KLR650 Subframe drill thru step by step walkthru

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by klm4755, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. klm4755

    klm4755 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    577
    Enclosed is a step-by-step process for the replacement of the stock KLR650 “sub-frame” fasteners. 2x kits are available. I did not know both kits accomplish the same task, so I ordered both. One kit is a fastener replacement (the $5.00 kit). The other kit is the “drill thru” install (the 24.99 kit). I will illustrate installation both kits. The intent of the upgrade is to strengthen the sub-frame joint with stronger cap head (allen key) style fasteners. The upper sub-frame bolts are known to fail. This will "load-up" the lower sub-frame bolts and stress the fuel tank connection, wire harness, and exhaust system. This upper sub-frame fastener failure could be catastrophic to the rider and/or cause extensive bike damage. Both kits are available from: www.arrowheadmotorsports.com
    I would recommend reviewing these threads prior to starting this mod: http://klrworld.com/forums/index.php/topic,721.0.html and http://klrworld.com/forums/index.php/topic,878.0.html
    5.00 kit
    The $5.00 kit will swap out the 4x sub-frame 10.9 grade fasteners with 12.9 grade fasteners of the same size. The shear strength capability, of the $5.00 kit fasteners, is 20% greater than the stock OEM sub-frame fasteners.
    24.99 kit
    The $24.99 kit will have the user replace the 2x upper sub-frame fasteners with a single larger, stronger single fastener. The 2x lower sub-frame fasteners will be the same as the $5.00 kit. The upper sub-frame bolt will be the 12.9 grade 10mm size. This modification will effectively double the strength capability of the upper sub-frame load bearing joint. The joint will now be a “double shear joint” (that is a good thing).This will minimize load transfer eccentricities, eliminates the fastener transition failure mode.
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    Start with a little research. Articles, clips, lessons learned, fastener data collected for summary discussion.
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    Kits as delivered. Lower baggie is the 5.00 kit the upper baggie contains the 24.99 kit
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    Cap fastener head 12.9 stamped on manufactured head. These are the strongest metric (non-aviation) fasteners available.
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    size M8-1.25 metric coarse
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    length measured at 30mm
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    that’s the size for all 4x fasteners
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    Instructions included with the $5.00 kit
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    Put bike on level lift, and strap it down.
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    Do not work from kick stand.
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    start to uncouple fuel line from tank
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    side panels
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    tank attach fasteners
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    tip here: drape rag at frame spine/tank gap frame here. That way, when manipulating tank off frame/tank pucks your frame spine finish will not be abraded by the tank!
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    all the stuff removed. Note more detail of these items removed can be found here: http://klrworld.com/forums/index.php/topic,950.0.html
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    I started from left side, lower sub-frame bolt. Swap out one at a time, so holes stay aligned. 12mm socket. Rotate counter-clockwise. Use a 6 point socket. Mine came off easy.
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    stock and kit replacement. Both same size.
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    tools for install 6mm allen head socked for torque wrench
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    add red locktite and tighten.
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    torque to 18 ft-lbs. If doing the drill thru upper frame mod don’t torque yet, just tighten
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    add OEM fasteners to all KLR replaced fasteners collection cup
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    getting full here...whew! Repeat process on opposite lower sub-frame side
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    lower sub-frame installed
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    upper subframe “cap style” fastener to remove
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    Upper frame fastener as removed. These were factory installed with loc-tite, as shown. Mine came off easy.
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    red loc-tite these.
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    install to same torque as lower sub-frame fasteners (18 ft-lbs)
    All done with the $5.00 kit. The shear strength of the joint has increased by 20% for a $5.00 cost and the satisfaction that they have been installed properly!
    Now for the $24.99 kit...I’ll focus the rest of the pitch on the upper “drill thru” process. This is tricky. First start with the bike on stand, seat, tank, panels are off.
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    Drill thru instructions supplied. Abit more detailed.
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    this is the task....preparing a hole and installing this 10mm bolt thru your upper sub-frame right about here. You’ll need to prepare (align, and step drill) the hole for install. That’s were thing can go wrong real fast. The installation part has a few issues also.
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    10 mm Bolt shank diameter = .3935 inch
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    bolt size = M10-1.5 Metric coarse thread, self locking nut included in 24.99 kit
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    bolt length 5.5 inches or 140 mm as shown. Those are the 2x drills provided in the Drill thru kit. The Bushing was also provided.
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    Smaller drill size = .3085 inch
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    larger drill size =.4025 inch. Remember bolt is .3935 inch. This will be a "clearance fit" fastener with .009 inch clearance. The Hole fill would be considered a "Class II".
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    a view of the kit supplied bushing. This will go on the nut side of the bolt. It is not part of the drilling process
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    from the right side of the bike, loosen the clamp holding the carb intake boot. Use phillips screw driver and un-thread till clamp does not bind boot connection.
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    loosen the lower sub frame bolts 1x full turn, remove the upper sub-frame bolts. Remove both of them. It's ok your frame will not collaspe.
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    grab the rear rack and gently push it back. Use a rocking motion. Keep and eye on your wire harness, exhaust, and carb boot. Your sub-frame will pivot about the lower bolts. Push enough so you have enough room to work those drill bits into the bike main spine upper frame holes
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    about this much. Now stop and secure your frame. I tightend the lower bolts abit. Your kinda stretching your wire bundles. So be careful! Right side of bike shown here
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    left side of bike shown here. Thats enough room to get your drill in there.
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    rubber boot comes off carb. No worries it will go back on easy
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    mask off area with rags to catch chips....Lots and lots of oily messy steel chips. Remember your carb inlet is exposed. Tape around that exposed area. Then tape again. If chips get in there, you may need a carb rebuild to remove those shavings and thats another story
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    start with the smaller drill in kit. Try to keep bit level and “pick-up” threaded hole. Go slow! Use cutting fluids on tip so it does not get hot. If you see smoke from fluid, your going too fast. Should take you about 15 min with just this bit to go 1/2 way thru. Then goto other side and repeate till the holes connect in the center. No turning back now sparky!
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    another view of drilling operation. Slow and steady, pull drill back about every 60 sec to re-lub and vacuum chips. Use magnet also to clear chips.
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    Once you are about 1/2 way thru, You’ll need to switch sides and start on opposite side. Hopefully, the holes will align. Mine did Whew!
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    hole is drilled thru with the .3085 inch diameter drill. Will need to open up to .4025 inch.
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    pass one done
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    use shop vac to pick up chips
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    I had difficulty starting the “big” drill, so I opted to use an intermediate size step drill method to remove a bit more. The center drill is .342 inch. This step made the last drilling operation easier.
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    step drill
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    final drill
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    bolt fits here. Slides in easy
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    like this, thread side extending
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    now I need to open up these 2x remaining holes on sub-frame.
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    same process, much easier this time...use compressed air and magnet to remove chips from work area. Realign the frame holes now. Easy, just pull rack forward. Check that carb boot engages back on carb. Inspect muffler also. It may have came loose
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    We will need some of that high quality waterproof marine grease. This will assist in resisting joint/bolt galling and more importantly assist in preventing water ingress into these closed-out joints.
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    That’s the stuff I’m talking about sparky!
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    lube that bolt with waterproof grease
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    like this
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    work it in
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    needed to give a few taps with hammer, as drilled holes were not perfect aligned
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    all the way in
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    thread side
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    place that bushing in thru threads. Mine did not fit. Needed to grind and open it’s hole abit.
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    engage that self locking nut. No loc tight needed with this nut. Torque to 33 ft-lbs. Re-tighten that carb boot, retorque those lower subframe bolts to 18 in-lbs. Use red loc-tight on those.
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    humm....I have 4x extra sub-frame bolts available...I could give them away or...let me check the size of these foot peg fasteners
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    8.8 grade..not too bad
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    12.9 is 50% stronger material for same diameter
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    length = 30 mm
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    30 mm here too!
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    same diameter and thread. Whoo hoo!
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    check torque. Torque to 13.5 ft-lbs
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    prep fasteners for installation. May need to remove these at some point so Blue loc-tite is best for this application
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    install foot pegs with new improved cap style fasteners
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    more bolts for the collection cup
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    work area when finished....What a mess...
    Kit review and lessons learned:
    1. The upgrade gives piece of mind that no sub-frame failures will occur over the bikes life
    2. I would recommend the “drill thru” mod only for those with machine shop experience
    3. I would recommend the $5.00 kit for those not confident in the drill thru mod. You still gain a 20% increase in sub-frame strength.
    4. I would recommend upgrading your foot pag fasteners with the 12.9 cap style.
    5. Although my install was successful, may things can go wrong, such as:
    5a drill breaks in hole
    5b chips get into carb inlet
    5c holes do not align
    5d overheat the steel frame and change the temper of the material
    6. The drill thru mod effectively doubles the upper sub frame fastener strength and increases the lower sub-frame strength by 20%.
    If I had to do this again I would:
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    study up on drilling
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    Add an additional step drill. 3x steps total. The last drill would be a size W or .385 inch
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    Then final cut step would be with a piloted reamer. A piloted reamer gives a mirror like surface finish of an RHR of 32. The reamer has a pilot of .385 inch and a final cut size of .4005 inch
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    use cutters like these designed to open up holes in steel. See the reamer here:
    http://www.panamericantool.com/productlstR.cfm?cat=H.S.S.%20Piloted%20Chucking%20Reamers%20-%20Straight%20Shank,%20Straight%20Flute&fam=HIGH%20SPEED%20STEEL%20REAMERS
    see part # 99-708 The reamer costs $20.00 and is 7 inches long
    You can buy these 12.9 grade bolts here: http://www.boltdepot.com/dimension.aspx?cc=25&cs=81&cm=23
    fork me I’m done!
    Keithm
    #1
  2. firerigger

    firerigger Trauma waiting to happen

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
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    810
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    Durango CO
    Nice write up. This should go in the Hall of Wisdom.
    #2
  3. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Yes, quite good.

    I would add that if you want to do the 4 bolt / $5 upgrade, Lowes carries Hillman branded 12.9 grade fasteners for a bit less, around $3 total, plus no wait time for shipping. Instant gratification!

    I did the 4 bolt upgrade and then went to a machine shop and had them weld my subframe to my frame. No failures for me, ever!
    #3
  4. Jack90210

    Jack90210 quia ego nominor leo

    Joined:
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    Charlottesville, VA
    You know how to do a good writeup. And I like your KLR "library."

    Thanks for sharing. :thumb
    #4
  5. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, slow

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    Not yet far enough away from town
    I wished you lived close to Colorado Springs. :nod

    Great write up. I like the way you do things. :thumb
    #5
  6. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

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    Excellent post. Great pics. Thanks for posting it.
    #6
  7. klm4755

    klm4755 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    577
    Thanks,
    I try to document all my mods. It really only adds ~30% more time to provide a walk thru pitch.
    Keithm
    #7
  8. Subcanis

    Subcanis Dental Floss Tycoon

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    #8
  9. klm4755

    klm4755 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
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    That might make the critical alignment process much easier.
    Keithm
    #9
  10. CA Stu

    CA Stu Thanks Super Moderator

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    Oddometer:
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    Errr.... Mine doesn't look like that, it looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    The nut on the kit I installed sits inside the subframe recess, yours is a different kit.

    Looking at yours, it seems you used a bit larger bolt (both longer and larger diameter?)

    (From Dual-star.com.)

    Here are their instructions, too:
    How do you install our kit?
    1. Remove OEM upper bolts
    2. Drill first hole thru frame using pilot drill bit
    3. Drill second (final) hole using extra long taper length drill bit
    4. Install main upper bolt and Fuji Lock nut
    5. Install two new lower flange bolts
    6. Go-N-Ride
    Nice job, when I did mine I followed the instructions above and it is bulletproof.

    My KLR isn't exactly aerospace grade, man. :D
    I didn't drop the subframe like you did, eliminated all the BS with the carb boot (this is a colossal PITA IMHO) and vacuuming the chips, etc.

    I did mine, hit the mess with a blow gun on my compressor, and away I went... Still works. :D


    Thanks
    CA Stu
    #10
  11. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
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    61,694
    Nice write up on both counts..:thumb:thumb

    I think mine's like CA STU's too.. I got my kit from Big Cee back when he was still selling them.

    I had my KLR airborn a few times on the off road woops and I checked the subframe after.. worrying that I might have broken something, but it held together.. The KLR isn't exactly a good choice for hard off roading.
    #11
  12. ckachel

    ckachel n00b

    Joined:
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    1
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    Cary IL
    For the through bolt I just went to Ace Hardware and picked up a 6 inch 3/8 grade 8 bolt which is just as hard a 12.9 metric the bolt If it breaks some day in the middle of now where, it should be easier to aquire this than a 10mm bolt of that length. Plus drilling is easy. The size of a 3/8 bolt is .375 and a 10 mm bolt is .393 so .018 is not that big of a deal I dont think in terms of convienence. The 12.9 8 mm bolts for the bottom brackets is available at Ace also. For the peg bolts drill out and tap to 10mm 1.5 or 1.25 and ad 12.9 bolts this should be bulletproof.

    Hopefully this helps as some penny tech advice..
    #12
  13. AndyT

    AndyT Been here awhile

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    I drilled and tapped the upper mounts out to 10mm, and used a socket (allen) head cap screw. The head fits inside the recess in the sub frame, of course you then need an allen wrench to tighten it. I might have had to drill out the hole in the subframe for the larger bolt, I don't remember. I thought the increase in diameter outweighed any advantage of a through bolt. Mine has 48,000 miles on it, most with luggage, and no problems.
    #13
  14. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

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    There isn't much material left after drilling the 8mm nut out to be tapped at 10mm. I saw what it looked like on mine and decided to cut out the 8mm nuts and weld in 10mm nuts just to be safer. If you use harder bolts (12.9) than the nuts (10.9 or maybe 8.8), it's more likely that the bolts will strip out the threads of the captured nut and that's harder to fix than replacing a broken bolt.

    Just a thought.
    #14
  15. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

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    Looks like the only difference is that one of you used the spacer/guide under the nut (which one kit's instructions suggests) and one of you didn't. Might be the same type of bolt under there. The most important aspects of this drill-through upgrade are that the bolt is thicker, and that the threads are not at the shear line. Using the spacer under the nut is probably superfluous. I used mine, but that's what the instructions suggested.
    #15
  16. klm4755

    klm4755 Been here awhile

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    577
    As a aviation mechanically fastened joint rule, no threads should be at the shear plane (fay surface interface) or in bearing. I would say out of all the modifications and servicing I have performed on my KLR650 (the doo, oil screen, 400 watt rotor, electrical upgrades) the subframe drill thru was the most risky.
    Keith
    #16
  17. SWriverstone

    SWriverstone Woodpecker

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    One more "clean shop" tip: when I was drilling out the frame, I used a small bungee cord and lashed the open end of my shop-vac tube right beneath the drill, then just let the shop-vac run while I was drilling—it worked great! Sucked up those metal shavings as they spewed out—no muss, no fuss! :1drink

    Scott
    #17
  18. Subcanis

    Subcanis Dental Floss Tycoon

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    As a fellow aviation mechanic... I have to ask why? Its a simple procedure with easy instructions. No theads in shear... :ear

    Any boob with a decent drill and any kind of instruction following abillity can do this...
    #18
  19. klm4755

    klm4755 Been here awhile

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    577
    No so sure I would agree with this statement. Breaking a drill mid-way thru this operation and/or not aligning the holes would be a major ordeal. Drilling steel is difficult, without a "real" piloted step drill.
    Keithm
    #19
  20. Keating

    Keating Been here awhile

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    Ottawa, ON
    Saw this thread yesterday and headed out to the garage last night to size things up on my "new to me" '04 and discovered the left side of the bike looks exactly as pictured here.

    One more mod I don't need to do, now. :clap
    I'll probably take the bolt out, mic it (verify it's the larger .39" bolt), regrease it and locktite it back in there.

    The lower subframe bolts appear to have been done at one time, as the left side of the bike as a grade 12.9 hex drive, cap head bolt, but the right side has some cheesy zinc plated, flange head bolt, with no grade markings.

    Will head over to the local fastener shop for a 12.9 replacement, forthwith.
    #20