Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Over Tightening / Cross threading Bolts and Nuts

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' at netrider.net.au started by VTRBob, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. This is not a go at anyone at all, DIY is good but you have to be careful with your elbow grease :wink:

    1st and foremost most bolts on a bike are stronger than the threaded part when going directly into the frame or engine, and will very quickly and easily tear out the threaded part.

    To avoid ' cross threading ' make sure you can start the bolt or nut at least 4 or five turns with your fingers BEFORE putting a spanner to it.
    If you have an oil leak tighter is NOT the solution in 99% of cases. Something is wrong or not seating properly go back and start again :)

    Sump plugs do not need to be tightened the same as a head bolt ! They only need to be 'nipped up'

    Spin on oil filters.. read the instructions { lube the Oring with new oil and once the Oring makes contact you only need to twist it WITH YOUR HAND a further 2/3rds of a turn } any more can and does distort the oring and can lead to failure or at the very least make it damn hard to remove next service !

    As for frame bolts / nuts Tight is generally good enough, the novice tends to want to hang off the spanner to get it just that bit tighter, and thats when problems start. You cant use the " oh but it took a lot of effort to undo it excuse "
    Remember most bolts nuts your UNDOING have been there for awhile and have been wet / dry, heated/cooled 1000's of times and therefore they naturally tend to 'freeze' together so more effort is required to undo them than to tighten.

    Ever noticed how once you "crack" the bolt / nut spins off / out fairly easily. But on the same level if it doesn't want to undo it could be seized and then you have to make to call ...
    Do I really want to keep going and make it real hard for the professionals to fix it because I've stripped or rounded of the bolt / nut, and cost me more $$
    Or just take it a bike shop or someone that has the knowledge and tools before I make a mess.

    In the trade we have several sayings
    Finger tight ; speaks for it self
    Nipped up ; not much more than 'finger tight' [ just slight pressure on the spanner ]
    FT F***ing Tight
    WTFDTU ; Who the f*** did this up
    KB : knuckle buster .... you just know that the bolt / stud is going to snap before it comes undone and your going to loose another knucle :roll: :LOL: :)
  2. aV1VcJ9r.
    :LOL: @ WTFDTU ; Who the f*** did this up
  3. Very good Bob and those of us who have been around a while don't always hang off the end of the spanner either.
    Just because you have "that" leaverage doesnt always mean you need to use it.

    I recommend anyone tooling on bikes get themselves a torque wrench. Even a cheapy will give you some idea.
  4. Thats a regular one up here on heavy machinery, you know it's been serviced every 250hrs yet the sump plug has been done up way past FT :evil:

    So yes even some 'professionals' have no idea :roll:

    Most of the time I can even name the mechanic that did it :LOL:

    Ps: that should be no longer a problem since he got a DCM two weeks back :wink:
  5. FWIW, bought a Stanley 1/4" socket set. With it's relatively small size, there aint that much leverage that can be applied, but still wary when tightening bolts.

    Have just bought a cordless driver, only a 1/4" one, and (for bike) mainly used for undoing bolts...no doubt wont be long before am using it in doing up things like fairing bolts :shock: Doing them up is easy - stopping in time will be the challenge :p

    Here's a couple for ya Bob...

    the sump plug washer - how important to change it everytime, and why are some brass and some rubbery/plastic??

    One of my axle plate adjusting bolts came undone, should these have Loctite on them?
  6. Sump plug washers are softer than the plug and the sump itself - When the sump plug is tightened, the washer will conform the the irregularities in shape or crush, it's because of this that it's recommended to change it every time, you may get away with using the same washer twice but for every reuse you have to tighten it just that little bit more to 'reshape' it again.

    The material used Brass / Copper are usually for heavier cast or steel sumps, and the fiber/ rubbery ones for softer sumps like aluminum to avoid damaging the face when overtightened :wink:

    I tend to use loctite on bolts and nuts that could vibrate loose, and are what I consider critical if they do come loose.
    Brake disc bolts / triple clamps etc
    But items like adjusters and axle nuts no, loctite can work against you if you have to make adjustments out on the road :)

    Things like them I check before every other ride unless it's going to be a long one, then the whole bike gets a once over the night before, or while washing and checking the chain etc
  7. Thanks for the advice, plenty of good info for those who have a few tools and want to delve a bit deeper into some basic maintenance :wink:
  8. Bob, one reply touched on socket size.

    I won't use 1/2 drive stuff on bikes. 3/8 isn't so bad. Blokes lean too hard on 1/2 drive.
  9. Yeah on the bike the only time the 1/2 inch stuff is used is on the rear axle nut :twisted:

    But toolbox wise, I got the 1/4, 3/8,1/2,3/4 and Inch socket sets
    As my mate Tim the tool man would say "you can never have enough power oh oh oh oh oh " :LOL:

    I love my inch rattle gun and torque multiplier :twisted:
    Just have to have a very good grip when you crank it up over 1500ftpds ! :twisted: :LOL:
    But it makes torquing up the axle U bolts on Backhoes and articulated loaders to 900ftpds a walk in the park :)
  10. Yeah, have some of that stuff, but locomotive tools are too heavy on bikes.
  11. Can i add to the list:

    Using an impact driver to UNDO a stubborn fastener is fine - using one to DO UP a fastener should be punishable by the cat o' nine
  12. Loctite: Use red if you are not going to be undoing it again, otherwise only use the blue, much friendlier on the thread.
  13. Question regarding rear axle nut / tightening chain. I've seen alot of blokes on here recommend a torque wrench which would be super, however I'm thinking it can be done with a bit of common sense.

    Back in the day I used to tighten the chain on my dirt bike with a regular wrench, admittedly I was 10 years old.

    It's been a while since then so generally what are the guidelines? Anything like 'a half turn after it starts to bite'? Or maybe before you undo it note the position of your wrench and just tighten back to that point?

  14. Just bloody well buy one. A good one will last your lifetime, and pay for itsself many times over.
  15. Will do if there is a need - which was the question.