Tech Secrets

by Alan Buehner

Originally printed in the 2008 issue #38 of Still….Keeping Track

Our "experts" were on a "roll" back in December on the POG message board to help someone out on a problem that they were having. One thing let to another and a whole slew of "trade secrets" came out. I have copied them to this article to share this information with all of our POG members.

Carb access on Pen/KTMs is #%&@ tight. For quickest Bing jetting changes or float height settings, pull loose the fuel line, loosen the front carb clamp and rubber boot clamp, rotate 1/4 turn to the right ( away from pipe), pull the top two 7mm screws from the cap, pull the carb top loose just far enough to extend the spring and provide slack but not so far as to pull the slide and needle all the way out, then rotate the carb a full 90 degrees to the right. Working under the pipe from the bike's left side, you can pop loose the float bowl, replace jets, etc. When done, all can be put back in order in a couple of minutes.

If you do have reason to pull the slide & needle all the way out, most often the needle won't drop back into the needle jet easily, creating much frustration, swearing and Bingspletives. Far easier to pull the left side cover off, pull out the air cleaner, then stick your hand far into the airbox with long fingers down the carb throat, where you can get a digit or two on the needle with one hand while you urge the slide down with the other hand …usually goes right in that way and blood pressure gets back to normal.

-Jon McLean (OR)

Hi Jon, thanks for the tip, as a sidebar to re-centering the needle, I have had great success by removing the large throttle stop screw and insert a small piece of safety wire in thru the hole and wiggle the needle a bit, works so far on three different models … Adios,

-Tom Brosius

Hi Poggers, in keeping the "techshare" option alive, have the following: Small ISO vibe mounts for the clamp mounted VDO. McMaster-Carr p/n 9225K65, specs: M6x1 3/4in. height 1in. width (neoprene) male studs are 1/2 in. Adios, Penton Pals

-Tom Brosius

VDO illumination bulb BMW p/n 07119978279 $1.99 (12v2w) Adios Penton Pals.

-Tom Brosius

My tip is when dealing with rubber parts like the rubber shoes on the kick starter and the gear shift or the carb boot. Let the rubber soak in almost boiling water for about 10 seconds. This will make it very pliable and easy to install. They'll fit like socks on a rooster.

-Rod Whitman (Nebraska)

Was prepping to pull a head off of a 400 and came to one of the 13mm nuts on the head, got it off ok and then proceeded to lift the head off of the motor, now of course, the carb was not mounted …. off comes the head and one of the washers went flying off in the direction of the intake manifold ….. yipes, in a panic, I took a deep breath in hopes that I would find the washer sitting inside the intake manifold. I breathed another gasp and realized I positioned the piston at TDC ….. Visions of hysteria wreaked as I imagined if the washer fell into the bottom end. N Gawa Bwanna came out again (you stupid APE). As my luck continues, the washer was on top of the intake manifold, no harm done, prayed to the Penton God!. Better to be smart, than to be lucky; should have taped the intake manifold eh!

-Tom Brosius

I have a tech tip for that right out of "Ripley’s Believe It Or Not". I DID have a washer go into the bottom end once. Placing a small magnet inside the rod channel against one of the counter balances and slowly turning it. The foreign metal item came out 1st turn …. and then I inhaled a sigh of relief.

-Tom Benolkin

Ok Mr. Brosius! My PTT naturally (being from Arizona) involves heat baby-Yeah!, and the proper use of it. A small map or propane torch (they even have freon sized cans now), and a heat gun do wonders in persuading fork bushings, main bearings, rusty wheel bearings, races, and a host of other stubborn things that I have seen a lot of even "veteran" technicians struggle with. One of my guys at work the other day said the customer needs a new fork assy.-this one won't come apart. I asked did you try a little heat in the bushing area and, of course, he had never heard of heat in this application- (even with 30 years experience!).! went over and within 30 seconds had the fork apart unharmed. Of course you have to be careful where you use it (i.e. Magnesium, around fuel, contact cleaner, etc.-use common sense) but a little heat goes a long way sometimes.

If you heat your wheel bearing before attempting removal they are less likely to break apart leaving you with only an outer race to remove which can be a pain .. .I also use my heat gun a lot to heat up areas i'm putting seals in like countershaft and shift shaft seals-heat it up a bit and the seals slip right in.Also stickers,seat covers (i use a bit of heat gun to help stretch the covers),crusty old numbers can be removed from # plates in no time.Hope this helps somebody out there,someday!Happy Holidays to all my fellow POGGERS!!!Go Penton in

-Ric Emmal

If you've got a motor that's been sitting a long while and has become "one" try this. Head on down to Wally world or any such bargain store. Get one of the totes with a lid on it just big enough to set the motor in. Disassemble as much of the motor as you can, then set it in the tote, cover it with deisel fuel, put the lid on and let it soak [ totally submerge it]. Let it set for a week or so, then pull it out and drain out the fuel and see what's come loose. When you reach an impass, put it back in the fuel and let it soak some more. With a little patience you should be able to disassemble almost anything. I've managed to salvage more than a couple of motors this way. And as long as you keep the lid on, you can use the same fuel multiple times. try it, it works for me.

Recently completed the rebuild of a 78/400 motor …. testing the gearbox thru it's range, when shifting up to 6th and rotating the shafts, an instant bind occured within 1/3 rd. of c/s shaft rotation …… 6hrs later, after replacing one component one at a time, until I had the entire gearbox replaced, did I realize that human error could be a part of the problem …. .. As a lesson, I had 6th gear on the mainshaft upsidedown, which pushed the gear more towards the clutch side, that gear has a recess, that shoulda been facing outwards……

In recalling an episode from Super Hunky's book, he replaced an entire Can-Am motor for a friend, only to discover the pipe was plugged…… Moral to the story…… Humans find ways to complicate issues…. but Humans also find a way to fix them.

-Tom Brosius

I'spose this one does'nt really classify as a tech tip, but…. ….you can hear the ocean if you hold a MC5 airbox up to your ear.

-Bob Wardlow

Okay heres a tech tip for all you guys that don't put your bike away in September, when it gets "really cold out". Grind off the points of the ice screws before installing them in your tires. The rocks you hit in between ice patches and frost will less likely puncture your tube.


I've read several threads here on how to remove the needle bearings when they've started to become one with the swingarm. I went through the pain of removing the first one from my '74 400 by breaking the bearing ring and then gouging the cage away from the swingarm collar. After that little effort I wasn't looking forward to removing the second one.

But then I found a produce called Loctite Freeze & Release at the local hardware shop. Treating the bearing with this first and then using a washer & bolt puller - the bearing almost fell out.

So next time you face the enjoyable task of removing those pesky things, go get a can of this stuff and save yourself from inventing new swear words.


The Loctite part number is 996456…… it is a new product and some distributors dont know about it yet ….. BT

-Brian Taylor

Swingarm removal/bushing replacement (Six Day CMF):

  1. Swingarm bolt stuck to inner sleeve - with engine removed use a reciprocating saw to cut the sucker out. Make your first cut between the frame and swingarm. With the swingarm removed you may be able press/punch out the stuck bolt. If not, make next cuts between swingarm and rear engine mount. When cutting, stay away from the frame and engine mounts. I used a Bi-Metal, 6"-24tpi Recip Blade from Ace Hardware - PN # 2066422 and can verify that it is a very durable blade (8 cuts and still good). (When the swingarm bolt is stuck to the inner sleeve be careful and do not get to happy with a 12mm hex key and cheater bar. If the busing is really stuck, you will either strip the bolt threads, strip the socket head, or distort the frame. When you tum the bolt something is going to move or strip - don't ask)
  2. Bushing removal (rubber with inner and outer metal sleeves) - Option A: Beat and bang the old bushing out. Not recommended.
  • Option B: Heat swingarm bushing area with propane torch (be careful and do bum down the house) until the rubber begins to bubble. Place punch on inner sleeve and knock it out. Next, take recip saw and make two longitudinal cuts 180 degrees apart. Be careful and do not cut into swingarm. Take cold chisel and punch/peel the sleeve out.
  1. Bushing Installation. - Put new bushing in freezer to cool. Clean swingarm bushing mounting area. I used a Dremel sanding drum on the ID to make nice and shiny. Heat swingarm bushing area with propane torch. Don't get too carried away, you are just trying to get a little expansion on the swingarm and a little contraction on the bushing to make things easier. Put a little grease on the cold bushing and install quickly. Have a bushing driver (proper sized socket will work) handy in case you need to persuade bushing into location.

Sheared / Broken bolt removal: I recently had the 3 stator plate bolts shear on my son's Six Day. Since they are small diameter (5mm) I was not sure how I was going to get them out. I found a Craftsman "Drill-out, Screw-Out" micro power extractors to be the ticket (pn 9 52157, cost $40). This kit (4 extractors) is for 3-6mm extraction. On one end is a reverse drill bit and the other end is an "ez out". On two of the three sheared bolts the reverse drill successfully backed out the bolts. On the third bolt I drilled the hole, flipped the tool and tried to remove bolt with the e-z out but no luck. Next, I douched with P-B Blaster/ Kroil - no luck. I applied a little heat - no luck. I repeated the process over the next several hours with no luck. I then drilled the bolt through and reapplied the penetrating oil - no luck. I added heat … I gave up. The next day I went out to the shop, installed the e-z out and the bolt came out!! Tip - don't get in a hurry, be sure and drill in the center of the bolt, do not break e-z out. Got any more tips?

-Ernie P.