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Old 01-18-2013, 10:01 AM   #31
TINK
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: So Cal
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Laugh Welcome to the wacky world of motorcycling

Welcome Leo,

There are a lot of airhead lovers here in So Cal that are willing to help you get your dad's bike running.

The classic BMW airhead is a very reliable bike with a very simple design, a good first bike for anyone wanting to learn about working on motorcycles.

I've been working (slowly) on restoring/converting a 1979 R100RT to a R100S for the past year and a half and am almost ready to ride > http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=684054

Good luck.

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Old 01-18-2013, 10:45 AM   #32
Stan_R80/7
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Location: VA
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I revived my '78 airhead after putting it in a backyard shed for ~16 years. I changed the oil, ran most of the fuel out, and took out the battery before storing. Here are some of the steps I took to get it back into running shape:

1. Tested the brakes: My front handbrake provided no braking so the master cylinder needed rebuilding.
2. Drained the oil from the differential, drive shaft, transmission, and engine: All four had water from condensation, it collects due to temperature swings and gets trapped under the oil where it cannot evaporate. California may be better about this than the east coast, but I am skeptical.
3. Put new oil in the engine, transmission, differential, and shaft per the Clymers/Haynes manuals. Took out the spark plugs and added some drops of oil to the cylinder along and sprayed penetrating oil through the spark plug hole. Note: deliberately did not change oil filter.
4. Got a new battery: I used a lead acid type bought from Staab via mail order (the previous name for internet purchase).
5. Cleaned up any electrical contacts, inspected the plug wires, got new plugs.
6. Removed and recoated the gas tank: This may or may not be necessary, but the same condensation effect on the oils happens if there is any old fuel in the tank.
7. Took the carburetors apart and soaked/cleaned them: Used the (more) environmentally safe chem-dip, others have used pine-sol. Spray cleaners have some use, but soaking and cleaning had to happen. Some call this 'rebuilding', but in my case, only the idle jet o-ring and main jet o-ring were needed.
8. Installed new battery and cranked engine over w/out spark plugs screwed in the cylinder but still attached to the wires. Its not good for the coils to discharge w/out a spark so plugs were attached and laid on the cylinders. Note: if the engine wont' crank over - stop and go no further and disconnect the battery. Consult help.
9. Inspected spark plugs when cranking, made sure oil light went out and spark was good.
10. Inspected the lights, changed bulbs, ordered parts such as bulbs, valve cover gaskets, fuel hose, new tires and tubes.
11. Disassembled, inspected and cleaned the fuel tank petcocks.
12. Got tank ready for fuel and reinstalled, installed cleaned petcocks, new fuel line, and installed (cleaned) carburetors.
13. Added ~ 1 gallon of fuel to tank - so it is not heavy when removing again. Attempt to start: investigate why not, correct problem, return to 13.
14. Get bike running with good brakes and lights. This can take a while.
14. Install new tires/tube (I consider this a critical operation and do it myself - opinions vary about this).
15. Test ride!


I had 20w-50 oil from the 90's (part of a packrat syndrome) but also bought some Valvoline 4 stroke motorcycle and Castrol 4t motorcycle 20W-50 oils since the oil was changed ~ 4 times in 1000 miles. The filter was replaced after 20-30 miles after the test ride phase then again at 500 miles. The BMW 20W-50 and Golden Spectro 20W-50 are excellent but a bit pricey and not so easy to find. Changing the oil a couple of times would have probably been OK.

Take your time, be careful when removing parts to keep them labeled and separated. Zip lock bags and sharpie markers are excellent tools for this along with tape. For example, don't take both carburetors off at the same time - only one. Putting bolts and screws back on the bike after removing parts is a good way to keep them. Photograph the way parts are attached (before removing) for future reference. Airheads are 'simple' but the basics apply to most motorcycles. Enjoy the journey. Good luck!

p.s. the above lengthy process was my own approach. Another is to change the oil, get a battery, add gas, and try to start the engine. When that doesn't work, then begin troubleshooting fuel and ignition. Change all the oils & brake fluid before a test ride.

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Old 01-18-2013, 05:05 PM   #33
Leo562 OP
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This information is phenomenal

The information you guys are putting out is amazing I am already learning so much!
I still am in the process of cleaning out the garage to optimize my working space I want to be as organized as possible!
Almost all of these tips include at some point starting the engine which is in need of a battery. I still am in need of a battery which I will hopefully get this weekend

THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!

I want to thank everyone again for there appreciated support and answering my questions!
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:40 PM   #34
disston
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Have you been reading the manual?

I know the battery in the bike is dead but disconnect it anyway. We do this any time we take the front cover off. The front cover is just that it is on the front of the engine. There are three hex head bolts holding the cover on. Remove and the cover will come off. Want to look and see what you have for ignition. Does it have ignition points like shown in your manual?

The stock wet acid battery will be available at a dealers or the PC680 which Anton mentioned is a good choice. I have always used a wet acid till the last time I replaced mine and I got an AGM type battery. I ordered this battery from these people. After shipping charges my total was $61. A pretty good price. Some people have done even better. This battery is enough at 18 Amps. It's a little smaller than the OEM battery but will work fine too. The top clamp will hold it. I added some strips of plywood to make it secure.

http://www.batteryplex.com/toyo.cfm/m/6FM18

Notice the web page shows you a TOYO battery. They sent me a Power Sonic. Same thing except the top is purple. I didn't like that at first but it's not that visible on the bike. I thought I would paint the top but haven't gotten around to it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:45 PM   #35
Bill Harris
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Quote:
This information is phenomenal
Sure is. But be careful-- the advice is from Airheads.




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Old 01-18-2013, 08:23 PM   #36
sealsam
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Amazing!

There is tons of help flowing here, and it really is solid. You've touched a cord here with your dad's bike.

Come see some vintage iron. It is a very casual get together the 2nd Sunday of each month..

http://www.vintagebikeoc.com/home/index.php

Good going Leo
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:45 PM   #37
bmwhacker
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Location: MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo562 View Post
The information you guys are putting out is amazing I am already learning so much!
I still am in the process of cleaning out the garage to optimize my working space I want to be as organized as possible!
Almost all of these tips include at some point starting the engine which is in need of a battery. I still am in need of a battery which I will hopefully get this weekend

THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!

I want to thank everyone again for there appreciated support and answering my questions!
+100 on getting hooked up with the Airheads Club.
Attending a "Tech Day" will be worth the time.
My first Tech Day, I had a herd of very knowledgable, Beer Swilling "advisors" explaining the finer points of a
transmission spline lube as I performed my first one.
Great comradery and information will be found there.
Our Airheads connection has changed our lives in the past 17 years with many new friends and acquaintances.
Plus, the majority of the twisted minds of the group are the only people that will befriend us.
Good luck.
I have what's left of a 1978 R100S cobbled into a sidecar tug. The R100S in its original form is a pretty good machine. Sounds like you have a lot of work to do so take advantage of the resources in your area. Airheads are everywhere, whether you like it or not.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:47 PM   #38
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I would advise not running a bike through its gears underpowered on a center stand. Stuff can go real bad reall quick if the stand fails, which they don't often do but it's not unheard of.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:37 AM   #39
Paul_Rochdale
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With respect to other posters here, I feel they are encouraging to jump the gun (and I know you lot like your guns). What I would do first is to push the bike out into the sunlight and give it a good wash as after so many years, unless it has been sheeted up, it will be filthy. Next decide where you are going to work on the bike. I've seen so many garages/workshops filled with crap (kids bikes, washing machines, hose pipes across the floor, etc) so you may need to have a really good tidy up. I would not even begin to work on the bike until I have sorted out the workshop. You'll need a stout work bench and a secondhand engineers vice. You'll want good lighting and power points, not one power point with a multiple adaptor. I now have our old living room carpet on the floor which makes things much, much easier to work on. What tools have you been left? You must have a good set of metric sockets and combination spanners, and whether these live in a tool cabinet or are mounted on the wall in ascending order, it's down to you, but having quality tools and them neatly arranged makes working on bikes a pleasure. I have a hydarulic motorcycle bench which I wouldn't be without but if you are a dab hand at carpentry, you could make a sturdy timber bench, say knee high, with a ramp to push the bike up.

Right now that the decks are cleared, you have power and lighting, and some decent tools, meet up with local BMW enthusiasts as you can learn as much by chatting to them as by reading a manual. I'm sure you'll have a good time. And don't get over obsessed with torque figures as most of the bike will run perfectly safely with 'hand tight'. Good luck, and can we see any pics?
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:52 AM   #40
isdt BMW
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I also have a 78 R-100-S, bought it new. giving it to my son this spring so I can enjoy it with him. that said, definately get with some BMW people, vintage bike people, new bike guys usually don't know our old bikes. before any ride, the bike needs a FULL service, probably brake cylinder rebuild, master cylinder rebuild, Benchmarkworks has parts. The airhead folks will put you on to all the best supplies of parts. Treat the bike right, and you can have it for the rest of your life. welcome aboard
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:27 AM   #41
TINK
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Location: So Cal
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Vboc

Quote:
Originally Posted by samthg View Post
Amazing!

There is tons of help flowing here, and it really is solid. You've touched a cord here with your dad's bike.

Come see some vintage iron. It is a very casual get together the 2nd Sunday of each month..

http://www.vintagebikeoc.com/home/index.php

Good going Leo
2nd a visit to VBOC. You'll see some really cool bikes, meet some really cool people (me ) and can ask lots of questions from guys that know a lot about nothing

TINK
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:16 AM   #42
photomd
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Wow...what a cool story and a cool bike. You have what I consider one of the best usable classics. However the short version is take your time, you'll make mistakes, we all did and still do, and that's how we learn. Sometimes the difference between "experts" and "noobs" is the experts know how to fix their mistakes.

The long version is what pretty much everyone else has said. First make sure you have a good, comfortable work space. You'll need good metric open/closed end wrenches, sockets, allen sockets and allen wrenches. I'm also of the opinion that you need a set of torque wrenches. You can get a set at Harbor Frieght as long as you're careful with them (don't drop them, store them at 20% max setting and carefully feel the torque as you use them). They're cheap and usable. You can spend close to $1000 for a good set or you can use the cheap ones. IMHO, this is the one thing that will help you from making expensive mistakes. Also read (google) how a fastner acts as you apply torque: think about it as you tighten and loosen fastners and try to understand what's going on. Your bike has several fasteners that are easily stripped. If you apply what's going on every time you tighten something, it'll become habit and help you have a better bike to ride.

As for the bike, I'd wash it, dry it and then pull the plugs. Fill the cylinders with any good motor oil you have on the self. Loosely put the plugs back and DO NOT TURN OVER THE MOTOR. Let the oil sit for a day or two.

Then sit down with a pad and make a list of all the rubber parts you see with any cracks or that is hard. I'd replace all the rubber bits: tires, cables, fuel lines, rubber boots at the carbs and at some point the dust cover on the forks as well as the swingarm.

After several days, put the tranny in 5th, take the plugs out and turn the engine over by hand. Some oil may come out the plug hole. Then when you do turn over the engine, the rings and cylinder wall will not be dry.

Next I'd work on the fuel system. Pull the tank, test the petcocks, clean the tank and rebuild the carbs. Here's where an airhead tech day will be very helpful. All the info to rebuild the carbs is in the Bing manual, Snowbum sight and the shop manual, but you can't beat someone looking over your shoulder and helping you.

I'd also pull the rocker covers and check the valve clearances. Again, a tech day will be really helpful.

Also while the tank is off, check all your wiring. Any connections you can easily get to pull apart, get the dust and dirt out and pack it with dielectric grease. Then plug it back together and pull it apart several times. Check the connections at the diode board and the stator. Also check the brushes. At this point you can put the new battery in and see if switches and lights are working

After the carbs are rebuilt and the fuel system is back on the bike, check your ignition system (points?). I'd change the oil. If the oil coming out is clean, refill and get ready to circulate the oil: install new, properly gapped plugs, ground the plugs if the bike has an electronic ignition and install a new, charged battery. If you have points you don't have to ground the plugs. Then you can hit the starter until the oil light goes out. Then put in a new air filter and see if it'll start.

After it starts, check for leaks and synch the carbs. Then check the brakes, and check the wheel bearings and steering stem bearings. If they are tight and smooth and the brakes work, go up and down the street carefully. Then change all the fluids: engine, tranny, swingarm and rear dif. Then I'd pull the forks, lube the steering stem bearings and the swingarm bearings.

Holy cow...I got diarrhea of the key board. Looking over this post I know it looks long, but take one thing at a time. You'll learn a lot and you'll make some great friends. I'd suggest joining ABC. They can put you in touch with people who can help you with tech days, barley therapy as well as online. Of course we're all willing to help, but ABC may put people in your garage to show you what you need to do.

One other thing: you will get conflicting opinions, both here as well as between experts. Don't do anything the experts, the manuals or we tell you until it makes sense to you. If you blindly do something without understanding the why, you're more likely to make a mistake. And don't be afraid of mistakes. If you think your going to make a mistake, stop, think about it, and ask questions. Plowing thought the problem may take a lot longer to fix. Also, IMHO, don't work with the goal of riding the bike by whatever date you have in mind. You'll have a lot more fun if you remember it's the journey, not the destination. Enjoy the people you meet and bonding of working together. If you want to ride NOW, get a cheap bike to ride. Take your time and have fun. Also post up some pics...we wanna see this thing.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:22 AM   #43
England-Kev
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Hey good luck with your dads old bike...

I have a different idea,

get some beers and soft drinks in the cooler, fire up the grill get some burgers cooking, and invite a few local airhead riders round for a wrench sesion on your bike, so that they can show you what you need, and how to do it first hand. you will learn more in just a couple of hours this way, on what is right, and what else needs doing.

Most of all, have fun, enjoy owning the bike.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:13 AM   #44
chasbmw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by england-kev View Post
hey good luck with your dads old bike...

i have a different idea,

get some beers and soft drinks in the cooler, fire up the grill get some burgers cooking, and invite a few local airhead riders round for a wrench sesion on your bike, so that they can show you what you need, and how to do it first hand. You will learn more in just a couple of hours this way, on what is right, and what else needs doing.

most of all, have fun, enjoy owning the bike.
+1
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:36 AM   #45
BluegrassPicker
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Sounds like fun. You will find a lot of help here:
http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/forumdis...hp?13-Airheads
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