Sunday, January 31, 2016

Just An Oil Change

 Rule #1 when working on older bikes-It's never "just" anything. This oil change is a perfect example of that. Sure, it started simple enough. I put a suitable catch pan under the engine and removed the drain plug. Didn't spill a drop. There is no oil filter to change, rather it has a pickup screen on the oil pump that Honda recommends cleaning every 8000 miles. A quick glance at the odometer tells me we are just a test ride away from that magic number so now seemed like the perfect time to investigate.
 The oil pump lives behind this side cover.
No problem. I'll just remove the ten or so bolts that secure the cover and pop it off.
Are you kidding me? No amount of pry bar and hammer tapping would budge this thing. I had to use the hydraulic porta-power to pop it loose. Once I had it off I could access the pickup screen below the oil pump. If you look close at the top middle cover bolt hole, you'll notice part of the bolt is still in there. Ya, it twisted off when I unbolted the cover and I blame Honda for this one. That is the only cover bolt that is drilled all the way through and it couldn't have been in a worse place. It's almost like they wanted it to seize. Any moisture or dirt on top of the engine case is funneled down to the back of this bolt hole. Piss poor design. Shame on you Honda.

You guys that work on these things know the drill. First, center punch the remaining bolt.
Then start with a small pilot bit and work your way up to the hole size you need for the rethreading tap.
Once the hole is made you can start with the tap. Use oil on the tap and be careful not to break it off in the hole. If you feel like ya gotta horse it then back it out, clean it off and oil the tap again. I had to back this tap out four times while making only about a half inch of threads.
Success! I have fresh threads and just need a new bolt. That won't be a problem because I have an entire parts bike out in the trailer. If there are any younger readers out there interested in bike or small engine repair I suggest you invest in a tap and die set. They are the kind of tools you hope you never need to use but they are priceless when you need them.



  1. I've been there - more times than I care to recall. The worst part is always getting the hole drilled out, although it seems you missed the drill bit breaks off in the bolt part. :)

  2. Been there, ya that sucks. When that happens I usually proceed like described here.

    1. Good idea. Will have to keep that in mind for next time - for there will surely be a next time! Cheers.