Neutral indicator switch going downhill . . .

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by mspa, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. mspa

    mspa Been here awhile

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    I think my neutral indicator switch is telling me it wants to retire. Or so it would seem. I'm getting this thin leak on both sides now, where I was only getting from one side. I better check the trans fluid tomorrow.

    Originally, I had thought something more sinister was going on with my 1978 R100S. But I have checked the timing hole to see that the flywheel is dry inside. I have also had some challenges adjusting my clutch, but that may turn out to be a cable that's too long.

    One other symptom I may have imagined. When I came to a stop today and shifted into neutral, the light did NOT come on. I was in neutral. Didn't do it again during the next five or so stops before I got home. But when I got home, there was more seepage (both sides). This is why I think that part may have to be replaced.

    So anything else I should look at before swapping this puppy out? I know my local dealer has the part + washer. I think it's about $40.

    Here's pics.

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    #1
  2. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    There is another thread here some where about fixing the neutral switch. OK? What I mean to say is fixing the new switch before you install it so it doesn't develop the same problem in two weeks time. There has been a lot of trouble with these.

    The fix involves the application of some epoxy to the center area where the terminals are coming out. The metal around this plastic is crimped and the leak is in between the plastic center and the metal. You have to carefully tape off the terminals so they will stay clean and make a dam around the hex shape part then spill some epoxy into the are that will seal this plastic to the metal.

    If you find the thread on this there are pictures. Was with in the last month in Airheads.
    #2
  3. mspa

    mspa Been here awhile

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    I'll look for that, and post the link here in case anyone else runs across this.

    It looks like there is some grey substance on my switch. Can't tell if it's epoxy, but I'm guessing it isn't stopping the leak.
    #3
  4. wirewrkr

    wirewrkr the thread-killer

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    Supposedly the brass bodied switches (not BMW) from Huckys are doing the trick. A little cheaper too.
    I've had 3 new BMW switches fail on several different bikes, there is no way am I buying any more from BMW.
    #4
  5. mspa

    mspa Been here awhile

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    #5
  6. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

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    Be carefull when tightening the brass ones. They snap real easy.
    #6
  7. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    Of course not. It's all in my mind. It's always just something I made up, so beware.
    #7
  8. mspa

    mspa Been here awhile

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    I doubt you did that.I found this specific comment on Snowbum's page.

    Special note: Brand new neutral switches have been seen to leak soon after installation. This type of leak is a very slow weeping at the junction of the insulation and the metal body. I am now recommending that EVERY switch have the following done to it BEFORE installation. Use a tiny piece of fine sandpaper, and rough-up the junction of the metal body to the hard plastic insulation section. ALSO, use a dental tool or other sharp object, to get right into that crack/junction. The idea is to sand the junction, including the metal and the plastic, for maybe 1/8" (or more), and then clean that area with a strong evaporating solvent (NON-oily acetone), and apply epoxy to the junction. Either 5 minute or 24 hour epoxy is OK; JB weld is also OK. Let it cure overnight, even if the 5 minute type. THEN install switch.

    -----------

    I'm pretty sure that part I referenced is the brass body one. It will take a little time to get the part after I order it. Once I'm looking at it, your directions will make sense. Either way, it sounds like I can do this before installing the part. There's not much room to mess around back there. It looks like a real PITA. I'll read through Snowbum's post and take into account any other recommendations to make sure I have all the parts and lubrications, oil, etc. before starting.
    #8
  9. wirewrkr

    wirewrkr the thread-killer

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    no that is the early 1974 / 1975 switch which are different.
    Maybe he ran out. call him. Motobins has them too, but I hate ordering from out of the country. I try to keep the money flowing in AMERICAN businesses when I can. I know that pisses alot of the inmates off when I say that, but I guess I'm more of a patriot than they are.:lol3
    #9
  10. wirewrkr

    wirewrkr the thread-killer

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    It's probably because the search function here doesn't work well. TRY GOOGLE.
    #10
  11. RecycledRS

    RecycledRS Along for the ride

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  12. mspa

    mspa Been here awhile

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    Just got my brass switch from Motobins. The switch on the bike now has one washer. I bought two just in case, plus it doesn't hurt to have another washer for down the road.

    The current weeping is light enough I may wait until spring, in part because I may be opening up the engine to check out the clutch assembly. I'd rather do all this at once.

    The one thing I am curious about is if I should do the JB Weld "fix" to this switch. From what I understand, it's the aluminum switch that has the heat expansion problem. Brass should "move" as much.

    Thoughts?

    I don't have JB Weld, but I do have some Permatex Ultra Black, which I've read is just as good.

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    #12
  13. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    Let's talk more about this photo:

    [​IMG]

    It appears that something is PISSING oil inside your clutch bell housing and you don't want that. It's either an oil pump o-ring, a rear main seal or both. Figure out which before your clutch starts slipping. With that much oil coming out if your clutch hasn't started slipping big time I'd guess it's the oil pump cover.
    #13
  14. mspa

    mspa Been here awhile

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    I have another thread talking about this leak . . . I can say that from what I can see, the area behind the rear main seal is dry. The fluid is coming down out of the switch. I've also viewed inside the timing hole, and everything is dry. After the photo of this leak, I added some Ultra Black on the JB Weld that is the PO installed. The patch was not done well. My addition covered some of the "holes" I saw in the patch, and consequently, the leaking was drastically reduced.
    #14
  15. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

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    next time I have a switch start leaking, I'm throwing it away and use a bolt to plug the hole. hell with the light.
    #15
  16. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    That's probably the best fix I've heard yet. :D
    #16