Periodic drive inspection and adjustment can result in increased service life and lower costs. Items to examine during an inspection include: sprocket alignment, tension, lubrication, and the general condition of chain and sprockets.
Tensioning and Elongation
As a chain wears it will elongate and the chain will wrap an increasingly larger pitch circle. Re-tensioning of the chain will normally eliminate problems that can result from excess chain slack. When elongation becomes excessive the chain can skip teeth and damage the sprocket. It is best to replace the chain before this happens. The size of the large sprocket will limit the allowable elongation of the chain. In general, a chain will not properly wrap sprockets when it has elongated by 200/N % where N = the number of teeth in the larger sprocket. Other application related considerations may further limit the amount of acceptable elongation
Sprocket alignment must be maintained for optimum drive performance and chain life. Examine the sides of the chain guide links for excessive wear or gouging; these are often symptoms of misaligned sprockets. Periodically check that sprockets are securely fastened. If sprocket position has changed since installation go through the alignment procedure used during installation.