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Old 06-25-2014, 07:09 PM   #916
BigWan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterMarine View Post
Can you change the top triple clamp to a dirt bike one and then use a Highway Dirtbike top and bottom handlebar clamp? Their setup has 4 big bolts to the upper triple rather than just 2. 2 of them go thru the top handlebar clamp and lower handlebar clamp all the way into the upper triple. The other 2 just go thru the lower handlebar clamp into the triple like stock.
I'm not sure if the dirt bike setup would work or not. It sure sounds stronger.

The triple I'm using now is the Scotts BRP w/Damper, you would think they would've gone with the strongest possible system.
I think the real issue has to do with the amount of handle bar rise I'm running. I've got an additional 2" of rise on top of the already tall BRP mount. It must create a ton of leverage at the triple clamp.

I think changing these bolts yearly as part of routine maintenance will probably put a stop to these fun surprises.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:42 PM   #917
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Quote:
I think changing these bolts yearly as part of routine maintenance will probably put a stop to these fun surprises.
Matt,
Do you know what grade the bolts are? Go to your local Caterpillar parts dealer for new bolts. Make sure they have CAT Reg logo on the head. Cat uses grade 8 bolts of the highest quality.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:07 PM   #918
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWan View Post
I'm not sure if the dirt bike setup would work or not. It sure sounds stronger.

The triple I'm using now is the Scotts BRP w/Damper, you would think they would've gone with the strongest possible system.
I think the real issue has to do with the amount of handle bar rise I'm running. I've got an additional 2" of rise on top of the already tall BRP mount. It must create a ton of leverage at the triple clamp.

I think changing these bolts yearly as part of routine maintenance will probably put a stop to these fun surprises.
I think you are right on the leverage being the problem and annual replacement helping out with the unexpected breakage. I know I have friends who have broken and bent those same bolts on their KTM trail bikes when they have been running some risers under the bars. I would think that if there is a way to run the HDB 4 bolt setup on your big bike, someone will chime in as there has to be some people who would have done it reading your awesome thread.

You might talk to Paul at HDB. Maybe he could machine your top triple to use his 4 bolt setup rather than the stock 2. He has been very helpful and open to improvements in his product line in my discussions with him.

I also saw someone (I think it was Geek) had pictures of a HDB upper handlebar clamp on a 95x when I was researching the HDB setup for my 500EXC.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:45 AM   #919
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Looks like that bolt has been "almost broken" for a while!

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Old 06-26-2014, 05:53 AM   #920
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Yes fatique. Going to higher grades won't help unless you can use the extra torque that the strength can give you. Most likely they are getting loose some how, errosion of the joint material, compression of the aluminum, high stress hits that exceed the strength of the joint material. Once the bolt has stopped being the tension that clamps the parts together it starts bending and cracks.

Ive been in a discussion like this on the footpeg bolts for the XR650R.

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Old 06-26-2014, 09:55 AM   #921
BigWan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Critic View Post
Do you know what grade the bolts are?
Yeah, these are harder than the bolts provided by BRP, they're 10.9


Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdon View Post
Looks like that bolt has been "almost broken" for a while!
I'm sure it started failing back in Baja earlier this year at the same time as Lica's- see post

After that happened to Lica I took mine apart at the hotel in Loreto to double check they weren't going also.




At the time I was hearing a creaking noise coming from the triple clamps and the bars felt a little loose. All I could really confirm by taking them apart was that the bolts weren't bent. I couldn't see any cracks. I knew something was wrong though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MTrider16 View Post
Yes fatique. Going to higher grades won't help unless you can use the extra torque that the strength can give you. Most likely they are getting loose some how, errosion of the joint material, compression of the aluminum, high stress hits that exceed the strength of the joint material. Once the bolt has stopped being the tension that clamps the parts together it starts bending and cracks.

Ive been in a discussion like this on the footpeg bolts for the XR650R.

David
That is really interesting. I was thinking of trying to find 12.9 bolts, but I was concerned they might be too brittle.
You know these bolts are secured with rubber cones on both the top and bottom of the triple clamp. There's a lot of intended movement in that joint.

Maybe I should look into the
hard cone bushings made by CJ

That's funny about the XR peg bolts. I kept shearing those too.
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Old 06-26-2014, 02:54 PM   #922
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWan View Post

That is really interesting. I was thinking of trying to find 12.9 bolts, but I was concerned they might be too brittle.
You know these bolts are secured with rubber cones on both the top and bottom of the triple clamp. There's a lot of intended movement in that joint.

Maybe I should look into the hard cone bushings made by CJ

That's funny about the XR peg bolts. I kept shearing those too.
The rubber changes things with the design. With CJ cones you could torque the bolt to a higher value which may reduce the chance of something coming loose. It will be interesting to see if the metal cones would collapse with higher torque.

I don't have a quick answer for you, it may take some experimenting to find the problem and correct it. Obviously 12.9 grade will allow higher torque values.

In general though a bolt should be designed so that it is only tensioned and will maintain that clamping force on the joint. They shouldn't experience bending or shear, leading to fatique if the clamping force is maintained.

One more thing, a hardened washer can spread out the load so the head or nut do not recess into the joint material.

David
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:15 AM   #923
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used to use these on dune buggies and Baja quads. you used to be able to order them in any overall length and thread length.

you ever try flex bars? take some of the shock out of your arms for extreme 2 up bomb runs and maybe not transfer as much force to the triples?
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:10 PM   #924
BigWan
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I have an update for those who are interested. Someone (not me) took it upon themselves to contact BRP and fill them in on what's been happening regarding bolts breaking.
When Jim Rios, the president of BRP, heard that we Osos have all been bending and breaking the bolts supplied with their triple clamp, he jumped into action.
He called me right away to get more information and talk about possible causes and solutions to the problem. I was very impressed. It never occurred to me to contact BRP and bother them with this. I should've done that early on.

When I snapped the 8.8 bolts provided with the triple kit, I thought it was because the bolts weren't strong enough. However, when I snapped the 10.9 bolts I realized bolt strength or quality wasn't the issue.

MTrider16's post was very helpful and insightful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTrider16 View Post
The rubber changes things with the design. With CJ cones you could torque the bolt to a higher value which may reduce the chance of something coming loose. It will be interesting to see if the metal cones would collapse with higher torque.

I don't have a quick answer for you, it may take some experimenting to find the problem and correct it. Obviously 12.9 grade will allow higher torque values.

In general though a bolt should be designed so that it is only tensioned and will maintain that clamping force on the joint. They shouldn't experience bending or shear, leading to fatique if the clamping force is maintained.

One more thing, a hardened washer can spread out the load so the head or nut do not recess into the joint material.
We decided that the real problem is with the rubber bushings in the joint and the orientation of the bolt.

Jim rushed out some parts for me, he had some ideas to fix this once and for all.







In this photo you can see a bolt that was starting to break when it was removed. Notice how it was bending at the end of the threads. That is not the strongest part of the bolt.





The bolt on the right is the bent one in its original position. Jim had the idea to flip the bolt over (like the new bolt on the left), that way the bolt shank will hit the joint instead of the top of the threads. Seems like it will be much stronger.




Here's a pic of the new metal bushings.




I installed everything the way Jim suggested and there were some clearance issues.




Jim knew it was going to be close. That's why they (BRP) instruct people to install the bolts in the opposite direction.

Bolt length as supplied.





Bolt length after shortening the second time.




After shaving off 2mm I had clearance from the frame. An easier way to solve this clearance issue would've been to install a 2mm washer between the bar mount and the top bushing. Hindsight is always 20/20.






All back together.




Ready for testing. I sure hope this puts an end to the snapped bolts. Having this happen twice and not crashing was really lucky, I'm not so keen on trying my luck with a third time.



Thanks to Jim Rios and BRP for really standing behind their product.

Let the testing commence.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:11 PM   #925
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Well, the bent bolt supports my theory about the bolts being loaded in bending. I like the design from the my viewpoint from my easy chair. Hopefully this works well. Keep them tight, if the joints creep, crush, or fret the bolts will break again. If you find fretting or crush you need to increase the bearing area.

Good Luck

I would think that the standard set up might work, but the tall bars with the risers, damper, and the hard riding this bike gets all work against the original diameter bolts. In other words, don't put apehangers on your bike Matt. ;-)

David
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:26 PM   #926
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:49 AM   #927
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That dude is probably no longer with us!!!
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:14 AM   #928
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>"Ready for testing. I sure hope this puts an end to the snapped bolts."

Interesting... flexible bushings... along with a very hard bolt.
Seems like the two systems are working against each other.

Wonder if a more er... 'flexible' bolt would work.

For example: Cut 1 end of the bolt into a spherical shape, machine a seat in the triple clamp.
This would allow it to flex along with the rubber. Could probably use a specially cut washer to
do it too rather than machining the triple clamp or bar mount. Similar to 'stay' bolts
used in steam boiler manufacture.

http://www.sdrm.org/faqs/boilers/page45.html


Either that or find a more flexible alloy for the bolt.
In the old days, the boiler manufacturers specified iron bolts...
'free from steel'.

Here's a sample of flexible 'stay bolt'.

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Old 07-20-2014, 10:30 PM   #929
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Thanks for posting this info Matt. I'm doing a 2 week trip in September and want to address this issue before that ride. I spoke with Mike at BRP today and they shortened the bushings and bolts slightly to eliminate the clearance issue. Ordered a set of the above and should have them in the next few weeks. The bolts should be torqued to 26 foot pounds, no loctite required with the nylon nuts. Will be good piece-of-mind knowing these bolts won't snap in BFE somewhere in Arizona or Utah.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:03 PM   #930
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Received the new Scotts triple bolts and bushings from BRP today. Hopefully, they never snap out in the badlandse...we will see.

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