1973 BMW R75/5 Rebuild: Project Index

Introduction

I’ve started on a build of my wife’s 1973 BMW R75/5 which is a two owner, 97,500 mile, 40-year-old bike.  It’s been stored in a barn for the past six years waiting for me to get time to work on the build.

Out of the Barn

Out of the Barn At Last

DISCLAIMER

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Please be advised that there is no representation of the accuracy of any of the information presented on these web pages relative to BMW motorcycle maintenance or modification and that the material is presented for information purposes only. In no case will I be held liable for injury or damage (consequential or otherwise) resulting from or arising out of alterations you make to your motorcycle. The reader should recognize that motorcycling is a dangerous activity that can result in injury or death, and that the alterations portrayed on these web pages can and will change the behavior and performance of your motorcycle, possibly with fatal results. You are encouraged to seek qualified assistance before undertaking any of the procedures outlined here, and are here by notified that, should you decide to proceed, you do so at your own risk.

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Project Completion

I finished the build 18 months later. The bike, named “Grover”, went for it’s first ride around the block on July 4th 2015.  Happy Independence Day !!!  Here is a short video of the first ride and some pictures of the final build.

1973 BMW R75/5_Grover's First Ride

I organized the project documentation chronologically via blog posts and by main component as defined in the BMW parts fiche. You can also find all the pictures in my flickr account organized into sets.

Feel free to post comments and questions at the bottom of any documents and I’ll respond.

Chronological Blogs

You can find the chronologic blog postings here:

Project Pictures

You can find the extensive pictures (over 1,300) I took here :

Rebuild Procedures Index

These are links to pages that document how I did the work organized by the main sections used in the BMW parts fiche. In each I list the parts used and resources I found helpful.

00-General

11-Engine

12-Engine Electrics

13-Fuel Preparation

18-Exhaust

21-Clutch

23-Transmission

31-Front Suspension

32-Steering

33-Rear Axle and Suspension

34-Brakes

36-Wheels

46-Frame, Fairing, Cases

51-Vehicle Trim

61-Electrical System

On the Road to Restoration

Here’s a couple of pictures of moving the bike from the barn to the shop that I built earlier in the year. It is a one-car garage, 14×21 foot, heated with 100 amp sub-panel for all the power I should ever need 🙂

Out of the Barn

Out of the Barn At Last

Moving Out

Heading To the Shop

Arrival in the Shop

In the Shop

Me and the new project

Getting The Project Under Way

Start of Project Pictures

Here are some pictures of what the bike looked like when I started the project.

Faring & fender off

Front Fender and Fairing Removed

Parts

Seat, Tank, Front Fender and Exhaust System Removed

Carburetor in Decent Shape
Left Carburetor
.Carb & shaft drive gunge
Right Carburetor and Drive Shaft Gunge
Petcock leaks
Petcock Leaks
.Points cover grunge
Possible Points Seal Leak
.Barn straw and leaks
Push rod seal leaks
..40 yr old foot peg rubber
40 Year Old Foot Peg Rubber Shot
.40 yr old foot peg rubber
Shot Foot Peg Rubber and Brake Pedal Rust

 

.Steering head gunge
Fork leaks and Top Clamp Gunge
.Brake hub grunge
Front Hub and Fork Gunge
.Front rim gunge
Front Rim Grunge
.Windjammer II dings
Windjammer II Painted to Match with Chips
.Rebuilt Vetter fairing bracket
Faring Bracket and Frame Rust
.Tank scratches
Tank Scratches and Dings
.Faring & fender off
Wrong Fork Boots & Frame Chips
.Fender dings
Front Fender Damage
.Pin stripe closeup
Front Fender Pin Stripe Detail
.Faring braket rust
Frame Tube Rust and Paint Dings
.Paint and rust
Frame Rust, Dings and Clutch Cable

Battery Box Corrosion

Battery Box Corrosion
Battery Box Corrosion

 

Finished Project Pictures

Here are some pictures of the finished bike.

Front Profile

Front Profile

Gas Tank

Gas Tank

Instruments and Steering Damper

Instruments and Steering Damper

Front Wheel Hub Cab

Front Wheel Hub Cab

Left Carburetor

Left Carburetor

Right Carburetor

Right Carburetor

Push Rod Tubes

Push Rod Tubes

Engine Badge

Engine Badge

Sito Mufflers

Sito Mufflers

Sito Mufflers

Sito Mufflers

Rear

Rear

Tool Box, Tools and Tire Pump Installed

Tool Box, Tools and Tire Pump Installed

Reflections in Fairing

Reflections in Fairing

Final Project Cost

The total “out the door” cost came to $7,006.67 USD.  Here is the breakdown by major categories I used to estimate and track actual cost.

Category Subtotal
Rubber Parts  $          570.68
Control Cables  $          251.40
Fuel, Carburetor  $          340.57
Frame, Wheels, Forks, Exhaust  $      1,955.29
Engine, Drive Shaft, Rear Drive  $      1,155.87
Clutch, Transmission  $          516.91
Electrical, Wiring, Bulbs  $          165.46
Fairing, Luggage, Accessories  $          418.00
Paint, Polish, Wax, Consumables  $      1,574.22
Blast & Powder Coat Subtotal = $325.75
Paint Subtotal = $788.73
Paint Prep & Supplies Subtotal = $405.19
Misc. Materials Subtotal = $54.55
Miscellaneous Hardware  $            75.62
Ship, Tax, Discounts  $          (17.35)
PROJECT TOTAL COST ==>  $      7,006.67

Itemized Costs

Here is a the itemized cost including part numbers and suppliers I used.  I included parts I didn’t need and parts I bought twice due to my mistakes and these are noted in the comments column.

Project Work Plan

This is the work plan I followed for the project. I create this at the start and update as I go along.

1973 R75/5 Rebuild Work Plan
Front Wheel
Remove fairing
Repair fairing
Stip fairing
Paint faring
Remove front fender
Strip fender
Paint fender
Remove brake cable
Remove front wheel
Remove tire and tube
Remove spokes
Clean & polish wheel and rim
Install new spokes OR clean old and install
Inspect brakes
Replace brake shoes
Inspect wheel bearings
Inspect, Replace wheel bearings if needed
Grease wheel bearings
Replace tire and tube
Balance
Mount
Replace brake cable
Adjust front brake
Rear Wheel
Remove rear fender
Strip rear fender
Paint rear fender
Remove rear wheel
Remove tire and tube
Remove spokes
Clean & polish wheel and rim
Install new spokes OR clean old and install
Remove Rear Drive
Clean & Polish
Inspect rear brake shoes
Replace brake shoes
Inspect wheel bearings
Inspect, Replace wheel bearings if needed
Repair Spun Bearing
Grease wheel bearings
Replace tire and tube
Balance
Mount
Install rear wheel
Lube rear drive splines
Adjust brakes
Front Fork
Remove handlebars
Remove headlight
Clean and repair paint
Install headlight
Remove triple clamp
Inspect steering head bearings
Replace steering head bearings
Install new bearings/races
Reassemble steering head
Install and align forks
Drain and Remove forks
Disassemble forks
Replace all rubber o-rings, bushings, etc.
Reassemble forks
Controls
Remove rider foot pads
Remove brake cable
Remove clutch cable
Remove throttle cables
Remove choke cables
Remove handlebar grips
Remove handlebar controls
Powder coat handle bar perches
Strip switch brackets
Paint switch brackets
Remove handle bars
Replace handlebars
Polish mirrors
Polish control  levers
Install handle bars
Install handlebar controls
Install brake cable
Install clutch cable
Install throttle cable
Install handlebar grips
Engine, Clutch
Remove Carbs
Rebuild carbs
Clean & polish air tubes
Clean & polish hose clamps
Remove air box halfs
Clean and polish air box halfs
Remove starter cover
Clean and polish starter cover
Remove valve cover
Remove head
Remove cylinder
Rebuild head
Remove piston
Remove rings
Remove engine
Clean piston
Measure cylinder bore
Gap new rings
Install new rings
Remove clutch
Inspect clutch for wear and condition
Replace clutch
Remove flywheel
Refresh paint on timing marks
Replace Rear Main Seal
Repair Oil Leak in Flywheel Bolt Hole
Replace Oil Pump Seal
Install flywheel
Assemble & Install clutch
Remove oil pan
Clean & polish oil pan
Inspect screen
Install new pan gasket
Replace cam shaft seal
Clean and polish engine case
Clean top cover
Clean, Polish front cover
Mount engine in frame
Mount side stand
Assemble oil filter and cover
Install cylinder base gasket
Install push rod tube bushings
Install cylinders
Install pistons
Install head gasket
Install heads
Set valves
Install valve cover gasket
Install valve covers
Install carbs
Balance carbs
Set timing
Transmission
Remove transmission
Clean and inspect
Mount transmission to engine
Replace clutch throw-out felt, gaskets, seals
Lube splines
Install new speedometer cable
Install new clutch cable
Adjust clutch cable
Tank
Remove tank
Strip tank
Paint tank
Remove petcocks
Rebuild petcocks
Install petcocks
Install tank
install new fuel lines
Install new air cleaner
Install air box and starter cover
Frame
Remove Fairing
Repair Faring
Strip Paint
Paint
Install Fairing
Remove seat
Remove side panes
Strip
Paint Blue Stripes
Remove front foot pegs
Polish pegs
Install footpeg rubbers
Remove rear foot pegs
Polish pegs
Install footpeg rubbers
Remove side stand
Clean, polish side stand
Remove center stand
Remove shocks
Clean and polish shocks
Clean and polish shock covers
Powder coat shock springs
Remove battery box
Powder coat battery box
Remove battery
Replace battery
Replace (+) and (-) cables
Remove rear frame
Powder coat rear frame
Remove Rear Turn Signals & Tail light
Clean and polish turn signals
Strip tail light
Paint tail light
Replace turn signal stalk
Remove swing arm
Powder coat swing arm
Replace swing arm bearings
Remove electrics
Remove wiring harness
Remove headlight shell
Powder coat frame
Powder coat sub-frame
Powder coat battery box
Powder coat license plate braket
Powder coat center stand
Powder coat swing arm
Install Rear Brake Pedal and Linkage
Adjust rear brake
Install rear brake light switch
Install Battery Box
Install Side Stand
Assemble center stand
Assemble electrics
Mount wiring harness
Mount swing arm
Install new boots and steel straps
Install new drive shaft bolts
Mount rear drive
Assemble rear frame
Assemble shocks
Install Turn Signals & Brake Light
Mount Seat

11 thoughts on “1973 BMW R75/5 Rebuild: Project Index

  1. Pingback: Starting to Rebuild 1973 BMW R75/5 | Motorcycles & Other Musings

  2. Dear Brook Reams,
    Amazing your compilation of pictures and procedures for the R75/5 restoration. I just bought a bike like yours from 1970 and would really love do the same work. Unfortunately I do not have private garage and it`s difficult to do that work without suck facilities.
    In any case would like to ask if you have the list of all Bolts and nuts for this model because would like to replace all bolts for stainless steel. I know there are kits with all parts, but would like to buy it here in Portugal to save some money.
    Thanks in Advance, Best Regards
    Take care
    Francisco

    • Hi Francisco,

      Thank you for taking a look at my write-ups. I hope they are helpful to you on your project.

      Your question about a list of all the fasteners is timely; I just purchased a set of stainless steel fasteners for another project I am working on, a 1975 R75/6, that was my first build back in 2010. I bought the kit from “The Bolt Guy”, and it just arrived yesterday.
      –> http://www.theboltguy.com/

      I am sorry, but I don’t have a list of all the part numbers for all the bolts, nuts and washers, nor to I have the sizes of of and the number of each.

      I hope this helps.

      Best.
      Brook.

  3. Hi Brook,have been watching the 77,build with interest as it is quite similar to my R100S,in many details,and thank you for posting,now here is the question,the starter forward mounting plate,the nut which secures the plate to the casing(hex bolt m6x16),it is said to be 10mm,my socket spins around the nut (9mm would not fit) so am i missing something? need a particular spanner? i am scratching my head. thanks Ian.

    • Hi Ian,

      It believe it should be an M6 bolt. Typically that has a 10 mm head. It’s possible it’s been rounded or deformed by a previous owner. In that case I’d try vice grips on it with a bit of penetrating oil around the head to loosen any corrosion and then twist the bolt with the vice grips. Go easy because it would be nice not to snap the head off that bolt. If it doesn’t budge with moderate force, use a heat gun or propane torch to head the head of the bolt and then apply more penetrating oil when it cools a bit so it sucks the oil down deeper around the threads. Repeat this process as necessary.

      Sometimes working on these bikes is, to paraphrase the line from Forest Gump, “… like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

      I hope this helps.

      Best.
      Brook.

      • Brook,Many thanks for the advice,will try,the irony is i am replacing the,diode board retainers,with solid ones,and because two of the retaining bolts are stuck i thought if i remove the starter i would,be able to get more purchase …Lol!

        • Ian,

          If it’s not one thing, it’s another 🙂 Sometimes I find I back up a long way to finally start making progress. I’m sure you will persevere.

          Best.
          Brook.

          • Hi Brook just to share knowledge, i invested in a set of Irwin bolt removal sockets, and was able to remove the offending starter plate bolt, without it snapping , after following your tip of heat and plus gas for a week (I was afraid Lol!)on to the next problem.PS what are the stamped numbers inside the starter motor bay, on the right hand side? Many Thanks. IAN

          • Ian,
            I’m glad you were successful getting that bolt off. I’ve seen these from Irwin but haven’t used them, and it sounds like they were up to the task.

            I believe the numbers are the casting number. Sometimes the last few digits correspond to the part#, but this is not guaranteed.

            Best.
            Brook.

  4. Hi Brook
    I have just completed a nut and bolt remaster of my R75/5,
    Thanks for a great site it was very helpful in a number of areas of the rebuild.
    I also kept a blog of my bike from the search, transport, arrival, strip and rebuild to a remastered unit.
    I registered the bike 3 days ago 15/05/2017 to coincide with the anniversary of the bike it was originally delivered to the 1st owner in Germany 15/05/1973. So that makes it 44 years old. I rode it for the 1st time 16/05/2017, what a hoot rides just like old bikes did.
    Check my blog https://russellsmotorcycles.wordpress.com

    Regards Russell

    • Hi Russell,

      What a cool story and great project. I’m pleased what I’ve written was of some help to you. Getting to ride these “projects” when you are done is a great reward for the effort and investment in making them new again.

      Best.
      Brook.

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