Airhead "Tips and Tricks"

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by elmoreman, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. Kentucky

    Kentucky Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,259
    Location:
    Daytona Beach, Florida
    If your airhead has been sitting for any period of time and one or both cylinders are not wanting to idle or run well at really small throttle openings there is a quick fix. Simply remove the float bowls and unscrew the idle jet. Spray through it with some choke and carb cleaner. After you put it back in the bike will likely idle great.
    Barry
  2. WnRn

    WnRn Left right out

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    995
    Location:
    Moved to Zombie Land.
    I hate oil leaks. I hate the smell of burning oil in a hot exhaust system. It just stinks. From the left side of the bike a burning oil smell was wafting up at me. Also I could see oil on the frame. Feeling around I found some very big drops of oil forming around the gear shift area. On closer inspection I could see the oil was getting past the gear shift seal.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Once the bike is leaning against the tree the gear shift lever was simply undone and moved out of the way. Then the old seal was prised out. Clean up where the seal came from. Get the new seal out of the fridge and rush out to fit it. Use the old seal as a drift and gently tap the new one in with the old one taking the brunt of the soft hammering.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Refit gear shift lever and job done. Wow so easy and quick. It took me longer to get the mattress out of the spare room and up against the tree than it did to change the seal.

    [​IMG]
  3. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,032
    Location:
    Road Island
    Gotta love the Airhead Stick-it-in-the-Freezer trick..... Well done!

    :lol3
  4. R-dubb

    R-dubb Dubbious Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,309
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I know Korn made a tool for this job, but I don't have it. :1drink

    I do have a number of wasted drive shafts. Newer, older, doesn't matter, its the wasted part that's important. Cut the bell off of the old shaft. I cut mine flush with the flat inner surface. Then weld the open ended bell to a flat bar (1-1/2 x 12 x 1/8") that is radiused to roughly fit the upper diameter. Pretty welds are not something I know how to make....:norton

    Now a 24mm socket will fit neatly into the hole. Open the locknut while holding the input shaft with the new tool. Highly effective :evil.

    The notched seal retainer ring you see in the lower picture opened easily on my drive with a sharp blow to blunt end drift. Seemed like a pretty safe move and it worked. I won't be able to measure the torque getting it back on, but I will get it on quite a bit tighter than it was coming off.

    BTW, if anyone ever needs to borrow the new tool, drop me a line.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  5. kixtand

    kixtand Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,223
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    True Airhead technology. Beautiful, simply beautiful.
  6. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,032
    Location:
    Road Island
    I learned this on the /2 website, but hadn't tried it on the /2 yet. Have an old /6 that I am redoing, down to the frame, and the bucket and wiring harness were coming out....

    The black interior of the bucket is a black hole :lol3 that makes it difficult to see or do anything. Like this was originally:




    Can't load more than one picture, so the next post shows the after.......

    Attached Files:

  7. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,032
    Location:
    Road Island
    So, after pulling out the harness, dis-assembling virtually everything, I am now having the fun part of putting it all back together. Easy does it....

    Painted the inside of the bucket white, what a difference!

    The easy part was the paint, the wiring was f-u-s-s-y work, but the reward was seeing the dash lights come on as hoped, and hearing her crank over complete with spark. Now, to put the tank, carbs, exhausts, etc etc.......:rofl

    Attached Files:

  8. r90cafe509

    r90cafe509 n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1
    does anyone know how many watts a '74 r90/6 alternator can handle? not sure if this is tips and tricks
  9. opposedcyljunkie

    opposedcyljunkie Heavyweight Boxer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,897
    Location:
    By the Lake

    What's with keeping seals in the freezer prior to installation? :scratch
  10. Cigars&Scotch

    Cigars&Scotch My eyes are up here

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,094
    Location:
    Fancy Pants of North Moran
    What happens when you jump in cold water?


    SHRINKAGE!!
  11. WnRn

    WnRn Left right out

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    995
    Location:
    Moved to Zombie Land.
    Thats correct. Makes it easier for them to slip into place with a gentle tap. Then when they go to the ambient temp they are nice and tight.
  12. opposedcyljunkie

    opposedcyljunkie Heavyweight Boxer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,897
    Location:
    By the Lake
    Thanks. Makes a lot of sense.

    And the "frozen" or stiffer seal does not get twisted when being inserted into a tight cavity, right?
  13. Jamie

    Jamie .

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,228
    Location:
    Shelby, NC
  14. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,032
    Location:
    Road Island
    Ignorance can be bliss..... I have been tearing down an old neglected 60/6 with my son. We pulled the tranny to inspect splines, and found a goopy gooky mess....rear main seal? So, dug in, got my parts along with advice that whilst I was in there I should replace the o-ring on the oil pump (which, in retrospect, had a nick in it and might have been the source of oil?). Anyway, the ignorance part had to do with not knowing that there is a special tool for installing the rear main seal. It is large, much larger than I expected. I tried tapping it in gently, but could not get it to start, so into the freezer went the big rear main seal.

    Let it SHRINKAGE nicely, was able to get it started quite easily with the temp differential, and tapped it in round-and-round with a dowel. Seems fine now, time will tell whether my ignorance will come back to bite me.... But, the freezer trick did let me get on with my project! Wish I had a photo of the new seal, but here's one of the gooky mess (oil+clutch dust=gookstuff):evil

    Attached Files:

  15. WnRn

    WnRn Left right out

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    995
    Location:
    Moved to Zombie Land.
    You still have to be gentle when you are putting it so it wont twist. Cooling it down makes it shrink a very small amount and allows the seal to go in easier. Also us a small amount of oil on the mating surfaces of both the seal and where the seal is going into.
  16. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,032
    Location:
    Road Island
    [​IMG] /6 Headlight lens fallout: solved!
    <hr style="color: rgb(87, 87, 87);" size="1"> <!-- / icon and title --> <!-- message --> I've been re-doing my /6, and one of the things that had been puzzling me was a crack in the headlight lens, all the way across. It soon became apparent, as I re-wired, painted and reinstalled, that the little clippy thingy on the bottom that is supposed to hold the lens "on", is really a POS. I am used to my /2, which has a screw that holds two tabs together to hold the lens assembly on: absolutely a positive connection.

    The headlight crack happened, I am sure, when the lens popped out and fell down onto the forks. And before I put my new $50 lens and gasket at risk, I needed to find a way to fix that sucka....:evil I tried drilling into the tab so that I could run a screw up into it, but you know what it's like trying to drill into spring metal... I thought maybe I could bend a paper clip to make a little gizmo to hold the two holes together, nah, mickey mouse.

    So this was my solution: zip ties. Yep, high-tech airhead zip ties. I am sure that there are the Kevlar equivalent to zip ties for the airline industry (anybody have a zip tie that won't chafe through over time.....?) but for the time being, my Home Depot zip tie does the job: neat, effective.

    Photo below is the routing of the zip tie. Notice the BMW color co-ordination, please:lol3

    Attached Files:

  17. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,032
    Location:
    Road Island
    And the finished product
    <hr style="color: rgb(87, 87, 87);" size="1"> <!-- / icon and title --> <!-- message --> Gently push together, pull zip tight, trim, and voila: problem solved.

    :evil
    <!-- / message --> <!-- attachments -->
    <!-- / attachments --><!-- sig --> __________________

    Attached Files:

  18. spencnor

    spencnor n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2
    You're right - the spring clip headlight retainer is a POS. With alot of patience I was able to drill the spring clip to accept a 6/32 stainless steel machine screw. Once you have the spring clip drilled you line up the drilled hole with the slot in the headlight housing and enlarge the slot just slightly to accept the screw. :clap
  19. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,032
    Location:
    Road Island
    You have more patience, and a sharper drillbit, than I.... that is what I started out thinking I would do, but soon the thought of zipties came in, and that was that! But absolutely, something has to be done. I, and many others, can post a picture of a cracked lens, having fallen out on the road.
  20. bikerlt

    bikerlt Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    60
    Been monkeying with my '83 R65 for a while now. I guess everybody accumulates some little tips along the way.

    Got so tired of having the seat slam down on my knuckles that I mounted a gas strut (the shortest one I could find was for a VW Scirocco trunk lid).

    First time I removed the front engine cover the shop manual emphasized in BIG BLOCK LETTERS to remove battery connections or take extra special pains NOT to ground the diode board with the cover. All this because the damn thing is fully exposed from the factory! I attached a square of gasket/insulation on the board to shield the PC connections. What the hell was it left exposed for in the first place?

    If this was mentioned I missed it, but a standard round automotive halogen lamp fits the headlight assembly perfectly once the three glass alignment tabs are ground off of the body. It just replaces all of the OEM innards and the original harness (happily) plugs right in.

    Bike is so tough on batteries that I did two little fixes. There's now an NAPA 1.5A trickle charger popriveted to the top of the air cleaner. Has a six inch pigtail that I just plug in occasionally if I'm not giving the charging system adequate workout (too many short hops). I also wanted to completely eliminate any possibility of passive grounds when shut off so I installed a battery disconnect under the tank. I got mine from a boat store. Just a high amp rotary switch with a removable red plastic key. It's an additionally safety for theft as well. Even if someone knew how to hotwire this bike, they'd not likely ever find the main switch under the tank.

    One of my favorite 'tips' is the use of black thermal shrink tubing. I liked the look of the cloth reinforced gas lines but not the way they frayed at the ends. An inch of shrink tubing on the ends before assembly finishes them off cleanly. It's been there for five years. This stuff is VERY chemical resistant.

    Where the throttle and choke lines enter the top of the carb has always been weak point. It's almost impossibe for them not to strain here. A few layers of shrink tubing of progressively longer pieces makes an unbeatable strain relief here.

    I was going to replace my spark plug wires a few years back just to improve the looks. They were horrifically expensive. I went back to the electronics supply house in town and got a couple of yards of heavy wall shrink tube with internal adhesive. This stuff is REALLY good for any applications that you'd like to keep moisture free. I slid it over the wires (get a size that is no more than twice the size of what you're covering... typical ratios on this stuff are 50percent shrinkage. Special types can shrink more than that, but specialty categories of this type of stuff can be very pricey). Put a bend in the leads that roughly conforms to the shape/bend required between the coil and spark plug and heat it down with a hot air gun. It's much better than new and looks fantastic.

    There are a few other spots on the bike that take this treatment well. It's amazing how much it contributes to both the reliability and looks.

    Replaced the shift linkage with stainless steel threaded rod and ball socket rod ends. I don't know how many other BMWs had the astonishingly cheesy little bent rod that mine had hiding within the little rubber accordion boot, but this was a huge imrovement. Original broke at 18K and when I got the boot off I was pretty angry that a bike so prized for it's reliability would have skimped here. I also redrilled the connection on the ear of the engine side shift half way between the original and the center point (shortened the shift travel) Maybe my bike shifts easier than others, but I saw no good reason whatsoever for having to move my boot so many damn inches to change gears. Much improved.

    Hmm, so many little things, but I'm probably abusing the space here by now.

    The glass lens broke on my speedo and I discovered that the antiglare stuff they use is (unless this has changed recently) just not available in the US. The only anti glare I could find was lightly frosted and looked like hell. BMW uses a light pebbling on the surface instead of frosting. I finally found my way to a clock/watch repair who had a good selection of convex clock lenses (essentially anti glare) and a pair were exactly the right diameter. Not safety glass, but they've been there for over five years now. They look much cooler than the originals in fact.

    Must be some more little tips, but I'll be civil here and save em for later.
    GREAT forum you guys!