2003 Honda Shadow 750 ACE Deluxe
I'm talking about those three bolts along each side of the rear fender that might be used or replaced in order to install saddle bags or a sissy bar.
I have a 2003 Honda Shadow ACE (VT750CDA). I bought it used with saddle bags and a sissy bar already installed so I never really bothered to look at them until recently when I thought it might be neat to remove them and try riding without them for a bit.
I've been trying to get more into the mechanics of my bike and not knowing anything about mechanics in general has proven to be a bit of a challenge. So, I pulled out my no-name brand wrenches and decided that removing non-critical accessories would be a gentle introduction into a world that I'd previously only watched from the sidelines.
Removing the sissy bar and saddle bags was easy but the bolts were obviously too long and the original hardware was long gone. So what to do? Replacing these bolts turned out to be more of a challenge than I bargained for. I searched and searched for information about this and found nothing so having spent the better part of a day figuring this stuff out, I'd like to share it with everyone here.
The service manual tells us that there are six M8 flanged bolts that connect the fender. The two at the back on each side are typically removed or replaced when saddlebags or sissy bars are installed. The next two are used to support the front end of the sissy bar bracket.
The next bolt (third from the back and just behind the shocks) is different. This one doesn't hold the fender. It holds what is called the 'Grab Rail'. (Not sure why it's called that. Is the passenger supposed to grab this?) These bolts are M10 flanged bolts and they will typically hold the front end of the saddle bags.
This link shows us that the first M8 bolt is 30mm long while the second is 35mm long... and then the M10 bolt is 20mm long.
No problem, right? I'd simply pick up the corresponding bolts from the local hardware store and put them in myself, right? No so fast.
First thing is that my hardware store doesn't sell flanged bolts. They sell metric hex bolts but they aren't flanged and they are usually stainless steel or zinc-coated. Not chromed. My bike still had two of the original bolts in place and one looked pretty rusty so I decided to replace them as well. The new bolts wouldn't look as nice but at least they wouldn't be rusty.
The second thing required a little bit more education on bolts, in general. Specifically in regards to thread pitches. From boltscience.com:
Metric threads are designated by the letter M followed by the nominal major diameter of the thread and the pitch in millimeters. For example M10 x 1.0 indicates that the major diameter of the thread is 10mm and the pitch is 1.0mm. The absence of a pitch value indicates that a coarse thread is specified. For example stating that a thread is M10 indicates a coarse thread series is specified of diameter 10mm (giving the thread a pitch of 1.5mm).
Having obtained shiny new M10-1.50 20mm bolts from my local hardware store, I instantly realized they were the wrong fit when I couldn't thread them by hand beyond a 1/2 turn.
It turns out that hardware stores typically only stock standard sizes. Generally, as the diameter of the bolt increases so does the thread pitch. M8 bolts typically have 1.25mm threads and the ones that I bought worked fine but M10 bolts typically have 1.50mm threads and they didn't work. Holding the old bolts up next to my new ones clearly showed a difference in thread pitch and holding the old ones up to the M8 bolts showed that they were, in fact, M10 bolts with 1.25mm threads. They are non-standard bolts and are not typically carried by most hardware stores.
If anyone knows of a good source for flanged metric bolts with weird thread pitches, please post it here. I'd order from the link above, if needed, but paying $3.65 USD (plus shipping to Canada) for a single bolt seems a bit steep.
For me, I simply decided to put the bar/bags back on and leave it like that.
Like I said, I'm just sharing what I learned. I've spent enough time researching stuff on the internet to know that obscure little things like this can save someone a ton of trouble. I also noticed a number of older threads here that asked similar questions but contained dubious answers. Hope this helps someone. If it helped you, let me know below.
Next project is moving the foot controls forward. Should be easy... right? ;-)