Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Felt like Christmas day...

Got home from work and what do I find but 2 big packages on my front porch. Woohoo!!! My tank and my exhaust had arrived. Can't tell you the last ime I was that excited over a couple parcels. Both came in the shape they were described so I was pleased. Nothing to do but dive right in.

I still had the chore of the front forks. Got them off....what a pain in the ass! I had to take apart the entire steering/headlight housing. Ended up the damn turn signal supports were holding the fork braces together even with the allen bolts out. Problem solved. Forks removed.

Stuck again though. I can't get the part whose name I don't even know removed. The final thing I need to take apart I don't even have a name for. I'm pretty discourarged at this point. I think my next step will be to by a butane torch and I'm going to try to heat it all up. I'll I can hope is it helps break it away. I don't believe the front forks have ever been taken apart.

On a brighter side, I removed the original exhaust and replaced with my new 2-1 setup. It's gonna look pretty slick when all done.

I Tri(ied) and it rained

Woke up early on Memorial day (5:30am...for me....wow) so I could complete my registration and pick up my race packet. Fairly nervous. 1st triathlon and even though it was for beginners, I had trained all by myself and was there completely solo. Never had anyone show me or walk me through a transition setup, what to expect, etc. Got that all straightened away, put on my tighty speedos and went for body marking.

My goal for the day: Finish in less than 1hr. 200m swim, 8.5 mile bike, and 2 mile run. The sprint of all sprints. Even so, still my 1st.

Lining up for the start of the swim got the adrenaline going. I was #92 of 350 participants. Jumped in, got passed twice, hopped out and was in full swing. The juice was definitely flowing. Ran to the bike staging area and had a terrible 1st transition. Couldn't get my shirt on....seriously pissed me off but ended p getting on the bike and started cranking away. Felt pretty good. 3 big hills but most difficult part was the headwind for the majority of the ride. Tough. Made it through the ride and back to the staging area. Had a good transition I felt like and started running. My legs were feeling it but I didn't feel bad. Heart rate was up and just told myself to keep going. Then it was over. Came across the line, felt kinda high, and....it was over. I stuck around and cheered on some other racers. Wanted to wait around to see times and get some grub/hydration.

Times posted: 6th in my group. Total time - 54:47

Now I just need to decide if I'm going to do the McMinville tri on June 28th......

Was going to work on the bike after I got back, but it rained. Perfect excuse for slow cooking some ribs and lying around on a Memorial day.

Front fork rebuild

Another project, another learning experience.
The forks were in bad shape. Terrible bounce in them. Need new springs, washers/gaskets, oil...pretty much everything but the tubes themselves.

When I ordered my batch of parts from Max BMW (thanks for the help Rusty), I ordered Progressive springs and everything else needed. Followed the manual again and no problems to speak of. Got the front wheel and fender off. Unscrewed the fork plugs and drained out all the oil. Noticed loads of debris from both but the right more so. Pulled the lower tubes off each and the gaskets were shot; the right disintergrated. Now the tubes were completely drained. Reinstalled the lower tubes. Unscrewed the top protection caps and pulled the guide supports. Springs came right out and that was that.

Next I just wanted to pull the tubes completely out. Couldn't be completely smooth now right??? Geez...what gives? Nothing I could do could even make them budge. Had to hang up the grease rags for the day. Posted a suggestion link on advrider.com (thanks everyone there...) and got a few leads. Saving it for the next day. Spent the better part of Saturday on the project and it was much needed as I had my first triathlon (GJCC Memorial Day sprint) the following day. Good way to keep my mind off the day to come.

**Update - got the tubes out and Charles (flat track racer/mechanic extrodanaire) helped me get the damper rods out. Should have everything redone this evening. Inching closer...

Here are a few pics of the front fork rebuilt process


Sat down unknowingly Thurs. of last week and ended up changing out the oil on my bike.

Well, almost.......

Seems like nothing has gone too smoothly for me in this process. I'm hoping that I'll be laughing at myself in the not to distant future but for now, it can be frustrating.

Back to the oil change. Started the bike up and let everything warm up. Popped the drain plug and let the purge begin. Opened up the dipstick hole to speed it up. In the meantime, I pulled the outer/inner oil filter caps. Unbolted the shim and pulled the (oooooooold) oil filter. Replaced w/ new filter. Apparently BMW did away w/ the outer metal shim and built the gasket on the filter. Nice job. Less pieces. Everything still going well. Noticed the oil pan has been slowly dripping for who knows how long. Decided I want to replace it before filling back up with oil.

Here's where it gets fun. Proceeded to put back on the inner/outer oil filter caps. Many of the bolts have a torque spec. I've been follwing these guides to a T. Guess they aren't always right. Stripped out the 10mm bolt for the inner cap. #$#@$. Went to 7 different Autozone, O'Reily's, Advanced, Lowes, etc. On the 8th stop, a Pep Boys, I found one. Was about 1/2" too long but got it home and cut/filed it down and presto. Worked just fine. Tighted it snugly and left it at that. Outer cap on. Good to go. Now I just need the oil pan gasket and I'll be able to fill her up w/ some oil. One less task for now.....

**Update. Got the gasket last night and it's the oil pan is now on. She's now got fresh oil.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Carbs &Valves (New tires too)- 1st time for everything

I did it. I finally did some mechanichin'. My experience with the mechanical side of things has been limited to non-existent. Coming from a family of mechanical minds, this has always been somewhat of a rub to my ego. Now I can say, "I've rebuilt a carb!!!"

Bought a Clymer's manual for the bike and that's been my guide so far (Kudos to Blake Smith as well.........my neighbor who also limelights as my Beemer Mentor). Decided to pull off both carbs a couple weeks ago and sat down one Friday evening and went at it. Completely disassembled and cleaned. Replaced all O-rings and gaskets and reassembled. I'm sure the process took me much longer than a seasoned vet but I learned a great deal about the inner workings of the carbs. I also proved to myself that I will be able to do this. Putting the carbs back on was not much of a problem. Had one cap screwed on incorrectly so the throttle cable was too taught but that was an easy fix.
Next up was valve inspection and adjustment. The next few pictures show part of the process. 1st I had to remove the valve covers which was all of 3 bolts. The valves on both sides looked to be in good condition (so far so good). Didn't appear to be anything other than normal wear occurring. Moved on from inspection to actually adjusting the valves. This was the 1st part of the process I did a bit of head scratching. Finding TDC (top dead center) and feeling "good" about it were not jiving. I finally took a poke and it and......I got it. Valves adjusted on the right side. Moved to the left. Easy enough, just repeat right? Oooooooops. First mistake. Did not give rotate the engine a revolution and tried adjusting the left valve clearances. Ended up stripping one of the valve adjuster nuts. Nothing serious. Just killed about 5 days waiting for the correct parts to arrive. When I noticed that "stripping" feeling, my heart skipped a beat. I was certain I had done something very expensive. Quite the relieft to realize it was only a minor mistake. Once I had the new nut, I went through the process again, this time getting TDC for each side. This time. No problems. Another task in the rebuild process checked off the list.

Right valve - Looks good Left Valve - Ditto

Valve covers back on. Also took the rear luggage rack off. Starting to resemble a bike.
I didn't take pictures post new tires but...they're new. Michelon Mcadam 50/50's. Nice tires. Side note. I have now popped 2 new tubes putting on the rear wheel. I'm so frustrated I'm just going to have a shop put the tube in and seat the tire. Argh!!!
So far this week I've purchased a used /5 tour tank (small dent.....nothing major) and a set of low rise Euro bars. Once I can replace the current ape hangers w/ the Euro bars, it will look MUCH better.
Goal for this week is to get the front forks rebuilt. We'll see if time permits. Wedding to attend this weekend.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Back in Business...

1976 BMW R75/6 - Cafe Racer Project

My last bike, a burly Honda xr650l, was stolen from my backyard. Disheartening. Made it all through Central America and back with zero issues. Within 3 months back, gone.

That was then. This is now. I'm nearly back on two (motorized...) wheels again! Picked up a BMW 75/6. This blog is aimed, for now at least, to show the progess in the rebuild. Overall, she's in good shape. From initial inspection, I know I'll need the following:

1) New tires
2) New gas tank
3) Front fork rebuild
4) Rear shock rebuild
5) Carb Rebuild
6) Valve adjustments
7) All oils/lubricants drained & replaced

After I've crossed those off the list, I'll have her road worthy. Most likely won't look very pretty but she'll run strong.

Once I've gotten these mechanical defficiencies remedied, I'll begin the cosmetic stage of the rebuild process. Here are some pics of.........(name still TBD).........as I purchased her.