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Thread: Both Odometers have Stopped Working

  1. #1
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    Both Odometers have Stopped Working

    I'm hoping someone has seen or fixed this problem before. Bike is my 1984 R100 with 130K miles.

    Last week the main odometer and the trip odometer both stopped turning. The speedometer itself is still working fine, smooth and steady needle. This is not a case of loose number wheels on their shaft since both meters stopped at he same time. I removed the cluster and removed the speedo unit. Nothing jumped out as broken, but it appeared that the interaction between the worm gear and its drive gear was very sloppy. So, I loosened the screw that anchors the pivot of the worm gear and pushed it tighter against the drive gear. There is still a little bit of play, so I don't think it is too tight. Put everything back together and both odometers were working.

    The odometers have continued working for about 130 miles. Yesterday, they both stopped again. Take the speedo out again, nothing appears to have moved. I move/poke any gear I can see and reassemble. They work again, but this time on the test ride they stop working again after 14 miles. Anyone been here?

    I have an email out to Terry Vrla but haven't heard back from him yet.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  2. #2
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    I just sent my speedo to Foreign Speedo in San Diego, CA. http://www.foreignspeedoinc.com They did a top notch rebuild and the turn around was about 2-1/2 weeks total. Very happy with the results. Nice folks, happy to talk on the phone and good communication. Cheers, Chunk.

  3. #3
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    Chunk - thanks for that referral. I will contact them when they open. You could have warned me that Google would put images of guys in "speedo" bathing suits up first in the search for foreign speedo.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  4. #4
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    There are other speedometer repair shops contain the section in the link in my signature line.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_stock10506 View Post
    Chunk - thanks for that referral. I will contact them when they open. You could have warned me that Google would put images of guys in "speedo" bathing suits up first in the search for foreign speedo.
    Ha, way too early on the west coast for that image in my head, i did edit to include a direct link. Hope they can help you out. I've never had an airhead speedo work so well. Checked against my gps, it's very accurate at speed and distance traveled. Cheers.

  6. #6
    I highly recommend using a specialty shop instead of someone who does this work in their spare time. I used Overseas Speedometer with good results. http://www.speedometer.com/
    '61 Clubman's Gold Star, '13 690 Duke, '13 Daytona 675R, '14 Street Triple R, '17 1290 GT (gone but not forgotten: '76 R75/6, '84 R100, '76 R90S)

  7. #7
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    Terry Vrla has a long track record and well earned reputation for doing excellent work on our Airhead instruments. Yes, he is a one man operation, and I would agree that sometimes, turn-around or inquiries can be delayed. SOMETIMES. But to be fair, Palo Alto, Overseas and Hollywood all get their share of complaints about long delays in their repairs - and their work isn't cheap.

    I shipped my cluster off to Foreign Speedo Inc. Around noon, I got an email response from Terry offering a turn around in a week. I was concerned about turn around when I shipped it off to Foreign Speedo, and I wish I had gotten Terry's email sooner. I will report back after the repair.

    Both folks reported my issue as an internal gear on a shaft that requires the speedo to be disassembled and the gear restaked to the shaft. 130k miles on the instruments, so not a big complaint.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  8. #8

    For what it's worth

    I just received a fully rebuilt 76 60/6 from my father and had the odometer quit as well. I pulled it apart and found that the grey gear on the opposite end of the shaft as the brass gear(driven by the adjustable worm gear), was free spinning on the shaft. As i moved the grey gear out and in, it felt like there was a notch there and when in that position would manually rotate and increment both odometers correctly. When it was in what i felt to be the right position, I added some super glue to the shaft just above the gear and let it soak in(unit on it's side to let the glue soak down into the gear). After a minute or too, manual turning of the brass gear turned the grey gear and both odometers incremented correctly. I then proceeded to add some jb weld to the shaft and inner part of the gear to build up some more strength(turning the shaft a bit to built up all around). I have been about 30 miles on it so far with no issues. Note that the space to get the glue in there is about a 1/4 inch and very close to the white gears that turn the numbers. It took a sniper's steadiness to get it in there without gumming other other elements.

    Probably not an ideal solution, but got me back on the road with a smile. I am sure a pro would kick me for the addition of jb weld, and it may impact future rebuild ability, so take it for what it is.

    -tp

  9. #9
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    tp -

    Welcome to the forum and the MOA! Your fix sounds like the one in this link:

    www.pbase.com/dwerbil/1978_r1007_odometer_repair

    It's in this link in my signature line...lots of other stuff in there that might help along the way as you get to know your Airhead!

    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...rces-and-Links
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  10. #10
    Thank you sir! Wish i had seen this first, I would have felt more confident in my approach.

  11. #11
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    UPDATE - Speedometer Repaired and Working

    Four weeks, end to end, shipped from my location and returned to me yesterday. Foreign Speedo Inc. in San Diego had my instrument cluster for three weeks.

    They found what they expected when we discussed the symptoms on the phone - a broken gear that was allowing the other gears driving the odometer and trip meter to slip so that neither odometer was turning.
    The broken gear was replaced, the speedometer was cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Additional time there was spent repairing the screw mounts in the housing, many of them were cracked.

    The cluster is clean, the lamps are all working. I rode this morning after replacing the cluster on the bike (1984 R100/T). The tach and speedo are working (they were working before), and the odometer and trip meter are both working again properly. I will have to mount a GPS on my next ride to see if they adjusted the somewhat overstated speedometer. I reported a 10% over condition to them in my notes, but I didn't ask them to address that.

    The price for the repair was reasonable; $198 including the return shipping costs. Communications with Foreign Speedo was fair. They don't offer any email contact, but they answer their phone during business hours and they were always pleasant and responsive when we talked. They were a bit enthusiastic in their work estimates. Took then longer than they said to examine the cluster and give me a quote. Then it took them longer than they estimated to complete the work. I don't like to be "that guy" who is constantly calling for an update. But when 2 or 3 days go by after they say they will be done and there's no call - well, then I make the call. Especially since this was my first experience using them. They would be better off estimating longer and then finishing "early". Would I use them again? Yes. Would I use Terry Vrla again? Yes.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

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