11 BMW 1973 R75/5 Install the Engine In the Frame

At long last, it’s time to start putting parts back together again.  I’m going to start with putting the engine into the frame.  The fun part is aligning the engine with the frame so the threaded rods that mount the engine into the frame line up. As the engine is stripped down, I can lift it without straining.

Parts List

I installed the following new parts.

Part # Description Qty
46 51 9 034 128 Foot peg rubber, round, pair 1
46 52 1 231 815 Center stand rubber 1
11 42 1 337 572 Oil Filter 1
11 42 1 338 600 Oil Filter Cover Gasket 1
07 07 R kit 001 Engine & Drive Gasket Washer Kit 1
07 11 R kit 003 SS Engine cover mount bolt set, SS 1


NOTE: You can’t put the engine in the frame (or get it out of the frame) if the oil filter cover is installed.

Polished Engine

Polished Engine Ready to Install Into The Frame

I used my motorcycle jack and some wood blocks.  I lowered the jack all the way down to the lowest height. Just out side the jack arms, I placed some wood blocks so I could put the frame on top of them. The idea is to lift the engine into the frame and lower it onto the jack arms.

To avoid scratching the newly powder coated frame, I used the plastic packing sheets that were wrapped around the powder coated parts when I got them back. I folded a sheet in half and then half again longways to get some cushioning. Then I attached on to the top side of each bottom frame rail using painters tape.

Install the Engine in the Frame

I had placed the engine near the motorcycle jack. I used some straps under the bulge in the front beneath the points cover and in the back under the oil pain so I could lift it up but not have my hands under it. I lifted the engine off the floor (remember to bend your knees and lift with your legs) and placed it half way into the frame so the oil pan was resting on the top of plastic packing sheet on the left side rail. Then I straddled the spine tube and lifted it up and lowered it onto the pads of the lowered motorcycle lift. Here is how it looked resting on the motorcycle jack after I inserted into the frame.

Engine In Frame Resting on Lift

Engine In Frame Resting on Motorcycle Lift

Install Threaded Rods

The back engine mount is easier to install as it only has two spacers that fit between the engine block and the mounting bracket on the frame. Before I installed the threaded rods, I used some 320 grit wet paper to clean up the burrs and gouges so they were smooth. I also used a round file to clean any powder coat out of the holes in the engine brackets and then wrapped some 320 grit paper on a 3/8 drill bit so I could smooth out the inside of the holes in the frame mounting brackets. I test fit the threaded rods through the holes in the engine brackets to be sure they would slide in smoothly. I didn’t want to have to drive them in with a lot of force and possibly damage the threads.

Engine Mount Threaded Rods Cleaned Up

Engine Mount Threaded Rods Cleaned Up

Install Rear Threaded Rod

I lifted up the back of the frame and aligned the hole in the engine with the hole in the frame bracket and pushed the threaded rod into it while holding the spacer between the engine block and the backside of the bracket.

Inserting Rear Engine Mount Through Spacer

Inserting Threaded Rod Through Left Rear Engine Mount and Spacer

Then I pushed the rod through the engine until it was ready to come out the other side. I positioned the other spacer on the other side and pushed the rod through until it was centered.

Rear Engine Mount Showing Spacers

Rear Threaded Rod Centered Through Both Spacers

Install Front Threaded Rod and Side Stand

The front threaded rod goes through two shackles that have small holes for the center stand springs, and on the left side, an extra hole for the side stand spring. The side stand has to be mounted on the pin on the left lower frame rail before sliding the left side shackle between the engine block and the frame mounting bracket.

Side Stand Installed on Pivot Pin

Side Stand Installed on Left Side Pivot Pin

The left side shackle has a bushing on one side that goes against the engine. The bent tab goes to the front as shown below (the front of the engine is to the left).

Left Side Shackle with Hole for Side Stand Spring

Left Side Shackle with Hole for Center Stand Spring (Top) and Side Stand Spring (Small Tab Below)

It’s a tight fit and I positioned the left shackle by braille while I held the front of the frame up with my left hand and then pushed the threaded rod into the shackle and engine block with my right. I found I could steady the frame by leaning it on my shoulder and then it was easy to adjust the height so the threaded rod would slide through.

Left Side Shackle and Side Stand

Left Side Shackle Keeps Side Stand on Pivot Pin (Looking Toward Rear)

The right side shackle is shaped differently from the left but the boss goes against the engine block with the tab facing the front just like the left side shackle.

Right Side Shackle

Right Side Shackle

I held the shackle in place with my left hand while in front of the engine and I could push the threaded rod with my right hand. When it was through the bracket in the frame, I centered it.

Right Side Shackle Installed on Front Engine Threaded Rod (Looking Toward Rear)

Right Side Shackle Installed on Front Engine Threaded Rod (Looking Toward Rear)

Torque the Nuts on Threaded Rods

At this point, I realized I needed more support under the oil pan as it barely spanned the distance between the jack arms. With some help from my wife, she slid a board across the jack arms while I picked up the frame and engine a couple inches off the jack arms. I should have put a board under the oil pan to begin with.

Engine In Frame & Secured to Lift

Engine In Frame & Secured to Lift

I strapped the engine down tight so I could tighten up the engine mounting bolts to 55 FOOT/Pounds.

Install Side Stand Spring, Foot Pegs and Oil Filter Cover

Then I installed the spring for the side stand. It goes into the lower hole on the left shackle. The upper hole is for the left side center stand spring.

Side Stand Spring Installed

Side Stand Spring Installed on Lower Hole in Tab of Left Side Shackle

Next I installed the front foot pegs with new rubbers.

Footpegs with New Rubber

Footpeg with New Rubber

Then I removed the oil filter inside cover, the old oil filter, put a new one in and put the inside oil filter cover on. Then I used the 10 mm bolts to bolt on the outer cover over the oil filter.

NOTE: You can’t get the engine in or out of the frame if the oil filer cover is attached.

Oil Filter Cover

New Oil Filter Installed and Oil Cover Bolted On

12 thoughts on “11 BMW 1973 R75/5 Install the Engine In the Frame

  1. God work, Brook!
    Your attention to detail is appreciated!

    I don’t know where you get the patience!

    I have followed your website from time to time, always with great interest. I hope to start my 1972 R75/5 this winter, and wil be using your site as reference. I believe I have al the parts.
    Regards, Ken

    • Hi Ken,

      I had to chuckle at the “God work” … The contents here are nowhere near that good 🙂

      Best of success on the R75/5 project. Feel free to post any questions on the write-ups and I’ll respond.


  2. Pingback: 1973 BMW R75/5 Rebuild: Installing the Engine and Transmission | Motorcycles & Other Musings

  3. Pingback: 1973 BMW R75/5 Rebuild: Install Swing Arm and Rear Drive | Motorcycles & Other Musings

  4. Side stand removal … Brook, thanks for the great pictures but my 71 R60/5 SWB frame side stand does not look anything like your pictures. No one else replied on the Airlist and I think a previous owner may have done something I just don’t understand. Bottom line is, it acts like there is a C clip holding it in the frame pivot hole but upon really close inspection there isn’t anything. The frame serial number reveals it is an European frame and not for the USA. Perhaps they slipped the side stand into the hole and swedge the frame on it? Really seems strange I cannot remove the side stand. The clip behind it has a spring for the center stand and the side stand has a groove for its return spring. Thanks again for trying.

    • Hi Dale,

      Curious. Can you send any pictures of what it looks like? brook(dot)reams(at)gmail(dot)com.


  5. Hi Brooks – love your website as I restore a 1976 r90s that has been very neglected for many years. One question – I’m taking the whole bike apart, and just today got the engine bolts out of the frame after much heat, penetrating oil, and tightening the screw on one side with spacers to pull it through….but I can’t figure out how to remove the sidestand (the sprongs and bracket came off with the bolt, so not sure what is holding it on!

    • Hi Jon,

      I’m glad to hear you are investing in saving another airhead bike. 🙂

      There is a shackle that holds the side stand on the pivot pin. The pivot pin goes through the hole in the end of the side stand.

      If you removed the shackle and the side stand won’t come off the pivot pin, which is welded onto the frame tab, then the pin maybe rusty. You mention you had a hard time pulling the engine studs out of the frame due to corrosion and gunge accumulation, so it’s possible something similar is going on with the side stand pivot pin.

      As you did before, I would use penetrating oil and then heat the outside of the side stand to get some expansion which will pull the oil deeper into the space between the pivot pin and the hole in the side stand. Rinse and repeat and I suspect the side stand will start to slide off the pivot pin.

      I hope that helps.


  6. Hi Brook,
    /5 question for you regarding ths steering damper mounting to the lower fork brace.
    Refrensing the MAx BMW parts fische. Part #1 attaches to the larhe black nob on top. Do you have any pictires as to the other end of part #1 and it’s mount on the lower fork brace. There is a blind hole part #1 aligns with.


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