Oil Change Woes: Possible Stripped Threads on Head Check Bolt
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Thread: Oil Change Woes: Possible Stripped Threads on Head Check Bolt

  1. #1
    Senior Member JustPassinThru's Avatar
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    Oil Change Woes: Possible Stripped Threads on Head Check Bolt

    Leave it to me to screw up an oil change.

    I just did it on the TW...after writing down all torque values, yada yada. It all went smooth, if messy...until the time came to re-assemble.

    My torque wrench is older and also Chinese - and it doesn't do well in low torque values. HOW poorly, I was about to find out.

    I just used a box wrench and Allen key to put the filter cover back on. Fine. But I wanted to be SURE that oil was going to the top of the engine...so I did like the manual said and took out that bolt. Fired it up, and out gushed the fresh oil.

    Great. Now, put it back. Torque value: 7.1 ft-lbs.

    Set the torque wrench for seven. Ease it in...a little more...a little more...and it feels like it's stretching. TOO much.

    Back it out, it comes out fine...no apparent damage to the threads. Re-set the torque wrench for FIVE ft-pounds...ease it in...and feel it, again.

    Trouble. I go to the dealer...they know me there,; they should, after $500 worth of tire sales on another bike. One tech gets his wrench out...same thing. He's not familiar with the TW. He thinks it's a rubber gasket in there...it's not, of course. The head mechanic, a sharp guy, pushes him aside...sets his mini-torque wrench for FOUR ft-lbs, and tightens it up. And tells me it's good to go.

    Well, it's as good as we're gonna get it, I guess. But I am guessing those threads in the head are bollocksed.

    How difficult will that be to repair? Am I likely to have problems? I recall it was Admiral who had that same bolt vibrate out and dump his oil while he was riding and completely unaware.

  2. #2
    Senior Member elime's Avatar
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    Bummer! Steel bolt and aluminum head so the threads in the head are stripped, or nearly so.

    If you have to do something and want to try simple first, use No. 1 Permatex, the kind the gets hard, and "glue" the bolt in place and vow never to remove again. Use just a little bit. Or use JB Weld, or re tap the hole for a larger bolt.

    I am sure other suggestions are coming.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member AGman's Avatar
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    All the oil bleed bolt issues Ive seen have been broken bolts, the alloy is pretty good on the head. You may have got lucky.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member TWROG's Avatar
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    Over the years of being on motorcycle forums Ive seen more guys screw stuff up with a torque wrench then guys without a torque wrench.

    Maybe it comes with having wrenched on everything for 35+ years but those 2 items are not something Id use a torque wrench on. As a matter of fact my torque wrenches rarely come out unless Im wrenching on something inside and engine.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member TopPredator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustPassinThru View Post
    Leave it to me to screw up an oil change.

    I just did it on the TW...after writing down all torque values, yada yada. It all went smooth, if messy...until the time came to re-assemble.

    My torque wrench is older and also Chinese - and it doesn't do well in low torque values. HOW poorly, I was about to find out.

    I just used a box wrench and Allen key to put the filter cover back on. Fine. But I wanted to be SURE that oil was going to the top of the engine...so I did like the manual said and took out that bolt. Fired it up, and out gushed the fresh oil.

    Great. Now, put it back. Torque value: 7.1 ft-lbs.

    Set the torque wrench for seven. Ease it in...a little more...a little more...and it feels like it's stretching. TOO much.

    Back it out, it comes out fine...no apparent damage to the threads. Re-set the torque wrench for FIVE ft-pounds...ease it in...and feel it, again.

    Trouble. I go to the dealer...they know me there,; they should, after $500 worth of tire sales on another bike. One tech gets his wrench out...same thing. He's not familiar with the TW. He thinks it's a rubber gasket in there...it's not, of course. The head mechanic, a sharp guy, pushes him aside...sets his mini-torque wrench for FOUR ft-lbs, and tightens it up. And tells me it's good to go.

    Well, it's as good as we're gonna get it, I guess. But I am guessing those threads in the head are bollocksed.

    How difficult will that be to repair? Am I likely to have problems? I recall it was Admiral who had that same bolt vibrate out and dump his oil while he was riding and completely unaware.
    Sorry to hear about your problem, stripping screws always scare me. How important is bleeding the oil after changing the oil? i have only read recently about the bleed screw and only after changing my oil three times.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Rhodetrip's Avatar
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    I always do that check, but I've never used a torque wrench on it. I just snug it up finger tight.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member old white truck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGman View Post
    All the oil bleed bolt issues Ive seen have been broken bolts, the alloy is pretty good on the head. You may have got lucky.
    I agree with AGman. I would say that there is a very good chance that your problem is NOT with the head. Yamaha makes this particular screw out of a Play-Doh alloy. It is soft and prone to fail with a torsional fracture. I suspect they make it this way specifically so you do not ruin the head threads.

    I'd obtain a new screw from Yamaha and give it another try.

  9. #8
    Senior Member JustPassinThru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWilight View Post
    Well...."I" must agree with TWROG on this, as I have 3 different sized Snap-On torque wrenches, and I rarely ever use them, once you have experience with knowing how tight any bolt should be. I will use them on the clutch basket/spring bolts, but that is about it.

    Also, there is that small COPPER washer under the head of that bolt that you "may" have stretched. Look at that "copper" washer, and see if it has been squashed to death, and....in my opinion...I would replace that with an aluminum crush washer, which gives a much more positive FEEL when seating the bolt to the head.
    That's a good idea - except that I am NOT taking that bolt out again. Not until and unless the head comes off.

    There's a good chance I didn't do any harm to anything. Also a good chance I've half-stripped it. When it's busted but together and working...you leave well enough alone.

    And if at some future point I have a problem with oil not getting up to the cylinder head...I guess I'm not much worse off. I'll need a new head - and as it is, I will need the head off if I finish stripping those threads, anyway.

    Sounds like I...didn't dodge the bullet so much as get winged by it.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustPassinThru View Post
    I recall it was Admiral who had that same bolt vibrate out and dump his oil while he was riding and completely unaware.
    Like others have mentioned, I have never used a torque wrench to tight the bolt your talking about. Never had a problem before. However, on this day the bolt did come out I was on the way to work. I had ridden it around the place to the mailbox and back a few days before and it hadn't leaked.

    What I can't remember 100% is if I even tightened the bolt at all! Did I just hand tighten it a few turns or did I tighten it all the way? I'm not sure and doubt myself as to what I actually did.

    I find it hard to believe on my TW that the bolt actually backed out all the way if I had tightened it. This bolt was always tight or had resistenence when I loosened or removed it. So, my thinking is, I never tightened it all the way and somehow got distracted turning the process like making sure to turn my key off or something like that.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    One can always think outside the box. If it is a poor design why embrace it? Abandon it and re-engineer a superior solution. One could simply drill through existing bolt and tap in a smaller bolt. Better yet install a small valve with a barb on discharge end to route mess-making oil cleanly away in a tube when checking. No tools, just finger tightened. These are just silly examples of a world of small heat and oil resistant valves that could work. images-6.jpeg
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