After dropping the timing chain during the STR last weekend, I decided that it was about time to adjust the timing chain tension. I checked and confirmed that there was too much play (about 1" in each direction) in the timing chain, so I set to work.
I would like to offer the following pieces of advice to anyone who, in the future, decides to adjust chain tension on their eccentric-equipped tandem:
The CORRECT WAY to adjust timing chain tension on a tandem bicycle:
1. DO NOT REMOVE THE TIMING CHAIN.
2. Adjust eccentric to give proper chain tension.
Total time: 4 minutes.
Rahzel's INCREDIBLY DUMB WAY to adjust timing chain tension on a tandem bicycle:
1. Remove timing chain and clean it.
2. Adjust eccentric, guessing at the amount of adjustment that needs to be made (since the chain is not on the bike). Be sure to rotate the eccentric more forward than you think you need, as a tight timing chain is better than a loose one!
3. Attempt to put timing chain back on bike.
4. Curse and sweat for 20 minutes because the timing chain "for some reason" won't get back on the timing rings.
5. Manage, somehow to get the timing chain mounted.
6. Notice that there is ZERO play in the chain anywhere, and that the cranks barely turn the chain is so tight.
8. Remove one of the chainwheels in an effort to get the chain back off the bike.
9. Gash your hand on one of the chainwheel teeth as the chainwheel comes flying off the bike due to the huge amount of chain tension.
10. Loosen the eccentric.
11. Re-install the chainwheel.
12. Put the timing chain on the bike. (It's much easier when the eccentric is loose!!! Who knew!!!)
13. Adjust eccentric to give proper chain tension.
Total time: 134 minutes.
Who has two thumbs and is young and stupid? THIS GUY.
Oh well. The chain is adjusted, nothing is broken and all I lost was 2 hours of my time and some pride.