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  1. #1
    Registered User kwb210's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Washington, the state

    slash 5 ignition switch picture

    I am putting together, at least that is my goal, a /5 ignition switch. When I took it apart it just kind of flew all over the place so I know there was one maybe two small ball bearing like balls that fell out of the switch. And yes, you guessed it, I do not know where they go. I need a picture of the sequence of parts. It appears that one of the ball bearings is used as a pivot in the switch. I had my headlight bucket powder coated and just got a new chrome switch. Appreciate any help.
    1977 R100/7 1971.1972.1972.1973 R75/5
    1974 R90/6 multiple boxes
    Airhead Revival
    "Objects in the mirror appear to be losing" unk

  2. #2
    The ball bearing you refer to serves as the detent that holds the key stem in place. It is held in place on the lock cylinder by an elliptical spring collar. It fits into the counter-sunk hole on the side of the lock cylinder so that when compressed by the spring collar it would protrude inside the cylinder. The ball interacts with the turned grooves on the shank of the key. It really isn't a bearing in this assembly.

    I used to have a dis-assembled switch, but I can't remember what ever happened to it. It is difficult to describe and I regret that I can not post a picture.

  3. #3
    Registered User kwb210's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Washington, the state

    that's a great start

    That is a great start. One other question, is there just the one ball ? I am trying to remember if I saw one or two. One makes sense in your description. I took two switches apart at the same time (mistake) and that may be the reason I am thinking two balls. I am impressed with the quality of the switch plate, polished it with some steel wool and the brass shines like new. My goal is to redo some of the wires that a PO had a party with and make the system new again and reliable. I am starting to enjoy the slash 5's quirky headlight assembly and ignitions setup.
    1977 R100/7 1971.1972.1972.1973 R75/5
    1974 R90/6 multiple boxes
    Airhead Revival
    "Objects in the mirror appear to be losing" unk

  4. #4
    Kurt, if you want to give me a call, 309-251-0877. It is almost impossible to re-assemble the switch column without an extra set of hands. I'd be happy to tell you all about the 2 times I did this job in excruciating detail.

  5. #5
    Registered User kwb210's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Washington, the state

    just found this

    I was referred to this article by the united slash5 group, plus, and don't know why I did not hink of this, the Max BMW fiche site! Duh. I believe this came from the Internet BMW Riders tech page.

    Airhead Tech Pages

    BMW slash 5 Ignition switch R & R

    Bill Confer

    This weekend I decided to replace the broken plastic slider that covers the ignition switch on my '71 R75/5. It turned out to be a little more work than I anticipated, but it was worth it. Looking at the ignition hole sitting out in the elements was getting to me.
    Here it goes:


    1. Disconnect the battery
    2. Remove the headlight
    3. Look for the four metal tabs holding the switch circuit board to the
    headlight housing. They need to be bent straight to allow the
    circuit board to be pulled down. I used a small screwdriver
    and a pair of needle nose pliers. The steel is very strong and
    difficult to bend. Don't bend it any more than you have to, you
    don't want to break one off.
    4. Once the tabs are straight, pull down the circuit board.

    CAUTION! Many small parts will fall out of the switch above
    the board. Try to gather them all up, I'll
    tell you how they go back in later.

    5. Now you should have all the parts out of the switch assembly. The
    chrome cap on the ouside of the headlight bucket is held on
    by metal tabs also. Bend them straight and remove the chrome
    6. The plastic slider goes through the metal cap. There is a small
    spring that attaches to both of the "legs" on the slider, and
    around the metal post that's riveted into the headlight bucket.

    7. Attach the small spring to the "legs" of the slider and put it through
    the chrome cap. Place the spring around the post and attach the
    cap to the headlight bucket and bend the tabs over to hold it in place.
    8. Now comes the fun part, you may want to recruit an assistant.
    9. Insert the chrome ring up into the headlight bucket. It's keyed,
    so make sure it's oriented correctly. The ridge goes up. A little
    grease will hold it in place.
    10. Insert the chrome "barrel" up into the hole with the spring/ball bearing
    side up. Make sure the cut out section is oriented correctly toward
    the rear.
    11. Insert the key from the top while holding the chrome barrel in place.
    DO NOT insert the key into the barrel while it's out of the
    headlight bucket! You'll spend a lot of time searching for the
    ball bearings that fly out. (Don't ask) The ball bearings hold
    the key in place, and they are held in by a clock type spring
    wrapped around the top of the chrome barrel.
    12. With the key inserted, the chrome barrel will stay in place.
    13. Insert the small brass cylinder into the bottom of the chrome barrel
    with the plastic tip down. Again, a little grease will hold it in
    14. Place the large spring around the chrome cylinder.
    15. Place black plastic washer/spacer in it's slot on the brass armature
    and slide it up on the chrome barrel with the contact point of
    the armature pointing toward the front of the bike. (this will
    require compression of the spring.
    16. Slide the circuit board up over the metal tabs to hold the switch
    assembly in place. This may take several tries to get everything
    lined up. It took my wife and me about twenty minutes and a
    whole lot of cussing to get it right.
    17. Bend the tabs over to hold the circuit board in place. They're
    strong and require a lot of force to bend them, be careful not
    to break the fiber circuit board.
    18. Remove the key, and make sure the contacts on the front of the board
    hit each other when it's reinserted. Bend the contacts if
    19. Connect the battery and make sure everything works.
    20. Install the headlight.
    Have fun, getting that switch back in correctly is a treat. Take your time, and don't break off any tabs or you'll be looking for another headlight bucket. I expected to find screws not tabs, but our friends in Germany must have decided the switch would not be taken apart very often, and it shouldn't. It's very simple, and there's very little to wear. The most common problem I've seen is missing or broken plastic sliders.

    Bill Confer 92 R100GS 71 R75/5
    All contents Copyright ? 1995 - 2013 by the original author(s) and the Internet BMW Riders
    All rights reserved.

    R-Tech pages maintained by: John Petty for the original author(s) and the Internet BMW Riders
    Last Update: 11 September 2010
    1977 R100/7 1971.1972.1972.1973 R75/5
    1974 R90/6 multiple boxes
    Airhead Revival
    "Objects in the mirror appear to be losing" unk

  6. #6
    Kurt, I found this correspondence in my e-mail file and did a copy/paste to reproduce it here.


    If you've done this operation before, you know that it is extremely
    challenging. The spring band should be positioned so that the flat
    spot opposite of the open ends is directly over the ball detent. I had
    to do the job twice on one of my bikes after learning that little
    detail the hard way. Much like your symptom, I'd be riding along and
    hit a bump and the ignition would fall flat. The key would be in the
    down position but would slip just enough to dis-engage. Getting the
    switch plate/circuit board assembled and compressing the spring and
    bending the toy tabs to hold it all in place is pretty much a 4 hand
    operation. I had success by compressing the switching assembly in a
    vise and tying it up with dental floss. After everything was installed
    in the headlight, I snipped the dental floss, releasing the spring.


    I hope this helps in some small way.
    James A...

  7. #7
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Pismo Beach, CA
    Best I could find, from Hucky's

    An old trick taught to me by someone ... assemble and disassemble "these kinds of things" inside of a clear dry cleaner's bag. That way when stuff comes loose it will be restrained by the bag instead of ending up over in the corner under the air compressor. Hindsight is 20/20... ..

    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden
    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner
    1963 Dnepr

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