Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 20 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 7:12 pm Thread Starter
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Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

OK, so long title, but I couldn't really figure a way to succintely state the purpose of this thread.

PREAMBLE
OK, so if you have a wethead RT, you know about how that lower right panel's mid-section, the part with a stud that fits into that rubber bushing, is always coming out. I believe I have come up with a working solution for this. Now it's not perfect and I don't have a lot of time testing it (like about 40 minutes and 20-30 miles), but it seems to solve/help the issue.

The problem is that the top-rear screw (just below the seat), may not be aligned correctly when the stud is in the bushing; you can see this if you remove the panel and then put that stud in and see if that hole is aligned to the nut on the bike. What I noticed is that, with the two screws in, the panel bends slightly in the middle and then when you go out for a ride, any bump or vibration will pop the stud from the bushing.

WHAT I DID and WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
1. Buy velcro, where (I got mine from Wally World), isn't as important as what kind- I bought a type that was meant to go on uneven outdoor surfaces. Cut the hook section length-wise and the hoop section width-wise. I figure the widths are about a 1/4".

2. Remove the rubber bushing from its spot on the bike.

3. Clean the two areas where the velcro was going with rubbing alcohol.

4. Attach the hoop section on the lip of the knee panel (you'll see it). Use a large, flathead screwdriver to press the velcro down firmly.

5. Attach the hook section on the lower body panel.

6. Follow the instructions for the velcro on how long it'll take for the adhesive to setup.

7. When attaching the lower body panel, use your index finger to guide the stud into the hole where the bushing was. You will have to play around with the panel to both align that top-rear screw and the fitting of the mid-section with the velcro.

8. Attach the rear screw and then the lower screw. You may need to bend that support arm down there but it'll be good.
Now this isn't as solid as say a screw holding the part in, so if you keep yanking on it, n̶o̶t̶ ̶o̶n̶l̶y̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶g̶o̶ ̶b̶l̶i̶n̶d̶,̶ ̶b̶u̶t̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶p̶a̶l̶m̶s̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶g̶e̶t̶ ̶h̶a̶i̶r̶y̶, it's going to pull off.
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post #2 of 20 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 10:13 pm
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

Great approach!

Mine is annoying ... I found that rotating the rubber grommet helped keep the stud engaged. But it still his hit or miss.

John - 2016 BMW R1200RT
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post #3 of 20 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 10:50 pm
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

A small tab of white grease on the studs does wonders to help them seat. It's counter intuitive, but the grease helps them completely seat into the grommet and once I did that, I've never had them pop out unexpectedly.
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post #4 of 20 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 11:54 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

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Originally Posted by powwow View Post
A small tab of white grease on the studs does wonders to help them seat. It's counter intuitive, but the grease helps them completely seat into the grommet and once I did that, I've never had them pop out unexpectedly.
Early on, I was thinking that the source of the issue was that I wasn't getting the piece into the bushing fully, so I applied a little moisture and used my fingers to really get it in there and the result was that the (original) bushing came out completely. Had to buy a new one. Used a quick shot of WD40 on the stud and while it went in easy, it came out easier. UGH!
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post #5 of 20 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 5:28 am
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

This must be down to alignment tolerances as suggested. I have always just greased the stud and hole it goes into. On my 2014, did over 20k miles, the panel never popped out. On my 1250, just over 2k miles and the panel is solid, and I have had it off to fit engine bars.
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post #6 of 20 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 5:47 am
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

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Originally Posted by powwow View Post
A small tab of white grease on the studs does wonders to help them seat. It's counter intuitive, but the grease helps them completely seat into the grommet and once I did that, I've never had them pop out unexpectedly.
Same here but used some clear silicon lube ... no issues whatsoever with that thing popping out.

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post #7 of 20 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 6:59 am
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

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Originally Posted by LIRider View Post
Same here but used some clear silicon lube ... no issues whatsoever with that thing popping out.
Same. Just a dod of grease and it is in and stays there just fine.

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post #8 of 20 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 7:35 am
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

Hahaha . . . . you guys missed the hint that I gave to Tom (Oldspice), in another thread! It is very simple, but undocumented, to make that rubber grommet retains the plastic pin the way that it was intended to do. When you put back that panel, what you should do is line up the screw holes and get the panel in position. Then, insert the plastic pin into the bushing (forget the screws for now), and then gently pull back. If the pin pulls out easily, then all that you need to do is rotate the rubber bushing in it's holding bracket by some amount, and try again. This time the rubber grommet should resist the pin from pulling out! If so, then you can put in the two screws, fasten everything down, and you are all done! The panel will stay secured.



Why? Take a look at the plastic pin. It has 2 ribs that is supposed to provide interference to the round hole of the rubber grommet. Take a look at the rubber grommet. It has 2 cuts in the skirt, probably to make it easily installable in the round drilled hole of the sheet metal bracket. IF the fins on the plastic pin lines up with these slits, you can surely see that the retention will be quite impossible! So, you turn the rubber grommet and make sure that they don't coincide!


Yes, I also grease all of these type of connections with general purpose silicone grease that plumbers use for o-rings. Readily available in any hardware stores (in the US anyway). You should NOT use any petroleum based products on rubber, or elastomers.

PS: BakerBoy got the idea, but if it doesn't hold enough, just turn the grommet a little more.
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post #9 of 20 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 9:47 am
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

LOL to much thinking going on here. I complained to my dealer and he just Zip tied it. Easy peasy
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post #10 of 20 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 11:01 am
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

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Originally Posted by PadG View Post
Hahaha . . . . you guys missed the hint that I gave to Tom (Oldspice), in another thread! It is very simple, but undocumented, to make that rubber grommet retains the plastic pin the way that it was intended to do. When you put back that panel, what you should do is line up the screw holes and get the panel in position. Then, insert the plastic pin into the bushing (forget the screws for now), and then gently pull back. If the pin pulls out easily, then all that you need to do is rotate the rubber bushing in it's holding bracket by some amount, and try again. This time the rubber grommet should resist the pin from pulling out! If so, then you can put in the two screws, fasten everything down, and you are all done! The panel will stay secured.



Why? Take a look at the plastic pin. It has 2 ribs that is supposed to provide interference to the round hole of the rubber grommet. Take a look at the rubber grommet. It has 2 cuts in the skirt, probably to make it easily installable in the round drilled hole of the sheet metal bracket. IF the fins on the plastic pin lines up with these slits, you can surely see that the retention will be quite impossible! So, you turn the rubber grommet and make sure that they don't coincide!


Yes, I also grease all of these type of connections with general purpose silicone grease that plumbers use for o-rings. Readily available in any hardware stores (in the US anyway). You should NOT use any petroleum based products on rubber, or elastomers.

PS: BakerBoy got the idea, but if it doesn't hold enough, just turn the grommet a little more.
Now that is a good tip. I must have been lucky all these years with alignment
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post #11 of 20 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 2:58 pm
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

I had just came inside from putting in a new battery, which means that I had to remove the subject panel! Gotta make a very minor correction to my previous statement in saying that the rubber grommet is held in a drilled hole through sheet metal. It's not! The hole is in the plastic part of another panel!!! Everything I said before still remain correct.

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post #12 of 20 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 8:40 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

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Originally Posted by PadG View Post
...things...
As I was sitting in my 115-degree garage (yeah, it's been hot lately) and playing around with the panel, I noticed that the top rear screw hole on the panel was a considerable bit off from the fixed nut on the frame of the bike. Anytime I attached the panel in place, I noticed that there would be a slight bowing where the pin/bushing were. You could definitely tell that there was an issue with the fit. Is that what you see?

Last edited by N00bie RT Gawd; Jul 11th, 2019 at 1:57 pm.
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post #13 of 20 Old Jul 10th, 2019, 11:46 pm
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

You know, I just noticed this. I just happen to be looking down at a stop light and noticed the right panel was sticking out more than the left one. When I got off the bike, sure enough, that nub was not fully engaged in the hole (why does that sound so dirty?)

Sorry Pad, didn't even pick up your hint, but will definitely do the grommet rotation and grease trick tomorrow!
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post #14 of 20 Old Jul 11th, 2019, 12:29 am
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

You guy must not be putting the bolt with the longest shoulder in the top hole of the plastic. The panel goes back on in seconds when you put the post in the grommet first.

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post #15 of 20 Old Jul 11th, 2019, 7:22 am
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

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Originally Posted by N00bie RT Gawd View Post
As I was sitting in my 115-degree garage (yeah, it's been hot lately) and playing around with the panel, I noticed that the top rear screw hole on the panel was a considerable bit off from the fixed nut on the frame of the bike. Anytime I attached the panel in place, I noticed that there would be a slight bowing were the pin/bushing were. You could definitely tell that there was an issue with the fit. Is that what you see?
If things don't fit without forcing it, then there is something wrong and you should go over everything. Last week, I had just done a major servicing, and all of the panels came off, to replace the air filter. Everything went back together without any fuss or issues. I tend to be very organized when I do this kind of work, and I had all the screws that belong to specific panel in their own little container, and set aside with the panel, so that the same screws goes with the same panel. At the end, I had put in what I thought was all the screws for one panel, but I had one left over with nowhere apparent for it to go! Careful checking showed that I had missed one location that was deep inside and fairly well hidden. Ergo, the value of keeping the screws together with the part that the belong to! Old habit from having worked on cars and bikes for a very long time!


BTW, I absolutely hate those sheet-metal panel nuts!!!

PS: an aside - there were prior threads about how difficult it was to get the filter and cover back in place. I was very puzzled then as to why they were having issues, and after having done this one again, I remain, if not more puzzled! The new filter dropped right in place, and the cover went on with clearance all around, and the 4 screws dropped right in place. Absolutely no drama on my '15 RT!

Pad. Gajajiva
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post #16 of 20 Old Jul 11th, 2019, 8:53 am
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

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- there were prior threads about how difficult it was to get the filter and cover back in place. I was very puzzled then as to why they were having issues, and after having done this one again, I remain, if not more puzzled! The new filter dropped right in place, and the cover went on with clearance all around, and the 4 screws dropped right in place. Absolutely no drama on my '15 RT!
Same on my '17. Simples.

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post #17 of 20 Old Jul 11th, 2019, 2:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

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...words...
Going backwards here...

I also found that replacing the air filter the second time was a million times easier than the the first. I was prepared for a fight but it never came. I can't explain it either.

When I take apart large sections of the bike, I always put the screws either in the body panel (secured with blue tape), or back in the nut on the bike. I forgot who it was in here who made a giant poster board where the screws went and he would insert the screws into that.

After noticing that the pin would pop out of the bushing, I figured I may have a panel misaligned somewhere. I looked all around but didn't notice anything. At the next 12K service, I was particularly careful on alignment, but again, nothing. Another problem is that BMW has all of these panels stacked on top one another so that if any of them have an issue, it gets compounded big time down the line. But everything else is lining up right so it's really puzzling me.
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post #18 of 20 Old Jul 15th, 2019, 10:17 pm
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

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I had just came inside from putting in a new battery, which means that I had to remove the subject panel! Gotta make a very minor correction to my previous statement in saying that the rubber grommet is held in a drilled hole through sheet metal. It's not! The hole is in the plastic part of another panel!!! Everything I said before still remain correct.
Ha! I had my bike 2 days and broke that plastic tab right off. No worries about the fit anymore!


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post #19 of 20 Old Jul 16th, 2019, 7:51 am
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

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Ha! I had my bike 2 days and broke that plastic tab right off. No worries about the fit anymore!

I am afraid that you are talking about a totally different panel than what this thread is about!


Those tabe are on what I would call the front main panel, and yes they are VERY flimsy. Even BMW techs breaks them, at least at the beginning. I still have all of my tabs intact. The key thing is to keep those tabs "stabilized" while you work the panel to free the 2 pins-in-grommet connections. I do this by holding onto the area where the tabs are, very firmly with one hand so that the area cannot move, while working the panel with the other hand. Totally fool-proof!
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post #20 of 20 Old Jul 19th, 2019, 1:39 pm
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Re: Working Solution for LC RT Right Lower Panel Mid-section Coming Out

My 2016 R1200RTW has had this issue from day 1. My dealer even ordered me a replacement panel and it still popped loose. The best fix was replacing the grommet but on occasion it popped loose. And the idea that if you rotate the grommet it will stay put did not work either. BUT ... what I found works for me is I take the panel totally off and spray some hairspray on the grommet and the post then insert the post first before tightening the T25 screws. I also put a space on the bottom screw to it does not tighten quite as far and this works like a champ so far. 2000 miles home from Nova Scotia and still in tact.

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