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I bought a 98 Vulcan 1500 Classic with 6,700 miles in June. The owner took vey good care of it and put every piece of chrome on he could.

Lately I noticed it taking more effort on left turns and a slight vibration. Further inspection showed the top of the left fork tube sticking up about 7/16" above the bridge. I posted in the mechanics forum and got directions on how to repair it. The reply said it should never happen.

Long story short the previous owner put chrome fork covers on including chrome bolts and either the chrome came off the bolt threads or the chrome/aluminum combination corroded and ruined the threads.

Talked to my local dealer and he said they have had a lot of problems with chrome bolts and aluminum housings. Look like my winter project is to replace all the chrome bolts.
 

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Hello Grunt, Beaver here. You didn't mention how your damaged threads were repaired. I have worked with many aluminum marine housings that lost their threads even to stainless bolts. I always heli-coil aluminum and cast iron damaged threads. Just in case you don't know what they are, heli-coil ( and other brands) repairs are stainless thread replacements. They are oversize on the outside and the correct thread size for the bolt.
I always use a very small amount of an anti sieze compound on any bolt going into aluminum. Using the proper torque, I have never had a bolt work loose because I used anti sieze. I use a lot of stainless bolts in my project work, especially when it is with an appearance item. They never rust and there is no chrome to flake off. Whadda ya think??
 

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Hello Beaver,

Thanks for the reply. I have used antiseize on all repairs for years without any problems. The previous owner did not. I have also used heli coils a couple of times. Forgot about them, good suggestion. I am not up on metric sizes but the bolt head is around 1/2" and the bridge is 1 1/8" thick so I should have enough metal to use a heli coil? Will have to pull the bridge and put it in a drill press.

Since there is only a month or two left of riding, I just retighten the bolt for now. When I went to remove it, I got 1 turn and then it froze. It seems to torque up o.k. I check it before every ride and have put 150 miles on it with no problems. Will remove it and make the permanent repair this winter.

If your looking for work, the flood last Friday in the Pittsburgh area created a lot. A local marina lost all their docks and a lot of expensive boats went over a dam and are scattered in various places along the river. The local salvage companies are charging up to 10% of the boats value to recover them. Glad I bought a bike instead of a boat.
 

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Hello again Grunt, beaver here. 1/2" equates to 13mm. The shank size of your bolt should be 8mm. A quick "micrometer" to measure the shank size of your bolt is an open end wrench. The wrench that fits the shank perfectly is the bolt size. If you get a single size heli-coil kit, you can go to your local hardware store and have them measure the thread size and pitch of your bolt. Metrics come in at least 3 thread pitches for each size bolt. You may have figured it out already, but bolts are measured by the shank size and not the head size.
I personally would not go to the trouble of using a drill press to do the repair. The hole will guide your drill bit while you are being very careful. If you spray the hole and drill bit with WD40 just prior to drilling, there will be much less chance of the bit "grabbing". That will happen even in a drill press if you have a dry hole to drill. If you feel better about using a drill press, that is good. A good press vise that can be secured to the drill press table is essential. Attached to your motorcycle, the part you need to drill is already secure.
Thanks for the tip about work in Pa. I was born in Montrose. I live in Florida on permanent and total disability. Good pension, and at least even though I can't walk much, I can ride again. I have been in the mechanical trades all my life and have built many custom vehicles. All of my experience is available to share. I hope this info helps. beaver
 
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