"Final Drive Failures" . . . in BMW Owners News magazine - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 25 Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 5:01 am Thread Starter
 
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Question "Final Drive Failures" . . . in BMW Owners News magazine

Did you read the article on Page 18, April 2006 edition? Comments?
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post #2 of 25 Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 5:11 am
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Saw mention of it here. Haven't read it yet, as my magazines get delivered at home, where I'm currently not.

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post #3 of 25 Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 7:11 am
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Unhappy Read the article

Yes I read the article and it was basically a review on how to change the bearing, Absolutely no explanation as to why they are failing. I think anyone that owns an LT already knew they were failing. I would like to know why. I have my theories just like a lot of the other members of this group.

my $.02 worth

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post #4 of 25 Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 10:30 am
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As a result of filling out the final drive failure survey and sending the suggested e-mail to MOA and MCN, Mr. Paul Johnson from BMW MOA has contacted myself and a few others on this forum several times
The following is a copy of the first e-mail I received followed by the second one,
I did receive a phone call from a representative of BMW Mottorad who was mostly asking about my service records (I do my own)
I did have the opportunity to point out to him that there are 136 documented final drive failures on this website, information he said he would bring to the attention of BMW.

Quote:
Mr Ruys

As the MOA consumer affairs liaison, your note to MOA was forwarded on to me.

Thank you for the information, as we are trying to track failures. Your note appears to be simply one of information, rather than a request for assistance. If you wish however, I would be happy to forward the details on to BMW Motorrad along with a request for some help.

The way that would work is, I'd contact BMW, who would then work directly with you. Neither I nor MOA would ever know the financial details of any agreement you settled on with BMW. What I can do though, is open the door for you to negotiate something. All I ask is that you let me know whether or not you received any help from them, and whether that help was satisfactory to you.

If you wish me to proceed, I'll need to have your MOA membership number, as we do not offer this except to members of the club.

Regards, and best wishes for the upcoming riding season.




Paul Johnson
Consumer Affairs Liaison, BMWMOA
214 956 8986
[email protected]



Quote:
Mr Ruys

This is just a follow up on your final drive failure. I'll be going to the MOA Board of Directors meeting next weekend, and would appreciate knowing if BMW Motorrad made contact with you, and if so, were you satisfied with the results?

Regards,




Paul Johnson
Consumer Affairs Liaison, BMWMOA
214 956 8986
[email protected]


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post #5 of 25 Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 10:06 pm
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For those of us who dont' get the magazine, can someone post the article?

Current
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post #6 of 25 Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 10:29 pm
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Ok.. I'll ask the big silly question.. How do I get the BMW Owners News mag?

Thanks anyway, folks.. I found the link...

...............
J.M.J...
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post #7 of 25 Old Apr 4th, 2006, 6:13 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfell
Ok.. I'll ask the big silly question.. How do I get the BMW Owners News mag?

Thanks anyway, folks.. I found the link...

you can become a member at http://bmwmoa.org/

Tom

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post #8 of 25 Old Apr 4th, 2006, 6:14 am
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Channing: Cost ya' $32 bux to join the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association... the news is free. (Late on the trigger again; Tom beat me to the punch)

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post #9 of 25 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 12:55 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear
Yes I read the article and it was basically a review on how to change the bearing, Absolutely no explanation as to why they are failing...
Actually, he states several times that, to quote, "the initial failure is usually a failure of the large ball bearing." He seems to suggest that to eliminate the problem, all you need to do is replace the original design "19-ball" bearing with the newly designed "17-ball" bearing, which he hasn't heard of any failures with (yet).

My question is, "Is it really that simple?" Do we just need to order a 17-ball bearing and follow his instructions to install it (or have our dealer do that the next time our bikes go in for service) to be able to stop worrying about this issue?

Bruce Yates - Y3K on board!
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post #10 of 25 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 9:56 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce_Yates
Actually, he states several times that, to quote, "the initial failure is usually a failure of the large ball bearing." He seems to suggest that to eliminate the problem, all you need to do is replace the original design "19-ball" bearing with the newly designed "17-ball" bearing, which he hasn't heard of any failures with (yet).

My question is, "Is it really that simple?" Do we just need to order a 17-ball bearing and follow his instructions to install it (or have our dealer do that the next time our bikes go in for service) to be able to stop worrying about this issue?
Hey, hey - mornin'!

Bruce, that's ed zachery what I'd do if Toad didn't already have the 17-ball replacement bearing. You gotta figure if your 19-ball unit throws craps, it ain't gonna happen in your garage on a lousy weather day when you couldn't be riding anyway!! Toad's went in the 70,000 mile window; now has 107,000 on the odo. It's +/- 300 bones to replace on a pre-emptive basis. Toad's wuz good-willed by a great dealer, who took care of the situation with BMW NA and whomever else wuz necessarily involved.

As far as not worrying about it any longer - I rarely do. If the 17-ball units start failing, I'll take the cure for that and keep on keepin' on. At my age, bein' in worry-mode ain't good for the ticker, and I like wakin' up in a new world every day!!

BTW, not a single brand/model captures my attention as a replacement for Toad .... yet. Oh, I suppose another LT would, butt..... (As a quick aside, if I were rich enough to stable two scoots, Toad would have to share space with one of them Victory models - I think about them alot!!! ).

BTW - Salsa is getting up there in mileage, right? You gonna do the bearing swap? I mean, all them saltwater submersions that Salsa has been on, it might be time!!

Don't think I answered your question, Bruce. Butt, those are my thoughts and opinions on the issue. I do like reading other's viewpoints; some passionate positive and some passionate negative. Different strokes for diff..... ,etc.

Take care - cya in the Peach State.
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post #11 of 25 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 11:24 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
Bruce, that's ed zachery what I'd do if Toad didn't already have the 17-ball replacement bearing. . .It's +/- 300 bones to replace on a pre-emptive basis...

BTW, not a single brand/model captures my attention as a replacement for Toad .... yet...

Don't think I answered your question, Bruce. Butt, those are my thoughts and opinions on the issue...
Thanks, Dick, and I think you DID answer my question. For 300 bucks, a pre-emptive strike makes a lot of sense to me, so next time Salsa is in the shop, I'll plan to have 'er come out with two less balls (SHE can afford to lose a couple!).

As for other brands/models being in serious contention to replace Toad/Salsa, I agree -- I just haven't see it yet. If it had been available when I bought my Aprilia, I'd rather have the new 1200GS as a second bike, but haven't seen anything that really competes with the LT as the primary horse in the stable. I'm still maintaining the plan I stated 2-3 years ago, which is to wait until they come out with a major overhaul of the LT, which will presumably be at least another 1-2 years. Until then, every time I get on Salsa, I just think what a great bike she is!

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post #12 of 25 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 12:15 pm
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Bruce, I have to agree with Dick here and say that it really is that simple! We hope! No one can be 100% positive, but the failure rate does seem to have decreased lately, and that seems to be toe only reason which makes any sense. The 17 ball bearing, that is. I know if we did not have the drive replaced back on the way to last year's CCR I would be seriously considering a replacement for peace of mind! As it is, I'm not sure whether Katie has 19 or 17 balls in her rear drive, but we do still have the balance of the 2 year BMW warranty to cover the expense should it go south again. Who knows what I'll do after that period?

On another note, I hope that all Salsa had wrong with her no start situation was a bad battery. But if you do get the starter motoring as soon as you put a new battery in, then you need to change the relay also to the newer version. I would recommend changing it even if you can get it to stop motoring by doing the famous "bump the switch" method. I changed Katie's to the newer version way back and have peace of mind in that respect at least!

Do you suppose the problem is related to all that salt water immersion you've been subjecting Salsa to, like Dick mentioned?

John

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post #13 of 25 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 12:55 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaFish
...I would recommend changing [the relay] even if you can get it to stop motoring by doing the famous "bump the switch" method...
Do you suppose the problem is related to all that salt water immersion you've been subjecting Salsa to, like Dick mentioned?
Yes, I think I'll try to upgrade the relay switch pre-emptively as well as the bearing.

As for salt water immersion (hate to hijack a thread, but you guys started it! ), that never seemed to bother Salsa before (in Papua New Guinea, the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, etc.) so I doubt that caused the problem. However, now that you mention it, on this last (Bahamas) trip a few weeks ago, a 7-foot lemon shark did scoop Salsa up and carry her about 10 feet away chewing on her (moments after I took this photo)...perhaps that jarred some internal electronics and I just didn't notice at the time...

Salsa (laminated) with lemon shark


Lucky one of the big tiger sharks (like the one in the photo below with me taking pictures of it) didn't get hold of Salsa! She'd probably need new tires, a new windshield, new leather on the seats, and would probably have been so scared she'd have lost all her fluids!

Bruce with tiger shark

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post #14 of 25 Old Apr 12th, 2006, 11:17 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce_Yates

My question is, "Is it really that simple?" Do we just need to order a 17-ball bearing and follow his instructions to install it (or have our dealer do that the next time our bikes go in for service) to be able to stop worrying about this issue?
Bruce,
I'm happy to say that that I have mine cahnged out last June, before the start of the Iron Butt Rally. You will be happy to know I had no problem at all...with the rear drive failure. Need I say more?
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post #15 of 25 Old Apr 13th, 2006, 7:21 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black1200lt
Bruce,
I'm happy to say that that I have mine cahnged out last June, before the start of the Iron Butt Rally. You will be happy to know I had no problem at all...with the rear drive failure. Need I say more?

yea but that was like only , what a bazillion miles ago

I had a final replaced around 50k miles (I think) there is now 68 more on it on the second drive, I have no idea how many balls it has in it HAHAHAHAHA!

hopefully it has some though

Tom

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post #16 of 25 Old Apr 13th, 2006, 10:59 am
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Nayone attempted doig this?

I read the article, and then compared it to what's in the Service Manual. I'm wondering if it's as easy as the article makes it out to be. If I read the article correctly, the author states that the bearing swap can be done without removing the final drive from the bike, although it would be easier to do the work on a bench (requiring drive removal - obvious).

My question is, has anybody done this themselve? It really does look pretty straight forward, but it would be nice to have more details of the process before I dive in.

Bill B.


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post #17 of 25 Old Apr 13th, 2006, 1:39 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtwinwilly
I read the article, and then compared it to what's in the Service Manual. I'm wondering if it's as easy as the article makes it out to be. If I read the article correctly, the author states that the bearing swap can be done without removing the final drive from the bike, although it would be easier to do the work on a bench (requiring drive removal - obvious).

My question is, has anybody done this themselve? It really does look pretty straight forward, but it would be nice to have more details of the process before I dive in.

Bill B.
Check the Files section of this site. I loaded a write-up by a fellow member to the Technical Files section. Sounds pretty straight forward.

Dan Martin
Houston, Tx
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post #18 of 25 Old Apr 13th, 2006, 1:56 pm
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So that's what happened. The new & improved rear bearing refused to give way, so you just lost the transmission & engine instead.

(Note for newbies. It's a joke. Don't get paranoid, and don't immediately run out and sell your LT.)

From what we've gathered over the years, it may be a bearing issue and it may be an installation issue. Several failed bearings have clearly shown marks at an even ball spacing that indicate the bearing was hammered or otherwise improperly installed. There are also shims required to provide the proper pre-load, but it's hard to tell whether this shim setup has affected bearing life. The most common failure seems to be that the cage on the 19-ball bearing (that holds the balls at an even spacing) gets chewed up, often taking out the drive seal and spilling fluid all over the rear tire and brakes.

The overall failure rate still seems to be small, but as these bikes get more miles on them the chances of a failure do seem to increase. A pre-emptive bearing replacement can add some peace of mind at a reasonable cost.

Ken
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post #19 of 25 Old Apr 13th, 2006, 1:58 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtwinwilly
I read the article, and then compared it to what's in the Service Manual. I'm wondering if it's as easy as the article makes it out to be. If I read the article correctly, the author states that the bearing swap can be done without removing the final drive from the bike, although it would be easier to do the work on a bench (requiring drive removal - obvious).

My question is, has anybody done this themselve? It really does look pretty straight forward, but it would be nice to have more details of the process before I dive in.

Bill B.
The most likely problem would be removing the bearing from the crown gear. It may, or may not be as easy as stated. Depends entirely on manufacturing tolerances. If it was pressed on with high end of interference tolerance, getting it off "in the field" without a bearing puller could be nearly impossible.

I have pulled one bearing off the crown gear, took a good puller to do it.

I would not be afraid to try on the road, but knowing that my chances of successfully pulling the bearing would be 50/50. Then you have to get the new one on, and you NEVER "hammer" a bearing on, must be pressed or thermally modified (cold shaft/hot bearing) to allow hand assembly.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
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post #20 of 25 Old Apr 13th, 2006, 3:00 pm
 
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It was a good article with great information but I really didn't take any note because mine will not be wearing out of braking in the next 10 to 15 years...............Regards Pete
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post #21 of 25 Old Apr 13th, 2006, 3:42 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
The most likely problem would be removing the bearing from the crown gear. It may, or may not be as easy as stated. Depends entirely on manufacturing tolerances. If it was pressed on with high end of interference tolerance, getting it off "in the field" without a bearing puller could be nearly impossible.
David,
I have heard that it has been done on the side of the road. The important thing is to have a way to heat the area up. (For me, a can of hairspray and a match ) Once you have warmed up it works pretty easy.


Coni
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post #22 of 25 Old Apr 13th, 2006, 4:23 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black1200lt
David,
I have heard that it has been done on the side of the road. The important thing is to have a way to heat the area up. (For me, a can of hairspray and a match ) Once you have warmed up it works pretty easy.


Coni
Or maybe the magnifying glass I carry around to fry ants with.

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post #23 of 25 Old Apr 13th, 2006, 4:49 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
Or maybe the magnifying glass I carry around to fry ants with.
Okay...holster that magnifying glass and read on.

I found it!
Here are the instructions step by step: http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:7wAOAiRB6cwJ:advwisdom.hogranch.com/Wisdom/ORDBBR%25201.0.pdf+Dick+Fish+Rear+Heat&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1&ie=UTF-8
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post #24 of 25 Old Apr 13th, 2006, 5:58 pm
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I had the bearing replaced at 28,000 mile and a total ring gear failure at 31,000 miles.
Bearing was replaced under warranty.Dealer replaced the rear, due to the amount of metal from the bad ring gear. It took the dealer over four months to get BMW to pay for the parts. I had to pay labor for the replacement.

What got to me was that the dealer only gave me in store credit no cash back. I will use a credit card next time.

How many others have had gears fail?
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post #25 of 25 Old Apr 14th, 2006, 9:44 am
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I did not remove the final drive from the bike when I did mine. Removed the rear wheel and brake disk, then unbolted the bearing plate on the final drive and extracted the plate/gear/bearing unit as a whole. Very easy.

I can't, however, imagine doing this at the side of the road. The two bolts holding the brake disk had to be heated significantly to release the thread lock. The bearing plate had to be heated to release the crowngear/bearing assembly and the bearing had to be heated significantly to be removed from the crown gear along with a pretty hefty assist from a bearing puller. Reinstalling the bearing on the crown gear would again require the bearing to be heated quite a bit (I also froze the gear) or you would need a press. And you need to heat the bearing plate to install the gear/bearing assembly. If you can get to a garage OK, but not in a ditch or roadside pulloff somewhere.

Alex H Lindsay
Melbourne, FL
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