I write stuff. A lot of it is about cars and motorcycles.

Why I Don’t Wrench

I decided to put my frame sliders on today. The FJR is pretty simple in this respect, because the two frame bolts are right out in the open, so no cutting or anything is required.

The thing is, I didn’t have a torque wrench, a 1omm hex driver, or a 17mm long bolt driver.

So, I whipped on over to Home Depot to pick up a torque wrench. Unfortunately, all they had were three foot long torque wrenches that put 1200 ft/lbs of torque on a bolt. That was a bit too much, and, since i was on the bike, I couldn’t see how I’d get the wrench home. The nice home Depot guy sent me across the parking lot to Auto Zone.

I went into Auto Zone, found $20 torque wrench, and a 10mm allen head driver, and, mistakenly picked out a 12mm instead of a 17mm driver for the slider bolt. I didn’t realize that quite yet, though.

Thinking I had everything I needed, I went out to the parking lot, pulled the left side engine bolt off, then tried to install the slider. Of course, the driver was the wrong size, so I had to go back inside, and exchange it for a 17mm.

So, it was back out to the bike, where I grabbed the new 17mm driver, and tried to attach it to the wrench. This didn’t work, because the wrench had a 3/8″ drive, and the socket was for a 1/2″ drive.

Back into the store I went, to get a 3/8 C 1/2 adapter for the torque wrench.

I then went out to the bike, got the torque wrench all put together, then picked up the slider for the left side. Naturally, the socket, while it fit the bolt perfectly, was too large to fit inside the bolt hole for the slider.

Now it’s back inside, to see if they have a smaller socket. As it happens, they do. It’s a 3/8″ drive socket, so now I get to exchange the adapter and big 17mm socket for the new one. Finally, I have the tools I need.

So, it’s back out to the bike. Once agin, I assemble the torque wrench and socket. Now I have to set the torque to manufacturer’s specs, with is 35 ft/lbs for the bolt. Naturally, the wrench itself is calibrated in inch/pounds.

So, now I have to try and do the math in my head to multiply 35 x 12 to figure out the number of in/lbs.

At last, after 25 minutes of buying, returning, and exchanging tools, I could install the sliders, which is literally 80 seconds of wrench turning.

And people wonder why I go to the dealership to have work done.

Give me a couple of pieces of wood, and I’ll build you something real nice. I’ve got my table saw, and my miter saw, my planer, my sander. No problem.

But cars and motorcycles? Forget it.

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