Maintenance ramblings... - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 10:56 am Thread Starter
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Maintenance ramblings...

Why is it, a bike that has never been worked on by anyone other than BMW dealership mechanics, has so many missing fasteners? I've almost used up all the screws I bought, replacing them and I've only just yesterday removed the side panels from this K12GT. Even more puzzling, why do I find hoses and wiring pinched between panels, mounts and the gas tank? It's a good thing this bike wasn't ridden much by the 3 previous owners, or it would never have gotten through the 7,500 miles that they put on it in 5 years.

Nearly a month ago, I smelled gas one afternoon, removing the cover from the bike. Seeing no leaks, I reached in and touched the underside of the fuel line QD's, finding one of them with wet residue on it. I just covered the BMW back up and took the honda. By the time my parts came in the mail, to replace the QD's, the bike was setting in standing water from all the rain. After nearly a month of waiting for the rain to stop long enough for the waters to recede and the mud to dry on top, I spent about an hour working on the bike yesterday.

As I removed the right side panel, I noticed the few remaining OEM screws were in the wrong holes, with a long screw pushing into the gas tank. (sigh)

I see the pinched gas tank vent hose... the right side fan wires pinched between the gas tank and the radiator mount... a mounting post for the air scoop, missing the washer and spring clip... I remember finding those laying in the belly pan, the first time I took it off. Fortunately, I am a pack rat with a good memory and quickly found the jar where I had stashed those last august, then installed them where they belonged.

Supposedly, the QD's seal and prevent fuel loss when disconnected, but I have my empty lawnmower gas can within reach, just in case. As I touch the wet fitting, it starts dribbling gas. Quickly grabbing and squeezing the spring clip to disconnect it... I'm too late. The fitting breaks and gas is pouring out. Empty gas can to the rescue... 20 minutes later, my back is screaming from the cramped position, squatting and holding up a (now full) gas can. I had just filled the tank before parking the bike last month. I kept the gas from just pouring out on the ground, but I'm through working on the bike for today. For that matter, I'm through doing anything that requires me to be in any position other than laying flat, for the next 4 hours.

By the time I'm back on my feet, the charger is through topping off the battery and the radar shows rain moving back in. I put all the removed parts in the pantry and cover the bike again.

This morning I see the bike surrounded by standing water again. Another inch and a half of rain fell during the night and the ground was already saturated. The rest of the week is supposed to be dry though, so maybe I'll get to finish the job this coming weekend.

I am really looking forward to the dry season getting here. Riding the honda is killing my back on these rough country roads.

regards,
Joe
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 12:49 pm
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The list of what I found on my bike would be longer than your thread.....!

A bike only worked on by a BMW shop and even apparently owned originally by a BMW mechanic......! Some pretty darn serious oversights and screw-ups that are now costing me time and money to fix.And from checking on other forums, I am not alone....

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 2:11 pm
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All good reasons for doing your own work. You already have an eye for detail which is a head start on anybody who thinks they can start wrenching this bike just following the manual. Of course that's probably what the dealership techs are doing - follow this step, tick this box, do the next, finish all steps, hook on diags computer, get the computer to spit out the bill, move on to next job.

The computerised part of the process will always be consistent. But it's human skills and knowledge that deliver the real quality deal.

If you replace your oem black screws with shiny stainless button heads you would get even more pissed if they left some out. To be fair, first time around you will leave some out and learn. How are the water and oil hoses doing? Positions carefully adjusted to clear the panels, or left to rub themselves through?



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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 7:56 pm Thread Starter
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Yeah, I realise that mass production and profit margins require the abolishment of craftsmanship, replacing it with QA programs and procedures. That doesn't mean I like it. That's one of the reasons I never took a job in production. I was always the guy who was called in to fix problems that didn't respond to procedures.

The first time I dropped the belly pan, doing an oil change right after buying the bike, I noticed the way the screw was digging into the right side radiator hose. That plus the lack of both screws at the top on the other side quickly motivated me to go to the hardware store and buy screws in three different lengths. I don't really care if I replace a black torx screw with a stainless steel hex head. I'm interested in function and perfectly willing to take a couple extra seconds to line up the holes so I can use a screw that isn't pointy. Maybe, some day I'll go ahead and polish and electroplate the stainless screw heads with black chrome :-)

I'm really glad owner number three only put 300 miles on the bike, since he didn't even know how to check the pressure in the tires. He would have fit right in with the other clueless bike owners who convinced me to stop riding with others back in the 80's.

regards,
Joe
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 12:05 am
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Sloowpoke and others...

Try McMaster-Carr for fasteners and other hardware. You can get a whole box for the price of a handful at your local hardware and the selection of styles and finishes is great.

If they don't have it, you don't need it.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#socket-cap-screws/=61vqqb

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 1:49 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunchaser
Sloowpoke and others...

Try McMaster-Carr for fasteners and other hardware. You can get a whole box for the price of a handful at your local hardware and the selection of styles and finishes is great.

If they don't have it, you don't need it.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#socket-cap-screws/=61vqqb
Nope I need 8x1.25x55mm SS studs for my exhaust, they do not have them.
They don't have much metric stainless at all.

But here is a couple really good ones for fasteners, including metric stainless and full thread SS Metric bolts that can be cut into studs. And you do not have to buy a whole box either.

http://www.boltdepot.com/Default.aspx
http://www.microfasteners.com/catalog/products/MET.cfm

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 3:42 am
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I've completely fallen in love with stainless fixings after I tore down the bike and had a big bag of rusty junk screws and bolts. I love just washing the bike and seeing them shine at me.

Check out Motobins UK for their screw kits. Somebody has already done the hard work of cataloging the sizes and lengths. However, not every screw is there and you still need to add to the kit. However, you must use some thread lube grease as the screws are totally grease free when manufactured and can sieze in ali casings.

I've used the hex button head screws for years. They aren't pointy. but never had a prob. if you wiggle the driver in the holes first to get them in line and don't tighten any of them until all the screws are started.



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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 8:17 am Thread Starter
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I used to get my stainless steel fasteners at marine stores, but that was when I lived and played on the shores all the time. Life is much simpler, now that I can get by with hardware store stainless steel.

For anyone who lives or rides close enough to the shore that moist salt air can be a factor, there are different alloys of "Stainless Steel." Avoid the ones that attract a magnet. They're okay for inland riders, but they have enough iron in them that they will rust and generate galvanic corrosion when you throw a little salt into the mix.

regards,
Joe
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 9:02 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sloowpoke
For anyone who lives or rides close enough to the shore that moist salt air can be a factor, there are different alloys of "Stainless Steel." Avoid the ones that attract a magnet. They're okay for inland riders, but they have enough iron in them that they will rust and generate galvanic corrosion when you throw a little salt into the mix.
Type 316 stainless steel has the best corrosion resistance.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 1:29 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sloowpoke
I used to get my stainless steel fasteners at marine stores, but that was when I lived and played on the shores all the time. Life is much simpler, now that I can get by with hardware store stainless steel.

For anyone who lives or rides close enough to the shore that moist salt air can be a factor, there are different alloys of "Stainless Steel." Avoid the ones that attract a magnet. They're okay for inland riders, but they have enough iron in them that they will rust and generate galvanic corrosion when you throw a little salt into the mix.

regards,
Joe
Ah...ship talk here! Do we need Anodes? Or one of them galvanic protection systems they now sell for cars? There is a good story up here where they installed one on a ship, connected it wrong and it ate the hull, left the rust behind!

But salt.....lots up here on the roads in the winter, the residue stays on the road way into late spring, I often see the deer licking the cracks where it has accumulated.That is how I figured out them deer whistles didn't work. Inland for sure....I stay away from that "Wet Ocean Weather" when I am not at work.

The flanges for the exhaust manifold on my bike are magnetic stainless, the rest of the system is non magnetic, lots of corrosion on the flanges, took me a couple hours of Dremel work to clean them up.

The good Stainless bolts should be rated A2 (18 8), worth taking a magnet with you when you go buy them,most hardware stores don't know what they sell and bolt markings are often cryptic unless you have the specs.

But ship talk again, I work for a very wasteful outfit, just last week I dove into the metal recycling container and got about 5-6 pounds of SS bolts, washers and nuts....all like new, their loss, my gain!

Here, I'll post what I have on SS fasteners, may be interesting to someone.


And more...!

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53

Last edited by h96669; Mar 3rd, 2010 at 1:37 pm.
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