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Old 05-12-2019, 09:25 PM   #1
Siris
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Rounding nuts, bolts and scratching frame/fairing

No matter how careful I am, I find myself rounding nuts or bolts (tool slipping) or scratching frame/fairing from tool slips. Not sure how one gets better at not doing this. Just need one rushed evening to finish a job or mind not fully in it, and bang, it happens. Hurts more on new bikes or cars.

Is this just my ineptitude or is this common? Those aluminum hardware are the worse! Even when doing it right, the sharp corners start rounding - so when tool slips, almost feel like replacing the component entirely.

Worse is when it happens on frame/fairing and scratches it up, which arenít easily/cheaply replaceable.

I have seen even pros do it where I go in for a simple job and get the bike back sometimes with scratched up fairings or rounded bolt heads or nuts.
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:07 AM   #2
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not all tools are the same, some have tighter tolerances than others. some can flex and warp. worn tools can have more play in them also.

try to use only 6 sided sockets as opposed to 12


I've had even well respected pros leave marks on things, that is why I try to do whatever I can myself, to the bike.
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:52 PM   #3
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I do only use a hex socket. I generally shy away from the universal types. As for tighter tolerances, I have a Husky set from Home Depot. Not sure if there's a certain brand that's consistently better than others in tolerance and material.

My issues is usually with the wrenches and allen keys. I stopped using the adjustable wrenches too cause I know I always screw things up with those.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:16 PM   #4
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T-handles help a lot with allen bolts. its much easier to apply your torque in the perfect direction.

use the box end of a wrench as much as possible even if its 12-pt.

try to apply some inward force towards the nut/bolt with all tools. this helps a lot.
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Siris View Post
I do only use a hex socket. I generally shy away from the universal types. As for tighter tolerances, I have a Husky set from Home Depot. Not sure if there's a certain brand that's consistently better than others in tolerance and material.

My issues is usually with the wrenches and allen keys. I stopped using the adjustable wrenches too cause I know I always screw things up with those.
Adjustable wrenches suck, as you've found out.

With allen wrenches, buy quality wrenches and make sure the ends of the hex are flat and sharp. They can be ground down on the end to make them that way. They "bite" better in the fastener that way.

Also, the L shaped allen wrenches are hard to keep from bending in the wrong way simple because of their shape. Get allen wrenches that either have a screw driver type handle or a T handle. T is probably best as you can apply more torque that way.

In general, you'll learn more as you do more. And you've got part of it figured out already. As you've mentioned, being tired, rushed or simply don't have your mind focused on your work is the time to stop and walk away. It's one of the earlier lessons from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:31 PM   #6
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The only thing I know that fixes this is better tools. When I got my Tuono I actually went and got some real tools, from Granger. Haven't had any issues wrenching on the Tuono at all. I don't recall the specific brands I got from Granger but is spent some money for sure.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Siris View Post
My issues is usually with the wrenches and allen keys. I stopped using the adjustable wrenches too cause I know I always screw things up with those.
Is your bike standard or metric? Are the allen wrenches you're using standard or metric? JIS screw driver?
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:47 AM   #8
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this is not an Adjustable Wrench

it is either a
A)Nut Fucker(upper)
or
B)Caliper

it is really only any good at (A) and you'd better have a tolerance of +/- 0.125" or greater for (B)
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by auntiebling View Post
this is not an Adjustable Wrench

it is either a
A)Nut Fucker(upper)
or
B)Caliper

it is really only any good at (A) and you'd better have a tolerance of +/- 0.125" or greater for (B)
When you're working on a late 80s GM car you'll need a few of those... eliminates the guesswork of whether or not the bolt/nut you're about to attack is metric or SAE...
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:39 AM   #10
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I thought that was called a hammer.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:49 AM   #11
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perhaps you are thinking of the Thumb Detecting Nut Fucker?

.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:00 PM   #12
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Rarely round off nuts or bolts anymore. The right tools, good tools, and experience. Does it happen still? Occasionally, but rarely.

Great tip on grinding down Allen head sockets to sharpen. I always just replaced.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:57 PM   #13
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Offset hex wrenches and universal joints for those tight areas help a lot too. When there’s shit in the way from letting your tool get a good bite on a bolt don’t risk using a regular wrench because you’ll probably round it when you slip from the awkward angle.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:03 AM   #14
Siris
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Originally Posted by stangmx13 View Post
T-handles help a lot with allen bolts. its much easier to apply your torque in the perfect direction.
That's a good tip. I need to buy a decent set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ST Guy View Post
Adjustable wrenches suck, as you've found out.

With allen wrenches, buy quality wrenches and make sure the ends of the hex are flat and sharp. They can be ground down on the end to make them that way. They "bite" better in the fastener that way.

Also, the L shaped allen wrenches are hard to keep from bending in the wrong way simple because of their shape. Get allen wrenches that either have a screw driver type handle or a T handle. T is probably best as you can apply more torque that way.

In general, you'll learn more as you do more. And you've got part of it figured out already. As you've mentioned, being tired, rushed or simply don't have your mind focused on your work is the time to stop and walk away. It's one of the earlier lessons from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Great tips! And that book is great but goes from a light casual read to super deep pretty fast once he gets deep into aspects of Quality! Will have to go back and reread again one of these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejv View Post
The only thing I know that fixes this is better tools. When I got my Tuono I actually went and got some real tools, from Granger. Haven't had any issues wrenching on the Tuono at all. I don't recall the specific brands I got from Granger but is spent some money for sure.
No doubt Grainger carries quality stuff as they're mostly targeted for industrial and professional use. I buy mostly from Grainger at work. But man, they are super pricey! I have to start wrenching a lot more before I can do justice to those tools! Husky hasn't been bad - its been mostly user error on my part that's led to most of my grievances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofa88 View Post
Offset hex wrenches and universal joints for those tight areas help a lot too. When thereís shit in the way from letting your tool get a good bite on a bolt donít risk using a regular wrench because youíll probably round it when you slip from the awkward angle.
Those tight areas are the most problematic 'cause I can't always get the tool at a good angle or have adequate leverage. I was trying to tighten couple locknuts on my exhaust flapper cable as it had too much slack, and I was propping the exhaust with my legs and one hand, while snaking my hand around in a tight space to get just enough leverage to tighten the locknut. Managed to slip and round off an edge of a nut. Part of that was I was rushing it a bit as it was late at night and needed to get up early for work. Tools with better reach would probably have helped too.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:13 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Siris View Post
That's a good tip. I need to buy a decent set.
I use these two t-handle sets 80% of the time.

T-Handle, Ball-End Hex, Dual Drive, Metric Set (4,5,6,8mm)

T-Handle Set, 7 Pc Metric
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