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Thread: neutral switch replace

  1. #1
    Jammess jammess's Avatar
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    neutral switch replace

    Morning all,
    The neutral switch located on the underside of the transmission on my '81 RT needs replacement and not a lot of room to work but is there enough room to remove and install a new switch without resorting to un-bolting and raising the transmission?? man, I hope so otherwise she waits for a spline lube.

    Thanks
    Jammess

  2. #2
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    it is possible, you have to knock out the aluminum spacer at the back of the engine.

    Of course you have to remove the frame cross threaded rod first.
    Ambassador BMW MOA Ontario Canada
    President Niagara BMW Riders #298
    Knights of the Roundel #333
    1977 R100RS, (Retired) 1993 R100GS (just getting started)

  3. #3
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Upon reinstallation, chamfer the edges of the spacer as well as put it in the freezer for a couple of hours. It will (or should) slide in easily.

    And I've read a lot on the Airheads email list about leaking neutral switches, freshly installed. As a matter of fact, one of the guys wrote to BMW to complain. Tom Cutter etal says to build a layer of something like JBWeld around the exposed part of the switch where the leads plug into.

    Be sure you get the right part number...there are "innies" and "outies"!

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...neutral-switch
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  4. #4
    Jammess jammess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darryl Cainey View Post
    it is possible, you have to knock out the aluminum spacer at the back of the engine.

    Of course you have to remove the frame cross threaded rod first.
    Duhhh..now why didn't I think of that? I swear I'm getting senile in my old (70) age. Pretty soon I won't even remember what a neutral light even is.

    Thanks guys for the help.

    Just checked with Bob's BMW and looks like I got lucky and ordered the correct switch. Seems they changed the switch in '77. Thanks, Kurt, for the heads up.

    Jim
    Jammess

  5. #5
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammess View Post
    Just checked with Bob's BMW and looks like I got lucky and ordered the correct switch. Seems they changed the switch in '77.
    Tom indicated the change happened for the '75 models...no matter, as long as you got the right switch.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  6. #6
    Registered User PeoriaMac's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=20774;908419]Upon reinstallation, chamfer the edges of the spacer as well as put it in the freezer for a couple of hours. It will (or should) slide in easily.

    Having done this on both a 1878 R100/7 and an 86 R80RT, I can tell you that this technique works. As an addendum you might think about putting the spacer in a plastic bag. It's hard to explain why your spacer has frozen into a bag of frozen peas...
    Mac
    1986 R80RT, 2005 R1200GS
    Livin' Large On The Lake

  7. #7
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    neutral switches

    Suggestions, besides the modification to the spacer by chamfering, and freezing it, and epoxying the switch, and specifying the correct switch:
    Use a dental pick or similar and scratch all around the junction of the insulating material and the metal. Clean up the area where the spades come out of the body. Clean with such as acetone or lacquer thinner. Apply some epoxy to the areas you cleaned-up. No matter if quick setting epoxy or not, allow a day to FULLY cure.
    BEST to NOT install the switch with a 'adjustable wrench', often called a Crescent wrench. Use a socket. For the switches with side-facing spades, this does not work, and you can modify an old socket, or use a flare-nut wrench. Use a Crescent only as last resort.
    Be SURE to use a new washer. DO NOT over-tighten.
    The switch design was changed when the so-called 'shift kit' was installed in the transmissions. Some early transmissions have been modified.
    There is a switch function difference (IN versus OUT for make/break), as well as dimensional change.

    You will find a fuller discussion here:
    http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/neutralswitch.htm

    snowbum

  8. #8
    R100GS, '89 Guenther's Avatar
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    According to my logbook:

    - the original switch lasted 45 Tmi/10 yrs
    - the 2nd one 25 Tmi/4 yrs/$27
    - the 3rd one 22 Tmi/3 yrs/$30
    - the 4th one is still in there with 55 Tmi/6 yrs/$38 ...and still looking good

    I had the tranny removed a couple of times in between. It's easy to hit the switch while moving the tranny around and this could cause a minor damage which evetually shows up as a leak.

    My experience with spare parts over the years - yeah they got up in price - but the most recent ones seem to last longer.

    Have your own thoughts...

    /Guenther

  9. #9
    ONE LESS HARLEY 04r1150rs's Avatar
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    the OEM neutral switches are junk, I've have three that lasted one year or less. The aftermarket brass ones are better. On three ..or is it four years on it. Hucky's sells them ($25) also Motobins, but guess it's too late as you've ordered one already. Well the OEM BMW has a year warranty..which was honored by MAX BMW.


    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=661543
    Richard
    2004 R1150RS
    1984 R80 G/S
    2003 Suzuki DRZ 400S

  10. #10
    Jammess jammess's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for all the good info. Got the spacer out which wasn't easy, had to remove the head pipes to get the cross over tube out of the way then pry the spacer up and out. Touched up spacer ends on bench grinder should go back in easier than it came out. New switch should arrive next week.
    Jammess

  11. #11
    Registered User helmut_head's Avatar
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    Oh...you removed the spacer

    Sorry, I am late, but NEXT TIME, no need to completely remove the spacer or rear crossover pipe. Move the spacer very rearward (as far as possible without removing it) and you can sneak your fingers up there. It's a rough job that requires dexterity, but you can do it. See, now you have to get that spacer back in and reinstall your exhaust.

    Been busy!
    Helmut always wears a Helmet.

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