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post #1 of 24 Old Nov 30th, 2011, 7:44 pm Thread Starter
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clutch housing allen heads

I'm in a jam. I cannot get the 6 allen heads that hold the clutch cover on to back out. I see these things are to be torqued to 18nm when being installed but I believe maybe they were over-torqued in the past because they will absolutely not break free. The clutch is toast as it bathed in gear lube when the gearbox input shaft seal failed. The housing, gearbox and clutch pack smell like the foulest smelling burnt lube I've ever sniffed. I even tried my electric impact driver and now I've got one allen stripped. Can I heat the cover around the threads? Any other tricks? Also, is there a tool that will keep the crankshaft from turning while I try to back these out? At this point, drilling them out might be my only option and since I'm replacing the entire clutch assembly, it won't much matter. I'd rather not if someone else knows something I don't. Friggin' help!
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post #2 of 24 Old Nov 30th, 2011, 11:54 pm
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyLT
I'm in a jam. I cannot get the 6 allen heads that hold the clutch cover on to back out. I see these things are to be torqued to 18nm when being installed but I believe maybe they were over-torqued in the past because they will absolutely not break free. The clutch is toast as it bathed in gear lube when the gearbox input shaft seal failed. The housing, gearbox and clutch pack smell like the foulest smelling burnt lube I've ever sniffed. I even tried my electric impact driver and now I've got one allen stripped. Can I heat the cover around the threads? Any other tricks? Also, is there a tool that will keep the crankshaft from turning while I try to back these out? At this point, drilling them out might be my only option and since I'm replacing the entire clutch assembly, it won't much matter. I'd rather not if someone else knows something I don't. Friggin' help!
Hi Bob,

You are in a pickle, and it sounds like you might be correct that someone over-torqued the cover bolts. If you are planning to pull the clutch housig and replace the O-ring and main seal then heating the housing is an option. Resorting to drilling the bolts and using extractors is something I'd only do as a last resort. A clutch housing is a very expensive part and is not necessary to replace unless damaged, so therefore if it were me I'd try the following:

1- I'd plan to buy a new housing nut, O-ring and mainseal with the clutch bits and new bolts and lock washers. I'd try to heat the edge of the housing near each bolt you are attempting to remove with a heat gun while extracting the bolts. Absent the BMW tool pictured in the manual you can have someone hold the crankshaft for you from the front at the Hall Sensor.

2 - If you have to drill out the bolts I'd just remove the heads and clutch assembly then do the had work with the clutch housing out of the bike.

3 - Failing to get the bolts out I'd find a used housing and put her back together.

If you need anything drop me a PM.

Good luck!

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post #3 of 24 Old Dec 1st, 2011, 12:11 am
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyLT
Also, is there a tool that will keep the crankshaft from turning while I try to back these out?
This what your after?



Quote:
Re: Bmw Special Tools
You only need two special tools, the 30MM cutaway socket /12 MM allen wrench for torqueing the swing arm pivots, and the bar to hold the clutch drive plate to remove/replace the 30MM nut on the engine output shaft.

I made my own tools. I and a couple other people have made the cutaway sockets for others also, I sold 50 sets of them, and others also sold some sets. There should be someone within a reasonble distance from just about anyone here who would loan out the tools.

The clutch drive plate holding bar I made from a piece of 1/8" X 1-1/2" aluminum flat bar I just happened to have around. You have to measure a little, cut a little too long, then trim until if fits as in the picture in the service manual. It would be very difficult to loosen or tighten the nut without a holding bar like this in place.

Other than those two tools, you can do everything else without anything special.

The angle measuring tool for tightening the engine output shaft nut is definitely not needed! Only BMW can make something so simple so difficult! The special tool is to measure a 60 degree angle of turn on the nut! Guess what, 60 degrees is exactly one flat on the nut to another! Torque the nut as required, mark one of the flats, then turn untill the next one lines up with the mark. Or put two marks on the outside of your socket at 60 degrees apart, mark where the first mark is when it is on the nut, turn to the second mark.

A couple of long 8MM bolts with the heads cut off and screwdriver slots cut in the end with a hacksaw make fine transmission aligning rods when re-installing it. It can be done without these though, you may just invoke the name of your favorite diety in the process.

Wolfgang is correct, no clutch aligning rod is necessary, just eyeball it in the center, then tighten the clutch cover plate enough to hold the clutch plate in place. You can try the actuating rod in it before fully tightening the cover plate bolts.
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post #4 of 24 Old Dec 1st, 2011, 5:14 am
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Give the bolt head a smack with a hammer. I don't mean T off with a 10 pounder, use a punch on the bolt and a couple sharp hits with a medium ball pean. don't beat on it till you mushroom the allen head and can't get the allen socket in, just a couple taps.
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post #5 of 24 Old Dec 1st, 2011, 5:30 am
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Remember though, this is not the crankshaft behind the clutch, it is the output shaft which is mounted in a deep groove ball bearing. When you strike the bolt head with a hammer the forces are transmitted through the bearing rolling elements (balls in this case). Don't want to end up with a damaged bearing due to false brinelling. It doesn't take much to casue the damage. If you have the equipment and skills/training you can use an oxy/acteylene torch with a No.10 or 12 welding tip fitted. Apply direct intense heat to the bolt head till it is not quite red (approx 500 degrees C), this will happen quite quickly. Then allow to cool off slightly and apply some torque to undo. Be very mindful of fire if there is already oil in the immediate area. If you need to drill out the already damaged socked head cap screw, take an 8 mm ? masonry bit with tungsten carbide insert and get it sharpened like a normal drill (silicon carbide wheel required). It will drill the bolt head easily, apply some cutting oil. Some cobalt type drill bits are also OK. Hope this helps.

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post #6 of 24 Old Dec 1st, 2011, 6:25 am
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by K100Dennis
Remember though, this is not the crankshaft behind the clutch, it is the output shaft which is mounted in a deep groove ball bearing. When you strike the bolt head with a hammer the forces are transmitted through the bearing rolling elements (balls in this case). Don't want to end up with a damaged bearing due to false brinelling. It doesn't take much to casue the damage. If you have the equipment and skills/training you can use an oxy/acteylene torch with a No.10 or 12 welding tip fitted. Apply direct intense heat to the bolt head till it is not quite red (approx 500 degrees C), this will happen quite quickly. Then allow to cool off slightly and apply some torque to undo. Be very mindful of fire if there is already oil in the immediate area. If you need to drill out the already damaged socked head cap screw, take an 8 mm ? masonry bit with tungsten carbide insert and get it sharpened like a normal drill (silicon carbide wheel required). It will drill the bolt head easily, apply some cutting oil. Some cobalt type drill bits are also OK. Hope this helps.
I see what you're saying, I wouldn't believe that shocking the bolt on the outer diameter would transit enough force to the bearing to cause damage but I have no reason to think that it wouldn't.

Thanks
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post #7 of 24 Old Dec 1st, 2011, 6:28 am Thread Starter
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Thanks for all the tips. The flat bar tool doesn't help me here because the 6 allen screws that hold the clutch cover are the ones I can't get free. Regardless, the list has given me some ideas. Thanks again.

Bob
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post #8 of 24 Old Dec 1st, 2011, 11:14 am
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

I rounded off two of these when I did my clutch job. Used a cold chisel and hammer to tap them around and loosen them. You new new ones anyway.

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post #9 of 24 Old Dec 1st, 2011, 11:52 am
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Bob,

I use a product call valve grinding cream on the allen wrench the insert into bold head, the valve grinding cream has metal grit in it causing the wrench to bite in , this will keep the allen wrench from slipping in the bolt head. Over the years of working on cars and bikes, I have found this to work very well, by the way this product can be purchased at any auto machine shop. Good luck!

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post #10 of 24 Old Dec 1st, 2011, 12:35 pm
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by clayton
Bob,

I use a product call valve grinding cream on the allen wrench the insert into bold head, the valve grinding cream has metal grit in it causing the wrench to bite in , this will keep the allen wrench from slipping in the bolt head. Over the years of working on cars and bikes, I have found this to work very well, by the way this product can be purchased at any auto machine shop. Good luck!
Wish I had done that BEFORE I stripped them out.

John
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post #11 of 24 Old Dec 1st, 2011, 12:56 pm
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Many interesting posts here. I like Clayton's idea to keep the bit from rounding out the hex. Be extra careful about how much heat you allow to be transferred to the "intermediate" case. The case (pictured) is sealed to the engine block with silicone and excessive heating will degrade the sealant and could cause a leak not known until the job is complete. This is why I recommend the heat gun approach. The housing is aluminum and the bolts are steel; so therefore it should not take much effort to break them loose with very little heat (unless someone used locktite). Let us know how it works out for you.


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post #12 of 24 Old Dec 1st, 2011, 6:03 pm
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

The valve grinding paste tip is a very old technique and is triead and true, very good. Also you'll notice that these cap screws are the compact head type, with shallower than normal hex, so you only get 1 chance at undoing them before damage is done (as per John Z's comment). To further reduce the chances of hax slipping/damage, ensure the allen key is in perfect condition. If possiblem, try an impact type in-hex key fitted to a small impact gun. Normally will undo them first try.

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post #13 of 24 Old Dec 2nd, 2011, 4:56 am
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

What you need is a hand held impact driver. They come in handy working on bolts you don't want to strip the head on. That way you are hitting the bolt and trying to turn it at the same time. This little device will save you LOTS of headaches if you do your own wrenching. If that fails to work then I use a chisel on the side of the head to break them loose. If you get them to turn any at all they will come out.

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post #14 of 24 Old Dec 2nd, 2011, 5:53 pm Thread Starter
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Re: clutch housing allen heads - THANKS

Again, thanks for all the posts. Yes, I have an electric and a hand impact driver. Tried the electric first and it just ate the allen head for lunch. will try Clayton's tip re the grinding paste...heard from many that is a good tip. I've wrenched plenty on LTs and GS' over the years and have never run into bolts so stubborn. Going to try every option this weekend and if it comes to it, I'll just drill the heads off as the entire clutch assembly is being replaced.

I'm throwing out a feeler here for a used and complete LT gearbox for the '03 model year. I had found a unit but the seller backed out when I asked that if the unit proved to not function properly after install, I be allowed to return it. The seller suggested that the gearbox could be damaged during install and didn't want to take a chance of losing his investment. For the record, I'm not some half-assed "hack" of a wrench and I have the special tools to get the trans and new clutch aligned and installed properly. Perhaps my post about the stubborn clutch cover screws spooked him ;-) If anyone knows of one - can even be higher mileage, just need good, non leaking seals, a smooth rotation without shaft wobble and non-skewed splines - please let me know.

Thanks again to all,
Bob
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post #15 of 24 Old Dec 2nd, 2011, 6:49 pm
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

"Mugszy" (up in Ontario) here has a transmission he bought but didn't end up needing. Might give him a PM and see if he still has it.

You would really have to work at damaging an LT tranny installing it. Like use a very big hammer!!

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post #16 of 24 Old Dec 2nd, 2011, 8:16 pm
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Wish I noticed where you lived earlier. If you're still stuck, I could swing by and tack weld hex bolts to the existing. You'll get heat and a hex head to grab.
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post #17 of 24 Old Dec 2nd, 2011, 8:28 pm
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Thanks for the plug John.

Just to be clear, I'm the "seller" that BobbyLt is referring to as I offered my tranny and complete clutch unit in light of his recent breakdown. I believe him when he describes himself as no half-assed hack of a wrench. Just do not understand why then he would not be able to figure out that the units I'm offering are in perfect working order before he goes through the pain of installing them to see if they work.

Hope all goes well with his repairs.

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post #18 of 24 Old Dec 2nd, 2011, 8:43 pm
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

An electric impact is not the same as a impact driver.

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post #19 of 24 Old Dec 2nd, 2011, 10:54 pm Thread Starter
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Apparently soaking the allen screws with PB did the trick. I was able to get all but one backed out and the last one had to be drilled off. Once off, it became clear what damage the trans failure did to the clutch (besides the lube coat). As the bearing and seal disintegrated, the trans input shaft started to wobble which in turn allowed the push rod to wobble. At some point, it blew the center clips that hold the center plate of the diaphragm spring. That was bouncing around inside the clutch pack and caused some surface abrasion damage to the clutch housing. The push rod also shows even "thinning" about 3/4 of an inch back from the concave point that inserts into the diaphragm spring. This happened while it was thrashing around the "center-less" diaphragm. I'll replace that as well.

Have the old clutch pack out and the housing cleaned up. The clutch plate was well within tolerance but so hopelessly soaked with rancid, burnt hypoid, there was no way of reclaiming it. Will yank main seal tomorow and have a brand new clutch pack ready to go back in. As for the trans, I didn't think it appropriate to mention anyone by name on the forum. Since Mugzy opened the door, I'll say this:

Unless someone here knows something I dont, there is no way to bench test a trans without opening it up and measuring lash, mic'ing various tolerances, etc. I simply don't have the tools and jigs to perform an operation like that. It can "feel" fine doing revolutions by hand on the bench although I believe it would difficult to assess shift quality, reverse, etc.

To be clear, I wasn't expecting Mugzy or anyone else to sell me a used trans that was opened up and "certified" perfect; I realize when you buy used engines and gearbox units, it certainly can be hit or miss. Having said that, I have a 1998 Jetta diesel with 398K miles on it. I've kept it running with salvage yard parts for years. If I buy a 5 speed, put it in and it has excessive whine or pops out of gear, the salvage yard takes it back. It's a simple concept. All I asked of Mugzy was that, if after the LT trans was installed (properly of course - which I'd have no way of proving other than my word) and the bike was back on the road, that if the trans had a problem, I could take it off and send it back for a refund.

Mugzy declined to proceed stating that he'd have no way of knowing if I damaged the trans during installation and he'd did not want to lose out on his investment. Aside from maybe dropping in on the floor a few times, I'm not sure how you could damage it, especially using the alignment rods, during the install. But hey, I don't know the man and he doesn't know me. I hold no grudge; it's a free country.

However, I still need a trans so if anyone knows someone who has one and is willing to let me buy it, install it, and, stand behind it until I take the bike for a ride up and back through the gears and try reverse, please give them my name and email.

Thanks again for the advice, oh, and one more trick - you can use the LT oil filter socket to seat the rear main seal into the block. Just insert it while the old one is in place and make a depth mark with a fine pencil. Use the socket to seat the new seal. Wish I could take credit but that one belongs to Dr. Peter Murray - he is on the forum from time to time.

Bob Lilley
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post #20 of 24 Old Dec 2nd, 2011, 11:48 pm
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyLT
Unless someone here knows something I dont, there is no way to bench test a trans without opening it up and measuring lash, mic'ing various tolerances, etc. I simply don't have the tools and jigs to perform an operation like that. It can "feel" fine doing revolutions by hand on the bench although I believe it would difficult to assess shift quality, reverse, etc.
You are giving the transmission much more credit than it deserves. It isn't rocket science to rebuild one of these units Bob. Perhaps I missed it, but why are you not just rebuilding your transmission as per the repair manual procedures. I just did one and I'm probably half the mechanic you are (maybe one tenth of one percent the mechanic you are) . Buck up Bobby and throw a wrench on that thing then tell us how it shifts for you. Or you can send your trans to any number of happy DIY guys on this list to help you with it. There is a lot of good people out on this list that are truly willing to help you and that is something you can put some measure of trust in.

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post #21 of 24 Old Dec 3rd, 2011, 6:16 am Thread Starter
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Ernie,

I'm sure you're a fine mechanic as evidenced by the fact that you rebuilt your trans (and from other posts here over the years). I agree, it is not rocket science. That said, when I pulled the reverse speed sensor and the trans drain plug, they were both piled high with metal flakes. When I pulled the cover off the trans, it was obvious there was collateral damage from the input shaft seal and bearing failure. A double check by a trusted BMW Master Tech revealed a parts expense far beyond what a used unit can be had for. Regardless of all that, I simply don't have the time (or desire) to disassemble, source all the parts damaged (new or used) and reassemble. For my situation, a used unit is the expedient choice and I've got a lead on several. Thanks.

Bob
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post #22 of 24 Old Dec 3rd, 2011, 7:59 am
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Lightbulb Re: clutch housing allen heads - THANKS

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyLT
Again, thanks for all the posts. Yes, I have an electric and a hand impact driver. Tried the electric first and it just ate the allen head for lunch. will try Clayton's tip re the grinding paste...heard from many that is a good tip. I've wrenched plenty on LTs and GS' over the years and have never run into bolts so stubborn. Going to try every option this weekend and if it comes to it, I'll just drill the heads off as the entire clutch assembly is being replaced.

I'm throwing out a feeler here for a used and complete LT gearbox for the '03 model year. I had found a unit but the seller backed out when I asked that if the unit proved to not function properly after install, I be allowed to return it. The seller suggested that the gearbox could be damaged during install and didn't want to take a chance of losing his investment. For the record, I'm not some half-assed "hack" of a wrench and I have the special tools to get the trans and new clutch aligned and installed properly. Perhaps my post about the stubborn clutch cover screws spooked him ;-) If anyone knows of one - can even be higher mileage, just need good, non leaking seals, a smooth rotation without shaft wobble and non-skewed splines - please let me know.

Thanks again to all,
Bob
Bob, one last trick in addition to valve grinding paste, take your allen wrench and GRIND a bit off of the face to give you a clean bite (no ball end wrench please). The ones you rounded can sometimes be saved by custom grinding an american sized wrench to fit the rounded hole.
Last, a small 1/8 drift punch in the center will concentrate the force to the bolt. Additionally I have an oxy/acc set up with a very small pencil tip to add heat to the bolt only then IMMEADIATLY quench with an ice cube, reheat and spray with Krol, pb buster or otter type of release product.
I have done this on many outboard engines with great success.
best of luck.

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post #23 of 24 Old Dec 3rd, 2011, 9:53 am
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

I have an engine and tranny with about 8500 miles. I put about 500 miles on them to see what I bought. If you need this tranny I would expect your old as a core. Pm me if you are interested.
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post #24 of 24 Old Dec 3rd, 2011, 12:10 pm
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Re: clutch housing allen heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyLT
Ernie,

I'm sure you're a fine mechanic as evidenced by the fact that you rebuilt your trans (and from other posts here over the years). I agree, it is not rocket science. That said, when I pulled the reverse speed sensor and the trans drain plug, they were both piled high with metal flakes. When I pulled the cover off the trans, it was obvious there was collateral damage from the input shaft seal and bearing failure. A double check by a trusted BMW Master Tech revealed a parts expense far beyond what a used unit can be had for. Regardless of all that, I simply don't have the time (or desire) to disassemble, source all the parts damaged (new or used) and reassemble. For my situation, a used unit is the expedient choice and I've got a lead on several. Thanks.

Bob
Fair enough Bob. When we did Eric's transmission we were able to source most bearings locally at a fraction of the BMW price. The seals were easier to source through BMW since they are a bit different than the run-of-the-mill neoprene seal. The whole cost of parts were much less than a used trans with shipping costs, and we got them all together in a week as I recall (less time than negotiating, buying and waiting on delivery). Luckily his trans case and shafts were in good shape and no reason to not rebuild it.

Good luck with your repair job Bob, and since you are selling it rather than riding it, I hope someone will enjoy the bike as much as you have when you are through.

Best, as always.

Ernie A
Milwaukie, OR
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