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Have You stripped Valve cover bolts on vstrom

  • I am too good to strip bolts

    Votes: 33 71.7%
  • Yes stripped one bolt

    Votes: 7 15.2%
  • Yes, I stripped more then oen valve cover

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Not on Vstrom, but doen it on other bikes.

    Votes: 4 8.7%

  • Total voters
    46
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So past few days been having fun doing a valve check. Took plastics and stuff off the bike Monday and hopefully fixed my coolest leak. Tuesday off came the tank and did the valve check on the rear cylinder. Went to put the valve cover back on and stripped the 2 bigger bolts that screw into the journal-cover. I put almost no force into these but thinking since I was using a 3/8 torque wrench its not as accurate as it needed tob e. but I am still suprised at how little extra force was required in this case to take out the butter they called metal. Doing some searching and its some what common, and most don't even get to the 10ft/lb that's in the manual. I also saw GrayWolf wondering how many do this. so figure lets post a poll about it. Who has striped these bolts and how did that fix them.

O the good news is that the rear cylinder is in spec. But bad news is yesterday was spent getting the heli coil kit and doing the journal-cover. So tonight I get to put the rear cylinder back together and check the front cylinder valves.


tho had some interesting info from suzuki yesterday. when I bought a new air filter yesterday, talked to the suzuki people and they said how they prevent this is replace the valve cover bolts whenever doing the valve check. they said the rubber is newer so more compression so takes up the torque when you screw the bolts in. Not sure I believe this but they did seam to believe it works. They also admitted that those bolt holes are like butter.


and option 3 should read "Yes, I stripped more then one valve cover bolt"
 

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didn't strip the bolt, but did manage to bugger up the hex slot on top. Still had to order new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am the first person to admit I absolutly suck at spelling, but for some reason it was difficult for me to click, "I am to good to strip bolts".

Just sayin'
ya well I tried to fix the poll but there is no option to DOH
 

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I put mine in with a screw driver that holds that hex drive. I can really feel them coming up snug that way. I could not feel them even with a 6", 1/4" drive ratchet. I have no idea what torque it applied, but I tested on my inch pound driver and the max I could apply with the screw driver was around 150 inch pounds. I would have been closer to half of that on the cover screws. I do believe that the rubber gets hard over time/heat, and like a crush washer, it will take up some torque, but I would not count on it bailing you out. I have checked the screws from time to time and they are holding (1700km).
If you are using a torque wrench and anything but an inch pound torque wrench you are going to be in a world of trouble. !0ft lb will not be in the accuracy range of a ft lb wrench.
 

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Me Too

I just did this the other day. Double checked the torque wrench and way before getting to the requesite torque all threads in the journal holders let go. A relatively short job turned into a few hours of getting a helicoil kit, drilling out the old threads and instaling the coil. I purchased an inch pound torque wrench after that however for smaller torque values I may use a screwdrive attachment. It felt like I did not come close to the 10ft/lb that is the proper value when the threads let go. Lots of great help on this site to help me navigate the fix which is the first time I have ever had to fix striped threads. Thanks to everyone's help.
 

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calibrated elbow

you need a calibrated elbow - so that you can tell when the torque wrench is wrong
 

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After 30 years as an airplane mechanic and even more doing wrench work on cars, boats, motorcycles, bicycles and just about every other type of machine, I seldom use a torque wrench. Not that I'm "good", just that relying on a torque wrench sometimes takes away the "feel" of when a fastener is starting to strip. This is much more common when using the click-type wrench than the flex handle type with the needle and scale. Your tendency is to just keep pulling until it clicks, and that isn't always the best thing.

You also have to realize that the wrenches you buy are not normally calibrated. If so, they should come with a Certificate of Accuracy, showing traceability to something that is itself traceable to the National Bureau of Standards. They can be 10 - 30 % off. I used to do tool calibration for two certified aircraft repair stations, and mechanics could not use their torque tools (no, not even the brand new $300 Snap-On units) until they had been to the calibration service. It was surprising how many were over 10% off right out of the box. Our regs required max 4% error. Some brand new tools won't even get that close. I would never trust one from one of the cheaper tool supply houses unless I had it calibrated/adjusted first. Having said that, Sears units tended to be some of the best out of the box.

I've had my valve covers off three time each and not stripped any yet.
 

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After 30 years as an airplane mechanic and even more doing wrench work on cars, boats, motorcycles, bicycles and just about every other type of machine, I seldom use a torque wrench...
I find this so true for many of the same reasons you give. In my younger days I was ham fisted and stripped upteen bolts until learning the hard way. Now I trust my calibrated feel over any torque wrench. Also when tightening small fasteners I find a very short 1/4" ratchet turned with fingers only is the best prevention for overtightening. Longer, stronger 3/8" and 1/2" ratchets are just too hard to hold back.

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The 7 lb-ft spec you recall is for the camshaft journal holder bolts. I've just removed mine. I have no doubt that it took more than 7 lb-ft to initially turn the bolts. The manual does not say to use thread locking compound on these bolts, but is that done?? (BTW, 7 lb-ft is a quarter-drive ratchet with force applied with only a thumb and two fingers on the wrench.)
 

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you need a calibrated elbow - so that you can tell when the torque wrench is wrong
I find this so true for many of the same reasons you give. In my younger days I was ham fisted and stripped upteen bolts until learning the hard way. Now I trust my calibrated feel over any torque wrench. Also when tightening small fasteners I find a very short 1/4" ratchet turned with fingers only is the best prevention for overtightening. Longer, stronger 3/8" and 1/2" ratchets are just too hard to hold back.

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Every tool has it's it's place. For a torque wrench, 99% of the time that place is resting comfortably at the bottom of the tool box. :) Virtually everyone who strips those bolts does so with a torque wrench in their hand.
 

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You also have to realize that the wrenches you buy are not normally calibrated. If so, they should come with a Certificate of Accuracy, showing traceability to something that is itself traceable to the National Bureau of Standards.
This is one of the reasons I married Princess Barbie. She's the head of the calibration department at a -very- large testing laboratory who's name starts with UL.

We don't own a tool that isn't up to specs.

And she's pretty too.
 

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Yup, an uncalibrated torque wrench in the hands of the inexperienced is a dangerous thing.I like the bar type because I'm not depending on some unseen spring. If you are doing small amounts, use a small torque wrench. For the bigger stuff use caution.
 

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A rule I always follow when working on a bike when we are dealing with white metal/cast aluminium, use nothing more than a 1/4 " drive socket to remove the bolt and a short handle wrench to tighten it. A lot of the long handle wrenches you can get will also put way more torque on nut than you would imagine so stick to the shorter handle ones for tightening. Sometimes a 1/4" drive impact is a better option for removing these smaller bolts as the vibration loosens them without messing up the heads.

When we are dealing with 7 ft lbs that is about all preload you put on a swingarm bearing for some bikes, so we are not talking about much torque.
 

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I have never stripped a bolt when using a torque wrench. I haven't stripped any recently without one, either. Of course, a torque wrench has to be used properly, with some common sense, and in the right circumstances.

Torque specs are usually for clean, dry fasteners, so anything that lubricates the threads or where the head seats will reduce the torque required (or increase the axial tension if the same torque is applied, which could result in stripping). I wonder if this is a factor with the valve cover bolts, which seat on a rubber washer/seal thingy IIRC. With that big flat head on the bolt, and the rubber seat, I'm guessing the amount of torque applied to the head which actually results in more axial tension may be quite variable - for example, if there is a little oil between the seat and bolt head.

Yeah, I think in some cases a small wrench in the hand is best, so that you can feel the change in resistance as you tighten the bolt. Since the torque of the valve cover bolts is hardly critical, erring on the low side is probably better than the high side.
 

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I wouldn't be so quick to blame the tool. It's not my opinion that a 3/8 torque wrench is the right tool for applying such a low torque. Most 3/8 torque wrenches I have seen go to 100 ft/lbs and up. Bigger the wrench the easier it gets to over torque a bolt.
 

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happened to me

Well, I've joined the stripped camshaft journal holder club tonight. I got my valves adjusted and was buttoning everything up when I stripped one of the camshaft journal holders putting the cover back on the rear cylinder. I wish I could say it was because I got it too tight, but I just didn't get the dang thing in straight. I can't tell now, but it very well could have been messed up by previous work by someone else. Doesn't matter, it's messed up now. I think I will try a helicoil before I buy a replacement holder. If it works, I've fixed it for very little cost and keep my original holder in place. If it doesn't, then I'll have to replace it.

It's still better than the hundreds of dollars the dealer would charge to adjust the valves. Plus I have other maintenance work to do before the season starts.
 

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I used a torque wrench when installing mine. They didn't seem tight enough but I stopped at the spec. I figured there was a reason for it. I've been working on machines all my life and I didn't own a torque wrench until I bought the Strom. Now I have two, a 3/8 drive beam and a 1/2 drive click.
 
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