1973 BMW R75/5 Rebuild: Using Plast-aid To Attach Electric Connector in Windjammer Fairing

After I took my first ride on the bike, in parking it I had occasion to turn the handle bars all the way to the left and heard a loud “cracking” noise. I kept the stock turn signal stalks on the fork tubes. It¬†turns out they hit the wiring harness connector that I had repaired as I describe here.

46 BMW R75/5 Repair Windjammer II Fairing, Strip Paint-Reattach Fairing Wiring Connector

Now I know why one of the stalks had the tube the turn signal would mount on bent upwards, so when I straightened it, I set myself up for this surprise. ūüôĀ

I originally used a piece of ABS from the fairing repair kit Craig Vetter supplies as an internal bracket to hold the end of the white plastic connector inside the fairing and tried Epoxy Plastic adhesive to attach it on the inside of the fairing.

ABS Patch Attached with Epoxy to Fairing Wire Connector

ABS Patch Attached with Epoxy to Fairing Wire Connector

ABS Plastic Patch Epoxyed Across Connector Hole in Side Pocket

ABS Plastic Patch Epoxyed Across Connector Hole in Side Pocket

The ABS patch separated from the inside of the fairing wall.

Plasti-aid(R) Multi-purpose Repair Plastic

I read in Motorcycle Consumer News a short article about Plasti-aid, a product produced in Estes Park, CO which is at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, and a nice ride from my house along the front range of the Rocky Mountains.

Plasti-aid Kit-Large Size

Plasti-aid Kit-Large Size

Dale Greenawal, a fellow Airhead who lives in Boulder, told me he wanted to fix a broken fairing lug that attaches the lower part of his R80-RT¬†fairing to the frame, and wanted to know if I¬†have any ideas. I told him about¬†Plast-Aid and that it sounded interesting, but¬†I hadn’t used it yet.

So, Dale called the company and spoke to the owner, Randall Amen. Randy invited him to come up and take a tour of his operation and talk about how it can be used. When Dale invited me to come along, it was a no brainer. I had the week off and was finishing up Grover in preparation for the first ride around the block. The ride from my house to Estes Park is one of my favorites up Coal Creek Canyon and then along what is called the Peak-to-Peak Highway. So Dale, my wife and I set out on a day ride to the Plast-aid HQ.

When we arrived it was lunch time. Randy came over as we got off our bikes and said they were having lunch at the restaurant next door, the Mountineer. So, we had lunch (good food) right next to the Plast-aid’s office/factory, and then got a personal tour with¬†technical background and tips about how to use the product from Randy. His wife and daughter (wo)man the front office while Randy handles the R&D and manufacturing. ¬†Dale and I were nerding out and even my wife was thinking of several problems she faced at home where Plast-aid could be a solution.

Randy was very gracious and gave all three of us¬†free samples. So, a few days later¬†when I heard that “crack”, I decided it’s time to try Plasti-aid.

Securing Windjammer Electrical Bulkhead Connect with Plast-aid

I removed the gas tank as I decided to remove the turn signal stalks from the front forks rather than bend one of them. I put some towels along the frame tubes near the rear of the tank and the removed the wing nuts securing the rear of the tank.

Protecting Frame Tubes when Removing Gas Tank

Protecting Frame Tubes when Removing Gas Tank

I put another towel on the front of the tank and then carefully lift the rear over the bolts and slide the tank back. Then I lift the front past the steering head chrome cover. This is not so easy with a full tank and 5.8 gallons.

Protecting Gas Tank From Steering Head When Removing Tank

Protecting Gas Tank From Steering Head When Removing Tank

Then I removed the fairing and carefully put it on the work bench.

I put some Plast-aid powder in the supplied mixing cup (the cup is made from a plastic that Plast-aid doesn’t stick to, so it’s easy to clean up and reuse).

Plast-aid Powder in Supplied Measuring Cup

Plast-aid Powder in Supplied Measuring Cup

I add a little liquid to the powder and stir with a popsicle stick (included in the kit). I want a pancake batter consistency. I let the mixture sit for a bit so I can mold it. I use a small paint brush and paint some of the Plast-aid liquid around the edges of the electrical connector. Randy said this is a good idea when you mold some Plast-aid and want to attach it to another piece of plastic. The liquid component softens the part a bit to ensure a tight bond to the molded Plasti-aid when you attach it.

By now the Plast-aid is acting like taffy. I take it and make a rope of it in my hands and mold it around the plastic of the electrical connector. I press that into the hole in the fairing filling the gap between the fairing and the electrical connector with Plast-aid. I dab a bit more Plast-aid on the edge of the fairing and over the top of the Plast-aid filling the hole and then hold the electrical plug steady for a couple more minutes.

After Applying Plast-aid In Its Moldable State

After Applying Plast-aid In Its Moldable State

Plast-aid gets hot as it sets and then cools off when the reaction is about done. I wait for it to start cooling and then let go of the plug. Wow. It’s solid as a rock.

I remove the turn signal stalks from the fork tubes and mount the faring on the bracket. Then I install the tank using the cloths¬†to protect it and the frame tubes. I plug the wiring harness into the Plast-aid repaired connector inside the fairing and check out the electrics. It’s all good and the connector seems nice and solid.

The next morning, I check everything again before I go to work. The connector is Rock Solid and I don’t have an¬†ABS plastic patch inside the pocket of the Windjammer to snag stuff on.

I’ve got some other ideas of where I can use Plast-aid. It¬†will stick to metal as shown in¬†one of the videos on the Plast-Aid¬†site. I’ll post more about my experiments with Plast-aid when I get that far.

1973 BMW R75/5 Rebuild: Grover’s First Ride Around the Block

The rebuild is finished and I documented the final assembly process in this write-up.

On the Fourth of July, “Grover” was ready for his first ride since he was stored away seven years ago in my friends barn.

Out of the Barn

Grover On His Way to My New Shop 18 Months Ago

Here¬†is a short video of the first 3 mile “around the block” ride on Grover. You can’t see the s&*$ eating grin on my face, but it’s there ūüôā

Here are some photos I took before the ride when I took the bike out of the shop for the first time in 18 months.

Side View

Side View

Front Side

Front View

Rear View

Rear View

 

1973 BMW R75/5 Rebuild: Final Assembly and Project Completion

I completed the rebuild project after 18 months. “Grover” is finally back together again and looking good as new ūüôā

I documented the final assembly steps in this write-up.

I will post about the “first ride” around the block separately and include a short video.

Stay tuned.

And yes, it’s a let down to be done, but there is a sense of satisfaction at what I learned along the way and the problems I figured out how to solve. I think that’s the addication in rebuilding these old airheads.

Here are some “glossy” photos of the completed rebuild.

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

Reflections in Fairing

Reflections in Fairing

Tool Box, Tools and Tire Pump Installed

Tool Box, Tools and Tire Pump Installed

1973 R75/5 Rebuild: Assembling Windjammer II Fairing

I  did a number of projects on the Windjammer II fairing: disassembled the fairing, repaired cracks, removed the old paint, painted it to match the bike (Monza, or Metallic Blue), and painted pinstripes .You can read about that work in these write-ups.

Now it’s¬†time to assemble the fairing again and mount it on the bike. I wrote-up how I did this work here.

It required installing the headlight assembly, the side reflectors, new chome edge trim, the Vetter name plate, removing old decals and deep scratches from the windscreen¬†and modifying the fairing bracket so it doesn’t gouge the paint on the frame (I hope).

Here are a couple pictures from the write-up.

New Silicon Seal on Headlight Bracket

New Silicon Seal on Headlight Bracket

Attaching Chrome Headlight Retaining Ring

Attaching Chrome Headlight Retaining Ring

Finished Headlight Installation

Finished Headlight Installation

New Windjammer Chrome Edge Trim

New Windjammer Chrome Edge Trim

Heating Chrome Trim with Heat Gun to Form to Tight Radius Curves

Heating Chrome Trim with Heat Gun to Form to Tight Radius Curves

Adjusting Fairing Edge wiht Dremel Tool to Align Chrome Trim

Adjusting Fairing Edge with Dremel Tool to Align Chrome Trim

Taping Chrome Edge Trim While Hotcha Glue Dries

Taping Chrome Edge Trim While Hotcha Glue Dries

Dremel Tool to Trim End of Chrome Trim

Dremel Tool to Trim End of Chrome Trim

Use Razor Blade to Gently Peel Edge

Use Razor Blade to Gently Peel Edge

Lighter Fluid Loosens Glue Along Exposed Edge

Lighter Fluid Loosens Glue Along Exposed Edge

Novus #3 and Rubbing with Lint Free Cloth to Remove Deep Scratches

Novus #3 and Rubbing with Lint Free Cloth to Remove Deep Scratches

Scratches Are Gone :-)

Scratches Are Gone ūüôā

Taping Name Plate Down While Silicone Seal Sets

Taping Name Plate Down While Silicone Seal Sets

Windscreen Foam Tape Gaskets Attached

Windscreen Foam Tape Gaskets Attached

Hollow Bolt Inside Faring to Attach Turn Signal Stalk with Wiring

Hollow Bolt Inside Faring to Attach Turn Signal Stalk with Wiring

Turn Signal Installed

Turn Signal Installed

Plastic Edging as Gaskets on Lower Bracket

Plastic Edging as Gaskets on Lower Bracket

Windjammer Fairing & Bracket Mounted on R75/5

Windjammer Fairing & Bracket Mounted on R75/5

1973 R75/5 Rebuild: Painting Pinstripes & Side Cover Stripes

I’m not a professional painter nor have I ever done pinstripes. So, that’s the reason I’ve done all the paint work myself so I can learn how to do it. ¬†Here are two write-ups on how I painted the pinstripes and the side covers.

I had some “adventures” along the way when I tried painting the pinstripes. ¬†I did use a pinstripe brush but opted for “training wheels” and used a pinstripe stencil tape so all I had to do was paint between the lines. ¬†I have a new found respect for the fine art of painting free hand pinstripes.

I also painted the horizontal stripes on the chrome side covers. ¬†I tried the Monza Blue paint from Glausrit but I didn’t like how that looked. So, I tried some Dupli-Color rattle can paint and they look better. ¬†I may try to paint the side covers yet again as I’m not sure to best handle the curved edges. But they look pretty nice.

Here are a couple of pictures from the write-ups.

Rear Fender Pinstripe Measurement

Rear Fender Pinstripe Measurement

Cleaning New Brush with Mineral Spirits

Cleaning Pinstripe Brush with Mineral Spirits

Triming Brush Tip

Triming Brush Tip with Single Edge Razor

Pinstripe "Training Wheels"

Pinstripe Stencil Tape

Use Razor Blade to Separate Stencil from Bracking

Use Razor Blade to Separate Stencil from Bracking

Rear Fender with New Pinstripes

Rear Fender with New Pinstripes

Front Fender Stripes End at Fork Tube Cutout

Front Fender Stripes End at Fork Tube Cutout

Stencil Tape on Front Fender

Stencil Tape on Front Fender

Front Fender Pinstripe 1st Time-Fail :-(

Front Fender Pinstripe 1st Time-Fail ūüôĀ

Fine Line Tape Masking to Fix Pinstripe Smudges

Fine Line Tape Masking to Fix Pinstripe Smudges

Repaired Pinstripes on Nose of Front Fender

Repaired Pinstripes on Nose of Front Fender

Final Pinstriped Gas Tank

Final Pinstriped Gas Tank

Final Masked Side Cover

First Attempt at Masking the Side Cover

First Attempt Painting Side Cover Stripes: Ragged Edges

First Attempt Painting Side Cover Stripes: Ragged Edges and Easy to Peel

Dupli Color Paint Choices

Second Attempt with Dupli-Color Paint: Two Candidates to Choose From

Retaped Cover with 1/4 Inch Pinstripe Tape Over Dividers

Second Maskging with 1/4 Inch Pinstripe Tape Over Dividers

Final Side Cover Stripes

Final Side Cover Stripes