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Old 07-24-2012, 07:04 PM   #1
skipn OP
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How can a '77 R75 tachometer be repaired?

I have just started on trying to make a barn find road worthy again. It is a '77 R75/7 with 27,000 miles on it. Second owner's had it for 25 years, but it has been much neglected for the last 12 years while he was living in Germany.

One of the things I'll have to fix is the tach. The speedo works, but the needle fell off the tach. It is gone, so the tach must have been opened up at some point.

Any insight on how to fix it, find a good used one, or other options?

Thanks for any help.

skipn screwed with this post 07-25-2012 at 05:40 PM
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipn View Post
It is a '77 R75/7 with 27,000 miles on it. One of the things I'll have to fix is the tach. Any insight on how to fix it, find a good used one, or other options?
A few years ago Palo Alto Speedometer fixed the speedometer from a '74 R90S I was restoring. At the time they had a good reputation in the local BMW shop, but I have no idea if they still do that type of work.

http://www.paspeedo.com/
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #3
DaveBall
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Palo Alto is still the place to have your speedo completely overhauled. They do great high quality work, but they are not cheap. Still costs less than new ones, which are getting harder and harder to get.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:19 PM   #4
Bill Harris
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ADV Inmate Wirespokes works on BMW instruments. He may even work on something as new as a '77...
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
Wirespokes
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I work on all of the airhead speedos, and have replacement parts.

Often when the needle is broken or missing, the mechanism has self destructed - they get violent and the needle just can't stand up to the abuse. Then with the needle out of the way, the mechanism really goes wild and things get messy in a hurry.

I'd guess the tach needs a complete rebuild. But that's just my guess from little to no data.

I would recommend servicing/repairing both gauges, along with checking/repairing the light board.

Maybe seven years ago I bought a /5 (14K on the odo) from the original owner, a friend in Los Angeles, and rode it the thousand miles home. It had lived its life in his garage, but looked rough with corrosion coming on, faded paint, and some funky repairs. But the gauges worked. Half way home both gauges started acting up and before long they'd both started squealing and self destructed. They both needed total rebuilds. What a mess!

The best course would have been to service the gauges in the first place and they wouldn't have needed new shafts, bushings, needles and springs. It was a real mess in there!
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:01 AM   #6
Bill Harris
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Yes, maintian it now and you'll save a lot of repairs later on. I'm doing that long-awaited maintenance on the forks in August, and I'll do that "other maintenance" that I've planned. Got a couple of bezels, too. {wink, wink}
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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Just so you'll know...

Spokes did a great job on my instruments AND my tranny!


Give him a call before you buy something on Ebay. Keeping things in the family is a good thing!
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:51 PM   #8
Wirespokes
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Thanks Hawk!

Bill - how do the bezels look? Worth the money?
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:02 PM   #9
skipn OP
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Thanks for the info. I think I'll just disconnect the speedo and tach for now, and see how the bike comes together. Speedo works fine, so I'll lube the cables before it goes back on the road.

It has been rather neglected-- second owner bought it in '87 with 19,000 but didn't ride it much after a couple of years since he moved to Europe for 12 years. Maybe a couple of hundred miles each year. Maintained something like this:

"Valves checked 8 or 9 years ago-- at maybe 24,000, gear box oil changed in 1993. Oil changed every year before storage (doubtful since the oil was really black when I dumped it and it was obvious it hadn't been ridden in sometime)." Sat in a garage or barn for the last 3 years.

So, I want to make sure the motor and tranny are solid before I move onto other things. I'm confident enough that they are, that i have new plugs & wires, filters, tires, brakes, brake line, fork seals etc. on the way.

A working tach, battery side covers and tool tray would be a real plus along with a new exhaust, but I'll wait to see how it plays out. Frame and wheels are rust free, and the tank is looking good after finding a bit of rust.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:11 PM   #10
Wirespokes
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Be sure to lube the cable ends - especially at the controls! You want those barrel ends to swivel in their sockets, otherwise the cable swivels... and breaks after a while. Ask me what it's like riding from the southern end of San Francisco, all the way through town, across the Golden Gate to Marin (while leaving the clutch lever alone) to get a new cable because mine was hanging by three threads.

It took a while to get to that point, but it was a recently resurrected bike like yours.

So learn from my stupidity!
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:28 PM   #11
pthomas
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Wirespokes,

How do we get in touch with you? My gauges will definitely have to visit you at some point and I just saw that you also do transmissions and I'm about to open mine up to figure how what's wrong with it... it may need to see a specialist.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:51 PM   #12
skipn OP
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Thanks for the reminder. I planned to do that, but since you mentioned it, I went out and took care of it now, so I don't forget.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:01 PM   #13
Bill Harris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes View Post
Bill - how do the bezels look? Worth the money?
"Worth" is a relative term. They're replacement parts that fit a speedo/tach on a bike that went out of production 40 years ago. Glad that they're still available. They _appear_ to be identical to the OEM bezels, but I have no idea how well they'll crimp. They do have a new bezel-to-glass o-ring. We'll see how they work.

Also broke down and bought a ToasterTan upper fork piece. Figured that this wouldbe the ideal time to install one. Absolute piece of ART.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:06 PM   #14
skipn OP
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FWIW-- I guess I shouldn't call it a barn find because I think of that as something really valuable found in a barn and bought for next to nothing, like a '66 Corvette that's been there since 1969, and she wants $500 for it.

Or just anything old, cool, and cheap. Mine qualified on the first 2 counts, but I probably shouldn't have paid as much as I did since I am going to have to spend more than I first planned. Well, I should qualify that by admitting I intend to fix it up better an I planned. Still, I hope to keep it a low bucks build, just for riding locally for grins.

The day I brought it home:



Boy, am I in deep stuff now.....

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Old 07-26-2012, 05:21 AM   #15
Beemerboff
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An alternative to BMW'S high instrument prices may be on the way - there are Indian made Replica G/S speedos on Oz Ebay.

Correct ratio number and lettering but they forgot the trip, but for $70- you cant expect everything.
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