Top box latches breaking 2005? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 13 Old Dec 13th, 2018, 11:50 am Thread Starter
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Top box latches breaking 2005?

Hi everyone

Does anyone know or is there any consensus on wether BMW fixed top box latch breaking issues with 2005 and up LT?
Opinions please

Thx in advance Darcy
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post #2 of 13 Old Dec 13th, 2018, 12:59 pm
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Re: Top box latches breaking 2005?

I think it is known that over time the latch will break if you just close the lid and then push down on the lever. You need to put weight on the lid above the latch and then push down on the lever. I put 200,000 miles on two LTs and never had a problem.
Now the mirror is another story.
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post #3 of 13 Old Dec 13th, 2018, 1:17 pm
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Re: Top box latches breaking 2005?

Short answer is NO, never fixed. The one after market replacement for the latch is no longer being made so if it is broken, find a way to fix it yourself, buy a topcase like it from Ebay or bite the bullet and get a new topcase from the dealer but it is the same as the one that likely broke you are asking about. BMW does not sell latches, only the entire topcase.

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post #4 of 13 Old Dec 13th, 2018, 1:25 pm
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Re: Top box latches breaking 2005?

Lubricate the metal-to-metal on the latch with an anti seize paste and press down when locking per above.

What's needed is a nylon pin rather than that soft steel one that came with our bikes. It wouldn't take as much to pry it open, but I think it would reduce the friction in the lock. You can get 6 mm nylon rod at McMaster Carr.

Someone ought to take this idea and sell them as a popcorn item ready cut etc. I wouldn't mind.
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post #5 of 13 Old Dec 13th, 2018, 2:37 pm
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Re: Top box latches breaking 2005?

I read about this issue and I took off one latch pin and ground the other so there is almost no effort to latch it shut or open. I suppose it could be wedged open easier, but anyone that wanted to do that could get in there anyway. I think doing these things will prevent any stress on the metal and it won't break.

George

2004 K1200LT - Gray Ghost
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post #6 of 13 Old Dec 13th, 2018, 6:02 pm
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Re: Top box latches breaking 2005?

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Originally Posted by longride View Post
I read about this issue and I took off one latch pin and ground the other so there is almost no effort to latch it shut or open. I suppose it could be wedged open easier, but anyone that wanted to do that could get in there anyway. I think doing these things will prevent any stress on the metal and it won't break.
I believe the original question relates to the rectangular pot metal locking latch on the back of the top case. The mechanical linkage behind that plate puts force on the top two corners of the plate, which is not as strong as the force created by the leverage from the linkage. The two pins in the lid that the "fingers" of the locking mechanism of the bottom grab as the latch is closed are not the root cause of breakage. In my experience, it's always something preventing the lid from closing completely--your jacket sleeve or lunch box or something. Pressing on the back plate to close will exert more force on the corners of the plate than it can withstand. Making the pins in the top thinner or removing one will not prevent this. Getting in the habit of pressing down on the lid with forearm before pressing latch plate will.

As to fixing the broken plate, it's easy to disassemble that unit, and not so easy to repair it with fiberglass cloth and epoxy. Leaves a little visible bump on the back, but works fine and is much cheaper than replacing the entire top case. [BMW's fix] Don't ask how I know this...
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post #7 of 13 Old Dec 14th, 2018, 6:26 am
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Re: Top box latches breaking 2005?

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Originally Posted by djmellor View Post
I believe the original question relates to the rectangular pot metal locking latch on the back of the top case. The mechanical linkage behind that plate puts force on the top two corners of the plate, which is not as strong as the force created by the leverage from the linkage. The two pins in the lid that the "fingers" of the locking mechanism of the bottom grab as the latch is closed are not the root cause of breakage. In my experience, it's always something preventing the lid from closing completely--your jacket sleeve or lunch box or something. Pressing on the back plate to close will exert more force on the corners of the plate than it can withstand. Making the pins in the top thinner or removing one will not prevent this. Getting in the habit of pressing down on the lid with forearm before pressing latch plate will.

As to fixing the broken plate, it's easy to disassemble that unit, and not so easy to repair it with fiberglass cloth and epoxy. Leaves a little visible bump on the back, but works fine and is much cheaper than replacing the entire top case. [BMW's fix] Don't ask how I know this...

I would disagree. Mine was extremely hard to close and open with nothing in it at all putting plenty of pressure on the latch. Now it opens and closes like butter. I bet many latches broke from the stock configuration of too much pressure to do the job. Your mileage may vary.

George

2004 K1200LT - Gray Ghost
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post #8 of 13 Old Dec 14th, 2018, 7:24 am
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Re: Top box latches breaking 2005?

Some have taken to grinding the clamps so there is not as much pressure on the system. See yellow line indicating where to grind with a Dremel or file. You want to make sure you still have adequate pressure to seal the box so it does not leak in the rain and wind. Pressing down when opening and closing is still always a good idea. The lever is too long for the amount for force placed on the thin pot metal with no additional support.
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Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #9 of 13 Old Dec 14th, 2018, 10:26 am Thread Starter
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Re: Top box latches breaking 2005?

Great pictures for us DIY folks
thx for all the input
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post #10 of 13 Old Dec 16th, 2018, 7:33 am
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Re: Top box latches breaking 2005?

I had my topcase latch fixed by Dale Aberegg [email protected]. Good turnaround, reasonably priced, and very robust improvement. Much improved modification to the inferior BMW design.
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post #11 of 13 Old Dec 16th, 2018, 9:52 am
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Re: Top box latches breaking 2005?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdrdocbmw View Post
I had my topcase latch fixed by Dale Aberegg [email protected]. Good turnaround, reasonably priced, and very robust improvement. Much improved modification to the inferior BMW design.
How did he repair it?

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post #12 of 13 Old Dec 17th, 2018, 7:26 pm
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Re: Top box latches breaking 2005?

He beefed up the arm and installed a piece of metal to the opposite end of the lated. E-mail him and he'll send you the pictures. Email me and I'll send you the pictures he sent me or the repair. [email protected]. Very robust improvement.
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post #13 of 13 Old Dec 29th, 2018, 3:28 am
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Re: Top box latches breaking 2005?

I did not realize mine had broken until someone pointed out the crack across the top left corner. Removal is tough because the latch is riveted to the case. Be gentle when drilling them out. I used JB Weld and put a nice bead across the back where you cannot see it. Sanded down the front after it cured for a few days. Painted it with flat black spray paint and found some t-nuts that worked to mount it and it looks and works good as new. I now put some downward pressure on the top case when closing or opening the latch.
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