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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 99 Panther 550 which originally came with reverse. I had the reverse removed by the dealer before delivery and he replaced it with what appears to be most of the components found on a ZL or similar machine without the reverse. The tensioner is the type with a roller on each side of the chain with a spring tensioner pulling evenly on both sides of the chain. There is no external tensioning modification available the way it is set up.

When the machine was new the chain would occasionally jump when I clamped hard on the brakes. After 3000+ miles the chain now skips even when I accelerate hard or attempt to climb. In looking at the ZLs without reverse I see that their chaincase includes a bolt to apply deflection to the front of the chain via tension on the frontside roller. I see no chaincase setups that rely only on the spring tensioner except those which use a slider shoe on the front side of the chain and those on the lighter, lower horsepower rigs. Is my chaincase set up correctly for my machine or would the addition of a tensioning bolt be advisable?
 

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I just had my chain break this year and everyone I ride with told me to get a manual tensioner and install it as well as the stock spring tensioner. I have a 95 zrt800. I have not get the manual one yet but I am replacing the spring as a precaution. There is a spot on the front of my chain case to put a tensioner. I don't know if this helps you at all.
 

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I would definitly get the manual tensioner.  The ones without the bolt are crap IMO. The spring can only put so much tension on and wears out/breaks much faster.
Once you install the manual tensioner it should take care of the jumping problem for good.  Also, while you are in there, inspect your gears and chain real good.  If you keep jumping the chain, it may have screwed up you gears some.  You may also have pieces of metal in there that need cleaned out.  Put some new synthetic chain case oil in and you should be ready to rock better than ever.
 

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My 2000 has an automatic tensioner with a spring that pulls on one side of the chain.  Then there is also a manual tensioner sticking out of the front side of the chaincase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the comments. In looking at the michrofiche parts diagrams for the various machines (at brownsleisureworld.com) I can't find any that are set up like mine is so I am inclined to think that maybe the dealer didn't get it quite right. (That would explain the chain skipping that was happening when it was new.) I order the tensioner bolt and adapter so we'll see what happens with that addition. Again, thanks for the input.
 
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