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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Broken Bolts

Guess no matter how much caution is exercised.. some things will break after awhile.

Always dread the popping sound whenever removing the alu bolts from the bike's rocker. That hollow alu-alu release fills up the whole room with a resounding *crack* when each one is loosen even though its never over torqued. Was just thinking how long before the original ones will hold... luckily gotten some spares recently.

Decided to change out the old worn bearings and finally tonight 2 of the 4 alu bolts that came on the EG gave way. Nightmare... was prepping the bike for next week's trip to Penang. WTF!

Ok settled the new bearings first while thinking what to do next...

Drill it out like stuck bolts of SPD cleats?
More careful drilling and slowly increase bit size and hope it s thin enuf to be loose an finger the remaining bits out?
Buy a reverse tap tomorrow and then go about it...

Nah... things like that just irks me... Ok who else to call but John and we just went thru the scenarios of how badly each of the above I can screw up and his experience dealing with such things in the shop.

Drill's battery fully charged....ok so its a do or die moment...
Checking the bolts that came out-- the material seems pretty soft and the drilling method might work... I have one shot with one of them-- the one that broke off on the screwthreads on the rear triangle. The other had 2 positions and in the worst case scenario I could use the other position for the rocker pemanently.

As I was drilling.. struck me that since rounded hex bolts can be removed by jamming a bigger torx key-- if i drill small and deep enough--that might work. Provided the threads parts were not seized tight. Doesnt seem to be as I detect just that wee bit of wiggling when nudging a blunt punch in the hole i just drilled.

Ok long story short, 1hr of cold sweat, 2 cups of my favourite Jasmine Tea and 50 F-words later-- the hex key method worked. Luckily!

Repeated with the other broken piece and refined the torx key method using a mini screwdriver instead. Even easier this time around....

Whew... no need to cannibalize my spare EG for next week..........

From top left: (1) How much bushing wear from 2 years of riding, used ones sandwiched between new bushing stack.  (2) Damnit! Drill damnit drill.

Bottom left: (3)..nice and easy, now come out baby...slooooowly
(4) Stuck and unstuck again! Hmmm and how did 2 of the bearing seals get a similar kind and size of crushing? Bushing wear causing play and compressed over time?


  1. ouch! It must have been nerve wrecking!

    Aren't there bolts with other materials?

    Say Steel or Titanium?

  2. for such areas where the bolts mught self tighten on the screw threads on the frame...there are other considerations. anyway am getting a set of steel ones and will just be liberal with theanti-seize when changing them over.