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Thread: My Instrument Cluster is Cracking Me Up!!

  1. #1
    Registered User godzilla's Avatar
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    Talking My Instrument Cluster is Cracking Me Up!!

    Obviously my instrument cluster on my old K has a leak. When it rains, it fogs up. The first time this happened, the speedometer simply quit until the thing dried out enough, then it came back to life. That only took a few days. Same thing has happened a couple more times since.

    Then we had an all-day rain on Monday here in IN. Now the thing is absolutley comical!

    -Speedo doesn't work at all
    -When the headlights are in low beam, the High Beam indicator is off but the Brake Warning indicator is on.
    -When she is in an odd gear (1,3,5) the Neutral Light is off when she is in an even gear (2,4) the Neutral Light is on
    -I am not sure what the Gear Indicator is reading; that is too foggy to tell, but I think it is whacked

    Of course this had to happen two days before I am leaving for a trip up to New Brunswick (1600 miles each way) to go to a funeral. I have to get there ASAP, which I figure a slab ride of about 3 days if I go 500-600 a day. Hey I am not really an Iron Butt kinda guy and my poor old bike is 21 years old and has around 116K on her! I am hoping the bugger will dry out enough for the speedo to kick back in. I'd use the Tach as a general speedo (3K in 5th is about 55), but that thing has been whacked for a couple years. It bounces.

    Not looking for a fix. Just relating a story abotu our dear old K bikes here!!

    And I just had to eat Bean Soup last night! (OK I just wnated to use that icon)
    Godzilla!
    '85 K100 "ZoomZoomZoom"
    '71 R75/5 "Zippy"

  2. #2
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    Wacky Speedo..

    Godzilla, if your problem is like mine was you will need to dismantle the instrument cluster and clean / dry all of the contacts on the circuit boards.

    Mine finally collected enough moisture to fry the signal amplifier to the speedo. There are some instructions on drilling a small drain hole in these clusters to help reduce this problem over time. I got a copy from my dealer before they closed. Any good dealer should have a copy of this service bulletin.

    Good luck

    Roy
    Roy G.
    85 K100RT Ol Ruby "Gone but not forgotten"
    02 K1200LTC Hoss "Wrecked on 9/21/14"
    12 R1200RT

  3. #3
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godzilla
    Obviously my instrument cluster on my old K has a leak. When it rains, it fogs up. The first time this happened, the speedometer simply quit until the thing dried out enough, then it came back to life. That only took a few days. Same thing has happened a couple more times since.

    Then we had an all-day rain on Monday here in IN. Now the thing is absolutley comical!

    -Speedo doesn't work at all
    -When the headlights are in low beam, the High Beam indicator is off but the Brake Warning indicator is on.
    -When she is in an odd gear (1,3,5) the Neutral Light is off when she is in an even gear (2,4) the Neutral Light is on
    -I am not sure what the Gear Indicator is reading; that is too foggy to tell, but I think it is whacked

    Of course this had to happen two days before I am leaving for a trip up to New Brunswick (1600 miles each way) to go to a funeral. I have to get there ASAP, which I figure a slab ride of about 3 days if I go 500-600 a day. Hey I am not really an Iron Butt kinda guy and my poor old bike is 21 years old and has around 116K on her! I am hoping the bugger will dry out enough for the speedo to kick back in. I'd use the Tach as a general speedo (3K in 5th is about 55), but that thing has been whacked for a couple years. It bounces.

    Not looking for a fix. Just relating a story abotu our dear old K bikes here!!

    And I just had to eat Bean Soup last night! (OK I just wnated to use that icon)
    Sorry. Here's the fix. Take the thing apart and glue (carefully) with super glue so it runs under but not ruins the plastic lens inside the top cover. You will see what the problem is when you have the thing in your hand and look. Then you can clean, repair all the damage the water did. Whole new clusters are about $800. There are not many good used ones around. You can get new parts, but sometimes the gauges don't fit the new cover, etc. Work with a dealer who will easily take back parts if necessary. Winter project.
    R1200GS LC Rallye
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  4. #4
    Registered User godzilla's Avatar
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    Back after my trip. I had hoped the cluster would dry out, but due to more rain and dew, it just got worse.

    She won't start unless the clutch is pulled in. I think she thinks she is in gear.
    The alternator charging light came on for a little while and blinked out. It doesn't even come on when I turn on the ignition.
    The two fuel low warning lights came on for a bit, even after filling the tank, which wasn't near empty. Then they went out.
    (All that happened on my first day on the return trip.)

    The weirdness with the N light has gone away, as has the brake warning light issue. Niether one works at all. The brake light doesn't even come on when I start the bike any more.

    The gear indicator is still whacked.

    The tach gave up, but does jump to life for very short periods.

    Hey, the turn signal indicators, the choke light and apparently the oil lamps all seem to work well.

    For a 3200 mile round trip, I was officially given credit for 1 mile. She turned over to 115,993. In reality, according to the odometer, I went .6 miles. And that wasn't all at once, either. The speedo would occasionally jump now and then for a second or so.

    I will take the advice to pull it apart to see what I can do for it before I buy a new one.

    But I can say that the old girl ran well the whole trip, rain or shine and in the cold. She is as smooth as ever and didn't use a drop of oil.
    Godzilla!
    '85 K100 "ZoomZoomZoom"
    '71 R75/5 "Zippy"

  5. #5
    RandallIsland
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by godzilla

    The tach gave up, but does jump to life for very short periods.


    I will take the advice to pull it apart to see what I can do for it before I buy a new one.

    But I can say that the old girl ran well the whole trip, rain or shine and in the cold. She is as smooth as ever and didn't use a drop of oil.
    I'm glad to hear your bike runs well regardless.
    You are not alone, as I've got the same bike and similar problems, although less leaky I think. But hey!, it still screams something happy.
    Thanks for the tip about the service bulletin Roy!

  6. #6
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godzilla
    Back after my trip. I had hoped the cluster would dry out, but due to more rain and dew, it just got worse.

    She won't start unless the clutch is pulled in. I think she thinks she is in gear.
    The alternator charging light came on for a little while and blinked out. It doesn't even come on when I turn on the ignition.
    The two fuel low warning lights came on for a bit, even after filling the tank, which wasn't near empty. Then they went out.
    (All that happened on my first day on the return trip.)

    The weirdness with the N light has gone away, as has the brake warning light issue. Niether one works at all. The brake light doesn't even come on when I start the bike any more.

    The gear indicator is still whacked.

    The tach gave up, but does jump to life for very short periods.

    Hey, the turn signal indicators, the choke light and apparently the oil lamps all seem to work well.
    The gear indicator sends out a voltage when in neutral which allows the bike to start. As to the holes to drill, the later pods had a couple of half inch holes on the bottom of the housing with somekind of membrane over them to prevent stuff from getting in. But...the problem is that the water usually gets in from the face plate. If you don't fix that, you're going to have issues with moisture even if it drys out. I have seen some units with major rust and corrosion inside.
    R1200GS LC Rallye
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  7. #7
    Registered User godzilla's Avatar
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    This morning, the speedo came back to life, well sorta. It jumped up to 30MPH and stuck there for a bit a couple times. Got 2 more miles to my credit! Maybe the thing can be fixed!

    As mentioned, I am going to wait until winter, get me a good manual and make this my first attempt at actually working on the old girl. May end up replacing the whole cluster, but it'll be fun to tear it apart and poke at it to see what I can accomplish. With all the problems it has, I have a suspicion that it'll never be right and work properly anyway. But hey! Worth a shot!
    Godzilla!
    '85 K100 "ZoomZoomZoom"
    '71 R75/5 "Zippy"

  8. #8
    byker
    Guest
    I can't recall the issue of the Owners News that listed all tech articles that have been in past issues. What I did find were several articles that gave varied suggestions on how to fix a "bad" speedo head. What I do have are bulletins from BMW North America that were sent to the dealers on how to remedy various faults in the speedo heads. If interested, send a personal email with your a fax or email address and I will forward off to you.

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