need replacing. The sprockets available from the usual suppliers are made from some innappropriate steel, and mostly by I am told by Holders. They are not hard enough and will only last about 10K miles. For many I am sure that is OK, but for some, that maybe just a year or two of riding. I have been "re-ringing" original sprockets (Checking seal and splines) with SAE 8620 case hardened sprocket rings. This is a material that sprockets should be made from. At well over 15K it shows NO wear. (Peter Barker can do them in the UK).

Rear sprockets have the same issues, although they are easier to change. I have run SAE7075T6 annodozed alloy sprockets and got 10k from them, but feel this is not really what we need. I have tried to source them made from the same SAE8620, but have not been able. I think if I wanted to get a big batch made it could be done, and have considered looking into that. The company that makes my 17 - 22 T sprockets can't do the 46 - 48 tooth ones. I could make one offs for my own consumtion, but this is a time consuming process. If I ever get a better mass solution - I'll post about it.

And the chain. If you go looking you will find that a 520 oring chin is available in many grades from many suppliers. - and as has been posted some have very heavy side plates and consequently the master link can rub (or in the case of one I tried, just jam) against the G 50 plate. I have been fortunate enough to have been able to measure the link before purchasing, although the one I am running has a rivetted link. It comes with nice little spacers to fit around the o rings whislt rivetting so as not to damage the rings (O or X or W) I feel that one does not need a chain with side plates any heavier than the original 530 chains had. I have an RC 51 Honda that makes about 3 times the HP as the Woolly does and it has a 530 chain with only slightly thicker plates than what the Vincent runs.

So there

Decent front sprocket as they are pain to change
Decent rear sprocket but be prepared to change every 10k (even the steel ones available)
Almost any sealed chain.

I generally give it a bit of lube every few hundred miles and especially if it has been running in the wet all day.
 

bmetcalf

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
john998;14218Snags- need to rivet it said:
I don't break my chain when I take the rear wheel off. I am able to pull out the tommy bar axle and push the wheel far enough forward that the chain can be slipped off and the wheel pulled out the back. It is a challenge to have the backing plates at the right angle when I am replacing the wheel by myself, though.
 

Alan J

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I find original sprockets seem to last forever!! I am not saying how far-as it is embarrassing! I get about 7000 miles out of a30 pound chain-and I use the "original Vincent chain oiler-cheaper than a 70 pound one!-all this pulling "a pram!"
 

Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Well what are original sprockets. In refurbishing quite a few I have come across some quite hard ones, but many are not. Are originals those that were spec'd by Irving, or just ones made to original dimensions by others? And although I don't pull a pram, I don't baby the Woolly and get 25,000 miles from a 50 GBP chain, and expect to get twice that from a drive sprocket. And the only oil it sees is as i described above. No mess.
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Raking back through the memory, most of the OE sprockets I've handled, mainly BSA and Rudge but also Norton, Suzuki, Honda and Ducati, have been through-hardened - certainly tough enough stuff to resist the drilling of "lightening" holes, to which I was addicted in my yoof. That sprockets be hardened (and hard) is the SAE recommendation. (A distant memory says that manganese steels, which work harden, are particularly suitable.) I imagine the requirement is that they be hard enough to resist wear on the teeth, but not so hard that the sprocket spline wears out the sleeve gear (G12) spline.
The only Vincent sprocket I've replaced, which I'm sure was original, was definitely heat-treated: it was worn on the teeth, but not worn out, 43,000 miles, and I thought I might clean it up with a file to get a good look at the tooth profile. Fond hope: it would have needed a grinding wheel.
 

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