Sorting Otus

Sorting Otus

Otus is having some problems again and once again I’m attempting to sort out out those problems (again). The working theory is that the kill switch on the right-hand combination switch is the culprit. The kill switch was broken in my accident but I didn’t notice it until recently. I attempted to repair the switch but it doesn’t appear to have worked. I received replacement switches (I’m replacing both because new switches are so pretty!) from Bob’s BMW and plan on installing them this weekend. I’m 90% certain this is the issue but that remaining 10% is scratching at the back of my brain. Let’s hope this is root cause because I’ve stopped looking for an explanation!

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The process to get the combination switches was tedious and a bit frustrating. I called my favorite parts retailer – Bob’s BMW – but the microfiche showed three switches per side. I called and they informed me that there are three lengths of wire associated wit the switches; short wires for S bars, mid-length wires for US bars, and long wires for the BMW ape-hanger bars. The switches with the correct wire length for my bars are on back order for at least a year. That was depressing news so I called a well respected Airhead mechanic and he recommended that I submit an order for new switches and wait patiently as used switches are 40 years old and likely not worth the effort to install. I called Bob’s to place the order and they suggested that I get the combination switches with the log wire tails and either cut them down or deal with the extra wire because these switches were immediately available. Dealing with the extra wire sounded like a great option so I ordered the switches and waited.

The switches weren’t in stock but showed up at Bob’s, found their way to FedEx, and magically appeared on my porch a couple of weeks later. I also ordered up new spark plug wires (in all the years I’ve owned Otus I never changed the plug wires so I thought “while I’m in there…”) and some timing hole plugs so I can have a spare for Otus and replace the awful plug on Strix and have a spare for him as well.

With these parts collected I, along with some expert help, started reassembling the Grand Old Man. I’ve got at least another day of work swapping in the switches (and dealing with other recently-discovered but hopefully minor damage). Saturday promises rain so I’ll be back in the shop putting the final touches on Otus just in time to get him ready for a long winter nap.

Wish me luck!

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