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Barn find R27, new member

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:31 pm
by pmtremblay
Hi everyone, new member here. Yesterday I brought home a barn find R27, it needs a lot of work and I'm no mechanic, so I'll be leaning on the internet for help. I'm just south of Richmond, Virginia, have owned a couple of airheads in the past, and have been looking for the right R26/27 project for a while.

The bike spent most of the last 40 years under a roof but outside, so my first job will be to give it a good cleaning. Lots of dirt, worn paint and surface rust. I may eventually restore it, but for now I want to ride it, so getting it running reliably is most important. It kicks over smoothly, with what feels like good compression. It has under 10,000 miles showing which I believe to be true based on the previous owner, a trusted friend.

So much to do, but I'll take it slow and hopefully do it right, and I have no problem letting the pros do the more complex things. Looking forward to talking with everyone and being an active member here. I'll have more pics after the cleaning, it's too cruddy to show right now!

welcome to this forum. It's a

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:00 am
by Beemer100
welcome to this forum. It's a great source to get quality information about your beemer. But its also a great place to simply spend some time chatting to people with similar interests.

With regards to pictures ... pleeeeeeaase don't wait after clean up. We looove barn finds and everything which comes with it.

best regards

Nice find. As Klaus said,

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:52 am
by FL54
Nice find. As Klaus said, more pictures please.

Nice find.

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:08 pm
by jwonder
Nice find!!! As the others said more pictures please. It looks like it has a lot of patina, I might just get it running and ride it as is. Looks good.

Update 1

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:47 pm
by pmtremblay
I'm definitely leaning toward leaving it as is for the near term. My plan is to get it running, get it roadworthy, then work on reliability. The goal for this year is to be able to jump on some Saturday afternoon and go get ice cream or ride to a nearby car show. Keeping it simple.

Tomorrow I'm giving it a good washing, so I'll do before and after shots for the group. I'll also rearrange my garage so I can work on it properly - it's still on the trailer. And I'll start putting together a list for my first parts order. You all might be able to help with that.

Is just adding to this thread the right way to do updates? Does anyone even want updates? I'm never been a web forum guy, and don't want to break any protocol.

With some lubricant and a little work I got the fuel cap off. It looks pretty good in there on first look. The bottom outside has some surface rust, but feels solid.

On the plus side, the bike came with a new, unused exhaust chrome header and muffler, an alloy rim, and a pristine unused Denfeld bench seat. It has one alloy rim on it now, and a pealing chrome one; a very rusty header and I can't see the muffler yet through the dirt. The solo seat on the bike is crumbling.

The bike also has the tire pump, and the big surprise of today was the glove box. After scraping the dirt out of the square lock and it opened right up - to show me the BMW shop rag, tool roll (looks complete?) and a "made in West Germany" patch kit. All in great shape. So cool!

Tool kit! Tank badges!

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:17 pm
by miller6997
That tool kit looks like it's never been used and the tank badges are very hard to find. Those two treasures alone have paid for your entry ticket.

Just keep the updates coming

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:25 am
by schrader7032
Just keep the updates coming by adding to this thread...keeps the story all together!

my 2 cents ... since you know

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:25 am
by Beemer100
my 2 cents ... since you know the previous owner and you are (kinda) sure that the 10k are correct ... I would change the fluids, check if the oil which comes out is still oil (and not honey). Check valves, ignition and carbs and plugs. Once plugs are out, I would crank it over a couple of times to get the fresh oil around and then I would go for a run. Listen for funny noise. If there is no funny engine noise I probably would buy a new condenser, new contacts and maybe even a new coil (to be on the safe side). Check the spark cables if the rubber is brittle ... if yes, replace them. Change the tires ... and you're probably good for the summer for a lot of fun.
I would definitely not "destroy" the Patina of the bike and restore it (the seat, however ... looks rough). Maybe you find an old unrestored one to replace yours ...


forgot ... don't use a power

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:26 am
by Beemer100
forgot ... don't use a power hose to wash the bike. Your bearings and gaskets won't be happy!

Long update

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:21 pm
by pmtremblay
I had a few hours and perfect weather to dedicate to the bike today, so I gave it a good going over. It didn’t clean up that well, there’s not a pretty surface on the whole bike. The sheet metal is mostly very dull, worn paint, about half the pinstriping is worn off.

The frame is a combination of worn paint and surface rust. The fork down tubes are all surface rust, these must have a different type of metal or a different paint application. All the aluminum is heavily discolored, the engine cases look a mess. The up-side is it’s all perfectly usable, nothing rusted through, dented, cracked or bent. I’m not going to mess with the cosmetics at all this year.

A big concern right now is stuck fasteners, some of the bolts are going to put up a fight.

The tank had an inch or so of 40 year old gas in it. There’s some surface rust on the outside bottom but it’s solid. The inner lining looks surprisingly good, so I’ll clean it out well and go with it.

I drained the oil. It was absolutely black, but I didn’t see any odd colors, water or milkiness. I’ll need to pull the oil pan off and scrub it out good

My left handlebar controls seem complete and the switch clicks confidently. The right looks to be missing something. I didn’t open the headlamp bucket yet. I just need a low beam, tail and brake light to get started.

The only big surprise so far is I think I’m missing the hardy disk on the drive shaft, or it’s crumbled. The steel protection sleeve is there, but just rattles loosely (based on this diagram ... e-shaft-2/). Anyone know if this is something I can fix myself, with little mechanical experience?

There was also a head-scratcher in the battery box. One of the two previous owners had rigged up three 2 volt batteries, wrapped in cardboard and sandwiched in styrofoam.

Here’s a partial list of what I’ll order this week. Any suggestions welcome:
Hardy disk - what else do I need here?
Petcock rebuild kit
Carburetor rebuild kit
Air filter
Spark plug
Spark plug wire
Condenser, points
Coil - is this likely to need replacement? It’s a little pricey.
Low handlebar and cables
A lot of rubber bits, fuel line, gaskets, etc.

I posted a bunch of before photos on my website. If you like vintage auto racing, check out the rest of my site. I’m the series photographer for a historic racing series, and this BMW project is being 100% funded by that work. ... /n-pzDSb9/