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Torque values; BMW Airhead Motorcycles
Copyright, 2014, R. Fleischer
torquevalues.htm-71B

Be sure to read part 71A, if you have not previously, before using this part 71B.


To convert torque wrench settings/values between systems of measurement:
    Nm x 0.7376 = foot-pounds
    foot-pounds x 1.356 = Nm
    Mkp x 7.23 = foot-pounds
    inch-ounces = 141.6 x Nm    
    Mkp x 9.81 = Nm
    Foot-pounds x 192 = inch-ounces

   ONE inch-pound is the same as 1.1525 CmKg, or 0.1129 Nm
   ONE Ncm is 0.0885 inch-pound.

 

LOCTITE:
When threads are clean and dry, and then MOST types of Loctite are used, Loctite causes approximately a 15% increase in actual torque (Loctite acts as a very mild lubricant, this is typically the max effect). Because of the safety factor of parts strengths and typical usages, this effect of Loctite is usually ignored, as far as torque wrench settings are concerned.   

ANTISEIZE COMPOUND: 
When using antiseize compound...you should, and in many cases (such as spark plug threads) MUST, allow for the change in effective torque (near 30% with antiseize compound).


Nuts, bolts: grading systems & standard torque values:
Fittings from Germany are specified by a different grading system from that used in the U.S. for American SAE items.   Fittings from Germany are Metric, and these bolts are marked on the heads by a number that corresponds to the over-all strength rating.  Tables listing certain specifications such as plating of steel bolts and those then screwed into, say, aluminum, are not a normal item as shown.    Ratings (grades) used in this DIN system FOR BOLTS and SCREWS are, in increasing order of strength:  5.6; 6.8; 6.9; 8.8; 10.9; and 12.9.  The 8.8 is a fairly strong metal, and is quite common on BMW's.  Whilst 8.8 is commonly available in hardware stores, many such stores carry INFERIOR bolts, often unmarked...and in SOME instances you can NOT depend on the markings!   BMW uses some bolts rated even stronger than 8.8 in SOME PLACES....shock absorber mounts, brakes, rods, crankshaft-to-flywheel...etc.   I suggest using BMW-supplied parts!  Don't even think about using non-BMW fasteners for the driveshaft U-joint, flywheel, rods....

There are standardized tables for recommended tightening torque for fasteners, these common tables have the size of the fastener (M6, M8, M12, etc.) and the optimum tightening torque for the grade.  Once in awhile those tables need to be consulted.   In the DIN (German standards) system, bolts are assumed to be phosphate treated, no after-treatment, not galvanized.   There is, or may be, information on oiled versus not oiled.  Separate tables for cadmium plating are available (approx. 30% less is the recommended torque for cadmium plating).    Cadmium plated parts are hardly available anymore in/from Europe.  Tables are different for NUTS; and nuts are rated as 8, 10, and 12 in strength....and the same sort of messiness occurs with plating, lubrication, etc.  It can get complicated, with a nut and bolt of different ratings.   As a general rule, there are some sort of standards for all the various types of headed screws, bolts, etc.   I
f there is no specification by BMW for your specific fastener, you can generally use standardized values.  I CAN usually supply needed information, it is way too extensive to be listed in this article...BUT.....  in tightening fasteners on your BMW, use the information below or in your books (pay attention to wrongly converted values in various literature, that is, always use the metric values and convert to American numbers if you have no metric calibrated wrench indications), and if something is not listed, ask on the Airheads or other appropriate LIST.
 

Cadmium plating and BMW changing, without notice, head sizes of bolts:
BMW is shipping parts that are NO LONGER cadmium plated due to European environmental rules.  These non-plated parts tend to RUST!   These parts are completely safe at the original specified torque as used with cadmium plated parts, assuming the original specs used are in Nm.  Try to obtain old original parts...in most instances the part numbers are the same, and the dealership might have the cadmium plated ones in the box...ASK.    SOME of these parts need anti-seize, be cautious.

In some circumstances BMW is shipping bolts with 1 wrench size smaller heads, under the SAME part number.  A dealership MAY have BOTH sizes of bolt heads in the same box on their shelves.   I offer this caution, because you might not have 18 and 16 mm wrenches in your tool kit!...the 18 being substituted for 19mm, the 16 for 17 mm.  K bikes don't generally have this problem...most started with the even numbered sizes.  Note that later model BMW motorcycles are using the smaller heads, generally.  There is no need to carry special sizes of wrenches, if you know about such things, and thereby you use the original sizes.


BMW literature errors...often carried forward into Clymers and Haynes books:
BMW of North America published a Service Bulletin, Volume II, NO. 23, Dated 3/82.     I will quote SOME from that bulletin:
"May we advise you that from now on, any published BMW conversions found in brackets immediately behind the millimeter figures in all service literature (riders manuals, shop manuals, etc.)
should not be used.  Recent experience has shown that use of these figures has caused some major, expense errors by either a dealer service department, a customer, or an independent machine shop.   Please inform all customers upon purchase of a shop manual, and also those customers that you are aware of that have one in their possession."   This was signed by Herb Neas, National Service Manager.

NOTE, from me, Snowbum:   There are errors above if you are a strict interpreter (millimeter should be metric Nm for instance).   What all this REALLY means:
When BMW has a published torque figure, it is 'usually' OK as shown in Nm,
but do NOT use BMW's foot-pounds figures.  I strongly suggest that you calculate them yourself (Nm x 0.74 is foot-pounds).  Clymers, Haynes, etc., have used BMW's figures for Nm and foot-pounds, and thus MAY have continued to carry forward the errors!....so be cautious.   I personally know of errors in even the Factory Workshop
Manuals.....see article on this website: 
Torquespecs&problems.htm.

 

Section 11-Engine:
    Cylinder heads:  Evenly cross-torque, staging at ~10, ~18, and then CAREFULLY to a final value of 25. NEVER exceed 27 foot-pounds.  I USUALLY use a final value target of 25 foot-pounds for ALL models...even though I know PRE-Nikasil models are specified at 29-31 foot-pounds in old literature.   I do NOT consider it safe to torque higher than a TRUE 27 foot-pounds on ANY model, and THAT is with a known GOOD torque wrench!   The 4 rocker arm nut threads are to be oily, and if they squeak, remove nut, oil immediately, and immediately retighten.   After the first torqueing after the heads have been off, for each later re-torqueing, back off the
2 head nuts only a very small amount, a tiny fraction of one turn, one nut at a time, and retorque. Do same for all 4 rocker nuts, but back off about 1/4 to bit more of a turn, one at a time unless doing end play work (then do both of ONE rocker at one time).    The idea is that you will not have more than one or two of the nuts loose, in comparison to the others, for very long.   Time is involved, as I think the metal will move some over time, so don't leave things unbalanced and loose.

 
  Spark plugs:  the specification is 16-18 foot-pounds for clean and dry threads for the 3/4 inch reach stock top plugs. SOME old manuals will show values as high as 21.7.   DO NOT use such high values!!    When using (or if previously used) anti-seize compound, reduce the 16-18 foot-pound figures; I use about
14-15 foot-pounds.  For those with dual-plug conversions, you might have short 1/2" reach or the 3/4" reach plugs at the bottom, depending on if a washer or welding was done and what size plug was selected.  For 3/4" reach 14 mm bottom plugs which must be used with welding or 1/4" washer-spacer, use the same values as for the top plugs.  For bottom 1/2" reach
14 mm plugs, specification is about 12-14 foot-pounds on clean and dry threads....be very cautious, use about 10-12 foot-pounds if anti-seize is used; you may have to increase this SLIGHTLY to get a good contact/crush on the crush washer.  If you have 12 mm 1/2" reach bottom plugs, use a bit less and with antiseize compound. 

Anti-seize compound works into metal, so be cautious if you install spark plugs without such compound if the compound was used previously.   Doing it by feel on a fresh crush washer works OK, provided you are not ham-fisted.
    

M6 nut on the end of the automatic advance unit on models up through 1978:  4 foot-pounds, which is 48 inch-pounds.  Be careful!  DO NOT USE NOR DEPEND on the accuracy of a 75 or 100 foot pound clicker wrench at such a low setting (even if it can be set that low).  DO NOT USE A FOOT-POUND WRENCH.   Do it by hand, or do it with an INCH-POUND wrench.  Going over 48 INCH-pounds is really not necessary. It is perfectly OK to use less than 48 INCH-pounds.  It is good form to use a FRESH waverly washer. It is not terribly UNusual to find that someone has over-torqued this nut; yet the camshaft threaded stub end is not yet broken (and maybe not yet cracked).  Thus, the threads could already be weakened.     Be very cautious.  I always torque this nut by hand, with a very small 4 (max 6) inch wrench. If you do not have a good feel for torque, especially torque that breaks things, use a torque wrench.  Use 38-40 INCH-pounds to start with, and a fresh waverly washer.  Remember:  My personal limit as shown above is that 4 foot pounds; and when that is multiplied by 12 that means 48 INCH-pounds. If you have an INCH-OUNCE wrench, guess how you calculate inch-ounces?   yes, the conversion factor is near the top of this page.    Your day is ruined if you snap off the tip!  SO: be very careful!!!

Rocker arm adjustment lock nut: 13-16 foot-pounds (some say 12, and I agree)
Valve cover center acorn nut: 14 foot-pounds (I am cautious, and do it by feel)
Outer cover, front of engine:  about 5.5 foot-pounds
Engine to frame:  55 foot-pounds is reasonable, all models, although there are differences on the books.

Crankshaft rod bolts:  except as below, ALWAYS new ones, 36 foot-pounds.
                                    R80GS, R80R, R100GS, R100R:  15 foot-pounds, then 40 degrees more.

Flywheel bolts:  ALWAYS new ones are recommended, but NEVER reuse the early smaller /5 and early
                          /6 type bolts
, which were 10 mm diameter.  These are clean & dry torques, except as
                          noted.
                          /5 (smaller diameter, 10 mm bolts):  44 foot-pounds
                          1974:  two specifications, 45 for R60 and R75, then 53 on R90 series, but I simply use
                                     52-55 foot-pounds.
                          1975:  & later, early specifications, 11 mm bolts:  80 foot-pounds is my personal
                                    maximum. For this, I have the threads, male & female, clean & appearing dry, but
                                    there could be a faint sheen from very slight oiliness. 

                                    For just the 1981 & later:
                                    BMW's latest specification change per S.I. 11-049-91 (2495); this can also be
                                    seen on the 12/92 fiche on page 3, illustration G23.   The SI stated that while the
                                    flywheel bolts were previously at ~75 foot-pounds (100 Nm), they were now to be
                                    at 90 foot-pounds (125 Nm), cleaned threads, & the threads were to be OILED!
                                    BMW specifically said that the bolt limits would NOT reach their limit of elasticity
                                    at that torque, & could be REUSED! I will NOT tighten them that tight.  Makes me
                                    very nervous!  However, some Pro's do, & I have heard of no problems reported.
                                    It is YOUR CHOICE.  NOTE also that this is in regards to the 11 mm bolts, &
                                    applies to 1981+ models....certainly not the smaller /5 & early /6  10 mm bolts;
                                    which need replacement upon each use, which unstretched 11 mm do not, &
                                    those 10 mm bolts in the /5 and early /6 are absolutely not to be torqued to such
                                    high values.  

                                    There have been a lot of different specifications on flywheel bolts over the years.
                                    There were two lengths of 10 mm bolts used.  I use, clean & dry, torques of
                                    42-45 foot-pounds on the 1973 & earlier engines.  For the 1974 I use 52-55 ftlbs.
                                    For 1975 and later up to the 1981 models, I use about 75 to 80 ftlbs.
                                    I use about 80 ftlbs, clean & dry threads, on 1981+. Yes, that is true, I don't oil
                                    them myself...but, usually, there is, after cleaning, a faint trace of oil film, typically
                                    hardly-seen.
  Am I OK with 75-80 ft lbs on well-oiled bolts: YES.

Oil cooler hose 17 mm banjo nuts:  absolute maximum 14.5 foot-pounds.  I suggest 13 foot-pounds,
                                    rechecked overnight.  HINT:  do not let outer hose be in contact with the fairing if
                                    you have a fairing...vibration might loosen the banjo.

Oil pan mounting bolts:  book values 6.5-8 (some books show to 8.5) foot-pounds.......I suggest less,
                                    perhaps 5.5-6, carefully tighten in a staggered cross-pattern, starting at the
                                    center ones.  Do tightening very evenly. NO GOO!  Put the lettered side UP.
                                    There is supposedly a heat-activated glue on these.  The old cork gaskets are
                                    NLA.  I do these bolts BY HAND, not torque wrench.   YOU may want a torque
                                    torque wrench.   MOST torque wrenches of the type that have a range of maybe
                                    5 to 75 foot-pounds, can
NOT be used for this, as their accuracy is NOT good,
                                    nor is the FEEL for the click. If you plan to use a torque wrench, use an
                                    INCH-pound wrench.  Multiplying my 5.5-6 foot-pounds by 12, you can see that I
                                    see that I would be recommending 66 to 72 INCH-pounds.
HINT! Before removing
                                    the pan, TIGHTEN all the bolts to about 80 INCH-POUNDS.  If they tighten
                                    properly, good.  If they show signs of bad threads, note which ones, so you can
                                    fix the threads with a Helicoil, after the pan is removed.


Engine oil pan drain:  20-22 foot-pounds (book values have been variously from 20-25).  I tend to use the
                                   low side of specification for this pan drain bolt.

Oil filter inner cap bolt: 15-20 foot-pounds (some books may say 30, I feel that is too high).

Oil filter outer cover plate:  no matter if thermostat or GS or plain:  not over 7.5 foot-pounds. I always
                                            do these by FEEL, not a torque wrench.  Tighten them in stages, evenly,
                                            back and forth.  NO NEED to have them too tight!

Oil canister central pipe:  Install with Loctite, quite tightly, using a custom-made mandrel or carefully
                                         ground very broad thick tipped screwdriver.  On the cooler models, have the
                                         pipe end 3 mm proud of the engine outside wall surface, as you leave it. 
                                         Allow the Loctite a day or so to cure.  

Oil pressure sending switch:  no specification on early models, later models from about 1985 or so
                                               specify 18 foot-pounds.  Use 12 point deep socket, moderately tight by
                                               feel.  Do NOT over-tighten.

Oil pickup bolts:  6.5 foot-pounds, Loctite BLUE

Oil PUMP cover:   88 INCH-pounds; probably 72 is enough.   LOCTITE BLUE.  If you have the Phillips
                             screws replace the cover and screws.  Read about that at FlywheelRemoval.htm

Camshaft flange bearing & front main bearing:  11-13 foot-pounds, but some models from about
                                                                            1985 are 18 foot-pounds.

Chain cover:  5.2-5.9 foot-pounds (62-71 INCH-pounds)
        
    
Section 12-Engine electrics:
   
Spark plugs:  see Section 11, above.

   
Centrifugal advance: old style, single M6 nut on end of camshaft, see section 11.

   
Starter motor bolts:  35 foot-pounds is the published specification, but this is probably excessive. 
        
                            Be very cautious that the starter is solidly & squarely in place as you
                                     tighten.   Read Bosch-Valeo (which covers several other brands too).


   
Alternator rotor allen bolt:  book value is 16.6-19.5 foot-pounds, I suggest ~14 as a maximum.
                                               The rotor-to-engine-crankshaft are taper-fits. The mating surfaces must
                                               be absolutely clean & free from any contamination, including oil, even
                                               fingerprints. Do NOT use gasoline in cleaning the tapers.
    

Section 13/16-Carburetors and associated air and fuel inlet parts:
   
Cylinder head stubs:   10 foot-pounds, Loctite RED. NOTE:  I do this by feel, & the torque I use is
                                        likely rather higher than 9, although I have never measured it.  I  heat the head,
                                        and freeze the stub, add Loctite RED just before I assemble them, using a
                                        strap wrench or other tool, and QUITE TIGHT! 



Section 18-Exhaust system:
     Exhaust pipe finned nuts:
  Prior to 1981 the specification was 101-130 foot-pounds, later it went to
                                                145-159 foot-pounds.   I have seen even higher published figures for
                                                1981+.  
There is NO GOOD REASON to have these nuts so tight.  I
                                                don't know how tight I put them, but I suspect it is not over 90 ftlbs.  I
                                                never do them with a torque wrench, I always do it by feel, a decent
                                                grunt, using a proper finned wrench, & NOT too tight, & I ALWAYS use
                                                use anti-seize compound.  Failure to loosen these nuts & to clean the
                                                threads & to
use fresh anti-seize compound on the threads yearly will
                                                eventually cause you a lot of anguish.  Clean and coat the rings too.
                                                Rings should have their splits towards the head, that is, the tapers should
                                                face each other. 

                                               
If, in loosening the finned nut, it suddenly binds-up, then do NOT
                                                go further trying to loosen with more force. 
By using heat, & a
                                                penetrating oil like acetone and ATF (automatic transmission fluid
                                                50-50, shake before using), several times, maybe over a week's
                                                time, you may be able to remove the nuts withOUT cutting them!
                                                Try SLIGHT tightening and loosening, as appropriate, flooding the
                                               
threads as best possible. Sometimes heating the nut/port area
                                                before applying the acetone/ATF fluid, will help, as it may draw-in
                                                the fluid as it cools.

                                                If the finned nut will not come off, after all the above is tried, do
                                                NOT FORCE IT.  You must now CUT the nut off.  The nut is MUCH
                                               
cheaper than repairing or replacing the port threads!!! This having
                                                to cut them off, or otherwise forcible loosening and thereby ruining
                                                the port threads, will NOT happen if you maintain them, and do not
                                                over-tighten them!!!   There is an article on this website,
                                               
Exhaustnuts on these finned nuts!   Use of lots of an anti-seize
                                                compound is MANDATORY!!!   Cutting the nuts off requires a
                                                special technique.

      Exhaust system 'clips'....pre-silencer (1985+):  15 foot-pounds
    


Section 21-23 Clutch and transmission:
   
Transmission drain:  14-18.5 foot pounds

    
Transmission fill:   20-22 foot pounds

   
Transmission to engine:  about 15 foot-pounds, somewhat more is OK.  Books will show values from
                                            14-24 depending on the book (1981+ is 24 foot-pounds)....and some
                                             confused Nm with foot-pounds.

   
Transmission shifter lever:  13 foot-pounds

   
Transmission cover screws:  6  foot-pounds

   
Transmission output flange-to-U-joint:  29 foot-pounds.  This requires an adapter tool of some sort.
                                                                  These bolts are sturdy & strong, & a good feeling of 'good &
                                                                   tight' from a common 6" 12 point box end wrench is probably
                                                                   OK.  DO NOT use the split lockwashers that were supplied
                                                                   on earlier models except in emergency if you don't have the
                                                                   shorter replacement bolts. This website has the number for
                                                                   the proper slightly shorter bolts, which are NOT used with
                                                                   washers.  Install clean, dry, & Loctite BLUE on the threads,
                                                                   just a drop or so, before assembly. SEE section 26, below,
                                                                   for expanded information.

   
Transmission output flange center large nut:  148-173 foot-pounds, probably OK to even 190.....in
                                                                   any case, absolutely clean & dry (this is a taper fit).....and
                                                                   do not clean with gasoline.  I use 160.
       
   
Kickstarter models cotter nut/crank:  15 foot-pounds

   
4 speed transmission shift fork bolts: 17 foot-pounds

   
Clutch lever adjusting screw locknut:  15 foot-pounds

   
Clutch bolts (to flywheel, early models):  16 or 17 foot-pounds in books up to 1980.  Originally the /5
                                                                     had 14.   From 1981 with the new style clutch, 15-16
                                                                     foot-pounds.

   
Selector fork/cam bracket:  18 foot-pounds (from 1981, 14 foot-pounds)

    Neutral switch on 5 speed transmissions:   This is not specified. Use a DEEP socket to install
                                                except where side facing terminals prevent that.

    


Section 26-Driveshaft and swing arm:

   
Driveshaft fill:  10 MAXIMUM foot-pounds
   
Driveshaft drain:  10-12 MAXIMUM foot-pounds

        NOTE!....I almost never actually use a torque wrench on the drain, fill, and inspection holes.  This is
         particularly so on the driveshaft drain; and MOST particularly so on the later drive's oil level
         inspection plug at the rear of the drive....it is very easy to strip the threads, even if using a
         torque wrench. 
There is NO need for those to be overly tight.   Please use any listed torque values
         with some common sense. 
NOTE that this later type rear drive type inspection plug torque is listed
         below, in section 33.


   
4 Driveshaft U-joint bolts, non-Paralever models:  29 foot pounds, NO lockwashers.  Use
              Loctite
BLUE on clean & dry threads.  If you have lock-washers, get rid of them, & use the very
              slightly shorter later bolts.   Early models like the /5 were specified at 18 foot-pounds, that was
              with the longer bolts with split lock-washers.  NO bike should have those long bolts & those
              lock-washers, the 18 foot-pounds is listed here as a courtesy.  
If one of those old lock-washers
              breaks, or somehow a bolt loosens, the rest soon will & MAY destroy the back side of the
              the transmission.  If your BMW dealer insists that BMW has gone back to using lock-washers,
              ignore that advice; use the shorter, later, bolts!!!!  Do NOT use substitute bolts!  Do NOT use
              hardware store bolts!

   
Driveshaft coupling nut (bell gear):  180 foot-pounds is the maximum and probably 150 is OK.

   
Swing arm allen-recess adjusters:  These threaded pins with the center hole are to be preloaded to
                                                            15 foot-pounds, then backed off slightly, then finished in only
                                                            the tightening direction, leaving them at 7.5 (9 max) foot-pounds.

   
Swing arm adjuster 27 mm (or 1-1/16") lock nuts (STEEL nuts):  72-77 foot-pounds.  Use a
                                                            properly squared off and proper diameter tool.   See
tools.htm

   
Paralever:
       
Preloading the pivot shafts:  15 foot-pounds, then, back off, then retighten to 7.5 foot-pounds;
                                                      locknuts to 75-80 foot-pounds

        
Left-hand bearing pivot stub:    110 foot-pounds

       
Right-hand bearing pivot shaft:  5.5 foot-pounds

       
Right-hand bearing pivot shaft lock nut:  77 foot-pounds

        BMW specifies using locking compounds on the stubs and nuts.  See my other articles for what I
            think about that, and which to use.
          

 
Section 31/32-Steering, forks, bars, controls on bars:

There are differences between various models ...particularly the GS, -R, that are not shown here, or the list would be very lengthy.  

   
Fork drain nuts:  16.6-18.6 foot pounds.  Probably one should just use 17 foot pounds for all to 1980.

   
Top cap nut, center tube, also called Crown Nut and Centering Nut:  approximately 80-95
                                                   foot-pounds; some books say 88-96 foot-pounds.
  
    T
op of fork tubes 'nut' and top spring retainer:  ~80 foot-pounds.

   
R80R, R100R, GS, top sleeve/locknut: 48 foot-pounds

   
M8 x 1 nut at the bottom of some forks, that holds the damper:  ~15-17 foot-pounds.
  
   
Lower fork yoke stanchion clamp (lower triple clamp):  25 foot-pounds.  Some variances, see your
                                                                                           book.

   
Bottom caps on the lowers:  specifications have varied, some say 59-73 foot-pounds; others say
                                                  87-93 foot-pounds, I do it by feel.

   
Damper (rod retainer nut):  early bikes 17 foot-pounds; 1981 and later 25 foot-pounds

   
Piston plugs:  18 foot-pounds

   
Damper slider tube, and force brace, 1985+:  11 foot-pounds

   
Axle clamp bolts (pinch bolts):  about 10-12 foot-pounds

   
Axle nut:  25 (35 maximum) foot-pounds

   
Axle, late models, that use an allen bolt and not a nut:  25 foot-pounds

   
Clamp ring bolt:  8 foot-pounds

   
Fender brace upper:  16 footpounds

   
Fender brace, lower: 1.5-1.8 foot pounds

   
Fork brace, GS:  13 foot-pounds

   
Fork filler plugs:   Varies with models: 6.5-10 foot-pounds

   
Handlebar nuts:  15 foot-pounds
    

    Steering bearing preload adjustment:  This should be done by road test, per my instructions
                                                 elsewhere's on this site.  But, there IS a specification, and it is 30 (+-2)
                                                
INCH-pounds.  This is the force to continue moving the entire fork, after
                                                 once started moving.  If you INSIST on using a torque wrench for this,
                                                 ask me how to modify one of your existing tool tray tools.
    


Section 33-Rear Drive and rear shock absorbers:

   
Rear drive drain: 16 foot pounds (18 maximum)

   
Rear drive fill:  20 foot pounds (maximum).

   
Late model rear drive oil level inspection hole:  This is only found on late models, & is a small hex
                                 bolt located half-way up/down the REAR arc of the rear drive. BE CAREFULL!...   
                                 5 to 8 foot pounds MAXIMUM.  Do it by feel, be careful.  If using a torque wrench,
                                 use an accurate inch-pound wrench, and I suggest not going over 60 inch-pounds.
                                 Some never remove this plug.

                                 I almost never actually use a torque wrench on the drain, fill and inspection
                                 holes.  This is particularly so on the driveshaft drain; and MOST particularly
                                 so on the later drives that have the oil level inspection plug at the rear of the
                                 drive....it is very easy to strip those oil inspection plug threads, even if using
                                 a torque wrench.  There is NO need for those to be overly tight.   Please use
                                 my listed torque values with some common sense. 


   
Rear drive to driveshaft housing:  35 MAXIMUM foot-pounds is what I use on these 4 nuts.   There
                                are differing specifications for them in the various literature.  Up through 1984, but
                                excluding the G/S and ST, 47 Nm (35 foot-pounds).  The G/S and ST in some books
                                are shown as 65 Nm. Generally, the books show most 1985 (some from 1986)
                                models to use 55 Nm. ASK ON THE AIRLEADS LIST ABOUT 'GOO'.

   
Shock absorbers:  25 foot-pounds; generally 1985+, 11 foot-pounds.

    
Shock units, Paralever:  26 foot-pounds

    
Shock units, Monolever before 1987:  34 foot-pounds; then 21 foot-pounds on later models

   
Input gear (pinion) large nut, Loctite blue: /5/6  75 foot-pounds.  After /6, use 110-115 foot-pounds.
 
   
The threaded ring that surrounds that input gear:  75+ foot-pounds, Hylomar'd.

    Left side cover plate on the rear drive:  14 foot-pounds

   
Torque arm, front to frame:   32 foot-pounds

   
Torque arm, rear to housing:   25 foot-pounds

   
Bevel drive pinion retaining nut, R80GS, R80R, R100GS, R100R:   150 foot-pounds
         
cover housing: 15 foot-pounds
       
  oil filler/level plug:   17 foot-pounds...I use a bit less.
       
  oil drain plug:  17 foot-pounds...I use a bit less.
    


Section 34-Brakes:

   
Brake caliper plugs (these are the plugs on the bottom of the swinging ATE calipers 1974-1980):               43.3-46.6 foot-pounds.  The 'book' says that the ATE swinging caliper caps are to be 45
              foot-pounds for the /6 and only 30 for the /7.  Why?
   
   
Brembo calipers (and ATE that are NON-swinging):  Book says 22-23 foot-pounds (ST, G/S 26) for
              Brembo for these bolts that mount the caliper to the fork legs.  I suggest that you use 20
              foot-pounds.

   
Brake caliper joining bolts, R80R, R100R:  inner 22 foot-pounds, outer 7 foot-pounds

   
Brake lines (pipes):  6 to 7 foot-pounds (11 maximum from 1981, I think that too high).   I suggest you
             be careful and not over-torque these.

   
Disc brake mounting nuts/bolts:  17 foot-pounds.   For R80GS, R80R, R100GS, R100R:  24
                                                         foot-pounds


Section 36-Wheels and axles (and see section 31/32, above):

    
Front and rear axle nuts:   in most books as 32.5-34.5 foot pounds.  I use ~30 ftlbs

   
Axle pinch bolts: front 11-12 foot pounds, rear 11-13 foot pounds; late 1984+ use 17 foot pounds
                                both (but I do not use that much).
 
   
Mono-lever models and Paralever, including R80ST, R80 G/S, R100GS, etc; rear wheel bolts:
         
                  Models have been made with both three and four bolts/nuts.  
                          
I suggest that one NEVER EVER oil NOR antiseize these threads...NEVER!....just
                           clean/dry threads.   Use 63 foot-pounds for the R80ST, & a bit more, perhaps
                           75-77 for the G/S & 85+ models.

                           Repeated:  do NOT use oil, nor antiseize, on rear wheel-to-drive fasteners
                                 threads, on the Monoshock and Paralever models.  


Section 46-to ?   Frame, fenders, braces, saddlebag bracketry, fairings, special lighting equipment, battery bracketry, instruments pods, centerstands, etc.:

   
Center stand:  25-26 foot pounds (I suggest closer to 31 on 1985+ models)

   
Sidestand center pin, from 1981:  13 foot-pounds

   
Rear subframe:  11-18 foot-pounds

********************************************************************************************************************
BAND-clamps:
    It is NOT commonly known that screw-type band clamps have torque values.  The type of band clamps
    I am referring to here are NOT the type that BMW used to use at the U-joint rubber bellows (small
    screw, very fine threads); whether screw or clamp pliers types.  What I am referring to here are the
    AFTERMARKET band clamps that have multiple cross-wise small slots almost all the way around, that
    you may be tempted to purchase for various things, and substitute for the original types.    The standard
    torque setting for these aftermarket clamps depends on the width of the band.  Frankly, there are no
    places on BMW motorcycles for these types of clamps, but I know some of you will use them anyway.
        5/16" width band:  14 to 16 INCHpounds
        1/2" width band:  25 to 35 INCHpounds
        9/16" width band: 30 to 40 INCHpounds
    There are special clamp versions used for high pressure fuel injection hose clamps, for you
    K bike owners.

********************************************************************************************************************
    
What is posted in this article above IS believed correct, but no guarantees as to that!

Revised:
Initial edit and release:  07/05/2004
12/16/2004:  Clarify torqueing cylinder head nuts in section 11
02/26/2005:  layout, url, copyright, hyperlink
07/16/2006:  add note on calibrating the wrench
08/20/2006:  editing for clarity
01/09/2009:  Updated
04/25/2009:  clarify crankshaft bolt torques, to eliminate any chance of misunderstandings.
07/15/2009:  clarify rear drive to driveshaft nut tightness; minor other typos or unimportant
                       clarifications
10/24/2009:  clean up the article
10/15/2012:  Add QR code, add language button, update Google Ad-Sense code
04/23/2013:  Change change cover from 5.0 foot-pounds.
09/25/2013:  Clean up cam tip nut torque wording.
03/10/2014:  Clarify, condense
10/02/2014:  Prep for smaller devices, and clean up some.

 

Copyright, 2014, R. Fleischer

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