BMW R75/5 Restoration (2)


Lito Diestro, a former IRRI engineer with a metal workshop in Los Banos, helped restoring the frame. He removed the attachments added for the seat holder, fitted attachments for the battery holders, and restored the mount for the rear shock on the swing.Finding a sandblasting shop in Manila on the other hand turned out an impossible task. After studying the yellow pages and consulting the Internet I finally found some shop where somebody answered the phone. Mavic and I drove there over a weekend and found out that it was not a shop but a backyard residence in a subdivision in Manila. The resident owned a huge truck mounted sandblaster, which was usually used to blast oil tanks in refineries. It was powered by a 12 cylinder diesel engine, a fuel guzzler. Since he did not have a job at the time he offered to set-up and run the monster for my tiny frame – at an astronomical price. I did not want to know what that sort of power would have done to the frame. Pajo, the husband of our former helper and a Jeepney mechanic, ended up sanding down the frame and re-painting it with epoxy primer and paint. After this was accomplished restoring the bike could begin.

It was quite a task restore the original condition because so many parts had been replaced by local parts of low quality and different design.Front blinkers were moved back from the handlebar to the original position.New rubber gaiters and battery holders were fitted. All wheel bearings, swing bearings and the steering bearings were replaced with originals.The rear break pedal broken and Lito helped with a aluminium welding job to fix it.All the old, rusty screws and nuts (some of them in imperial measurements) were replaced by V4A stainless steel screws and bolts.The front light housing was fitted with a new combination instrument I found on ebay.The back wheel was completely rotten. I had bought a set of wheels in ebay in Germany but they turned out to be both front wheels. I therefore converted a front wheel into a back wheel by moving the drive sprocket from the broken back wheel to the spare front wheel. 

Waiting for a gearbox replacement.

The gearbox also needed fixing. The spring that moves the kick starter back up in resting position was broken. There was also a funny screw at the back of the gearbox which leaked oil. When I removed the nut the screw fell inside the gearbox, so I had no choice but to open it. I got a special tool made to remove the driver flange on the output shaft but the damn thing was sitting so tight that three people and a 1.5m lever could not loosen the flange. Instead the tool started bending. Since it needs special tools to work on the gears anyway I decided just to buy a new or overhauled gearbox. Krystian knew a friend who had an overhauled 5 gear box at reasonable price so I bought it and got it shipped from Germany. Another 6 weeks waiting time.  On the positive side, I managed to sell the old gearbox for a good price on ebay during my 2010 home leave in Germany.