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Snapped the oil plug

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by mattb, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. After a few hours in the hot sun, trying to fix my seemingly unfixable indicator problem :( I changed my oil, and in my weary distraction I put too much pressure on the oil plug-bolt in the frame (the oil's held in the frame - on the SR there's both a sump plug and a plug in the frame, where the majority of oil is located), and snapped the head off.

    What's the best way to deal with that? - buy a new part, and get a mechanic to take the old bolt out when I get the engine seen to (in which case I'll just go order one now)? Or will I need to go with a whole new bigger bolt? I'm guessing this is one for an experienced person to attempt, as metal filings could fall inwards and down into frame and its oil...

    It's only weeping a tiny tear drop of oil, after a run of a couple of kms, so I should be fine in the meantime. The bolt has a fixed washer which I suspect kept at bay the weeping oil. I'll just keep my eye on oil levels in the meatime.

  2. Go buy some easy-outs (and you might as well get a torque wrench while you're there).

    Centre punch the centre of the bolt, drill an appropriately sized hole for your appropriately sized easy-out, then wind it in with a shifter till the bolt comes undone.

    You don't need to go so deep as to go right through the bolt.

    And another thing, before you start, give the shaft of the bolt a couple smallish but sharp cracks with a punch and a hammer. This helps relieve stresses in the thread and allows it to undo easier.

    Worst case scenario is drill it right out, re-tap it and fit a bigger bolt. But there's more options before you get to that. ;)

    Good luck.
  3. Hi Matt

    Is any of the thread still visible above the hole, or did it break inside?

    If you need to drill out the bolt, or simply screw it all the way through into the downtube to remove it, don't stress...

    If you reach up into the front downtube from underneath (where the oil-line disappears up the downtube) you'll find a large nut holding the oil line in. You'll need to remove the oil line (it runs from the front tube, under the motor and vanishes behind the drive sprocket cover - a large nut and two cap screws, IIRC) and the metal strainer thats fitted into the front downtube. Once the oil line and strainer are removed, any metal shavings will fall out of the down tube and on the floor, not into the motor. Drill out the broken bolt (carefully so as not to damage the female threads) and pick out as much swarf as you can. Then poke a funnel well down into the oil filler hole (so the spout is below the backbone of the frame - we don't want kero backwashing into the oil pump ) and slosh a few litres of clean kero down the front downtube to clean out any stray bits. Put the strainer and oil-line back in, and get a new bolt. And a torque wrench.

    And bow before the might of the oil-in-frame design.
  4. sound advice!

    oh, and welcome back chairman :cool:
  5. Thanks for the replies chaps.

    The broken bolt turned out to be easy to remove. Although it was sunk within the hole, there was a slightly raised and sharp piece in the surface of the break, and I got a small punch and used this to slowly manipulate the bolt and turn it, until I could get the pincers in there to unscrew it.

    Next I wheeled (it was now oil-less) the bike down to the local hardware store and got me an 8mm allen head bolt and she slipped in fine. 20mm long was the least I could find, so it's off to the specialty shops tomorrow for a shorter one, but problem fixed. I'll attempt to cross-drill the head and so wire the bolt in place.

    Chairman, I do bow before the oil-in-frame design. Yea, I do bow before the kick-start with sight window (usually!), while my friends Hornet-of-the-dodgy-battery and Daytona-of-faulty-switches sit stranded. Yea I do bow before the fact that I've got worn chattering valves, but that means ONE inlet valve, and ONE exhaust valve to buy or work on. Yea I do bow before the fact that - though my baby doth stall on me too readily, yet - there is one carburetter only to concern oneself with and isolate problems to. Yea do I bow before this bike that looks so hot and sounds so hot and is a magnet to every old man on the footpath! Yea in like kind to I take the repeated compliments of the fairer sex and cool-dude passer-by, as I stand on the footpath dealing with the latest niggle. And my niggles are simple, and pleasurable. I understand why Munch would paint a painting of a man screaming with delight at the sight of an SR500!