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Old 01-23-2012, 10:37 AM   #16
disston
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Any idea if bike was not in service recently? For how long? If it runs you can begin riding it right away but looks like you are not lacking for two wheeled vehicles so what 3threat said is a good place to start. The trannie thing really requires removal of trans and does take several hours but you can wait on this till you have time or it seems it is needed. However, not being an Airhead experienced rider you won't know the difference between the clunky shifting of a trans that needs the splines lubed and the clunky shifting of a healthy trans.

Charlie
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:46 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Tripletreat View Post
The drive line splines do require attention. If you have doubts about the service history of your new ride, the issue of when the splines on the clutch were last lubed should be a high priority. If they are neglected, you're looking at an expensive repair. How does the bike shift? When the splines are dry, the clutch doesn't work all that well and shifting is not smooth. You should also check the valves. There are a lot of how-to posts on adjusting valve lash. It's not difficult for someone who has moderate mechanical skills. Pay close attention to torquing all the fasteners when you check the valves. If you strip a head bolt, that too can be expensive. Get a chart and follow the recommended torque values or you'll be sorry. I'd offer this additional tip: don't exceed about 26 ft/lbs on the headbolts, no matter what anyone tells you!
And after you've gotten the valves sorted, balance the carburettors. The airheads I've owned (all R100s) were sensitive to both carb. balance and valve lash. The engines all began to vibrate more when either one of those adjustments was not just right. Once properly set up, on going tuning isnt difficult at all. I suppose it varies from rider to rider, but typically I don't need to adjust valves or balance the carbs more than once a year. After you've sorted those things, you may wish to clean the connectors on the wiring harness if the bike has been in anything close to a humid environment. If you maintain good corrosion free connections, the electrical system will serve its purpose. If you ignore it, you may find the bike is not as reliable as you had hoped. My R100 airheads both are able to run reliably with the heated grips and heated jacket liner working. I have a high output voltage regulator, but otherwise the systems are completely stock. Do your maintenance and you're gonna be rewarded with a very satisfying bike
Awesome thanks for the detailed post. I will check on all those items before starting to ride it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by disston View Post
Any idea if bike was not in service recently? For how long? If it runs you can begin riding it right away but looks like you are not lacking for two wheeled vehicles so what 3threat said is a good place to start. The trannie thing really requires removal of trans and does take several hours but you can wait on this till you have time or it seems it is needed. However, not being an Airhead experienced rider you won't know the difference between the clunky shifting of a trans that needs the splines lubed and the clunky shifting of a healthy trans.

Charlie
Unfortunately I didn't get much info as far as maintenance is concerned. The only thing I was told is that all the fluids were changed last year and not ridden much at all since. The potential spline issue sounds scary and expensive so I will check that before I actually start riding it.

Here is the few things I know for sure I need to do to it:
-Check splines
-Oil change
-Fork seals are leaking
-new front tire
-check valve clearances
-sync the carbs
-check out electrical system connectors

How are the steering head bearings on these? Something I should look at? Thanks for all the help.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:20 PM   #18
hardwaregrrl
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Originally Posted by civhatch90 View Post

How are the steering head bearings on these? Something I should look at? Thanks for all the help.
If anything, you may just need to clean and regrease them. Grab the wheel as you stand facing the headlight, pull the wheel towards you then push it away (towards the rear of the bike) If there is no movement, you'll probably be fine. But once you start riding you may notice a "clunk" which could indicate yucky grease. If you're going to be cleaning everything else up, I'd pull them and clean/regrease for good measure. Clutch splines, everybody has an opinion. I've pulled my trans just 10k after a clean and lube, and saw none left. It isn't as huge of a deal as some make it out to be. Nice bike!
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:26 PM   #19
disston
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The transmission input spline often costs 0. It is not very difficult and gives you the opportunity to start collecting or making the special tools that you will be using. This tool I mention here is the turned down 27mm socket. If you have a lathe make your own. I have even made them on a bench grinder. This socket is used to get the lock nut off the swing arm bearings so the swing arm can be removed. Many try to do this job by not removing the swing arm and it actually takes longer (short cuts are sometimes not any help). So when this goes back together you will have lubed the rear wheel bearings, the swing arm bearings, the rear wheel splines and the trans input splines.

The steering head bearings do need grease sometimes. We don't usually hear about them until they get so dry they are causing problems. The steering head has to be dropped and then bearings cleaned and greased. If you have compressed air it will help with this job. If the bearing races show any shadows or the bearings seem notchy when turned they may need replacing. There is a hook wrench in the on board tool kit that is used on the /6es. It has two pins on one end and the hook on the other. It's should be a Heyco tool I think. Do you have this wrench in the kit? I've been trying to buy a new one for a year and keep getting out bid like crazy on Ebay. They are available from Hucky at a reasonable price.

Another tool that you will need sooner than you think is the finned exhaust nut wrench. There are many styles. Get the one from Cycle Works dot net when you get the turned down 27 mm socket. Notice the address is dot net, dot com will find you a bicycle store.

There are many sources for info on your new bike on the web. Here is a link to get you started;

http://www.airheads.org/

You do not have to be a member there to use most of the site but they also publish a very nice monthly paper that most say is worth the cost of membership. There is also info on the Airheads Email Club that is popular.

Charlie
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:10 PM   #20
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airhead maintenance

I forgot to mention a major source of tech. information: Robt. Fleisher (?) aka Snowbum. His website has enough data to make your head swim. When I go there for help (often) I am always astounded at what the man has done. The site is an encyclopedia.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripletreat View Post
I forgot to mention a major source of tech. information: Robt. Fleisher (?) aka Snowbum. His website has enough data to make your head swim. When I go there for help (often) I am always astounded at what the man has done. The site is an encyclopedia.
Wow that site is an airhead encyclopedia! Although I must admit it can be overwhelming at times.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:36 PM   #22
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1st day digging into the bike

So I had some time today to start looking at the bike. Did not have much time but I did notice a few things:

1. I ran it around the block and the clutch seems to slip at higher RPMs. I will try to figure out how to adjust it and see if that improves the grip. One thing I noticed is that the cluch will start to grab only when I have almost completely let go of the lever. First 3/4's of lever travel do not do anything.

2. The gas tank appears to be leaking. I looked at the inside and there does not seem to be any significant surface rust which could lead to pinholes. I did notice there was some duct tape on the underside which I'm not sure what the purpose of it is. Next time I will bring some sand paper to clear the area where the tape sat and see if I can spot any holes or any other place from where the gas could be leaking. There seems to be some rubbing with other components but I would think it nearly impossible that the rubbing could have worn through the tank.


These are not cracks, it is where the paint was worn out and now the metal is exposed.



3. Crack on the subframe, I do not think this is a big deal, I just have to get someone to lay a bead on it. Will require a bit of paint but not much else. Crack is where red line is on pic below.



So now my initial priorities have changed. Next things at the top of my list are now: fixing the gas leak and checking out the clutch.

Some other random pics from the day let me know if you see anything that may look weird or different/broken:









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Old 01-28-2012, 03:44 PM   #23
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deal of the day fer sure man!
i love my airhead. my old BritBike buds all say the airhead beemers are too agricultural. i dispute this notion.
there is definitely a certain something about them. i think they seem....
kinda organic.

they have their own feel, and a solid following. boatloads of available knowledge and parts. you got a nice bike there.
no reason in this world why you couldn't ride that anywhere you want.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:02 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by civhatch90 View Post
So I had some time today to start looking at the bike. Did not have much time but I did notice a few things:

1. I ran it around the block and the clutch seems to slip at higher RPMs. I will try to figure out how to adjust it and see if that improves the grip. One thing I noticed is that the cluch will start to grab only when I have almost completely let go of the lever. First 3/4's of lever travel do not do anything.
Sounds like the clutch cable at the throw-out arm and clutch lever are simply out of adjustment. I don't have the specs handy for a /6, but I'm sure someone here can advise. Sounds as if the cable is too tight, as the last few MM of lever travel should be slack when properly adjusted. If the cable is too tight, it won't allow the clutch to fully engage, thus the slippage at high RPM.

Judging by the picts and descriptions you have provided, the PO seems to have neglected some of the dutiful TLC that you can now provide, and I would bet you can properly adjust the cable via the lever and throw-out to get rid of this behaviour.
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ignatz72 screwed with this post 01-28-2012 at 04:15 PM
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:58 PM   #25
civhatch90 OP
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Originally Posted by ignatz72 View Post
Sounds like the clutch cable at the throw-out arm and clutch lever are simply out of adjustment. I don't have the specs handy for a /6, but I'm sure someone here can advise. Sounds as if the cable is too tight, as the last few MM of lever travel should be slack when properly adjusted. If the cable is too tight, it won't allow the clutch to fully engage, thus the slippage at high RPM.

Judging by the picts and descriptions you have provided, the PO seems to have neglected some of the dutiful TLC that you can now provide, and I would bet you can properly adjust the cable via the lever and throw-out to get rid of this behaviour.
Yeah unfortunately the history of the bike is rather unclear. The guy I bought it from had supposedly traded it for a guitar of some sort and he never rode it, had it parked for 2 years until he decided to get rid of it.

These are great news! I really hope I don't have to replace the clutch disc and all it needs is some adjustment. I will play around with this thing for a bit and see if I can get it to release earlier and grip better.

I was kinda disappointed this afternoon after finding out about the clutch + tank but I guess those are the risks we all take when buying older bikes. Just not something I had considered earlier.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:59 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricochetrider View Post
deal of the day fer sure man!
i love my airhead. my old BritBike buds all say the airhead beemers are too agricultural. i dispute this notion.
there is definitely a certain something about them. i think they seem....
kinda organic.

they have their own feel, and a solid following. boatloads of available knowledge and parts. you got a nice bike there.
no reason in this world why you couldn't ride that anywhere you want.
Thanks! There surely seems to be something special about them and let me tell you those cylinder heads stick out way too far! It will take some time getting used to them. I sure hope I can ride this thing a lot and enjoy it.
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:01 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by disston View Post

You do not have to be a member there to use most of the site but they also publish a very nice monthly paper that most say is worth the cost of membership. There is also info on the Airheads Email Club that is popular.

Charlie
Thanks a ton I appreciate all your help.

You guys have made this ownership experience very rewarding thus far! Its a good feeling to know that there are supportive people out there who are willing to spend the time explaining & helping others.
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:16 PM   #28
disston
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I'd be careful with poking and sanding on that tank. You will only make the leak worse. Good used gas tanks are getting dearer all the time. Could you try to clean and dry the tank so you would be able to see where it's leaking? There's a good chance the leak is from around the petcocks. There is a gasket between the petcock and the tank. The old red fiber gasket is probably what you have. The petcock can be carefully tightened a little to sometimes stop a leak there. But only lightly. I forget the sizes but I do have wrenches on board that fit the large double threaded nut and the petcock itself. If you use pliers you might scratch the soft metal. The petcocks have square portions that an open end wrench will fit. The really tricky part is that the petcock is left hand threaded and the tank is right hand threaded. You have to hold the petcock while turning the attachment nut. Since the tank is right hand threaded turn so the nut is tightening the normal direction on the tank. I hope that is clear. And don't over tighten.

The gas lines leak after not enough mileage. But we are stuck with them. Some use SAE sized lines but they cause other problems. The correct gas lines are 7mm and available at your dealer or from an old VW shop. You need three feet.

There is a new gasket for between the petcocks and tank. It has a new larger screen that fits in the tank as the primary, 1st, debris filter. Next time you are at the dealer, and you probably need new gas line, also get the new design petcock filters/washers. Also get some inline gas filters. They are not a BMW part but most dealers have them behind the counter. They trap a finer sort of debris that the in tank screens will miss.

The petcocks can also be rebuilt but they are a royal pain to get back together. Most get new petcocks instead of messing with rebuilding them. If they do leak, that is, this only comes up about once every 25 years.

I probably left something out. Tell us how far you get.

Oh yes. The clutch cable needs adjusting.

Charlie
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:36 AM   #29
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Update

Well after a few weeks I finally had a chance to work on the bike and make a little bit of progress.

First and update on the gas tank. I'm happy to say it is in good shape and the tank nor the petcocks were the source of the leak. More on that below.

I have started looking for oil leaks and noticed the following:
1. There appears to be a slow leak from the front of the engine
2. There appears to be a slow leak from the rocker arms/gasket where the cylinder head meets the block
3. There appears to be a slow leak from the back somewhere and maybe the oil pan.

All of the leaks above I'm not too worried about for now since I know the bike will run fine and its not leaking quarts and quarts of oil. just a bit which up to a point I'm sure is normal on a 75k almost 40 year old motorcycle.

Now on to my new discoveries:
I have been noticing that when I engage the starter motor it seems to spin but not engage the flywheel. I considered that a serious problem and decided to pull the starter off. Well it seems as if the starter is grinding down the flywheel slowly but surely. I have done some reading on this and it appears that I need to lubricate the bendix and that may solve the problem. Can somebody confirm this? Also, I assume this would be a good time to change the brushes on the starter motor are these the ones I would need?

http://www.euromotoelectrics.com/product_p/bo157-tk.htm

I would be following this write up to freshen up the starter:

http://www.thisoldtractor.com/gtbend...ir_-bosch-.htm

What the starter looks like:







Next big item on the list is a leaky master cylinder which is where the leak (that I initially thought was the gas tank) is coming from. I believe there are several options here:
1. Rebuild kit
2. New master cylinder
3. Do the handlebar master cylinder mod

Which one would be most cost effective? I want to keep this as low budget as possible.




Last question, can I change the fork seals without having to worry about the fork alignment?
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:05 AM   #30
DoktorT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by civhatch90 View Post
Here is the few things I know for sure I need to do to it:
-Check splines
-Oil change
-Fork seals are leaking
-new front tire
-check valve clearances
-sync the carbs
-check out electrical system connectors

How are the steering head bearings on these? Something I should look at? Thanks for all the help.
Put the clutch splines on the backlist to get to after many other more important duties. Start with the pure safety issues. Tires, Wheels/bearings, steering head bearings, forks, swing arm bearings, rear wheel bearings. Problems here can put you into the ditch or curb.

Then brakes, flush and bleed the fluid, adjust, test.

Don't be ripping sweepers with it until you get to that safety level.

Then verify tuning and balance.

Don't just start replacing anything. Just do the maintenance inspection, verify what you got and make the adjustments.

Then have on next winter's list the tranny pull and clutch spline inspection. Do the 6k inspection first, then the 12k items to follow up. Keep notes as you go or you won't have a history to use or pass on.
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