View Full Version : Ironhead Stripped generator threads

2nd October 2009, 17:13
After my ride to work yesterday I noticed I had lost my top generator mounting bolt and I found that both holes in the generator were stripped.

I managed to retap the holes to a course thread and installed longer bolts (all I had here at work) with some spacers as a temporary fix to get home and until I order the correct bolts from j&p. I need to order some other stuff so Iíll piggy back them on the order to save on shipping.

My thought is to clock the generator a few degrees and drill & tap new holes for the mounting bolts. Has anyone else run into a similar issue and if so what was your solution used to fix it?

Poor quality cell phone pic of my temp fix. It made the 30-mile ride home without any issues so it should hold until I have time to make a real repair.

Thanks in advance for any insight.


2nd October 2009, 17:38
For me it would be easier to find a spent genny from someone here and swap the guts?

2nd October 2009, 17:45
Yep, turn gen off the original holes drill and tap. Damn good thinkin' :)

2nd October 2009, 20:23
Or, fit Heli-coils to the stripped holes and be done with it!


2nd October 2009, 20:23
Helicoils...that's what my XLS had....metric ones with Suzuki bolts.....oh the shame!

2nd October 2009, 21:27
Thanks for the replies. My first thought was to go the Heli-coil route but there is a slight hairline crack on the surface and side of the generator where the top bolt threads start, No more than 1/16th of an inch long.

My fear was I would drill it and install the coil and cause the crack to expand. It also seems there isnít much meat between the hole and side of the generator case to begin with. Iím still thinking that turning it and drilling new holes will be the strongest and most cost effective way to go.

Iíve clocked just over 7000 miles this year so far and this is the only real glitch Iíve encountered. I really donít think of it as problem since it was only down for about 45 minutes and it still carried my @$$ home! My temporary fix seems solid enough to run Ďtill I have time to do it right.

Again, thanks for the ideas itís much appreciated.

2nd October 2009, 21:51
I have a helicoil in mine. Been good for 4 years.

3rd October 2009, 02:06
heli-coiles are nice and one definite advantage is that they can be extracted and replaced. disadvantage is that you can't get wild because they are actually springs. if you want something that will be better than the original holes, use thread inserts. once locked, they ain't coming out and are stronger than the original metal. premiere industries used to sell the supertaninum ones but i believe they were bought out by lawson so try there first.

3rd October 2009, 02:11
on the crack.

when you tear down the gen, drill a small hole at the ends of the crack to relieve the stress. take a die grinder and cut a small "v" notch along the crack and filet weld the notch with a small 7018 (LH) rod and low current. dress off the top of the weld and repaint. good as new.

3rd October 2009, 15:02
After thinking about it on the ride home last night I decided to heli-coil the generator. I have about 100 miles on my temporary repair and its holding solid.

I have a 100+ mile ride planned for tomorrow and some commuting next week so Iím planning on next Sunday to do the permanent repair.

The crack is very very small, just some stretch on the mounting surface most likely from the PO over tightening.

Iíll post some pix next week when repair is done. Thanks much for the input one and all.

72 Ironhead XLH
3rd October 2009, 17:47
Re-clocking the gen is probably the best way to go. Dosent care what position it`s in.

3rd October 2009, 17:48
... The crack is very very small, just some stretch on the mounting surface most likely from the PO over tightening...

Mine has a similar problem. I put it in a vice one time for an extra pair of hands. Not really tight, but i had the bolt hole parts in the jaws instead of the solid parts. Squished one of them a bit.

Kind of annoying, if you know what i mean. It had already been helicoiled. I looked at it, said some magic words, ran a tap thru it gently, ran the bolt in and out a couple of times, got lucky. Been good for 3 years at least.

When i install the gen i use blue locktite, hold the gen in place with one hand, and tighten the bolts to "just firm plus a little more", which is 10 to 15 ft lbs. I do not allow the gen to hang there with the bolts partially in place.

I think the blue is especially inportant in this application because, not only is it steel bolts going into aluminum, they only go in so far and that gen is long and heavy. Too tight and the threads are toast.

Also, i measured the depth of the holes and use extra long bolts that use all of the threads. They are a bit too long so i use either two washers or an extra thick washer for each bolt.

3rd October 2009, 21:20
My XLS had a helicoils even though the entire side of one of the threads had broken away exposing a large piece of the helicoil....held fine so I ignored it....don't fix what ain't broke :-)

6th October 2009, 21:03
I would weld the original wholes , drill and re tap
you would not only fix the stripped thread but also reinforce and fix the crack

6th October 2009, 22:21
A new end housing isn't that expensive from either foghollow or J&P