Buttery Oil Frame Bolt Busted

I was finishing up an oil change last night on my 06 WR450. It gave me a chance to try out my new low range torque wrench. Everything was going really well, filter cover on, double check the torque spec, 'tick', all was well. Finished putting on the cover, then I replaced the rear engine drain bolt, set the torque spec, goes on easy enough. Then comes the last bolt which goes into the frame. Set the spec on the wrench, double check it, then go to replace the bolt. Hmmm, it doesn't seem to be getting tighter so I back it off easily with a wrench and try again. Again it's turning really easily so I keep tightening it. Next thing I know the head of the bolt skitters off the floor.

Dang. :thumbsup:

So now I have a headless bolt stuck in my frame. I decided to just clean up and tackle it today with a clear head. I borrowed an 'easyout' from a buddy, thinking I can just drill the threaded bit in the frame, then use the easyout to back it out. An easyout has reverse threads on it so when I turn it into the drilled piece, it should catch it and turn it out.

The piece is slightly below the frame too so I can't reach it with a hacksaw to slot it. If I could I could I could use a flat tip screw driver to turn it out.

Any other suggestions in case this doesn't turn out like I think it will. Any thoughts on how I can avoid this in the future?

The broken bolt should not have any tension on it. I suggest using a sharp centre punch. Using a hammer and the punch, hit the punch in an anti clockwise rotation to rotate the bolt out.

This would be how this aussie would do it.

.

Good luck !

Thanks for the tip, I'll try that before I break out the drill.

Cheers!

Punch and hammer should work great. Don't beat on it, just easy little taps.

IF that fails the easy-out is the next step. I would suggest that you use a reverse pitch drill bit though. It's a drill bit that runs counterclockwise so you don't bind the bit in the bolt and drive it in. Half the time I get bolts out with the reverse drill bit.

I was finishing up an oil change last night on my 06 WR450. It gave me a chance to try out my new low range torque wrench. Everything was going really well, filter cover on, double check the torque spec, 'tick', all was well. Finished putting on the cover, then I replaced the rear engine drain bolt, set the torque spec, goes on easy enough. Then comes the last bolt which goes into the frame. Set the spec on the wrench, double check it, then go to replace the bolt. Hmmm, it doesn't seem to be getting tighter so I back it off easily with a wrench and try again. Again it's turning really easily so I keep tightening it. Next thing I know the head of the bolt skitters off the floor.

Dang. :thumbsup:

So now I have a headless bolt stuck in my frame. I decided to just clean up and tackle it today with a clear head. I borrowed an 'easyout' from a buddy, thinking I can just drill the threaded bit in the frame, then use the easyout to back it out. An easyout has reverse threads on it so when I turn it into the drilled piece, it should catch it and turn it out.

The piece is slightly below the frame too so I can't reach it with a hacksaw to slot it. If I could I could I could use a flat tip screw driver to turn it out.

Any other suggestions in case this doesn't turn out like I think it will. Any thoughts on how I can avoid this in the future?

I've used a Dremmel in such a situation before. Wear/grind down a cutting wheel (by using it on some hard metal) until it is just smaller in diameter than the shaft of the bolt. Then, with this ground down cutting wheel on the Dremmel, you should be able to slot the bolt with minimal damage to the frame. After slotting, ease the bolt out with a screwdriver.

Left handed drill bits are awesome.. or ones that cut backwards as mentioned before... I pulled out a stubborn broken off bolt in the head of my 351W using one of those.. i was impressed :thumbsup:

It would seem to me that the bolt does have tension or it would not have sheared off in the first place.I would be very careful if i were you.

The head had tension and thats what snapped, the plug(remander), should have little.

It would seem to me that the bolt does have tension or it would not have sheared off in the first place.I would be very careful if i were you.

Did a very similar thing on my 426. Thread was all covered in oil and I didn't clean it off first. Kept tightening till the head fell off. Thought I'd stripped the thread, but luckily it was just the bolt head that got damaged. Reverse drill bit did the job in seconds - no tension on the bolt at all.

Yeah, I figure there's no tension on the remaining bolt in the thread, and with the fact that it's well oiled it should come out easy enough.

A reverse threaded drill bit is a good idea too, I was a little concerned that a regular bit could force it further into the frame, is it possible to loce it in there? If so, what happens then? Will the oil screen catch it?

Oh yeah, can I replace this with a standard bolt from a hardware store? Any size information out there?

The local shop has to order these in and I want to get up and running again. Thanks guys.

Yeah, I figure there's no tension on the remaining bolt in the thread, and with the fact that it's well oiled it should come out easy enough.

A reverse threaded drill bit is a good idea too, I was a little concerned that a regular bit could force it further into the frame, is it possible to loce it in there? If so, what happens then? Will the oil screen catch it?

You could still get it out if you ran it through. You could remove the screen and work it out with a bent piece of wire. The previously mentioned methods are the best though.

Had no luck getting it out this week. My attempts at removing it ended when I broke the end of the easyout in the bolt. Now I can't drill it because of the piece of hardened metal stuck in there.

It started to turn out with the easyout but then suddenly locked solid, breaking it in the process.

Hopefully I am getting it to the garage today where a riding buddy of mine will be welding a 3/8s bolt to the end of the threaded piece, and we'll back it out that way.

It's been a tough week without the bike.

So sad to have a good friend benched for sure!

Well I got it into the garage today but had no luck at all. The weld wouldn't take to the end of the bolt with the easyout cracked off in it. After way too many attempts we decided to just weld it over. Kind of a drag, it will make oil changes a bit more troublesome that's for sure.

So what are my options now? Can I drill and tap above the current frame bolt location? Can I grind out what's there now and replace it? What's a new frame gonna cost?

I'm kinda bummed about it right now but I imagine that will pass once I get a few more rides in. :thumbsup:

Welding was probably not the answer you were looking for. You will burn through bits trying to drill through a weld because it is so hard. It can be done with the right kind of bit. I would grind down the weld face flush with the frame to start with. If you have a rotozip or good dremel, you can drill a pilot hole through the weld with a diamond or carbide gouging bur. HSS or high speed steel is the kind of bit to use. Spray plenty of lubricant, cutting oil, is best. WD 40 will do in a pinch but you almost need a constant spray of it because it burns off. Keep the rev's low on the drill and apply steady even pressure. You will punch through and be able to tap it. Keep in mind WD 40 is a solvent, you don't want a bunch down in your case, so remove the screen tube before drilling. Take your time tapping and use a thread size that is easy for you to get bolts for. Buy a flange bolt and put a copper washer on it and you will be back in business. The oil would take forever to drain out of the frame if you simply tried to drain from the bottom of the case. Your other option is to drain the frame from the screen every time and leave it welded up. Pain if you have a skid plate but doable and it's the needs nothing else from here route.

Start out with a smaller easy out that way you can always go up in size. I would soak the bolt for a couple hours with PB Blaster or liquid wrench. If there is no tension on it it should come out with a punch . If any of you don't have a Starrett snap punch thay are the cat's ass.

Too late for that. An easyout cracked off in the bolt, leaving the tip in the drilled out hole. I couldn't drill it anymore due to the hardened metal of the easy out.

I then had a friend try arc welding a bolt to the piece but it just wouldn't take. The weld kept coming off under any amount of torque.

We finally had to weld the works over as it was leaking. At least now I can ride and will just have more troublesome oil changes in the coming years. Until I fully strip the bike to repair it or replace the frame.

Thanks.

Since you have already been welding on the frame, I would grind down the weld and bolt flush with the reservoir face and use a metal cutting hole saw (without a bit in the center) and just remove the whole factory welded in nut that the bolt is stuck in. Go as small as possible while still being able to remove the core of the existing nut and bolt because there is not a lot of surface area on the face of the reservoir. Clean out any filings from the inside. Screw a stainless bolt (to protect the welds during welding) coated with anti-seize into the new nut and weld it in place. Wait until the whole area is completely cool before trying to remove the bolt. Repaint and it should look as good as new. Make sure you use a mild steel nut. You can buy them from Fastenal if you have them up there. Good luck.

I was wondering about drilling the original nut out of the frame, so it is possible. That's great. We don't have Fastenal up in these parts but a shop called Fasteners Plus just happened to open up the road from me. They should be able to track down what I need.

Thanks a lot for the help, I think this will be a Winter project as I'll strip the bike to do this work. I can deal with a few PITA oil changes until then.

I just topped the bike up with oil and rode it into work. The weld isn't leaking so that's a good enough short term fix for me. At least I can RIDE again!

Cheers!

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