Stripped Allen Head Happy Ending - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-23-2008, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
Don L's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Lakewood, CA
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Smile Stripped Allen Head Happy Ending

Last week I posted about stripping out the allen head, on one of the engine bracket bolts, while attaching a set of Hepco Becker engine guards. The right side was no problem. I stripped the head of the forward most bolt on the left side.

Here's a link to the original thread

The good news ------ I got the bolt out, and everything is fine. Here are some ideas on what to do.

First use a couple of scissors jacks to brace the engine; front, and back. A very good mechanic friend of mine pointed out that the last bolt might have had extra weight from the engine binding it in place. Hepco Becker only warns to do one side at a time. The couple of extra minutes it takes to secure the engine is worth eliminating one potential problem.

Second, use a torque wrench to loosen the bolts. Make sure you seat the allen head well. Hold the wrench in as you apply force, and watch the torque, as you try to loosen the bolt. If the torque exceeds 40 to 45 Ft Lbs and the bolt does not release. Stop, you probably have a bolt that is impacted with Locktight. If you haven't stripped the allen head at this point, good . You are much better off than I was. Skip to the Heat The Bolt section below. --- If you have stripped the allen head :sad:, don't panic! Read the next section.

OK, you've just stripped an allen head on your brand new v-Strom, and you are sitting there feeling like the world has come to an end. Buck up it hasn't. First, DON'T USE ANY OF THE FANCY BOLT EXTRACTION TOOLS. Many of them are fine tools, but they don't address the key problem. The bold is impacted with glue. The bolt extractors will only break, and leave you worse off than before. (I broke two of them.) So first get a Dremel, or similar tool, and cut a slot for a wide blade screw driver. Next get the biggest, beefiest, wide blade screw driver you can find. Make sure it has a square shaft. Check it in the slot and make sure you have good engagement with the bolt, but don't try to turn the bolt yet. You have to heat the bolt and melt the glue first.

Heating the bolt can have complications. You should use what you are comfortable with. I used a propane torch to heat the head of the bolt. It worked fine, and there was no damage to any part on my bike. Remember you have to get the bolt hot, not just warm. Now there has been a lot of debate, on the board, on whether to extract the bolt while it is hot or let it cool first. Here is my experience. I tried letting the bolt cool and then extracting it, it didn't work. I heated the bolt a second time and twisted it while hot. It came out! My theory is that if you let the bolt cool, the glue just re-hardens and you are back to where you started.

So heat the bolt. If the head is intact, insert you allen head ratchet and turn carefully. If you are using a screw driver, you will need a friend to assist. One person holds the screw driver firmly in the slot. The second person uses two wrenches on the shaft of the screw driver to twist the bolt off. In either case work slowly. If the bolt does not come out with reasonable force heat it more. It should come out. If it does not, take it to your dealer or a qualified machine shop.

After extracting the bolts, I found the bolt holes had a lot of junk in them. This was true of all the holes, not just the one that had a problem. Have the correct size tap, and some 3 in 1 oil ready to run through the holes. Check each bolt hole with a clean bolt. If it goes in smoothly, great. If it binds, don't force it. Use the tap and good thread cutting technique to clean the bolt hole out. Check the bolt holes again. If everything is clean, assemble your crash-bars per the manufactures instructions. All done, great!!! but don't have the celebration beer just yet. First get on your bike and go for a nice ride, then come home and have that beer.

Hope you find this helpful
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-23-2008, 02:36 AM
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Good tips Don, thanks.
Using an impact wrench can often loosen those stuck bolts too, just be careful that the bit is well seated on the head before gettin jiggy wid it.

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post #3 of 17 Old 03-23-2008, 04:19 AM
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Only in desperate situations, here is a bush mechanic type method.
1. Drill a hole in a piece of suitable flat steel slightly larger than the head of the socket head cap screw (another name for an allen head bolt or unbrako)
2.Place the hole over the bolt head & weld it, if possible using the verticle up method as this put more heat soak into the bolt.
3. Use the flat like a spanner to spin out the bolt.

Other variations are to weld a bigger than bolt head sized nut on the bolt head and use a bigger spanner to loosen it.

Be aware of usual welding precautions, ignition source for flamables including batteries, heat and spark damage to item being worked on, etc

Be carefull and ask if you are unfamiliar with this type of equipment.

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post #4 of 17 Old 10-30-2008, 04:01 AM
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I hope that this never happens to me, but if it does I got some damn good write ups on it. Thanks guys

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2007 DL650
SW side racks, Givi 360 x 2 side, Center stand, Givi 450 monlock topcase, Suzuki Handguards
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-30-2008, 08:27 AM
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"Happy Ending", "Stripped", "Head"

Very misleading thread title but helpful, nonetheless.

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post #6 of 17 Old 10-30-2008, 10:02 AM
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-30-2008, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by randyo View Post

I have that exact tool. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you have to hold the impact screwdriver pretty tightly to actually get it to work properly, no? I had to put a pair of vice grips around mine to be able to hold it tight enough when hitting it with the hammer. Otherwise, the screw stays put and the whole impact driver twists instead. Was I doing it wrong?

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post #8 of 17 Old 10-30-2008, 01:59 PM
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Givi crash guards...

Others have already pointed out. The Givi guard bolts are not stainless, and strip much easier the the OEM stainless they replace.

I went to Home Depot, Lowes, Ace the buy some stainless versions of the "I believe"
M8/35MM allen heads before install. I could not find them, and was too impatient to order. I installed the guards with the provided bolts.

See it coming? I have one bolt that is fastened, but stripped. I will be ordering the stainless bolts and replacing them all sometime soon.

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post #9 of 17 Old 10-30-2008, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr.Metal View Post
I have that exact tool. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you have to hold the impact screwdriver pretty tightly to actually get it to work properly, no? I had to put a pair of vice grips around mine to be able to hold it tight enough when hitting it with the hammer. Otherwise, the screw stays put and the whole impact driver twists instead. Was I doing it wrong?
you have to hold it tight and at a slight twist in the direction you want it to turn, don't try getting too big a bite, sometimes your have to whack it, then give it slightly more twist and what again

sometimes, with a real tight fastener it'll twist in your had a bit, but usually the fasterner moves slightly too, just take another small bite

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post #10 of 17 Old 10-31-2008, 03:46 PM
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Where'd you order Stainless from?

Hey ScottyUSN:

Where did you order the SS Fasteners from? I'm looking to do the same.

Do you happen to know what Grade they end up being (sorry, can't remember if Stainless has grades designations or not). Givi supplied = 8.8. I'd like to get 10.9 or greater.


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