Sticky chain links

Hello there everyone. I’ve found this forum so useful and I figured the best way I could thank you all for that was by giving you the opportunity to answer another question.

Today’s question is about chain maintenance. I have an LO206 with a #35 chain (I usually use the RLV xtreme chains, the one with the leg on the box) and in the process of changing gears and sprockets, I often find myself adding a link or removing a link. When I do this, I use a chain breaker.

But I often find when I put it back together that the chain has a sticky link in it. Take a look at this picture, you can see a few sticky links:

It’s not so sticky it’s undriveable, but it doesn’t seem good.

Anyone have any thoughts on how to prevent this? Different technique, different chain? Willing to consider any ideas.

Do you clean the chain every so often?

Gunk and chain lube tends to build up and can only really be solved by a good cleaning.

For non o ring chains a trick that works really well is cleaning your chain in old race fuel (wear gloves when doing this and have a disposal can nearby) Pour some in a small pan and swish the chain around in it using your gloved finger or spare wrench, A bunch of grime and gunk should come out. Repeat until very little grime comes out, Let it sit and and then re lube. I also also use a chain cleaner like motul or similar for a quick clean.

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Times when we had this issue after adding or removing links, I would flex the chain back forth few times and it usually cleared it up.

Also to note, when we switched to EK Silver Pro, we had far less issues with chain links and longer life.

Use the chain breaker and try to re-center the sticky pin. Sometimes you push it too far and sometimes it’s not far enough.

Not an answer, I’m just curious about adding or removing a link. Doesn’t the engine mount have any adjustment for chain tension? Surely you can adjust the engine position enough rather than having to go through the process of removing or adding a link?

I have several different length chains for different sprocket set ups, if I can’t get the tension right within the fore-aft adjustment of engine position I change the chain so that I can, I’ve never removed or added any links.

i do the add/remove two links things every now and then, but it’s usually only when i go from one track to another, that require different gear ratios. having a few chains already set at different lengths seems like a good way to go about it, but right now, i use one chain at a time, with a brand new spare in the packaging in my tool box. if i remember correctly, i get chains that are 106 links, and i usually take about 6 off, and i keep the spare links to swap in and out if need be. i’ve gotten quite practiced with a chain breaker, so i don’t really notice any issues with the sticky links. i use rlv chains with the legs, too.

Try centering the replaced link by bowing or flexing the chain “sideways” a few times.

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Thanks everyone. Really appreciate the input. The pictured chain has probably 12 sessions on it; I lube it between sessions, but it has not been cleaned further. I’ll try pulling it off and cleaning it as suggested and see if it helps, and bump the pins back and forth a little with the chain breaker.

In my particular case, clearance is really tight, and I only have maybe an inch or two I can move the engine forwards or backwards, so often a simple gear change involve chain length changes. The motor is also an LO206, so with the chain on the inside of the rear bearing, changing a chain means using the chain breaker.

i finally got good with masterlinks, and use them exclusively, for just putting a chain on and off. i still need the tool to increase or decrease length, though.

The 35 chain is just not as high of quality as the 219 generally speaking and the tolerance issue is the worst when using the chain breaker. You can lessen the issue with the plates by using a thin shim or small screwdriver placed on the outside of the outside link that you are pushing the pin through - that’ll help keep the plates true and no splayed out. Then it’s just swapping the breaker from one side to the other of the chain a few times between both drive pins and you can eventually get everything to align better.

Your best bet to fix the problem is convert to high quality 219 chain like the DID HTZ.