I'm putting my '07 Kawasaki ZZR600 back together after a valve adjustment, but I can't get the auto cam chain tensioner re-installed. I have the unit back in and the plunger pushed as far in as it will go, but with the spring fully compressed I can't get the tensioner bolt back on.

The cap bolt stops about an inch short of being able to thread, but it doesn't feel like the plunger has any more potential give. What could be preventing me?

  • Frustrated because with the tensioner in I can see my timing is good to go, so close but so far
    – Ceshion
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 0:23
  • if it has a bolt retaining the spring, can you remove the bolt and spring to allow the tensioner itself to back out a bit further? then reassemble?
    – Mauro
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 12:13
  • @Mauro Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear enough-- the problem is that the tensioner plunger won't go in far enough to thread the cap bolt, it stops about an inch short
    – Ceshion
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 12:27
  • Since this is an automatic cam chain tensioner, is it fair to assume that the plunger is pushed out as it's filled with pressurized oil? If that's the case then the missing inch is probably due to the presence of oil at the back of the plunger. The pictures on eBay aren't detailed enough for me to figure out whether it's possible to drain that oil out in some way. Let me know if you think this is a plausible scenario
    – Zaid
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 21:07
  • On cars, some automatic tensioners have to be taken apart to push the plunger back in. Can you provide a picture of what you're working with?
    – Ben
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 22:53

2 Answers 2


I know this page is around a ZXE600 but it looks like its the same model setup as a ZZR600



-Remove the center bolt (12mm) first. This will release an under pressure spring and pin and copper washer with the bolt. Place aside.

-Remove the two outer bolts (10mm) now and remove the CCT housing from the engine. I had to whack mine with a rubber mallet, it was stuck in there pretty good. It popped out with some energy.

Rebuild enter image description here

-Once the caps are tightened to 12 NM (104 inch/lbs) of torque, YOU MUST reset your CCT. If you put it back in as it was you will likely break something and cause damage. Reset it. You do that by pressing in the little button and then pushing back the little “plunger” (foot thingee) back into it’s holder. I’m pointing to the ‘button’ you depress to push the plunger back into the housing.Adjust valves ZX6E kawasaki-CCT reset button point This pics shows the ‘plunger’ retracted after resetting it: Adjust valves ZX6E kawasaki-CCT retracted foot

-Now re-install the CCT housing, the raised arrow on it aligns horizontally at the top (but not pointing ‘up’).

-Bolt in those two 10mm bolts on the housing.

-Reinstall the bolt, copper washer, pin, and spring into the CCT housing. It will be tad difficult as the spring will push back on you, but get the bolt in and tighten to 9.7 NM. This will now engage the CCT to put pressure on the chain.

  • In fact if I'm not mistaken, ZX-6E is another model designation for the ZZR600
    – Ceshion
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 16:28

Sorry, but the answer turned out to be a type of user error. Namely a forgotten tool lodged in the tensioner. Thorough inspection is important.

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