Seeing Double: R60/6 Family Restoration

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by zswickliffe, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. zswickliffe

    zswickliffe Been here awhile

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    Hey Guys! Long time lurker here, recently made an account and started getting more involved. I'll start with a bit of background and go from there.

    My girlfriend grew up on the back of airheads, specifically an old R60/6 that her father has owned for 30+ years affectionately known as "Bones". Pic below:

    [​IMG]

    Recently she had the opportunity to buy her father's close friend's R60/6 that has been in the family for about as long, and she went for it. With ~60k miles shown on the odometer, we're pretty sure it has rolled over once and has more than 160k miles on it. It was pretty badly neglected and a decent amount of things were 'rigged' (speaker wire for accessories, poor mig welding, etc.).

    So after getting it together for the first time and throwing some new tires on it, I took it for a spin.

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately there was a pretty bad wobble/shake/shimmy that started at 50mph and got worse with speed so I knew I'd need to take it apart and get the suspension sorted.

    The rear shocks had no damping and the springs were tired. The front forks had a clunk, stiction and terrible brake dive. My girlfriend was clear, however, that she wants everything in perfect working order but wants to keep the patina. She wants to wear it as a badge of honor and I respect that, so this is a mechanical restoration only, with very light or minimal cosmetic touches.

    So for her birthday (September 17th), I decided to take the jump and git 'er dun! I even encouraged her dad to dig out 'Bones' (who's been hiding in the garage for the past 10 years) and do the same! So everything we do on one bike, we're doing on the other too.

    Side note: We don't have a name for her blue /6 yet so... taking suggestions?

    First step, rear shocks. In with the new! These are the Ikon Black/Black shocks without covers:

    [​IMG]

    Then we disassembled the front forks to find a mushy mess of the lower bumpers and some nasty fluid:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Egg cartons work great for all the little parts in the forks! I also found that one of the fork's wiper rings were bent in a way that could cause them to get hung up and "stick", maybe causing some of the clunks and stiction in the front end:

    [​IMG]

    And time for re-assembly:

    [​IMG]

    Next step was to re-grease the steering head bearing... Or so we thought.

    After getting the races cleaned up we found there were some pretty noticeable grooves worn in the outer races from the tapered rollers and decided it could be a main contributor to the shakes and shimmies so it was worth replacing:

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately I didn't have a line on the special puller from BMW so I made due with a borrowed welder. 3x beads about 1 cm long at 60 degree spacing made quick work of the task:

    [​IMG]

    Came right out!

    [​IMG]

    Now for the inner race on the steering stem. This required cutting mostly through with a dremel wheel and knocking the race hard with a hammer to crack it. After that it slid right off:

    [​IMG]

    And that's where we're at today. I'll update as we continue with more progress. Post suggestions/questions/comments and I'll try to improve my process so you can better enjoy or follow everything. First step: take more pictures. I always forget with greasy hands.
    #1
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  2. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties Supporter

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    Nice looking old bike. Glad to see it getting some attention and it looks like you're off to a good start.
    "Old Blue" was the first name to pop into my head but I'm sure your girlfriend will find one for it.
    #2
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  3. zswickliffe

    zswickliffe Been here awhile

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    'Ol Blue was something that came up in the past, she wasn't too into it haha. Yeah I'm thinking after a few long trips to nowhere she'll make a name for herself. Hopefully a good one... :)
    #3
  4. burbansk

    burbansk Exit 202 Mio Mad Man

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    This will be a great build thread. Wish I could find a old air head in my garage. I am so jealous. Keep up the good work and the pictures so we all can follow your progress.
    #4
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  5. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    I always enjoy restorations. One of my future projects will be an airhead. I had a pretty nice R65 a while back that I should have kept.
    [​IMG]
    Pardon my really bad taste in paint colors.
    #5
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  6. zswickliffe

    zswickliffe Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the support guys!

    I got the forks back on the bike but didn't take pictures... Oops! I'll take some tonight and post them. I did notice a bit of play in the LH fork, I'll get a video of it and see what you guys think.
    #6
  7. zswickliffe

    zswickliffe Been here awhile

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    Ok back home and snapped a pic of the forks installed. This is for alignment only and I will be taking the top plate off to route the cables/electronics once the bars come in.

    [​IMG]

    And here's a video of the play in the forks I was talking about. Not too terrible but I wanted to get your opinions:

    #7
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  8. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    That looks normal to me. Those forks are thin and a little flexy.
    #8
  9. zswickliffe

    zswickliffe Been here awhile

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    Makes me feel better! Thanks!
    #9
  10. zswickliffe

    zswickliffe Been here awhile

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    All,

    I've made a list of all the parts ordered for the build so far. It's accessible through google sheets here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eRUHjzW_ft2PBQcIc-Erl-ltOU0ZsnID_CXl39aW_7s/edit?usp=sharing

    Let me know if you can't access it, but it should give everyone the location I purchased from and how much it cost. Ted Porter's beemershop has been a godsend, so shout out to him!

    There has also been a local guy that's super cool and has a great supply of new-old stock. His name is Turk and he's just west of Cleveland, OH.

    Doing some more work on Bones this weekend after I get some new tires mounted/balanced on my Scrambler.
    #10
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  11. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    The pics remind me of earliest days of my first airhead a well used 100/7, when bought handled like a bucket. New Konis on the rear, steering head bearings, flush/clean fork internals, new seals.... the ride was transformed and safe! The most worthwhile mod i ever made to that bike and the airhead that followed it was a fork brace. That flexy fork you are concerned about will flex no longer with a brace, cannot recommend this enough.:*sip*
    #11
  12. zswickliffe

    zswickliffe Been here awhile

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    Fork brace already acquired! I've heard similar so I'm glad to hear it should help some of that flex.

    Sorry for the lack of updates, waiting on the last of the parts then we'll get her buttoned up!
    #12
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  13. r60man

    r60man Long timer

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    My first BMW was an R60/6 that was my Dad's. I needed more power so I got some cylinders, pistons and carbs from someone that had converted his R75 into a
    900 cc, and made that swap. I kept the final drive so it accelerated great. Well set up the drum brakes were just as good as the single disk. I rode that bike for several years and put close to 50,000 miles on it. When my father passed away I took his R75/6 for the upgrades. Best of luck with the build.
    #13
  14. zswickliffe

    zswickliffe Been here awhile

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    I love hearing all the stories of old airheads and good memories. Keep them coming!

    Just got notification that there was a bit of a shipping issue at the warehouse and they didn't ship out on Monday but I think they figured it out yesterday. So I'll keep this thread updated when it all arrives.
    #14
  15. surlyhal

    surlyhal SurlyHal

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    Great fun watching you guys work together!
    #15
  16. zswickliffe

    zswickliffe Been here awhile

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    Ok everyone, long story short there were some issues, well, many issues throughout the shipping process but Ted at Ted Porter's BeemerShop really pulled through. He even went out of his way to grab the UPS guy along his route and overnight the parts to me so I could finish the build this long weekend. Really can't recommend him and his store enough.

    Time for pics!

    Got the front forks back in... Errr wait a minute?
    [​IMG]

    Yep...
    [​IMG]

    I put the fork lowers on backwards. Ooooops. That's what I get for only having 1 cup of coffee and not being the one who disassembled it.

    But I popped the wheel off and spun them around, all better.
    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, Claudia was working on the rear fender. At some point she yelled out "who the hell is supposed to do this?? I need, like, FOUR ARMS!".

    To which I replied: "But you DO have forearms!!"

    Heh...

    Then I though maybe I should check out the rear drive fluid since it hasn't been touched in ages. Uhhhhh:
    [​IMG]

    Mmmmm caramel macchiato! 'Tis almost fall!

    So I put some fresh fluid in there and I'll flush it again after a few miles to get all the nasty stuff out.

    Not sure if I shared before but we're proud of the plate choice:

    [​IMG]

    Annnnd she's done! Took her for a quick spin and oh my God. Feels just like a brand new bike. No shakes or shimmies, soft comfy shocks and actual functioning dampers. It's a wonderful thing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Side note, what's the point of the orange light at the bottom? Is that only supposed to come on with turn signals? It's just always on.

    [​IMG]
    #16
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  17. zswickliffe

    zswickliffe Been here awhile

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    Ok, slight setback. When I push the bike in neutral there's a pretty awful click-click-click noise. I do hear some speed variable click when riding as well. Anyone have thoughts? Hoping it's not the transmission but I know these are famously bad...

    #17
  18. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties Supporter

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    How about putting it on the center stand and spinning the rear wheel by hand to see if you can hear exactly where it is coming from. It is pretty loud.
    Take a look under the rubber drive shaft boot and make sure none of the 4 flange bolts are loose.
    #18
  19. zswickliffe

    zswickliffe Been here awhile

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    Ding ding ding!

    Just popped the boot off and 3 of the 4 bolts were loose. Going to replace them all and loctite them. Thanks!
    #19
  20. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties Supporter

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    Cool! Glad it was something simple.
    #20