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I was replacing the oil/water pump seals today and thought I would show the cardboard I use to keep track of the screws. It was really intimidating to strip the bike the first time. I bet others have some kind of aide like this. I have a couple cracked ABS tabs to fix. You can see one on the right side. I cut up a junk portable radio with an ABS case and have fixed a few cracked places by gluing-up pieces of it with ABS cement from the home stores.
The oil/water through-shaft (11 41 1 461 793, #11 in the diagrams) had a bit of corrosion where the seal touched. I chucked it up in the lathe and worked on it with 1000-grit paper. It got pretty smooth but I could still see pits that might have worn out the new seal so I committed to a new shaft at $175. I thought about filling the pits with JBWeld and smoothing them but not sure how that would hold up against the rub of the seal. Maybe I could have turned down the old shaft a bit and removed the pits and still left enough to make a tight seal. Opinions?
-Kent
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Wow it must have taken you almost as much time to organize all the screws as it did to pull it apart. I just toss them all in the lid of my tool box and sort them out later, you get to know where they go after the first time.
The new shaft was the best option in my opinion. If you equate your time trying to fix the old one to an hourly rate in dollars you will probably find that you come out ahead buying a new one. You also have the satisfaction of knowing that the new shaft will fit the new seal properly and you wont have to repeat the job again.
A little tip for next time you unzip her. I use a small low torque battery powered screw driver to remove all the screws. It really speeds up the process and now I can remove all the plastic in around 20 minutes. When I replace the screws using the powered driver I hold it loosely in my hand and as it gets tight I allow it to rotate in my hand to prevent over tightening.
 

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BMW loosely adheres to a system for the fairing screw length, and in cases where they don't you can follow the system anyway and then it'll be easier.
  • If a panel fastens directly to a threaded hole in solid metal, it's a short (12mm) screw. This is like that one above the footrests on the K12, behind the steering head on some bikes, or R1200RT glovebox hinge bolts.
  • If a panel fastens to another panel that has a clip nut, it's standard (16mm). This is because the threads on the clip nut start behind the base panel.
  • If two panels are held down to a third panel (I think the edges of the stingray are examples) the screw is long (20mm), although it doesn't need to be and BMW reverted to regular length for this on later bikes like the R1200RT. Also if screwing into a rubber wellnut it needs to be long.
When you have deep holes in the panel because it has a peculiar shape (some R1200GS Adventure), obviously that affects the screw length. And there are oddball cases like the LT screw by the glove box latch where external factors limit you to a shorter than normal screw; you just need to apply a bit of experience as well.

The T25 screws used starting in the mid-2000s are FAR superior to the 3mm allen head screws used on the earlier bikes. They used to be only $2 each but now they are something like twice that. It adds up when you are buying 40 of them.
 

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Though Anton's system is pretty foolproof, I find myself falling more into Kent's way of thinking--

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I used the above version when I did work on my LT. It came in handy. And I did curse the BMW engineers for the vast number of fasteners and the variety. "Pick a size, any size, and stick to it"
 

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From way back in 2007:

When I first started working on the LT, I printed out a pic of the side panel from the service manual and taped that to a soda case box (or beer, if you prefer :)). Then all the screws got stuck in the pic where they came from on the bike.

After a few tear downs, I gave up on the cardboard and just threw all the screws into a plastic cup. During reassembly, I do this:

Short screws - one panel into a metal clip or threaded hole

Medium screws - two panels into a metal clip or threaded hole

Long screws - into rubber well nuts

Note the factory also uses some allen head screws in certain areas (tip over wings, lower fairing panel), but most of us have swapped those to Torx long ago. The only real concern is under the oddments box lid, where you need smaller heads like on the allen screws (or just trim down a couple of Torx screws).

Once you've done it a few times, it starts to make much more sense.
These days, BMW does try to use more consistent screw sizing on newer bikes.
 

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I like your systems. I just take stuff off and put it back, varying lengths according to number of panels to go through and if there is a deep metal clip for the screws. Other screws seem to go by size. It is all of the wires that use all kinds of different connections and go everywhere that gets me. I have a strong hate love relationship.
 

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I was replacing the oil/water pump seals today and thought I would show the cardboard I use to keep track of the screws. It was really intimidating to strip the bike the first time. I bet others have some kind of aide like this. I have a couple cracked ABS tabs to fix. You can see one on the right side. I cut up a junk portable radio with an ABS case and have fixed a few cracked places by gluing-up pieces of it with ABS cement from the home stores.
The oil/water through-shaft (11 41 1 461 793, #11 in the diagrams) had a bit of corrosion where the seal touched. I chucked it up in the lathe and worked on it with 1000-grit paper. It got pretty smooth but I could still see pits that might have worn out the new seal so I committed to a new shaft at $175. I thought about filling the pits with JBWeld and smoothing them but not sure how that would hold up against the rub of the seal. Maybe I could have turned down the old shaft a bit and removed the pits and still left enough to make a tight seal. Opinions?
-Kent
I just lay the fasteners on the floor under each part as I remove them. As long as you don’t have a cat that likes to bat them around, it is fast and efficient. It worked for my clutch project and I lost no screws and had none left over.
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