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Thread: Parts source. Question about age and source of parts.

  1. #1

    Parts source. Question about age and source of parts.

    Airheads are probably a small enough community that some toes are easily stepped on. I don't know the reputation of
    any parts suppliers or shops as I'm pretty new to the online community. I intend no disrespect.

    My '83 R65 is presenting me with some fuel/vacuum headaches @ 41K miles. I think age here has more to do with
    mileage. It was stored, unwisely, with topped off gas for four years. Unheated garage in Michigan, covered with dropcloth.

    Elsewhere in the forum I've mentioned some of this. Thought I'd had it licked, but no amount of adjustment can keep the manometer
    from racing toward the right carb (worrisomely low vac on the left). All external (to the carb) fitments are secure. No cracked rubber.
    The carb/cylinder two inches of hose were almost new when stored and show no signs of cracking. All hose clamps secure. I just
    removed the emissions tubes from the airbox to cylinder and plugged the cylinder holes with a pair of oil drain plugs using high
    temp Loctite.... perfect fit. Replaced orings on the idle jets screws. Kept the crossover vacuum tube intact and plugged where it
    Tees of inside the airbox. Sealed the airbox holes leftover from the emission tube removals.

    And yet... can't even get in the ball park in balancing vac between carbs.

    Before I fret about anything as major as burnt valves, bad rings, etc, it's probably past due for me to at least rebuild the carbs with
    new floats, diaphrams, orings, and gaskets. I've priced all at under 150 dollars from a few places such as boxer2valve.

    What concerns me about any older machine is whether the parts I'm replacing are of at least equal quality of materials as the original.
    After that I'm concerned with their age. Obviously these are never high volume parts that you might expect to be coming off the
    factory line daily. "New" old stock, especially on a rubber item like the CV diaphragm may not be a real improvement unless
    the original on your bike is actually leaking. And if it's made in a little shop in Vietnam it may in fact be much worse.

    AGAIN, I intend no disrespect to anyone. Just looking for advice here. A little assurance for peace of mind.

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    Contact Tom Cutter at the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage. Tom was a Butler & Smith guy (importer prior to BMW-NA), he was a tech trainer and he has Airhead knowledge that none of us will ever gather. He repairs BMWs and sells parts from his shop in eastern PA.

    http://rubberchickenracinggarage.com/

    That's his web site, but if you need specifics just call him or email him what you need. Be sure to provide VIN number or year and model of bike.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  3. #3
    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
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    Since the last airhead was made in 1995, I am amazed that there re so many parts available. But, you have concerns that are reasonable. That said, I’ve never had any issues with replacement rubber parts. I’ve gotten most of my parts from Max BMW. Electricical parts are getting hard to find, and things like points have been questionable for years. All I can recommend is buy from a vendor with a good reputation. They got that reputation by selling quality parts. Max has been more than helpful to me. Not too long ago I needed patts for a Dellorto carburetor made in the 70’s and they had them

    Wayne

  4. #4
    I have ordered from max. I recall being impressed with the website, depth of detail and ease of access, but especially willingness of knowledgeable staff to answer their phones, an unfortunate rarity anymore
    Thank you for both of those source recommendations.
    When ordering I'll ask candidly about the age and origin of the rubber diaphragms and orings, again just for peace of mind.

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Max's is the way to go - talk to Rusty!

    Great online parts look-up where you can get the exact part number and pricing.
    "The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't change every time congress meets." - Will Rogers

  6. #6
    I would still think about replacing the manifolds and clamps before rebuilding carbs. At least check them by spraying carb cleaner at the junctions with the engine running. I had a similar problem with my R90S and it turned to be a manifold leak.
    '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 cwroady's Avatar
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    I would add that you might check with local shops too. My nearest shop is Irv Seavers and I am frequently surprised by what they have in stock. If not in stock, they usually can have them for me in 2 days. There is a lot of value in being able to pick up parts for my 40+ year old bikes from stock at my local dealer within 20 minutes. If we only buy on line (realizing it is the best option for many), it could become the only option as local shops wont be able to justify carrying stock.
    Chris - 2015 BMW RT / 1972 BMW R60/5 / 1973 BMW R75/5 / SCBMWRC
    There ain't nothing like a friend who can tell you're just pissin' in the wind.
    Neil Young

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by cwroady View Post
    I would add that you might check with local shops too. My nearest shop is Irv Seavers and I am frequently surprised by what they have in stock. If not in stock, they usually can have them for me in 2 days. There is a lot of value in being able to pick up parts for my 40+ year old bikes from stock at my local dealer within 20 minutes. If we only buy on line (realizing it is the best option for many), it could become the only option as local shops wont be able to justify carrying stock.
    100%. Well, maybe 98 percent And there's the rub. It gets to my original concern. If your small local shop seldom moves his inventory of CV diaphragms for your year and make of carb, and if those parts may have been a NOS buyout from another shop or warehouse somewhere... in some worst case scenarios they could be in worse shape than the ones you are replacing! Obviously this would be a rare case. But I'm talking peace of mind here.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by cwroady View Post
    I would add that you might check with local shops too. My nearest shop is Irv Seavers and I am frequently surprised by what they have in stock. If not in stock, they usually can have them for me in 2 days. There is a lot of value in being able to pick up parts for my 40+ year old bikes from stock at my local dealer within 20 minutes. If we only buy on line (realizing it is the best option for many), it could become the only option as local shops wont be able to justify carrying stock.
    Unfortunately, the several local shops nearby where I have lived have usually been piss poor at any such service. If you didn't buy your $20,000.00 motorcycle from them, you're not worth the time or effort.

    My current local shop's (Greenville, SC) sales manager saw me out one day in a nearby town. I hadn't seen or known him before. When he saw my bike which was old, but in VERY good shape, he said that he wanted it, and if I ever decided to sell, look him up at the dealership for a "deal." When I finally did decide to trade it in, I went there, found a bike I liked and when I talked to him, he wouldn't ever consider taking mine in trade. It was too old. But it wasn't too old a year earlier when he told me to bring it in!!

    After that, in talking with others, they have had similar bad experiences. One person told me that he had dealt with them for years and had purchased around 6 brand new BMWs during that time - they still treated him like dirt.

    I have found that Rusty at Max's to be extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Helped me find what I needed and even suggested ways for me to save money! Besides, my wife loves the packet of M&Ms that they pack in every order!
    "The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't change every time congress meets." - Will Rogers

  10. #10
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frascati View Post
    100%. Well, maybe 98 percent And there's the rub. It gets to my original concern. If your small local shop seldom moves his inventory of CV diaphragms for your year and make of carb, and if those parts may have been a NOS buyout from another shop or warehouse somewhere... in some worst case scenarios they could be in worse shape than the ones you are replacing! Obviously this would be a rare case. But I'm talking peace of mind here.
    You may be worrying over a problem that does not exist. I've been replacing diaphragms since 1982, maybe earlier. I've never once had a dry or tired one show up from any BMW dealer or Motobins in the UK which is where I get most of my parts now since they offer quality OEM and after market parts at better prices than BMW.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  11. #11
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    Let not your heart be troubled.... BMW is not selling 40 year old NOS (new, old stock) parts. If you buy from a dealer, new is "new".

    Many oddball parts are NA (not available) but there are plenty of used parts available all over the internet.
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden
    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner
    1963 Dnepr

  12. #12
    If I may steal your post for just a moment with a question to SCBuckeye. Greenville Touring Sport is where I bought a new 2017 model at the end of 2016. I had the same experience. Absolutely horrible management and attitude. Didn't go back for 18 months. Walked in the door about 3 months ago to order a part. Found new management and few familiar faces. Has your experience with them been recent? Just trying to get a feel for new people new attitude, or new people same old garbage.

    Thanks

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