My 71 R75/5 Restoration

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by nevada72, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    Green with a red tracer is for your passing light. When you press down on the high/ low beam switch, the headlight will come on momentarily, even with the ignition turned off.
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  2. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

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    Thanks Pokie - you saved me some homework! :D

    Well, the blue 71, and a whole pickup truck full of /5 parts have left my garage. Mike, the new custodian, has taken over the next chapter for this bike. The best part is he for sure will get it on the road. I'm excited to see the progress.
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  3. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

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    I should also add to the above post that Mike was kind enough to gift me with a nos headlight. He said my bike was so beautiful that it deserved it. That's the kind of spirit that runs through the Airheads as a group. In fact it's the 10th tenant. I will say again, I couldn't have done this bike without the Airheads. And aside from that, it's been great meeting a bunch of like minded individuals dedicated to preserving these wonderful bikes.

    As far as progress, baby steps. I got the speedo mounted and all lights and the tach connected. I started the bike and everything worked as it should - tach held steady at whatever RPM I held it at, the oil and charging lights went out once running, and the neutral light glows bright green. I ran a jumper wire to ground the cluster because I didn't want to scrape any coating off the shell.

    Next I need to connect the brake light wires and the turn signals. Then the headlight and seal it all up. That will be fun. As I recall, it wasn't exactly the most confidence inspiring arrangement. I looped a zip tie in there to keep it from falling to the ground should it come loose. It never did but I'm not loving the design.
  4. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

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    Can anyone tell me a suitable turn signal flasher to use? The one I have is nasty looking and it appears that it never was used in the flasher socket as the wires are bolted to the terminals. I would prefer to use the black square flasher receptacle, but don't want to pay the insane price for the oem unit (almost 70 bucks). I went to EME and they have quite a few so I can't tell which will snap in to that socket.
  5. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    The flasher socket is pretty standard with all auto flashers.
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  6. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

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    Ok thanks. I think my anesthesia from knee surgery the other day was still playing tricks on me because I look at the pics of the bucket before I took it apart and there's a flasher in the socket. I have no idea where the direct wired one came from. :hmmmmm

    I'll dig in the parts bin and no doubt find it.
  7. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

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    Getting super close! I'll start right off with an apology for almost no pics. Honestly, there wasn't anything noteworthy to take a pic of. I have been focused on the headlight bucket and the birdsnest of wiring in there. It's definitely not a pic worthy job. That said, it's mechanically sound and there should be no issues with loose anything or shorts. The blinkers work, the headlight works, all instrument lights work, and I even got the horn to work. It was actually a bent grounding tab on the new switch not making contact with the top set screw. Once straightened that out, it worked. The headlight even snapped on without difficulty. I did use two tie-wraps as a safety just in case, but I think I'm good.

    Tomorrow I will put the front fender and tailight/blinker assembly on and it's basically good to go. There will be a few odds and ends to clean up. I need the part that connects the fork to the frame that acts as a friction damper. The PO had some weird piece of stainless on there that I don't like so I'll order the oem part from Bob's. I need to have a few original hose clamps vapor blasted for the carb tubes. For now I'm using new ugly ones.

    Here's where I'm at on the tail light. It needed some help -

    tail light fix.jpg

    I ordered some repop blinker assemblies that will show up next week, but I'll use my old ones to get out for a ride, hopefully tomorrow.
  8. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

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    A question I forgot to ask - Should I be using a lighting relay? The wires for the repop hi/lo switch look like 16 gauge at most. Looking around the net is seems like the headlight draws under 5 amps, so I should be good, but figured I would see what you guys are doing.
  9. Disston

    Disston ShadeTreeExpert Supporter

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    Up grading the wiring to headlights has been a popular minor little modification for years. A relay also helps. I don't think the Airheads ever got a relay but maybe they did in the end, don't think so tho.

    It was popular to use a /5 H4 socket on the later models because the /5 was metal and thought superior to the plastic later ones. Haven't heard that mentioned in years.

    I do good strong wiring. Make electrical connections mechanically sound and mechanical connections electrically sound.

    But I have a fault. I'll use any color wire I want most times. My opinion is the guy that comes after me can figure it out the same way I did.
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  10. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

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    I'm with you on making sure the connections are sound. There were a lot of splices in the wiring, which to me are failure points. I eliminated all where possible. In a couple cases the wiring was cut short to the plastic sleeve, so I had to splice on to that. But I used good quality shrink tube Raytheon splices that I've had great success with on my Japanese bike (and one Triumph) restorations.

    I also pay close attention to grounding. I added grounding jumpers to a few spots like the instrument cluster and blinker pods.

    The headlight socket I have is the Bakelight variety, not metal. It looks good though.

    On colors - I had extra wire from other bikes so for the most part I was able to use stock colors. Where I couldn't I used heavier wire and used colored shrink wrap to indicate color. I think anyone that should have to work on the bike (someday after I'm long gone) will have no issues figuring it out.

    I may do a LED headlight lamp. I've resisted using them elsewhere on the bike just because I want it to look original right down to the glow that incandescent bulbs have vs LED. But the reduced current draw of the headlamp is tempting.

    I may add a relay. It's certainly easy enough but I hate to add yet more crap into the bucket.
  11. crawler07

    crawler07 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Great thread, and your color choice was a good one. I have just one question for ya, are the handlebars the US high's??
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  12. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

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    Thank you!


    Honestly, I do not know on the bars. I've seen higher and I've seen lower. They are definitely original to the bike save for the black powder coating. They were pretty pitted up. I was going to get them chromed, but decided on the black, which I like very much.

    I put the front fender on tonight. I'll definitely get her on the road tomorrow.

    IMG-6175.jpg
  13. Beemeup

    Beemeup 1978 R100/7

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    I got two small relays at the auto store so the current for high and low beams go through the relays, not the switches. I can't believe BMW did it the way they did but it did work for many years until I realized what the deal was.
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  14. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

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    Question on the steering damper - it appears that the part that connects to the frame (part #2 on the diagram below) is nla. I had 2 bikes and neither had the factory part. They both had some sort of farmer fix, which leads me to believe that maybe this is a part that breaks or gets lost. The question - What are you all using?

    lower fork brace.png
  15. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    I use the stock plate, as in the photo. It is a very light plate and can be damaged easily if you don't pay attention. The steering damper was never meant to be used for riding, it is there as a service helper, to be able to lock the steering while working on the bike. If the plate is bent straight in, it's likely the bike has been involved in an accident. If you are going to use the steering damper, make sure you have the #3 part (often referred to as a rattle stop). This part keeps the damper rod centered in the yoke axle, stopping it from sliding side to side when the bars are turned.
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  16. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

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    Good info as usual Pokie. I did not know it was a service only damper. In that case I will likely not rush a fabbed piece onto the bike. I'll scour Ebay for an oem part.

    My concern was the dreaded tank slapper. I keep hearing how twitchy the SWB can be, so I was worried not having the piece may contribute to that condition. And honestly, the bike never has felt twitchy to me.

    As far as damage, I don't think that was the issue but can't say for sure. The bike was all original when I got it save for that one piece the PO made to connect to the frame. I figured maybe they fatigue after a while and break. That, not knowing anything about their true purpose.
  17. Beemeup

    Beemeup 1978 R100/7

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    The guys I've talked to with the damper said it just makes things worse.
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  18. korinthias

    korinthias slightly behind the curve…

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    I have heard the damper knob described as ugly? (Beauty is in the… eye, etc). You could dispense with it entirely, as several inmates have, I believe. Then you could have one of those shiny low profile steerer stem nuts from ToasterTan with no hole in the centre!

    I find it quite useful when parked, working on the bike etc, prevents the front end from slamming onto the stops, but I did once get torn off a strip for using it to control a steering wiggle I was getting on my SWB. Turned out to be tyres… I believe it always turns out to be something that you don’t actually need a steering damper for… Wondering about sidecar use though?
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  19. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

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    I wasn't going to put it on, but then figured I would. It's kind of a signature thing like the date bubble on a Rolex.

    Maybe after learning what I have here I'll just remove it. If I had my way the bike wouldn't have anything but grips and levers - no cables, mirrors, or anything. I like the paired down look.
  20. Beemeup

    Beemeup 1978 R100/7

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    Just JB Weld the thing on there!