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Organizing fasteners when working on bike

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by triman11427, Oct 10, 2018 at 12:58 PM.

  1. triman11427

    triman11427 Mud is my chrome

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    421
    Location:
    Melville, NY
    How do you keep track of all the different length screws and fasteners when working on your bike? There are several different shaft lengths which are used for the fairings and tank and I'm looking for a system that keeps track of which screw or bolt goes where.
    #1
  2. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,707
    Location:
    DC metro
    punch holes in cardboard that gen. approx. the line of fasteners you're working on. write notes on the paper, if helpful.

    reviewing fiche online to fix these mix-ups after the fact is a major pita! DAMHIK
    #2
    local1, stumped, ultane and 4 others like this.
  3. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    17,914
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    Mark egg cartons with a black marker.
    #3
    Deano747 and triman11427 like this.
  4. MiddleAgeWarrior

    MiddleAgeWarrior Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    81
    You can also place them over the bench or floor in the same order you take them out grab your phone open a new folder named as the project you are working on and took all the pics you can (pics will help with any doubt)
    #4
  5. KDXRC51

    KDXRC51 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Ziplock bag and label with permanent marker
    #5
    local1, 9Realms and NewYorkLuke like this.
  6. Tremblay

    Tremblay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    Western WA
    I use a piece of cardboard. Before I pull a panel I write out what part it is, then I make dots on the cardboard that is roughly where the screw lives that I'm removing. Makes it super easy to not screw up what goes where. Honestly doesn't take any time. I just punch out the dots with a screw driver as I remove things. If you just perf the cardboard it'll hold everything tight.
    #6
    lnewqban, local1, stumped and 3 others like this.
  7. The Fabricator

    The Fabricator I didn't know it wasn't possible so I did it.

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Petaluma, Ca.
    I mark unique screws with White Out corresponding to the location where removed. That means a mark on the screw and one of the location. White Out scrapes off with a finger nail. Usually only a few screws are different length. If several are special, then 1 dot for the first, 2 dots for the second, etc. I also mark hoses, cables, etc. the same way to return them to the proper routing or location. White Out is for correcting mistakes while typing [on white paper], available at office supply stores.
    #7
    local1 likes this.
  8. henrys

    henrys Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    North Texas
    Throw them all in a box. Then when its time to put it back together waste a few extra hours trying to solve the puzzle. It keeps your brain sharp. :lol3
    #8
  9. triman11427

    triman11427 Mud is my chrome

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    421
    Location:
    Melville, NY
    That's what I've been doing up until now. It's starting to get a bit tiresome.
    #9
    local1 likes this.
  10. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,197
    Location:
    A place many ADV Riders fear: The Nation's Capital
    I drop mine on the floor as I remove them, they bounce all over and when ready for re-assembly, I put back what ever I can find.
    #10
    BtoV, 413Sean, triman11427 and 4 others like this.
  11. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,139
    Location:
    Central Mn
    Take forensic-like pics while holding up a small ruler next to the confusing fasteners, bag and tag em.
    Also helps with some stuff to take a pic of the item and or fastener so there is some CLUE as to where it came from after the fact in an image, and not just a tag on a baggie.

    fasten.jpg

    In the end, you may still have to call upon other riders with the same bike to ask...
    "where does this go" :dunno

    I been there, had bike apart for 9 months and enjoyed it. But when it's done, you will know your bike very, very well going forward, an appreciation you will not soon forget.

    beastie-v.jpg

    Chuck-up a wire wheel on a spindle in a cordless drill or your drill press. Detail nuts and bolts as you take them off.
    Fasteners that have a roundy-ass nasty head on it, order NEW while you still recall where it came from.
    #11
  12. rtrider

    rtrider Lost

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,860
    Location:
    @work
    I still have an extra fairing fastener from the last time I removed them... When I finished and realized it, I took the fairings off and put them back on a second time and still can't figure out which one I'm missing :lol3

    Its on the shelf and the next time I need to get in there I'll see if I can place it.
    #12
  13. Gemel

    Gemel Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 20, 2018
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Portsmouth RI & Malta
    A neigbour of mine, printed out an exploded view of the bike and various specific areas, then attached those to foam board, with holes punched into it matching the location.
    So in effect he complied a book of sorts which hold the relevant fasteners in location.
    I'll see if I can drag him out of the wood work to post some pics
    #13
    local1 likes this.
  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    78,533
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    It isn't rocket science. To make it easier, keep each side's screws separate. Other than that, the depth of the plastic determines where they go. On thin layer with a round hole, no shoulder. One thin layer with an oval hole, shallow shank. Two layers, or a thick layer with an oval hole, medium shank. Three layers, or two thick layers, with an oval hole, long shank.
    #14
    Richy likes this.
  15. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    563
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Go buy one of those plastic cheap
    fastener organizer for about $10, then use a water based marker for making notes..

    Number the bottom of each bin and top of the lid covering that bin.

    As you dissemble, organize screws to each bin based on areas of bike or serially in order and make note on lid for that bin where screws came from

    This better than the cardboard method cause one bad move and you can knock the stuff off cardboard ..

    Plus you can secure/ close lid for safe keeping if you dont finish in one session.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    #15
    local1 likes this.
  16. The Cone of Silence

    The Cone of Silence Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Richmond, New South Wales, Australia
    I use two methods.
    1. Take photos of the items before you remove them, so you know which way everything goes when you put it back e.g. which side the washer goes.
    2. A cheap tool organiser with a load of dividers in them. Put the offending articles in the space and then write on a bit of paper what it is.

    Example
    When removing the crash bars, cylinder guards, passenger footpegs, exhaust muffler, skid plate for powdercoating and spray painting, I put into a single section the nuts/ bolts/ washers/ connectors from each specific part and wrote on a piece of paper where they came from, such as 'R Crash Upper', 'R Crash Lower Fore' , 'R Crash Lower Aft' and so on. The more descriptive the better.

    Caveat: I'm a little bit clumsy and I lose concentration quickly thanks to a short span of attention so even doing it this way when I rebuilt my Postie Bike I still ended up with a 'spare' bolt and have no idea where it goes.

    These boxes are cheap so just get a couple and keep them handy. For larger parts, just keep them all in an old beer carton and wrap some masking tape around each piece and label it.

    Tool organiser.jpg

    EDIT: I just saw @ExodusRider does the same thing and beat me to it.
    #16
    ExodusRider likes this.
  17. RJK

    RJK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Oddometer:
    910
    Location:
    NCR
    Ive used some combo of many of the suggestions given...IMO which one I use depends on how far I’m tearing my bike down. For fairings, I find the easiest thing for me is to replace the fasteners in the holes after removing the plastic pieces. Replace the fasteners either to the bike or panel depending on what’s easier for you. Painters tape keeps them from falling out if you put them on your panel.
    #17
    lnewqban and triman11427 like this.
  18. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    563
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Picture is a thousand words, right on brother!!

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    #18
    The Cone of Silence likes this.
  19. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,632
    Location:
    Oaklandish
    I started out using empty egg cartons, but in the last decade graduated to compartmented, plastic organizers. For disassembling small items, like carburetors, fishing lure boxes are great.
    With a Sharpie, I draw a line down the middle of the box: LEFT, RIGHT. As I dissemble, I drop fasteners from the first bit I take off in the first compartment, second set in the second compartment... Left and right sides separate. When I re-assemble, I start with the last compartment and work my way up.

    NOTE: I'm an old airhead guy. It is necessary to separate right from left on those bikes because nothing is symmetric.
    #19
  20. cpallen

    cpallen Nearly Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,282
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    If you end up questioning what goes where (even though it's the tenth time you've torn it down and put it back together), the BMW Parts Microfiche does a good job of describing and depicting the various fasteners. Otherwise JVB's general description to purpose is a great rule of thumb. And @rtrider - the buddy who paid you a visit during that last repair - dropped the extra screw on the ground, just to keep you on your toes.
    #20
    JimVonBaden likes this.