Thursday, October 18, 2012

One Week Chain Replacement

A week ago, my friend Irwan (who has recently been my new boss) had issues with his bike. I was made aware of this by one of my friends that the poor guy had to push his bike with a broken chain all the way to the office. The thing about this is that the location of my office (cyberjaya) did not have a bike shop ANYWHERE. In fact, this large place (a size of a small township) even only had one petrol kiosk.

Straight away I jumped up and offered to help fix his chain. I offered because this was the guy whom; at the time he was an agent just like me offered his bike for months while my car was being fixed with no requests except to take care of it.

Anyway, the following day, I told him to bring the sprockets and chain so that I can fix it up for him. In the evening, we went down to fix his bike. Only to realize that 1, his bike didn't have a double stand and 2, I didn't have a big enough wrench.

Day 2, I brought my big X wrench and a car jack and thought, okay, let’s get it on! I removed the sprocket only to realize that the metal retainer plate was the wrong size. So I decided to try to slide on the chain onto the old sprockets. It was then I found out that the Kawasaki original parts were different from the after market chains and sprocket sets we could get here. The difference was in the length of the gap, the chain and sprockets had a slightly further gap then the after market ones. So the chains couldn't fit on to the sprockets.

Day 3, my friend had forgotten to get the retainer plate but I had brought a grinder and things to remove the broken chain link and maybe try to get the chain to work on the sprocket so he can get to the shop. After 2 hours of hammering and grinding at the chain, it was apparent why the original parts were so expensive. That was quality steel right there. Unhappy, I packed up and brought the chain home with me seeing how it was a weekend and I could work with my stuff in my house.

Day 4 was a day of rest for me since it was a Saturday, then day 5 came along and I had been able to remove the chain with heavy machinery and elbow grease. I had then let the chain sit in a tub of wd40 to refurbish it and it worked out quite well.

Day 6 came along and with the help of another friend, we had tried to attach the old chain back into the bike. It was then that we had found a gruesome reality. The chain being made of such tough material had been lodged between the sprocket and the swing arm of the bike while it was moving.  Before being able to snap the chain off, the chain had damaged the inner part of the swing arm to the point that it was totally crumpled. It had just so happened that it was in the way of the wheel alignment system so we couldn't push the swing arm all the way back to get the chain connected.

Day 7: this was the last straw, I had brought everything including a huge hammer to try to fix the crumple zone. We had also bought a retainer plate each and a spare chain just in case. We proceeded to change the front sprocket and slowly changed the rear one as the chain had eaten up all the nuts. Successfully removing the nuts, we had no choice but to remove one bolt from the sprocket set as it was totally chewed up. We spent quite some time hammering the alignment slider in to try to uncrumple the place but we didn't get much success. Yet after all our efforts, we had finally installed the chain. Though it was super tight, it was workable. Tired but happy, all of us yelled out in joy. One of my friends who had helped had also given me a lesson in old school chain link removal (not workable for original parts).

Never have I ever been so challenged by a string of mishaps that we had discovered. But in the end, because I didn't want to quit and had friends who supported and had faith in me, we prevailed… in the One Week Chain Replacement.

By Vy

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