So this is a story about a new motorcycle owner who made too many mistakes and took two weeks to fix them:
As y'all might know from previous posts, I'm a total scrub with bikes. This is my first bike and I didn't expect to be putting in too much work on it, but boy was I wrong. This started with doing an oil change because I felt like it would provide a smoother ride, but instead of removing the oil drain plug like you're supposed to I accidentally pulled out the cam chain tensioner and this is where I made my biggest mistake: Not looking up what it was and how to reinstall before throwing it back into the engine. I accidentally put the spring in first before the tensioner rod, and that resulted in the spring getting lodged ~somewhere~, I later troubleshot it and figured it had to be somewhere in the cam chain case.
After hours of Youtube digging, I learned how to remove the case and access the cam chain. But it wasn't that easy. I had mediocre tools as, stated before, I'm a total scrub. So I figured I'd take the plunge and go to O'Reilly's and get some tools... Ended up having to go to O'Reilly's at least 10 more times to get more specialized tools as I went.
I removed the cam chain casing and was met with the flywheel. The nut that was on the crank bolt was incredibly tight and I had no way to remove it. Ended up flying home to LA (I live in SF), where my parents lived one weekend and came back with an impact drill and some sockets for the nut. Got that nut off fairly easily, but had no way to remove the flywheel. Did some more Youtube digging and found that there are flywheel puller tools, but then realized that the flywheel that comes on the Nostalgia doesn't have threads for the puller tool. I ended up renting a Harmonic Balancer Puller from O'Reilly's. I used my impact drill with an allen bit (that required 3 separate adapters to get it to fit on the drill) and removed the 3 allen screws on the flywheel. Then I got the harmonic balancer puller bolts in those holes and with the impact drill, removed the flywheel. Thought I was done. Nope.
I then removed the starter gears and chain, and was met with 2 incredibly stuck screws that held the plate that covered the cam chain. Not knowing how stuck these screws were, I made another noob mistake and tried using a drill on one. Stripped it. Great. I got an impact driver and a 20oz hammer for one of the screws and got one of them off successfully, but then there's the stripped screw. Used a 5/32 drill bit to drill the stripped screw, and somehow the impact driver was able to bite on the screw and I got it off. Took the plate off to access the cam chain and BOOM, there's the spring!
I got the spring, reinstalled it PROPERLY and put everything back together. Now my baby girl runs smoothly again and I've never been happier. Two weeks of work, $100+ of tools, 10+ visits to O'Reilly's and finally my bike is BACK.
While this was incredibly stressful, I learned SO much about engines and feel so much more comfortable working on bikes. I wish this never happened and I didn't have to do all this work, but I'm glad that I did it on my own and didn't pay a mechanic $300 to get it fixed.