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  1. #1
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    Rocker Alu Bolts replacement

    Ok the thing I dreaded finally happened. 2 of the alu bolts for the EG rocker broke while I was taking it out tonight to change the bearings.. I think the rest of the models are using similar bolts too.

    Its not the first time they have been taken out as I regularly repack the grease in the bearings itself and that requires removing the alu bolts. Been careful with the torque all along but each time these are being loosen-- they always have this dreadful cracking pop sound before come off. Was wondering when they will finally give way...

    Anyway to cut it short I managed to solve the problem and (had some new spares) but it was still time consuming getting the broken bits out of the frame. So was wondering if

    (a) these bolts have a certain lifespan before they should be changed? If so how long
    (b) if suitable steel ones can be found -- would they be a better alternative or if it will actually screw up the threading on the frame over the long run instead?

    Any ideas



    *edit* eyeballing where they broke both seem to be around the same point with the same kind of pattern and shearing off. this portion remaining with the bolt heads do not seem to be threaded inside the frame.. so each bolt is only actually about 5.5mm into the frame. Too much stress over time for 4 little points of contact?
    Last edited by anvil_den; 07-06-2011 at 10:31 AM.

  2. #2
    "El Whatever"
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    If the frame has helicoil threads (my Switchblade did) I wouldn't hesitate on putting steel bolts.

    If it's aluminum on aluminum, yeah, you'd better fed up a bolt and not the frame. A properly tightened bolt will not gouge or damage the threads, but problem is bolts subjected to vibrations tend to loosen up.

    For short, you can get away with steel-on-aluminum, but you have to be careful on torque and such.
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  3. #3
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    sounds familiar

    Quote Originally Posted by anvil_den View Post
    Ok the thing I dreaded finally happened. 2 of the alu bolts for the EG rocker broke while I was taking it out tonight to change the bearings.. I think the rest of the models are using similar bolts too.

    Its not the first time they have been taken out as I regularly repack the grease in the bearings itself and that requires removing the alu bolts. Been careful with the torque all along but each time these are being loosen-- they always have this dreadful cracking pop sound before come off. Was wondering when they will finally give way...

    Anyway to cut it short I managed to solve the problem and (had some new spares) but it was still time consuming getting the broken bits out of the frame. So was wondering if

    (a) these bolts have a certain lifespan before they should be changed? If so how long
    (b) if suitable steel ones can be found -- would they be a better alternative or if it will actually screw up the threading on the frame over the long run instead?

    Any ideas

    *edit* eyeballing where they broke both seem to be around the same point with the same kind of pattern and shearing off. this portion remaining with the bolt heads do not seem to be threaded inside the frame.. so each bolt is only actually about 5.5mm into the frame. Too much stress over time for 4 little points of contact?
    Think longer AL bolts would be nice to find cause the frame has the extra threads.

    The newer replacement bolts from Titus have a diff finish on them, not as glossy. Not sure if they're trying to address this, I'll see how/if they make it out next time.

    I know that sound, totally eff'd if you hear it.. think the problem is the bolts are so soft they seem to grab/form onto the porous surface on the anodized frames. And then they strip like butter.

    I just switched to anti seize from grease on my pedal threads because they were stuck on..maybe anti seize would be better for the rocker bolts too? Here's two that haven't made it to the trash yet
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rocker Alu Bolts replacement-albolts.jpg  


  4. #4
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    anvil_den
    I'm not seeing any anti-seize on those bolts? If so I'm supprized you got them out more than once without them breaking off. Aluminum fastners gauld into aluminum parts really easy. Try some finish line or any good quality brand anti-seize before you put the next ones in.
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  5. #5
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    Terrible... I light coat with the anti-seize each time by applying to the holes on the frame so that it moves downward as the threads of the bolt work their way in..
    just before the foto above was wiping them clean to examine- if u look closely at bottom half of the 2 that didnt break, its slightly greyish--thats what's left from the anti-seize...

    Guess I could have done a little extra to apply a liberal coat on the non-threaded portion under the bolt head--didnt do so previously becaused it would seem that is the portion that is flush with the bearing and shouldn't be too greasy as it would slip and not roatate the bearing properly...Really, not to sure if my thinking was correct on this part..

    Also the removal of the stuck bit was relatively easy -- the anti-sieze would seem to be working...

  6. #6
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    "I can't believe it's not Butter"

    Quote Originally Posted by DeerhillJDOG View Post

    ....I know that sound, totally eff'd if you hear it.. think the problem is the bolts are so soft they seem to grab/form onto the porous surface on the anodized frames. And then they strip like butter.
    ...yea I know once the drill bit started moving in last nite


    P.S.. from the pic-- u must been pretty pissed at that point huh

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrible View Post
    I'm not seeing any anti-seize on those bolts? If so I'm supprized you got them out more than once without them breaking off. Aluminum fastners gauld into aluminum parts really easy. Try some finish line or any good quality brand anti-seize before you put the next ones in.
    Agreed. Also for anything involving stainless.

    Even a good quality grease will do if you do regular maintenance. If you want longer spans without service, some anti-seize will do.

    I really don't like threadlocker in my bike. It's a band aid for a poor torque or design.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post
    If the frame has helicoil threads (my Switchblade did) I wouldn't hesitate on putting steel bolts.

    If it's aluminum on aluminum, yeah, you'd better fed up a bolt and not the frame. A properly tightened bolt will not gouge or damage the threads, but problem is bolts subjected to vibrations tend to loosen up.

    For short, you can get away with steel-on-aluminum, but you have to be careful on torque and such.
    Don't know how to tell if its helicoil (the threads on the frame). Anyway even the threading is anodized from what I can see. But the one on the rocker (for the shock mount) does seem to have some kind of an insert though.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by anvil_den View Post
    ...yea I know once the drill bit started moving in last nite

    P.S.. from the pic-- u must been pretty pissed at that point huh
    HAha, I looked at your pic w/ the computer screw driver..

    I had to c-clamp an adj wrench closed to keep the flats tight on the button. If you look @ the left one in my pic above, the left edge was melting away from the torque before I used the c-clamp. Finally got it on the 4th try, was getting a little worried.

    You think a steel bolt would smooth out the "tooth" on the threads inside the frame? Just torque it down a couple times before re-installing the rocker w/ AL bolts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post
    Agreed. Also for anything involving stainless.

    Even a good quality grease will do if you do regular maintenance. If you want longer spans without service, some anti-seize will do.

    I really don't like threadlocker in my bike. It's a band aid for a poor torque or design.
    What grease would you recommend?

  10. #10
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    What grease would you recommend?
    We've had good luck with the park brand green stuff,

    Terrible... I light coat with the anti-seize each time by applying to the holes on the frame so that it moves downward as the threads of the bolt work their way in..
    Ah I see.

    I know on my last spec enduro, the bolt that held the shock was a m6 fine thread bolt. It went into a threaded steal insert on the rocker. The three-four times I had it off to replace the shock made me sweat. I tried everything to keep it from gaulding to the little insert but everytime it came loose it would make that *ping* noise after putting way to much torque on it to break loose. I ended up stripping one bolt head and having to get another from specialized.

    Aluminum bolts are great for weight savings but not so much for maintanance.
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  11. #11
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    Deer-- all these nuts and bolts really arent something Im comfortable with from a lack of knowledge apart from greasing and care on tightening... only catching up now with the reading that things are happening. Apparently just about every brand that has used alu bolts for the pivots has at least one thread in their respective forums on the same broken issue. Some of these have since been replaced with steel bolts by the brands now.

    Threads on your frame has been mauled too? Noted last nite that the depth of those threads on the frame are actually pretty deep. I was just using some dental pick to clean out the gunky stuff... mine looks to have no bits from the bolts themselves so far.

    Friend say he can hook me up with some steel bolts and do some machining if necessary as I did mention that the original alu bolts had a beveled tip. But will only do so after next week's riding trip. been planned for awhile For now will just stuff a pudding worth of anti-seize for each bolt.

    Terrible-- I suspect these ones have a tendency to tighten up (maybe due to the way the whole linkage/rocker assembly moves) For sure that happens with the lower steel bolt for shock mounting . Now that one I did missed the anti-seize for the first couple of times when swapping shocks. The *crAk* sound from loosening almost gave me a heart attack...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by anvil_den View Post
    Friend say he can hook me up with some steel bolts and do some machining if necessary as I did mention that the original alu bolts had a beveled tip. But will only do so after next week's riding trip. been planned for awhile For now will just stuff a pudding worth of anti-seize for each bolt.
    Try first with normal steel bolts. Just take one of the alu ones and take it with you to the hardware store. If you get both threads to match perfectly, they're the same size.

    Now, bolts have a shoulder or not depending on length. Get a longer bolt with the same shoulder and just cut or grind off the excess.

    They'll look more "industrial", and will rust easier, but you can replace them for very cheap.

    On my Switchblade, the alu bolts used on the rockers were of the same size as the M8 used on the rear shock mount. Give it a go.

    You can even choose strength of the bolt from 8.8 to 12.9 (alloy steel).

    This is how I ghetto-ed my Switchblade...



    It used also that kind of aluminum bolt, but I used the steel ones instead. You can argue that they may be weaker if you use the ones that are full threaded, but you'd have to really run some math to verify it, especially if you use a high grade bolt like 12.9's I used.

    Oh, and the price was next to nothing.

    About helicoils... they look like... well, steel threads. Commonly, at the very bottom of it, you can look at the end of the coil that is used to actually drive it in.





    They are usually used to repair a bad thread. You ream to a slightly bigger diameter, tap a new, larger thread and then you just drive this one in.

    http://www.classicmotorcycles.org.uk...l_helicoil.htm

    So, unless you really crap out a thread, your frame may be repairable with one of these.
    Last edited by Warp; 07-07-2011 at 03:58 AM.
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  13. #13
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    that's what I did to my ML^^

    Just checked my green tube of PW grease, think maybe I used the wrong kind? it says waterproof bearing & roller grease right on the thing..

    Quote Originally Posted by terrible View Post
    We've had good luck with the park brand green stuff,
    The treads are fine or not damaged at all, just anodized surface and I think that has something to do with it.. I'm not too worried.

    Quote Originally Posted by anvil_den View Post
    Deer
    Threads on your frame has been mauled too? Noted last nite that the depth of those threads on the frame are actually pretty deep. I was just using some dental pick to clean out the gunky stuff... mine looks to have no bits from the bolts themselves so far.
    *think the stock AL bolts are called button head cap screws. Can probably find the exact ones in steel.
    **And now that I think about it, this has only happened on the non-drive side. You have it on the drive side yet?
    Last edited by Deerhill; 07-07-2011 at 10:27 AM.

  14. #14
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    Thanks Warp.
    Threads on the frame definitely aren't helicoil then.. Anyway just gone over to friend's place to get things sorted... With proper tools--its all been measured out: the alu bolts are M8 with normal 1.25 pitch.. total length 16.75mm.

    Looks like it will probably end up looking similar to what's on your switchblade when its done
    Only thing is that the grip length (shoulder) of the steel bolts all seemed longer from what can be found so far. That would be a problem if the shoulder length is longer than the bearing+spacer. As right after that would be the threads itself. Any excess length of shoulder would not fit and hence unable to tighte properly.

    The concern of a fully threaded bolt from a shouldered one is only if there is any ill effect of not having the smooth shoulder part interfacing with the bearing inner surrface. Didnt really think about the part on the strength of the bolt itself.

    If something can be found that fits-- will be running the bolts slightly longer to use up the threadings on the rear tri. Just measured.. should be able to accommodate up to 18.5mm before it starts protruding.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by anvil_den View Post
    The concern of a fully threaded bolt from a shouldered one is only if there is any ill effect of not having the smooth shoulder part interfacing with the bearing inner surrface. Didnt really think about the part on the strength of the bolt itself.

    If something can be found that fits-- will be running the bolts slightly longer to use up the threadings on the rear tri. Just measured.. should be able to accommodate up to 18.5mm before it starts protruding.
    No ill effects at all on my SB. Maybe a little marking on the inner race of the bearing, but that's it. Mind you, I wasn't into hucking, so YMMV.

    Given that you have a friend with a lathe, you can get a long bolt and just machine the shoulder to fit... heck, you could do it with only good die (thread cutter) and cut off the excess bolt.



    Good luck!
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    Definitely not doing all the mega hucks but yea I do pop off quite a bit....
    Machining the shoulder was one of the option brought up... but was thinking to K.I.S.S. where possible. Thanks for all the info again

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    i have titanium and stainless Titus rocker bolts if you want to pm me.

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    but you should probably listen to Terrible. he works in a shop. Seriously, I have drilled stainless rocker bolts that were designed for the Super Moto.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeerhillJDOG View Post

    *think the stock AL bolts are called button head cap screws. Can probably find the exact ones in steel.
    **And now that I think about it, this has only happened on the non-drive side. You have it on the drive side yet?
    one each...
    non-drive side... happen on the other end of rocker. Thinking back I might have botch up on this one though. As it was the first to be taken out, the weight of the bike's rear end might have been acting on the bolt as i try to loosen it. Wheel wasnt hanging in mid air but wasn't exactly on solid ground either....

    drive side this one was the upper end for attachement to rear tri. No load here as only the rocker itself was hanging on by then, but this particuler one that broke has always been nagging me with the loudest *crAk* sound out of the 4 whenever I take them out to grease the bearings.... so its probably just time that the thing decide to die.

  20. #20
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    A shank on the bolts isn't a problem, the weak spot is still threads meeting the frame and a shank won't change that.

    The shank is only an advantage if you've got a through hole with all the shear happening on the shank.
    Look for any zinc plated button heads in the appropriate length. It's a good start that they're a standard thread.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by anvil_den View Post
    If something can be found that fits-- will be running the bolts slightly longer to use up the threadings on the rear tri. Just measured.. should be able to accommodate up to 18.5mm before it starts protruding.
    This the first thing I noticed when I took my frame out the box.. well second, after the smile wore off and I dismantled the frame, I couldn't believe they didn't go all the way through the SS. If there's a real tight fitting bolt that barely fits into the rocker bearing w/ 1/2" insertion @ bottom bridge it might be a real upgrade

  22. #22
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    but you should probably listen to Terrible. he works in a shop.
    Who are you and why do you think you know me? Pm me if you have some personal issues with me.
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    Racebolts.com makes some M8 ti bolts that are perfect for Titus rocker bolts. And Terrible makes dumb comments he knows nothing about.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Might have seen a solution today from a friend's Chumba XCL
    It uses a flaring (button?) head stainless steel bolts.. size should be the same as the EG's alu bolt as both bikes are using 608 bearings
    Those should be easy enough for me to source around. Looks like this for anyone else who is interested to change up theirs..

    http://interbike.mtbr.com/wp-content...ublebarrel.jpg

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velveeta View Post
    Racebolts.com makes some M8 ti bolts that are perfect for Titus rocker bolts.
    Looks like this one to me
    http://www.racebolts.com/index.php?m...roducts_id=276
    Yup--that's the same kind shape of bolt head i saw on the XCL.
    Last edited by anvil_den; 07-09-2011 at 05:26 AM.

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