Originally Posted by 104strad
I have enough pieces on the garage floor already, and I don't have the swing arm off yet!
#1 lesson (ok maybe 3-4 lessons) I learned from my clutch/tranny/RMS job last year - and hopefully it's not too late for you:
1. From the very beginning of a big job, make a list of every single part you remove or re-position on the vehicle, in the order you do so. When you go to put the bike back together, following that list in reverse order will likely be a huge time-saver. Otherwise, there's a good chance you'll find yourself backtracking an hour's worth of re-build to add that part over there in the corner of the garage that you forgot or didn't realize had to be installed before those other 16 parts. Or you'll finally get that last fuel tank bolt through the hole (after much sweat, blood, tears, etc.) and realize you put the tank on too soon.
2. Before you remove anything, cut a wire tie, etc. TAKE A PICTURE. You can't take too many pictures, it's impossible. Take as many as you can and you'll still wish you had more. The pictures I had certainly saved my butt a few times. There are a couple of parts (like the clutch components) that have critical orientations that aren't obvious unless you've marked them prior to disassembly. In these cases, you'll want to put orientation marks on the parts in place before taking your photo or disturbing the parts (oh, and be careful that your thorough part washing doesn't wash off the marks!). The wiring around the throttle bodies, air box & ABS unit were particularly challenging for me, as they didn't seem to resemble the photos in the Clymer's or BMW shop manuals - and I was a bit lacking in "before" photos of these areas.
3. Go buy one or two of those plastic shelf units, about 18" deep by 48" wide, the kind with the plastic tubes that serve as the uprights between each shelf. Two five-shelf units held just about everything I took off my bike, and I didn't have to worry about cosmetic damage to the painted parts. When you're done, you can break down the shelf units and toss 'em in the attic until the next big job.
4. You should already know about bagging & tagging everything. I had a box of ziploc bags & a couple sharpies laying around.
The items above, especially #1, 2 & 4, will gain significance if you're planning on this project taking more than a few days (mine dragged on for a couple months due to other time obligations) or if you have any "helpers" (helpers are great for speeding up the project, but it also means you're witnessing less of the disassembly).
One last little tidbit - on my reassembly, I had one of the banjo bolts on the slave cylinder clocked just a tad too far counter-clockwise. This put the "wrist" of the banjo fitting on top of a raised surface on the slave cylinder. It wasn't noticeable by eye when I torqued the banjo bolt to spec. It was only after I had the bike COMPLETELY back together and bled a quart of brake fluid onto the floor that I discovered there was a problem. So I got to practice swingarm removal/reinstallation at 2am once more. I had waited to bleed the clutch until after I'd gotten my bike off the lift and out of the wheel vise (so I could turn the handlebars), and I thought I'd "save time" by getting everything put back together before taking it off the lift. DOH! Just something to keep an eye out for.