Fixing The Wrecked Bolt Problem

My biggest frustration when working on my motorcycles is a wrecked bolt head cause due mainly due to my inexperience or haste or sometimes a combination of both. The other day when removing the float bowl of my Impulse’s carburetor I wrecked the head of one of the tiny screws and ended up spending a great deal of time and patience fixing the problem.

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So I decided to replace all commonly accessed bolts and screws with stainless steel Allen bolts. There are a few advantages to doing this. Firstly, they don’t corrode. I have yet to wreck the head of a stainless steel Allen bolt. I guess I could if I used the wrong size Allen key or used too much force. But if I slot the right Allen key deep inside the head I’m guessing it will be pretty difficult for me to wreck it.

Another advantage is that the size of my toolkit vastly reduces in the number of tools and their weight. Allen keys are light and small and are much easier to carry than a spanner set or a ratchet kit.

However, if you are doing this, you should take care not to tighten the Allen bolts too tight. Stainless steel is very strong and you could easily wreck the threading inside the cast iron or aluminium part that you are driving the bolt into.

Theoretically all bolts should be tightened to a specific torque. But very few people have the time and patience to sit with a torque wrench and the torque manual of their motorcycle. At least I don’t.

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  • Dr Kanishq

    Even I did the same! When I dismantled my carb for the first time, I’d wrecked exactly the same screw you showed in the photo. Since I didn’t possess a larger philips screwdriver back then, it was a real mess.
    Now it is such a relief, to be able to remove the float chamber directly, without doing any hoopla-poopla. :) Glad to have found someone who did exactly the same thing. Cheers!


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