On the Road-Valve Cover Center Stud Repair-Arivaca, AZ

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by brittrunyon, Dec 30, 2020.

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  1. brittrunyon

    brittrunyon 1992 R 100 GS

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,079
    Location:
    High Desert of New Mexico
    Yes, I'm the ham fisted gorilla who did the deed. Go ahead kick me while I'm down.:lol3
    Yes, I've read earlier threads on this well known problem.
    Yes, I have the helicoil (8mm/1.25 thread) and tools for the repair.

    The bike is a '92 GS.
    I've been on the road since October 1st and presently in Arivaca, AZ.
    APC_2709.jpg
    1. Can I drill, tap and the helicoil inserted with the head in place?
    My understanding is that it's an open ended hole so keeping the fillings out of the engine would seem problematic. And what about that darn little tang that has to come out after the coil is inserted?

    2. Can the hole in the valve cover be plugged and the bike ridden for a few hundred more miles?
    At present the cover does not leak.

    I will not be back to my shop (New Mexico) until sometime in February.
    Preemptive Thanks for all your 2 cents.
    :beer
    BR
    #1
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  2. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    You can keep riding without it for now (or forever), or drill and tap and reinstall it. You can do that in situ or take the head off. The back of the hole is open to the environment, not the combustion chamber, so no chips would make it into the engine unless you really screwed up.

    As for the tang, you can just use a long poker to wiggle it back and forth until it breaks off, and blow it out that back hole.

    Don't go plugging anything.
    #2
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  3. Disston

    Disston ShadeTreeExpert Supporter

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    Silver Spring, Md
    If the valve cover doesn't leak oil with that stud and nut removed, they usually don't. the cover will stay on with just the two outer studs for many hundreds of miles. Maybe forever.
    #3
  4. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Olympia, WA
    My experience mirrors the above - if it's not leaking now, I'd not mess with it until it is. If you're even a little bit lucky it will probably make it home as is.
    #4
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  5. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    Just leave it and stop worrying. My last bike was run without any center studs for thousands of miles with no concern or worry.
    #5
  6. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    643
    Some have found a longer stud or even a bolt and put a nut on the inside. It can be reached without removing anything.
    #6
  7. akabeton

    akabeton Adventurer

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    Location:
    British Columbia Canada
    Now you can focus on the trip and getting some great photos to share. :clap
    #7
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  8. bmwrench

    bmwrench Long timer Supporter

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    Nov 10, 2006
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    This trick requires a ground nut to fit. That's OK if he has access to a bench grinder. I'll agree that if it ain't leaking, leave it alone until you're in the comfort of a shop.
    #8
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  9. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    I'll pile on. Leave it alone and mail the helicoil kit home to yourself. My /5 came to me with a stripped stud and I rode it that way forever. Finally I did the nut trick so I could fit the chrome nut on the outside .
    #9
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  10. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer Supporter

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    Alright Britt, you know you deserve this. Time to sell it and buy a bus ticket home. :lol3

    Keep on rolling. :ricky
    #10
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  11. brittrunyon

    brittrunyon 1992 R 100 GS

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,079
    Location:
    High Desert of New Mexico
    "I see" said the blind man when he bumped into a tree.

    If I had taken the time to investigate further I would have seen "The back of the hole is open to the environment" as @crazydrummerdude said.
    Here's a tent stake passed through for those that did not know, like me.
    APC_2713.jpg

    Thanks to all for alleviating my concern.
    I'll be hanging onto the helicoil in the event and riding as is.

    I was amazed at how long the midday shadow was on the shortest day of the year.
    Photo from Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, AZ.
    APC_2685-Edit-2.jpg

    Cheers and Happy New Year!
    :beer
    BR
    #11
  12. tennessee thumper

    tennessee thumper Long timer Supporter

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    Arkansas Ozarks
    Safe travels, thanks for checking in with the pics.
    #12
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  13. woodgrain

    woodgrain In-Dented Savant

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    912
    Location:
    east of Scarbaria
    I switched to Keenserts years ago, after having Heli-coil inserts fail. Unlike Heli-coils, Keenserts are locked in with a pin. Just my 2 cents.
    If you should decide to install the Heli-coils, just make sure to keep the swarf away from the pushrod tube openings. You may want to grease your drilled hole, then do a proper clean up.
    If you're cheap, in addition to BMWrench mentioning grinding a nut, there are thin nuts available. Maybe a soupson of your favourite Locktite product may be in store.
    For a lifetime supply of rocker cover studs you could purchase a one metre length of 8mm/ 1.25 threaded rod and cut sections to length.
    Happy New Year to all!

    Woodgrain
    #13
  14. brittrunyon

    brittrunyon 1992 R 100 GS

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    @woodgrain I had to look up the word “soupson”.
    Thanks, now I’m smarter than I was 2 minutes ago.
    Happy New Year!
    :beer
    #14
  15. korinthias

    korinthias slightly behind the curve…

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    Devon, UK
    Surely it’s spelt soupçon? Sorry, my schoolboy French is finally coming to the fore (50 years later)...
    #15
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  16. woodgrain

    woodgrain In-Dented Savant

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    Oddometer:
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    You sir win for soupcon , but lose for spelt (spelled) Ya I know...

    Woodgrain
    #16
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  17. korinthias

    korinthias slightly behind the curve…

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Devon, UK
    It’s a UK thing...
    01D74B06-BBE4-4F45-B4BE-45415AE67C40.jpeg
    #17
  18. woodgrain

    woodgrain In-Dented Savant

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    east of Scarbaria
    Right again! Although, over here above the 49th, it would also describe a type of wheat.

    Woodgrain
    #18
  19. kwb210

    kwb210 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
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    216
    Location:
    Washington, the state
    Have you been on the road for a bit?
    Details.
    #19
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  20. brittrunyon

    brittrunyon 1992 R 100 GS

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,079
    Location:
    High Desert of New Mexico
    You might say that.
    Sept. 26th I attempted the Utah BDR but my Russian Friend had to be extricated from the La Sals east of Moab. So for October I perused Utah and all it's finery.
    Now that was an adventure. :muutt

    November, December to today I've solo'd in the deserts of Southern Arizona, riding, camping and carousing through the Chiricahua Mtns. Huachuca's, Buenos Aires NWR, across the Tohono O'Odham Indian Reservation to my present location in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (Ajo, AZ).
    Soon I'll head into the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.
    Temps are 60-70's.
    Staying COVID SAFE is easy, camping on free BLM land and only going to town for groceries, water and an occasional shower.
    The plan is to head for Big Bend NP around the 1st of Feb.
    The bike has been flawless except for the VC center stud.
    As I've heard many times, "The adventure begins when the outcome is uncertain".
    :beer
    BR
    DSC_5000.jpg
    #20
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