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redwood

Loosening engine drain bolt

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redwood

Hey y'all! This is my first post here, and well, it's rather embarrassing. I cannot for the life of me loosen the engine drain bolt so that I can change the oil at the 600 mile mark. I started with a wrench, moved on to a socket wrench, and tried a torque wrench out of desperation. I was almost lifting the entire bike up trying to generate enough force.

I believe I was approaching this correctly because I was using 17 mm wrench/socket and twisting counter clockwise (similar to how videos have demonstrated). My mistake may have been starting with the wrong tool but I quickly moved to a socket wrench before ruining the bolt.

At this point I wonder if I should throw in the towel and get the break in service. The bolt is becoming stripped and I don't want to make a bad situation worse (image below). I do have a breaker bar on the way so maybe I can wait and try again.

I was able to service other parts of the bike but this experience has been deflating. Hopefully I'll have a better go at it next time.

bolt.png.b86d015a355bd22bf85fe05d2c40e441.png

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norcal616

If you are on the "clutch lever" of the bike side pulling upward on the wrench causing you to lift the bike- you are tighten the bolt...


2015 fz-07- Hordpower Edition...2015 fj-09- 120whp- Graves Exhaust w/Woolich Race Kit- tuned by 2WDW
 

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mossrider
Just now, norcal616 said:

If you are on the "clutch lever" of the bike side pulling upward on the wrench causing you to lift the bike- you are tighten the bolt...

I think you mis-typed that, he would be loosening it. 

Try it when it's good and hot, it may help let loose/free the bolt. Some of them are bugger tight from the factory. I've had to rap some of them on the head with a plastic mallet before too but dont condone this behavior. Be damn careful using force or heat if you're not experienced doing so. 

Use a long handled box end wrench or long handled breaker bar and socket and give it a good, sharp yank. It'll come loose.

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norcal616

Your correct... It should be brake lever side not clutch lever side


2015 fz-07- Hordpower Edition...2015 fj-09- 120whp- Graves Exhaust w/Woolich Race Kit- tuned by 2WDW
 

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Zephyr

Yep, What @mossrider said.  I recall getting the engine warm before it would loosen the first time around with a breaker bar.  I gave the breaker bar a few light taps at the head to "seat" the socket prior to applying heavy pressure.  Make sure you have a replacement bolt and crush washers on hand and wear gloves removing the existing bolt.  Hot oil is .. well.. hot.

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DewMan
3 hours ago, redwood said:

Hey y'all! This is my first post here, and well, it's rather embarrassing. I cannot for the life of me loosen the engine drain bolt so that I can change the oil at the 600 mile mark. I started with a wrench, moved on to a socket wrench, and tried a torque wrench out of desperation. I was almost lifting the entire bike up trying to generate enough force.

 

I may be preaching to the choir here but a torque wrench is never appropriate for loosening a fastener. The only reason a torque wrench is reversible is for tightening revere thread fasteners.  You're definitely going to have a greater chance of success using a breaker bar or longer handled wrench/ratchet. More information on what to do and not do with a torque wrench can be found here:
 

But back to your issue. Definitely try it with a warm engine and do everything in your power to not smack the leverage bar you're using with a hammer unless you've exhausted all other options. The aluminum/aluminium the bolt is threaded into won't take the stress well. If you have access to an impact ratchet, either air or battery powered, that is also an option to try.

Raise the amount of force used to loosen the bolt in small increments. This is the best way to minimize the chances of doing any damage to any components.
 

Good Luck undoing the work of the 800 gorilla that works in the Yamaha factory. He's gotten ahold of many of the MT/FZ-07s around here while they were being built. ✌️

 

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DewMan
 
Just shut up and ride.

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Beemer

If, by chance, any socket spins and ruins what's left of the edges I would use, as a last resort, a vice grips and breaker bar combo but you really have to get those vice grips on there real tight. That's worked for me more than once. That thing looks pretty chewed up already. Needless to say but get a new bolt afterwards. If you can't loosen it still take it to a shop and ask them to just loosen it but not so much that it's leaking when you ride it home to finish the job. 

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Beemer

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minkster

I have always thought cold metal is better for a tight bolt, so I loosened mine cold for the first oil change.  As metal heat, it expands, making the bolt even tougher to get out.  I seem to remember somebody with the same problem cracking the oil pan because they were lifting so hard to try and loosen the bolt, so be careful.

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fzar
22 hours ago, redwood said:

I believe I was approaching this correctly because I was using 17 mm wrench/socket

I believe it's a 14mm, it is on mine a 2015 Fz-07. At this stage I'd go with @Beemer recommendation:

10 hours ago, Beemer said:

I would use, as a last resort, a vice grips and breaker bar combo but you really have to get those vice grips on there real tight. That's worked for me more than once. That thing looks pretty chewed up already.

Good Luck, I'm sure you'll get it off, eventually. Remember this, just when you think all hope is lost. Stand back, think about it for a while, and try again. Rushing gets you nowhere fast. Don't ask me how I know!! 

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redwood

Thanks for all the great responses everyone, really appreciate it!

I have a breaker bar coming in so I'm just going to wait for that to arrive and then give it another go.

Things I'll do differently this time around: run the engine for longer than 2 minutes (go for 5 minutes), use the right tool (breaker bar), try 14mm instead of 17mm socket.

 

On a side note, I tried installing a radiator guard today (https://evotech-performance.com/products/ep-yamaha-mt-07-radiator-guard-2018) and even that was met with no luck! Couldn't physically get the thing on after trying for a full hour. I adjusted the chain slack and alignment no problem but all of sudden I've become mechanically inept. It's been a week...

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DewMan
2 hours ago, minkster said:

I have always thought cold metal is better for a tight bolt, so I loosened mine cold for the first oil change.  As metal heat, it expands, making the bolt even tougher to get out.  I seem to remember somebody with the same problem cracking the oil pan because they were lifting so hard to try and loosen the bolt, so be careful.

The aluminum pan will expand more than the steel bolt all things being equal. We're not talking making anything hot enough to deform anything. Just warming things up enough to loosen it slightly. This in theory should enlarge the thread hole, on a miniscule scale of course, and make it easier to unthread the bolt. It also helps loosen any blue Loctite they may have used on other engine bolts (obviously not the drain plug) in other applications.

 

This is what I was taught and I've found it to be true in practice. It's the same principle of why we put bearings in the freezer to shrink them before we drop them into a heated hole.

If someone knows better than I, I'd love to be educated. 👍

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DewMan
 
Just shut up and ride.

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DewMan
35 minutes ago, redwood said:

Thanks for all the great responses everyone, really appreciate it!

I have a breaker bar coming in so I'm just going to wait for that to arrive and then give it another go.

Things I'll do differently this time around: run the engine for longer than 2 minutes (go for 5 minutes), use the right tool (breaker bar), try 14mm instead of 17mm socket. 

 

In my  perfect world all 12 point sockets would be outlawed.

Unless your corners are too deformed to fit... please use a 6 point socket if possible. You'll have less chance of rounding off the bolt since it grabs the hex head of the bolt more by the sides than the more fragile corners as well as physically spreading the load to a larger area.

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DewMan
 
Just shut up and ride.

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minkster
22 hours ago, DewMan said:

The aluminum pan will expand more than the steel bolt all things being equal. We're not talking making anything hot enough to deform anything. Just warming things up enough to loosen it slightly. This in theory should enlarge the thread hole, on a miniscule scale of course, and make it easier to unthread the bolt. It also helps loosen any blue Loctite they may have used on other engine bolts (obviously not the drain plug) in other applications.

 

This is what I was taught and I've found it to be true in practice. It's the same principle of why we put bearings in the freezer to shrink them before we drop them into a heated hole.

If someone knows better than I, I'd love to be educated. 👍

Just looked up thermal expansion for steel and aluminum.  Aluminum reacts twice as much to a change in temperature than steel, so as temperature rises, it makes sense than a warm steel bolt expands less than the aluminum hole, making it easier to get the bolt out. 

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DewMan
4 hours ago, minkster said:

Just looked up thermal expansion for steel and aluminum.  Aluminum reacts twice as much to a change in temperature than steel, so as temperature rises, it makes sense than a warm steel bolt expands less than the aluminum hole, making it easier to get the bolt out.  

I appreciate the confirmation of what I was taught.  👍


DewMan
 
Just shut up and ride.

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redwood
On 6/21/2019 at 6:41 AM, Beemer said:

If, by chance, any socket spins and ruins what's left of the edges I would use, as a last resort, a vice grips and breaker bar combo but you really have to get those vice grips on there real tight. That's worked for me more than once. That thing looks pretty chewed up already. Needless to say but get a new bolt afterwards. If you can't loosen it still take it to a shop and ask them to just loosen it but not so much that it's leaking when you ride it home to finish the job. 

Tl;dr I finally got the dang thing off and changed the oil!

 

Okay so update on this after coming back from vacation. I followed all the helpful suggestions from everyone (thank you!) but this bolt just did not want to budge whatsoever.

I went to my local hardware store where the owner previously rode bikes. He got his pipe wrench out along with a cheater bar and still nothing. Incredible!

There was an automotive shop down the street so I went there next and explained my situation. I don't know how the mechanic did it but he was able to get the bolt off using a 6 point socket. It might have been one of those sockets that is meant for loosening destroyed bolts? Anyway, I had a replacement bolt with me that we put on as soon as the chewed up bolt came off. I rode back home, changed the oil, and then went for a victory ride. 

Thanks Beemer for suggesting going to the shop! I wouldn't have had my replacement bolt with me if you hadn't mentioned going to a shop.

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Grant31781

Man that is crazy. I had no issues getting my oil plug out for the 600 mile change. Glad it worked out for you.

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