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Front Fender Bolts


pgm

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In removing the front fender on my bike, both fender bolts snapped off in the fork bridge. The dealer wants $500 to remove the bridge, drill out, inserts, etc.

 

What are my options for diy?

 

thanks.

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When this happened to me I had the work carried out at a local machine shop for about £40 ($60). They did not even want the bridge removed from the bike.

It would be easier however to remove the bridge - leave the ball-joint screwed into the bridge - and once you have it in hand, take it to a machine shop, or look for a good udsed bridge from somewhere like BeemerBoneyard of from Ebay.

 

Andy

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Please dont be offended but without being rude that depends on your skill level / tools available.

 

Personally I would do the work the dealer is going to do myself, but then I have a workshop & good facilities.

 

However if you have the knowledge and tools ( hammer, centre punch, drill & bits ) you can drill out the broken bolts and replace them with nuts and bolts to hold the front fender in place.

 

If you have ( or can borrow ) the taps to rethread the holes you can complete the repair as well if not better than the dealer by drilling out the broken bolts with a smaller drill bit and rethread the holes with the taps then refit everything with new bolts job done !

 

Good luck

 

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Please dont be offended but without being rude that depends on your skill level / tools available.

 

no offense taken... although I am sheepish that I broke BOTH of them.

 

Is there enough room to drill and tap without removal (and do a good job)? I'm not looking forward to removal of the bridge.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
no offense taken... although I am sheepish that I broke BOTH of them.

 

I don't think there was much you could have done to prevent that from happening. As the bolt is holding a plastic fender in place, you couldn't have applied much heat without melting it. The only thing that might have worked is a few taps with a hammer to try to break the corrosion bond - but even that would not have been a sure thing.

 

Is there enough room to drill and tap without removal (and do a good job)? I'm not looking forward to removal of the bridge.

 

Go eyeball the bike; if you can get a straight shot at the broken end of the screw with a handheld drill (and I think you probably can), then this can be done without removing it. The shop probably wants the bridge off of the bike so they can put it in a drill press; that would make the drilling easier, but it's still possible to do it by hand.

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Morning PGM

 

Unfortunately that happens. Had you known it was a problem area you could do as I usually do-- That is to first TRY removing those bolts cautiously.

 

If a REASONABLE force doesn't break them loose they will most certainly break using more than reasonable force. If reasonable force won't remove them I simply drill the bolts heads off. Once the bolt heads are off then the fender will come off. At that point I can use heat on the bolt stems that sticks up then remove the stubs. Or if in my shop just weld small nuts on the bolt stubs then simply twist the bolts out.

 

You didn't say what BMW bike but I will assume an 1150RT as those were the biggest offenders. There was a service bulletin on the 1150RT's to replace the fender bolts under warranty due to them coming loose while riding. Some owners didn't know about the bulletin (it wasn't a recall so no notice went out) so LocTited them or didn't do anything. Doing nothing allowed water in to rust the threads up. Using the wrong LocTite was just as bad.

 

The original bolts were black colored, the replacements were silver with nyloc on the threads. I believe by 2004 BMW had switched to the new nylock bolts on every bike built.

 

I don't know what to tell you about drilling those out yourself it can be done on the bike but not easily & difficult to do it straight. I believe those bolts are 6mm. (so original hole size before threading was 5mm)

 

To do it correctly you should remove the fork bridge (I ususlly do then put it in my Bridgeport mill or drill press).

 

To remove the fork bridge bolts you will probably need heat on them as without heat the bolts will probably either break off or pull the threads out when removed cold (neither a good thing). The ball joint can be a pain to get loose also.

 

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d.r - thanks for all the insights.

 

You didn't say what BMW bike but I will assume an 1150RT as those were the biggest offenders.

2004 R1150RT - garaged & not driven on winter salted roads.

 

If a REASONABLE force doesn't break them loose they will most certainly break using more than reasonable force.

I was using a small allen wrench. I was surprised how easily they twisted off. It's not like I used a breaker bar...and I'm not that strong.

 

The original bolts were black colored, the replacements were silver with nyloc on the threads. I believe by 2004 BMW had switched to the new nylock bolts on every bike built.

They are silver heads. I can't tell if they were original. Less than a year of owning the bike, BMW replaced the from wheel. They could of been upgraded then.

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Same thing happened to my 1100 fender. The allen heads are too small for this type of fastening situation. I drilled the head off, took the fender off and used a vice grip to unthread the bolt shaft.

 

Good luck with your fender bolts.

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Ahirsh, The heads are plenty big enough, what causes the problem is the corrosion. That is the issue we need to get on top of. After all, they are only holding a dainty mudgaurd in place.

Andy

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Clive Liddell

I fitted a length of threaded rod locked in place by a narrow nut on each side and used stainless steel cap-nuts to secure the top of the mudguard (1100RT). It is SO EASY to R&R the mudguard compared to the previous allen head screw! You just flex the mudguard over and onto the above "studs" and it is held in place while you use a 10mm thin wall socket to nip them up (and a 3mm allen for the 5mm lower screws)...

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