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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know how I did this. It wasn't even tight yet ... but I managed to break off a head cover bolt as I was starting to tighten it down after changing plugs. :mad:

Now I get to try to extract the remaining piece and order a new bolt.

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Hey Gale - Everyone has done something like this at one time or another. If you're lucky the remainder of the broken bolt wont actually be too tight or recessed too deep with the lower spark plug cover removed. Use a long, small diameter, hardened - pointed punch to place a centered dimple in the broken bolt face. Hit it with a shot or two of a good quality spray lubricant then use a slow spinning variable speed drill and a very small "reverse twist" drill bit to take the center out of the broken bolt. Take it slow and use only a very light pressure on the drill bit so you don't break it off in the remainder of the bolt. This will cause a whole list of other problems. Don't ask...... The reverse twist drill has the added advantage of rotating the bolt in the direction it takes to (loosen) spin it out of the hole.

If no joy at this point - a small diameter "Easy Out" should be able to grip the interior of the drilled bolt hole and gradually remove the remainder of the broken bolt. A blast of compressed air will clean out any remaining metal debris. Just for good measure a metric tap can be used to clean up the threads if your drill bit wasn't exactly centered. Slowly rotate the tap initially backwards until you feel the tap drop every so slightly into the beginning of the original bolt hole threads. When you now rotate the tap into the bolt hole you will be cleaning out the old threads and not be cutting a set of new threads.

Just an opinion on my part but since the spark plug covers don't actually seal any oil passages - I apply a dab of "Gasket Maker" sealant on the bolt threads before installation. Then - just a snug fit secures the bolts and spark plug covers without having to be torqued.

Good Luck - Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Gale - Everyone has done something like this at one time or another. ....

Good Luck - Michael
Thanks for the help. I hope to attempt this today. I had a cheap kit, but purchased a new reverse twist broken bolt remover thing to try.
 

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Hey Gale - That's Great. When I break or twist a bolt off on one of my projects, my wife usually says something like "I wouldn't have done it that way". Over the years she has had to develop a good sense of humor. ...:)

Ride Safe - Michael
 

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Got it out with help of an extractor kit. Fortunately it was not in very tight, which makes me wonder why it broke? New part on order.

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I broke one off mine once. I was shocked at how easy it broke but like yours it came out easy. Glad to hear you got it out. I had a tough time getting the valve cover to not leak after though.

Steve


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A lot of times when you closely examine the bolt where it broke you will find that there was a small air bubble left in the casting which creates a soft spot which the slightest torque will snap. Glad everything worked out for you.👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A lot of times when you closely examine the bolt where it broke you will find that there was a small air bubble left in the casting which creates a soft spot which the slightest torque will snap. Glad everything worked out for you.👍
Now I'll have to look closely and is if there is anything like that visible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Using a Wi-Fi Digital Microscope here is what I see. One picture is the digital scope and Ipad. The other two are the captured images from the digital scope. It is looking at on side of the broken bolt. I'm not exactly sure what I'm seeing. But that one side of the photo certainly looks different from the rest, perhaps suspicious. Maybe someone knows what this should look like?

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one other thing that can make it ultra easy to twist off a bolt, is if it is slightly too long, sometimes, simply a washer missing, lets it bottom out before it is tight,
then it is not ALL the threads and the head all bearing some of the torque, it is quickly at one spot.
if this was the case when it was tightened.... then it can want to start to corrode and bond at the bottom and the weakened bolt then fails for the next guy trying to remove it
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
one other thing that can make it ultra easy to twist off a bolt, is if it is slightly too long, sometimes, simply a washer missing, lets it bottom out before it is tight,
then it is not ALL the threads and the head all bearing some of the torque, it is quickly at one spot.
if this was the case when it was tightened.... then it can want to start to corrode and bond at the bottom and the weakened bolt then fails for the next guy trying to remove it
Good information, thanks.
 

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Using a Wi-Fi Digital Microscope here is what I see. One picture is the digital scope and Ipad. The other two are the captured images from the digital scope. It is looking at on side of the broken bolt. I'm not exactly sure what I'm seeing. But that one side of the photo certainly looks different from the rest, perhaps suspicious. Maybe someone knows what this should look like?

View attachment 276667 View attachment 276668 View attachment 276670
From the looks of the pictures you posted the weakness was at the upper left, but from the looks of the bolt and the granular structure of the the break it was not that great from new. A bolt or screw that breaks from overtorqing will be a lot smoother.
 
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Agreed, that's some grainy looking metal.
 
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