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Old 06-27-2008, 11:19 AM   #1
rdwalker OP
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Pictorial: cleaning expansion sleeve of a Vario case

Hi, all,

After a long dusty ride, including rain and a lot of vibration over several days, I could not retract my Vario cases. I washed them from outside, but it did not help. I could force them a bit, but was afraid of breaking the gears.

Helpfully, the inmates here kindly pointed me to some info on cleaning the expanding sleeves of my Vario cases:
http://www.r1200gs.info/howto/saddlebagmaint.html



For the benefit of others in this predicament, here are some pictures of what needs to be done.

First, you need to get the cases apart. The expansion/retraction mechanism is held by 6 screws along the vertical edges of the case, accessible from the back. One of my cases had Torx screws, the other Philips – be prepared for both.

Remove these 6 stainless-steel screws (and nothing else) and then gently wiggle everything to pull the expansion sleeve from the case body.

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Old 06-27-2008, 11:20 AM   #2
rdwalker OP
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The jamming occurs in the sleeve, grit and dust prevents it from moving smoothly. My finger points at the channel in the sleeve that gets dirty.

By the way, make sure to have something clean and smooth (like a towel) laid under the case cover. Otherwise, when you press on it during cleaning or reassembly, you will scratch it!

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rdwalker screwed with this post 02-04-2009 at 07:38 PM
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:21 AM   #3
rdwalker OP
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I sprayed the channel with water hose and then pushed a piece of cloth through, to make sure everything is out.

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Old 06-27-2008, 11:22 AM   #4
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The corresponding part on the case body is also full of junk – clean it off. I used diluted Armor-All and paid particular attention to the foam seal on the edge.

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Old 06-27-2008, 11:23 AM   #5
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Now it’s the time to re-insert. Take your time and do everything very, very gently. You may need to slightly spread the channel to guide it over the case - like I am doing here with the screwdriver.

While sliding the sleeve over case body, do not forget to reinsert the red shaft extension for locking mechanism.


In general: patience!

The sleeve should be pushed on squarely – when everything aligns it will easily drop onto the case.

Now reinstall the 6 screws from the back – you may have to move the expansion mechanism a bit to make sure that the screws go into the correct holes.

Finally, do not forget to clean the seal between side cover and sleeve!

Good luck!


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Old 06-27-2008, 04:56 PM   #6
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Nice tutorial.
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:07 PM   #7
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+1.

Always grateful for people who take the time to put these together.

The only downside? I WAS going to use a dirty expand/retract mechanism as a rationale for moving to Jesse Safaris
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:43 PM   #8
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Thanks - my pleasure.
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:41 PM   #9
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Thanks all for the post ups and the pictures, it really helped.

I finally got a day off, and put my buddy's side case back together.

Lord love a duck, he had taken EVERYTHING apart. The cases, the latches, the gears & lever, everything. I was greeted with a large zip-lock freezer bag of machine screws, self-tappers, washers, springs, nuts, gears, and tiny plastic parts. He had disassembled everything but the pop rivets. It took me the better part of three hours to sort, wash, test fit, and assemble everything. I told him- next time, call me BEFORE you take everything apart, so I'd at least have some idea of what this thing looked like before it was in 50 pieces... and the other bag was six hundred miles away, so I had nothing to look at for a reference, except for your photos.

The hardest part for me was getting the inboard case half and seal to go back into the center section. The Armor-All tip was golden!

Thanks again!
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:46 PM   #10
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Linked to pictures

Yeah, I see that with the disabled attachments my posts are broken.

I edited the write-up and hosted the pix elsewhere, Enjoy. R.
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:19 AM   #11
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Nice tutorial. Thanks for posting it. I must have missed it the first time around.

My left Vario doesn't look straight, and won't narrow because the mechanism is bent from a slow motion parking lot lay down. Let me emphasize your point that when you put it back together you must do so gently!
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:35 PM   #12
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A few years later and still very valuable. Thank you so very much.

My cases were stuck in the expanded position and not moving at all. Using this process I did get them apart and yes there are broken gears I was able to get them in to the non-expanded position and all back together easily thanks to this write up.

Some of my experience: Gently pull the case apart. mine took several beers and a big rubber hammer.

Thank you so very much for the writeup, I would not have attempted it otherwise.

Marc
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:54 PM   #13
rdwalker OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lomax View Post
.. Using this process I did get them apart and yes there are broken gears I was able to get them in to the non-expanded position and all back together easily thanks to this write up...
Hi, Marc, sorry to read about your trouble.
It sounds like you cannot use the expansion feature anymore. It may be worthwhile to post a wanted-to-buy ad for a case. I believe that sidecases and topcases used the same mechanisms; post a WTB ad for a busted box. Some of them have flown away or were torn away from the bike and are in a poor shape; you may be able to get a deal on the mechanism itself.

Good luck! Robert.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker View Post
Hi, Marc, sorry to read about your trouble.
It sounds like you cannot use the expansion feature anymore. It may be worthwhile to post a wanted-to-buy ad for a case. I believe that sidecases and topcases used the same mechanisms; post a WTB ad for a busted box. Some of them have flown away or were torn away from the bike and are in a poor shape; you may be able to get a deal on the mechanism itself.

Good luck! Robert.
Thanks Robert, I have thought about that.

Even after cleaning everything very good they still do not move worth a danged. So I made them small and they jammed together quite nicely. I don't think they are going to move by themselves. I don't really need that much space and when they are un-expanded they will work fine for me. I have tank panniers and a V45 Givi top box if I really want to get stupid and pack lots of things.

Marc
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker View Post
Hi, Marc, sorry to read about your trouble.
It sounds like you cannot use the expansion feature anymore. It may be worthwhile to post a wanted-to-buy ad for a case. I believe that sidecases and topcases used the same mechanisms; post a WTB ad for a busted box. Some of them have flown away or were torn away from the bike and are in a poor shape; you may be able to get a deal on the mechanism itself.

Good luck! Robert.
I have a pair of vario cases that have seen the wilderness.The rocks, the creeks, the gravel road surface, real close up!
Good for parts, lids, hinges, latches, everything is there. They are currently stuck in the expanded position and missing their mounting tabs.
forty bucks for the pair,,you pay shipping.

click the pic for more views.
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