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Camshafts, broken cam tips, cam sprockets, lifters (followers), alternator & cam seals, crank nose bearing, etc. Sports-cams installations. Assembly lubricants.

STOCK, original equipment camshafts:

For the stock cams, at .0787″ valve lift (2 mm), the timings are as follows, keep in mind that two types of these cams installation available, the 3° advanced one & the not advanced one.

R50/5, R60/5, and R60/6 to 1975:
BMW issued a SI on that camshaft, saying that some published information was NOT correct. BMW said the correct figures are:
Intake Opens TDC; Intake Closes 40° ABDC; Exhaust Opens 40° BBDC; Ex Closes was illegible, but I am sure it said 40° BTDC. If you were to look up the sprocket and camshaft in the present parts fiche, it would be 11-31-1-250-253, sprocket.
284° camshaft, used UP TO 09/1975, 11-31-1-259-262.

UNfortunately, BMW is confusing itself. You will find that other manuals say Intake Opens 40°ATDC….all the numbers are 40°; that includes the intake opening at 40° ATDC.

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Airhead Main Seal Driver

The main seal at the back of the R100 motor is large (more than three inches on the outside diameter) and narrow, making installation a challenge without the proper tool. When removing the transmission for a main shaft circlip upgrade, I noticed that the main seal that I’d installed with a drift and hammer was leaking between the engine case and the OD of the seal. More than likely this was do to bending the seal body with the drift, since it’s almost impossible to keep the seal square to the bore all the way around using that method. While I was at Ted Porter’s BMW shop I noticed a main seal installation tool laying on his bench, and asked if I could copy some dimensions from it. Ted readily agreed, and even offered to read the dimensions off as I wrote them down. Unfortunately, his eyeballs are as bad as mine, and it took both of us to read the caliper! Regardless, on my return home I sat down at the computer and knocked out a drawing, simplified from the driver on Ted’s bench to make fabrication in my small shop a bit easier. You can jump to a larger version by clicking on the thumbnail.

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Airhead Cylinder Base Sealant

Everyone has things they swear by, and sealants for engines seems to be one of them. Back in my Norton days I gave up on Hylomar because I found it would only remain leak free for a few thousand miles. One of my buddies mentioned that his Yamaha dealer used some stuff called Yamabond to keep the oil in his two stroke dirt bike, and I figured if it could keep that motor dry it was worth a try for the Nortons. It was, and it worked very well. When I started working on Airhead BMWs it was only natural to continue using Yamabond (now a days called Three Bond 1209), and it continued to work well. Right up until the day I pulled a cylinder for a compression bump upgrade and found ThreeBond almost blocking the oil passages leading up to the valve gear. Clearly I’d used way too much of a good thing and almost caused me a bunch of trouble in the process. So when the Gurus on the Airheads mailing list recommended Hylomar because if too much was used the extra would float harmlessly away in the oil, it made sense and I started using it again. Of course my old tube from the 1980’s was dry, but since those days Permatex started carrying it and a quick trip down to Kragen’s and I was back in business. However, it seems Permatex is no longer distributing Hylomar, and while my tube should last me another ten years, there are other Gurus that contend, as I had found with the Nortons, that the Hylomar would not provide a good cylinder base seal over the long run. And these guys recommend the Permatex equivalent of ThreeBond 1209, a silicon based sealant.

One of these Gurus is Ted Porter, principal of The Beemer Shop in Scotts Valley, California. I visited Ted one misty January afternoon to drop off a transmission for a mainshaft circlip installation, and during the course of our conversation I mentioned the Airheads sealant thread. He offered to show me how he uses the silicon based sealants.

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