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Yamaha Tech Originally the Yamaha XT600 Tech Forum, due to demand it now includes all Yamaha's technical / mechanical / repair / preparation questions.
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  #1  
Old 3 Feb 2012
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Should I bother removing my headers to clean them?

Hi,

My headers are rusty on my XT600E but not rotten. I was planning on removing them, getting rid of the rust, painting them and refitting.

I've heard horror stories of the studs snapping like they are made of cheese.

Also, supposing all goes well I can refit the nuts with copper grease to hopefully stop them from seizing in the future.

Worth the risk?

Cheers
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Old 3 Feb 2012
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You're right. The studs are like cheese... You can try getting them nice and hot first and having a go.

Personally, I'd remove the pipes and ditch them. Get some stainless ones from Motad if you're planning on keeping the bike long term. If not, just leave them on and wait for them to rot. They will probably last a lot longer than you think unless they are seriously pitted.

If you do get the bolts out, get some new bolts (HEX head) and put them in with plenty of copper grease.


Painting header pipes is usually a waste of time. It takes LOADS AND LOADS of preparation to get the rust off and you will spend about £20 in high temp paint which will only wear off in a couple of years with the weather.
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Old 3 Feb 2012
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Thanks Ted for the info. You know what, they'll last until April when I go to Morocco, I'll have a go when it becomes absolutely necessary. Until then I'll use ACF-50 on them a regularly soak the nuts in penetrating oil.
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Old 3 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBaldReverend View Post
Thanks Ted for the info. You know what, they'll last until April when I go to Morocco, I'll have a go when it becomes absolutely necessary. Until then I'll use ACF-50 on them a regularly soak the nuts in penetrating oil.
Exactly... If it ain't broke don't fix it..

Once you go down that route of "If it ain't broke , fix it until it is" , things start getting expensive and stressful.

Trust me. I know the hard way.
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Old 4 Feb 2012
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+1 ditch them pipes & get some stainless jobbies, like Ted said do it when the heads warm & plenty of penatrating fluid even days before you attempt to remove them.

Quite often the whole stud will come out with the nut welded on with rust, if that`s the case just buy new studs. Don`t go & re-use them even if you can get the nut off in a vice, just replace with new & smear some copperslip on as well for future.

Ive removed 20 odd in the last couple of years & on half of them the whole stud came out the head (nut seized on the stud) this is why its good to do it with a hot engine (head expands).

Mezo.
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Old 4 Feb 2012
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I will do it later in the year - I'm hoping a regular soaking in penetrating oil until then will help me.

Having said that, I've never had a stud break on any other bike, are the XT's particularly prone to this?
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Old 4 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBaldReverend View Post
I will do it later in the year - I'm hoping a regular soaking in penetrating oil until then will help me.

Having said that, I've never had a stud break on any other bike, are the XT's particularly prone to this?
Yeah.. They are too small for the job. They are m6 if I remember correctly. They also get all the shit off the road on them.


ANYONE who owns an XT should remove them and copper grease them every year or two.
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Old 4 Feb 2012
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Is it worth heating each nut in turn before even trying to remove them, just to help that little bit?
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Old 4 Feb 2012
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Originally Posted by TheBaldReverend View Post
Is it worth heating each nut in turn before even trying to remove them, just to help that little bit?
It's worth getting a blow torch or some oxyacetylene and getting them AS HOT AS POSSIBLE.

If they are heavily corroded they WILL break unless you are REALLY lucky.

Seriously. I've had about four XT600E's in my workshop needing the heads removed to get the broken studs out. They were only a few years old and already breaking.
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  #10  
Old 4 Feb 2012
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Fit Stainless Steel studs and you can get brass nuts which are double the height of normal ones and this combination does not corrode, a little cooper grease and you will be fine for years to come. Just remember to use a 6 sided socket as the brass is soft and you can round them off using a 12 sided socket.

Last edited by clankymike; 6 Feb 2012 at 00:43.
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  #11  
Old 5 Feb 2012
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Heating metal will expand that material that is heated (metal)

So I do not recommend heating of the stud.

All metal rusts some (ss) just take longer, so less service of studs. Copper grease no bad thing.

The main problems is the nut rusting onto the stud and this is one reason as to the use of brass nuts also the stud corroding into the cylinder.

I have had several times the problem of nuts rusting onto the stud but have always manged to free them with patiant coaxing. How

Ensure thread of stud is clear of rust where it is possible to access.

Same for the face of the hex on the nut.

Wind on to stud new nut and align with old nut.
This now gives you a greater surface area to which you can apply preasure to release offending nut (with well fitting socket or ring spanner)
Application of releasing fluid days prior to removal will/may help.

If the stud is not moving try a little pressure in reverse this can often crack the seal which is rust and alloy corrosion.

Heating the alloy in just the area around the stud is only going to crack your cylinder head. Maybe heat the engine then spray some plumbers freeze spray on the stud (only) This way one expands the metal on the head and reduces the stud within the thread of the cylinder.

Try some ACF50 to help protect from rust on your bike particularly whilst all this salt is being spread on the roads.

Anyway B/Rev if you were in the scouts you should be prepared.

Good luck when the time comes.

Socks
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Old 5 Feb 2012
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Heating up a stud that is threaded into alloy to red heat and then letting it cool down before you try to remove it is one of the best ways to get them out of the alloy without damage .But only heat the nut or stud - not the alloy .
The steel expands and then contracts and loosens itself ,furthermore the oxidation and corrosion is burnt away or cracked and any penetrating oil that you apply will now get to work much faster .
Use a small flame like an oxy acetylene torch or one of those small propane plumbers torches .
Then use new studs when you replace the exhaust system.

If you want to get a nut off a stud or bolt that is well rusted on ,wire brush it well to remove as much rust as possible and then heat the nut red hot .Do it fast so that the stud [or bolt ] remains cooler .Then ease the nut off with a six sided socket or wrench . The heat will expand the nut and break the rust film that binds the nut to the stud .
Easy !
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  #13  
Old 5 Feb 2012
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Thanks again for the info everyone, it's extremely helpful and appreciated.

It's half amusing really, almost as everyone is speaking in hushed tones about the story of removing their header pipes

Of course it's not really amusing as a cock up here can cause some serious ball ache. Yamaha made a great bike and to have something like this let it down is disappointing.

Anyway, I had a look at my nuts yesterday (ooer missus) and they don't look too rusty TBH, are they out to deceive me and snap the studs anyway?

There's part of my dying to have a go at undoing them but I'll kick myself if I snap a stud.
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Old 5 Feb 2012
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Hi there !

I wish you the best of luck in removing the studs/headers. Mine were in such a bad state I ended up taking off the cylinder head (on the advice of ted) Which was the best way for me. I think mine were an extreme example though, I was unable to even remove the headers there was so much crud built up around them and I ended up drilling out the studs after each one snapped. I too had used penetrating oil for weeks in the lead up to replacement, but to no avail. Got there in the end though and now have stainless studs, lashings of copper grease, shiny motad downpipes and a fine sense of accomplishment ! Bill
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  #15  
Old 6 Feb 2012
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Mine came right of, after 60.000km ish, and 7 years of riding, including winther with ost of salt on the roads. Was almost kinda disappointed that it went so smoothly, after hearing all theese stories. I wd40'ed the nuts a couple of days up to the disassembly.

Soeh, not always a PITA job to do.

On my now sold dt175, I would remove the header each year, to paint it. It was crazy expensive, so totally worth my time (1-2hour) and a can of 10$ high temp paint.
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