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Thread: Torx Head Stainless seized in aluminum fork - 2012 K1600GTL

  1. #1
    Dogrobber GWPreckshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Columbia, MO

    Unhappy Torx Head Stainless seized in aluminum fork - 2012 K1600GTL

    I am new to the K1600, having mostly owned airheads previously. I purchased a used 2012 about 18 months ago and am just starting to get it ready for travel in the post COVID world and am filled with frustration and woe. Not that I don't expect this kind of stuff - remember I told you have owned motorcycles before (airheads).

    OK, I was dismounting my wheels to take them for new tires. Back one comes off a bit hard, but no big deal (I did break off the first T50 torx head tool I tried but it was an unbranded Harbor Freight POS and my own fault for using it). The front one was a different story. First, I didn't have a 22 mm hex tool for the axle. Whew, the forum comes to my rescue and I used a reverse 13/16 spark plug wrench. Brake calipers come off clean and neat. I didn't forget the ABS sensor. I got the bike blocked up underneath the engine and had some space under the wheel and I am ready to take off the fender. The plastic fender is held on by four torx head machine screws that I believe are made out of stainless steel. The second to the last freaking torx head machine screw seizes in the aluminum fork body and quick as you please twists right off. The last one comes out fine (purely as a personal insult I am sure).

    I have been here before. I actually said this to myself, "you have been here before." I got a drill and bits and drilled a hole for an easy-out in the threaded section of the machine screw left behind in the fork body. I then got my easy-out (mis-named if ever a thing could be). Yes I put some penetrating oil on it. No it did not come out. Yes my easy-out snapped off. Of course it snapped off. What else would it do? The machine gods returned to my side as I had drilled all the way thru and was able to tap the broken piece of the easy-out out from the back side with a small punch.

    SO . . here I am. Time to retreat, regroup, and seek counsel from others who have played this form of whack-a-mole. Do I continue to try to get the misbegotten worthless crap laden corpse of the machine screw out without messing up the threads of the aluminum fork body or do I just say to Hades with it and drill all of the remaining machine screw out with no regard to the what remains of the hole and rethread it to a larger size? I don't plan on going back into the garage tonight especially since I have already splashed two fingers of Jamison's in a glass and am planning on a repeat. As I said, I HAVE been here before.

    One last observation. I own a product called "anti-seize." I actually use when assembling dissimilar metal fasteners. I understand I purchased this bike used, but I learned to use this from my brother-in-law when we worked on my airhead. It didn't always work, but it did make things much easier. Sigh, . . ..

    Anyway, if anyone has a observation that might help, or a vote on which way to go - jump in the pool. I did run a quick search on seized fork screws and didn't seem to get anything recent. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    What penetrating oil did you use? AeroKroil is one of the better ones out there. Even better is a 50-50 mix of acetone and ATF. I would get a good penetrant in there and let it sit...days even. Not sure if you can apply any heat without damaging surrounding things, but hot/cold cycles will help the penetrant work farther in.

    As for antisieze, just be aware that using it will create sliding friction and you need to back off the applied torque so that you don't exceed the real torque. Probably drop the torque wrench setting 25%. Not saying that's what's going on here, but just something for the future.

    Good luck!
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  3. #3
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Well fitting bit and 3/8 hammer impact tool. Light tapping in both directions to help penetrating oil work its way in.
    A cordless impact tool on a low setting can be used as well.
    Patience and maximum effort.
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  4. #4
    '14 R1200 GS Adv bigjohnsd's Avatar
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    Oct 2018
    Black Hills, SD
    After the sun rises in the morning I would douse it with more penetrating fluid.
    I've never broken an easy-out, I'd be inclined to try an easy-out again after the penetrating oil treatment.
    The impact of tapping the next bigger size easy out in will help the penetrating oil penetrate.
    Don't tap it in to hard as that can expand the screw and make it harder to remove.
    Stainless steel screws are notoriously soft.

    If you are reluctant to use another easy-out keep drilling, one drill size bigger each time.
    If you can locate one, a reverse or left-handed drill bit might be of assistance. My NAPA store carries some.
    At some point, the stuck piece will turn, or you will be able to pull out the remaining threads with a scribe or a pick.
    The only dumb question is the unasked question!

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  5. #5
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    Central Maine
    You may want to try a couple of heating cycles and see if that wont help break the corrosion.

    Good luck.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  6. #6
    Dogrobber GWPreckshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Columbia, MO
    Thank you Gentlemen, I really appreciate the information and advice. I try very hard not to twist off things because the result is absolutely a pain in the behind. As you can see from my experience it is not as bad as it could be nor as good as I could wish it. Tomorrow I will have an appointment to get my new tires mounted and will address the fork the day after when I have my plan laid out (another shot at extraction after a soak/heat/soak cycle with penetrating fluid). Wish me luck. I will be chasing the threaded mounting points for the fender with the appropriate tap and solvent to clean out the crud before reinstalling the fender with anti-seize. No need to go thru it all again when I change the tire or another owner does it after me. I love to ride and hate it when I have to deal with maintenance and repair screw ups (especially when I have a hand it them). I hope to make it to the National Rally in Montana this month and may run into you there. Safe Riding.

  7. #7
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Catlett, VA
    I change of lot of K1600 tires and often run into the front fender T30 torx screws being siezed/tight. I use heat/Kroil oil and am very patient; e.g. unscrew, screw, unscrew, screw, etc... Haven't had one break off yet. T25 torx holding the windscreen also routinely seize up. Before reinstalling I ALWAYS run a tap through the threads.

    For the OP, appears you have 2 options
    1. Tap and install larger screw
    2. Tap and install a T25 helicoil

    '12 K1600GT

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