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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.... :(
 

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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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Sunchaser said:
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
 

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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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sloowpoke said:
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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sloowpoke said:
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! :thumb:

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


And more...!
 

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I think you got your stainless specs a bit wrong!

http://www.steel-stainless.org/TechRef/ViewTech.pasp?tre_id=10&section=section&sequence=13

A2/304 is the general grade stainless steel.

A4/316 is the marine grade stainless steel suitable for total immersion in sea water and a must have for bolting stern drives on to boat hulls.

On a bike that uses plated steel bolts, I think A4 is an overkill and A2 still adequate. If you are riding through sea water a lot then the rest of the bike will fail before the A2 bolts! Drop each in a jar of strong salt water. The most you may see on the A2 is slight discolor after a week and they are very much cheaper and more about.

If you have worked with both A2 and A4 materials then you can learn the difference. Chefs working in kitchens are often surrounded by A4 on worktops and sinks. A4 has a dull somewhat lacluster surface color. A2 is brighter looking as though it was chromed a bit or polished. If you are down the boneyard and spot some old kitchen worktop it's a good source for cheap A4 sheet. Harder to cut though!

True if you can shop at a marine store and like the prices most bolts will be A4. The bolt heads usually carry the designation. Most Stainless fasteners are now made in China!

There are some bolts that have special tensile test ratings e.g wheel bolts, brake or suspension parts, so you can't just replace those steel bolts willie nilly with stainless steel and have your insurer like you if something goes wrong.



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Chef talk.....Ship talk....thanks Vox and Slowpoke! :thumb:

Yep them marine engineers hate coming into the galley and drill holes in the stainless on the counters or bulkheads, then they try attaching stuff using stainless sheet metal screws....never works too good, broken or dulled drill bits, stripped or broken screws, but always entertaining to watch.... :D

But I have 20 lbs of marine grade bolts here, most came straight out of the marine supply store where I bought them or the scrap metal bin at work where I "Recycled" them. Most of them are marked as F593-C. A little google search here gives this:

F593C is an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification for 304 stainless steel

Back to my chart...check, F593-C is A193 Grade B8 Chromium-Nickel (AISI 304)....Austenitic....ooof learning big words here, but yes the good stuff ! :)

316, same group, shows as Chromium-Nickel-Molybdenum....aaah buy that one they just opened a Molybdenum mine out here...good for the local economy! And p.....off the hippies!:D

300 group stainless,(302-304-305-321-347)..... widely used in aerospace fasteners, ooof I think I'm better stay on land or water here....! :ricky

But what can I say, I like Nuts & Bolts....! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
LOL It looks like I stumbled into a group that knows more about what I am talking about, than I do. I was thinking about the 316 stainless when I mentioned Black Chrome plating them, even though I now buy the shiny stainless in the hardware stores.

Sacrificial Anodes for the bike? The standing water in my yard isn't quite that deep.

I forgot about the salted roads up north. I lived in New England a few years and rode year round. You're right, that is just as bad as ocean spray carried by storm winds. I used to strip my bikes down to the frame, every fall, and Liquid Glass every exterior surface during reassembly. I never had any corrosion problems, except for exhaust systems. The same procedure worked for me on the waterfronts.

regards,
Joe
 

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Anodes...was a bit of a joke, that galvanic corrosion used to chew through out steam tables and coffee machines, we did put anodes in the steam tables, but did not want zinc in our coffee so kept replacing the tanks every 6 months or so. I could have worked for Bunn after that, but certainly do not drink ship's coffee from all the muck I pulled out of them machines over the years......!

Them Zinc strips sure work good on my Aluminium roof,a lot less green stuff growing in the seams and the roof stays much cleaner.

But.....Calcium Chloride.....I've seen nights where the road was glowing blue there was so much of it spread.They even put some on the gravel roads to keep the dust down in the summer.Way worse that sea salt, that was why I mentioned them galvanic protection systems they now sell for cars and trucks. Me and the neighbor were looking at them, way too late for his truck, but maybe not for my ( and his) new cars. :D

I was wondering if they could be used to protect motorcycles in storage and such. Anyone with toughts or experience with them I'd welcome them!

Here is one:http://www.car-rust.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
All I get from that link is a blank page, but I doubt sacrificial anodes would do much good if the bike is stored dry. As far as I know, sacrificial anodes protect bare metal from galvanic corrosion, which is not normally a problem on a bike in storage.

regards,
Joe
 

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Sacrificial anodes work best when the parts you are trying to protect do not have interfaces and flanges, unless you can bond and jumper across each to short out the 'diodes' or 'battery' they become. With boats and tanks it works because you have steel plates totally immersed in a conductive electrolyte (sea water). You set up a battery which is the sacrificial anode, salt water is the battery electrolyte and the steel hull becomes the cathode. As you remember from those school experiments doing copper plating with copper sulfate, the zinc is sacrificed and gets deposited on the steel hull, instead of the steel hull being eaten away.

Now there is a problem most metal boat owners are aware of when they park up in marinas. Each boat hooks up to a domestic power source and in doing so there is a battery circuit between the two hulls. Without sacrificial anodes, 1 boat can find itself being eaten away after several months berthing. Of course the bad thing in all of this is zinc is being 'sacrificed' into the sea water which is not so good for the Eco life.

If you were to start analyzing our bikes from a corrosion point you would find many flanges, junctions and dissimilar metals that can be corrosion hotspots. So the safest practice is to keep 'electrolytes' away from the bike by washing them away with clean tap water. In Winter salted roads are a problem, but less when the temperatures are around freezing. As soon as temperatures start to warm, or the bike is kept in a warm garage, hose down the undercarriage.

I learned yeas ago that it may be cool to keep vehicles in garages and get them out nice and dry, but heated garages can increase the rate of corrosion if vehicles are driven in and stored wet. Open sided car ports are much better.



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Sorry about the bad link, works on my end...must be rusty! :dunno:

But here is another one, that one even claims to protect motorcycles....! :confused:

I put the question out somewhere a few months back, as to having one big system in the shop and connect all your "rusteable" stuff to it, kind of like a "Rust Tender", but no answers on that one.

There is quite a few hits on the net if you Google "Electronic Rust Protection", a few reviews too, I just haven't had a chance to research that. Mind you there is also lots of hits on "Electronic Pest Protection"....those I know for a fact do not work! :)

That one is....ahum!...."Chrome plated by an Official Harley Davidson sub-contractor".... :rotf:

http://www.counteractrust.com/counteract-rust-prevention-products.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #18
thinking a bit on this...

If you store your bike connected to a battery charger, you might be setting yourself up for galvanic corrosion. The tires have carbon, which does allow for some current flow to ground, just like a boat in the water at a marina with shore electrical service. I suppose it might be a good idea to use an isolator to inturrupt that possible ground current loop. Then again, you could just take the battery off the bike before connecting it to the charger.

regards,
Joe
 

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We could develop that one further and say when it's raining and the bike is parked up on the tender, water is running down the wheel rims and tires so your front forks are corroding from the bottom up and the rear drive from rear to front and some on the shock mountings..... Ouch!

Of course this is all a bit anal and is the kind of thing I guess talked about around the campfire after plenty of beers. Anyway, I don't have an expensive BMW charger that probably uses a mains transformer with no galvanic isolation. My tender is a switched mode plug power supply which has inherent galvanic isolation! Cheapest is best, I knew I was doing it right.

So let me think some more. If I tender my bike without galvanic isolation and so does the guy next door with the Harley. Which bike is going to corrode most and which bike will be left bigger and stronger? :)

Or, if I ran some current into a copper sheet buried in the ground for a couple of years, will his bike eventually melt into his tarmac drive?



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Discussion Starter #20
I suspect to work at all, that site's use of the phrase "electrostatic corrosion control" should be interpreted as "controlling the occurance of electrostatic corrosion." Corrosion in open air is a function of very slow ionic exchange between the bare metal and the air. Since static electricity can accelerate this process, controlling static electricity can slow electrostatically enhanced corrosion. If that is actually what their products do, then I expect the associated wiring is much more important to the process than their "patented capacitive coupling" of DC pulses. If that's not what they are doing, then I suspect the words "snake oil" may be appropriate.

I'm not surprised that you got no comments on the idea of a single electronic system to provide corrosion prevention for all the separate items that might be in your shop at any given time. At ambient air temperatures, and in the absence of an electrolyte solution, ionic exchange is extremely slow, which is why surface coatings are the preferred method of protection. They work well under a variety of conditions and can last for a long time.

Generally, increasing ionic activity in open air simply accelerates oxidization and corrosion, although some metals are actually protected from corrosion by a thin coating of oxidization. If your materials to be protected consist of those metals exclusively, then simply increasing the ionic activity in open air could control corrosion effectively, by quickly restoring the surface layer of oxidization, any time it is penetrated. Increasing the level of static electricity is one method, but getting shocked every time you touch something would probably slow down work in your shop. Use of radio frequency AC instead of DC voltages may accomplish the same thing at much lower voltage levels, since skin effect is also a function of frequency. While I wouldn't be surprised to find that waveform could also be a factor, I don't recall ever seeing any kind of research into the subject of altering waveforms to regulate ion production.

That pretty much sums up all I remember on the subject, except I also know you don't want exposed copper located above any zinc coating, where it can be rained on. That's a good way to erode your zinc coating away. BTDT

regards,
Joe
 
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