Alternator Dropouts: Do They Stay In Place?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Alternator Dropouts: Do They Stay In Place?

    Just built up my El Mariachi today (single speed) Took my first ride & it felt great. Handles real nice & I felt at home within minutes.

    The only problem? The Alternator dropouts moved enough to slacken the chain considerably. I torqued the bolts down to 8 nm just as specified by the Salsa web site, so what gives?

    I should add that I am a big guy at 6'2" & 240 lbs. Will the Alternators stay put for a dude my size? This is a sweet riding bike, I just hope the chain tension isn't something I have to adjust prior to each ride.
    There are three kinds of people: those of us that are good at math and those that are not.

  2. #2
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    I'm 5 11 205 and mine shifted enough to affect riding after about 500 miles on it. That didn't bother me all that much. However, if you're having it happen after one ride, that might be a deal breaker for me.
    "Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves." - Benjamin Franklin

  3. #3
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    Even with the 4mm tension bolts adjusted and locked down with a lock nut?

    Without that Lock bolt/nut i could see it happening easily, but otherwise i think something is askew.

    Post a pic of your setup if you have the chance.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hand/of/Midas View Post
    Even with the 4mm tension bolts adjusted and locked down with a lock nut?

    Without that Lock bolt/nut i could see it happening easily, but otherwise i think something is askew.

    Post a pic of your setup if you have the chance.
    I'm going to go back & retention the dropouts after work tonight. Won't get a chance to ride again until Friday. I assume that 8nm enough torque for these bolts since that's the Salsa spec . Sure hope I did something wrong with the set up, but I followed Salsa's instructions to the letter.
    There are three kinds of people: those of us that are good at math and those that are not.

  5. #5
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    Some chain stretch maybe? Also, the paint on the frame "gives way" to the tip of the set screws a little bit, so you might look into that as well. Once I learned that when the alternators are set when you want them and properly tensioned, the set screws need an extra half turn to really firm them up.

  6. #6
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    Is there supposed to be a lock nut on the set screw? Mine dont have nuts but are threadlocked in place, they have not moved. I also weigh 240.

  7. #7
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    YES!!!! Or I should say, mine haven't moved once. I'm also 5'10" & 160lbs.

    Double check to make sure your wheel is centered. Could be throwing things off a little if its running crooked?

    Good luck!!!

  8. #8
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    Well, I managed to get in another ride after adjusting the chain tension and it held just fine after an 8 mile ride with a few good climbs to test my work. My best guess is that I didn't snug the tension screws enough the first time.

    Salsa's instructions say to tighten them 1/8 turn after tightening up the bolts. I went @ 1/4 turn this time. Let's hope things stay snug, I love the ride of this bike!
    There are three kinds of people: those of us that are good at math and those that are not.

  9. #9
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    I have ridden several SS bikes, and all of them require adjusting here and there, but my El Mariachi has been by far the best.

  10. #10
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    I just had a major failure on my 2012 El Mar alternators today.. Somehow the derailure hanger snapped on my 1x9 setup so I quickly set it SS to be able to get back to the P lot. after I got it all adjusted and tightened the bolts back down, they kept slipping every time I would hit a root or hit any little climb. after I got it home I tried to tighten down some more and the threads on both plates (not the bolts) stripped out...

    I ordered a new set from Tree Fort, and sent an email to Salsa to see if they will help me out any.. thought it was weird the the threads on the plates stripped...


    update!

    I got a hold of Salsa customer support and they are sending me a new set of alternators. It seems mine did not have the tension bolts installed at the LBS so all of the stress of the torque was on the bolts. Andy at Salsa helped me out by sending me the new plates and some tension bolts... Thanks Salsa!
    Last edited by darrinw2001; 07-07-2012 at 05:39 AM.

  11. #11
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    You gotta torque down on the bolts pretty good. If you tighten 'em up enough, they won't move.
    Great design.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by reallylike2ride View Post
    You gotta torque down on the bolts pretty good. If you tighten 'em up enough, they won't move.
    Great design.
    You cant tighten them down too tight or they will strip out like mine did because the bolts are steel and the alternator plates aluminum... just make sure you have the tension bolts set up right.. mine did not have them and was one of the reasons they failed..

  13. #13
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    i have a 2015 El Mar SS and my tensioning is constantly slipping enough where the chain falls off.... I've been on it for two seasons now. Only thing i can come up with is teeth on the bolts have worn out. For those who are having issues with new bikes i would assume it's only cause of the fresh paint. I swear by this bike otherwise. I can ride anything on the El Mar.....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrinw2001 View Post
    You cant tighten them down too tight or they will strip out like mine did because the bolts are steel and the alternator plates aluminum... just make sure you have the tension bolts set up right.. mine did not have them and was one of the reasons they failed..
    Yep... stripped the nondrive plate on my Mukluk the same way. At the recommended torque I had movement and occasional creaking until I removed the paint from the clamping area on the frame. Rock solid for four months now at the proper torque.
    Veni vidi velo!

  15. #15
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    I'm 190# ride steep hills 32-20 SS and mine never slip. Been riding 20 miles/week for 3 years. Tighten up the bolts (but not too much or you'll strip the bolts), the tighten tension bolts 1/4 turn or so, and good to go.

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