Travelling on a „Washing-Machine-GS”

March 17, 2013 in Motorcycles & Technics

The water pump is a well-known weak point at the BMW F650GS. Most bikes of this model have it replaced sooner or later. The water-pump of Heike’s F650GS now failed in Thailand – after 70000 km. “Filippo McGyver” demonstrated how it can be repaired and temporarily replaced by a washing-machine.

The pump of Heike’s F650GS failed without any warning and very suddenly. But Filippo immediately had the idea that it could be temporarily replaced with a simple water-pump, which moves the water through the engine. With this construction we could then make the way down to Southern Thailand, where we would get the spare-parts from Filippo’s brother, who was coming from Germany to visit us there.

So we started to go hunting for the necessary parts. Very soon, we found a washing machine-pump that we could use for our purpose. To organize the necessary high-pressure hoses and then the adapter to attach the hoses to the engine took some more time. But finally, we were successful and had all the parts.

Of course, a washing-machine pump needs 230 V. We solved this problem with a converter that transforms the 12 V of the on-board electric system into 230 V. However, you have to be careful if you want to copy that system, because cheaper converters do not produce a sufficient AC quality to run such pumps.

We were lucky, since we could use the converter that we were already carrying to charge our laptops, cameras etc. And after we had organized all the parts and mounted them, which took about two days, we were ready to hit the road again.

Our washing-machine emergency solution lasted for more than 900 km until we reached the south of Thailand. We didn’t have any problems with the cooling despite temperatures around 40°C.

Of course, you need some experience for such an emergency repair – but it should be possible almost everywhere, because the parts used can be found all over the world.

Here is an overview of the parts we used:

  • water-pump from a washing machine
  • pressure-hose
  • clamps
  • adapter for the connection
  • voltage converter
  • cables
  • zip ties

And the look is also quite nice – looks like a turbo… 🙂

In our film you can see the washing machine “live in action”: