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R1200RT windshield support arms-Replacements made-!!!


CopsRT

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The revised prototype is done and has been test fit and works great. We tried a little experiment and took a new one and put the bushing end (where they like to break) in a vise and by hand you could break it. We then took the improved one and had to use a crescent wrench and bend it back and forth 4 times before it finally broke.

 

They are milled out of a piece of 2024 Aluminum and will be powder coated black. You have to remove your original plastic bushings and transfer them to the new ones. The cost of the BMW ones are listed at $62.00 each. The cost of these are $40.00 each plus shipping.

 

Contact info is:

Don Westra

West Tool & Design Inc.

1220 North Tower Road

Fergus Falls, MN 56537

Phone: 218-739-4990

Fax: 218-739-4989

email: Don@westtoolff.com

Website: www.westtoolff.com

 

Don said e-mail orders would be probably the easiest and they are set up to take Visa and Mastercard.

 

 

Andrew, Cell: 218-770-0796

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have folks received email replies on this? I sent an email a few days back to try and order a pair, with no response as of yet.

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I emailled Don on June 8 and received the following reply - nothing since.

 

"Thank you for your order. We are scheduled to ship in 2 weeks. I will e-mail you with an exact amount when I can confirm the ship date."

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I talked with Don today and he just sent 18 sets off for powder coating. He will then be getting shipping costs for the varios US locations along with out of country locations.

 

Andy

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OK, help me out here - is this for cosmetics only, or for other reasons?

 

Quite a few owners have experienced breakage of the factory support arms after installing aftermarket windshields. The original arms appear to be pretty marginal, in terms of their ability to withstand a higher wind load.

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Do the upper or lower arms break or is it both? I hate to buy all four arms if say all the breakage noted is limited to the upper arms. I'm also presuming the left and right side are different.

Thanks. Bill

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Just the upper so far. On the photo where the black plastic bushing is there is a narrow spot and that is where they have been breaking. And yes, there is unfortunately a right and a left.

 

Andy

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  • 4 weeks later...

I talked with Don today and it sounds like 15 sets have been shipped. Any of you who have gotten them, any feedback??

I know that I am very happy with my replacements.

 

Andy

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I talked with Don today and it sounds like 15 sets have been shipped. Any of you who have gotten them, any feedback??

 

Received mine yesterday and they look great.. Will post evaluation after I get them mounted and put some miles on them..

 

TinMan.

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Called and orderd Tuesday last week. Got a call on Thursday that it was shipped. Came on Saturday. Instaled on Sunday. Fit and finish are great. Service was wounderful. Thanks for the info. clap.gif

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Still waiting for mine. Sent a check about a week ago. Fixed the broken one with JB Weld. Can't trust it to hold much longer.

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Got mine two days ago. Fitted yesterday and no comparison between originals and Don's replacements. No windscreen flutter even in high winds. Thanks, Don, for a job very well done. Thanks also to Andrew Olson (CopRT) who helped me make contact with Don.

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The install is pretty strait forward. Just remove the old ones (remember to transfer the plastic washer thingies from the stock ones), and replace them with the new ones. There is a right and a left.

 

Andy

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Yes, there is no change in the function of the windshield. The new arms are just made from a stronger materiel and a little thicker in the documented weak area where others, including myself, have had them break.

 

Andy

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Spoke too soon. Got 'em & their great. Simple in design and easy to install. Went for a 600 miler this weekend, and didn't worry about my (taller) CBaily windscreen.

 

The original units have a couple of small indents in them (probably to hold grease). Could be the "weak link".

 

I used plenty of grease on the new arms.

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I got mine and installed them before leaving on a trip to Alaska - I'm now in Anchorage. They have worked perfectly with the large Aeroflow screen. Easy install. Thanks for getting the improved part available my stock ones broke during a trip last year (replaced under warranty).

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As a Tool & Die guy, I have to ask why, if you're going through all the trouble to really end this problem once and for all, would you chose to make these arms out of 2024 aluminum? Yes, it's cheap and readily-available, but so is the stuff BMW used. Why not 6061 or 7075? Or better yet, stainless? I'm just thinking about some of the "barn door" screens that folks have been mounting on them...

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would you chose to make these arms out of 2024 aluminum? Yes, it's cheap and readily-available, but so is the stuff BMW used. Why not 6061 or 7075? Or better yet, stainless?

 

2024 has excellent fatigue resistence. Its commonly used in aircraft components.

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Received my replacement arms in the mail Saturday and didn't have time to look at them until Sunday evening. I can't decide from looking at the old arms in place how much disassembly I will need to do to get to the old arms and instal the new ones. Any input from those of you that have already installed the new ones?

 

Thanks,

 

 

Dan Forker

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15 minute job. We installed ours yesterday afternoon, here's what I remember:

 

- remove all torx bolts holding windscreen on. be careful not to drop windscreen (I did, no damage)

 

- pull of windscreen frame mount (black plastic piece over both arm structures; it just pulls off)

 

- remove 2 black-coated torx screws on the top of the dashboard.

 

- remove both mirrors (just pull straight back), then unscrew both torx screws holding dashboard face on. Now that dashboard piece will peel back far enough to see the top portion of the mounts.

 

- Pull off the circlips that are holding on the short 1" or so "axle" for the front/lower mount on each arm. We used a small flathead screwdriver.

 

- Remove the axle; I get it out by putting a small awl on it and (very lightly) tapping with a rubber mallet.

 

- Peel back the dashboard piece, and remove the circlips on the axles that hold the top/back part of the windscreen mounts. Remove the axle the same way (I use the same awl, and the rubber mallet to very lightly tap it out). Make sure to keep hold of the spring, and take note of how the spring is attached on the mount.

 

- With the support arms now completely free, just remove the bushings (used a small flathead screwdrive to put right in the middle and twist)

 

- Pull back the dash panel (an extra set of hands helps here), and install one of the new arms with the spring attached correctly. Slide in the axle, this takes some doing to get right. You may want to grease this axle before replacing it. I use the awl and a rubber mallet to lightly tap it all the way back in, then replace the circlip on the end to hold it in. Reinstall the other side as well.

 

- replace the bushing onto one of the arms, then replace the axle that holds it to the windshield support frame. (Regrease the axle as necessary). Once in, use the circlip to lock into place. Repeat for the other side.

 

- Reinstall mirrors, reinstall screws on top of dash, reinstall windscreen base support, reinstall windshield.

 

- Have a beer.

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First, i would like to thank Don for a well made product. Second, thank you aciurczak for the detailed installation instructions; those instructions saved me time and aggravation. i intend on switching windscreens to something a bit larger for winter travel. i'll keep my eyes open to the classified section of BMWSportTouring. thanks to all with your input on making this an enjoyable project. see you on the road.

 

ken petrochko

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes - a 15 minute job if you don't lose the C clips and have to run to the hardware store and get more!!!!

 

Seriously, I need some help from any one who has done the support arm swap because I think I messed up the spring install.

I've got everything working fine except that when the windshield retracts to full down position, the spring ends (the part that hooks over the arm) rise off the arm and extend up a bit. If I raise the shield, the springs function fine and seat themselves back on the arm but it doesn't look right - I don't recall ever seeing the spring ends rise up on the stock support arms. When doing the install, I noticed that the opposite end of the springs had a kind of a hook/tab down but I could not find any place that seemed to be a mating point for hooking that tab up - so I just left that spring end loose.

Any help appreciated.

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...the springs function fine and seat themselves back on the arm but it doesn't look right...

 

Yeah, you futzed it up somehow. grin.gif On mine the top portion of the spring that wraps around the arm itself to hold it down, is in contact with the arm and providing tension from all the way down to all the way up. There must be an insert or tab that I placed the other end of the spring assembly on to hold it in place, but I'm not taking the bike apart again to confirm. cool.gif

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I just did mine last night. On the back of the spring, there is small raised clip that catches on the OUTSIDE of the cup that holds the spring/arm assembly. The easiest way to do is to leave the spring OFF the arm when you reassemble and the lift the spring back up and over the support arm after you have the pin and C clip reinstalled.

 

Mike

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thanks for the tip. I actually just finished fixing mine - I took the front end apart and realized that the tab on the end of the spring has to go over the top and catch on the outside of the cup - DUH!!!!

Anyway its all working fine now.

Record time on my install - with all the repeat work, running to the store for replacement C clips, about 3 hours.

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Thanks for the install instructions. They made the job go pretty easy. I installed them because I wanted to reduce the vibration of my windshield in the down position.

 

When I had my bike apart I think I found the reason for the vibration. There are two rubber bump stops the windshield carriage rests on in the down position. On my bike, one side was completely chewed up and not doing much good. The other side was completely missing. So...I ordered a couple of replacements - I'm thinking these $7.00 bits of rubber will fix my windshield vibration problem.

 

If anybody else is having vibration trouble with the windshield in the down position, check out your bump stops.

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  • 10 months later...

Well, one of the lower arms broke. Same exact type of failure as the upper arms. Of course I noticed it 15 minutes into a 24-hr rally. Grrr.... Anyway, about to put a call in to Don to see if he's considered making stronger replacements for the lower arms before I order a set of OEM's with the same cruddy pot-metal.

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Just spoke with Don, I'm the first guy to call. Lucky me. :dopeslap: So, no, he doesn't make replacement lower arms yet, but if more folks start to have a similar failure, he'd certainly consider it. Off to order OEM's...

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I had 3 failures on the upper arms (1-left, 2 rights). Two were replaced under warranty before I purchased new arms from Don at West Tool. The installation was pretty easy and so far so good.

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Let us all know what the part # is and cost. I had taken in a stock piece to Don and that's what he started with to make his replacements. Once you have a stock replacement part, I am sure Don could duplicate it with the stronger materiel.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Well, it turns out there isn't an individual part number for the lower arms like there is for the upper arms. Parts guy at the dealership didn't believe this, so he spoke at length with BMW, and they confirmed it for him/us. To replace the lower arms, you need to order the entire lower assembly (part # 46637681429). Here's the diagram:

 

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=0388&mospid=48423&btnr=46_0918&hg=46&fg=55

 

It's part #9 in that diagram. It's $260. So my shop is going to order it and replace it under warranty. OK by me, but not sure how many times they will do this if it breaks again.

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AdirondackJack

Hey Guys,

Heres a little heads up on the new upper replacement arms from Don. I just ordered and installed a set from him. I like everything about them with one exception: the set that I received resulted in the following situation: when I installed the right hand strut by inserting the oem pin through it, it was so tight it bound up. Make sure that your new strut replacement is well lubricated with white lithium grease or an acceptable alternative, and that it does not bind when you articulate it. In my case the problem was remedied using a rat-tail file and about ten minutes of filing away on the inside of the aperture hole at one end of the strut. Don't be afraid, there is plenty of material there that you can file some of it away to perfect the fit. After doing this simple alteration, all was ok and the strut moved freely and smoothly. The splined end (last 3/8 of an inch of the oem pin) should bind and be held firmly in place, in order for the strut to be installed properly.

 

Best,

Dave R.

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  • 3 years later...

Now replaced both of mine, the instructions above saved me so much time and pain - 18 minutes to do both (including giving the baby a bottle of milk).

 

Thanks to all for the great advice on here.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hey Guys,

Heres a little heads up on the new upper replacement arms from Don. I just ordered and installed a set from him. I like everything about them with one exception: the set that I received resulted in the following situation: when I installed the right hand strut by inserting the oem pin through it, it was so tight it bound up. Make sure that your new strut replacement is well lubricated with white lithium grease or an acceptable alternative, and that it does not bind when you articulate it. In my case the problem was remedied using a rat-tail file and about ten minutes of filing away on the inside of the aperture hole at one end of the strut. Don't be afraid, there is plenty of material there that you can file some of it away to perfect the fit. After doing this simple alteration, all was ok and the strut moved freely and smoothly. The splined end (last 3/8 of an inch of the oem pin) should bind and be held firmly in place, in order for the strut to be installed properly.

 

Best,

Dave R.

 

This post is really for the archives.

 

I know this is an old thread, and that the binding problem with the West Tool part has probably been rectified. However, I was installing my struts (shipped 7/9/08, must be the same batch as AdirondackJack's) and had the same problem.

 

For me, the solution was to purchase an 8.1mm drill bit from McMaster-Carr. Now the clearance is the same as it was with my stock arm with 20,000 miles on it.

 

If your local hardware store carries wire size drill bits, an "O" (that's the letter O, not zero) bit would probably work. I can tell you that an 8.0mm (0.3150") bit left me with a smidge more friction in the assembly than I wanted. The 8.1mm bit (0.3189") has a veeery small bit of play in it. The O bit (0.3160) would fall between the two.

 

Hope that this information helps someone.

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  • 3 months later...

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