In memory of Jim Adams - an R60/5 build diary

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by backdrifter, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    It looks really good.

    Just a comment on the final drive, when you finally tighten it down onto the swinging arm, make sure that the rear axel is in place, this makes sure that everything is lined up correctly.

    The splines on the drive shaft don't need greasing, the oil in the swinging arm keeps everything lubricated.

    Charles
  2. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Thanks Charles - I'll take all of the advice and suggestions that I can get!

    I realized after someone else pointed it out that I was mistakenly thinking the driveshaft splines were the final drive splines. No harm, no foul. I have the right grease now and will lube up the final drive splines when I get to that point.

    Thanks again for the help - I learn more every day!
  3. KLRUSERIOUS?

    KLRUSERIOUS? Farkle-whore

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  4. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Cool experiment, I'll be following it! Any more progress with your RZ350? I love those bikes!
  5. KLRUSERIOUS?

    KLRUSERIOUS? Farkle-whore

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    Hey bud, I have been shipped off to New York with work so I haven't been able to do any work on my LED experiment or my RZ's....BUT.....I am almost done with the one RZ. Got my progressive forks. I just have to paint the fork lowers and then mount them back up. All in all about a 5 hour job including the paint and whatnot but finding time has been hard.

    I will post some pics hopefully once I get back. Hope you are well brother!
  6. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    I got what I'm hoping will be the last required package from BMW Hucky yesterday. In it were some shiny stainless spokes. I found myself with a free hour this morning, so I figured I'd try lacing the rims up. Last time I did this was on my KTM 550 project, and for whatever reason, I found it really frustrating. If I remember correctly, there seemed to be more than one lacing pattern possible with the KTM rims, and after I had nearly completed one, I figured out that I had done it wrong.

    The BMW, on the other hand, was cake. There was no question - this spoke goes in this hole on the rim, period. It was almost like my 3 year old daughter's "square peg in the square hole" puzzle games, and half an hour later I had loosely laced both wheels. Now that I know how easy this was, it makes me furious that THIS is the step that tripped me up since May! Oh well, time to move forward, not gripe about what I should've done in the past.

    I'll still take the wheels to a shop to be trued, and while they're there, I'll focus on rebuilding the forks and getting the frame ready to be a true roller again. Then onto the finishing touches and buttoning up of the engine. I'm hoping things go much more quickly now....

    Front:
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    Rear:
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  7. WhisperTheWind

    WhisperTheWind Adventurer

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    Keep it up. You have me hanging on every post now.

    WTW.
  8. KLRUSERIOUS?

    KLRUSERIOUS? Farkle-whore

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    That is hot stuff!!:happay
  9. 53dodgekustom

    53dodgekustom Been here awhile

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    Looking good man. Were gonna need to go for a ride when you get it on the road.
  10. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Thanks for all the kind words!

    53dodgekustom - I will definitely be up for a ride when I get this thing on the road again! :thumb

    I rebuilt the forks today. I had originally planned to wait on this and get the bike up and running first, but later thought better of it and decided to go ahead and do it while the bike was apart. Like so many other things that I almost skipped out of either laziness, or dread of doing the work it A) was much needed and well worth it, and B) was much easier than I had anticipated.

    Getting started:

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    Fork rebuild kit from BMW Hucky:

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    I think it's funny how much of my time has been spent modifying tools to work with the BMW. Like this 13mm socket that I had to grind flat spots on so I could put a 17mm wrench on in order to remove the bottom nut of the forks (please disregard the girlie bandage - I cut myself pretty good right away, and the only bandages I could find were my 3 year old daughter's!):

    [​IMG]

    Another thing I've spent a lot of time doing is trying to get by without a tool that I don't have, only to give up and go to the store and buy the damn tool that I should've had in the first place. This time it was the snapring pliers that I needed to remove the circlip in the bottom of the fork. I should know better, but I still killed half an hour trying to do it the wrong way before I broke down and bought the tool I needed. :huh

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    The first thing to drop out was a hardly recognizable rubber bump-stop bushing. Yeah, I'd say it was time to rebuild the forks!

    [​IMG]

    Yes, definitely time:

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    The damper rod fully disassembled:

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    Installing new wiper rings reminded me a lot of replacing the piston rings:

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    New crush ring and rubber bump stop (which can't be seen). I was pretty impressed by how light the aluminum fork bottom is.

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    New oil seal:

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    Time for reassembly:

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    Nasty old parts that I removed:

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    And DONE!!!

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    I replaced all the washers, the springs, the rubber bushings, the crush washer on the bottom of the forks, and the fork seals. All in all, it took me about 2 hours, which included running to the store to get the snapring pliers. The first fork took me about an hour as I figured it all out, the second one took me about 25 minutes. A lot of time was spent washing each individual small part in soap and water with a toothbrush, and cleaning out the inside of the tubes. All in all though, pretty easy.

    It looks the same as when I started, but I feel MUCH better now! :beer
  11. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    I went out in the garage to straighten out the swingarm this morning. Last time I worked on the swingarm was when I installed the oil seals. I had put everything together loosely, but I still managed to strip out the pivot pin locknut, and I had forgotten to install these spacers:

    [​IMG]

    Getting the stripped locknut off of the pin wasn't too tough, but took some grunt. I was worried that the pin itself might be damaged too, but it looks like I lucked out:

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    The new nut screwed right on without issue:

    [​IMG]

    You may recall my girlie bandage from yesterday. I wasn't sure what I had cut myself on yesterday. I was working on removing the forks, I never felt anything, and all of the sudden my finger was gushing blood. Well it happened again today, this time on my thumb:

    [​IMG]

    Sorry for the shaky picture, that photo was taken left handed! This time I figured it out though. Turns out that hole cut in the front axle has VERY sharp edges! Lesson learned....

    [​IMG]

    I installed the swingarm, spaced it evenly as measured by a Vernier caliper, and then tightened the pins and locknuts down. The bike is now ready to accept the wheels and become a true roller again. Wooohooo! It will be the first time in over a year that the bike has been able to roll around without the help of my Craftsman jack! :D

    The wheels aren't quite ready yet (they still need to be trued), but I couldn't resist throwing them on and taking a look:

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    Ah yes..... not too shabby at all! I'm very happy with my decision to powdercoat the rims black. It was a decision that I went back and forth on for long time, and one that I'm happy with. It's one of the few subtle diversions from the stock look (others being the Euro low bars, and I'm going to ommit turn signals and use a much slicker tail light). Just different enough to clean up the lines and make the bike look a bit more muscular, in my opinion.

    And finally, I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I went ahead and ordered a new top not. Not installed yet, but you get the idea:

    [​IMG]

    Next I'm going to try to rig up a stand to use in an effort to true the rims on my own. If I'm successful, the bike may be a roller by early next week!
  12. Packer

    Packer Been here awhile

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    That is some learning curve you've been riding. The satisfaction you'll feel on the first sunny ride out will make you feel as though your vocabulary is impoverished.

    Can't you just fit the bearings and true the wheels in the frame?
  13. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Hi Packer - you're not kidding, I've learned more than I ever expected to when I started this project. It's funny to think back to how clueless I felt when I first removed the valve covers. I'm still learning and I'm certainly no guru, but I'm starting to feel like I know this bike inside and out, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I've worked on plenty of other bikes, but never at this deep of a level. It's been a blast! And I'm sure you're right - that first sunny ride is almost going to be a life changing event!

    I definitely think I could true the wheels on the bike, but I'm thinking it will be easier to set up a stand and ensure that the axle is level on the stand than it would be to level the entire bike. The bike is just strapped to a jack right now. Plus, it's getting cold here, and as you can tell from all the pictures, I prefer to work in the comfort of my kitchen (when the wife isn't home :D)!

    Well, I wasn't going to post this, but decided I truly want to document every step of the build, so here we go. I'm a complete dumbass. I went into the garage the other day to look at the wheels and start contemplating how the hub internals went back together when I noticed that the rear wheel (shown mounted loosely on the bike above) didn't have a drive spline. What did I do wrong? Yep, you guessed it - I laced the rear wheel to the front hub and vice versa. Damn! Oh well, honestly, lacing was kind of fun and I could use the practice. And in the long run, it actually ended up being beneficial for a few reasons. First, I ended up taking the hubs in to a local machine shop to have the inside bearing races removed. I'm confident they would've banged up the rims if the wheels were still together. As it is, they put a few scratches in the hubs. Secondly, I ended up placing the hubs in the oven to heat them up so the new bearing races would be easier to install. It worked like a charm, and I wouldn't have been able to do this with the rims laced up.

    I pulled out my bag of goodies and started trying to figure out how it all went back together. The wheels were some of the few items that I didn't label and organize as well as I should have during disassembly. This is mainly because I was in a rush to get the wheels to the powder coater, so I didn't remove everything systematically and place all of the parts on a string in order as I should have. It took me a few times of trying out different arrangements before I got the correct "stack". Speaking of, has anyone else noticed that the Clymer manual is absolutely WORTHLESS for /5 hub/wheel details? I have no idea what they were showing, but they had LOTS of parts that I didn't have, and I had parts that they didn't show. I ended up remembering that Papa had had a very old Haynes manual, so I pulled it out and it was a huge help.

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    Once I started to get a feel for the stack arrangement, I put the hubs into the oven at 200F.

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    Then I pulled the wheel bearings out of the freezer and packed them with grease:

    [​IMG]

    The wheel bearings and the grease in the hubs looked fresh, which made me think that someone had rebuilt the wheels fairly recently (which would have been 5 years ago at the most recent). I still replaced the bearings, cleaned out the old grease, and packed everything with Bel Ray waterproof grease for good measure.

    With the hubs hot, I installed the bearings and all of the hub components and then let them sit outside for a bit to get back to room temperature. Once they had cooled, I installed new endcap gaskets and bolted the encaps down with shiny new stainless bolts (with anti-seize, of course).

    One:

    [​IMG]

    T'other:

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    And then it was back to square one with lacing the wheels:

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    I'm getting faster and faster, though, and in half an hour I had both rims loosely laced up again.

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    So that's where I currently stand - the wheels need to be trued, and then I can mount the tires, and then it will finally be a roller again! I'm hoping to buy a spoke wrench and attempt trueing the rims tonight. Then I need to get to a shop and buy some tubes and the rubber ring that protects the tubes from the spokes inside of the rim. Even with the setback of lacing the rims to the wrong hubs (:ddog), I still think I'm on schedule to have a roller by this weekend.... :clap
  14. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    I also won an auction for these handle bar mounts yesterday. Mine have some unusual issue with the aluminum actually cracking and fraying. I've never seen it before, but it's something that couldn't just be buffed or polished out.

    I've been looking for some for quite a long time. Some of the decent ones I've seen have gone for $75 or more. :huh These look better than most that I've seen and I got them for $29 including shipping.

    These are the eBay pictures, I'll post some more of my own once I get them. They'll need a bit of polishing, but they're in much better shape than my current ones.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  15. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Went shopping today and came home with everything needed to try to true the rims and then mount the tires.

    New tubes front and rear, and the rubber tube protectors:

    [​IMG]

    Small metric wrench set:

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    5.5mm wrench that will act as my spoke wrench:

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    Then I started working on my stand:

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    I used a level to ensure that it was all true, and used the old axles because I didn't want to scratch up the shiny new stainless ones.

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    I mounted the front wheels, got all of the nipples snug, and then made a few reference marks on the wheel at 180 degrees. From there, I would put two turns on three spokes at a time, rotate the wheel 180 degrees and put two turns on the spokes at the opposite end of the wheel. I continued this way until I had made it around the wheel. Then I went back and tuned each spoke until the notes they gave off when rapping them with the wrench were all the same. I've played guitar for 24 years and have a very good ear, so I'm sure I had all of the spokes at very even tensions (this, of course, assumes that each spoke is exactly identical, as variances in spoke length and diameter would also affect the tones). When I was all done with the front wheel and happy that it the spokes were under even tension, I gave it a good spin and used a straw mounted to the stand and lined up next to the rim for a reference point . Gave it a good spin and..... disappointment. Despite my best efforts, the wheel wobbled more than I would have liked. All I have to compare it to are some YouTube videos I watched about trueing rims, however, there is no doubt that theirs turned out much better than mine.

    I was wondering if it was still good enough, so I decided to try the rear rim and see if I could do better. Nope, worse. Damn. I then played around with loosening the areas that I thought would need to be loosened, and tightening the opposite areas in an effort to straight the part of the rim where it seemed to wobble. I may have made improvements on both wheels, but I never felt like it was good enough.

    I'm disappointed that I couldn't pull this off, especially since I would've been able to mount the tires and had a roller tonight. But, I'm glad I tried it, and no harm, no foul. I've come too far to cut corners now, and I just didn't feel like I was getting it right.

    I'll call a few local shops tomorrow and see what they charge to true up two rims. Hopefully they can do them quickly so I can keep moving.
  16. elite-less

    elite-less Been here awhile

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    It's a finicky process. Took me about 2 hours per rim to true the wheels on my /5 for the first time.

    I would attach a dial indicator to your setup. It'll make truing the side-to-side and up-and-down runout of the rim much easier.

    Also, you need to measure the rim offset when truing /5 wheels. This will ensure both wheels are inline, when mounted on the bike, and adequately center between the front forks and rear swingarm. To determine the offset, just place a long straightedge on the drum side and use a caliper to measure the distance between the straightedge and rim. Whomever trues your wheels will need the below reference information.

    Hope this helps and keep up the great work!

    [​IMG]

    .
  17. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Thanks, elite-less, I appreciate the input. I was getting motivated to give it another shot tonight, but decided to make a few calls to see what the local shops would say. The local authorized BMW dealership said they don't have much luck trueing rims and wouldn't perform the work. :huh

    Really? With all of the BMW models past and present that have spoked wheels, they can't true a rim? Crazy.

    So then I called a small local Triumph dealer. The gentleman there was very friendly and seemed very knowledgeable. He said he's been trueing rims for 30 years and could have it done in a day or two. I asked how much and he estimated $30 per wheel. SOLD!!!!

    I'm dropping them off later today.
  18. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Came back from dropping the rims off to be trued and my new handlebar risers had arrived. Look Ma, I can steer now! :D

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  19. brocktoon

    brocktoon Been here awhile

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    That's some good info, elite-less. I need to have my wheels laced and trued. The shop nearest me that trues wheels is a motorcycle racing shop. Awesome guys, but they're not too concerned with Airhead arcana. The last time I was in they spent a good 30 minutes telling me why I should ditch the stock wheels on my /5 and use 17-inch rims instead. If I end up using them to do my wheel-building, at the very least I know I can hand them that sheet and ask them to follow it to the letter.

    Let us know how the Triumph guy does. Did you give him the sheet?
  20. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Yep, I brought the sheet in with me and gave it to them. Thanks elite-less, I'm sure that will be a big help! :clap

    There was a chance that he'd have the wheels done today. I'm not going to hold my breath, but I do hope I can pick them up today.