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airhead INSTRUMENT HOUSING thread repairs


New member
All the screw insert pillars for the teeny screws in the instrument shell were cracked.
Will SOMEbody please get that 3DPO (Dreaded Damn Dumb Previous Owner) a smaller screwdriver ?!?! use the putter damit

Im installing katdash so time to fix up this old house.

I sliced K&S brass tube into short rings to re-inforce the cracked pillars. The End.

Still here ? OK Cutting with a thin dremel abrasive disc. like butta it was.
I attach the dremel to a table & rotate the tube at the blade for better control. Easy does it is the rule for this thin wall soft stuff.
Find your own way to deburr, eyah it sucks but you got to do it to glue it. Flash & burrs will prevent tight interfaces, which boofs the gluing .
Tiny files. dremel nubbins. deburring was the first worst part of this repair.

DAP Rapidfuse (some new supersnotty superglue. GT approved for now) worked well between the brass & plastic.

A few whole rings can slide down on stand-alone pillar , but most need to be snapped horizontally onto it's pillar and so must be open / partial cylinders.
Guesstimate how much of each segment to slice from ring wall in order for it to fully snap home .
Then cut off a wee bit more, its deceptive. Test fit spares before the glue

As long as >1/2 of the original tube circumference remains, it should grip , but mine were cracked 360 so I wanted all the hug I could get.
The 11/32" brass tube is a snug fit over the free-standing pillars, so when snapping on a sliced cylinder, do it deft to preserve ID for a snug fit. UNLESS the edges bottom out.

Fun Game; Test your fingertip Dremel daringdo with these "open ring " tasks. I could count on one finger where I got nicked during this work. Every time.

It was far easier to slice the segment / strip out of a couple inches of tube FIRST (while tube is still long enough to hold easily) THEN lopp off individual short rings from length.
Its easier to deform a ring that way, but you have enough tube to lose a few to practice. I said soft. Like virgin, metal.
PS you can true up deformed rings w/ a little hammer & roll around a smooth bolt

I put a tiny dab of that DAP glue and snapped the collars on. Which went surprisingly well, once fit up & deburr were right.

After the collars are glued on, re-anchor the threaded bushes with water-thin / wicking superglue.

( 3 little warnings - super glue.
1) Careful to not overly dose this water thin glue and fill in the threaded bushing. Very. A tiny dot will fill the cracks once tightened by the ring repair.

2) Also superglue wicks fast & far on this particular plastic. - a regular drop placed on pillar top / bushing creeps inches away about the same time the vapors maced me.
Thats when the toothpick application came out. Skip the "use the hashed up bottle tip" method.

3) Since it would really suck to drip super glue on the clear lens ( get to look at it all the time ) , I had the bright idea to sloppily mask tape over the glass lens.
BUT big butt , the tape adhesive soaked up tiny amount of wicking glue and formed some helicopter-strength ugly flash here & there where it interfaced.
Maybe Ill do a future post on how carefully slice & dremel THAT UGLY SH!T off , but no. You could just use less glue and mask smarter.

The K&S 8134 Round Brass Tube: 11/32" OD x 0.014" wall was the juuust right, especially on the pillars requiring a sliced cylinder ( ie most of them)

I see too many words, i post some porn for you picture readers View attachment 88757BMW R100S housing repair 1 - 1.jpegBMW R100S housing repair - 1.jpeg

NExt post a few notes on instrument reassembly....
Nice fix

You have a nice fix for a common problem with the instrument cluster. Over the years of ownership on my bike despite trying hard not to over tighten screws, my original housings on both of my bikes finally cracked the last insert.

LOL, I am not as talented as you and probably have less patience so I just went to Siebenrock and bought the new replacement units. They are very good for the cost. If this had not been available, I might have done what you did. St.
re-asembly notes

Germanically speaking, of course the actual instruments are a superbly tight-clearance fit into the instrument housing.

There are several 4~5 mm dia scallops around on the instrument face, where it slides down closely over some pillars while pushing it down to the lens.

The increased diameter from the brass bushing repairing the pillars affects assembly & may require slight mod! or not if you figure this part out;

I made certain bushings relatively tall , reinforcing mucho pillar . Probably unnecessary.
Make shorter <<10mm bushing where you can see tight fits on assembly.
Some pillars dont matter for this issue, so knock yourself out, tall ones look really cool.

An original assembly instrument would slide straight into the housing more or less.
Due to the increased diameter pillar, instrument has to be rock&rolled to slip in.

There is not much room to work and thats YOUR expensive delicate clockworks making cracking noises there.
At best mine fit in exactly ONE certain precise orientation/ tilt or would lockup before more cracking noises. grr
To minimize problems, keep your bushings short so it requires less tilt to get past as you barrel roll the instrument in.

ALSO , I had to use a dremel router bit to enlarge / create scallops on the instrument face , to improve fit around some pillars.
Take minimal material off, removed material here is getting very close to the visible face of the gauge.

Admittedly, churning up fine plastic router dust right next to exposed mechanical clock work is , at best , one bad plan.
I tape-masked the instrument (aint as easy as it sounds and it dont sound easy ) during the trimming work , and still ended up with a few specs inside the lens face after putting it in the last time. grrrr. Be better, maybe some canned air after de-taping.

And DONT blow into the assembled housing after All Done , " just to finish up with a Bangbang" ;
this may dislodge some previously negligible dust which will stick front & center of lens, allowing you to RE-REMOVE and RE-REINSTALL the works one more time.

There are 2 free standing pillars in the guage center, around the Warning lights , interfering with lights/circuit board
The katdash was an interference fit between these repaired pillars, OE light board probably be the same. Anybody want one ¯\_ (ツ)_/¯ ?
Look in there closely to see where a few mm of plastic removed from a easy-to-work area on the dash light assembly ( its right in a obtuse corner in light board,
very easy to control the right dremel bit ... Dont get carried away, IF U FU its not much more to cut through, into the light well of one dash light or another. Then its lights out.

[C] ONE MORE REPAIR no pics. bear with. As you may know, the instrument shell is suppose to be a sealed enclosure.
The long loopy thread gasket around the perimeter needs to be located precisely , to get trapped on the tiny shelf during assembly of the back panels.
There are a number of short spikes or fingers that retain the gasket in proper place until assembly. Short, a few mm.

Without naming names, there were several broken gasket fingers in my housing.

To repair the missing gasket fingers, I glued tooth picks (the mint kind are best) which was easy to do against the plastic boss on the housing wall right where the missing finger was dangling. THe tooth pick TIP must be trimmed precisely, tall enough to actually function BUT not too tall which could block the gasket face or even break off and cause a log jam in the speedo. ( Log jam in a Speedo. now THERES something you cant un-see)
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