Advice on stripped valve cover bolts - Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

So a couple of my valve cover bolt threads are stripped.

I have a couple of options and was wondering what is best from experience.

I know APE makes some 8mm oversized bolts. Would I have to tap the holes first?

Also another option is to find a 7mm coil kit and do that.

Do I need to tap the holes for the oversized 8mm bolts?

What are the best options? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 02:06 AM
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

7mm helicoil kit is your best option, you'll always be able to use stock VC bolts and wont have to figure out which ones go where.

The helicoil needs to be installed using red Loctite. It will make for a stronger thread that wont wear out like an aluminum hole after repeated use.

Plus tapping aluminum with a hand tap really makes for shitty threads due to galling and sideloading the tap by hand.

Keep in mind, if there's a dowel pin in any of those holes, you need to make sure that dowel pin will go in flush like original.

Those bolt holes are often stripped because the rubber washers and gasket got too thin, bolt bottomed out and got over tightened.
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Last edited by Geesxara; 04-21-2017 at 02:08 AM.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 02:18 AM
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

That whole design was not a c-hair better than it had to be!
If cam cap threads weren't stripping out then the valve cover where the bolts got thru was popping/cracking.
No room for error there, I tell you.
With paper thin tolerances and soft materials, it's recipe for disaster in anything less than finesse-ful hands.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 07:57 AM
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

I had a thread strip on the cam cap/cam cover retainer - I'm always very careful not to over torque the bolts too, as SRAD'R says, they're not over engineered !
As suggested above, I had a guy put a helicoil in, I let a pro (does thread repairs for a living)do it as I didn't want to chance ruining the cam cap (I would've managed it ok I think - but ...) - he did a great job, it's stronger than standard now - gave him some cash and it didn't cost much. I believe some people helicoil all of the c.cover mount threads if they've got a keeper.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

Thanks guys,

I think I should mention that I would have to be doing this repair while the head is on the bike so, am I able to tap the hole by hand or what would I need exactly??

Thanks.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 06:42 PM
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

You do not need to remove the head to repair the threads, You should remove the cam caps one at a time,drill and tap for helicoil.You don't want the shavings in the engine

I had all of mine done on a drill press so I knew the threads were all straight.This is not a very difficult repair
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

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Originally Posted by johnnyGixxer711 View Post
You do not need to remove the head to repair the threads, You should remove the cam caps one at a time,drill and tap for helicoil.You don't want the shavings in the engine

I had all of mine done on a drill press so I knew the threads were all straight.This is not a very difficult repair
Thanks

I guess i am just worried about keeping everything straight while working on it. Dont want to go in crooked.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:36 PM
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Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

http://ape-store.com/shopsite/page55.html


Get THESE!!! (APE is making a run of both the standard 7mm and 8mm oversize cam cover bolts.)

These are MUST HAVE even for stock builds in my opinion!

(PS: I see in retrospect you are aware of these already... as mentioned above, whether helicoil or drill/O.S. thread, if you are careful, you can do it in-frame as described above. The O.S. do seem to take a "good torque" and I've not had valve cover leak since using them... MUCH better than the stock hex/goofy-washer setup. We carefully placed a hole through shop towels and covered everything before doing any work, then shopvac'd the shavings thoroughly to remove any shavings. Using oil keeps stuff from "flying around", too... Good luck!)

ImageUploadedByMotorcycle1492828574.846704.jpg

-crisp
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 11:02 AM
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

At the risk of PO some of my learn-ed colleagues, I'd stay away from those aluminum valve cover bolts. They twist off at about 10 ft lbs or so, many times before you can get them to seal.

Try these - Stainless Steel Single Suzuki Top Rocker Cover Bolt
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

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Originally Posted by darkirish58 View Post
At the risk of PO some of my learn-ed colleagues, I'd stay away from those aluminum valve cover bolts. They twist off at about 10 ft lbs or so, many times before you can get them to seal.

Try these - Stainless Steel Single Suzuki Top Rocker Cover Bolt
Thanks man, did you still have to retap the hole? Are those bolts the same thread etc like the original?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 05:40 PM
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkirish58 View Post
At the risk of PO some of my learn-ed colleagues, I'd stay away from those aluminum valve cover bolts. They twist off at about 10 ft lbs or so, many times before you can get them to seal.



Try these - Stainless Steel Single Suzuki Top Rocker Cover Bolt

Good to know. I have not had issue with the aluminum ones and pleased with function and appearance, however, I did not know about these stainless units. Nice to see good options!

-crisp
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 05:58 PM
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

I fitted special m7 s/s bolts on mine too, I thought abought the Al ones, went with the s/s ones (even though I really like the idea of light weight bolts)- thought there would be 2 possible places to have stripped threads with Al bolts when clearances checked once a year. I think my repair was bored to 7.5mm and then tapped to m8, the helicoil was then fitted for an m7 thread - the cover bolt now has s/s threads and is smoother in action than the 7 others.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 10:10 PM
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

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Originally Posted by ANDRASTA View Post
Thanks man, did you still have to retap the hole? Are those bolts the same thread etc like the original?
They are the same thread. I didn't booger the cam cap threads so no tapping or helicoils for me. I only twisted off the Al bolts ... about half until I replaced them with SS

Last edited by darkirish58; 04-23-2017 at 10:12 PM.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

Thanks for the replies guys,

I guess my main worry is not tapping the bolt straight.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANDRASTA View Post
Thanks for the replies guys,

I guess my main worry is not tapping the bolt straight.

I'm with most of the rest drill tap and Heli-coil, and don't use and aluminum bolt, engineers are not perfect but I am sure using a grade 5 stainless bolt is more than adequate now as you are fearing going in straight what i have done working on many things is you can use a carpenters square to use to give you a good reference I have a folding one that I made that is sometime just as useful for getting the perfect angle of reference you've got this... Just be creative in making sure your straight and most importantly take your time
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 01:52 AM
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Re: Advice on stripped valve cover bolts

one more thought if you are concerned with metal shavings from drilling or taping you can use some grease or oil as you drill/tap and the shavings will stick with the bit or tap you are using and not spread as much... but if you do this make sure you clean out the threads with break parts cleaner before setting the heli-coil and also when you are all finished if you are going to set your torque on the bolts to the proper inch lbs... oil/grease contamination can play hell on the accuracy of your torque... BTW I prefer grease when i see the shavings in it i stop wipe it off reapply and continue my work helps tremendously for not getting metal shavings where you don't want them
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