MC Enterprises Hiway Pegs for the Magna

August 27-31, 1998

MC Enterprises makes a set of highway pegs that are designed for the Magna - as opposed to the "Universal" kind which probably don't quite fit anything. I got a set, but I found I didn't have the tools to install them.

The instructions cavalierly state that you should remove the engine mounting bolts (one at a time, please!) to install the pegs. This turns out to be harder than it sounds. First of all, those things are really in there: the first time I tried it, I twisted off my cheap-ass socket adapter instead of twisting off the nut.

But even after getting a Craftsman socket and ratchet, I still wasn't there. See, that upper mounting bolt is actually threaded at both ends, and there's a nut behind the radiator, at the front of the engine, in addition to the one you can see from the outside. So turning that outside nut doesn't actually loosen anything: once you get over the original factory tightening, whole bolt and both nuts just spin in place.

Of course I knew what to do about this: get a handle on the inside nut and hold it fast while turning the outside nut. Now, this is just me, but I don't trust the usual open-ended wrenches that people use, especially for a job like this. Engine-mounting nuts are torqued down pretty tight at the factory (but less than 20 ft-lbs, according to my torque wrench), and I've rounded off plenty of nuts in my day using an open-ended wrench that didn't quite fit or that I didn't hold quite square. So I wanted a socket or something to go completely around the nut.

But you can't just throw a socket around that nut: the chrome valve cover cover is in the way, along with a chrome pipe or conduit which carries some emissions-related gasses to the top of the cylinder. I called a Honda shop to be sure I could remove the nuts holding this conduit in place without destroying the engine, and they said it would be fine. (You do have to put it back, though!) You do have to pull on the conduit to get it over the nut and out of the way - just be sure not to pull so hard you bend it and compress the inner diameter.

And another thing: the engine mounting bolt you get with the kit is longer than stock, to accomodate the bracket. The new bolt is so long that a good 3/4" hangs out from one side or the other. You'd better be sure to put most of that on the outside, because if it's sticking out on the inside, you won't be able to bend that conduit back into place.

Little of this would have been necessary if I'd had the Right Tool For The Job. What I wanted was a "box wrench." (Or is that "box-end wrench"?) Unlike most wrenches which have two arms but which are open on the far end, a box wrench goes all the way around. Look at your Magna's tool kit: there are two box-end wrenches in there, so you can see what I mean. Furthermore, the ones in your tool kit are flat and thin, stamped out of sheet metal instead of being drop-forged the way good tools are. A 14mm wrench of this design would be perfect for getting a lock on that inside nut without removing anything. Well, live and learn.

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Last modified August 31, 1998