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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dinner is Set

The project has hit a major milestone today:  all parts disassembled, cleaned, and replaced if worn.  Also, all paint work (frame, rear swing arm, triple clamp, bar sets, controls) is complete and parts are drying this week.  Like a well laid out feast, metal tid bits parts are all accounted for so now it's time to start reassembly.  So that's the milestone:  No more tear down, just re assembling a MOTORCYCLE.

I'll have to wait a few days to re-install painted parts, but mean while i'll start sub section assemblies and repair the damaged wire harness:

New bars, grips, throttle assembly, Speigler Stainless Brake Lines, new throttle and choke cables, etc. etc.

Headers will be wire-wheeled so rust will be gone.  Reynolds stand still needs welding repairs and a trim job to work with the Browns Side Stand.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Frame Repairs

Just a quick progress update:  since the last post I've mainly focused on repairing the frame damage.  To review, the frame, battery box, and rear swing arm had a lot of erosion from a battery that puked all over the place, all of which was hidden behind some duct tape (sorry PO, it didn't quite do the job as intended ... duct tape is not the universal answer).

Original State after battery removal:

And then onto the repairs.  First thing to do is to completely strip off the old paint and rust using a series of sand paper -- starting out with a stripping grit, then following up with some leveling grit:
Sanded and prepped left main frame drops

Lower frame prepped ... 

Battery box mount and inside of left frame lower (see above for all the rust on it)
And then onto the fun part primer and paint ....

Masked and ready for the paint booth.
Another angle:  masked and ready for paint.

Apply primer to all bare metal areas


Finished product, nice smooth paint.

Finished frame.
And just for your reference and deep feeling of satisfaction, this is what it looked like before (yuk):

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Progress in Paint

Well after that last "broken-this and broken-that" post, I think it is time to show some of the progress I'm making in dealing with the paint issues I bought.  If you recall, the PO had some sort of battery issue which resulted in battery acid getting all over the battery box, the sub frame, the main frame, and the swing arm.  At this stage in the project, I'm focused on "mechanical restoration" so I'm not yet at the point where I'll start repainting the tank, fenders, and rear cowl; however, repairing the battery acid damage is important because the steel is rusting and will just continue to decay.

After looking around for best paint options and doing a couple of painting samples I ended up using a VHT Roll Bar & Chassis paint.  BMW frames are standard black but the hard part is matching the sheen.  They are in between Gloss and Semi Gloss (aka, Satin) and after considering both I ended up using the VHT Gloss Black.  I specifically chose it for its heat resistance and general durability AND because it was self priming.  But the worry got the best of me on the swing arm since the rusting was severe and a little remained even after sanding it hard ... so I did a primer coat of Rustoleum which is good at sealing bare metal with slight rust:

Swing arm shows rust and poor paint.

Battery box shows rust and acid erosion.
Swing arm properly sanded (to bare metal) and prepped for paint.

Swing arm with primer coat.

Swing arm, battery box, and throttle perch with final gloss black coat.
Whiskey Tango paint booth (it worked amazingly well to contain the draft; I had very little if any paint dust in the garage).

Doubling Down

The project is moving along but has encountered some unexpected obstacles.  My lack of posting for the past couple of weeks is not an indicator that I've slowed down, just that I've been "up to my elbows" so to speak -- both with grease/grime and with a lot of work I did not anticipate.  Many times I think, "hey, I should take a picture of this" then I realize I'd have to spend 5 minutes scrubbing the grease off my hands so that I could use the camera, so instead I just move along.  I have paused occasionally and snapped some interesting pics which I'll share with you.

Here are some of the bigger updates related to what I call the "discovery phase" of the project -- namely where you are learning about the history and issues with the project ...

Working with Bob (Bob's Motorwerks) was a learning experience.  He has many, many years of hands- on experience working on Airheads, and a ton of wisdom as a result.  Rebuilding a transmission that you did not personally "wear out" is a bit like reading a mystery novel (not that I ever do that).  All the gears and mysteries are hidden inside the case, and it is not until you open it up that you find out what the story really is.  Well my story started by me removing the transmission and sending it to Bob, and it got even more interesting when he called me a few days later after he was able to open the case and assess the issues. That hopeful/excited feeling I had in my stomach was quickly dispatched when the first words he said to me were, "In all my years rebuilding transmissions, I've never seen this kind of damage ... it looks like the previous owner (PO) was trying to do wheelies, or some other monkey business, over and over ... the front lay shaft gear and thrust piece are all busted up ... whaa .. whaa ... wahaaaaa ..."   Actually, he did not sound like one of Charlie Brown's teachers, but he went through a very technical description of which gears were busted up and how ridiculous the whole thing was.  The big problem is that BMW doesn't even sell the input lay shaft parts anymore and last time they did, it was around $1,100 for the shaft complete with gears.  Fortunately for me, Bob is a very resourceful individual with a lot of "in good shape used parts" laying around and he also has access to a 20 ton press.  He took good care of me and although the news was not what I had hoped for, the final bill was not a lot more than I expected:

Transmission boxed up and waiting for UPS to pickup and deliver to Bob.

Yea! Transmission back from Bob.

Emmery inspecting the box for shipping damage!  ;-)

Emmery pushing the box toward the garage so she can open it.

Emmery inspecting the contents of the box (If you're wondering why the box is full of plastic oil quarts, Bob uses empty ones as shipping ballast to secure the transmission.  Very smart!)

Emmery taking the oil quarts out.

The "re-habbed" tranny waiting to be installed.  Those acid stains were there before I sent it in to Bob, I'll have to polish them off before re-installation.

Left to Right:  Lay shaft front gear; thrust piece; 15deg input gear with broken tooth.

Input gear shows sheering on the tip.

Thrust piece is also badly worn.

Lay shaft float gear has badly scarred gear teeth.

Drive Train:
Upon discovering the evidence uncovered in the transmission (that the PO was trying to wheelie repeatedly, or repeatedly riding on washboard gravel roads, I was advised to inspect my clutch, (topic of another post to come) the drive shaft, (BMWs have drive shafts not chains) and the final drive for damage.  Like they say, where there is smoke, there is fire.  In this case, additional damage caused by PO:

Reader,  meet the drive shaft (inside the black hollow swing arm on the left) and final drive (the silver thing with the drum brake lever on it).

Drive Splines:  the circle with the teeth on it are the drive splines.  If you look at the individual splines look at the width of the spline nearest you compared to the portion farthest from you (where it does not wear).  It is about 1/2 to 1/3 the original width... this is caused by neglect.

That is the U Joint.  Fortunately, it was in pretty decent condition.    

Unanticipated Issues:
As if the overly worn transmission, worn drive splines, rusty drive shaft tube, worn U Joint were not bad enough news, the discovery journey did not end until I followed the "wheelie trail" to the bitter end.  I discovered two other issues that I'll need to monitor:

Rim just above the valve stem shows slight bend/flat spot.  The tire bead looks ok so I can probably ignore the issue ... but 'cmon this is a touring bike not a MX bike!

Cracked Frame:  the frame just above and to the right of the round hole (where rear brake pedal attaches) is cracked.  My neighbor has a '77 R100/7 that he is restoring and has two of these cracks in the same spot.  Fortunately this is a non critical area of the frame, so we'll just spot weld it in place and repaint.

The end of the bad news trail for now.  And now I'll post some other news of progress ....