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Old 04-11-2009, 04:25 PM   #1
duck OP
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Dr. Duck's BMW Switch Rehabilitation 12 Step Program

This applies to the dash switches used in K75s, K100s, K1100s and a few R bikes of the same era. I posted it at the K1100 forum and thought I'd post if here too in case it might be of use to someone.

Have your switches lost their spark? Do they not respond to your loving touch as they once used to? Do they feel all sticky and worn out? Have they lost the connection they had when you and your bike began your relationship?

Well, you have two options:

1) Throw away money at your local BMW stealership

or

2) Subject them to Dr. Duck's Switch Rehabilitation Clinic where they can be cured by undergoing our simple 12 step program.


Our program:

Step 1) Admit that your switch has a problem.

Step 2) Remove the switch from it's slot. With a little wiggling you can usually pull them out from the front although sometimes they need to be pushed out form the back. When you see the pictures below you'll get an idea of the prongs on the top and bottom that hold them in.

Step 2) Disconnect the switch from the wiring harness. I usually do the rehab in situ on the bike but there are tiny bits to lose so I'd recommend doing this on a workbench your first time out.

Step 3) Using a small screwdriver on each side pry the top part of the switch off. It pivots on a couple of nylon nipples. You need to pop both sides at once which is why you need two screwdrivers.



This is the step where you can lose tiny bits. In the rocker is a little tube holding a spring and a little part at the end which, when translated into English by German engineers, is called the little hollow phallus.



(Optional) If the graphic insert on the switch is worn (because you're a wimp and use your heated grips all of the time) you can push it out from the inside. A replacement can be had from BMW for about $4-5. They just pop right back in and make the switch look brand new again.

Step 4) From the side pry the back off of the switch. For some reason it seems to go easier if you do it on the side with the wire termnials. Now you see the little slider inside and understand how the switch works.

Step 5) Clean the contacts on the slider and the back of the switch. I usually just scrape them with one of my little screwdrivers until I see shiny copper.

Step 6) Clean/lubricate the switch. Soak a Q-tiip in WD-40. Clean out the inside of the switch where the slider goes and the sides of the slider.



Also do the upper outside of the switch body and the inside of the rocker.



Step 7) Check the wiriing. If a few strands of the wire have broken or it's broken altogether then it's time to get the soldering iron out.

Step 8) Melt the solder on the terminal and remove the old wire. When you melt the solder clean out the hole it in with a tack or needle to make room for the wire to pass through.



Step 9) Cut the old end of the wire off and strip about 1/4 inch. Then put it through the hole and resolder it.



Step 10) Put the slider in and snap the back on.



Step 11) Put the rocker back on. Before you do this use a pen or something to get the slider in a halfway position. Put the rocker on it's back (otherwise the little hollow phallus will escape) and push the switch straight into it.

Step 12) Reinstall the switch.

Repeat after me: I'm good enough, I connect well and doggonit, my owner likes me.

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Old 04-12-2009, 04:38 PM   #2
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This is kewl…

With your ofishul Okey-Dokey I can add it to the HoW.

JJ
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:47 AM   #3
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OK, I give.... what's "HoW?" Got a linky?
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:20 AM   #4
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HoW = Hall of Wisdom

Collection of tech write ups at the bottom of the page.
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:26 PM   #5
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OK, I hereby grant my official Okey-Dokey.

And now I know what the HoW is.....
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:53 PM   #6
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One suggestion to a great how-to....

If it is available to you, instead of using WD-40 for the cleanup of the switch parts, try electrical contact cleaner. It works a little better and leaves no residue. If its not easily available, don't waste gasoline looking for it. Just carry on with the WD-40.

Good job on the write-up.
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:22 PM   #7
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My purpose in using WD-40 is to provide a little lubricarion to the slider and rocker parts in addtion to cleaning them. Silicone lubricant might be a little better as the switches have a propensity to collect dust but hey, we're talking motorcycle switches here, not space shuttle control systems.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:39 PM   #8
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WD-40 probably isn't the best thing to use for this. While it does displace water upon application it doesn't do well in a dirty or moisture prone situation, especially a salt water environment. You'd do better with LPS-3 or a silicon paste or other dialetric grease.

JJ
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:34 PM   #9
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Ok so this thread has been added to the HoW.

JJ
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:52 AM   #10
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ADDENDUM: LED Backlighting Of Said Switches

Sometimes at night in the woods or out in the boonies where it's very dark I have trouble knowing exactly where the dash switches are on my RS-faired bikes. My solution is to backlight the hazard and ABS switches - with LEDs of course.

The picture's a little fuzzy due to the low lighting but you get the idea:



For a few years BMW made the hazard switch with a little bulb in it that would flash in unison with the hazard lights. As a legacy of this all BMW switches of this style have a little socket for that bulb in them:



The ABS and hazard switches both have translucent red graphic inserts in them so they make excellent candidates for backlighting with a red LED. Since I want the switches to just glow a little, not shine and be distracting, I chose to use 3mm diffused red 12V LEDs that can be purchased from websites like Mouser and Newark:



I drilled a small hole in each side of the little socket and inserted an LED:





Then I soldered wire to each terminal (the longer one is always positive on polarized LEDs), clipped off the excess LED terminal wires and took a blurry picture of it:



The LED's terminal wires are fairly brittle and break easily if subjected to repeated bending to I filled up the lower back half of the switch with epoxy to keep them from bending and breaking:



When I re-installed them on the bike I tapped into the parking light circuit to power them.

Project complete.
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