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SO last week I finally got around to changing my oil. I was a little overdue, but not much. I warmed up the bike, then turned it off and let it set for a while so the now-warm oil could settle back into the crankcase, and then I drained it. No problem, other than the usual requirement that I remove the shifter to get that stupid plug back in.

I pulled the oil filter and attended to it, but as I was putting the screws back into the cover, the two upper screws (the ones with hex heads) weren't getting tight like they should. Idiot me, I didn't realize what was going on until I broke one off.

At least it was the short one in back. Heaven help me if I had broken the front bolt... it would have been necessary to tear the engine down almost to its component parts to get at it.

Thinking back, I recalled that the last time the oil was changed, it wasn't me that did it. My bike developed a base gasket leak last year, right at the beginning of the riding season, and I took it to the dealer I bought it from to have that fixed. I can do my own oil changes, but I know better than to go that far into the engine by myself. They seem to have done a fine job at it, but it took quite a while to get it done because they were backlogged.

Sitting there with the head of a broken bolt in my hand, a scenario unfolded in my head. The engine work was done by a senior mechanic, I'm sure, as I have not detected any problems with the bike otherwise. A few thousand miles with compromised bolts holding the cylinder together would surely have revealed something. But I realized that the "easy" job of finishing it up was probably passed to a junior mechanic, and that fellow took a large wrench or probably a big ratchet to those puny bolts holding that cover on. Of course, on my 2008 model the lower bolt has an Allen head, so he couldn't use the same tool on it, and that screw seems to be fine.

Crap, I'm thinking, what now? I was NOT taking it back to that dealer, and I knew very little about the other Yamaha dealer in the area (though I have bought parts from them). I needed that broken bolt removed by someone I trusted. Someone whose talents were not in doubt.

So I phoned a friend. He's not a motorcycle mechanic; in fact, I don't think he can ride a motorcycle at all. His day job involves repairing those majestic mechanisms of agricultural artistry, aka farm equipment. Balers and combines and so on, the more complicated and weird, the better. But I knew he was talented in the removal of broken bits, so I called him and asked, nay begged, that he help me out.

He agreed. I dropped my poor stricken bike off at his place of work, where he said he would attend to it after hours. He pulled the other bolt, and pointed out to me where the threads were stretched... it would have given way just as easily.

An aside... I am absolutely certain this is not my fault. I never use a tool having a lot of leverage on these bolts, and I've changed my own oil on this bike alone a half dozen times without any signs of trouble. On this particular occasion I was using a 1/4" drive socket attached to a short L-handle made of material even cheaper than the bolts themselves, and as I said, the bolts weren't feeling appropriately tight.

Having left my true love in the capable hands of my friend, I set out to replace the broken upper-rear screw and its compromised upper-front sister. My friend had examined the lower screw and pronounced it unharmed, much as I suspected. I did some research, and learned a few things.

Yamaha doesn't publish specifications for these screws, just part numbers, but some online research revealed that the rear is 6x25mm and the front is 6x75mm. I don't know a lot about thread pitch on metric screws, but my experiences had led me to believe they were standardized in some way so I wasn't too worried about that. In the course of my research, though, I learned (on this very forum) that earlier TW200's had JIS panhead screws in all three positions. With a JIS screwdriver in hand, overtorquing the screws would be a lot harder. I called that other dealer I mentioned above, and quoted the parts man the numbers for the older screws; he said they were still a current part (yay) but he had none of the front screws in stock (bah). He said they were on order, and would be in stock in a week or so.

GAH. Who wants to wait?

Curiously, though, more online research led me to a discussion about using screws from Fastenal as replacements for those older JIS screws. Naturally, American bikers who don't usually have JIS screwdrivers handy would find those screws frustrating, which may be why Yamaha changed them to hex heads. I DO have JIS screwdrivers, so I was cool with them; but really, any screw that did NOT have a hex head would suit me fine.

I picked my bike up from my friend; he handed me the stub of the screw, and I put it in my pocket and took it to Fastenal just to verify the thread pitch was as standard as I thought. For $0.91 (yes, just NINETY ONE CENTS) I acquired replacements for both bolts.

I installed them, rejoicing that they take the same 5mm Allen key that the lower screw requires, filled the bike up with oil and took a short ride to test everything out. They worked perfectly, no leaks or problems, and later I took a rather longer ride (about a hundred miles), checking the oil every time the engine was cool enough, and again, no problems.

The only thing left to do is to figure out how to repay my friend, who said the whole job (including running a tap into the hole to make sure the threads were clean) took under ten minutes. Ten minutes or ten hours, doesn't matter to me, he saved my bike.
Oil-Filter-Cover-Screws-100_5710.jpg
 

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You certainly aren't the first one to do this!! I did it after 50 years of wrenching and using a correctly set 1/4 inch torque wrench! The current bolts just are not up to the old torque specs, if they ever were. I now use 2/3's of the published value.

Your fix should last 5,000 oil changes. :p
 

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Sounds like a deal. We have a Fastenal shop in town...think I might change mine just for the heck of it. I did that on my BMW too, so I could use an extended ball head Allen socket.
 

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Well boys....I just did the same thing. I had my torque wrench set and kept thinking...man this is too tight. I removed the top two bolts, double checked the wrench, and went at it again. Still seemed like a lot of torque. I again checked the wrench and this time made sure that it "Clicked" when I gave it a tug in the vice (seemed like a reasonable amount of force). So, back to the cover bolts. SNAP...... The long bolt broke right where the threads start. Man I feel like such a moron.

So... after a quick eyeball, I think if I remove the right crank case cover I will have about 3/8 of an inch of the bolt sticking out of the crank case and I should be able to get at it.

Are there any gotchas pulling the crank case cover? It seems like a straightforward removal, but given my apparent lack of finesse I am a bit anxious.

BTW..... does anyone want a slightly used....made in China (and sold by Sears) Torque Wrench????

Thanks!!!
 

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Really? That is the complete opposite of my experience, which is why I clean the filter halfway through an oil change, at about 750 miles to 1,000 miles......it's always dirty enough to support that regimen. Very little metal, but carbon gunk....makes me feel better for 15 minutes of work.
 

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when I bought my T Dub in 2014, I also bought my first 1/4" torque wrench. I've been pulling on wrenches my whole life, so when I started using the new torque wrench, I couldn't believe how little feeling I got through the wrench. it gave me such a crappy feeling that it hasn't been out of the tool box since. I can understand how bolts get broken off using one of those things!!!!
 

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when I bought my T Dub in 2014, I also bought my first 1/4" torque wrench. I've been pulling on wrenches my whole life, so when I started using the new torque wrench, I couldn't believe how little feeling I got through the wrench. it gave me such a crappy feeling that it hasn't been out of the tool box since. I can understand how bolts gets broken off using one of those things!!!!



Yep I wrench for a living and seldom use a torque wrench... especially on little stuff.... however for someone with little experience its a good way to go until you get a feel for it
 

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Inch lbs. is a whole different ball game. It will make you wonder 'where's the torque?' -if you've never used one before.
After working with automatic trannys for years, it's 2nd nature of sorts as the valve body's always use in.lbs. settings.
It doesn't always have to be 'oilfield tight'. Patience, young Jedi. :)
 

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Really? That is the complete opposite of my experience, which is why I clean the filter halfway through an oil change, at about 750 miles to 1,000 miles......it's always dirty enough to support that regimen. Very little metal, but carbon gunk....makes me feel better for 15 minutes of work.
Hardly any debris at all. I have a pleated filter and deep in the grooves is where what little "stuff" there is accumulates, and then it is only on oneside of filter. Easily 99% of the filter is 100% clean and that is after 10,000 miles.

I use Mobil 1 Racing 4T oil and change it every 1500 to 2,000 miles. Or perhaps your valve stem seals or rings are leaking. Or maybe you ride a lot harder than I do and your engine gets hotter.

Add on: When I changed my slipping clutch the metal plates were blue and the friction plates had carbon / burnt oil on them. Do you have the stock clutch and springs and how is it doing?
 

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..... Do you have the stock clutch and springs and how is it doing?
Yes, it's doing fine at 12,000 miles. I do think the soft carbon gunk on the filter is carbonized oil from occasional hard, slow, hot hill climbs and probably doesn't hurt anything, but I just like to have a look every 1,000 miles or so since it is so easy to do. I still have the original unpleated filter and the gunk may be more obvious. I've been using Mobil 4T since 2,000 miles. It isn't all that dirty when changed, so I think this regimen is fine. Typically I only see a tiny amount of metallic powder residue in the last teaspoon when draining the used oil from a basin back into the bottle for recycling.
 

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Inch lbs. is a whole different ball game. It will make you wonder 'where's the torque?' -if you've never used one before.
After working with automatic trannys for years, it's 2nd nature of sorts as the valve body's always use in.lbs. settings.
It doesn't always have to be 'oilfield tight'. Patience, young Jedi. :)
Ditto this...

My hobby is old VW Beetles... Working on those engines I always use a Torque wrench... Sometimes playing around I will tighten a bolt/nut without the torque wrench then check it and I usually am within 3-5 ft lbs of spec.... The Cyl/head nuts on these engines with 8mm studs is 18 ft lbs... It is a critical torque.. Too tight and the stud will over time pull out of the block.. ugggg.

So when I got my Dub last year and I realized that the torques are down in the inch Lbs.. I purchased a nice 1/4 in drive and I use it. I can not do light torques and get close without the torque wrench. I tried it without and I was + or - big time. Would not want to warp a side plate!

Jim

Jim
 
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