Budget Topcase Latch Repair - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 18 Old Jan 23rd, 2016, 1:40 pm Thread Starter
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Budget Topcase Latch Repair

I have recently acquired a 2002 K1200LT. Among other things that need attention, the topcase latch had the typical dogleg broken off. If BMW offered the latch handle as an individual part for replacement, I might have considered that option, but they don't. Therefore, I will share my procedure for repairing the latch on the cheap.

I drilled out the rivets, removed the latch, and studied the latch movement to determine the cause of the break and potential repair options to fix it and keep it from happening again. I am aware of the aftermarket "fix kit" that is available, but I'm cheap and besides, I like a good engineering challenge.

It's apparent that the dogleg, being cantilevered from the thin handle surface, can put excess stress on the thin area of the latch handle. The interesting thing to me is that in most threads that I have read that the assumption is that the load is most severe when latching, but looking closely at the latch motion the stress could actually be greater when opening the latch if the latch is pulled upwards with excess force after it hits the stop.

In either case, it appears that the dogleg needs to be supported more fully and tied back into the main structure of the latch. The aftermarket machined billet "fix kit" looks like it does a great job of doing this. But did I mention I was cheap?

My solution was to cut a couple vertical ribs that are as thick as the dogleg, and extending them the full length of the latch down to the horizontal rib at the bottom. (See first picture.) I cut these ribs out of 1/4" thick steel, but aluminum would likely work fine too. I spent some time contouring the ribs to fit snugly between the dogleg, the horizontal rib, and the latch surface. I then epoxied them in place with JB Weld. (See second picture).

After the JB Weld had dried, I was planning on drilling a couple holes through the dogleg and into the new reinforcing rib so that I could add a couple steel pins to reinforce the dogleg further. But after evaluating the strength of the JB Weld joint, I thought the pins might be overkill.

I cleaned up the rough spots of JB Weld and applied some rattle can semi-gloss black paint. (See third picture). I also decided to tap the top three bosses with 6mmx1.00 threads for bolts instead of trying to get washers and rivets aligned for reassembly. (See fourth picture). Reassembly included the three 6mm bolts at the top and four rivets and washers on the front face.

Picture 5 shows the latch in the open position with a view of the right hand rib. Since I had a piece of scrap metal on the shelf, a half rattle can of black paint in the cabinet, and a few rivets in a jar, this fix cost me next to nothing. The ribs took about an hour to cut out and fit, and it took an additional hour to clean up the JB Weld, paint, and reassemble.
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post #2 of 18 Old Jan 23rd, 2016, 3:47 pm
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

Well done, Sir!
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post #3 of 18 Old Jan 24th, 2016, 12:06 am
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

Nicely done.. Working on a latch handle solution myself. Stay tuned..

2004 K1200LT. Big Mama
1999 Suzuki Intruder VL1500LC. Betty Lou.
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post #4 of 18 Old Jan 24th, 2016, 8:15 am
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

Looks like you did a really good job.
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post #5 of 18 Old Mar 3rd, 2018, 9:17 am
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Smile Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

Very well thought solution. And the most important : budget friendly ! .

I have the same problem in my 2005 LT trunk latch except for both corners broken. I'll give it a try, only using 1/4" aluminum ribs. I will have to rebuild one of the doglegs since the whole corner (including the dogleg is missing). I don't anticipate it to be a problem because all I have to do is extend the length of the rib and drill the dogleg hole in the rib-dogleg new part.
I'll be posting pics and keep the forum updated on the results. Thanks again for coming up with this idea.
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post #6 of 18 Old Mar 10th, 2018, 8:26 am Thread Starter
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

Just an update. It's been two years since I completed this repair, and it has performed well ever since. The latch has been given heavy use on long trips over the past two summers, and still feels rock solid. On one occasion, I packed the top case poorly, and it somehow put a bind on the latch. (I believe that I carelessly allowed some fabric to enter between the latch pin and the tang on one of the latches). It required a significant tug on the latch handle to get the latch back open. I was pleased that the latch handle was up to the task.
sailor likes this.

I would rather be lucky than good lookin'.

Bikes currently in the garage:
1970 Honda CB450
1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster
1978 BMW R100S
1981 Yamaha SR500
1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
1987 BMW R80RT
1987 Harley Davidson Tour Glide
1989 BMW K100RS ABS
1990 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1991 BMW K1
2000 BMW R1200C
2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod
2002 BMW K1200LT
2009 Harley Davidson XR1200
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post #7 of 18 Old Mar 10th, 2018, 9:09 am
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
Just an update. It's been two years since I completed this repair, and it has performed well ever since. The latch has been given heavy use on long trips over the past two summers, and still feels rock solid. On one occasion, I packed the top case poorly, and it somehow put a bind on the latch. (I believe that I carelessly allowed some fabric to enter between the latch pin and the tang on one of the latches). It required a significant tug on the latch handle to get the latch back open. I was pleased that the latch handle was up to the task.
Dale,
Thank you for the follow-up on this repair.

QUESTION: would you have better / larger photos (high resolution) of the repaired part. I was looking at the original photos you had posted in this thread (a while ago), and I have difficulty to see how the new re-enforced pieces fit within the latch assy.

Thanks!
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-------------------------------------------------
John (Montreal, CANADA)
K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 96,000 miles)
-------------------------------------------------
Think twice before you hit [SUBMIT REPLY] - famous quote by another member:
"The value of this board is not founded on dismissing the ideas of others, but by posting to share our experiences and what we've learned from them."
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post #8 of 18 Old Mar 10th, 2018, 11:23 am
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

Does anyone have pictures of the machined latch? I have found several threads about it however, the photos and PDF instructions are no longer active. I would like to see bigger pictures of this repair. It is hard to see exactly what was done. It may be worth the time while I am doing the Spring maintenance to pull the top case and make the upgrade. Thanks for the good info.
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post #9 of 18 Old Mar 10th, 2018, 6:30 pm
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

Nice and very clever repair. I will do mine too. It has only one side broken and I'll also reinforce the other side that must have suffered a lot.
Thanks
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post #10 of 18 Old Mar 11th, 2018, 7:31 am Thread Starter
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Dale,
Thank you for the follow-up on this repair.

QUESTION: would you have better / larger photos (high resolution) of the repaired part. I was looking at the original photos you had posted in this thread (a while ago), and I have difficulty to see how the new re-enforced pieces fit within the latch assy.

Thanks!
I would happily upload larger photos, unfortunately I don't have a photo bucket account, and the photo upload capability of this site limits image pixel size. For anyone that would like larger images, send me a PM with your email address and I would be happy to send larger image attachments.
sailor likes this.

I would rather be lucky than good lookin'.

Bikes currently in the garage:
1970 Honda CB450
1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster
1978 BMW R100S
1981 Yamaha SR500
1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
1987 BMW R80RT
1987 Harley Davidson Tour Glide
1989 BMW K100RS ABS
1990 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1991 BMW K1
2000 BMW R1200C
2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod
2002 BMW K1200LT
2009 Harley Davidson XR1200
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post #11 of 18 Old Mar 11th, 2018, 9:26 am
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
I would happily upload larger photos, unfortunately I don't have a photo bucket account, and the photo upload capability of this site limits image pixel size. For anyone that would like larger images, send me a PM with your email address and I would be happy to send larger image attachments.
Those pics are only 27 KB you can upload at least 1.9 MB total per post. I usually take them down to 220 to 330 KB when I post.
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John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #12 of 18 Old Mar 11th, 2018, 10:56 am
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

So this part seems to be failure prone?

Actually, my bike has the top left corner of the handle broken off. It seems as if it's just cosmetic and I assumed that something extraordinary had hit it or something but the implication I'm getting from all this is that this is a weak piece?

I think that it's clear that my "failure" isn't the same as Aberdale's but it's the same piece, unless I'm mistaken.

I pulled in to Nazareth, I was feeling about half past dead...
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post #13 of 18 Old Mar 11th, 2018, 11:04 am Thread Starter
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

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Originally Posted by Billyjoe Jimbob View Post
So this part seems to be failure prone?

Actually, my bike has the top left corner of the handle broken off. It seems as if it's just cosmetic and I assumed that something extraordinary had hit it or something but the implication I'm getting from all this is that this is a weak piece?

I think that it's clear that my "failure" isn't the same as Aberdale's but it's the same piece, unless I'm mistaken.
I suspect it is the same failure. The top right corner on my latch was broken. If you remove the latch from the top case, it will be obvious. The corner that is broken is attached to the cantilevered arm linkage that projects forward from the latch handle. The reason that your latch still works (even though it's broken) is that there is a cantilevered arm on both the left and right side of the latch. Only one of yours is broken, but the other arm is still actuating the latch. It would probably be a good idea to remove the latch and repair it before the other side breaks.

I would rather be lucky than good lookin'.

Bikes currently in the garage:
1970 Honda CB450
1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster
1978 BMW R100S
1981 Yamaha SR500
1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
1987 BMW R80RT
1987 Harley Davidson Tour Glide
1989 BMW K100RS ABS
1990 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1991 BMW K1
2000 BMW R1200C
2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod
2002 BMW K1200LT
2009 Harley Davidson XR1200
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post #14 of 18 Old Mar 11th, 2018, 4:42 pm
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

Thank you, sir.

I pulled in to Nazareth, I was feeling about half past dead...
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post #15 of 18 Old Sep 8th, 2019, 12:52 pm
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hello
I have the same problem in Norway
Is this the type you used?
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post #16 of 18 Old Sep 8th, 2019, 8:45 pm
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

My guess is that a butt joint of the two sides of the cracked pot metal latch would not be strong enough to withstand the force of the leverage of the mechanism behind. I used fiberglass cloth on the back to reinforce the epoxy. JB Weld is fine. Glue the edges and the back area, then press the cloth into the epoxy so it's soaked. Two layers of cloth is stronger, if you can manage it. I fixed two latches this way. They both lasted well, once I was careful to release tension on the latch hooks by pressing downward on the lid before opening or closing the latch. (I believe it was stronger than the original.)
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post #17 of 18 Old Sep 8th, 2019, 9:23 pm
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

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Originally Posted by roban View Post
hello
I have the same problem in Norway
Is this the type you used?
Yes that is what he used. Leave it cure for 24 hours.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #18 of 18 Old Sep 14th, 2019, 6:09 pm
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Re: Budget Topcase Latch Repair

having just looked at a quick (and ineffective) JBWeld repair I did recently, reminder that goes for pretty much all adhesives -- surface prep is critical.

Where I successfully scrubbed the surface clean before slopping on the JBWeld, it's firmly attached and not coming off. Where I didn't do a good job, it let go...a layer of dirt firmly attached to the JBWeld, but not to the part I was attaching to. Probably not news to most...but clean and dry your surfaces before gluing!
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