Installing chain on c-c holes

I need help trying to install chain that’s been riveted into a loop into sprockets spaced by a cc. I can’t use a master link since master links work in one direction only and I don’t have any sliding bearing blocks. It’s #35 chain.

That’s new to me, I know its the case for quick links for bikes but we have used master links on drive trains before which see a lot of direction reversal. How far are the sprockets and do you have the ability to loop the chain around them before you slide them onto the shafts?


I’ll try that out, looping the chain before installing the wheels. As far as master links go, when I was building my go kart, I repeatedly read that to install the master link in the correct direction.

Master links will work fine. When they fail, it is most often because of interference - something hits the retaining clip and knocks it off, which generally only happens in one direction.

As an alternative, Vex (and others) have chain tools that allow you to disassemble and reassemble chain without using master links. We have the Vex ones, and have been happy with them (never had a failure). You essentially push the pin most of the way out to pull it apart, then push it back in to put it back together.

Putting preassembled chains on is essentially the same process as belts. You need to put the chain on the sprockets, then put both sprockets on the axles at the same time - that keeps the chain straight between the sprockets. Depending on how tight it is, you might find it easier to slide the bearings out on one side to loosen up the dimensions, and then get the bearings back in.

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While roller chain master links do have a directionality to them, this is generally more important in either long MTBF industrial applications, or applications which typically only spin in one direction anyway (e.g. go karts).

Accounting for the fact that master links typically have ~60% of the breaking strength of normal roller chain links of the same pitch, you can usually ignore the master link direction for 35-pitch chain in FRC (as most use-cases of 35p chain in FRC already have a high factor of safety).

Some mechanisms in FRC can [easily] exceed the breaking strength of 25-pitch master links. So typically for 25-pitch chain, I’ve preferred to use the chain disassembly-and-reassembly tools (such as those linked above) to create continuous loops of chain without the need for any master links.

Typical construction
Put bearings in the bearing bores. Put the chain on the 2 sprockets and hold the assembly taut. Align the sprockets with the bearing bores. Stab shafts through the bearings and into the sprockets.

Alternate procedure for inside the tube construction
Put the chain on the 2 sprockets and hold the assembly taut. Align the sprockets with the bearing bores. Stab shafts through the sprockets. Put bearings onto the shafts and seat them into the bearing bores.

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