Broke my chain adjustment bolt - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Broke my chain adjustment bolt

Has anyone here run into the same issue? I purchased a screw extractor kit but I'm still worried about damaging my swing arm and possibly having to replace it. Any Help/ suggestions would be highly appreciated.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 06:05 PM
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I have never done it on my 650 but have done it a few times on other bikes. Just get a new one and next time make sure the axle nut is loose when you adjust it.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 06:19 PM
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Ran through some salt water ( tide came in and cut me off from home) and the chain side adjusted must have rusted solid. Don't ask me why the other side didn't, i don't know. It sheared off almost flush so I had to grind it smooth and drill it out as best I could. Ended up with a 1/4-20 bolt replacing the original, looks odd but has served for thousands of miles. Learned to love anti-seize treatment.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Yury Lo View Post
Has anyone here run into the same issue? I purchased a screw extractor kit but I'm still worried about damaging my swing arm and possibly having to replace it. Any Help/ suggestions would be highly appreciated.
Try using a small drill bit to drill through , than use a bigger drill bit but not bigger than the dia of the broken piece and you should be able to free the broken piece.

Note ; Swing Arm is Aluminum and easy damaged.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 08:33 PM
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There is a youtube video where a guy broke the adjuster bold on his Versys. He ended up drilling a hole above where the stock one was and tapped it. I would think that would make it a little more difficult to adjust though.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by james75 View Post
There is a youtube video where a guy broke the adjuster bold on his Versys. He ended up drilling a hole above where the stock one was and tapped it. I would think that would make it a little more difficult to adjust though.
...and it will need another tapping on the adjusting block which will make it off-center and difficult for adjustment.

Best to remove broken screw and make good.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 09:40 PM
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Anti -seize

I assume it was seized when it broke off, there is to be a jam nut there. A little tip for those with similar predicaments before you twist is off, if you get a 1/4 turn or even a 1/8 of a trun and it gets tight, get some WD40 or other anti seize spray, use liberal amounts , try rotating in and out, each time adding more spray, the idea is to work lube into the threads and get the bolt out. Second or combined method is to use heat, you have very little time with heat, however I have had success by heating up the aluminum with a heat gun then spraying WD40 liberally, letting it cool down, then trying again.
So some tips, drill say a 3/16 shallow hole, spray WD40, take a hammer and punch and try driving into the shallow 3/16 hole, you don't want to mushroom that broken bolt, what you are trying to do is break up the corrosion between the aluminum and the bolt threads. Next drill a hole roughly 3/4 of the OD of that bolt, you can try a easy out, the square kind, you may be able to turn in a 1/2 turn or out 1/2 turn, spray penetrating oil on . When done chase the thread in the swing arem and use anti seize next time.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 11:50 PM
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This stuff is the best penetrating oil on the planet. Makes liquid wrench and WD 40 look like a joke.

It's a little pricey but worth every penny.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 04:32 AM
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lots of options. use the Moto tool in you pic to cut a slot in the bolt so a slotted screwdriver fits. use Kroil or Seafoam Creep with heat on the swingarm. multiple cycles sometimes helps. if that don't work, my next go to is weld a nut on the stub. nut bigger than the bolt part, and fill the hole with the wire feed. the extra heat also helps to spin that right out. if you have to drill, get a good center with a small bit. then work it bigger. the spiral taper easy-outs kinda suck since they tend to make things tighter as you turn them. I like(and have) some Snapon flank drive type.. like a shaft, same diameter all the way down but with ridges to grip the bolt. that don't work (or other lesser grade easyouts) drill the sucker out. if you break odd an extractor or drill bit, go to a cobalt bit. that fails, blow the steel out with a cutting torch... it will not damage the aluminum (no kidding) anything that fails.works but makes a mess, you can helicoil the hole, no worries. or... ignore it as is. as a last ditch.. you can cut off the other end of the adjuster if you like. once the axle nut is tight it does nothing

if I'm answering your question I assume the basic points have been addressed, such as: did you do a compression test? is it still on fire?

Last edited by Beezerboy; 09-11-2019 at 08:35 PM.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 10:05 AM
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You've had many good suggestions.
In my case, I like to use PB Blaster, and if need be, left hand drill bits.
In some cases, I also use heat.


Be patient and take your time. Otherwise the bolt may break ...



Good luck!

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 11:27 AM
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My left one seized and the head snapped. When I tried to work the stub out with vice-grips the bolt snapped. Maybe it was a crappy bolt or maybe I cranked it wrong during a first year hurried on the road chain adjustment. Regardless, I got a small extractor and started with a small drill bit to start after centerpuching the bolt in the middle.Tried the extractor, then a little bigger diameter drill bit. Start small and try to get the hole perpendicular so as not to damage the threads in the aluminium swingarm. I bought some new bolts from the Suzuki guys who of course said their bolts are better than Kawis.

Last edited by jaaklucas; 09-11-2019 at 12:42 PM.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEACHBUM View Post
Ran through some salt water ( tide came in and cut me off from home) and the chain side adjusted must have rusted solid. Don't ask me why the other side didn't, i don't know. It sheared off almost flush so I had to grind it smooth and drill it out as best I could. Ended up with a 1/4-20 bolt replacing the original, looks odd but has served for thousands of miles. Learned to love anti-seize treatment.
the reason this happens is the bike sits on its kick stand and leans to that side so any moisture in the swing arm sits right on that bolt. what you need to do is drill out the drain hole in the swing arm (its right under that bolt) to be a bit bigger and when you get that bolt out flush all the much (trust me there will be some there) out with wd40 or something like that then grease or anti seize the heck out of the new bolt you put in there. thats always been my strat. ive broken that bolt on many old bikes. like i said the main reason is the drain hole getting plugged the second is science of differential metals being in contact and sharing electrons and blah blah blah

yes im a guy.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silviefox View Post
the reason this happens is the bike sits on its kick stand and leans to that side so any moisture in the swing arm sits right on that bolt. what you need to do is drill out the drain hole in the swing arm (its right under that bolt) to be a bit bigger and when you get that bolt out flush all the much (trust me there will be some there) out with wd40 or something like that then grease or anti seize the heck out of the new bolt you put in there. thats always been my strat. ive broken that bolt on many old bikes. like i said the main reason is the drain hole getting plugged the second is science of differential metals being in contact and sharing electrons and blah blah blah
@silviefox
Thanks for posting, haven't heard from you in a while, and 100% right on about the drain hole, forgot all about it
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the great advice.
sadly I didn't have any of those options when unscrewing the bolt.
I made the biggest mistake possible and allowed a friend to do the bolt replacement.

Ride safe
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 11:12 AM
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...I made the biggest mistake possible and allowed a friend to do the bolt replacement....
THAT is not ALWAYS "...the biggest mistake possible...".

I have a 3" scar on the back of my right hand caused when I let a friend, helping me install the engine in my '62 Corvette, control the chain hoist. I had my hands down near the front right engine mount when he let the engine down about 6 to 12" very abruptly.

I might have said a "bad-word"....

Sorry for your problem.

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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 09-13-2019 at 04:53 PM.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 11:56 AM
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silviefox View Post
the reason this happens is the bike sits on its kick stand and leans to that side so any moisture in the swing arm sits right on that bolt. what you need to do is drill out the drain hole in the swing arm (its right under that bolt) to be a bit bigger and when you get that bolt out flush all the much (trust me there will be some there) out with wd40 or something like that then grease or anti seize the heck out of the new bolt you put in there. thats always been my strat. ive broken that bolt on many old bikes. like i said the main reason is the drain hole getting plugged the second is science of differential metals being in contact and sharing electrons and blah blah blah
This never occured to me as Ive wondered why theres water around there long after I wash the bike,for instance. Should have thought of that, all my bicycle frames have frame drain holes that are usually plugged.So out to the garage, Kawi up on the rear stand and poke around for that drain hole....Bingo,got it and its plugged. Poke it and a small glass of water comes out! Of course,the swingarm is aluminium and rustproof but the bolt is steel. Stainless I hope for the OEM but maybe the two metals together are prone to galvanic corrosion and seizing ,per Silvie.
I drilled it a little bigger per Silvies post with my grandpas old hand-drill. Not much though. I now know to just poke that hole from time to time when lubing the chain. I love it when the simplest solution is the right one!
So far this year, Silviefox is the front-runner for the annual "Okie Enginnering " Award. Great fix!
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 06:43 PM
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There is a youtube video where a guy broke the adjuster bold on his Versys. He ended up drilling a hole above where the stock one was and tapped it. I would think that would make it a little more difficult to adjust though.
Found here:

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Last edited by leftbrain99; 09-12-2019 at 06:51 PM.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 09:41 PM
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If the bolt broke flush, or recessed It is best if you drill the bolt with a counter clock wise bit. Don't forget to reverse the drill . I have used this bit many times and several times the bolt backed out while drilling. If doesn't go ahead and use an ease out. Remember penetrating oil is your friend.

Last edited by Skypilot 69; 09-12-2019 at 09:48 PM.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 04:46 AM
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Many reports of broken chain adjustment bolts lately, more if you're near the salty ocean. Oxidation makes the bolt tighter over time as it's not rotated often, and it's exposed to moisture in the swingarm. They're not stainless steel, but they should be. Anti-seize compound should be applied to the threads when it's still new... It helps to retap aluminum bores to clean and sharpen the threads.

M8 x 45mm bolts and nuts Axle Adjuster Nut & Bolt Set available in polished grade 316 stainless steel, or titanium:

https://www.probolt-usa.com/stainles...ts-master.html

https://www.probolt-usa.com/titanium...-x-45mm-4.html
chain-adjustment-bolt
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Last edited by invader; 09-13-2019 at 04:58 AM.
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