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I'm trying to make some repairs after a collision. My lower cowl got cracked on impact with a curb. This is the part that's held on with 3 Philips head screws. The service manual calls it the "under cover."

The center screw won't come out. It's in a position where you can't easily apply the needed force to get it out. I took it to a local bike mechanic for advice. He tried too and unfortunately rounded the Philips screw to the point it is useless. The screw is also recessed, so squaring it off, etc. would be hard, and you still couldn't get a wrench on it.

Since it's broken anyway, I am thinking of breaking the cowl part to bits so I can get to the screw and remove it with brute force. I'm a little worried about busting the plastic away then still not being able to get the screw out. Any other ideas?

p.s. That is a lousy spot to use a screw. It gets a lot of road spray, and can't be worked on from head-on. I plan to replace it with a hex head bolt. You might think about doing that proactively if yours is still removable.

Thanks.
Eric
 

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You can't drill it out? You should be able to get at it with a side angle drill, after turning the wheel to the side.
 

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you can drill some little holes around it so it will break away clean around the screw then just use a bigger flat washer to reinstall....nobody sees it anyway...i think all 3 on mine are done like that...from stress cracking and age
 

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I bought a set. Save your money.
 

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use a dremel, with a cut disk make a line to use a flat screwdriver with an impact hammer. or just file the whole screw head carefuly cuz it will get really hot and melt the plastic, or just get the head rly hot to melt the plastic and pull the cover.
 

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No point in further damaging the lower cowl, use a right angle drill and left handed drill bits. If you don't have either you can get a right angle adapter from Harbor Freight and a set of left hand bits. Then you can get a bit straight in on the center screw. Drill using a bit a bit larger than the bolt shank. that will either cut the head off the screw so you can remove the lower cowl or it will back out the screw.
 

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Last year mine did the same thing and I drilled off thescrew head andthreded the rest out from the backside with chanel loc`s.It worked well for me.
 

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OK, thanks guys. I was afraid that drilling the head off might not leave enough shaft to get vise-grips onto, but T-rev confirms it can be done. I'll have to go shopping for a new drill or a dremel. My plain old everyday drill won't get in there.

Thanks again everyone!
 

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You can pick up a right angle drill atachment for your regular drill at almost any tool store for $7-$20 .And if you cant get out with the chanel loc`s you can get the dremel in there and cut a slot in it and back it out.(after the cowl is out of the way.)
 

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grambo wrote:
you can drill some little holes around it so it will break away clean around the screw then just use a bigger flat washer to reinstall....nobody sees it anyway...i think all 3 on mine are done like that...from stress cracking and age
Hi Eric

http://www.tooled-up.com/PopupZoom.aspx?PID=119434

I used a small one of these slightly bigger than the screw head and washer and gently worked it by hand.Took a couple of minutes but the cowl then came away clean.
I then cut a piece of plastic oversize and glued it into place to repair the cowl.
Once the cowl is out of the way a small pair of vice grips will remove the damaged screw.

Regards Steve
 

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JerseyWinger wrote:
ideas?

p.s. That is a lousy spot to use a screw. It gets a lot of road spray, and can't be worked on from head-on. I plan to replace it with a hex head bolt. You might think about doing that proactively if yours is still removable.

Thanks.
Eric
Good idea re the hex heador a socket head screw. :clapper:That one is a pain.

Good luck with your bashing.
 

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I've never had any problem removing or replacing the three screws in the lower cowl, you can get a straight shot at the center one with a stubby screwdriver with the handlebar turned all the way over to one side.
 

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Well, I went on a shopping spree today at Harbor Freight. I learned about them from this forum, so I located a store near work. Never been there before. Lots of tempting stuff there! Anyway, I got a 90 degree drill (good for other uses) and some extractor bits and regular drill bits. Got home and found all of the small bits are missing from the box. Now I have some other stuff going on for a few days, so I won't be able to get back to this for a while. Meanwhile, I thank you all for your suggestions. The oversize washers are a good fix if I have to bust it out. But I'm going to try to drill it out first. And I'll still go with a hex head replacement as cheap insurance.
 

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Well, it was warm yesterday, so I went to work in the garage. After about two hours, I got the darn cowl off. I tried using the screw extractors. What a waste of money. Drill a tiny hole. Try the tiny extractor. Can't get a bite. Same with the second size. Now try the third size, and the drill bit breaks off clean in the screw. Great. Now my choice is to drill out the drill bit or give up and start breaking plastic. I chose the latter. I did what grambo suggested and drilled a bunch of little holes so it would break where I wanted it to. Broke another drill bit while drilling plastic! Cheap garbarge. Maybe my muscles were a bit shaky at that point. Anyway, I got the damn thing off. Now I just hope the new cowl that I bought on ebay shows up. Sorry if it was any of you guys bidding against me, but I really want to get my repairs done and go riding.

Thanks again for all the advice and encouragement. I may even give the timing belts a go while I'm in there.

Eric
 
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