Axle adjuster bolt froze, leaving for desert in 5 days, help!

16 replies to this topic
  • segge

Posted December 15, 2007 - 04:27 AM


Please help!


I live in Libya and am leaving for a 2 week trip, all off-road, very remote through the southwestern part of the country. I was prepping the bike, adjusting the chain tension and one of the adjuster bolts got tighter and tighter as I tried to adjust it. Put lots of oil, WD on it but it got tighter. I'm afraid to try and rmove it, I think the head of the bolt will twist off. If it snaps I'll never get the cahin tensioned properly. Itspresent position makes the chain slack.

Can I leave a gap between the head of the adjuster bolt and the rectangular block through which the axle passes? Could the axle position slip if I did this when riding. I've been planning this trip for 4 months. No mechanics here at all that I trust. Please help. Thanks, Steve

  • Agent2

Posted December 15, 2007 - 06:22 AM


PB Blaster penetrating oil, maybe a little heat, back and forth on the adjuster bolt. Worst case scenario, make some sort of steel shim and jam it in between the block / adjuster, you should be ok.

  • segge

Posted December 15, 2007 - 06:38 AM


I'll work at it. I Just don't want the head to break off which puts the adjuster at a position which will makes the chain to tight. Thinking about cutting up a feeler gauge.

Thanks, Steve

  • southcamp1

Posted December 15, 2007 - 06:49 AM


When it first happened to me I broke the head off and used an extra long nut on the broken adjuster and a new bolt into the nut. I ended up finding a company who makes anodized adjuster nuts that worked perfect. I thought it was motion pro but I didn't find it there. I would break off the head, clean up the threads and put another nut on. Also I have a 51 tooth sproket on which sets the axel further back. good luck

  • segge

Posted December 15, 2007 - 07:41 AM


Interesting. Sounds much safer than letting someone here try to drill it out and retap it.


  • martinfan30

Posted December 15, 2007 - 03:51 PM


sounds like you have some unworthy wrench men out that way.

  • creeky

Posted December 15, 2007 - 04:05 PM


The combination of the small electrolytic current generated by the steel bolt in the aluminum threads and moisture intrusion has caused the threads to corrode and freeze up. Keep spraying PB Blaster or other good penetrant (I recently discovered an excellent penetrant called "Freeze Out") around the threads and repeatedly tap on the head of the bolt gently with a hammer. Alternate the hammer tapping with placing a 6 point socket on the bolt head and gently work it back and forth a very small amount of travel. As the threads begin to loosen, increase the travel back and forth. This procedure usually works to loosen the bolt, sometimes it doesn't. When you finally resolve the situation, put some anti-seize on the threads to prevent the corrosion.

  • rhythmofbeing

Posted December 15, 2007 - 06:45 PM


I ran shims in mine for a while, before eventually drilling out the bolts and replacing them with Swingarm Buddies.

When I got my bolts out, they had completely rusted on the inside of the swingarm, meaning that no amount of lubricant applied from the outside would have done anything. After drilling them out, probably a half a cup of water poured onto the floor. The best solution I've heard is to drill a small hole on the bottom side of the swingarm right below the adjuster bolt. This will drain the water (in the future, too) and now you can hit the threads with your penetrating oil of choice. If you want, tap the hole and put a little screw in for a swingarm "drain plug."

Good luck.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • 2weelz

Posted December 15, 2007 - 08:31 PM


Will it go in, and just not out? If you have enough adjusting room, maybe take a chain link out and use the adjusting bolt farther up into the swingarm. Might be a good temporary fix.

  • HawkGT

Posted December 15, 2007 - 08:43 PM


...When I got my bolts out, they had completely rusted on the inside of the swingarm...

Same here. I had one that wasn't bad at all but the other took a relatively large amount of torque to get out. It was running those corroded threads through the swinger threads that messed it up. I cleaned all the threads with a tap and die. The bad side holds just enough to be usable. I'm sure after enough adjustments those threads are gonna give way. In the meantime, I just know to be very careful with those threads.

I slobber grease all over those bolts and threads now. I should probably add tiny drain/access holes in the bottom of the swinger arms so I can spray lube up in there.

  • segge

Posted December 16, 2007 - 10:07 AM


I'm going to give it another shot today, and see if I can get it to budge. Just concerned of making matters worse. The thought of snapping off the head and having to put in 5 - 6mm worth of shims compared to 1 or 2 mm doesn't sound appealing. We'll do 2500-3000km offroad through some serious dunes and I know I'll have to adjust again when out there. One stretch of 300km will take about 5 days. No way I'll let a mechanic here touch it, they try their best but are used to fixing a problem to work for the moment.

Thanks for the input. I'll post on my site when it get back over the new yeat.

Take care, Teresa and Steve

  • Denn10

Posted December 17, 2007 - 08:39 AM


try heating around the bolt that should help expand the metal of the swingarm and let the penetrating oil get in a bit more maybe.


Posted May 21, 2008 - 07:02 AM


'been running my R with the rear brake side broken for 2 years. I just adjust the chain, and tighten the axel nut really well.

  • spotsboss

Posted May 21, 2008 - 08:10 AM



Just epoxy or Liquid Steel a metal shim on the back of the adjuster bolt until you get back from the trip. Be sure the axel nut is tightened to specs and everything will be fine.


  • joenuclear

Posted May 21, 2008 - 05:37 PM



  • J_T

Posted May 21, 2008 - 06:26 PM


THis is one long trip!

  • zipper600

Posted May 22, 2008 - 01:51 AM


got stucked in desert ? :thumbsup:

Related Content


XR650L super moto wheels by greggkklee

Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Honda   XR600/650
  • Hot  28 replies
Want to add a kickstart to your XR650L?  Here's how - last post by clc3251

Want to add a kickstart to your XR650L? Here's how

  • 0 replies

Cle Elum Sunday 5/29: Looking for dual sport tips by TigerTanker

Dirt Bike   Dirt Bike Regional Discussion   Northwest
  • Hot  32 replies

93 xr650l Restoration Project by Zigster

Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Honda   XR600/650
  • 17 replies

Wiseco 101MM Spark Knock Low Engine Temps by imandrewparks

Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Honda   XR600/650
  • 7 replies

Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.