Any suggestions on getting this plug off?


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Lastwachter
Posts: 123
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Motorcycle: 1978 Honda GoldWing
2000 Buell Blast

Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby Lastwachter » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:58 pm



I began the process of changing the timing belts, when I got to step two and found the generator bolt cap like this. THIS WAS NOT ME!!! I am finding all kinds of "workmanship" done by the previous owner, with what I can only assume were vice grips and hammers. You should have seen how the foot boards were attached :shock:

I tried first socket and open ended wrenches. Then adjustable wrench. I can't even get a grip with vice grips to give it a try. I am obviously going to replace it, I am just looking for a way to get it off.

PLEASE HELP :?:
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Placerville
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Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby Placerville » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:21 pm

Ha, ha, ha. (Sorry, not laughing at you, I'm laughing at my own first experience with just that same cap.)

These bolt caps took a lot of abuse as they were removed for almost every tune up function. They had a real knack for being excessively tightened by the shop, the PO or, they seem to just get stuck on their own. They should have been made of steel instead of aluminum.

You best bet is to first apply some penetrating oil (50/50 MMO and Acetone works very well) and go at it the next day. Once the head is misshapen (like yours), you're free to have it with some locking pliers. That's the way I removed mine. Go to you local tool outlet and pick up a good set of slim, long nose locking pliers like the ones I show below. (Your traditional, heavy vice grips won't fit, will they?)

When I have a particularly difficult and 'hard to grab' frozen fastener, I like to set the grips so tight that I can barley close them to the lock position. I then leave them in place for a few hours to increase their 'bite'. Make sure the teeth of your tool are sharp. I find that the first attempt to remove stuck bolts has the most possibilities. Additional attempts always result in more damage which lessens your odds of removal. Get a good grip the first time towards the base of the tool (see the larger teeth on mine) as that's the greatest area of bite.

When first attempting to break the nut free, slowly apply increasing pressure on the grips. Stop immediately if you feel the slightest slip. Reset them and try again. The key is to not do any additional damage that will prevent you from locking on to the head again. Break that head off, and you'll be pulling the engine.

These caps are still available from Honda. Buy two. ;) And, when you reinstall it, use thread release.
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Lastwachter
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2000 Buell Blast

Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby Lastwachter » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:28 pm

Well I did exactly what you said and still nothing. It looks like I have going to have to cut the bolt out.

My game plan is to take the back of the bike off….wheel, fender and if necessary tank and cut the bolt so I can pull it out.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions before I start this process.


Thanks!

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Placerville
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Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby Placerville » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:38 pm

Lastwachter wrote:Well I did exactly what you said and still nothing. It looks like I have going to have to cut the bolt out. My game plan is to take the back of the bike off….wheel, fender and if necessary tank and cut the bolt so I can pull it out. Let me know if you have any other suggestions before I start this process. Thanks!

Help me understand what happened. You said, "...and still nothing." What's that mean? Are you saying that you were able to correctly grab (what's left of) the cap head with a pair of channel locks, you got a good bite on it and.....then what? Are you saying that you did that and then applied all the downward force you could muster on the pliers but it didn't move? If that's the case, I'd suggest that you next try heat. Using a small propane torch tip on low, apply head directly to the cap until you think you've got it good and hot. Then, put your channel locks back on and try to turn it. Heating things up often helps break the bond.

A word of caution, you described that part as a "bolt." It's not a bolt but, a cap, and the threads are only about 3/16" deep, much like your oil cap or timing cover cap.
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Lastwachter
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2000 Buell Blast

Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby Lastwachter » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:57 pm

What I did was use PB Blaster over two days spraying around the cap. Then I heated the area using a hand held torch, both to help break up the binding and to soften the metal for better bite with my vice grips. Then I used a pair of needle nosed vice grips. I clamped them on at the best angle I could for the best bite at the max pressure I could possibly get them at and then let them site for an hour as instructed for better bite. Then I tried to move it and it slid off taking more metal with it. I tried a total of 3 times before giving up.

I understand its just a cap and that I will need to be careful not to cut too deep and damage anything else.

Any other ideas? As always thanks for all your help. I couldn't have gotten this far without you :)

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Placerville
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Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby Placerville » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:14 pm

You've done everything right. The only other thing I can think of is, using a heavy file, file the upper and lower edges of the head down to create a flat and wider surface for the pliers to bite and try again. At this point, it doesn't matter if you break of the head so, give it hell. If that doesn't work, as you said, you're looking at going in through the back end. Drilling/breaking that cap out is going to be a b***h of job. The only good part of this will be that you'll have your tank out for de-rusting and your rear end off for cleaning and re-greasing of the coupler and spline. I'm sorry this has been such a pain.
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Lastwachter
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Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby Lastwachter » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:34 am

The sad part is I just had the tank off last week for derusting and just put it all back together.

Lastwachter
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Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby Lastwachter » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:08 am

Another quick question, what is the official name of that cap? I searched generator bolt cap (which is what it is called in the Timing Belt How To) and came up with nothing.

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terryt
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Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby terryt » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:21 am

Lastwachter wrote:Another quick question, what is the official name of that cap? I searched generator bolt cap (which is what it is called in the Timing Belt How To) and came up with nothing.

Hi if you type in the search box on ebay -- gl1000 tappet adjuster bolt cap -- I will list them if not look here


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200809091624? ... 1423.l2649

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Placerville
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Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby Placerville » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:32 am

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artgrantz
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Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby artgrantz » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:48 pm

You could try a hammer and cold chisel. Set the chisel on the flat part of the plug at an angle that will rotate it counter clockwise, then strike it with the hammer. A few blows may break it loose so you can turn it with vise grips.

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SteveB123
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Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby SteveB123 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:46 pm

FYI, it's the same cap on the final drive.
Current:82 GL1100 Interstate, 60 Amp Poorboy, MSD coil
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Lastwachter
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Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby Lastwachter » Fri May 02, 2014 7:01 pm

VICTORY!
artgrantz wrote:You could try a hammer and cold chisel. Set the chisel on the flat part of the plug at an angle that will rotate it counter clockwise, then strike it with the hammer. A few blows may break it loose so you can turn it with vise grips.
I tried this and all it did was chip off pieces of the caps edges. Which I am assuming helped to relieve some of the pressure. I then used the chisel to flatten some of the knurled bolt edge and was eventually able to get the vice grips on it and get it to turn. I'll have to take a pick of it. It is completely thrashed.

But its off! I was able to change the timing belts and adjust the valves, just waiting on the replacement caps to come in.

Thanks again for all the help guys!

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Fred Camper
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Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby Fred Camper » Fri May 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Patients worked in your favor. Heating and cooling is often a big factor. So good to see a great ending.

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Placerville
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Re: Any suggestions on getting this plug off?

Postby Placerville » Fri May 02, 2014 7:42 pm

Congratulations on beating it into submission! Use plenty of thread release on that new one!!


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