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linex82
29th October 2007, 03:53
My '82 is pretty new to me, and I bought it after a new top-end was put on it, and it was basically all put back together. So I was expecting some things to happen just as a matter of shaking it out. I took it out for about a 45 minute ride yesterday. Today I thought I'd go around the bike and do a general inspection, check for loose nuts and whatnot. Well, I got to the right side of the bike and sure enough one was loose... went to tighten it, and it snapped the bolt right off. Then I notice one of the others was loose, and the same thing happened. So I am going to have to see if I can get these out with an easy-out or something similar.

So... anyone have any ideas on why this would have happened? I am thinking they were either a) too loose, and vibrated too much or b) were too tight, and the expansion due to heat stressed them. Surely someone here has seen this happen. Any tips or hints? Or is it just "get 'em out, replace 'em, move on"?

ridged warren
29th October 2007, 04:20
if they were loose, why did they just break off?

Gone
29th October 2007, 04:36
I've seen fasteners split nearly through, but usually from exposure to salt laden atmosphere. If a tiny crack gets started, sometimes it will eat right on through to the other side.
In your case. Linex82, I'd guess they were considerably overtorqued and as they fatigued to failure, lost all tension - feeling "loose" yet snapping the moment your wrench moved them.

linex82
29th October 2007, 04:42
I've seen fasteners split nearly through, but usually from exposure to salt laden atmosphere. If a tiny crack gets started, sometimes it will eat right on through to the other side.
In your case. Linex82, I'd guess they were considerably overtorqued and as they fatigued to failure, lost all tension - feeling "loose" yet snapping the moment your wrench moved them.
I guess I meant that they were loose in that the acorn nut was wobbly.. so it just appeared loose. Since the bike came from Cali to AZ and the bike was just put together, I don't think it was salt. So overtorqed seems plausible. I guess I should loosen the other two, since they were probably torqued the same amount. Now to figure out how much of a PITA it will be to get them out. :|

ridged warren
29th October 2007, 04:48
they look like they will come out with an extractor socket instead of an easy out

IronMick
29th October 2007, 04:52
The bolt on the left is a socket head bolt? Looks like that in the photo anyway. So these are not the original bolts certainly, and not the original style - original would have been a plain hex head bolt.

These are steel bolts going into an aluminum case. At least that is what was originally in there. Are these replacements steel? If so then i would think that over torquing is not what happened. The threads in the aluminum case would give out way before the bolt. Are these bolts made of some soft metal?

I think we do not yet have the answer to this.

ridged warren
29th October 2007, 04:54
mick makes a great point.they were acorn nuts thou the broken nuts are in the pic

linex82
29th October 2007, 06:28
mick makes a great point.they were acorn nuts thou the broken nuts are in the pic

Not sure if they were original or replacements, I've only had the bike 6 months. They were acorn nuts, you can see them in the pic. I have only put about 50 miles on this bike, and the actual mileage is unknown. So I really don't have any good history on it.

Jtrapass
29th October 2007, 07:22
I've only had the bike 6 months.

Oh man, I'd seriously give this Michael Morgan guy a piece of my mind if this had just happened to me.

OutlawTexan67
29th October 2007, 09:40
What I am thinking is that the PO replaced the original hex bolts with probably a softer theaded stock and cut them to the right length and then put acorn nuts on them for looks.The problem is that just normal threaded stock is just normal steel it will let you torque the bolts but after it has been exposed to heat for a longer period of time starts to stretch making room for moistureto get in and start oxidizing.when the oxidation starts it will so to say bind the oxidation with the galvanization on the screw.Be carefull when you try to get the studs out not to damage the threads in the cases.

thefrenchowl
29th October 2007, 09:47
Hi all,

Studs were probably a touch too long or not inserted long enough in the cases and bottomed out in the acorn. They probably snapped dead on the end of the thread, poor quality...

Go and buy a full set of proper bolts, Colony or other.

Patrick

linex82
29th October 2007, 22:26
Hi all,

Studs were probably a touch too long or not inserted long enough in the cases and bottomed out in the acorn. They probably snapped dead on the end of the thread, poor quality...

Go and buy a full set of proper bolts, Colony or other.

Patrick

Thanks Patrick, I have emailed the guy who sold me the bike to see what his thoughts are on what happened. Any source / info for a full set of "proper" bolts, and any tips on installing them? I have learned that no matter how simple a job may seem, there always seems to be at least one hey-don't-do-that-or-you'll-regret-it thing involved. I know because half the time I do that thing. :doh

19803a
29th October 2007, 23:38
I'm with thefrenchowl, I'll bet the studs were too long and of poor quality. It looks like it shouldnt be too big a deal to get out though, it looks like the tappet blocks might lift out giving you more room to work on the stud. I wouldnt try to drill for an extractor, not if you could help it. Just my $.o2. It looks to me that the builder also did the same thing with the cam cover, it looks like he bottomed them out and used spacers with acorn nuts to compensate for the long studs.....just a thought.

IronMick
29th October 2007, 23:55
... it looks like the tappet blocks might lift out giving you more room to work on the stud ...

Yes! On some early models getting the tappet blocks out is more difficult. But on these later models they pop out fairly easily.

linex82
30th October 2007, 00:08
Yes! On some early models getting the tappet blocks out is more difficult. But on these later models they pop out fairly easily.
That would definitely make things easier if they did, I am not looking forward to taking a drill to it. I had to use a tap/helicoil on an aluminum manifold on a car before, and that kind of stuff just makes me a little bit nervous. To Greasemonkey's point, I think the acorn nuts were to pretty up the bike before selling it... although I'll probably never know for sure. Pretty is fine, but not if it compromises quality (in my book).

fdny37
30th October 2007, 00:41
Get a propane or map gas torch and heat up the lifter boss first. It looks like you can pull out the tappet guide and there might be some of the stud sticking out. If you heat it up first it will be a lot easier to get out.

IronMick
30th October 2007, 03:15
I am not so sure about the heat idea. The tappet guide has a rubber o-ring.

RRB
30th October 2007, 05:24
I am not so sure about the heat idea. The tappet guide has a rubber o-ring.

+ 1 on that. Under normal cirmstances, the guides should come out fairly easily. There is a puller that is illustrated in the manual for this purpose. Perhaps you can jury-rig a tool out of a universal gear puller. It may be a little tougher with studs instead of bolts, though, as there may be binding taking place that wouldn't be there if there were easily removable bolts. (I may be speaking out of ignorance here, as I know little about Sportsters of this vintage. If so, just ignore me!)

They are also easy to tap out from the bottom if you open up the cam chest, but I would try something else first, as one doesn't want to have more loose parts than necessary.

Good luck with it, and let us know what you find.

linex82
4th November 2007, 04:44
YES! I was able to remove both bolts today without any drilling. I removed the other two bolts and replaced all of them with stock bolts. After taking the spring keepers off the push rods, I couldn't figure out how to get the tappet guides off. I just started wiggling it a little back and forth, back and forth. I didn't have any kind of puller, and didn't want to try and pry it. While wiggling it, I noticed the bolt working up a little. I was able to just back it out by pushing down on it with my thumb and turning it. The other broken one was a bit more challenging. I did the wiggle thing, but it wasn't moving. I could actually get a little grip on it with needle-nose pliers, but it didn't want to move. Then I noticed the red loctite that was on the threads. I used a needle to chip it away, then I used a hacksaw blade to dig into one side of the threads and worked it to the left until I could get the needle nose on it better. Turns out the previous owner had used red loctite on the acorn nuts to hold it onto the threads. Maybe some of it leaked down, causing some kind of stress on that point? I don't know, it doesn't make sense. I still don't know why they broke, but they've been fixed! Thanks all for the helpful ideas. For the curious, here is a pic of the bolts before and after: http://weishaarpictures.webhop.net/sportster/bolts/

Jtrapass
4th November 2007, 04:50
YES! I was able to remove both bolts today ...
Turns out the previous owner had used red loctite

I hate red loctite. But the blue stuff is a godsend.

IronMick
4th November 2007, 13:46
IMO, there is no,legitimate place for red locktite anywhere on our bikes. Blue will always do the job. This is important, especially because regardless of the part, either yourself or a subsequent owner will want to dismantle it.

19803a
4th November 2007, 15:48
Congrats :clap
I dont want to be the bearer of bad news but the cam cover looks as if you will more than likely have the same problem with it. It looks like the PO put studs and acorns there as well. If he put red loctite on the tappet guide bolts, I'll put money on he put it on the cam cover bolts as well...just a thought.

flathead45
4th November 2007, 16:08
Its not uncommon to red loctite acorn nuts to the stud to make a bolt outa it but that should be done off the bike and the treads left clean

I personaly don't use loctite and have only lost one bolt on my bike and thats was (is) a rear motor mount bolt that I can only replace if I pull the battery box and starter off, so its staying gone till I gotta tear into it

linex82
4th November 2007, 17:13
Its not uncommon to red loctite acorn nuts to the stud to make a bolt outa it but that should be done off the bike and the treads left clean

And I am only guessing that the loctite had something to do with why they broke in the first place. I can't really point to it as the cause, I just found it as a common thread (no pun intended). I suppose I could remove the other acorn bolts on the bike and clean off any red I find.

dabronco
4th November 2007, 17:37
Ya gotta use heat to loosen red locktite. Just keep that in mind.

Max Throttle
5th November 2007, 01:32
242 blue

red only if i absolutely no doubt am having a vibration loosening problem

IronMick
5th November 2007, 03:36
... red only if i absolutely no doubt am having a vibration loosening problem

I still would not use red. If the blue does not do it there is perhaps another problem.

joestuff
5th November 2007, 15:17
Yea, kinda off subject, but don't use Red, and if you insist on using gasket sealer, use non-harding, or grease. Never forget that these bikes will live longer then us so someone else will be taking them apart later. Big rant for me this week as I pulled my primary drive and clutch off this weekend. PO had put a cheap after market motor sprocket on it, one WITHOUT the holes for the puller. I had to spend 3 hours fabricating a puller to get that bugger off... I'm not going to put it back on!!!