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Easy Project... Turns bad... than worse =(
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Exclamation Easy Project... Turns bad... than worse =( - July 11, 2018, 07:45 AM

If you got time, here's a long write up of a series of progressive issues I had with what should have been some pretty standard maintenance… Hopefully you can learn from these mistakes…
I had just finished all the major maintenance on my Ducati 916, and noticed that the exhaust nuts were a bit rusted and I felt they were due for replacements. I also decided that since I was going to remove them, I might as well replace the gaskets on the exhaust as well. Not a job that needed to be done, but hey, I wanted everything perfect.
This was the start of what should be a 30 minutes job…max.
Pulled the fairings, and went ahead and sprayed some penetrating oil on the nuts and threads and let it soak in. Went inside grabbed a drink and came back out a little while later. Resprayed the penetrating oil and steel brushed the nuts off and began removing them. They came off fine, except for one that instead of removing the nut, it removed the bolt from the head.
1st problem, not a big one by any means, but still unexpected.
Put the new gaskets on and put the new nuts on, and hand-threaded back in the old bolt that had come out on the front of the head. I didn’t see any issue with re-using it, it came out easy enough it should go back in easy enough. Began cross tightening the nuts down to finish the job and as I moved to that last bolt that had come out to tighten down… well, SNAP. Off came the top of the bolt.
2nd problem, bigger problem… but hey, it happens on old small diameter bolts.
Two options I have used in the past that worked in this situation, option 1 – EZ out, option two – weld on nut.
I went with the first option, as I really didn’t want to weld next to the wiring... so EZ out it was. Grabbed an EZ out and a proper sized drill bit and began to drill into the remnants of the half a bolt in the head. Drill went perfectly straight and centered, which is ideal. Grabbed the EZ out and began turning it in slowly. Slowly cranked down on it and SNAP. Off came the tip of the easy out.
3rd problem… bigger problem… a lot bigger problem, but hey its happened before to me a several years back, and in pretty much the same scenario… small diameter bolt in the head.
I thought for a moment, what did I do last time? Oh, that’s right I got rid of that bike because I could not get the bolt out of the head last time and it was a cheap project to begin with. Great, well that option is not an option for me as it took me 2 years to find a 95 916 in my area, quite a bit more money and time invested, and I am not giving up on that easy. So, I re-thought about my options.
1st option, try to drill it out… However, I remember this not working at all when I tried 10 to 12 years ago on that other project. And, was told the only option was a machine shop, and at that point I gave up last time.
2nd option, machine shop… This isn’t and easy fix and is actually a big undertaking on my part, it would involve me taking down the bike and pulling the entire head and then having a machine shop EDM that EZ out tip out. That means a lot of time… and money. Not really an option unless it’s absolutely my last resort.
3rd option, weld on a nut to the end and try to remove the bolt. There were only 2 threads exposed, so not a lot of room but possibly worth a shot too.
4th option, drill and tap next to it and place a new bolt in. Decided this was too ugly to do to this bike and I would rather not ever have to resort to this. Don’t care if people won’t see it… As I would know it’s done and don’t want it that way.
I decided to start with option 1 and try with both titanium and carbine drill bit sets…. But just as I remembered, after about an hour and a half, all I did was polish it.
Pulled out the welder.
Put it on a low speed wire feed and grabbed a steel nut. Threaded on the 2 threads it had and tacked it in the center. Then proceeded to fill the nut to get as much connection as I could. Let it cool for a minute or two and tried a slow crank out… SNAP. Off came the nut and the last of the exposed threads. Bolt was too small and too weak for this to work.
4th problem, and I am losing patience at this point.
Decide to search what other people had done in this situation and came up with a few options, but the main one was to chip out the EZ-out tip, as EZ-outs are apparently naturally brittle.
5th problem. The 90 minutes of “polishing” I did when trying to drill it out fused the tip into the bolt until it was one single shiny part. There was no way it was ever coming out like that.
**Note to self, never try to drill out an EZ out tip, it will never ever drill out... you just make matter worse.**
Great, time to wash up, its been 4 hours now and I need to head to bed.
As I laid down I continued to search for options. One of which was using a Dremel to grind out the bolt and easy out. The issue is that this is a small 6mm bolt, I am working with less than a ¼ of an inch of room here.
Either way, the following morning I hit up my local hardware store and bought some additional attachments for my Dremel. I got carbine ones and cylinder-shaped small diameter grinders ones an a few other things to try and headed home.
I began grinding and that hardened EZ out just disintegrated the carbine tipped ones, and the cylindrical grinder bar did nothing after about 30 minutes of constant grinding both low and high speed.
6th problem just blew through quite a bit worth of Dremel pieces and all I did was some additional polish work.
Googled some more, and went back to the store the next day. I found a diamond tip 3/16 hole saw by Milwaukee which works in a drill and is recommended only for masonry.
Here is what I am talking about for reference:
www.grainger.com/product/MILWAUKEE-3-16-Dia-Hole-Saw-for-Masonry-33UH24
It is the only one of them that could drill directly inwards. Its strictly for masonry, not steel and clearly not hardened steel, but decided it was my last option before I run out of practical options.
Brought it home and began drilling. Finally! I start to see metal shavings coming off. After about 10 minutes I am already about 3/16” of an inch in. I kept going, trying to keep the drill as straight as possible as now I am drilling right up to the edge of the hole itself, any lean and I am going to destroy the internal threads.
After about 30 minutes, I was through! I had not only drilled out the ez out, but also the old bolt entirely. Finally, some good news.
I cleaned the hole and grabbed the replacement bolt and being threading it in.
7th problem, the first 3 or 4 internal threads had been ground down from all the attempted grinding over several hours.. and only about 3 threads were really catching the bolt. I did not feel comfortable having that connected with only a few turn-ins of good thread.
Thought about my options again, I could drill and tap and oversize the bolt to a larger diameter bolt, or I could go about a ¼ inch deeper and re-tap and get the threads I needed.
I wanted to keep the bolt a stock size so I decided to go about a ¼” deeper. I knew there is very little amount of “meat” here so I wanted to make sure I did not over penetrate. I put my drill bit all the way in and marked it, then I grabbed a piece of gorilla tape and taped off about a ¼” lower, not much, but knew I did not have much room.
Now it was time to drill, tap, screw in, and be done… or so I thought.
I began to drill in and it was just not going any where. I didn’t want to force it so I switched to a 1/16” drill bit. Right when I started I immediately felt it give too quickly and went I pulled out, I saw my worst fear.
Problem 8, coolant is dripping… big problem… biggest problem!
Grabbed a bowl, placed it under, and just stepped away.
My wife around this time came out and suggested she could push it off a cliff for me, and I could just be done with it. "Ok, thanks hunny" I replied. "But I am planning on keeping this". For the record, if you can’t tell, my wife is not a fan of motorcycles... especially this type.
I continued to just ponder, It was only a drop or two every couple seconds, as I used the smallest drill bit to make the puncture… but I knew it was a big problem if left like that. I decided to just let it drip and think about what options I had left.
*Additional note to self, unless you have a schematic of the motor’s head you are working on, never, I repeat, never drill and tap deeper into it. * These aren’t small blocks, there is literally no additional room to tap into. I can confirm for sure that you do not even have a ¼” of an inch to drill deeper into in the 916.
Later that day I came home from work and saw the oil pan about half filled after 12 hours. I however, had thought of ideas while I was at work. I realized the bolt diameter was bigger than the 1/16 hole I made, and if I could get just a new bolt permanently installed correctly I would have this issue fixed. I pulled the coolant hoses and drained it the rest of the way in order to make sure it was dry where the puncture was. I used compressed air and blew it till the whole system was clean and dry.
I grabbed two larger drill and tap sets, both imperial ¼ x 20 and metric 8mm x 1.25, and decided to go with the imperial size as is was just slightly larger (8mm looked too big to me). I also grabbed some high heat JB weld. Though the headers can get around 1200+ degrees and JB weld is only good for about 500-600. The part I cared about was the internal threads next to the puncture. I wanted to make sure this was fully sealed and that this bolt would never come out again. Red Loctite, is only good for 300 degrees, so the JB weld seemed like the strongest locking option.
Drilled and tapped, nice and slow. This, finally, went smoothly.
Mixed up some JB weld and dipped the end of the new SS 316 grade bolt and threaded it in. The bolt I bought was a Philips pan head end, which I was able to thread in nice and tight by using a screw driver and then could cut off the end once the JB had set.
Once everything was installed nice and tight I cleaned it all up and let it sit for a full 24 hours. After I got home from work the following day I re-pulled out the Dremel and used the metal cut off wheel to take of the bolt head and clean the end of the bolt. Looked great, and it was in there set like a rock now.
I test fitted the new nut and then the new gasket and they fit perfectly so I reattached the exhaust. Everything finally fit nicely.
Moment of truth, reconnected the hoses, refilled the coolant and started up the bike and… it was running perfect! I turned it off after about 5 minutes and let it sit. I wanted to not over heat the new JB weld as I was questioning the short 1-day cure time. I cleaned up the mess in the garage and decided to let it sit one more day. The following day I took it out for a ride and came back to check it out. Everything was holding nicely, and finally I am done with that ridiculous series of issues!
5 days of downtime and over 100 bucks in drill bits and Dremel attachments to fix this issue, most of these bits were completely ground down or broken while doing this, so really a waste here.
I wanted to post this all here just so everyone can see how this issue escalated, and now you can know where you would have stopped or done something different without having to go through all that.
Hindsight is 20-20 and I can think of about 5 different times where If I had just let it be or done a different fix I would not have gone through that mess. I have worked on bikes for years now, and every once in a while, I have a situation where the problem escalates. This being one of the most simple projects to start with, escalated to such a ridiculous level that I just had to post it.
“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” was clearly relearned here.
In retrospect once that first bolt came out I should have jut replaced it with a new bolt. I would have been out 68 cents and one trip to the hardware store across the street.
You live and you learn. Next time a problem happens, no matter how small, I’ll think about what the best way is to fix it, not the quickest. Old bolt falls out, I’ll get a new bolt.
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July 11, 2018, 09:29 AM

Is the 916 faster than the 636?


Gemini Motorcycles (Sterling, VA)
www.GeminiMotorcycles.com

ZX14: 222 mph
ZX12: 229.6 mph
ZX10: 202.8 mph

ZX9: 177.6 mph
ZX6R: 180.8 mph
EX650: 130.7 mph

EX300: 114.7 mph
EX250: 122.4 mph
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TNT
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July 11, 2018, 10:04 AM

Wow. What an adventure. Sorry you had all that trouble, but it made for a good story, and a nice reminder about the potential cost of a negligible cost-saving measure.

Silver lining, these experiences often provide us the most resounding lessons. I'm hoping to remember this well when I start my home cockpit build in a few months. Being not very mechanically inclined, the carpentry and electrical work seems quite daunting, and I know I'm going to be tempted to try and cut a corner or two.
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July 11, 2018, 10:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiphteey View Post
Is the 916 faster than the 636?
I am assuming your referring to Kawasaki's Ninja 636?

If so, I have only had Kawi's older ZX models, I can confirm its definitely faster than the 7 I had last year, but that was a 2001. The ZX6R 2015 and onward seem to have very similar HP and top speed stats as the stock 916. So It may come down to the rider here more than anything.

My 916 has been tracked quite a bit and is set up for the track, full two brothers exhaust, aftermarket intakes, a lot of carbon parts, 998 wheels, ecu upgrade to name a few things... so I don't think it would have any problem out running (and out handling) a current model zx6r, but stock to stock... at least on paper they look similar.
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July 11, 2018, 11:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TNT View Post
Wow. What an adventure. Sorry you had all that trouble, but it made for a good story, and a nice reminder about the potential cost of a negligible cost-saving measure.

Silver lining, these experiences often provide us the most resounding lessons. I'm hoping to remember this well when I start my home cockpit build in a few months. Being not very mechanically inclined, the carpentry and electrical work seems quite daunting, and I know I'm going to be tempted to try and cut a corner or two.
I'm just glad its finally fixed. I see your in Annapolis too... I missed taking the bike to the downtown parade we had on the 4th cause of this bolt...lol

I had literally just come back from a morning ride over the bridge and when I came back decided to swap the nuts that day... Additional note, never do unneeded work the day you plan on riding...ha
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July 11, 2018, 11:56 AM

For those who were wondering which bolt I was talking about, here is the one that broke off:
20180711_094554.jpg
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July 11, 2018, 01:13 PM

Thanks for sharing. I exactly know what you mean by 'polishing', such a pain!


Glad you had it all sorted


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July 12, 2018, 07:46 AM

I am assuming your referring to Kawasaki's Ninja 636?


---Yes.



If so, I have only had Kawi's older ZX models, I can confirm its definitely faster than the 7 I had last year, but that was a 2001. The ZX6R 2015 and onward seem to have very similar HP and top speed stats as the stock 916. So It may come down to the rider here more than anything.


---Ummm.



My 916 has been tracked quite a bit and is set up for the track, full two brothers exhaust, aftermarket intakes, a lot of carbon parts, 998 wheels, ecu upgrade to name a few things... so I don't think it would have any problem out running (and out handling) a current model zx6r, but stock to stock... at least on paper they look similar.


---Ummmm.


Gemini Motorcycles (Sterling, VA)
www.GeminiMotorcycles.com

ZX14: 222 mph
ZX12: 229.6 mph
ZX10: 202.8 mph

ZX9: 177.6 mph
ZX6R: 180.8 mph
EX650: 130.7 mph

EX300: 114.7 mph
EX250: 122.4 mph
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July 12, 2018, 11:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiphteey View Post
I am assuming your referring to Kawasaki's Ninja 636?


---Yes.

---Ummm.

---Ummmm.

Well... if someones got a stock 636 we could sure try it out and find out ... im always down for a ride... though looking at your bike lists i have a feeling you dont have a stock anything
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July 12, 2018, 11:32 AM

I know stats / numbers are not the same as road testing. And again, ive o ly owned order zx models but the latest stats i found for the zx6r were for the older model


154 top speed
1/4 at 10.97 @ 124


Later model was


160 to 164 top speed
1/4 @ 10.78 at 127


Ducati 916 is
161 top speed
1/4 mile at 10.77 at 126


Numbers seem pretty close in my book, again I have not even ridden the newer models.
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July 12, 2018, 12:50 PM

Bone stock 06 636 we went 166-167 on GPS slight uphill on the rev limiter.

And it broke 170 mph with absolutely ZERO done besides a sprocket change.


A.


Gemini Motorcycles (Sterling, VA)
www.GeminiMotorcycles.com

ZX14: 222 mph
ZX12: 229.6 mph
ZX10: 202.8 mph

ZX9: 177.6 mph
ZX6R: 180.8 mph
EX650: 130.7 mph

EX300: 114.7 mph
EX250: 122.4 mph
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July 13, 2018, 07:44 AM

First, been there done that... "if it aint broke don't fix it" always remains true. Glad you got it sorted and back on the road, what a struggle.

Love the 916, raw Ducati. I have a 900ss which i love and will probably keep until it explodes...

Second, we're talking about a 20+ year old Italian sport bike, who cares if its as fast as a 636...


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July 13, 2018, 10:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiphteey View Post
Bone stock 06 636 we went 166-167 on GPS slight uphill on the rev limiter.

And it broke 170 mph with absolutely ZERO done besides a sprocket change.


A.
Remind me to never bet $$$ with you during any type of motorcycle racing LOL!
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July 13, 2018, 11:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnbell View Post
First, been there done that... "if it aint broke don't fix it" always remains true. Glad you got it sorted and back on the road, what a struggle.

Love the 916, raw Ducati. I have a 900ss which i love and will probably keep until it explodes...

Second, we're talking about a 20+ year old Italian sport bike, who cares if its as fast as a 636...

You cares how slow a 916 is?


Gemini Motorcycles (Sterling, VA)
www.GeminiMotorcycles.com

ZX14: 222 mph
ZX12: 229.6 mph
ZX10: 202.8 mph

ZX9: 177.6 mph
ZX6R: 180.8 mph
EX650: 130.7 mph

EX300: 114.7 mph
EX250: 122.4 mph
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July 13, 2018, 07:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnbell View Post
First, been there done that... "if it aint broke don't fix it" always remains true. Glad you got it sorted and back on the road, what a struggle.

Love the 916, raw Ducati. I have a 900ss which i love and will probably keep until it explodes...

Second, we're talking about a 20+ year old Italian sport bike, who cares if its as fast as a 636...

Exactley, I really like the 900ss too! I've owned quite a few bikes, some obviously faster than the 916, but I didnt buy this bike for top speed... I bought it because it was a classic and one of the best looking bikes I think has ever been made. This is Art in my book
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