13 BMW 1973 R75/5 Install Carburetors and Cables

I have installed the engine and the electrical harness in the frame. I also completed installing the exhaust system with new Sito mufflers. So, the next piece of work is installing the carburetors, air intake system and the choke and throttle cables.

I previously rebuilt the carburetors–you can read about that work here–,

and they have been sitting in a box waiting for installation.

Parts List

This is the list of new parts I used for this work.

Part # Description Qty
32 73 1 236 613 Throttle cable 2
13 23 1 255 977 Choke cable, Right, Stiff 1
13 23 1 255 976 Choke cable, Left Stiff 1
13 72 1 254 654 Carburetor sleeve to cylinder head 2
32 73 1 230 037 Handlebar, Throttle cable boot 1

I made a minor mistake and ordered two of the right choke cables which is the longer of the two cables. I had to shorten one to fit the left side and that modification went smoothly. Good thing I ordered the longer left and not the shorter right as my choke cable stretcher was loaned to someone and I can’t remember who has it ­čśë

Install Starter & Air Box Covers

I install the starter cover and the left side air box cover on the engine. I temporarily installed the gas tank so I can measure the distance for the new cross-over fuel line that goes through the air box and the distance for the line from the tank pet cock to the tee fitting.

Measuring & Installing Fuel Line from Tank to Tee

Installing  Tank to Tee and Cross-over Fuel Line

I cut the cross-over fuel line and added the left side tee and the line that will go to the tank petcock. Then I put the new air filter in the air box.

New Air Filter, Fuel Cross Over and Left Tank Fuel Hose Installed

New Air Filter, Fuel Cross Over and Left Tank Fuel Hose Installed

Assemble Choke Lever

Here are the parts for the choke lever.

Choke Assembly Parts

Choke Lever Parts

From the upper left are the cable nipples that thread into the choke body, the cable racks the choke cables install in, the body, the cover, the brass choke cable fittings that fit the carburetor, the wave spring that puts tension on the choke lever, the handle with teeth that engages the teeth of the cable racks, and the bolt and nut that secure the choke lever assembly to the left air box cover.

The cable racks slip into the holes on one side of the body so the teeth are oriented to the inside of the body where they engage with the gear teeth of the handle.

Chock Cable Racks Showing Teeth

Choke Cable Racks Showing Teeth

Choke Cable Rack Installed in Choke Body

Choke Cable Rack Installed in Body

Choke Lever Installed in Coke Body So Teeth Engage Cable Rack Teeth

Choke Handle Installed in the Body So Teeth Engage Cable Rack Teeth

The other side of the cable rack is cut out to accept the choke cable ferrules.

Choke Cable Racks With Slots for Cable Ends

Choke Cable Racks With Slots for Cable Ferrules

Choke Cable Installed in Cable Rack

Choke Cable Installed in Cable Rack

I apply wheel bearing grease to the pivot pin in the body, the teeth on the lever and the choke racks.

Wheel Bearing Grease on Choke Parts

Wheel Bearing Grease on Choke Lever Parts

I insert the cables in the two choke racks and then slide them into the body so they are even with the end of the holes in the body.

Installing Cable Racks into Choke Body

Installing Cable Racks into Body

Then I install the lever on the pivot pin in the body and move the lever down. It engages the first tooth of the choke racks and pulls them into the body securing the cables inside the holes.

Cable Rack Teeth Engaged with Choke Lever Teeth

Cable Rack Teeth Engaged with Teeth in the Handle

I twist the cables so the sheath screws into the cable nipples. And then I finger tighten the nipples into the threaded holes in the body.

Choke Cable Nipples On To Outer Armor of Cable and Choke Body

Choke Cable Nipples Threaded on Cable Sheath and Screwed into the Body

I tighten the nipples into the body with an 8 mm crescent wrench until they are tight.

Tightening Choke Cable Nipple into Choke Body

Tightening Choke Cable Nipple into Body

Now, I put some wheel bearing grease on the face of the lever and put the wave washer on top.

Install Circular Tension Spring

Wave Washer On Top of Handle

I put the cover on and tighten the screw all the way through the body to secure the cover.

Install Cover with Screw on Choke Body

Install Cover with Screw Through the Body

Install Choke Lever on Left Air Box Cover

The other end of the screw takes a nut and washer that secure the assembly in the casting on the left air box.

Nut and Lock Washer on Choke Cover Bolt

Nut and Lock Washer on Choke Cover Bolt

Left Air Box Cover with Casting for Choke Body at Top

Left Air Box Cover and Casting for Choke Lever Body at Top

Make sure the choke body is square in the casting and then tighten the nut from the inside of the air box cover.

Tighten Nut and Lock Washer to Secure Choke Body

Tighten Nut and Lock Washer to Secure Choke Body to Air Box Cover

I slide the left side air box cover under the metal strap and tap it tight to the right side cover. The long bolt goes through the hole in left side cover and threads into the taped hole on the right side cover. If you look in the air inlet you can see the hole and thread the bolt into it.

Bolt Goes Through Air Filter to Clamp Air Box Casings Together

Bolt Through Air Filter to Clamp Air Box Casings Together

I tighten the long bolt to pull the two air box covers tight.

Here is the choke lever assembly installed on the left air box cover with both cables straight in front.

Choke Body and Cables Installed on Left Air Box Cover

Choke Body and Choke Cables Installed on Left Air Box Cover

The choke cable goes into the brass cable adjuster that mounts in the top of the carburetor in the threaded hole. The hole is threaded but the choke adjuster is a smaller diameter and doesn’t thread into the hole. Instead two lock nuts are used to secure the adjuster to the top of the carburetor as shown below.

Back Side of Carburetor Showing Coke Cable Nipple Installation

Back Side of Carburetor Showing Choke Cable Adjuster Installation

No adjustment of the choke cables is required after they are installed in the carburetor choke lever assembly as described later.

Install Carburetors, Bushings and Air Tubes

Before I can finish installing the other end of the choke cable in the carburetor, I have to install the carburetors, rubber bushings and air tubes between the engine intake and air box spigots.

The bushings and air tubes are secured with clamps. There are four 60 mm and six 52 mm clamps.

60 mm and 52 mm Clamps for Carburetors

60 mm and 52 mm Clamps Used to Mount the Carburetors

There is a thick solid rubber bushing that mounts on the engine air intake spigot. It looks like a piece of radiator hose. It is secured using two of the 52 mm clamps, one on the end around the engine intake spigot and the other on the end around the carburetor outlet.

Engine Intake Rubber Bushing

Engine Intake Rubber Bushing

The other bushing is thinner and has a ridge inside that aligns the air tube into the bushing.

Air Tube Rubber Bushing Showing Internal Ridge The Air Tube Butts Up Against

Air Tube Rubber Bushing Showing Internal Ridge The Air Tube Butts Up Against

The air tubes are different lengths because the left cylinder is ahead of the right on the crankshaft. And the ends of the tubes have different width bands. The end of the tube that goes on the air box spigot is the wider band at just about 5/8 inch. I insert the narrow end of the tube into the thin bushing so it is flush with the ridge inside the bushing.

Air Tube Rubber Bushing Installed

Air Tube Inserted in Thin Rubber Bushing

The thin bushing goes on the intake side of the carburetor and is secured with two of the 60 mm clamps.

NOTE: If the air tube doesn’t line up between the carburetor and the air box, you likely inserted the wrong end of the air tube into the thin bushing.

I tight the 52 mm band on the thick bushing around the engine intake spigot and leave the band that goes around the carburetor outlet loose. I keep the two 60 mm bands on the thin bushing loose as well. This lets me bend the carburetor and the air tube at the bushings to get the carburetor installed into the bushings and the air tube installed on the air box spigot with out creasing the end of the air tube.

I slip the carburetor part way into the thick engine intake bushing and bend the air tube so I can ease it onto the air box spigot being careful not to crease the end of the tube. Then I push the carburetor toward the engine to get it seated into the thick bushing and finally seat it into thin bushing on the air tube. Then I align the carburetor so when viewed from the top, the top of the carburetor it is not rotated toward or away from the engine, but is vertically aligned.

Left Carburetor, Bushings and Air Tube Installed

Left Carburetor, Bushings and Air Tube Installed

Install Choke Cables in Carburetors

I made a mistake and ordered two right side cables which are the long ones. So, the left side cable is too long. I used my dremel tool with the cutoff wheel and carefully cut the outer sheath being careful not to nick or cut the inner cable.

Using Dremel Cutoff Wheel to Shorten Left Side Choke Cable Outer Armor and Inner Cable

Using Dremel Cutoff Wheel to Shorten Left Side Choke Cable

Left Choke Cable Excess Armor and Cable After Shortening it For Right Side

Left Choke Cable Excess Armor and Cable After Shortening it For Right Side

NOTE: I want to be sure the choke is off when the choke lever on the air box is horizontal. So I rotate the choke lever a small amount toward the on position before I install the solid wire in the carburetor choke lever. After I get the cable installed on the carburetor lever, I pull the choke lever on the air box back back to horizontal and with my finger, I ensure that the carburetor choke lever is all the way down in the off position.

The choke arm on the carburetor has a screw with a hole in it, a brass bushing and a nut. The solid wire goes through the hole in the screw.

Choke Mounting Hardware on Carburetor with Hole in Shaft and Brass Retaining Ring

Carburetor Choke Lever Hardware with Hole in Screw and Brass Bushing

I remove the lower nut from the brass choke adjuster on the top of the carburetor so I can slide the adjuster and cable through the hole in the top of the carburetor. I tighten the upper lock nut all the way to the top of the adjuster so the adjuster goes all the way done through the threaded hole in the top of the carburetor.

Pushing┬áthe inner wire through the hole in the screw is tricky. I use my right hand to hold the lower lock nut of the adjuster to keep it from falling off the end of the cable. With my right hand, I maneuver the end of the wire so it pushes the brass bushing against the lever arm while I use the fingers of my left hand to turn the screw to orient the hole vertically so I can thread the wire through the hole. Now, I push the choke lever arm all the way down and tighten the nut on the screw with a 7 mm crescent wrench. When the choke lever is down, the choke is in the “off” position.

After I get both coke cables installed on the carburetors, I pull the choke lever on the air box all the way up until its horizontal and then use a finger to ensure that the both choke levers on the carburetors are all the way down.

Install Throttle Cables

The throttle housing on the handle bar has a toothed cam gear. It engages in the teeth of the twist grip. There is an alignment mark on the twist grip and an alignment mark on the cam.

Alignment Marks on Twist Grip & Throttle Cam

Alignment Marks on Twist Grip & Throttle Cam

When these are aligned, the cam engages the twist grip so there is some slack in the throttle cable when the twist grip is closed and the carburetor butterflies are able to open all the way when the twist grip is rotated fully.

But, on my /5, I had to replace the throttle housing with a newer, longer housing and 89 mm top cover. The original chain wouldn’t extend all the way to the end of the housing so the cables don’t have enough slack at the carburetor adjuster to let the butterfly close all the way.

Chain Too Far From End of Housing

Chain Too Far From End of Housing

To get slack in the throttle cables, I had to rotate the cam and twist grip counterclockwise from where the alignment marks matched until the chain and block that the throttle ferrules attach is closer to the end of the housing. This provides enough slack for the carburetor butterflies to close all the way. Interesting.

Throttle Cam Rotated For More Cable Slack

Throttle Cam & Twist Grip Rotated For More Cable Slack

I use Moly 60 to lubricate the twist grip housing and teeth, the cam teeth and the chain and the bottom of the housing.

Throttle Cam and Moly 60 Lubrication

Throttle Cam and Moly 60 Lubrication

Throttle Housing & Twist Grip with Moly 60 Lubrication

Throttle Housing & Twist Grip with Moly 60 Lubrication

I install the rubber boot on the cables and then install the ferrules in the top and bottom slots of the block on end of the chain. I install the cover and screw to secure the cables in the throttle housing.

Rubber Boot Installed on Throttle Cables

Rubber Boot Installed on Throttle Cables

I route the throttle cables next to the right headlight ear and behind the right steering head gusset and split them so they run along the left and right sides of the spine tube.

Throttle Cable Routing

Throttle Cable Routing

Throttle Cable Routing Behind Right Steering Head Gusset

Throttle Cable Routing Behind Right Steering Head Gusset

Then I install the adjuster in the carburetor and screw it all the way in. I put a drop of oil on the cable nipple and insert it into the slot on the throttle linkage.

Install Throttle Cable Adjustor In Carburetor Body

Install Throttle Cable Adjuster In Carburetor Body

Here is the final result with the throttle and choke cables routed to the carburetors.

From the Saddle View of Carburetor with Cables Installed

From the Saddle View of Carburetor with Cables Installed

Carburetor Vertical Alignment

Carburetor Vertical Alignment

18 thoughts on “13 BMW 1973 R75/5 Install Carburetors and Cables

  1. Pingback: 1973 BMW R75/5 Rebuild: Install Carburetor and Cables | Motorcycles & Other Musings

  2. Thanks for all the details. I feel like if I had 2 hours as a mouse in your garage I would learn tons about my bike!

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks. I’m glad this write-up on rebuilding the carbuetors was helpful. It’s been the leading artile read on the site, so I assume rebuilding Bing carburetors is something a lot of folks want to understand.

      Best.
      Brook

  3. Can you please provide the pin that has teeth for this lever? it a single cable, can you assist?
    Reagards
    Yanishttp://i2.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7377/11637702305_a8b8d25804_z.jpg?resize=584%2C438

    • Yanis,

      If you are asking if I can provide a part, I don’t sell parts.

      If you are asking if you can buy just the wheel with teeth from BMW, you can only buy the entire choke lever. This is the part number for a 1973/5:
      13 23 1 260 191 COLD START OPERATION

      I hope this helps

  4. Brook,
    Thanks for posting and documenting this project so well. I’ve been a German car tech mostly for MB for 35 + years but don’t know my way around this R75/5 I’m putting together. Your presentations and narratives are some of the very best I’ve seen. As I am now an automotive electrical instructor, you have not only been helpful with my project, but most inspiring professionally !
    Thanks, Smitty

    • Hi Smitty,

      Well, thank you for the very kind words. I am an amature, so if this material was valuable to you with your professional background, I couldn’t be more pleased.

      Best of success on your build and I look forward to your getting another Airhead back on the road.

      Best.
      Brook

  5. Hi there. Can I ask where you found those fabulous 52mm and 60mm Norma clamps for the intake tubes and carbs?

  6. On my october 1970 75/5, the 64.32.4 Bings have no air intake bushings ( the thin ones, in this article). Must I worry ? I already sweat every time I have to assemble the tubes: if there were a bushing I reckon it would be even worse. What say you?

    :

    • Hi Enzo,

      As far as I know, the carburetors connect to the cylinder head and to the intake tube from the air box with these bushings. They isolate heat and vibration.

      I describe how I get the carburetor to fit into the two bushings in the article. It seems to be the easiest way to do it with the least opportunity to bend the edge of the plastic air intake tubes.

      Best.
      Brook.

  7. Brook,
    First, I want to say thank you for the great service you have done for builders like me. Your blogs are amazing and the detail is unmatched. I have just moved to Denver and purchased a couple 75/5’s. One is a SWB and is about to be fired up after a few months of building and the other is a long term project, rebuild, a LWB toaster. I have had numerous airheads and K bikes in past years but have never ventured out to a rebuild. I would like to sit down and have coffee sometime if you are interested. I think I may know someone in the BMW world you do. I am downtown all day during the week. Let me know.

    David

    • Hi David,

      I’m glad you are keeping multiple airheads alive and breathing. I’ll be at an Airhead tech day this Saturday where you can meet a lot of us in the metro area. Consider joining our Colorado Airheads Beemer Club MeetUp group. It’s free and you don’t have to be a card carrying member of the ABC organization. Click this link to see the details about the Tech Day and other activities we have planned.
      http://www.meetup.com/Airheads-Beemer-Club-Colorado-Chapter/

      I hope to see you there.

      Best.
      Brook.

  8. This was very informative and detailed. I had just rebuilt the carbs on my ’73 R75/5 and noticed in the manual that they state to adjust the free play on the throttle cables and choke cables the same. I couldn’t see any way to adjust the choke cables so decided to go on line to see if someone had done this. You confirmed that there is no adjustment required. Thank you very much.

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