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Thread: Recommendations for SoCal mechanics experienced with R90/6 final drive?

  1. #1
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    Recommendations for SoCal mechanics experienced with R90/6 final drive?

    Hi... I picked up a '75 R90/6 last summer that overall had looked to be kept in excellent condition. However a couple weeks ago I cut the engine, and coasting into my parking spot heard a soft thump, thump, thump from the rear. Spinning the back wheel with the rear lifted, I can hear it once every rotation. But when I rotated the wheel just 30 degrees from any starting position and back, I hear a louder clunk in one direction, and a softer cadunk in the other. I pulled the boot from over the U-joint and all looks good there. 1:1 movement on both ends, and it's well lubricated. It's been suggested that nut on the rear drive pinion shaft may have come loose. I pulled the rear wheel off and found the gearbox oil weep hole had clogged, and the shoes and area in the drum pretty oily. So I'll have to have the bike towed to a mechanic and have things repaired.

    I'm in Long Beach CA, and am wondering if anyone could recommend a local mechanic particularly experienced in working on these old the final drives, known for doing reliably good work. I'm considering Valdi in Torrence, and Irv Seaver in Irvine. I'm strapped for funds after popping for this otherwise well maintained old beast, so BMW Long Beach will most likely be beyond my present resources. But I do want to take it to an experienced mechanic who does quality 'affordable' work.

    Thanks kindly for any thoughts on what may be causing this problem & all suggestions for a reliable reasonably local mechanic.
    Last edited by flathead47; 10-05-2019 at 05:45 AM.

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    The premier shop for working on final drives is Hansen BMW in Medford, Oregon. Beyond that for SoCal, check these two lists for independent mechanics in California:

    https://ibmwr.org/index.php/independent-bmw-mechanics/

    http://micapeak.com/bmw/Airhead-Shops.html

    Dave Campbell in San Diego area is a name that I recall for good Airhead work.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
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    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Registered User k12lts's Avatar
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    It's very easy to remove the final drive from the bike and take it to the shop. Much less expensive than a tow as well.
    2010 R1200RT, 2011 Ural Patrol, 1981 R100, 1975 R90S

    BMW MOA 37304

  4. #4
    Registered User ebeeby's Avatar
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    +1 on Hansen's....
    1973 R75/5

  5. #5
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Valdi is excellent (and a little cheaper than a Dealer shop), but he has a few weeks of backlog in the shop right now (I just got back from there after a few hours at Seaver's today).

    I don't know if Long Beach BMW still does airhead work, but Seaver's does fer sure.

    If you're good with a wrench, yes it's reasonably easy to take the rear apart yourself and just take the damaged items in for refurb/replacement. Keep track of which spring goes where in the rear brake shoes and their respective orientations. (or maybe I'm mixing that thought up w/ the fronts...)

  6. #6
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    Go to Valdi's. He knows BMW's and it is very easy to deal with; and is worth the wait!

    Irv Seaver.... well,nahhh... unless you have something real vintage and Evan Bell is interested in the bike (doubt it).
    They like new and fast turn around with the latest and greatest. But... they will work on your bike.

    Good luck with it.

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    I'm glad to hear confirmation of the impression I had of Valdi when I stopped in to meet him on the way back from having CA CHP verify this R90/6 from out of state. He came out to greet me as I road up, and seemed a genuinely affable fellow. He spent a good deal of time answering questions, and offered out a lot of useful information about the bike that was good to know as a new owner.

    He did say he was taking September off and would be back the beginning of October, so I had a hunch he'd have a backlog of work when he got back. It's frustrating the apartment complex here doesn't allow any major repair work to be done in the garage, otherwise I'd probably be able to pull the drive out. But at least AAA will tow it to and from Valdi's for me.

    When I read the glowing recommendation of him in that IBMWR link earlier today, I'd pretty much decided he was the guy to do the work. But it's really nice to hear the same from you folks who actually live around here and know him pretty well. Thanks guys. Much appreciated.

  8. #8
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    But at least AAA will tow it to and from Valdi's for me.
    Hopefully the AAA service is familiar with motorcycle transport.
    OM
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  9. #9
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    If your AAA contract doesn't specifically include bikes (the "RV" version?), Valdi has a couple of contacts who might be cheaper...

    The website listed in the IBMWR section is wrong - try http://valdismotozone.com/

  10. #10
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    I've had AAA for 20 to 30 years, and they've always been fantastic. I got insurance and a RV/100 mile towing plan for this bike like I've had for other bikes in the past. I think I get 3, maybe more free tows per year. Or at least enough to get me to Valdi & back. AAA is also pretty good about only giving towing contracts to local towing services that meet their strict standards. I broke down on a highway about 10 miles away 15 years ago, and the guy who arrived in a flatbed truck did a fantastic job.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by flathead47 View Post
    I've had AAA for 20 to 30 years, and they've always been fantastic. I got insurance and a RV/100 mile towing plan for this bike like I've had for other bikes in the past.
    I smiled when I read this. The 100 mile tow limitation may work well in some places. It wouldn't get me to the nearest Walmart where I live and the nearest BMW dealer is 400 miles away.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I smiled when I read this. The 100 mile tow limitation may work well in some places. It wouldn't get me to the nearest Walmart where I live and the nearest BMW dealer is 400 miles away.
    I'm jealous. There are few if any places in the continental US where the weather is better year round than by the sea here in SoCal. But I miss going miles and miles and not seeing much else but farmland, forests, prairies and not street after street of endless cement. Which towing service are you with PGlaves?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by flathead47 View Post
    . Which towing service are you with PGlaves?
    Allstate Motor Club RV: Tow to the nearest qualified service facility. So for a tire I would get the nearest decent MC shop. For something BMW specific it is to the nearest BMW dealership even if it is over 400 miles away
    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/

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Allstate Motor Club RV: Tow to the nearest qualified service facility. So for a tire I would get the nearest decent MC shop. For something BMW specific it is to the nearest BMW dealership even if it is over 400 miles away
    Allstate. That's quite a a good deal out there where things are spread out at such distances. If crowded SoCal makes me yearn for having more space around me, at least on the plus side there's a whole lot I have access to here within a 100 mile radius. We just have to know side routes to get around the daily highway traffic jams.

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