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Discussion Starter #1
I finally got around to performing the 600 mile valve clearance check at 698 miles. Following the factory manual, everything came apart just fine and the valve clearances were all in range. But I broke one of the cap bolts at the front of the gas tank when putting things back together. No torque value is specified so I went with the standard 25 foot-pounds for a 10mm bolt. Not a good decision. I should have just made sure it was snug and left it at that. New bolts are on order. Then, while temporarily reinstalling the seats, I found the internal threads on the fender boogered up a little. So instead of riding next weekend, I'll be extracting a broken bolt and chasing threads, after I pick up the tools to do those things. I hope not to do more damage in the process. I always proceed with caution, use the correct tools, and follow the factory procedures, but sometimes that is just not enough to avoid problems. Advice is welcomed.
 

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Glad to hear you are doing your own maintenance, but sorry to hear of your troubles.
Wish I could offer some advice, good luck hope all goes well
 

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The hex head on those bolts is 10mm, but the bolt itself is five or six mm. The general torque value for a 6mm bolt is seven foot pounds.
 

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Sadly, many self taught mechanics have to break bolts or strip threads before they get a feel for how tight is tight enough.

Those bolts are listed as M6x20 in the parts fiche or 6mm instead of 10 mm. Bolt sizes go by the shank of the bolt and not the head size. These should be torqued to 6-8 ft-lbs which is not a heavy effort on a wrench at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That makes sense. I'll go back and review that section of the Honda Common Service Manual and annotate accordingly. Read. Do. Screw up. Learn.
 

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That makes sense. I'll go back and review that section of the Honda Common Service Manual and annotate accordingly. Read. Do. Screw up. Learn.
Good luck! and remember to feel out how tight things are when you take them apart to improve your sense for such things. ie crack a bolt loose and turn it 1 flat of the head and then turn it back the same amount and notice the effort it took. It always takes more effort to crack a fastener loose than it takes to torque it up again because of "stiction" or "set" that a fastener will take after it has been torqued.
 

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Unfortunately the only way to get good at removing broken bolts and repairing damaged threads is to do it.
Practice practice on some junk before working on you're bike.

I have some guys that work for me that are inexperienced they break and strip threads on bolts and bolt holes that most the time can be avoided.

The key is be patient very patient and practice on some junk.

The torch is a tool a lot of people will grab right away when they can't loosen a bolt it's the last one I grab as a last resort it is a crutch for most people.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
After Action Report:

I chased all the threads for seat bolts using the Craftsman 40-Piece Master Thread Restorer Kit. Very nice.

Then I removed the broken tank bolt with a screw extractor set from Harbor Freight. The bits in the kit did not seem very sharp, but I was able to drill enough of a hole for one of the larger screw extractors to get a bite on the broken screw. Just a few minutes of gentle twisting and it was out with no damage to the threads or the extractor. One drill bit did break. The new bolts have not arrived yet, but i just need one of them. I'll finish up next Saturday.

By the way, I was prepared to use bacon grease for my cutting oil. They did not have any at Harbor Freight, but Sears had it. So did O'Reilly auto parts, although I'm sure the bacon grease would have been fine.

Thanks for the comments above. I am pleased with how things went this afternoon.
 

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When you get around to the chain tensioners, please note that there are two nuts on each one, and the axle has to be loose. It doesn't take much to break them. That's another one that comes up pretty regularly.
 

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Good point, fridg. It takes very little torque to tighten the jam nut against the larger nut. Hold the big nut with a wrench and use just one finger to tighten the wrench on the jam nut. It won't come loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Actually, I got past that one without any problems. I had a rear flat a while back. Dismounting and remounting the wheel and tensioning the chain went well. I don't recall for sure, but think the manual provides a torque value for the tensioner.
 

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It does. Some people forget to loosen the stop nut, or try to tighten it with the axle too tight. Either will break the studs. They are quite small.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For mechanical work, which I do not do frequently any more, i don't rely on my memory, but use the manual. As my little mishap last weekend shows, it is still pretty easy to mess up even when following the book. Many years ago I changed the timing belt on a Dodge Caravan, finished the job and loaded the family up for a camping trip. On our way to the state park I was thinking about the job I had done, but could not remember torquing the timing belt tensioner. The van ran well on the trip, but I was still very relieved to look at the Hayne's manual when we got home and see that I checked off on torquing the tensioner. Then I admitted to my wife that I had worried about it all weekend and was afraid I would have to take everything back apart again to verify that I had torqued it.
 

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The first couple times I worked on my Reb, I put the fasteners wherever was handy. After finishing a project and finding a screw on the floor, I ended up taking it apart again to make sure I hadn't forgotten one. Now, I put everything in a plastic tub so I know what I took off.
 

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When in doubt, under-tightening is better than over-tightening. I never "torque" anything except internal engine parts just tighten till it's right. Lots of experience is the best tool you can get.
 

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I finally got around to performing the 600 mile valve clearance check at 698 miles. Following the factory manual, everything came apart just fine and the valve clearances were all in range. But I broke one of the cap bolts at the front of the gas tank when putting things back together. No torque value is specified so I went with the standard 25 foot-pounds for a 10mm bolt. Not a good decision. I should have just made sure it was snug and left it at that. New bolts are on order. Then, while temporarily reinstalling the seats, I found the internal threads on the fender boogered up a little. So instead of riding next weekend, I'll be extracting a broken bolt and chasing threads, after I pick up the tools to do those things. I hope not to do more damage in the process. I always proceed with caution, use the correct tools, and follow the factory procedures, but sometimes that is just not enough to avoid problems. Advice is welcomed.
When dealing with any bolts into aluminum or magnesium you have to be extra careful and torque values are usually in the teens and that would be a slight grunt on the wrist with a short lever. A long handle can be very deceiving.
 
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