Honda 919 - Socket bit won't fit on oil drain bolt... - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Honda 919 - Socket bit won't fit on oil drain bolt...

Hi Guys,

Went to do my first oil change on my Honda 919 (2004) yesterday and immediately ran into a problem of the 17mm socket bit not fitting around the drain bolt due to the exhaust pipes getting in the way. Im a bit stumped, obviously its a routine maintenance job and in both the videos I watched of people doing oil changes the bit just bit right on with plenty of wiggle room, but mine seems to be unable of going round the bolt, it just presses against the pipe. I went and bought a new bit, an extended bit, and a wrench, the latter two also wouldn't fit at all, although the new bit fits slightly better, but its still not completely snug.

Is there something weird about my bike? Should I just try it with the bit thats not completely snug? I had it serviced immediately after I bought it in the summer which included an oil change, so it must be possible to get off, should I just ask the garage about it?

Thanks for any help and sorry if this is a dumb question...
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post #2 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 10:10 AM
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I found the same thing, couldn't get the socket on if pushing up square to the bolt.
Some inexpensive sockets have thicker walls, which aggravates things further.
Look at your socket and see it's flared entry.
(I think a 6 point is better in this respect than a 12 point)
What I do is use a 3 inch extension, angle the tool a bit while pushing up, to get the socket on the head in a slightly cocked position, then lever it to get it square to the bolt, then break the bolt free.
Same re tightening after running the bolt in by hand.
The exhaust pipes have enough flex in them to not be bothered by the above.
I would not use an open end wrench as a get around.
And a box end wrench will be bigger than a socket, so a box end is not the solution either.

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post #3 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. Not exactly sure what flared entry means but i believe its 6 point (as in the hole looks like a hexagon). I tried an extension bit but it didn't seem to fit in any better. I can probably get it to be 80% on, do you think I should just try like that, or will that ruin the bolt?

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post #4 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 12:00 PM
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Don't worry after your rear exhaust mounting tab breaks off the exhaust will no longer be in the way

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post #5 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 12:15 PM
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hmmm... I don't recall ever having this issue... wonder if its a bike variation issue or a socket variation issue...

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post #6 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
Don't worry after your rear exhaust mounting tab breaks off the exhaust will no longer be in the way
It could be that his tab has already broken and that's why he's having the issue.

I put a Qwik Valve on mine awhile back so I don't have to mess with the drain plug, just open a ball valve. It does drain a lot slower though than when you pull the drain plug.


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post #7 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarko21 View Post
Thanks for the reply. Not exactly sure what flared entry means but i believe its 6 point (as in the hole looks like a hexagon). I tried an extension bit but it didn't seem to fit in any better. I can probably get it to be 80% on, do you think I should just try like that, or will that ruin the bolt?
Sockets are not square cut, they have a lead in/chamfer/flared entry whatever, to provide for easier/faster fitment of a socket on to the head of the bolt.

Something is wrong if you can't get a socket partially on, then lever it over by the ratchet or flex handle to get the socket square to the bolt.

I have had my 05 since new, and I had the same inconvenience when it was new, and ever after - including after exhaust system on/offs a few times.
I assume the degree of grief is very bike dependent.
And a busted off tab that's been poorly repaired or left unrepaired, could be your bike's problem.
Or the header is distorted a bit from some prior incident.
Have a look at the rear lower hanging tab on brake pedal side, and see if that sheds any more light on things.

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post #8 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
And a busted off tab that's been poorly repaired or left unrepaired, could be your bike's problem.
Or the header is distorted a bit from some prior incident.
Have a look at the rear lower hanging tab on brake pedal side, and see if that sheds any more light on things.
Not exactly sure what the lower hanging tab is but I will take a picture of the underside of the bike on the brake pedal side to see if anything is up

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post #9 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
Don't worry after your rear exhaust mounting tab breaks off the exhaust will no longer be in the way
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post #10 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 04:05 PM
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I can get a deep socket on mine (TWSS!), the exhaust is not in the way. Is the header the original?

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post #11 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rmb View Post
I can get a deep socket on mine (TWSS!), the exhaust is not in the way. Is the header the original?
Yeah header is original

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post #12 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 04:38 PM
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Don't pry too hard on the exhaust, you'll crack the exhaust bracket

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post #13 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarko21 View Post
Not exactly sure what the lower hanging tab is but I will take a picture of the underside of the bike on the brake pedal side to see if anything is up
The lower hanging tab is what semi rigidly holds the rear of the header in place just ahead of the point where the header run turns sharply up towards the Y pipe whose two legs lead to the exhaust cans (mufflers).
Just get on your knees and look up.
You'll see it fine and dandy that way.

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post #14 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarko21 View Post
Hi Guys,

Went to do my first oil change on my Honda 919 (2004) yesterday and immediately ran into a problem of the 17mm socket bit not fitting around the drain bolt due to the exhaust pipes getting in the way. Im a bit stumped, obviously its a routine maintenance job and in both the videos I watched of people doing oil changes the bit just bit right on with plenty of wiggle room, but mine seems to be unable of going round the bolt, it just presses against the pipe. I went and bought a new bit, an extended bit, and a wrench, the latter two also wouldn't fit at all, although the new bit fits slightly better, but its still not completely snug.

Is there something weird about my bike? Should I just try it with the bit thats not completely snug? I had it serviced immediately after I bought it in the summer which included an oil change, so it must be possible to get off, should I just ask the garage about it?

Thanks for any help and sorry if this is a dumb question...
Your socket position is off by that photo.
Imagine the lower groove of your socket parallel with flange of the bolt, and the socket tilted a bit because of the header interference.
The socket should go on better that way.
Not the best description I'll admit, but hopefully it makes sense to you.

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post #15 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 07:25 PM
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So, in reading all of this, the only thought that keeps running through my head is "why not just use a combination or box wrench?". For oil changes, or any bolt that is just out in the open, I have always just used a wrench. Especially now that they make ratcheting ones. Right tool for the right job....

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post #16 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartsitarski View Post
So, in reading all of this, the only thought that keeps running through my head is "why not just use a combination or box wrench?". For oil changes, or any bolt that is just out in the open, I have always just used a wrench. Especially now that they make ratcheting ones. Right tool for the right job....
You got me good.
I'd never tried a box end on that bolt, just a socket.
Standard drain bolt off/for me has been 6 pt sockets on a 1/2 inch ratchet handle back to the 70s.
Just went out into the ice box garage and got down on the concrete to see.
A box end fits on super easy.

As for opens and Crescents on oil pan drain bolts, that's in my "never" book.

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post #17 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by marylandmike View Post
It could be that his tab has already broken and that's why he's having the issue.

I put a Qwik Valve on mine awhile back so I don't have to mess with the drain plug, just open a ball valve. It does drain a lot slower though than when you pull the drain plug.

Hmmmm, that also adds an additional leakage path as well as about 7.4597 grams of extra weight and introduces an offset centre of mass.

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post #18 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 08:01 PM
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Be careful using a box wrench, there's an aluminum tab next to the drain bolt that can be broken off if the wrench slips


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post #19 of 75 Old 12-19-2016, 09:07 PM
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Hmmmm, that also adds an additional leakage path as well as about 7.4597 grams of extra weight and introduces an offset centre of mass.
I updated my PCIII map to account for all of that, plus when the ball valve leaks some of it sprays on the chain.

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post #20 of 75 Old 12-20-2016, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartsitarski View Post
So, in reading all of this, the only thought that keeps running through my head is "why not just use a combination or box wrench?". For oil changes, or any bolt that is just out in the open, I have always just used a wrench. Especially now that they make ratcheting ones. Right tool for the right job....
Thanks for the suggestion, but the first commenter suggested against using an open end wrench or a box wrench. Im not exactly sure of the difference (sorry a bit of a mechanical simpleton), but I tried a combination wrench and couldn't get either end to fit. Theres a few different examples when I google searched box wrench, but are you referring to the type that where the end is offset from the lever at a 45 degree angle, as in the picture. That looks like it might work better, although its still really just an issue of there being no space at the side of the bolt so it might not fit...
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post #21 of 75 Old 12-20-2016, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
The lower hanging tab is what semi rigidly holds the rear of the header in place just ahead of the point where the header run turns sharply up towards the Y pipe whose two legs lead to the exhaust cans (mufflers).
Just get on your knees and look up.
You'll see it fine and dandy that way.
Apologies didn't have a chance to take a picture of the underside of the bike this morning, I was supposed to take my bike to a garage to store it before I leave for Christmas tomorrow but it wouldn't start so I was frantically trying to deal with that. I will have a look when I get back from work later

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post #22 of 75 Old 12-20-2016, 08:52 AM
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I updated my PCIII map to account for all of that, plus when the ball valve leaks some of it sprays on the chain.
You remain one step ahead of me!
Excellent.
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post #23 of 75 Old 12-20-2016, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarko21 View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, but the first commenter suggested against using an open end wrench or a box wrench. Im not exactly sure of the difference (sorry a bit of a mechanical simpleton), but I tried a combination wrench and couldn't get either end to fit. Theres a few different examples when I google searched box wrench, but are you referring to the type that where the end is offset from the lever at a 45 degree angle, as in the picture. That looks like it might work better, although its still really just an issue of there being no space at the side of the bolt so it might not fit...
The wrench in your picture is a box end type at both ends, usually two different sizes so one wrench fits two sizes of bolt heads.
It's also of the "offset" subclass of box end type, meaning the actual box end part is not centred on the arm of the wrench.

An open end wrench lets you put the wrench on the bolt from either a top or side approach.

A combination wrench has an open end at one end, and a box end at the other, both the same size.
Combination wrenches typically have the box end angled at 15 degrees or so (not offset, but instead angled).

In case you missed it, I did a check fit last night. The angled box end of my combination wrench fit on easily, and gave plenty of wrench sweep room. Once you have the bolt broken free, run it out the rest of the way with your fingers, otherwise the box end will interfere with the exhaust header once the bolt is out about half way.

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post #24 of 75 Old 12-20-2016, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
The wrench in your picture is a box end type at both ends, usually two different sizes so one wrench fits two sizes of bolt heads.
It's also of the "offset" subclass of box end type, meaning the actual box end part is not centred on the arm of the wrench.

An open end wrench lets you put the wrench on the bolt from either a top or side approach.

A combination wrench has an open end at one end, and a box end at the other, both the same size.
Combination wrenches typically have the box end angled at 15 degrees or so (not offset, but instead angled).

In case you missed it, I did a check fit last night. The angled box end of my combination wrench fit on easily, and gave plenty of wrench sweep room. Once you have the bolt broken free, run it out the rest of the way with your fingers, otherwise the box end will interfere with the exhaust header once the bolt is out about half way.

Ok I get ya, thanks for clarifying/explaining. Sounds like I tried a a combination wrench with a non-offset box end. I couldn't get that to fit, the open end didn't go around the bolt (not sure why as it was 17mm too), maybe I just didn't try hard enough. The box end fit the bolt but couldn't fit in to turn with the exhaust pipe. I found another 17mm wrench in my tool bag so I can try that. Sounds like one with an offset and a skinnier end might work better. The ring of the box end was a few MMs thick so makes sense that it didn't fit. Also is there any danger of damaging the thread with this method? I was under the impression that you should use a torque wrench or at least a socket wrench, but as I said not a mechanically inclined person so mostly going off what I've read/seen others doing

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post #25 of 75 Old 12-20-2016, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarko21 View Post
Ok I get ya, thanks for clarifying/explaining. Sounds like I tried a a combination wrench with a non-offset box end. I couldn't get that to fit, the open end didn't go around the bolt (not sure why as it was 17mm too), maybe I just didn't try hard enough. The box end fit the bolt but couldn't fit in to turn with the exhaust pipe. I found another 17mm wrench in my tool bag so I can try that. Sounds like one with an offset and a skinnier end might work better. The ring of the box end was a few MMs thick so makes sense that it didn't fit. Also is there any danger of damaging the thread with this method? I was under the impression that you should use a torque wrench or at least a socket wrench, but as I said not a mechanically inclined person so mostly going off what I've read/seen others doing
You'll never wreck the thread breaking it free unless you push or pull the wrong direction.
It's a right hand thread, so be sure to turn it counter clockwise (imagining eye looking up to the bolt head's face) to loosen it.
Keep the box end ring square on the bolt, and up so it's flush with the bolt head's flange, then you won't slip off or round off the bolt head.
You don't need a torque wrench for tightening the bolt but keep in mind the spec is 20 ft/# torque.
Finger tight install bolt.
Nip up with light force so the bolt flange is seated.
Then another 1/8 turn of the wrench or handle is in the zone.
Too much force wrecks the aluminum casting, not the bolt - and you don't want that!

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post #26 of 75 Old 12-21-2016, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Ok took a few pictures of the underside to check that the tabs are not broken off. Im not exactly sure what I'm looking for to be honest, no obvious damage that I could see though. Sorry the pictures got rotated not sure why.

Im also gonna have to put this on the back burner as somehow a worse problem has emerged in that I now can't get the bike to start...
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post #27 of 75 Old 12-21-2016, 03:50 PM
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Wow, an unbroken 919 exhaust bracket, I heard that they exist but I've never seen one

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post #28 of 75 Old 12-21-2016, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarko21 View Post

Im also gonna have to put this on the back burner as somehow a worse problem has emerged in that I now can't get the bike to start...
If you didn't do anything to cause the bike not to start, there is a good chance it is the battery.

May want to pull it out and take it to an auto parts store and have it load tested. They will most likely do it for free.

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post #29 of 75 Old 12-21-2016, 04:51 PM
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Wow, an unbroken 919 exhaust bracket, I heard that they exist but I've never seen one

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Mine is still intact.
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post #30 of 75 Old 12-21-2016, 07:36 PM
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Sounds like your bolt has some kind of damage on the head and its hard to judge by the photo you included but it does look like there is a little twist on the bolt head (meaning someone has been overtightening it). If that is the case I am surprised your problem isn't more along the lines of "can't get it to tighten and stop leaking" but maybe you just got lucky and dodged a bullet on stripping the oil plug.

One option may be trying to use an open ended wrench and lightly tapping it on with a series of soft taps from a smallish hammer from an open direction. A better wrench will offer a better fit but a cheap wrench might allow the amount of expansion needed to get it to slip over the irregular shape of the bolt head.




This might be an odd recommendation but these kind of fall into the category of last ditch efforts. You can perhaps try and use a standard socket that is slightly larger sized. If the bolt is 12MM like I think I recall (sorry if I am a bit rusty on my Hornet info then I'd look at maybe using a 1/2 12 point or 9/16 inch 6 point socket. Obviously the tighter the better and it might be a socket you kind of toss afterwards if it gets boogered up getting it off.

Once you get it loose make sure you have a new drain bolt and crush washer because that one is done.

I don't want to preach, and certainly don't want to hurt your feelings (or those those of others) but if anyone suggests you don't need a torque wrench then they're mostly mistaken (again sorry fellas). It costs 22 bucks at Harbor Freight to get a 3/8 torque wrench. That's 22 bucks of insurance to safegaurd not stripping out something that costs much more to replace. A new oil pan, drain plug, and crush washer comes out to 125 bucks not counting shipping, gaskets, and your time. If you strip out the oil pan threads then that is what you'll need to replace, not to mention pulling the exhaust off, and the associated gaskets you'll need for that.

People say they can tell by feel and I admit this openly guys, I used to be one of those people. Probably 99% of them are mistaken and even the ones who get close will never be able to tell you the difference between 22 and 25 ft pounds. That might be the difference between a well clamped oil drain plug and a stripped out oil pan when you are dealing with aluminum.

Not trying to flame anyone, but I've been wrenching on stuff for 30+ years and I used to think I really had a feel for tightening stuff and I stopped using torque wrenches a long time ago. So one weekend I and a group of friends were having a weekend campout/meetup and we were all sitting around having a few drinks, wrenching on everyones garbage and someone brought up the idea of using a torque wrench and we all laughed it off and were all of the same opinion that we knew WTF we were doing. The one guy in our group that wrenches full time laid down the challenge. It cost 20 bucks to enter and I am telling you he made out like a bandit because every single one of use were overtightening the fasteners on everything we were turning wrenches on. He made easy money that day because there were about a dozen of us that got in on it. Needless to say I broke down and picked up a set of torque wrenches when I got home and I was astonished at how much I had been over-tightening fasteners with my "calibrated hand". I went through the garage looking up specs for everything and testing myself and it just took far less effort than I had been putting into them.

OK, sorry everyone, I'm down off the soap box just wanted to point out that when you see obvious signs of someone having overtightened fasteners they need a torque wrench, lol.

FWIW, you can probably get by safely with 17 to 20 lb ft with a new crush washer. You just want it to be tight enough to be secured and not leak, maybe a tad bit more if you are reusing the washer a few times.

Hope that might help a little and sorry for the sermon.

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post #31 of 75 Old 12-21-2016, 07:37 PM
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Mine is still intact.
I figured being from the Norhtern frontier you'd have rusted through it a long time ago. I heard a tale that Canadians just add hand warmers on everything and then wear frost beards during the winter months?

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post #32 of 75 Old 12-21-2016, 08:08 PM
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I figured being from the Norhtern frontier you'd have rusted through it a long time ago. I heard a tale that Canadians just add hand warmers on everything and then wear frost beards during the winter months?
I'm into seasonal activity.
Which is code speak for being a wimp.
My riding season in Alberta is early May to late October.
No bike of mine has ever seen salt on the road.
Having said that though, my guess is my front end fasteners and rear shock fasteners have decades of on/offs when compared to the norm.
And I ALWAYS use a torque wrench on those particular fasteners.

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post #33 of 75 Old 12-21-2016, 09:19 PM
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I use a 17mm 12 point ring spanner. I can't get a socket into there straight onto the nut. The ring spanner fits into that gap and grips.
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post #34 of 75 Old 12-22-2016, 04:13 AM
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post #35 of 75 Old 12-22-2016, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpcraft View Post
I don't want to preach, and certainly don't want to hurt your feelings (or those those of others) but if anyone suggests you don't need a torque wrench then they're mostly mistaken (again sorry fellas). It costs 22 bucks at Harbor Freight to get a 3/8 torque wrench. That's 22 bucks of insurance to safegaurd not stripping out something that costs much more to replace. A new oil pan, drain plug, and crush washer comes out to 125 bucks not counting shipping, gaskets, and your time. If you strip out the oil pan threads then that is what you'll need to replace, not to mention pulling the exhaust off, and the associated gaskets you'll need for that.

People say they can tell by feel and I admit this openly guys, I used to be one of those people. Probably 99% of them are mistaken and even the ones who get close will never be able to tell you the difference between 22 and 25 ft pounds. That might be the difference between a well clamped oil drain plug and a stripped out oil pan when you are dealing with aluminum.
I don't want to preach, and I'll probably hurt your feelings, but if anyone suggests that a 22 dollar torque wrench from Harbor freight is worth more than it's scrap value in metal then I wouldn't bother taking any mechanical advice they have as it's probably wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I have tons of harbor freight tools, and they definite have their place, but a torque wrench is not one of those tools that should be bought from harbor freight... or that should ever be bought for 22 dollars for that matter.

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post #36 of 75 Old 12-22-2016, 09:48 AM
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The absolute best torque wrench to use is a super cheap greatly oversized one, so one can realize the ultimate combination of poor quality while using it below it's band width of rated accuracy, when using it on low grade small fasteners. As added insurance towards disaster, put some moly-di on the threads, and attempt to torque to a dry thread value for the fastener.
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post #37 of 75 Old 12-22-2016, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandboy View Post
I use a 17mm 12 point ring spanner. I can't get a socket into there straight onto the nut. The ring spanner fits into that gap and grips.
Clarko21, Islandboy did this special for you.
Ring spanner is Brit based Down Under Speak for what we call the Box End of a Combination Wrench.

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post #38 of 75 Old 12-22-2016, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redline919 View Post
Clarko21, note the angled box end that combination wrenches typically use. Many a time that angled arm makes the wrench and/or your hand, clear nearby obstacles or interferences.

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post #39 of 75 Old 12-22-2016, 09:08 PM
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& all these years I just slipped my Craftsman 3/8" drive socket on it without a thought & went to town.....

My exhaust bracket is intact also. Maybe a should buy a lottery ticket.
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post #40 of 75 Old 12-22-2016, 09:16 PM
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Just use a 17mm box end wrench and be done with it

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