11 replies [Last post]
MI MudBoss
MI MudBoss's picture
 Offline
Deetroit , MI
Joined: 04/02/2008
Posts: 5

i have the frame, engine/trans, forks, wheels, passenger side shock, tank(think it's the correct one), and a box of misc little parts. what should i do first? going to swap meet in IL next weekend. i know i need exhaust, sidecar, handlebars, speedometer, driver's side shock. should i get a manual even though it's written in German and i can't read German? any good pics in there i can use? i've exhausted all the info & pics i can find on the web. i've ordered a catalog from Bob's BMW. what else can i do?
thanx for any and all help,
Brian Big Grin

[img]

__________________

1950 R51/2

Bruce Frey
Bruce Frey's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #6316
Texas Hill Country, USA
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 574
1950 R51/2 basket case, where to start?

I do not have any R51/2 experience, but it is very similar to the prewar R51.

The first thing to do is to inventory and understand what you do or do not have. Accordingly, a parts manual is absolutely necessary. Use it as a checklist and itemize the parts you do not have. You can get one here:

http://www.beemergarage.com/manuals.html

The next trick is to understand the condition of the parts you have. Unless a part is visibly trashed it is difficult to understand its condition. Also, just because you have a 'widget', you need to confirm it is a 'widget' for your bike, not another model.

If you have not been to vintage flea markets before, be careful. I have a few 'widgets' that vendors mistakenly said were for a certain model because I did not know exactly what the correct part looked like....even with a parts manual. Many parts are almost identical.

I do not know if English manuals are available for R51/2, but if only a German version is available, I would get one anyway an learn some German! I would also get an English manual, if available, for the R51/3 which will cover the running gear and other non-engine parts.

I have an English Handbuch for the prewar R51-R71 prewar models which will cover most of the twin cam engine basics. If you give me your contact information off list, I would be happy to send you a scan.

German languages resources:
German-French-English Two-wheeler Technical Dictionary, Beatrice Couzereau, ISBN 3-87073-054-4

Leo Online Translator - much better than Babelfish for technical items
http://dict.leo.org/ende?lang=en&lp=ende&search=

Enjoy,

Bruce

niall4473
niall4473's picture
 Offline
Lancashire, UK
Joined: 04/09/2007
Posts: 94
1950 R51/2 basket case, where to start?

I would agree with all the advice which Bruce has given, but I would add a couple of things that I have found useful. As Bruce says it is important to take stock, I would recommend that as the first step you assemble everything that you have, as it is not always easy to see something that isn't there and this will also shake out any bits of other bikes, lawnmowers etc which have got in with yours.
Secondly, decide in your own mind what your aims are, do you want 100% originality at all costs, or a useable, rideable bike which you can improve upon later? I've seen too many projects which never saw the light of day because the guy (or girl) wouldn't compromise and use what was available until something better came along. You can still pursue originality, the difference is you can ride your bike while you're doing it.
Good luck with it.

__________________

Oil is always cheaper than metal

bmwmyplace
bmwmyplace's picture
 Offline
Australia
Joined: 02/26/2007
Posts: 168
1950 R51/2 basket case, where to start?

Hi I am building an R51/2 also I agree with both of the previous posts Hi Bruce and Niall,
It is so important to know what you are building and how it goes together ….so don’t be put off at the thought of doing it twice…

If it was me…..for what its worth I would read every thing you can , get a parts book and read it every night before bed …or bits of it at least , remember you are going to be the builder of this thing. Get an English workshop manual it will cover every thing except the engine.. and even then things like clearances can be used .

Before you strip anything into smaller pieces take the engine gear box and rear drive and put them into the frame and bolt it up as though you were putting it together. You will also need the rear suspension parts and BTW they are not shocks …no damping in here just springs… same as the prewar R51 R71 etc. Also install the rear wheel without the tyre. Now depending on your ability here you need to check that the frame is straight and that every thing lines up like it should …chances are that over the years the bike may well have been crashed and the frame slightly bent ….if you just paint it and build it up, come your first ride could be a nasty surprise in that it either handles like a pig so you off load it with the impression that the bike is crap ….. or the drive shaft is out of alignment and you wonder why your drive rubbers only last a thousand miles or so or you strip it back down and waste more cash putting it right ….so best do it right in the first place ……or you could just sell it to me…. 

Once you have checked the frame is straight or better get it put in jig used for such by a professional frame straightener…….this should only cost a couple of hundred $ unless it is bent real bad. Then install the front forks … then the front and rear fenders and carry rack… this is important because if the fenders don’t fit perfect they need to be adjusted till they do and this hurts when they are nicely painted you give then a twist to correct something and that lovely paint cracks….install the headlamp ears and the lamp and check this all fits ……now you are getting excited and it looks like a bike. Now you can really tell whats missing…handle bars clutch and throttle amatures mechanical dip switch ..yes it is cable operated with the switch inside the lamp.

And the best part is that most of this work can be done I a couple of week ends…and if it takes longer what the hell.

If you would like to take some photographs you could send them to me and I would be prepared to look at them for you and see what I can identify
gibbsp AT bigpond.net.au….Are the frame and engine numbers corresponding with the id plate on the front of the bike

If you are wanting to put a side care on it then you will need a different rear drive inner crown wheel and pinion but that is no big deal… cheers Peter

MI MudBoss
MI MudBoss's picture
 Offline
Deetroit , MI
Joined: 04/02/2008
Posts: 5
let me give more details

1st: thanks for ALL the info you guys have already given to me, it's greatly appreciatted as you'll read in the following...
i inhereted this bike from my Dad, he passed away right after i was born, with no memories of him, this bike is all i have of him. i will never sell it, and i don't care how long it takes to restore. i'm doing it for him b/c he's the one that started this project 32+ years ago. the misc box of parts are actually refinished pieces that he got done. i don't know if i will drive it or not, but i would like it to be original. am i aiming too high? he brought it back from Germany (i think) with him with a sidecar. my Mom donated the sidecar years ago when she thought the whole bike was gone, but we got the bike back a few years ago, so now i'm restoring it. can i post pictures on the forum?
re: the gas tank. i fitted it to the frame and that's why i say i think it's the correct tank. someone (probably my Dad) cut off the mounting tabs and welded them lower so the tank sat up higher. i'm guessing it was the 70's so he was trying for a chopper look? it's also painted red, no idea why someone would do that?
thanx again for everyone's help. Brian

__________________

1950 R51/2

Bruce Frey
Bruce Frey's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #6316
Texas Hill Country, USA
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 574
1950 R51/2 basket case, where to start?

Peter's advice about putting the bike together is spot on! If I had done that with my R71 basketcase, it would have saved me a lot of headaches.

There are a variety of good (and not so good) reproduction parts available from a variety of sources. I personally like those from Benchmark Works and Mark Huggett. Craig "Vech" Vechorik at Benchmark is a wealth of information and he has done a variety of good work for me (and many others).

http://members.aol.com/vechbmw/ Benchmark
http://www.bmwbike.com/ Huggett

Everyone has a slightly different view about restorations. Cad plate vs stainless steel, powdercoat vs paint, etc, etc. It is your bike and the only person it needs to please is you...and it is possible that your opinion may change with time, so go slow, learn about the bike and have fun.

Ciao,

Bruce

MI MudBoss
MI MudBoss's picture
 Offline
Deetroit , MI
Joined: 04/02/2008
Posts: 5
1950 R51/2 basket case, where to start?

ok, i've been going through the parts box and don't know what these parts are or where they go. can i post pics on this forum, and maybe you pro's can help me?
do all R51/2 come with that hitch ball thing on the right side or just mine b/c of the sidecar?
thank you for the replies ! i'm very greatful for all the help you've already given me. i'm really enjoying this and anxious to get further into it.

__________________

1950 R51/2

Allan.Atherton
Allan.Atherton's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #2709
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 507
Re: let me give more details

"MI MudBoss" wrote:

... he brought it back from Germany (i think) with him with a sidecar. my Mom donated the sidecar years ago ... going to swap meet in IL next weekend. i know i need... sidecar...

The sidecar was likely a Steib. If you have any old photos of it, you can see which model it was by this site:
http://www.ideal-seitenwagen.de/English/Seitenwagen/Seitenwagen_e.htm
If you can't find the right sidecar to restore yourself, it would not cost much more to buy a repro from Ideal.

MI MudBoss
MI MudBoss's picture
 Offline
Deetroit , MI
Joined: 04/02/2008
Posts: 5
1950 R51/2 basket case, where to start?

got talkin with Mom last week about it. she said my Dad bought the bike itself here in the US but bought the sidecar(that i don't have anymore) in Germany. i only have ONE picture of the sidecar and it's upside down. plus it's from the 70's so it's reddish and small. i'm not too worrired about the sidecar at this point. i know i am putting one on it, so for now i'm focusing on building the bike so it can accomodate one. thanx for the info

__________________

1950 R51/2

Allan.Atherton
Allan.Atherton's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #2709
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 507
1950 R51/2 basket case, where to start?

Well, a red 1970s sidecar would not be a Steib. You might not want to do such a sidecar again, unless for sentimental value. You might want an old or repro Steib to complement the effort you are putting into the 1950 bike.

MI MudBoss
MI MudBoss's picture
 Offline
Deetroit , MI
Joined: 04/02/2008
Posts: 5
1950 R51/2 basket case, where to start?

i'm sorry, i didn't make myself clear... the picture is small and has a reddish tint to it because it's 35ish years old. sorry for the confusion, but thanx for the advice none the less. i'll get it scanned and post. i bet some genius out there can tell what it is by this picture.

__________________

1950 R51/2

saintclair2703
saintclair2703's picture
 Offline
VBMWMO #2703
Asheville
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 89
1950 R51/2 basket case, where to start?

If the SC is small and from the 70's, it may well have been an Indian made Globe- an imitation (not reproduction) of a Steib LS200. There is a Steib Group on Yahoo, too.

__________________

I deserve a paper plate as strong as I am!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.