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While changing the oil and oil filter yesterday, I snapped the right oil filter cover bolt, twice. The first time, the bolt stayed in one piece and i was able to get it out. After getting a replacement bolt, it snapped again, in the same spot, and before it was really "snug". Both times, I was using a small socket wrench and not putting excess force on the bolt, being careful to not strip out the threads. Why would the bolts break twice and in the exact same spot on the bolt? Now I have one bolt holding on the oil filter cap, it's not leaking, and the snapped end of the other bolt lodged in the crankcase. I feel like i just critically injured the old bike, and now don't know what to do. What's next?

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If you remove the cap and there is still nothing to grab with some small vice grips, go get an EZ out. Post a pic if you can, might help to see what your dealing with for better suggestions.

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I've broken at least 4 of these between my 2 400ex's and my bike. Every time all I had to do was take off the side crankcase cover and I was able to easily grab it and take it out. Since then I've learned you cant really put much more then 2 or 3 pounds of tourqe on them. I just get it to where I know its not going to back out on its own and call it good.

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appreciate the feedback guys. I think the oil on the bolt is what did me in, there was definitely some on there from my oily hands and from the dripping oil filter i was changing. The EZ out- will it get a broken bolt end that's about three inches down there? I'll go check at Lowe's, see if they have one. And I'll post some pics of the predicament as soon as i find my camera cord.

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Id take the side cover off. Probably wont need an easy out at all. Drain the oil. Disconnect the clutch cable. Take the rear break lever and kick starter off. Then take off all the bolts around the edge, including the two oil lines, and pull it off. You can do the clutch cover separate, might be easier. You may need to get a new gasket if it rips. Once you have the side cover off you should be able to see the bolt, It may even be sticking out enough to grab, mine always have been. If you cant grab it then using an easy out with it like this will be much easier.

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Id take the side cover off. Probably wont need an easy out at all. Drain the oil. Disconnect the clutch cable. Take the rear break lever and kick starter off. Then take off all the bolts around the edge, including the two oil lines, and pull it off. You can do the clutch cover separate, might be easier. You may need to get a new gasket if it rips. Once you have the side cover off you should be able to see the bolt, It may even be sticking out enough to grab, mine always have been. If you cant grab it then using an easy out with it like this will be much easier.

+1 ^^^ Do that. If it's broke off way down in you wont get an EZ out on it.

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While changing the oil and oil filter yesterday, I snapped the right oil filter cover bolt, twice. The first time, the bolt stayed in one piece and i was able to get it out. After getting a replacement bolt, it snapped again, in the same spot, and before it was really "snug". Both times, I was using a small socket wrench and not putting excess force on the bolt, being careful to not strip out the threads. Why would the bolts break twice and in the exact same spot on the bolt? Now I have one bolt holding on the oil filter cap, it's not leaking, and the snapped end of the other bolt lodged in the crankcase. I feel like i just critically injured the old bike, and now don't know what to do. What's next?

You are grossly over torquing those bolts. They take 7 ft-lbs, which is like finger-tight using a 4' wrench. Get a torque wrench.

JayC

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I almost always clean out the treads with a tap but the long bolt like the one side of the oil filter cover can't be done without removing the entire side cover. Anal, maybe but thats just me and I have never broken a bolt off and I use loctite religiously. That 75mm bolt is long and should be handled with care.

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Id take the side cover off. Probably wont need an easy out at all. Drain the oil. Disconnect the clutch cable. Take the rear break lever and kick starter off. Then take off all the bolts around the edge, including the two oil lines, and pull it off. You can do the clutch cover separate, might be easier. You may need to get a new gasket if it rips. Once you have the side cover off you should be able to see the bolt, It may even be sticking out enough to grab, mine always have been. If you cant grab it then using an easy out with it like this will be much easier.

I have little experience working on any kind of motors other than simple maintenance like changing the oil (which i obviously just boogered up), brake pads, and chain and sprocket changing. I'm willing to go for it, but don't want to booger the bike up even more. I'm gonna pick up an EZ out at Autozone sometime in the next day or two, and also a torque wrench. Is there anything else i should know before ripping off a side of my bike's motor?

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If you think about it, those oil filter bolts are under tension from the spring inside, the one that is up against the filter, so just "tight enough" should be sufficient to hold em, no torque wrench required.

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I have little experience working on any kind of motors other than simple maintenance like changing the oil (which i obviously just boogered up), brake pads, and chain and sprocket changing. I'm willing to go for it, but don't want to booger the bike up even more. I'm gonna pick up an EZ out at Autozone sometime in the next day or two, and also a torque wrench. Is there anything else i should know before ripping off a side of my bike's motor?

If you can do all that you shouldn't have much of a problem. For me that side took a bit of prying before I could actually get it off. I think it was getting stuck on the kick starter shaft. Just make sure you get all the bolts out and start pulling. Take the clutch cover off first. Just make sure you don't loose the little spring inside of it and you'll be fine.

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a small rubber hammer or malet may help if the cover is tough to pry off. a few hits on the edge will help loosen it up. and get the gasket for the cover first before you take it apart, shouldnt take too long to get it apart and buttoned up, that way your not stuck waiting on the gasket

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That cover always gets held up by the kicker shaft when trying to remove it..,,tapping with the mallet and a bit of leverage around there should free it. The most important part you should be worried about falling out when you remove the cover is a small round piece of alloy that has a rubber type seal around it...The parts associated with the oil pump and is up towards the front and at the bottom of the cover,,Don't lose it as it tends to fall out as you remove the cover,,Make sure it goes back in correctly or the bike will probably seize if you attempt to run it if it's missing..

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Update- Didn't feel comfortable cracking open the guts of the bike with no experience, took it to a machinist shop right down the road. They got the bolt out, had to crack the crankcase open. Also got another broken bolt out, that bottom oil level checking bolt that snapped off about two years ago. Good folks, did me right. Bike shop woulda screwed me for sure, better to deal with more local folks that do that specific kind of work for a living.

After changing the oil again, I attempted to tighten the bolts holding the clutch assembly to the handlebar, they were loose and letting the lever assembly move around. SNAP. luckily, i was able to get vicegrips and screw the snapped bolt out. Two new bolts at Lowe's. I've come to the conclusion that the entire bike is held together by 15 year old, rusty, stubborn, and weak bolts. So from now on, if i decide to mess around with important, deep bolts anymore, I'm gonna be very gentle. If I woulda tried and opened up the engine myself, no telling what woulda happened. Thanks for the help though guys. Learn as you go. That lesson cost me about 80 bucks though. On the upside, bike's running mean and strong, got fresh oil in it, air filter cleaned and oiled, ready to ride. Ima take it on a ride in the next couple weeks and tear up some dirt. Long live the XR400. Amen, brother.

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This would be an explanation as to why an XR400 we purchased had the oil filter cover bolts drilled and safety wired.........................?

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