By John Burns
I just purchased a great ’78 Suzuki TS250. The guy before me stripped some screws on the crankcase. Having used everything from WD-40 to an impact screwdriver and even prayer, what’s next? Machine shop? Bike shops around here won’t touch it. they’ve got money to make and won’t “waste their time.”
This was clearly a question for Joe Gresh, whose life work consists of rescuing old two-strokes and pouring concrete. He writes:
If the screw threads are stripped you’ll have to drill the screws out and use Helicoils. If (what I think you mean) the screw heads are stripped and you can’t get a purchase with a screwdriver, there are a few options:
- Use a nice sharp cold chisel to pound a slot into the screw head, then try a flat blade tip on the impact driver (the kind you hit with a hammer.)
- Use a pin punch (flat round) on the outer edge of whatever remains to try and rotate the screw head in the direction it needs to go, usually counter clockwise. Hit the punch with a hammer…
- Carefully drill the center of the screw head, increasing drill size until the head falls off, leaving the main body of the screw behind. Then remove the cover or whatever the screw was holding on and clamp vise grips on the bit of the screw that sticks out to remove it.
Note1: These options are in no particular order. A lot of it depends on your mood at the exact moment. It’s a call best made in the field.
Note 2: You can really screw (ha!) this up if you’re not talented with tools.
Note 3: Always remember no matter how bleak it looks, you can toss the whole thing in the trash and get another motorcycle.
More Gresh advice can be found at the …read more