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1984 R100 via Hurricane Katrina

G

Gravity

Guest
I have owned 5 BMW motorbikes. I have only been riding motor bikes for 5 years. I presently own a K1300s but love to look at the older models.

While browsing Craigslist in New Orleans (I live just north of there), I found a R100 that had been sunk by Katrina. She was on a trailer and inop and the owner was taking offers.

We chatted a few times and struck a number that seemed fair. His brother dropped it off today at the house. I want to restore the bike to mint if possible. I hope to have it ride able in the next few months. Here is what I know:

There is no key yet. (owner looking)
The gas tank is full of ... stuff, rust, etc.
The rear wheel moves when the plugs are removed and the tranny is in gear.
The bike was submerged for a while, perhaps days, in Katrina water.
The batter is covered in corrosion.
The bike was running well before the storm.
The bike has 22k miles and the odometer was working before Katrina.
The bike came with bags, mounts and a fairing of sorts.

What I would like to know:
Is there a book/manual on restoring these? I've seen many great works of art in these forums and some were restored by members.
Where to begin?

I plan on doing this as a tribute to Katrina victims that lost everything in the storm. Perhaps the paint on the tank will somehow memorialize the loss they suffered in some small way.

Thanks in advance for your help,

Gravity
 

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If the bike was submerged for a time, and not immediately opened or dewatered, I think it's going to be a very big job.

It's likely that water and whatever contaminants it carried have made their way into the crankcase, the cylinders, the combustion chambers, the gearbox, driveshaft, and rear end. There are steel bits in all those places, and that means rust. If, for example, water got into a cylinder or combustion chamber, there'll be rust on the cylinder bore. Turning the engine over will run the rings over that rust, destroy the rings, and score the cylinders. It won't do the bearings any good, either.

I think the same would be true inside the gearbox and rear end. Flushing and replacing the oils won't get rid of the rust: the only way to do that will be disassembly; after manual cleaning, you can see and measure whether the internal components can be reused or must be replaced. The electrical system will be a similar challenge, as will the brakes. And the instruments. And even though the carb bodies are aluminum, they'll be full of it, too.

To make the machine run again, I think you're facing a down-to-the-last-bolt disassembly. With components in hand, you can assess whether or not they'll be reuseable.
 
Hmmm, how deep is your wallet? An '84 R100 would be a good daily rider (I have an 1983), but not so much a collectible, even in mint, all original condition (in my opinion). That said, its a sold steed.

Ian Falloon published several good books to give you an idea of what one looked like. I went through an 8 year neglected '83 R100 stem to stern and is now my daily ride. Great learning opportunity as well. I never touched a bike until 3 years ago.

Spinny things: On the other hand, before you spin the rear wheel anymore I would suggest dropping the oil pan, draining all fluids (trans, final drive, drive shaft and oil), pull the oil filter and cut it in half to look at what its diet. The oil pan will also provide some interesting nuggets. +1 on DBrick's take. I'd be worried about spinning anything until you know the state of the fluid--otherwise, the cost will go way up. Wheel, swingarm and steeringhead bearings will undoubtedly need servicing or replacement.

Take lots of pics. Never assume the left hand side is identical to the right hand side. As you disassemble any part, place in a ziplock freezer bag and mark it. I know you think you'll remember, but remember, memory is the second thing to fail ya.

Fun project. My $0.02. :drink

ps. And MAN oh MAN...take care of that frame and subframe. Paint, powdercoat or something to stop the rust. At best, these are called Rubber Cows for a reason...that much rust may make it an unstable, silly mad rubber cow.
 
Sounds like good advice. I took it on as a project not expecting any shortcuts or glory. I was anticipating the last nut/bolt being taken off, the frame blasted and powder coated and then putting it back together.

I don't trust my memory on putting things back together. I wrenched on BMW cars through the 90's and had few parts left over and want to make sure this one goes fully back together.

Your thoughts on fuel tank refurbishing? I see a place in PA that totally bakes, cleans and seals them for (cough, cough) about $350. I see a few used ones for $200 on the forums and yet still wonder if a $40 kit can fix what I have.

No more spinning until I break it down, I promise. I will be making a space in the garage for her this weekend and then the Clymer manual should be here and I'll begin the journey inside. Got camera, got bags and a marker and a good bit of time. I'm sure the girlfriend will understand. They want us to be busy, right?

I saw a kit online for all stainless fasteners to replace what's on the bike. Unnecessary or a good thing to have?

I'll be updating the project as it progresses.

Anything else you can think of?

Many thanks,

Gravity
 
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Yikes!!

I don't think that any one can tell you what you have got better than what you will discover during the next few episodes of wrenching and opening up and draining. Katrina went through awhile ago. If there are still any fluids in the tank or engine or carbs or forks or trans ... if there is anything in there it is not going to be good. The tank is a goner.
So, surprise us and prove me wrong.
 
Gravity,

They should have paid you to take it.

Save your money and time and put it into another airhead project. Not much worthy of salvage there.

Peter
 
+1 on Kstoo's take.

I think the tank would be my very last concern. No point in spending any time with it if the rest is a goner.

Make or buy a test tank/bottle to hang above with a petcock, then a splitter to each carb. That'll do to get you messing with the engine. In the meantime, empty that tank and set it aside with the cap open and the petcocks off.

I use a gallon sized heated ultrasonic cleaner to clean bolts, carbs, you name it in a gallon of Gunk parts cleaner.

As for stainless bolts, lots written here on the subject. Stainless is NOT impervious, indestructible, etc. Needs oxygen to remain stainless and look pretty. Some have concerns over the relative strength compared to stocker parts, especially important in a those torque areas. I'd just replace with Cadmium plated from the dealer or McMaster-Carr.

ps. that sucking sound we are all hearing is coming from your wallet whenever you even think the phrase "Mint Condition" again. hehe.
 
Gravity,

They should have paid you to take it.

Save your money and time and put it into another airhead project. Not much worthy of salvage there.

Peter

Perhaps not but it will be interesting. I just removed the airbox cover and I believe I am taking out the OEM airfilter. The edges are melted/fused to the box.

I'm patient enough to get to the motor. Clymer arrives on Wednesday and I'll begin in earnest to disassemble and see what there is to see. I'm sure that there is enough fairing, bags and engine pieces to cover my expenses if the project turns out to be awash in saltwater residue.

No fear and thanks for the replies,

Gravity
 
Run, Forest. Run!

Come on now, not a penny hasn't been spent other than the book and the bike and together I'm happily well below $500.

Worse case scenario, I get another airhead and use this as a donor?

I'm looking forward,

Gravity
 
EVERYTHING will need to come apart. All the components have weep holes or vents that would allow water to enter. Even if there's oil in a case, the internal components typically sit above the oil level. Note that salt water is much more corrosive than fresh water.

However, it's possible to polish parts such as gears to remove surface rust if there are no deep pits. Lots of elbow grease, water displacing solvent (say WD-40) and stiff brass brush or wet sandpaper. That's what they do in Cuba, where import parts are not available.

And some parts, such as rings and valves can be replaced. Parts are available through BMW dealers, some of whom (such as Max BMW) have online microfiche and parts ordering. You should plan on replacing all ball and roller bearings, seal rings and seals, since the races and rollers will very likely be pitted from rust.

It might be possible to save the tank. There are shops specializing in saving fuel tanks. Probably not more than $400, plus $200 to get painted. Used tanks are available for around $250, but will still need to be painted to match your scheme.

Don't overlook the frame. There are openings to the inside of the tubing. If the frame is rusty inside the tubes, that could lead to catastrophic failure. As a minimum, I would drill vent holes as needed to squirt water displacing solvent into the tubes completely full, then drain. Any rust that comes out used to be steel.

The engine should be completely disassembled, especially if you find any visible rust or corrosion when you pull the pan. Even if you find a component such as the camshaft corroded beyond use, there are troves of used parts around, including frames and short blocks.

If the wiring was saturated with salt water, I would suggest finding a NOS main wiring harness. If water got into the instruments, you might as well assume they are gone. However, if you get far enough that the electrics are the next step, note that there are complete charging systems (Omega,etc.) aviailable that work better than the stock, and a replacement starter (see Motorrad Elektric)

It's possible to bring that machine back to life, but it's going to cost. The question is whether you'd be better off financially buying a similar machine that hasn't been dunked, or whether you want to gain the experience of building an entire machine. The experts lurking on this site have typically learned about airheads from 20 or 30 years of fiddling.

If I were planning on building that machine up to good running condition (not show, just operational) I'd figure on about a year of part time work, and $4,000 to $5,000 in parts and subcontract labor. Lots of airhead owners are shocked at the price of some tiny parts such as the advance mechanism, and the effort (and knowledge) needed to overhaul components such as the transmission.

Whatever you decide to do, you'll find plenty of practical advice on this forum.

pmdave
 
like you said katrina victims... new orleans...
a term of endearment if you will
good luck
 
Come on now, not a penny hasn't been spent other than the book and the bike and together I'm happily well below $500.

Worse case scenario, I get another airhead and use this as a donor?

I'm looking forward,

Gravity

I get that sense from you ... that you are in a discovery, exploratory mode. Yep, if you play your cards right, make the right decisions, the worst that will happen to you is the experience! Many years ago I got a 1953 R51/3 at a yard sale for $75 (that was a lot of money for me at the time) and I took it completely apart, put it back together again and sold it for 400% profit without ever getting it running. I learned a lot about BMW motorcycles and had a lot of fun(?) doing it.
I am sure that the worst that you can do is part out enough salvageable parts to get you investment back and profitable. and learn something along the way.

My Katrina R51/3
 
I get that sense from you ... that you are in a discovery, exploratory mode. Yep, if you play your cards right, make the right decisions, the worst that will happen to you is the experience! Many years ago I got a 1953 R51/3 at a yard sale for $75 (that was a lot of money for me at the time) and I took it completely apart, put it back together again and sold it for 400% profit without ever getting it running. I learned a lot about BMW motorcycles and had a lot of fun(?) doing it.
I am sure that the worst that you can do is part out enough salvageable parts to get you investment back and profitable. and learn something along the way.

<gulp>....you sold a /3? wish I'd known. :scratch
 
Gravity,
I've never revived a sunken bike, but I have rebuilt sailboats that had sunk.....and they hadn't set for 5 years after the fact.

I'll be very surprised if anything on this bike is useable, but my biggest concern would be in areas you can't get to.... like inside the frame. Salt water never completely dries; the salt attracts moisture from the air. Corrosion, on the inside, may have weakened the frame to the point where it isn't safe to ride. It may be a good idea to have an NDT (Non-Destructive Test) done on the frame to check for variations in the wall thickness of the tubing. Areas around welds are particularly vulnerable to corrosion.

Since water displaces oil, there hasn't been any oil in this bike for 5 years if it was totally submerged.

Good luck.
Tom
 
Hi, I brought back an 86 r80rt that had been out side for 8 years, no new major parts, $1800.00 gaskets, tires. brake rebuild kits, por-15 tank kit ect. this was to nice mechanical condition, I sold it for just what I had into it , free labor, and the fellow who bought it rode to upper peninsula , and then this summer too Alabama both from Mass. It is a nice bike, compared to my k100, it felt like a motorized bicycle, and I mean that in a good way!


Good luck
 
Heres my 33 and a half cents worth

If you insist on saving the frame and motor with a clear title you may want to look into having the frame dipped much like automobile restoration shops do. The old acid vat dip that stops the rust and then coats it. This not gonna be cheap so here is a much better alternative. Look in the "Flea Market" and find the guy Kevin Stewart "Bruff' or something is his user name, he's got a bunch of airhead parts for sale including an RS frame, title and block all numbers matching. As soon as you strike a deal for a good clean (not rusted out) frame and get it on its way you can get started on your other stuff. For starters I would immediately get a larger supply of PB Blaster and spray the whole thing down top to bottom inside and out. As you disassemble the bike you should dump the parts in a large container of fresh water until you can clean and preserve them correctly or seal everything up in plastic and a good coat of oil or PB Blaster until you can address each part individually. Unless your willing to risk a sudden and catastrophic frame failure at anytime I would not use the frame or swing arm at all. I would strongly suggest destroying the very very questionable frame and swing arm if you do replace it, the problems it could bring you are not worth any savings or profit. Cafe' project worthy, GOOD LUCK and have fun
 
Gravity,
I've never revived a sunken bike, but I have rebuilt sailboats that had sunk.....and they hadn't set for 5 years after the fact.

I'll be very surprised if anything on this bike is useable, but my biggest concern would be in areas you can't get to.... like inside the frame. Salt water never completely dries; the salt attracts moisture from the air. Corrosion, on the inside, may have weakened the frame to the point where it isn't safe to ride. It may be a good idea to have an NDT (Non-Destructive Test) done on the frame to check for variations in the wall thickness of the tubing. Areas around welds are particularly vulnerable to corrosion.

Since water displaces oil, there hasn't been any oil in this bike for 5 years if it was totally submerged.

Good luck.
Tom

The previous owner hasn't told me much about the bike. I've been working with his brother on the sale and location of the keys.

I do know that the dipstick shows clean oil. Perhaps the water invasion was momentary? Perhaps the owner drained it and put new fluids in? I'll be draining all fluids this weekend and beginning the removal of the engine from the frame. I'll have the frame blasted and NDT sounds like a good idea too. If it looks good then I'll have it powder coated and turn towards the motor.

Thanks for the advice,

Gravity
 
Go for it!!!

Just change the fluids - Get a new battery and run it!!!


As a Tribute to Huricane Katrina =- Run IT!!



You can not duplicate the Patina of Katrina!!!!
:dance
 
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