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Losing my shit over a stripped screw on the brake reservoir

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Herr_man, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Herr_man

    Herr_man XS400 Enthusiast

    Dear fellow enthusiast, I'm no mechanic but I thought it would be easy to change my brake fluid on my '82 XS400.
    • So I got the the brake fluid.
    • I hooked up the clear plastic tube to the drain plug and put the other end in a container with the end submerged in new fluid.
    • I opened the screws on the brake fluid reservoir, well here comes the shitty part, one of the screws were stripped so I went to buy a screw removal tool and a metal drill. The idea was to drill a tiny hole in the stripped screw and then screw down the screw removal tool and bring it up that way. Well the screw removal tool got chipped off and got stuck. I tried to drill through the chipped off part but to no use. I went to get the hardest metal screw the hardware store carries but it still doesn't work. It feels like the screw removal tool is made out of the hardest material known to man..

    So now I drained the bike on some fluid (by accident, I know I'm not suppose to drain before I topped of the reservoir) and I have no way to refill more. Any ideas how to fix this? Can I get a replacement part just for the plastic top on the reservoir or do I need to get the whole assembly.

    I am submitting some pictures for you to laugh at.

    Attached Files:

  2. Charles

    Charles XS400 Addict

    Can you slip a hacksaw blade between the cover and the body, try to saw the bolt through? At least you can take the cover off that way, then soak the remaining screw/bolt with penetrating oil and drill it out. You can try to drill out enough metal so that you can take a screwdriver and pry out what's left. Or, drill a hole big enough to screw another bolt in the hole, secure with JB Weld, wait a day for it to cure, then use that bolt to try to back the original screw/bolt out. Do you have a welder? You can tack weld another bolt to the existing bolt.
  3. Herr_man

    Herr_man XS400 Enthusiast

    I don't have a welder, but that would just melt the plastic reservoir wouldn't it? I like your idea with JB Weld, I will give that a shot tomorrow. But basically I would just us it as glue and attach a bolt to the whole mess and wait for it to harden and then use a wrench and give it a go?
  4. LuckyEight

    LuckyEight Head-scratcher

    This could work...
  5. Charles

    Charles XS400 Addict

    I wasn't aware the reservior was plastic.
    You can't get a drill bit in there at all? Ideally, drill a hole into the remaining screw, then JB weld a smaller bolt into the hole. But if you can get a bit in there, you can probably chip away at it.
    Do you have any spare metal to create a drilling jig? Figure out the center point of the screw based on the other three screws, drill a small hole into your spare metal jig where the center point is, then attach your jig using the other three holes to secure it, then use your predrilled hole as a guide to slip your bit through and drill down into the stripped screw.
  6. Herr_man

    Herr_man XS400 Enthusiast

    I can't drill any more, because the screw removal tool got chipped (twice) and jammed itself in the drilled hole, since the screw removal tool is so freaking solid, I can't drill past it, but I will try the JB weld trick.
  7. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    Grab a sharp pin punch and a 2oz hammer. Tap straight down to make a dimple and then tilt the punch so it is turning the screw out. A couple sharp taps from the hammer should have it turning.

    And for next time, a small impact driver with a JIS bit will loosen the screw with no drama.
  8. Specdog

    Specdog XS400 Addict

    Another Easy Out extractor horror story. I know you don't want to hear this right now but throw those things away. They almost always lead to more grief. There are better methods for removing broken bolts/stripped heads.
  9. Herr_man

    Herr_man XS400 Enthusiast

    I could do that if the screw extractor was not blocking the way, like I said it feels hard as a diamond
  10. ken56

    ken56 XS400 Enthusiast

    The screw extractor is hardened steel. That's why they tend to break. There's no way you're going to drill it out with out falling off center and possibly damaging the M/C cover. These are your brakes your playing with. Start pricing out a new m/c. I put a new one on last month, best $100 I ever spent. Ride with confidence.
  11. Herr_man

    Herr_man XS400 Enthusiast

    Which one did you get and from where?
  12. JPaganel

    JPaganel XS400 Addict

    Near as I can tell, reservoirs are not available separately from the MC. If you break it, you are in for MC replacement.
  13. Charles

    Charles XS400 Addict

    Ok, how bout this...can you get a dremel and use a small grinding tip to try to grind down/out the circumference of the screw, so there's no metal left that's actually holding down the cover?

  14. ken56

    ken56 XS400 Enthusiast

    Got mine from my local Yamaha dealer. Not the OEM Yamaha one but a cheaper replica. The casting is identical just doesn't have Yamaha stamped on it. Lots of options on E-Bay as well I just went to dealer to make sure I got the right one.
  15. Edward

    Edward 1978 XS400E

    I just replaced my MC with this cheapo from ebay just a couple months ago, takes a lot of patience to bleed new lines/MC (my first time, doing it manually too): http://www.ebay.com/itm/310669980665?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

    Only thing is that the entire assembly is bare metal color compared to black. I just saw that you're from Sweden... so the eBay post may not help, but maybe it'll help you find a cheap replacement. After bleeding, the new MC brakes very firmly.

    Like everyone else said, these are your front brakes, best to be sure they're solid. Might be a good time to swap out the brake lines too.
  16. eric123

    eric123 XS400 Addict

    Cut a groove in it with a dremel and use a flat blade screwdriver...
  17. Herr_man

    Herr_man XS400 Enthusiast

    Thanks everyone for all the awesome ideas, the JB Weld (similar brand) did not work, it just came off, what I ended up doing was to grind the plastic around the screw head off with a Dremel and crack the cover in the corner, it doesn't look pretty now, but I went to buy 4 new screws and I will try to make the cover look good again with plastic padding. I think it still is really tight. I will upload a picture soon.

    If this doesn't work well I will try to find a new aftermarket front brake master cylinder. My bike has a dirt bike handle which makes the reservoir tilt a lot, is that okay as long as the brake fluid is covering up the bottom part of the reservoir?

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