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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I started work on putting in new wiring for electrical accessories. This is an ex demo bike, less than a year old and less than 1000 miles on the clock.

The very first minor thing to do was access the battery, which entails taking the toolbox cover off.

I decided to use the allen key (hex wrench) provided under the seat for this very purpose. The first screw was very tight, but came out okay. The second screw was impossible. The allen key provided had very slight bevels on the edges, so I used one of my own that was better. I put an enormous pressure on it but it was not going to budge.

This is a small screw with a very small hex socket. I was not going to put an impact driver on it for fear of damage, but I tried penetrating oil to no avail.

I had no choice but to put some serious leverage on it knowing full well it was either going to give or round the hex socket - by that stage I was pretty certain I was going to have to drill it out. Well it rounded it and so on to drilling.

Either my HSS drills are crap (well I suppose they were a bit cheap), or this tiny screw is made out of some ridiculously hardened steel. It took over half an hour and some seriously blunted drill bits before I managed to drill it out and access the tool box!

My thoughts are:
What would have happened if I needed to do this by the side of the road?
Why was it so tight - was it Honda (maybe the dealer had never accessed the toolbox/battery)?
Was it the dealer who made it unbelievably tight?
Did they use some 'permanent' thread lock?
How shall I approach my dealer about this - I don't just want a new original screw as I have drilled the thread out?
What other nightmare bolts will I encounter?

Anyone else had this problem?
 

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Welcome to the world of button head socket screws. The sockets are too shallow and prone to stripping. Best to replace them with standard socket head or hex head screw with a washer. If one elects to keep using button heads, get a set of socket screw extractors. They are usually successful in removing a rounded out head without drilling.
 

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Yesterday I started work on putting in new wiring for electrical accessories. This is an ex demo bike, less than a year old and less than 1000 miles on the clock.

The very first minor thing to do was access the battery, which entails taking the toolbox cover off.

I decided to use the allen key (hex wrench) provided under the seat for this very purpose. The first screw was very tight, but came out okay. The second screw was impossible. The allen key provided had very slight bevels on the edges, so I used one of my own that was better. I put an enormous pressure on it but it was not going to budge.

This is a small screw with a very small hex socket. I was not going to put an impact driver on it for fear of damage, but I tried penetrating oil to no avail.

I had no choice but to put some serious leverage on it knowing full well it was either going to give or round the hex socket - by that stage I was pretty certain I was going to have to drill it out. Well it rounded it and so on to drilling.

Either my HSS drills are crap (well I suppose they were a bit cheap), or this tiny screw is made out of some ridiculously hardened steel. It took over half an hour and some seriously blunted drill bits before I managed to drill it out and access the tool box!

My thoughts are:
What would have happened if I needed to do this by the side of the road?
Why was it so tight - was it Honda (maybe the dealer had never accessed the toolbox/battery)?
Was it the dealer who made it unbelievably tight?
Did they use some 'permanent' thread lock?
How shall I approach my dealer about this - I don't just want a new original screw as I have drilled the thread out?
What other nightmare bolts will I encounter?

Anyone else had this problem?
Now you mention it yes - I think I remember the dealer having big problems getting the toolbox off when he was connecting the tail for my heated clothing after the PDI. He got them undone eventually but using very long allen spanners. Must be done up with an air line at the factory?
Mike
 

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I have just removed the front fender on my new AT AS. The button head hex screws were very tight when I tried using an Allen key. However they came out much better when I used a hex key that fitted into a socket wrench. So its like using a socket and ratchet with the socket replaced by a male hex bit that has a square end to fit into a socket wrench.
The difference is that you can push down onto the screw and have decent leverage on the ratchet. An allen key is really no good as its flops all over the place and yes some do seem to be a sloppy fit and others are snug
 

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Sadly I remove and copper slip as many bolts and screws as is possible every time I get a new bike now as all the screws and nuts and bolts are crap and corrode in weeks nowadays. I've got a 2006 ST1300 with 20k on it and the bolts are of a much better finish than any current Honda . Cost cutting I suppose to give us cheaper ???? bikes
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ahh, 'Button Head Socket Screws' - like an ailment it's good to have a name for this nasty little thing so I can curse it properly.
Thanks for your responses.
Of course I can't really blame these BHSS's, I'm sure they'd work reasonably well IF THEY WERE DONE UP TO THE CORRECT TORQUE! (or not had the wrong threadlock applied).
There, that has got rid of a bit of my anger.
But I would still like to know who caused this problem - Honda or the dealer.
 

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Sadly I remove and copper slip as many bolts and screws as is possible every time I get a new bike now as all the screws and nuts and bolts are crap and corrode in weeks nowadays. I've got a 2006 ST1300 with 20k on it and the bolts are of a much better finish than any current Honda . Cost cutting I suppose to give us cheaper ???? bikes
it's a good point, and loads of my bolts have corroded over the winter. Does anyone do a sensible bolt replacement kit for the Africa twin yet?
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Lee - for the second link - I've noted the eBay seller.
As for the first link - for that bit of plastic they call a tool box: £57.50 !!! If mine ever drops off I don't think I'll be replacing it.
 
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