The Airheads Beemer Club is a non-profit club reclaiming the 'Legendary Motorcycles of Germany'

Topic-icon Shipping a bike question / Introduction

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1 month 1 week ago #5345 by Wobbly
Replied by Wobbly on topic Shipping a bike question / Introduction

12771 wrote: I've never rebuilt anything in my life.


Welcome to the adventure ! :P

When everything is painted and back together, I find it is much easier to fill the system from the bottom. This chases the air out in a "natural" way. Otherwise when filling from the top you have fluid running down, while air is trying to go up. That can be very frustrating. Filling the system this way can be done with a $30 professional fluid pump, or an $8 hobby oil can. I use the latter. Of course, it's dedicated to brake fluid only.

I expect you'll be buying some tools along the way too. One of the first ones you'll need is a set of "Inside/Outside snap ring pliers" to get the plunger out of the m/c. Looks Like This

Hope this helps.

Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
#15150
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1 month 1 week ago #5346 by 12771
Replied by 12771 on topic Shipping a bike question / Introduction
I had only a little time today to work on the bike, and found that I didn’t have an 11mm wrench in my tool kit (some of its in storage) ... so I didn’t get very far.

This is what I see with the m/c. I’m assuming the reddish bit is rust and not leakage, since I can see no paint missing from the frame. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any buildup on the underlying electrical.

Would this much rust on the exterior itself bring into question the integrity of the m/c?
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1 month 1 week ago - 1 month 1 week ago #5348 by Wobbly
Replied by Wobbly on topic Shipping a bike question / Introduction

12771 wrote: I had only a little time today to work on the bike, and found that I didn’t have an 11mm wrench in my tool kit... so I didn’t get very far.

In a lot of cases you're going to need 2 wrenches of the main sizes, so just "bite the bullet" and go buy a cheap set of metric combination wrenches, sizes 8mm to 17mm. Combinations have 'open end' on one end and a 'box end' on the other.

12771 wrote: This is what I see with the m/c. I’m assuming the reddish bit is rust and not leakage, since I can see no paint missing from the frame. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any buildup on the underlying electrical.

So your m/c is simply weeping or seeping fluid. If it was leaking, then paint would be gone from the top mounting area on the frame tube.

12771 wrote: Would this much rust on the exterior itself bring into question the integrity of the m/c?

No. There's no way to know if your m/c is good or not without taking it apart and visually inspecting the bore. In fact, if that is the case, you may not even need the rebuild kit. Cleaning things up and reassembling often brings these things back to 100%. That's the biggest reason to do the work yourself.

But that does not mean your mechanic is a cheat. If he told a customer $15 to rebuild and then an inspection proved it needed a complete $200 m/c, that leads some customers to whine and complain. As a mechanic, it's simply easier to tell the customer $300, and then spring the gift of the lower price on them when they pick the bike up.

Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
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Last edit: 1 month 1 week ago by Wobbly.

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1 month 2 days ago #5370 by 12771
Replied by 12771 on topic Shipping a bike question / Introduction
Okay. Got a few new tools. Got some expert help (see photo) and removed the m/c and calipers, pulled them all apart, and cleaned them.

The m/c looks like it might have some pitting. Most of it looks okay, after cleaning it up, but there are a couple of spots lower down. Hopefully you can see them in the attached photo. Significant enough to warrant a new m/c? Should I err on the side of definitely-safe front brakes? I could only find this m/c assembly for about $370 - and a rebuild kit for about $70.

Calipers look good, but I’ll need a new piston for that, because the old one has rust ringing it. Photo also attached. EME has a piston kit for $70.

Also ... maybe this is a big newbie question, but dot 3 or dot 4? The sticker on my frame says dot 3, but Maw BMW sells dot 4, and it seems like that’s what I’ve seen recommended.

Thanks again for your help.
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1 month 19 hours ago #5373 by Wobbly
Replied by Wobbly on topic Shipping a bike question / Introduction
1) Help looks genuinely interested in the work, and yet small enough to take along should there be trouble on the road. We approve !

2) There are 2 piston seals. One does the pumping and one does the sealing to the outside world. Your issue area is small enough and far enough down the bore that that I would start with the rebuild kit. (You can mail me that saved $250 if you like. Or, you could take you new mechanic out for ice cream.)

3) You are correct on the piston. Once you break through the chrome plating it's toast. It will always have rust blooming from that point, which may keep the piston from doing "it's thing". A very uncertain result that is best rectified now.

4) DOT3 and DOT4 are the same except for the temperature rating. You want the higher rating. You can buy DOT4 locally at any good auto parts store. 2 small pint cans are better than 1 large can.

Now you're also going to need a new pump-type oil can and a short length (6") of 3/16 fuel line or battery breather hose. I like the clear hose so that you can inspect for air. The object of the exercise is to pump fluid into the bleed nipple, not air.

When you finish with the oil can, you'll need to completely disassemble and wash. The DOT4 will eat it up too if you're not really careful.

Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
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2 weeks 3 days ago #5454 by 12771
Replied by 12771 on topic Shipping a bike question / Introduction
I finished the m/c (see photo) and then reassembled the front brakes on Friday. They seem to be working ... so thank you very much for your help!

Today was the Utah Airhead Fall Tech Day, and I hauled my bike up to DeVern’s place and got some great help with my carburetors (see photo). Thanks especially to DeVern and Phil for their help.

We also swapped out my old, dead battery for a new one, but no lights came on at all when I turned the key on. My brother and I had been able to jumpstart the bike with the old battery back in June, before I had it shipped out here, but now there is absolutely nothing coming on at all. The battery had about 12.4 V of charge, but something is keeping it from flowing. DeVern also noticed that the kill switch didn’t seem to be working correctly - it was moving back and forth smoothly. Not sure what the electrical issue is. I plan to return the battery I bought, since it doesn’t actually fit - it’s off-the-shelf from an auto parts store - I just bought it so I would have something for the tech day.
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