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Discussion Starter #1
I have seen posts by folks talking about what a pain it is to remove the right crank case cover and how easy it is to strip the screw heads. I'm by no means a TW expert, but I've been working on engines for most of my life and I've figured a few things out.

Here's a brief crank case cover removal tutorial. More like a couple of hints, but maybe somebody will find it useful.



1. Buy an impact driver. These can be purchased from such places as Craftsman, KD Tools, Snap On, NAPA, etc. Make sure it has a #3 Philips bit included. For those unfamiliar with impact drivers: http://www.sears.com/craftsman-impact-driver/p-00947641000P?prdNo=10&blockNo=10&blockType=G10 You will find this to be one of the most used tools in your tool box. I would recommend against the Craftsman for the simple reason that it is a 1/2" square drive. You will find a 3/8" square drive model much more versatile. I've used mine for pretty much any fastener that I have a 3/8" drive socket or bit for.



2. Use the #3 Philips tip in the impact driver. Make sure you use the #3. These are #3 screws, not #2. If I had to guess, I'd say that many of the screw heads that have been stripped have been because a #2 Philips was used.

Using the driver is simple. Put the bit in the screw head and twist the tool counter clockwise (for removing a fastener) While maintaining rotating force on the tool, strike the back of the tool sharply with a hammer. This causes the tool to "cam" left with the subsequent impact loosening the screw. Screws heads get stripped because, with a really tight screw, it is virtually impossible to provide enough force against the screw to prevent the screwdriver slipping, while at the same time rotating the screwdriver. The impact driver solves this problem by providing the rotary force for you. All you have to do is hold slight force to the left, while pushing in on the tool.

You could also try a 3/8" impact wrench with a #3 Philips power bit, but I prefer the control of an impact driver when dealing with screws.



The screws are not all the same length. If you remove them all and toss them in a coffee can without paying attention, here's how they go back in.

Starting from the first screw clockwise from the oil filler cap and progressing clockwise around the cover, the screw lengths are:

24mm

34mm

44mm

24mm

24mm

24mm

24mm

34mm

34mm

44mm



There is one other screw. The upper right screw of the oil filter cover also holds the crank case cover. You won't be tempted to confuse it with the others because it is 74mm long.
 

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What do you think of replacing the Phillips head screws with a flange bolt? Or even a regular bolt with a flat washer? I would think that would eliminate the future need for the impact wrench plus make using the torque wrench easier. Any down side to this idea?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd be inclined to use a socket head cap screw. Even a button head cap screw, for a cleaner look. The only drawback to the button head is that the head is shallower (more shallow?) so if one is stuck it will be trickier (more tricky?) to remove.
 

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Tdub wears allen head case cover screws.



The stock screws are not #3 Phillips, they are Japanese Industrial, and a #3 Phillips does fit better than a #2.



The Snap-On 3/8-inch hand impact is the best I've ever used. Less slop, easy ergonomics.
 
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