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Project Dream Beemer - Challenges

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God, it's the beginning of July already! Winter seems to have set in with dreary grey days on end and none of the exciting stuff like snow or electrical storms. In my last post Mike the auto-sparky had been for his second visit to rewire the bike and return it as much as possible to 'factory' wiring. The idea being to establish a known starting point and see what improvement, if any, it made to the way the bike was running. So...

Re-connecting the fan and thermo-sensor seems to have made a huge improvement! The sensor feeds temperature information into the cpu which alters the fuel mixture according to how hot or cold the engine is...why this had been by-passed I have no idea! Not having it in the loop caused the engine to run lean all the time. Now the fan kicks in when it should and the bike idles beautifully.

The other big thing that seems to have made an immediate improvement was simply putting caps on the vacuum gauge ports (I think that's what they're called) which were sucking in air.


Very excited to go for another sneaky ride to test out the latest improvements. So blasted off, all dressed to thrill and made it all of two blocks before stalling it at the lights. Wrrrr..wrrhhrrrr...wwhrrr...starter motor seems to be whirring into action but engine not turning over!?? Hmmm...ggrrr!! Pushed bike home past the builders I'd triumphantly screamed past about two minutes earlier...hard to look cool pushing a 200kg+ motorcycle on the footpath.

Out comes the Haynes with which I would well and truly be lost without. ... 'fault finding'... 'starter motor'...going...yes...two possible causes...engine seized...nope, have compression and can turn over... 'starter clutch slipping'. I didn't know there was such a thing :-) Apparently a build up of sludge and 'stuff' can cause this clutch to spin without engaging the auxiliary drive and turning the engine...Look up legend and see it's a three spanner job...oooh I can do three spanner we go!!

The manual says that cleaning the starter clutch will solve the problemo... unfortunately it means dismantling virtually the whole bike to get inside the Bellhousing to remove and clean the said piece of offending machinery. So off I go.

Actually, I have been a bit apprehensive about pulling the bike to bits... way more than anything I've tackled before but... once started I really enjoyed it!! The thing is now in a thousand bits in neat little piles of metal and rubber on the garage floor. I kept thinking the further I got into it, whether I could actually put it all together again...

Anyway, since I was going where not many had gone before and I had little desire to venture again...I decided to renew anything I found wanting. New clutch pressure plate, cam chain and tensioner, a few rubber boots, oil, and grease. Job done...or so I thought.

Great fun ordering parts online, a constant stream of parcels arriving...a bit addictive. :-)

On re-assembling I have stumbled on a bit of a challenge with the clutch. There is the clutch housing, the front pressure plate, the rear pressure plate and the friction plate which kind of 'floats'. These three, plus the spline from the gearbox and the pinion from the engine all need to line up exactly in order to fit back together. Not to mention the gearbox housing has two guide pins on the Bellhousing it needs to line up with and also the two bolt holes on the frame. I tell ya, there has been some tanties thrown and a lot of less-than-godly words spoken and still the fuckin thing won't go on!!!! The main fucker is that 'floating' bloody pressure plate...I was advised to use my "eye-ometre" by the BMW dealership mechanic...which was all good until I tried to tighten the clutch plate bolts to torque and the friction plate would move.

Haynes to the rescue...hopefully :-)

The Haynes manual give the dimensions if you want to machine a centering tool for the clutch so it stays in place while you tighten it. There is a special BMW tool for this but it is not available to the public... that would be too easy. So a-googling I go...and discover Mace Engineering..hooray!! Medium smiles all round...$179 + GST!! You're having a lend mate!...ok...I need it...everything has it's the only way forward and will obviously be handy in the future, so Mace will hopefully have it machined and ready by the end of the week and the project will roll on!! :-)

In the meantime I have tracked down a replacement set of switchgear for the left handlebar... in Britain, which arrived yesterday! ... and, I found REALM Engineering in the UK who make ignition leads, so I've ordered a new set of three for the bike. Cost - about $100 new and delivered, which is what it costs for just one lead from BMW!! One of mine has had a bit of a rough life and may or may not be shorting...easiest way to tell is replace it. Done!

I have also found my clip-on handle bars...but that's another story :-)

The first three blod updates were posted at if you are interested... :-)



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  1. Gremlin's Avatar
    Looks like you're actually having fun! Best you probably stop counting the dollars.

    BMWs are great when they're going... expensive when they're not
  2. Frozenpoodle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gremlin
    Looks like you're actually having fun! Best you probably stop counting the dollars.

    BMWs are great when they're going... expensive when they're not
    :-) Good advice and yup...on the whole I am enjoying the challenge immensely. Budget is somewhere under $10K...hopefully closer $7 or $8K...