My 1st Airhead R75/6

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by lake_harley, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    :lol3

    My services are free of charge. When I started out, I had no clue what I was doing. I bumbled my way through some of it, but I had an airhead mentor offer his services over two or three Saturdays when I'd get stuck along the way. I'm no expert, but I am a much better airhead troubleshooter, bullshitter, and tinkerer than before. Plus, I now have plenty of spare parts to aide in the troubleshooting process that lake_harley might need.

    I moved from Missouri this month, but I'll be back over the holidays. Maybe I'll make an appearance!

    :photog
    #61
  2. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    CDD...At worst, maybe we could meet up in So County for lunch or dinner when you're back in MO.

    I had some time today and carefully disassembled, cleaned, dielectric greased and reassambled and have the cluster indicator bulbs at 100% now. Not in a good way. None of the lights come on, 100% of the time. Could the film strength of the dielectric grease be high enough to actually hold the parts from making contact? With my no-so-good-anymore 60 year old eyes I'll be darned if I could see the split in the female portion of the plug-in connection. I'll use a magnifying glass first for a better look, but if they're complete, round tubes I suppose they could be "ovaled" just the tiniest bit. I took the cover off the back of the cluster too, to access the bulbs and clean the contact points on the bulb holders. Yes, I was really careful with the thinnner-than-paper circuit board "tails" that the bulb-holder tangs make contact with on the circuit board. I had it all apart 2 times, the 2nd time cleaning off the dielectric grease. Still nothing lights up.

    When I get back from our trip, I'll give it another go, and use some contact cleaner on a Q-tip. That couldn't hurt anything if I'm careful, could it? I think, while everything will be apart, I'll also check the bulbs even though the filament on all three bulbs in question look to be intact.

    As I read somewhere, "we do it nice, because we do it twice". Well, that seems to apply to me, because too often things do get done multiple times! I'm glad I'm relatively patient and have the vision for the final product to be enjoyed in the end! The carrot on the end of the stick, so to speak.

    Lynn
    #62
  3. Horsehockey

    Horsehockey A GPS? Huh?

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    There's good 100% and bad 100%. You just happen to be stuck on bad 100% at the moment. I think this actually might represent progress. Stay with me now. I'm not so sure the females in the big black plug actually have a slit. In any case, I now suspect your pin #12 connection more than ever. If your ignition switch is still good, then the only thing I can think of that would turn you 100% bad on the cluster is no ground. What I do for this is pinch the female with a needle nose to "slightly" deform it (don't, for gosh sakes squish it). I don't think your DE grease is the issue. I'd get back on #12 and test it again. Have a great trip on that trouble-free Goldwing. Some actual riding will do you good.
    #63
  4. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    I'm also not so sure the females have a slit in them. I was imagining what they should look like. I really don't remember now what they do look like.

    And what Bill said. Seems to now be a bad ground. All the lights don't work? Seems to be something in common so what would that be? A ground.

    And I also think you are making progress. It's just not the kind of progress you can show the wife yet. They expect the lights to work. We know the lights all not working is a positive sign. But the women don't get it. It's a guy thing.
    #64
  5. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    I thought through the process of tightening up the female terminals, without runing them, while I was driving to dinner with my wife this evening, yet focusing on our conversation. How's that for multi tasking? She never suspected I was working on the motorcycle while we were having an engaging conversation:lol3

    Here's what I came up with to avoid a slip which could ruin the female terminals. I'll just find a wire, nail or whatever that has a slightly smaller diameter than the male plug post and, using a needlenose pliers, pinch them to the "die", inserted into the female terminal while pinching them, to ever so slightly oval shape them without running the risk of crushing them. Not too bad for an industrious bumpkin...conversing and thinking at the same time. Now...if I could just master walking and chewing bubblegum at the same time..........

    I also thought while I have things apart that I'd do some checking with a miltimeter for continuity, ground and power at the various plug terminals. After a quick look at the wiring diagram in the manual, I thought that the "common" between them all is a 12V power to the lights, with the grounds being acomplished at the various sending units (oil sending unit and neutral switch), or cancled by a working charging system? I might have looked at it wrong though.

    Thanks again.

    Lynn
    #65
  6. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    Got back from our trip yesterday and got to the garage today to look into the warning light problem. As best as I can tell the pin that mates with the #12 female on the plug (common to the OIL, GENERATOR and NEUTRAL lights) isn't making contact with the printed circuit strip. I have continuity between the "tongues" that the light holders plug into ( ie; the common tongue for the GEN and OIL light) but can't seem to get contact between the thin printed circuit strip and the pin. Is this somewhat common? I've thought about carefully cleaning the mating area and soldering the joint, but I'm concerned about overheating the base of the printed circuit unit and either misaligning the pin or loosening it in the base to the point that it's ruined. Of course, unless someone has a tip or trick I view the part as "ruined" now. I'm guessing the pins are cast into the plastic assembly, or are they pressed into place later?

    BTW...the '83 Gold Wing lasted another 1150 miles. Even rode Hwy 129, the Dragon/Deals Gap, in NC/TN with it while we were within about 70 miles anyway. Riding 2-up on a 'Wing on the Dragon to me was more work than fun, but now that's checked off the bucket list. No problems with the bike except having a paper towel wrapped around the fuel pump to keep the gas it started spitting out of the vent from spitting on my pant leg or catch fire on the exhaust. Time for a fuel pump, I guess.

    Thanks

    Lynn
    #66
  7. Horsehockey

    Horsehockey A GPS? Huh?

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    #67
  8. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    That seems to be worth a try. I found that a couple other pins are not conducting well either. I'll see if the local parts store has a kit, and check the price. I looked up the circuit board on bobsbmw and it's just under $90.00. Anyone have a good used one? May post it up on the airhead flea market.

    I'm getting anxious to ride this bike! After I get this problem fixed and spend some more time on the carb adjustment/balance I think it'll be about ready for a serious test ride. Up till now, it's only been up and down the road next to my house.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Lynn
    #68
  9. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    I'd double check that. I don't think the /6 pin/circuit boards are available. There are stories of people repairing these. You are right they can be damaged by heat but some riders have soldered them I think. Horsehocky's repair kit might be better beings it doesn't involve heat.

    There is also an inmate here at Adventure Rider that repairs them for you. It's his business. He has a good rep. His name is Wirespokes.
    #69
  10. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    I couldn't find the bulb socket board at Bob's. Is this the part number you have for that part? 62111356665
    #70
  11. Horsehockey

    Horsehockey A GPS? Huh?

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    I was reading some reviews of this stuff on Amazon and thought you might find this one interesting:

    "Used to 'repair' a printed circuit on my VW with great results. Much better than the multiple $$$$ to replace it. Worked great and with great results. It's paint, conducts electricity so works on a multitude of applications. "
    #71
  12. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    disston...yes, you're right, that's the number. When I looked back to bobs website I noticed the "E" denoting the part is discontinued. Didn't see that the first time. I guess it's on to plan B or however many letters it takes. Thanks.

    Lynn
    #72
  13. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    My attempt to fix the bad connections between pins and the copper(?) strips of the light cluster printed circuit board seem to have been successful. Where I had intermittent or non-functioning GEN, OIL and NEUTRAL lights before, I now have lights on each time when turning the key. Since it was intermittent before, I'm not ready to say my fix is 100% positive, but several on/off cycles suggest that all is well.

    I bought a small, pencil tip soldering iron and solder (resin core?) for electrical use. I bought the solder with the lowest melting point to minimize potential harm to the plastic body of the circuit board/light base while heating the parts. I think the solder is .032" diameter, which was the smallest they had at True Value Hardware, so the solder added to the connection could be kept minimal. I heated the base of the pin, while my wife held the pin from moving with a needlenose plier. I kept checking with the solder against the pin for high enough melting temp, and then added just enough to make a connection from the pin to circuit board strip. Since I had to cut back the plastic cover of the circuit board to expose the strips and potential joint, after I was done I cut a narrow strip of electrical tape to help hold the strips in place. Of course, once the light holders are pressed in they're captured. but I thought it couldn't hurt. I would have taken a picture of the "repair" but my camara doesn't do well on close-up shots.

    Thanks for all the advice given to help me through the problem. When it comes to repairs on my /6, I've consulted and read my Clymer manual but sometime the finer points of repair are not addressed, especially in a case like this where the part needed appears to no longer be available.

    Now I guess it's on to going through the carb sync process to get a smoother idle.

    Lynn
    #73
  14. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    Very good. It's a problem many have encountered but not all have been as successful as you have been. Congratulations. :clap

    For years we have waited for somebody, anybody, to undertake a project of manufacturing these things. Remanuafacture. Some have talked about looking into it. I have not heard a word about any attempts to produce a product. You would need some money to pull this off I'm sure so I haven't looked into it.

    You also need a good example of each type we could use to send to China or India. Don't think you are going to do it here.
    #74
  15. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    To relate a similar experience and my (in progress) solution: I noticed the high beam indicator stopped working. Since I recently replaced all the bulbs, that seemed odd. So, off the instrument cluster came (again): I have become very proficient at removing the instrument cluster lately.

    Upon removal of the back covers and looking at the bulb terminals, everything appeared OK. But, after figuring out the contacts, testing with a multimeter showed no conduct at the high beam. I also noticed the neutral indicator light stopped working. That seemed odd too.

    After some head scratching and close examination, the light bulb plugs had some corrosion. The mylar film copper contacts also had some corrosion. As it turns out, when the bulbs were replaced some dielectric grease should have been used to prevent corrosion. At least, that is my latest theory on how I screwed that up.

    So, eventually, I got the high beam working again but the neutral light was stubborn. Fortunately, not as stubborn as me. It turns out the copper coating conductor was completely corroded (or abraded by me) away once the contact was clean. Oh, that is bad.

    The first thing I tried was some silver paint. It did not work. The second was using some thin copper foil 1/4" wide and essentially replacing the copper foil for the bulb holder. A small (#49) drill was used by hand to make a hole in the copper foil which was then slid over the pin. The foil was long enough to lay over the damaged part and allow the bulb connector to make contact. It turned out (even though I could not really see this) that same replacement foil was needed for the other neutral light contractor pin.

    I added some silver paint to the pins where the foil was laid - and got my neutral light working. I also used some Barges contact cement (the kind with toluene) to glue back some of the mylar that separated. Even though the silver paint did not fix the contact, it was added to all the other bulb connector foil parts - it seemed like the thing to do at the time.

    With all the above, I was still not so happy about the fix. Really, some solder is needed between the pin and foil instead of the paint. So, upon doing an internet search, it turns out the mylar can be soldered with 63/37 tin-lead solder if done *very carefully*. For reasons I have simply accepted, I tend to get compulsive obsessive about things like this - they bother me.

    As such, soldering the pins is the next step. Here is the McMaster part number for the foil I used: 76555A711, which has a conductive adhesive - but the adhesive did not really stick for me. I expect some heavy duty aluminum foil would work as well, but be harder to (eventually) solder. I also intend to try another type of silver paint. But, ultimately, I think that *careful* soldering is the ultimate fix. I also put dielectric grease on all the bulb holder contacts - which I think would have prevented this fiasco when the bulbs were changed in the first place.
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    #75
  16. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    Well, the day of truth finally came. Last item things done, like adjusting the valves (all were a bit tight), synch-ing carbs at idle, timing with a timing light (I did a superb job with my test light static setting!), and it was time for the moment of truth. Test ride time!

    I had done two very short rides before, totaling less than a mile. Today's deal was to be "extended" and reach highway speeds. I was nerved up tighter than a fat girl's socks. Out of the driveway and up the road about 1/4 mile and all was well. U-turn and past my house a 1/4 mile in the other direction (no point in venturing out too far if I have to push it back) and all was still well. I had gained a bit of confidence and decided to venture out a bit farther and go a bit faster. All went well. I rode a total of about 6 miles:clap.

    Somewhere along the line the turn signal indicator quit working so I guess I'll have to go back into the instrument cluster. Also, even though the speedometer worked (got up to 65 MPH at one point) the odometer didn't move a lick. Another reason to go into the instrument cluster I suppose. Once everything got warmed up good, the idle had climbed to about 2K, so I'll need to address that. I'll just back the screws off one at a time till the idle gets back to what the book recommends, about 850 RPM if my memory serves correctly? I'm thinking I can merely back them off an identical amount and they should stay sync'd, correct? I'll re-read the manual to be sure.

    As is always pointed out, unless there are pictures it didn't happen, so I offer to you proof of my first real test ride! It's amazing that a 37 year old motorcycle can bring such a thrill!

    [​IMG]
    #76
  17. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    After yesterday's 5-6 mile test ride I thought it was time to get the state involved and make my new baby legal. Round trip to the inspection station, license office, gas station and a couple other detours to show her off was about 25-28 miles. Ran like a champ, with the exception of the high idle once it was warmed up, my oil light doesn't always light when the key is turned on (another reason to go back into the instrument cluster), and the brake light switch for the front brake stopped working (I just used the rear brake to demonstrate the brake light function at the inspection station).

    Getting her on the open road makes me appreciate why airhead owners seem to have such a fond attraction to their bikes. It just has a "feel" that many motorcycles don't have, but yet I don't think I could describe.

    It'll be fun to enjoy riding her a little now, but will also enjoy continuing to tinker with various hiccups to make it a more sound and reliable motorcycle.

    Thanks to all who have helped along the way with info and tips. I'm sure I'll have more questions and updates as time goes on. Maybe, as time passes and my airhead experience evolves, I'll be able to offer input to other airhead noobs and return part of the favors.

    Lynn
    #77
  18. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    High idles seem to be a more common problem these days. They were always around but I think now more common. I recently had to take the original carbs off my bike and mount my spare pair. I've used them before but never got them to work right. Now it seems the spare pair are going to be it because the originals need more work.

    Check first that the problem isn't vacuum leaks around the intake rubbers.

    On the new carbs I have now I notice the throttle plates don't close all the way around. They are a little crooked in the bore. I had fairly new new pieces in the old carbs. I was only able to get one of them out. So it was back to the dealers yesterday to get another shaft, throttle plate and O-ring. I already have a complete set of screws, 4, and I will reuse one plate, one shaft and one O-ring. I think I'll be able to put these on today. My complaint is the same as yours. A high idle after warm up.
    [​IMG]
    Replacing #s 12, 13, 14 and 15. The spring on the right side, that is not numbered on this drawing, may or may not be on your carbs. If it is it sits on top of the slider to help it slide down a little faster.

    The butterfly plates have beveled edges. When tilted in the carb bore they fit exactly. If you back the throttle speed screw off and hold the carbs up to a strong light, you may need to hold the slider up if there are springs on the slider, some carbs have this it is a popular addition to our older carbs, if no large springs on the sliders you can hold the carbs upside down, you should not be able to see any light around the edges of the butterfly, or throttle plate. If there is the plate is crooked and when the carb gets hot it hangs open more. See you tuned the bike with this in place and it seemed not a problem. But it fits less as it gets hotter. The plate sticks open more if it is not straight.

    You may be able to loosen the screw and adjust the plates. This is sometimes not possible and the original screws are peened in. You need to file them down so they can be removed. What I do is I don't mess with them. I get new shafts and new plates and new screws and new O-rings. The new butterfly plates will have the correct identifying mark on them that insures you get them in the right orientation. I use Blue Locktight to put the little screws on because peening works better but causes so much trouble later.

    The identifying mark? On each butterfly plate there is a very lightly tapped dot. Put there by some body in the Bing factory ages ago. This small dot goes on the outer edge on top. It is visible as the butterfly sits assembled in the carb. It may not of been there on the original carbs or if it was it is stamped so lightly that it is impossible to see now. I think it's worth checking that the ever so slight bevel I mentioned is properly aligned even after checking for the dot.

    Again, look for vacuum leaks first and check for other stuff like timing or tuning the carbs, but if you are still plagued by a high idle after warm up that won't go away I suggest checking the carb butterfly plates.
    #78
  19. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    Or so goes one of my favorite theories.

    Guess what I found? A missing O-ring on the idle mixture screw. This would suck air big time I guess and is probably why I couldn't turn down the right carb and the idle was high.

    So I'm replacing the throttle plates and shafts anyway.
    #79
  20. Horsehockey

    Horsehockey A GPS? Huh?

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    Hmm. That's very interesting Charlie. I need to check the condition of my o-ring in my mixture screw on the left side....I've had an intermittent high idle issue for awhile now...
    #80