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  • Tips and Tricks........

    I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, as he was having trouble getting something done to his dirt bike...I asked if he had tried a few things, and the 2nd thing I suggested worked, and he asked me "How the heck did you ever think to do that?"

    I think many of us have picked up "tricks" that we use all the time, and I think many of us assume other people know these things, but many don't. I think it would be a good thread (sticky maybe?) for people wrenching, especially people new to bikes and spinning wrenches, to help them through when they get "stuck" working on something.

    I'll throw in a few I've found / been taught over the years that I regularly use:


    - Wrench Leverage : Need more leverage on a bolt / nut where you can't get a ratchet on it, you have to use a wrench and you just can't break it loose. Use the correct box end wrench...take another longer box end and 'hook' the box end of the second wrench to the open end of the first wrench. Essentially doubles (or more) the length of the first wrench making it easier to bust loose stuck fasteners

    - Fastener organization : Tearing something apart that might be apart for awhile? (Like fairings etc)..and you don't want to forget where each bolt goes? Instead of using zip loc bags with labels, try this....when removing a fairing for example, simply remove the fairing, then thread each bolt back in the hole in came from. They won't get lost, and you won't have to guess which bolt goes where when you go to put it back together.

    - Bolt Torque : Putting an engine together? Or another assembly where the torque setting on the fasteners are critical? Try dabbing a mark with some paint on fasteners after you torque them. You'll never have to second guess whether you torqued it or not.

    - Extension = Leverage : Need a little more length on that ratchet or wrench? Don't have a huge extension or breaker bar? Take a length of metal or plastic pipe and slip it over the end of the ratchet / wrench handle for an improvised breaker bar.

    - Spark Plug Removal / Install: Want an easy way to remove / install spark plugs without the risk of crossthreading them? Slip a piece of vacuum / fuel line onto the end of the spark plug and use that to loosen / tighten the spark plugs.

    - Centerstand / bike stand: Don't have a centerstand? Don't have the $$$ to buy or time to wait on getting bike stands? Or do you need to take both tires off, do some suspension work etc? Make your own homemade stand that will support the entire bike with ease. I made one..total cost about $50 from Home Depot. Sturdy enough with 2 ratchet straps on either side of the frame I did my oil pan removal etc without any issues at all

    http://www.mad-ducati.com/images/Chr...s/HMFS_R1.html


    I know there are tons of other tips and tricks out there


    Chris

  • #2
    Originally posted by ctandc View Post
    - Wrench Leverage :
    I once had to use a box end wrench on the bolt, a 3/8 extension in the open end, then a stud puller on the extension. Finally a ratchet handle on the stud puller. But that was not for leverage, it was because I didn't have a "W" shaped wrench..
    - Fastener organization :
    Good tip! I like that one.
    Another one I use, on the clutch/shifter cover for example, is to lay the screws out left to right as they come out clockwise. In the case of the cover there are 3 or 4 different lengths. Lay them in order and you keep track.
    - Bolt Torque : Try dabbing a mark with some paint on fasteners after you torque them. You'll never have to second guess whether you torqued it or not.
    But try explaining to your wife why you have nail polish in your tool box!
    - Extension = Leverage :
    I have a 18mm deep well socket that I use, fitted to a long 3/8 extension it slips over the handle of my ratchet handle..

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ctandc View Post
      Wrench Leverage : Need more leverage on a bolt / nut where you can't get a ratchet on it, you have to use a wrench and you just can't break it loose. Use the correct box end wrench...take another longer box end and 'hook' the box end of the second wrench to the open end of the first wrench. Essentially doubles (or more) the length of the first wrench making it easier to bust loose stuck fasteners
      Very handy. Have had to use this on a few occasions. Will also work for "allen" wrenches too.

      Originally posted by ctandc View Post
      - Fastener organization : Tearing something apart that might be apart for awhile? (Like fairings etc)..and you don't want to forget where each bolt goes? Instead of using zip loc bags with labels, try this....when removing a fairing for example, simply remove the fairing, then thread each bolt back in the hole in came from. They won't get lost, and you won't have to guess which bolt goes where when you go to put it back together.
      I go to the dollar store, and get a couple clear plastic "plano" boxes

      Originally posted by ctandc View Post
      - Bolt Torque : Putting an engine together? Or another assembly where the torque setting on the fasteners are critical? Try dabbing a mark with some paint on fasteners after you torque them. You'll never have to second guess whether you torqued it or not.
      Use a grease pencil. Rubs off easier, for "next time"

      Originally posted by ctandc View Post
      - Extension = Leverage : Need a little more length on that ratchet or wrench? Don't have a huge extension or breaker bar? Take a length of metal or plastic pipe and slip it over the end of the ratchet / wrench handle for an improvised breaker bar.
      I remember when I was little (5/6) dad took apart my swingset, cause he need one of the legs, to take off a hitch ball

      Originally posted by ctandc View Post
      - Spark Plug Removal / Install: Want an easy way to remove / install spark plugs without the risk of crossthreading them? Slip a piece of vacuum / fuel line onto the end of the spark plug and use that to loosen / tighten the spark plugs.
      If it doesn't "feel right" then stop back it out, and try again. I alway just use the extension, but take the ratchet off.

      My own tips.

      Buy an extra set of ball end allen wrenches, and cut off the short end (so you have a long straight hex). now you can chuck it in the drill. Makes removeing fairings easier, and quicker. just make sure you set the clutch on the drill, so you dont strip the threads when tightening. Save the short ends, and jb weld them into sockets. or leave them and use them with a wrench of the same size for getting into hard to reach places.

      Those cheapo dead blow hammers are great for certain things, but slip an old sock over the head so you don't mar surfaces.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
        Buy an extra set of ball end allen wrenches, and cut off the short end (so you have a long straight hex). now you can chuck it in the drill.
        Or stick it into a socket. This set up makes getting to the header bolts a breeze.. FYI if you don't have a cut off wheel you can notch the wrench with a file then break the end off with a hammer blow.

        Those cheapo dead blow hammers are great for certain things, but slip an old sock over the head so you don't mar surfaces.
        Wait you mean you don't have the kind with interchangeable heads?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Black_peter View Post
          Or stick it into a socket. This set up makes getting to the header bolts a breeze.. FYI if you don't have a cut off wheel you can notch the wrench with a file then break the end off with a hammer blow.

          Wait you mean you don't have the kind with interchangeable heads?
          Ya, i have one of those too, but I was talking about the black rubber "dead blows" (filled with bb's) that you can get at princess auto (harbour freight) for a couple bucks. They work great for the price but leave black marks all over the place. Pain in the crack when assembling mortise and tenon joints on your finish sanded project . But can also apply to bike stuff too
          Last edited by Dan Dubeau; 11-05-2007, 02:04 PM.

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          • #6
            [quote=Dan Dubeau;1357991]
            Buy an extra set of ball end allen wrenches, and cut off the short end (so you have a long straight hex). now you can chuck it in the drill. Makes removeing fairings easier, and quicker. just make sure you set the clutch on the drill, so you dont strip the threads when tightening. Save the short ends, and jb weld them into sockets. or leave them and use them with a wrench of the same size for getting into hard to reach places.
            quote]

            I just bought hex sockets and a socket adapter. No need to have multiple allen wrenches laying around. I did this a long while back, though, for getting the bolts out of my inline skates.
            Pain is just weakness leaving the body.
            -Unknown Author

            The quarrels of lovers are the renewal of love.
            -Terence

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            • #7
              I have long a short hex key sockets. I took some rotors off and used a t handle allen. I ended up up putting a pipe wrench on the t handle now it don't look so nice. I use a pipe wrench on a lot os stuff, if vice grips don't work a pipe wrench will. Thats a tool you need to have, a pipe wrench.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Black_peter View Post
                Good tip! I like that one.
                Another one I use, on the clutch/shifter cover for example, is to lay the screws out left to right as they come out clockwise. In the case of the cover there are 3 or 4 different lengths. Lay them in order and you keep track.
                Or get a piece of cardboard , poke holes in it , and insert the screws as they'd appear in the cover . Works well to clean dirt and crap off the threads , too .
                I am a fluffy lil cuddly lovable bunny , dammit !



                Katrider's rally 2011 - md86

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                • #9
                  Hey.. We got stickied~

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Now we'll have to get more actual tips and get rid of the dross to make it a streamlined , organized piece of literary ...... um , stuff .
                    I am a fluffy lil cuddly lovable bunny , dammit !



                    Katrider's rally 2011 - md86

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In order to make life a little easier when working on the bike, I suspend a small gas tank above the bike and run the appropriate length of fuel line to the carbs. This allows you to fire up the bike without having the obstruction of the big bulky gas tank.



                      I used a windshield washer fluid kit that I got for $8.00 at princess auto.


                      www.SOARacing.ca

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                      • #12
                        Before my Pill bull stand I didn't like raising the front off the ground from a car jack on the header. SO..... I cut a precise cut 2x4 to bind the rear wheel in between itself and the center stand (so the tire can't roll, and the center stand can't collapse). Set some cloth or foam over the rim. On the rim, center a 3 or 4' 2x4 (it wont' be stable). Perpendicular to that, I set 2 8' 2x6's. And make sure they are identically apart, so that the 3 or 4' 2x4 is balanced on the rim. Then, I take my lawn tractor, and drive up the 2x6's. It pulls the back of the bike down, and I can work on my forks with no problem, and I don't have to call someone to help. It's completely unsafe, and I suggest it to no one. But, It works awesomely in a pinch I wish I had pictures, it's quite the site. You only have to drive the lawn tractor about 6 or 8 inches up the 2x6's to get the bike to rest on the rear wheel (you don't want to smash the rear tire into the ground, just get the front off the pavement. Redneck jack at it's best Thought I would share. My wife had some very wierd questions when it came to getting the front wheel off. Such as, "What in the heck does the John Deere have to do with getting your front tire replaced?". I simply said, "Honey, take the girls shopping." All worked out perfectly

                        New to Katriders? Click Here!

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                        • #13
                          When I was working on my front end, I pulled my car up behind the bike and put the bike on the center stand so the back tire was touching the bumper.
                          I then hooked a ratchet strap between the grab handle and bumper of the car to pull the back end down.
                          The added benefit is the bike will NOT move forward to come off the centerstand... unless of course you cause the car to move too..

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I keep the local pharmacy afloat here with all my scripts. this means i have dozens of empty script bottles, with cover, of all sizes. I peel the labels off, put in whatever i want to keep together, and sharpie a note onto bottle as to what it is or where it goes.
                            Last edited by DumbLuck; 02-07-2008, 03:04 PM. Reason: speeling
                            99% of the questions asked here can be answered by a 2 minute search in the service manual. Get a service manual, USE IT.
                            1990 Suzuki GSX750F Katana
                            '53 Ford F250 pickumuptruck
                            Lookin for a new Enduro project

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                            • #15
                              Setting Drive Chain Slack:

                              We all know that going by the adjust marks on the swingarm isn't perfect. To make sure you've aligned the rear wheel when adjusting the chain..try this...

                              1. First verify your chain adjuster bolts and the SAME length. (I did this when I pulled the swingarm out for maintenance)

                              2. Now loosen the rear wheel.

                              3. Next loosen the chain adjusters until the nut is FLUSH with the end of the stud / bolt.

                              4. Now tighten each one the SAME amount of turns until you have the chain slack you want. I use a box end wrench and start it on the nut pointing straight up or straight down (depending on which side you're working on) and I make 1/2 turns at time...straight up, CW to straight down = 1/2 turn. Pull the wrench, go back to the straight up position and do it again. I like doing 1 full turn on each side until I'm close w/ the adjustment, then 1/2 turns on each side. Going back and forth.

                              Maybe everyone does this..I don't know. But my buddy brought over his high $$$$ "laser chain alignment" doo-hicky..telling me how everyone's rear wheel is always crooked etc. Mine was dead on.

                              He checked the swingarm adjustment marks, and they were off by almost a full mark to each side. So he told me I got "lucky"...then I told him how I did it.

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