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  • Roller chain size

    I'm trying my hand at making a set of roller starters for my race bike. I found these industrial rollers with sprockets already welded to them, but I can't figure out what size chain they take. The rollers have metric bearings, so maybe the chain is metric, too?



  • #2
    What size pin fits the sprocket and what is the center distance between pins. Then do a search using Roller Chain Specs. There are several sources of charts showing almost any chain you could every want.

    Many bearings are metric, that doesn't tell where something came from.

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    • #3
      The metric thing was just a guess based on who might have built the original machine and what system they preferred.

      I don't have a piece of chain that fits it so I can't measure the pins. I'm trying to measure the sprockets against the charts on McMaster Carr. Are my pix clear enough to read the measurements?
      Last edited by Commander_Chaos; 06-05-2013, 08:28 PM.

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      • #4
        You could machine up a pair of test diameters to a size that nests nicely into the gullets. Then measure the distance between the centers of them. That will only take a couple of minutes, and it will give you the diameter the rollers should be and the link centers length. Width- I'd measure it then make sure the chain you get is a little wider. Chances are the right chain size will emerge.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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        • #5
          Stop at the Farm supply(Rural King,Tractor Supply etc) and try out different sizes.

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          • #6
            From the pictures I would say # 40 chain. At least my first try. Their is an odd ball #41 chain but do not think it would be that . And 35 is a lot smaller.
            Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self
            http://sites.google.com/site/machinistsite/TWO-BUDDIES
            http://s178.photobucket.com/user/lan...?sort=3&page=1

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            • #7
              Kind of looks like 428.
              I/2" pitch with 5/16" wide rollers.
              Have a look at this chart from Diamond.
              http://www.dansmc.com/diamondchainspecs2.jpg
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

              Location: British Columbia

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              • #8
                Take your sprockets to farm supply (as mentioned) or Industrial supplier, they can match it up. If you take the chain number (except 35 & 41) and divide by 80 - it is the chain pitch - 40/80 = 1/2" pitch : 80/80 = 1" pitch. 35 & 41 are a litle different 35 = 3/8 ptch, and 41 is 1/2" but narrower.

                Metric chain is not realy metric but a bastardized imperial to a BS (British Standard). Some Imperial sprockets will run Metric chain, some not.

                Patrick

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                • #9
                  Looks like 0.625" or 5/8" pitch to me.

                  ANSI and BSI chains differ in inside width and sometimes roller diameter for a given pitch.
                  Paul Compton
                  www.morini-mania.co.uk
                  http://www.youtube.com/user/EVguru

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                  • #10
                    Hi,

                    There are two main standards. British Standard Roller Chain and American Standard Roller Chain. My findings are there is not a Metric standard (yet anyways in common use) as such; just that the dimensions of the two standards can be "converted" from Imperial to Metric.

                    These two links cover most of the sizes for both standards; but are missing the "magical gotcha" for #40 vs (the smaller) #41.
                    http://www.transeals.com/transmissio...sprockets.html
                    http://www.transeals.com/catalogues/...ide-Metric.pdf

                    Here is link that contains #41 and #40 in size order:
                    http://www.gmtel.net/web/drittmer/Te...r%20Chains.pdf

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                    • #11
                      ANSI #40,I've worked with a few miles of it.
                      I just need one more tool,just one!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by darryl View Post
                        You could machine up a pair of test diameters to a size that nests nicely into the gullets. Then measure the distance between the centers of them. That will only take a couple of minutes, and it will give you the diameter the rollers should be and the link centers length. Width- I'd measure it then make sure the chain you get is a little wider. Chances are the right chain size will emerge.
                        Sorry for the slow thank-you. Since I'm far too lazy to fire up the lathe, I laid two 5/16" bolts between the teeth (they fit perfectly) and measured outside to outside. Then I subtracted the diameter of one of the bolts. It came out to exactly 1/2". Ordered the chain and it was just right. Thanks!

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