Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stebel Nautilus Air Horn for BMW

Worked all afternoon getting the air horn wired up. mounted the unit on the sidecar frame in the front. Pre wired the unit to the stock horn switch and ...nothing. disassembled the switch, cleaned the contacts and spent 45 minutes reassembling the thing. A tiny little circlip is easy to remove but a bugger to reset. Damned thing still didn't work. Time for a new switch assembly it appears. I went over to Radio shack and purchased a pair of push button switches for $4.00. Decided to jury rig in a switch until I acquire a new BMW switch.
Fabricated a switch mount out of old junk I had laying around. Somewhat of a "hokey" mount but it functions and will do for now.
Horn is LOUD. 139 Decibels according to the paperwork. Uses a relay system and was pretty easy to mount. My non working switch added a couple hours to the installation.

I didn't have a spare key for the R100S ignition so ordered a key blank from Hucky's BMW Parts. Then I couldn't find a lock / key place that would cut it for me. I've seen some lock smiths who weren't exactly rocket scientists so how hard could it be? I gathered up a couple different small files and made an impression of my good key in a piece of epoxy. Then just slowly / carefully started filing on the key as close as I could to the original....and low and behold I had a working spare key.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Last Chance Rondezvous / BMW Service / Stebel Air Horn

We took a quick trip up to Montana for a family visit and an early Christmas. Flew up and drove my wife's car back down.
Yesterday was a day of Motor home maintenance and the rest of the week is designated for motorcycle maintenance and repairs.
Today I changed the oil & filter. Also changed out all the gear lubes. Transmission , final drive, and drive shaft reservoir. Pulled the valve covers and checked the valve clearances. Found both exhaust valves just a little tight.

Also reset the points as they were a little tight. The cam rubbing block has worn a bit since I replaced the points a few months ago. Tomorrow I'll re-sync the carbs with the Twin - Max Synchronizer. I purchased a Stebel Air Horn a few days back and it arrived today. The stock BMW horn is feeble at best. The Stebel cranks our over 100 decibels so it should grab attention when needed.
I fabricated a mount out of old BMW clamps I had laying around. Am mounting it to the sidecar frame up in the front. Got it mounted today and tomorrow I'll need to wire things up. I'll post a photo of the finished product when it is done. I ordered a pair of after market /5 cigar mufflers tonight. Under $150.00...the high end stainless ones go for around $500.00. I'm not sure which bike they'll go on, but might mount them on the sidehack tug.(?) They are very quiet mufflers. I have an original pair of them on the /5 now and sure like the low sound they emit.

We are attending the BMW Airheads Club Annual Last Chance Rendezvous this weekend. Starts on Friday for New Years Eve and continues until Sunday. Weather forecasts are for clear, but cold weather. Lows at 29 - 32 degrees. Highs in the upper 40's and low 50's. We'll take plenty of warm clothes for camping out for sure! Purchased a pair of (too costly) Therma Rest air mattresses and tried them out at Bashfords a couple of weeks ago. I think they'll help a lot in the warmth / comfort department.
I'll post photos and description of the Last Chance gathering next week.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Niland California via Sidehack

We decided to make a quick overnight camping trip over to Niland CA. and Bashfords Mineral Spa. Packed up the hack and left Yuma around 11:00 AM Sat. I had purchased an expensive pair of sleeping pads (Thermarest-NeoAir) and was dying to try them out in the rocks of the famous Bashfords "Outback". We pulled out of home at a pleasant 78 degrees and headed out over the Colorado River into Ca.

The pyramid below is known to be "The Center of the Earth" is these parts. Not sure what it is all about but it is a cool building.

Some of the Mountains along Ogilby Road near Black Rock CA. an old mining town.

We always stop for a break at Glamis CA. and always see some bad ass sand rigs. This is an old school rig with a killer 1920 Model T Air Horn.

That brass air horn would look good on a sidecar.
The sand is plentiful here. lots of folks playing about in the dunes.

A great ride through here

Great contrast where the dunes end and the bleak desert begins.

We pulled into Bahfords Spa to find the office now a vacant lot. Found that the office/residence burned down last summer.
Our camping spot in the Outback. Had a great sunset.

The new NeoAir sleeping pads were awesome! Even in the rocky ass camping area.

Sunday morning dawned at 70 degrees and not a breath of wind.

Decided to make a run over to Slab City to check it out as Darian had never seen the place.
Here we have one of the concrete bunker guard houses. There are a couple of them still about.
The stage and party spot for Slab City. Complete with old aircraft seats.

Lots of "collectors" around these parts.

The derelict train station in Niland: Cool architecture
We made a straight run to home from Niland, with a stop for breakfast and a stop at Glamis.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Yuma AZ /. BMW / Housekeeping

Finally got settled here in Yuma. Got here for one night , then headed to Texas to complete a job. Back to Yuma before Thanksgiving. Just in time as Montana is getting clobbered with snow storms.

Pulled weeds for 1/2 a day around the lot. Then dove into a "housekeeping" mission. I have way more BMW Parts than I have room for so decided to clear things out. The 1974 R75/6 below was nearly stripped of small parts. I pulled the transmission & final drive to keep as spares.

Dug into my boxes / bins and piled up everything I didn't want to mess with. A lot of these parts are good EBay items but most are large and a hassle to box / ship. Had a spare engine, a couple of final drives, Old Bates Saddle Bags & mounts, fairing etc. etc. Put the whole works on Craigslist last night and had it all sold by 9:00AM this morning for $400.00. A good deal for both of us. The new owner will be here tomorrow AM to load up the works.

Removed the filter pods from the R100S as I decided to refit the stock intake assembly. Ordered a new pair of intake tubes but could not make them fit...too long. Had a couple pairs of old ones and one set was usable without a lot of hassle fitting up. The crankcase vent was vented externally so had to re plumb the vent into the right carb. Ended up using some tubing / 90's to plumb things together.

Back together:

The /6 choke cable actuator wasn't compatible with the R100CS carbs on the bike so I chose to make up some individual choke controls for each carb. Used bicycle spokes and other assorted parts to make it all work. No more binding , etc. now. Pulled the choke assemblies apart and replaced the choke shaft o-rings.

Drug out the /5 and have been running it here and there for transportation. Bike runs nice after synching the carbs with the Twin Max Synchronizer.

Got this all back together and have started it at cool temperatures the last couple days. Hopefully have the "cold start" problem fixed now.(?)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Square Butte Loop

A few weeks ago I had some free time so took a little loop up around Square Butte to Geraldine.
A beautiful day for a ride. Just below where the photo below was taken the paved road turns to gravel for a short distance. Known as "Arrow Creek Hill" this area has numerous land slides. The night before an elderly gentleman lost control of his car and hit a big bus full of High School students head on. There was a fatality in the car. The bus passengers faired better. in fact the bus was behind me a few hundred yards when I took this photo. Looks like they drove the bus there.

Went over to Geraldine then over to Fort Benton. took a little break along the Missouri River.

Rather than destroy this bridge they turned it into a foot bridge.

"Sheps" master died and was hauled away on a train. Shep spent many years waiting at the depot for his return. He finally got clobbered by a train, ending his vigil.

Approaching Highwood area. Little Belt Mountains in the distance.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jupiter Sidecar Carpeting / Interior Panels

I ordered some automotive gray trunk type carpeting for the sidecar and it finally arrived last week. The weather was great yesterday so decided to proceed with the carpet installation in the hack. I carefully measured out the sections and was able to fit the entire front (exposed) area of the hack with only 3 pieces. Under the seat I simply ran a 3' x 18" piece on the floor area, back to the rear of the "trunk".
I used a 3M spray adhesive to glue the carpet in. This automotive carpet is real light and conformed well to the radius's in the hack.

When I had the sidecar interior done I had some storage pockets made into the flaps which hang down below the arm rests. These are mainly used for map storage although my wife often stores her currant book there too. The hood slider rods often fouled into the upholstered pockets when closing the hood. I purchased some light weight black fiber board material at a craft shop and built a panel which isolates the rods from getting hung up on anything. The panels give the interior a much better finished appearance. The panels will not wear a long time as they are a backed Styrofoam type material. At only $4.99 each that is not an issue. One $4.99 panel was enough for two interior panels.

When all was done I had enough carpet left over to completely redo the sidecar floor and enough fiber board to make two more interior panels. The carpet is quite light so I only expect it to last a couple of years.
The carpet should dry quickly when wet as it is such a light weight material. (J.C. Whitney $29.99 for a 54" X 10' piece)

I'm bidding on a /2 steel front fender on EBay. I would like to replace the fiberglass /6 fender now in use. I'm not sure how the fender would fit since I'm running a 19" front tire and the Earls front was originally set up for an 18" tire. If I can pick it up for under $90.00 I'll try to install it. I have a /2 US fender on the R75/5 which also was intended for a 18" tire....My 19" tire has sufficient clearance, although not much

Sunday, September 19, 2010

R100S/6 ....more progress

Did a bit of scrounging at the local motorcycle salvage yard and found an "as-new" heavy duty shock absorber ($25.00) for the side car. The one in place was shot and acting like a pogo stick. I intended to install a motorcycle air shock but the salvage yard ones available all looked like they were pretty large and would not clear the tight mounting areas. Also picked up an old Hodaka tool tin and some new in line fuel filters.
The shock fit well after a little modification of the lower mount. The spring is under minor compression with the chair unloaded so took some effort to install. Took it for a spin yesterday and she rides much better.

I had one Henry's floor board mounted on the left but the side car mounting sub frame would not allow conventional mounting on the right side. Finally came up with a pair of BMW clamps in my parts bins which fit perfectly on the side car frame. I was going to weld a bracket on the frame but the clamps worked great.
The temperature was in the low 40's yesterday and the bike still started miserably....not sure where the problem lies. She just doesn't like cold starts! Must be a choke circuit issue some where.

Mounted the small Hodaka vintage tool bin right behind the luggage rack. I'll store some additional parts / tools there. I don't really like the chrome though....might have to spray paint it black....
I remounted the Heinrich tank & black QSL seat. This time I made some rubber cushions and fitted them around the ignition coils under the tank. The right coil was rubbing against the inside of the tank. The tank seems to clear the brake master cylinder just fine. The fuel consumption with the 1000 cc engine makes the bigger tank a must. I swapped out some BMW OEM hand grips and installed some side reflectors which I hadn't got around to installing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Some Fine Tuning for the R100S / Sidecar

Over the past few trips I was able to calibrate the Acewell Computer. Finally got the MPH setting real close by watching mile post markers for a few hundred miles. The initial setting is based on wheel / tire diameter but I found it was reading slow. By getting the odometer set properly that will in turn set the speedometer where it should be.
Really like all the multiple functions / options of this unit.

Spent some time the past couple days working out problems with the R100S tug.

Received an over size 90/120-18 tire with a Lester Wheel I had purchased. Mounted it up on the rear but had to grind off a small amount of rubber on the ridge to clear the swing arm. It was rubbing there as mounted. The Lester Wheels were money well spent.

Both valve covers had seemingly unstoppable leaks. They both must be warped. Finally ended up using two gaskets on each head which stopped the leaks in their tracks.

I had rebuild kits for the 40MM Bing Carbs so tore them down and replaced all gaskets, seals, diaphragms, etc. Found two bad choke assembly gaskets and the diaphragms were paper thin but not punctured. I saved the old ones for spares.
The headlamp interior was dirty and dusty from its' life sitting in the desert. I pulled the assembly apart and cleaned everything up. Much brighter now.

The bike was experiencing a low speed wobble again so I pulled the triple tree top off and found the steering head bearing lock nut had loosened itself up. Retightened and then dug into the friction damper I had installed. Found that the rubbing area for the friction damper sat right on a weld so had minimal contact area. Added in a large washer which changes the contact area to a larger surface and avoids any contact with the welds. This should take care of the issue.

I installed this MAC large oil pan a few weeks ago. Double checked the bolts...have a small leak at the drain plug for some reason.

I dug out the "Twin Max" carb synchronizer I purchased two years ago and finally figured out how to use it. After some trial and error I got both BMW's carbs synchronized. The Twin Max is very sensitive and I was surprised how fine the tuning scenario is on the Bings. Both bikes are now running as they should.

I found that the ignition points were mis-aligned. I changed out with a new set, replaced the spark plugs with new, set at a proper gap. Rigged up my timing light and set timing as specified.

I've had to reset the valve clearance multiple times on the right cylinder for some reason. Don't know if the machine shop screwed it up or what. I'll have to moniter that as we run up some more miles.

Hughsville Ghost Town....Stuck

We'd been planning a drive over to Hughsville, which was an old mining town. Hughsville was developed during the late 1800's, dying off and coming back to life during WW2. Shortly there after the area shut down. There are still some residents there today.

The hay crop this year is huge. The Little Belt Mountains in the back ground.

Square Butte to the north.

An old homestead

A big rattlesnake...someone finished him off with a 9mm and removed his rattles.

This place was large in its' time.
The "road" towards Hughsville from the North is signed as "unimproved'. This turned out to be an understatement. Climbing higher and higher the road became very narrow and boulder strewn. Some spots in the trees were so narrow I had to pull in the truck mirrors. The road started to switch back up and eventually was about 8' wide and was only a notch cut in the mountainside. Darian, riding as a passenger was on the outside edge. The right tires had only a few inches to the edge. The last steep section was loose rock and about a 1000' drop into the canyon. My adrenalin was going for a while.
Finally made it to the top and commented that I would not want to be here in the rain.

Over the top of the mountain and we headed down. approaching a washout I mis-judged my route and we slid into a very big hole, high centering the truck.

The weight of the truck was on the running board and the frame. Not going anywhere....
Luckily I had purchased some chains and two come-a-longs yesterday for work. I shoveled around under the running board and then the rain came...
It poured rain for nearly an hour with sleet and a lot of lightning. The lightning was very close so we sat in the truck hoping the storm would pass. Came to the conclusion that we might be spending the night in the truck.

An hour later the storm subsided and I started rigging chains up to the closest tree...about 75' away. Using the two come-a -longs we drug the truck back 10 - 12 feet, at 1/2" at a time. Took both of us to pull the winch handle with the white behemouth on the other end....
The right rear tire was nearly off the ground.

Luckily that tree was right where it needed to be....and I had enough chain.

Took us about 1 1/2 hours to drag the truck out of the hole...then we had to carefully plan on how to get around way were we going back the way we came in after the pouring rain. Road down the mountain would have been too dangerous.
Finally figured a way around the 'Pit' and gassed it through...the aftermath below....

A mile or so down the mountain we entered Hughsville...

A lot of structures ready to fall in on themselves...

Quite the operation here...ore was hauled by a small gauge railway over to Monarch MT.

Collapsed building atop a tailing's pile.

A number of old cabins about.

Remaining foundations

An old steam boiler

We finally made it to the highway...took us three hours to travel 30 miles....below is a view of the "Sluice Box" area....made it home safe and sound!
I won't be going back over that mountain again anytime soon.

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.