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Old 12-07-2012, 12:08 PM   #1
headtube OP
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Sloppy shift lever...

The shift lever on my 79 RS has a lot of play. So much play that I'm getting false neutrals and missed shifts. Is there a way to eliminate this play without replacing the entire lever?
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:47 PM   #2
halflive
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Oversize the hole and place a bushing. You need a workshop with a lathe, a drill, and an inch of bronze bar. (or a friend)
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:03 PM   #3
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And if you can't score some bronze round stock, try for some Delrin rod big enough to turn down a bushing. I bought some from a local plastic fabricator who fabricates rudder post bushings for local yachts and fishing vessels. I turned and milled some stuff from it and it is great to work with and for bushing use hard enough and somewhat self lubricating.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:21 PM   #4
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Over-sizing the hole to accommodate a bush is a great idea, but is not possible as I do not have the equipment. And I think that a machinist would charge me the price of a new lever.

I decided to have a look at the parts fiche and I noticed that a needle sleeve (# 23 13 1 238 422) is available for a new style shift lever. Has anyone over-sized their existing lever and fitted this needle sleeve?
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:42 PM   #5
bmwrench
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At $58.00 for a new lever, you could hardly get the machining done for less.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:47 PM   #6
RaystheBMW
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Find someone to machine the oversized hole and press in a bronze bushing. Bring the shank screw because it might have to be turned down a little too.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:54 PM   #7
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Don't feel bad, though. My R80 ST has a sloppy shifter pedal, although its a different design. It has a bronze bushing that appeared to be the worn culprit. I obtained a new bushing (OEM) and discovered it was was as sloppy as the one in the shifter lever before pressing it into place.

Edit: Just an off-the-wall thought: If you have any shops locally that can knurl valve guides and your exisitring shifter has a solid bushing in it, you may be able to get it knurled to take out some of the slop. Old school machining at its best.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:26 PM   #8
R100RT Mark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headtube View Post
The shift lever on my 79 RS has a lot of play. So much play that I'm getting false neutrals and missed shifts. Is there a way to eliminate this play without replacing the entire lever?
Not sure if you are trying to cure the same problem, but here’s a direction I went with my R65 (1984 23,000 miles). Its gear lever had about 7 or 8mm of lateral free play before I used a shim to remove most of the play (I had replaced the needle bearing assembly a short while earlier with the thought/hope that this would help reduce "slop" - it did not) . By comparison the same measurement on my R100RT (1994 33,000 miles) showed no more than 2 mm lateral free play (more miles but less gear changing wear and tear?). After the modification the end free play on my R65 was about the same as my R100RT.

I used a 1/2-in id, 3/4-in od, 0.032-in peel-away shim (McMaster Carr #90805A162). I ended up peeling away three 0.002-in layers. I simply took the lever off the ‘bike, trial-fitted the shim a few times and stopped taking layers away once I had a non-binding fit. This really was a ten minute start to finish job.




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Old 12-10-2012, 06:03 AM   #9
97oilhead
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+1 on R100RT Mark's idea.

I do the poormans version. I save all my old aluminum sealing washers, give them a wack or two with a hammer on the vice and I can usually get the right thickness.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R100RT Mark View Post
Not sure if you are trying to cure the same problem, but here’s a direction I went with my R65 (1984 23,000 miles). Its gear lever had about 7 or 8mm of lateral free play before I used a shim to remove most of the play (I had replaced the needle bearing assembly a short while earlier with the thought/hope that this would help reduce "slop" - it did not) . By comparison the same measurement on my R100RT (1994 33,000 miles) showed no more than 2 mm lateral free play (more miles but less gear changing wear and tear?). After the modification the end free play on my R65 was about the same as my R100RT.

I used a 1/2-in id, 3/4-in od, 0.032-in peel-away shim (McMaster Carr #90805A162). I ended up peeling away three 0.002-in layers. I simply took the lever off the ‘bike, trial-fitted the shim a few times and stopped taking layers away once I had a non-binding fit. This really was a ten minute start to finish job.




What a coincidence! Just yesterday I took the shifter assembly apart to have a closer look. My findings were the same as yours. I actually used a couple of "beer can" shims to accomplish the same outcome. NO MORE SLOP... and not a penny spent.

It's good to see others doing the same thing. Makes me think I've done something right.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:16 PM   #11
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There ya go! Problem solved, and better than factory solutions.

I think I did something similar with a nylon washer, but have to go back and look closely.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:31 AM   #12
Jason_01
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You probably have the wire linkage on a 78?

I replaced my wire linkage with a double ball joint linkage on a threaded shaft, similar to the later bikes. Then I replaced my pivot bolt with a stainless version because mine had wear, then I polished the outer faces of the bush housing flat and parallel and fitted shims. Much better!
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