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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all... I was removing my OEM headers for chroming tonight and BOTH of my front header bolts freaking broke off. :banghead Why they used such small damn bolts I'll never know. This bike only has 7000 miles on it too... and it was always garage kept, so I don't know what is making them so damn hard to remove.

I was going to do the typical penetrating oil and screw extractor method in hopes of saving the original threads. Short of that working I'll be drilling and tapping to the next size up.

Question is... if this has happened to anyone else, and due to the fact that the engine block is something like magnesium, what is the method you would recommend, and what is the best penetrating oil you have used. Since I've never had to extract a bolt this size, would heat (torch) be recommended as well?

I recently read that a HUGE study was done and found that a 50/50 mixture of automatic transmission fluid and acetone was the best by far... but has anyone tried it. (I think I read that on here).
 

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Upside Down Super Mod,
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If any of the bolt is protruding, slide a nut over it, weld it and try again.

(Only the valve covers are magnesium, the heads are aluminium)

If not try the drilling and extractor route, but you need to be reasonably precise or you'll end up with a broken extractor in the hole. If you size the easyout properly, the remains of the bolt should come out easily enough and the original threads will be fine.

If you drill and tap to go up a size, do it to suit a helicoil repair so the same size as standard bolts can be used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If any of the bolt is protruding, slide a nut over it, weld it and try again.

(Only the valve covers are magnesium, the heads are aluminium)

If not try the drilling and extractor route, but you need to be reasonable precise or you'll end up with a broken extractor in the hole. If you sixe the easyout properly, the remains of the bolt should come out easily enough and the original threads will be fine.

If you drill and tap to go up a size, do it to suit a helicoil repair so the same size as standard bolts can be used.
Thank you!

I have been reading some stuff because I feel like a moron, and although I've worked on a lot of things over the years, I've never really done much with headers. Apparently I should have used penetrating oil and heat to remove them in the first place and I wouldn't have sheared them off... lesson learned!
 

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Yea heat and penetrating oil is best. My method involves running the engine untill it's up to opperating temp, and periodically spraying a little penetrant on the bolts (Trying to keep as much as possible of the headers cause it'll cause lots of smoke) Once it's nice and toasty I shut down the engine make one last spray and remove the bolts. Usually they come right out, but if they feel like they're hanging up at all I'll work them back and forth untill it frees up. If the motor wont/cant start then I'll get my torch. I've never broken header bolts.

I agree with steve try and weld a nut on them and turn them out if possible. Or drill and extract with easy out, remember to center punch the bolt so the drill bit doesn't walk everywhere and get you off center, and to start with a small bit for a guide hole. If worse come to worse drill out over sized and insert heli-coil or time-cert for the original thread size.

Take your time and have patients and it'll come out. If you feel your self getting irritated then step away for a minute, cause most likely you'll make your problem worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all... I have patience, that's not a problem... I actually got everything out, ready, and tools bought for TOMORROW. Didn't even start it tonight. Although my M4 exhaust will hopefully be here in a few days, the headers will be out to the chromer for a couple weeks minimum, so there's no rush.

I've been needing to pick up a few little bits here and there that you can only get at the stealership, and this little trip (for gaskets and now header bolts) has made me clean up my "to buy" list anyway, so that's a plus.

Shit happens I guess... and now I just learned how to properly remove header bolts UP FRONT so this won't happen again. I want to replace the rear gasket too... so I'll test my new found skills on that cylinder!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
From what I've been reading all over the web... PB Blaster seems to be the penetrating oil of choice for most people... anyone disagree. (I'm going to mix the ATF and acetone 50/50 too for testing that out)
 

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Ghost, sorry to hear that :banghead

If you do a search on it you'll find it has happened to so many people on here. I removed my headers to refinish them myself a few months ago, but had read all the trouble people had had with bolts snapping off so I sprayed them with penetrating oil for 4 days before I attempted to remove them. They came out so easy I was shocked.

Anyway, not much help for the situation you're in, but patience will go a long way in fixing the problem, and with all the advice on here I'm sure you'll get it sorted.
The only advice I can give it to think things through thoroughly before starting any work.
Here's a few threads to look at that may be helpful:

http://www.tlzone.net/forums/tl1000...ust-bolt.html?highlight=snapped+exhaust+bolts

http://www.tlzone.net/forums/tl1000...s-dammit.html?highlight=snapped+exhaust+bolts

http://www.tlzone.net/forums/tl1000...lts-suck.html?highlight=snapped+exhaust+bolts

Good luck :thumbup
 

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PB is great stuff.. going to do my rear exhuast gasket this weekend... been hearing what sounds to be a leak for awhile now...also going to do the pair valve block off plates.. been dreading it becuase if i brake a bolt on the rear ill have to drop the engine...
 

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The Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow Moderator,
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If the bolts are flush one of the best solutions for those not used to such repairs (or not having the tools) can be to simply drill (5mm) and tap M6 into the centre of the remaining M8 bolt :thumbup
 

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Or you can do it my way :)

20 step list guarunteed to replace those bolts.

I was trying to get my old ones off to get ceramic coated when they broke off.

Heres the list in order of what i did to get mine out and put back.

  1. Throw the wrench as hard as i could against wall.
  2. DUCK from the ricocheting wrench
  3. Call buddy to do the job for me
  4. Watch buddy break off easy out
  5. Watch buddy throw wrench against wall
  6. DUCK, lesson learned
  7. Pull motor from bike and take to machine shop
  8. Pay machine shop
  9. Decide to strip bike down completely while motor is out
  10. Look for the damn wrench
  11. buy new wrench
  12. Strip bike down and take assorted parts to coater
  13. Pay coater close to a grand for coating
  14. Decide to hire somone to put bike together
  15. Watch as idiot scratches coating
  16. Find out idiot warped both front rotors
  17. Pay Speedking alot of money for Revolution rotors
  18. Pay Shop $1200 dollars to put bike back together
  19. Blackout in autoparts stores when people mention header bolts
  20. Drink heavily and try to forget
There ya go, 20 steps to new bolts :)

Oh and instead of putting bolt holes back in, I had them put studs in so hopefully i dont have that problem ever again
 

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The Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow Moderator,
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:lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks to all... I went out today and bought EVERYTHING from every suggestion. (except any welding suggestions as I don't have a rig). I got stainless hardware, studs, from M6 for Sam's suggestion, to M8 for going bigger if I have to. PB Blaster, everything... so with some patience, ONE of these things will work for me!

The only thing I haven't gotten yet is the beer for Canedriver's suggestion... but believe me, if NONE of this other shit works, beer may be the lightest thing I'll be drinking! (thanks Canddriver too... I needed some comic relief today!)
 

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Man that sucks! I use Kroil. http://www.kanolabs.com/ Most of the refineries and power plants I do work for use it. PB Blaster does work better than most penetrating oils but I have had better luck with Kroil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's been slow going (patience grasshopper). I have tried PB soaking, heat, and easy outs... the easy outs aren't breaking, but I keep stripping the ends. At this point I can step up the hole to take an M6 like Sam said, or I can bore it out oversized for an M8. I'm thinking M8 because I thought the M7 was rather weak already. There seems to be plenty of "wall" thickness to go to an M8 so I may just drill out/tap out the entire bolts...
 

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Have you tried to heat the area with a torch? I used a small torch to heat up mine. It takes a while with the small torch but there's no worrying about catching your bike on fire. And +1 for PB blaster great stuff, never used Kroil or even heard of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah... been heating it, but probably not holding it on there long enough. I just went to the store for some bigger carbon drill bits to get ready to tap it out, and I saw a "Pro Taper" extraction set. It's a much mor aggressive taper, and the threads are notched giving it some "teeth". I'm going to try that before I begin the tapping!

In all my research PB Blaster gets a ton of recommendations, but the ones lucky enough to use Kroil seem to say it's superior... problem is finding the stuff easily. (meaining walking into a store and walking out with some that day, like I needed to today)
 

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Find someone that can do the weld a nut to it method. You'll get it out and probably be a lot happier in the long run. Most folks who've done any amount of welding will be familiar with this method.

Folks this stuff happens because the heads are aluminum (aluminium for you upside down folks:laugh) and the bolts are steel. Dissimilar metals don't play well together and corrosion is the result. Since aluminum heads have become common on cars the first thing I do when I bring one home is remove the spark plugs and coat the threads with high temp never seize. I've seen too many stripped threads when people try to remove the plugs many miles down the road. I've been thinking of late that future new vehicles, cars and bikes, will have not just spark plugs but pretty much any bolts into the heads removed and treated this way. I tend to keep things for along time so the little bit of effort saves a lot of trouble for me some day down the road. Well,that and I'm kind of anal about such things. :blush
 
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