Fix leaking fork brace studs

On the /5 BMWs, there is a chrome horseshoe that acts as both a fender mount and a lower fork brace. The studs that connect the fork brace to the fork sliders are part of the slider and can potentially leak. One of mine has slowly leaked on my /5 for years and i haven’t around to fixing it yet.
For this bike rebuild, i noticed that out of the 2 sets of fork sliders (4 sliders from 2 bikes), one leg was leaking terribly due to all the dried oil residue down the front of the fork slider.As i was disassembling the second set of forks, one of those studs came out instead of the nut coming off… so i got to thinking (and got some advice from some BMW pros), i should re-seal all the studs to be safe.

The tools needed for the job are:
The original 13mm nuts.
2 13mm wrenches
a long 13mm socket would help too
vice
channel locks or pliers
a heat gun
and some RED Locktite

Here is the fork leg with one of the studs removed:

Fork slider with one stud removed, another about to be removed.

 

 

Double nut to remove the old stud. Tighten these two nuts tightly together:

Double nut to remove the old stud. Tighten these two nuts tightly together.

 

Loosen the lower nut and it will remove the entire stud.

 

Inspect the threads of the studs. Out of the 2 sets of fork sliders, i had about 6 good studs.  2 were too rusty or bent to reuse. After inspection, i did a quick cleaning on the wire wheel to clean up the threads.

4 removed studs and red locktite.

 

 

I then replaced the nuts on the longer threaded end of the studs. I pinched the middle part of the stud that is not threaded in a vice and tightened the nut as much as i could.

Then i wrapped part of the fork slider with a rag and clamped it in a vice.
I used a heat gun to heat the fork slider to get the metal to expand. I spent a good amount of time heating the legs to a very hot temperature.

I then added red locktite to the threads of the stud and inserted the stud into fork slider by using the nut and a 13mm socket to tighten it into the slider. I went as far as i could, as fast as i could before the slider cooled down.
*** But please look into the fork slider (flashlight helps) and make sure you don’t drive the stud too far into the leg where it will hit the fork tube. If the stud goes too far, it will prevent the slider from operating properly on the fork tube, or severely damage the fork tube.
When the fork slider cools down, and with the use of Locktite, it should create a nice tight seal around the stud and not leak again.

Tightened studs back into fork slider.I backed off the nuts from the stud and Yeah, i used a bit too much locktite.

/5 speedo back from Palo Alto

It looks ah-mazing. Having something so new and shiny really makes me want the rest of the bike to be new and shiny again.
Since i am doing a complete rebuild on the engine, resetting the odometer to 0 was a must. I did the same on my last bike and Shane, the bike’s eventual owner did the same on a ’65 Porsche he had rebuilt.
The white face will match the racing stripe up the center of the bike.
I tried to give North Hollywood Speedo my business but a super rude person on the phone and slightly higher price sent me to Palo Alto Speedometer. Palo Alto was pleasant to talk to and deal with.

Speedo before rebuild. Cracked needle. Dented bezel.

Speedo rebuilt from Palo Alto Speedometer. Custom white face installed.

Lower fork leg anatomy of a /5 BMW motorcycle

A photo diary of the internal components of a /5 BMW motorcycle fork leg.
I plan on rebuilding these forks entirely.  Good thing too.  The rubber is completely rotted in some spots and it has over 10 years of fork oil sitting in these legs. NASTY stuff.

I snapped these photos partly for the blog, but also for my own memory when it comes time to replace many of these parts and reassemble everything.  Please excuse the beat up linoleum floors in my garage.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions. I didn’t plan on this being a ‘How To’ post but more of a photo of the pieces and parts involved in the forks. But the post ends up being a bit of both…

Please note, i removed the entire fork assembly from the frame.  The fork rebuild can be done while still attached to the bike. When i go through the reassembly, and mount them to the triple tree, i will have to perform a strict alignment procedure to make sure the forks are installed properly.  A misaligned set of forks can cause some harmful results to the rider.  I will be sure to post my realignment procedure when the time comes.  In the meantime, for reassembly, please refer to Duane Ausherman’s site on fork alignment:
http://w6rec.com/duane/bmw/forktool/index.htm

Also, please note that i drained all the fork oil prior to starting this procedure.

I removed the upper chrome fork cap with the BMW tool

BMW fork cap pin wrench.

I then removed the upper fork bolt that secures the fork leg to the top triple tree and maintains pressure on the internal fork spring.  I believe it is a 36mm nut and it can often be secured very tightly. I recommend getting a 38mm socket and a breaker bar for the removal process.  The BMW fork wrench is often too small and you can not get the leverage needed to get that nut loose. Before i had a 36mm socket, i remember removing these nuts extremely difficult.
I snapped the following photo so i can remember that the nut had a washer, and the size of the spring spacer.  Some models do not have a washer between the nut and the triple tree. And some spring manufactures like Progressive supply a PVC piece of pipe to cut down to size for spring tension. A longer size will equal more tension. I will probably stick with the spacer that the bike has on it.  It’s a nice aluminum spacer vs PVC.

Upper fork cap removed and upper fork bolt removed.

 

The pinch nut for the lower triple tree needs to be removed and then the fork tubes should slide out from the triple tree.

Lower triple tree pinch nut and cable hook on right side fork leg.

 

 

The springs were taken out and the fork legs removed.

Fork Legs removed.

 

 

You need to grind a flat edge on either side of a 13mm socket.  Then install a hex (Allen) wrench in the hole of the socket.  Hold the Allen wrench in place and loosen the nut.  This will separate the chrome fork tube from the lower fork leg (lower fork slider).

Special filed down socket in which an hex tool can fit through and a wrench can keep the socket secure. Also in the photo is the 30mm socket for removing the bottom cap from lower fork leg.

 

 

I really need to invest in a good circlip tool.  I have bought a few and they never seem to have the correct tension for the precision needed in removing and installing circlips.
The circlip needs to be removed from the bottom of the chrome fork tube.(FigureA)
Then you need to unscrew the lower threaded ring from the base of the fork tube. I used needle nose pliers to fit into the small holes of the threaded ring. (Figure B – though the /5 ring looks different)

Image taken from Clymer Manual. BUY ONE!

 

Here is a shot of the first stage of my fork disassembled.

First photo of fork anatomy.

 

 

I already unscrewed  the threaded plug from bottom of the dampener rod.
This photo shows how to remove the upper dampener piston.

Internal fork actuator disassembly.

 

Photo of entire fork components… in order of their removal.

Entire fork disassembly.

 

Close up of the lower dampener rod’s threaded plug, spring and ball.

Close up of lower nut, spring and ball.

 

Close up photo of the orientation and order of the upper dampener rod and the upper piston for the dampener rod.

Close up of upper fork piston.

Pulling steering races from BMW motorcycle frame

I finally broke down and got a race puller from Cycle Works. Here is a step by step on how to pull the steering bearing races from the neck of the frame.


Photo courtesy of Cycle Works





Note the way the split washer sits on the bolt.




The washer needs to go behind the race. You may need to tap it into the neck.




I had to use a few long sockets and extenders to reach the 10mm head of the bolt through the other side of the neck.





When you tighten the nut onto the bolt, it expands the split washer to fit tightly behind the race. This will help pull the race out.




Insert the slice of tube(collar) and attach the nut with the large washer as shown. Make sure the piece of tubing sits centered on the frame aligned so the race can slide out into the tube.










27mm socket to tighten the nut. Breaker bar with socket extension through the neck attached to the 10mm nut on the bolt.



After some torque and cranking, you can feel the race start to pull out into the collar. Eventually, everything will pop out as shown. Save an old race. Next time you use the tool, you can keep an old race in the collar to prevent the collar from warping, and to help guide the next race out.