05-11-2011, 07:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: The Badlands (of NJ)
Pictorial: installation of Vario top case anti fly-off kit (retrofit kit)
Anti fly-off kit (retrofit kit)
Some of you may have found that the early versions of BMW R1200GS Vario top cases (trunk cases) had a bit of a problem. If you hit a pothole, the case could have become detached.
This is due to the fact that, under impact, the case can shift rearward and slip off the latch. (Guess how I know? )
This is NOT the same issue as cracks developing in case and/or base plate: even perfectly good cases could get detached.
BMW changed the design of the case and of the adapter plate (base plate), to reduce movement of the case under impact. A retrofit kit was developed for older cases, to be used with updated adapter plates (this kit was once offered under warranty). The design change - and the retrofit - consists of a locating pin in the recess of the top case, where the catch of the base plate fits in. This locating pin reduces fore-aft movements of the case. BTW, if you are searching the RepROM, BMW calls it a centering pin.
My bike is long out of warranty - I decided to install the retrofit on my own and to modify my existing base plate to accept it.
If you'd like to update your own top case - read on.
First, the retrofit kit. It consists of a threaded pin and a bolt with washer. BMW p/n is 71 607 707 246. It costs between $10 and $20 - depending where you get it.
The RepROM describes the installation under procedure number 71 60 064 - for use with new adapter plates (base plates). The procedure includes a template for drilling a hole in the bottom of the case, for the locating pin. This is the template:
Of course, it does not print true-to-size, but all dimensions are clearly shown and it is easy to draw it on your own. Draw and cut out the trapezoid.
The template is laid into the latch recess on the bottom of the top case. The dimensions leave a lot of leeway - center as much as possible. Mark the location of the center hole.
Once marked, drill a small pilot hole in the top case.
By the way, if the lid is still attached to the case, make sure to put a clean towel underneath, when working on the bottom side. Otherwise, even the tiniest grit particles will make marks on the aluminum sheet of the lid.
The BMW retrofit is designed to mate with a new adapter plate (base plate) which has a recessed hole to accept the locating pin. This is the hole in the latch/catch of a new plate. Picture is provided by Lensgrinder - thanks.
My adapter plate has no hole - I will need to drill it. It will not be as nice as the new one, without the extra recess, but it should do.
Nothing to lose, anyway - if I mess up, I'll have to buy a new one anyway.
To align the hole in the case and in the adapter plate, I installed the case on the rack and re-drilled the pilot hole from inside of the case, through the base plate.
Remember that the old adapter plate has webbing (reinforcing surfaces) directly underneath the hole - the drill bit will travel in the plastic without coming free. All you need is to reach depth of about 1/2".
Now, the actual hole in the bottom of the case. The nominal dimension is 11mm. I started with a 3/8" flat wood bit, which is just a tiny bit tighter than the needed 11mm.
Once the hole was made, I opened it with a Dremel tool - the size happened to be just perfect.
Now, drill the base plate. Careful: the bit can get tangled in the webbing underneath and jump off center. As long as the hole is oval only side-to-side, like my lousy results here, it's not a problem - the hole needs to be tight front-to-back. The initial cut was opened with the Dremel tool to fit the pin from the kit.
Now, install the pin into the case. The T-30 Torx bolt goes from the inside, the centering pin is tightened from underneath with an 8mm wrench.
That's it. Done.
The top case should lock tightly onto the adapter plate, with the locating pin fitting snugly into the hole in the base plate.
Notice the scuffed corner from the flying lesson of the case.
Here is the view from underneath: the arrow shows where the pin in the case protrudes into the hole in the base plate. There is still some webbing left beyond the hole (the plastic seen here above the pin), to maintain as much structural integrity as possible.
rdwalker screwed with this post 05-11-2011 at 08:02 PM