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Thread: 76 R90/6 - the case of the missing tachometer needle

  1. #1

    76 R90/6 - the case of the missing tachometer needle

    alright i did a quick search and saw that there was a couple of threads on this happening but a lot of them were old so i'll start a new one

    the good news is the r90 champed a 300 mile weekend in upstate NY of camping. the bad news is that i looked down at one point and the tachometer needle had gone MIA. where can i obtain a new one? any major precaution to take while installing a new one? it looks like if you can find a needle it just needs to be gingerly bent into a very tight little space. i checked maxbmw and a couple other sites and couldn't find too much. i haven't opened up the cover of the tach yet to see if the needle is sitting in there or not. i don't see it sitting at the bottom of the instrument, i can say that much.


  2. #2
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    I'm sure it's laying down in the bottom of the tach housing taking a nap. Time to pull the tach out for a rebuild. Another idea is send the whole unit in for a complete freshening up of both the tach and speedo. Good luck with your project. Ps. I've had several rebuilt over the years, fairly common for 40 year old airheads.

  3. #3
    is the needle coming off an indication of a gear failing? if i install a new needle will that not do the trick? FYI speedo/odo are still fully functioning.

  4. #4
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Gotcha, by all means install a new needle. You'll be good to go.

  5. #5
    Putting a needle back on might be all that is required. But if the instrument is faulty it might swing wildly, causing the needle to "peg" and become dislodged. It is however worth the try before deciding an overhaul of the tach is needed.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  6. #6
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    The /6 tach is cable driven. As suggested, might be worth considering a new cable if it's "bucking" off the needle. Here's a site that gives some idea of how to get inside the instrument...for a /7 but similar:

    https://www.pbase.com/dwerbil/1978_r...dometer_repair

    As for a new needle, you might try contacting Terry Vrla at "terryvrla at hotmail dot com" (he's in Hillsboro, OR). There are other repair places in the speedometer 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!

  7. #7
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    superglue

    I would imagine your needle is inside the housing. There are not many places for it to fall out.

    The instrument housing and such are not a real problem to take apart.

    You just have to take care not to over-tighten screws when putting them back together as the screws are threaded into inserts molded into the plastic.

    Years ago, my R75/7's tachometer needle broke off. A friend of mine with good hand eye coordination was able to super glue it back together. I put a lot of miles on it after that.
    St.

  8. #8
    to get into the housing do i just pry the rubber off the front and go in from there? or is it more advisable to disconnect the whole unit and start pulling it apart from the back?


  9. #9
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    Better

    It is better to take things apart from the back.

    Of course the front lens can be pried off but why take the chance of breaking it or marring the plastic cover in doing so?

    The whole shebang is not hard to take apart. As I said, use a bit of caution when putting it back together again not to over tighten the screws. St.

  10. #10
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I don't think you can easily get to things from the glass side. Here's a good visual on how to get into the back of the speedo unit. These pictures are for addressing the odometer side, but you can go from there.

    https://www.pbase.com/dwerbil/1978_r...dometer_repair
    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!

  11. #11


    this seems like a pretty solid clip on how to open it up.

  12. #12
    after a quick scoot down to the park i started tackling this thing.









    i'm planning on getting some epoxy or a strong glue and just slipping it back in there. looks like it snapped clean off!

  13. #13
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concernedparent View Post
    is the needle coming off an indication of a gear failing? if i install a new needle will that not do the trick? FYI speedo/odo are still fully functioning.
    The gear failing issue is in the speedo which is mechanical. When it fails the odometers stop working.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  14. #14
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    Looks familiar

    Looks like the tachometer on my 77/7. It did the same thing years ago. A friend with steady hands glued it back together.

    The screws holding everything together, as you can see, tighten into inserts bonded into the plastic. Don't go crazy on tightening them when putting everything back together. They are fragile.

    I have seen housings with them broken out because of excessive tightening.

    One or two being lost is not a problem but too many can be. St.

  15. #15
    ....aaaaaaaand we're back in business. pretty fun rigging this up to set properly...






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