Well, the outsourcing deal did not last long !! The R60 is back in the garage but now in assembled form. There are a few things to fiddle with, but Jeff did a great job and I would never have made such progress in such a short period of time. I particularly like the Euro low bars. I am glad that it is back in the house and plan to get it ready for the Norton Gathering in April. First up is some carburettor fiddling.....
1958 BMW R60
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An impending move forces me to confront the lack of progress on the R60. Jeff intervenes at the right time, and the bike is off to a new home with the prospect of me perhaps getting it back at some future point...
In another small fit of progress, some more of the wiring is disconnected, and the headlight shell is now ready for removal. At the rear of the bike, I finally get around to removing the swingarm using the dual nut method since I do not have the BMW pin tool. Pretty easy work, and the bike looks like some progress has taken place despite just an hour of work while watching the F1 finale in Brazil. Quite the irony really, watching the pinnacle of technology applied to motorsport while wrenching on a design largely unchanged since 1923 !!
There has been a stunning lack of progress on the R60. I had aspirations of making the vintage ride this October, but that will not happen. It is beginning to look like a Winter project again..I did manage to chase a bunch of threads and to remove some more flaking paint from the frame, and the wheels got an initial dose of steel wool. They look much better, but far from good. Other than that, the bike has been getting pushed around on the lift to allow the runners to come and go.....
In a spate of sheer madness, I decided that I could take the bike and motor down to the base elements, clean the slingers, and put it all back together. It would teach me something, and what doesn't kill ya makes ya stronger. The shocks and final drive all came apart with no issues. In fact, the worst part of the teardown was the exhaust ring on one side which required a lot of heat and penetrant to remove. It broke the tool I bought along the way. Pulling the motor was a bear !! It looks simple as you view it in the frame, but it is a job for two people with strong hands. Once out, you need the right tools to do the job and I did not have all of them. My friend Ron had some, but he was away, and Greg from Florida did, but he was 1100 miles away. Then the work schedule and the home schedule were not cooperating with the rebuild schedule. Progress stalls again. Aaaaarrrrggghhh !!
With a little bit of time to spend on the R60, it was time to clean things up and see more clearly what was needed for the frame. The hard decision had been made, I was not going to restore the bike, but would rather clean it up and touch it up where needed. It is very tempting with the bike stripped down this far to just go all the way, but I wanted a rider and so it will follow the path of almost all of the vehicles I have owned. That said, the frame, earles fork, and swingarm were all covered in dirt and grime which could be hiding a multitude of sins. Greased Lightning was sprayed liberally along and around the aforementioned parts and left overnight. The floor was a bloody mess the next morning. Armed with shop towels, I went over the bike and wiped away most of the grime. Then I doused it again, and took a toothbrush (the secret weapon of all vintage restoration shops - be sure to get hard/firm) to the crevices and the more baked on stuff.
The result was revealing in a couple of ways. First, the frame's paint was in remarkably good shape on most of the bike. It was thick and glossy along the majority of its area. Second, the areas where it looked like there was surface corrosion were mostly brown dirt. There are several chips and the sidestand clamp area has no remaining paint, but what remains exposed is good shiny metal. My plan is to prep the larger areas and apply some eastwood high quality chassis paint. It doesn't look like much got done, but it was a very good session.
A few hours in the garage will work wonders for the soul, and work wonders for progress. The goal in this instance was to remove the wheels and fenders after a long soaking of the axle nuts in penetrant. The rear axle pinch bolt was easily removed, and the axle came free with minimal persuasion. The seals need attention, but other than that, the brakes actually look great inside. The drive gear visually looks good as well with square splines. I will need to research the electrical connection from the rear fender, as what is there looks like an old auto store connector. The front fender was a little different. The small bolts were seized and did not respond to penetrant and heat. One of them snapped off with next to no pressure, while another was already completely rounded off. Vise grips to the rescue. One of the shock nuts was in the same rounded shape, but thankfully responded to heat and came free. The Earl's fork pivot is not rotating freely, so that will come apart for R & R. A lot to cleanup, but not bad for a short stint.