Is This An Impending Rear Drive Failure? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 4:26 pm Thread Starter
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Unhappy Is This An Impending Rear Drive Failure?

2005 K1200GT with 25,000 miles. Serviced every 3,000 miles at dealer where it was purchased. Noted this rear drive leak yesterday, and I'm taking it in Saturday. Based on the collective wisdom of the members, am I looking at a rear drive failure?

Thanks for the experience on this one.
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The Touring Professor

2012 Victory Cross Country Tour
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 4:41 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Is This An Impending Rear Drive Failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon
Could just be a seal failure. Any noise, grinding, vibration through the pegs? Both of the FD failures on my 2006 R1200GSA had all three before the seal was cut and dumped the lube.
No noise, no grinding. No side-to-side play in the rear tire. HOWEVER, now that you mention it, I did detect a slight vibration through the pegs at about 3,000-3,500 rpm on the ride before I noticed the leaking seal. Don't recall ever feeling that before.

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2012 Victory Cross Country Tour
2007 Honda Gold Wing
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1996 Porsche 993 Turbo
1991 Acura NSX

Gone But Not Forgotten:

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2005 Triumph Rocket
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2002 K1200LT
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2002 1800 VTX
1999 HD Sportster
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 5:07 pm
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Re: Is This An Impending Rear Drive Failure?

The only sure-fire sign is metal particles in the final drive lube. If they are shiny and what would be described as particles or chunks then yes failure is imminent. Gray fuzzies without shiny pieces is normal. You at least need a new seal unless you just did a mountain run and then the leakage might be normal from the pressure change at altitude.


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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 5:08 pm
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Re: Is This An Impending Rear Drive Failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringProf
2005 K1200GT with 25,000 miles. Serviced every 3,000 miles at dealer where it was purchased. Noted this rear drive leak yesterday, and I'm taking it in Saturday. Based on the collective wisdom of the members, am I looking at a rear drive failure?

Thanks for the experience on this one.
That's the "new" Evo final drive. I know nothing about them, other than that they have been known to fail.
The Evo final drive has never been used on the K1200LT but it has been used on the GS models. GS riders know that they have had problems.
My suspicion is that there is more to your problem that just a leaking seal, but that's just a WAG.
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 5:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Is This An Impending Rear Drive Failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
The only sure-fire sign is metal particles in the final drive lube. If they are shiny and what would be described as particles or chunks then yes failure is imminent. Gray fuzzies without shiny pieces is normal. You at least need a new seal unless you just did a mountain run and then the leakage might be normal from the pressure change at altitude.
Don't think that I am that lucky. I first noticed a whole bunch of build-up around the hub and spots of oil/fluid on my rear wheel. I cleaned it all off and went for a ~30 mile ride at the same altitude. What you are seeing on the pics is what I had as soon as I returned home.

What also concerns me is that, despite what I have read here in the past, the service manager told me this morning that BMWNA is not covering rear drive failures on the GT (or LT) if the bike is out of warranty, no matter what the service record has been. At this point, I guess I'm hoping for the best on two fronts: first that it isn't what I think it is, and second, that if it is a rear drive failure, that they will work some kind of 'good will' coverage from BMW on my behalf.

Can anyone tell me what a new rear drive on a K1200GT costs, so I can assess how upset I am going to get?

The Touring Professor

2012 Victory Cross Country Tour
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1996 Porsche 993 Turbo
1991 Acura NSX

Gone But Not Forgotten:

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2005 Triumph Rocket
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2002 K1200LT
2003 Hayabusa
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 5:51 pm
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Re: Is This An Impending Rear Drive Failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
The only sure-fire sign is metal particles in the final drive lube. If they are shiny and what would be described as particles or chunks then yes failure is imminent. Gray fuzzies without shiny pieces is normal. You at least need a new seal unless you just did a mountain run and then the leakage might be normal from the pressure change at altitude.
You maybe right about signs of impending failure in the Evo drive. However, I would caution everyone not to assume that past posts regarding signs of impending failure of the K1200LT final drive are directly applicable to the Evo final drive. They may not be.
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 5:54 pm
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Re: Is This An Impending Rear Drive Failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringProf
.....Can anyone tell me what a new rear drive on a K1200GT costs, so I can assess how upset I am going to get?
From MaxBMW online parts:
33117653008 FINAL DRIVE, SILVER - I=31:11=2,82 17.11 1 $1793.92
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 6:29 pm
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Re: Is This An Impending Rear Drive Failure?

Looks like a leaky outer seal to me. I've seen a few of these already.

In BMW's infinite wisdom, a "sealed for life" final drive doesn't need a pressure vent. So one was never designed into these drives. Now we know that it's necessary to change the oil regularly, but there's still no vent.

I had an outer seal failure this summer. The local mechanic said "Yeah, I've seen a lot of these", swapped out the seal, and it's been fine for 14K miles.

What I would do is check the wheel for side-to-side play (there is an official spec for it, but it's pretty generous), roll the wheel by hand and check for any noise or vibration, and drain the fluid and check for any metallic flakes or particles. If all that looks good, then change the seal and refill the drive.

But yeah, keeping a close eye on it is always good advice . . .

Ken
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 6:33 pm
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Re: Is This An Impending Rear Drive Failure?

Curtis is correct. The rear drives are certainly different. What I probably should have said is that shiny metal particles in any gearbox means it's already in the failure mode.


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Old Sep 16th, 2011, 6:43 pm Thread Starter
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Angry Update

Well, the rear drive was fried. The bearing failed and took out some other parts.

The dealership, where I have purchased 2 LTs, 1 GT, and one Triumph Rocket (as well as bringing in 2 friends for a GT and K1300S), as well as having all my regular (every 3,000 miles) maintenance performed on all my bikes (this was all over the last 10 years), estimated the cost of repair at $1,100.00. As might be expected, I took the position that this was a known failure due to a design &/or manufacturing issue, and asked the service manager to get BMW NA to cover the premature and catastrophic failure (he called this 'goodwill coverage'). Got the call today. BMW agreed to pay 450.00 for parts as a 'goodwill gesture'. The rest, plus tax, is my problem.

I'm not feeling much goodwill as I type this. It's not the money for me at this point. I've paid this much for two new tires and an oil change. It's the principle involved; this rear drive has a known issue, BMW has never stepped up and admitted it, and if they can just wait until enough time passes (regardless of the mileage), they can refuse to support a loyal customer due to the bike being 'out of warranty'.

Thank you to everyone on this board who provided me with advice and insight on this problem.

The Touring Professor

2012 Victory Cross Country Tour
2007 Honda Gold Wing
2004 Honda Rune
1999 H-D Dyna-Glide Conv.
1996 Porsche 993 Turbo
1991 Acura NSX

Gone But Not Forgotten:

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2005 Triumph Rocket
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Old Sep 17th, 2011, 4:34 am
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Re: Update

Too bad.
I think BMW has really missed an opportunity to increase market share in the way they have handled their final drive problems. Many people have left BMW, others who might otherwise have purchased one, have chosen not to. Stupid, stupid, stupid....they should have just stepped up to the plate and retroactively given a 100K warranty of final drives.

Your disappointment and frustration is understandable and justified.

Best of luck finding a new bike that brings you joy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringProf
Well, the rear drive was fried. The bearing failed and took out some other parts.

The dealership, where I have purchased 2 LTs, 1 GT, and one Triumph Rocket (as well as bringing in 2 friends for a GT and K1300S), as well as having all my regular (every 3,000 miles) maintenance performed on all my bikes (this was all over the last 10 years), estimated the cost of repair at $1,100.00. As might be expected, I took the position that this was a known failure due to a design &/or manufacturing issue, and asked the service manager to get BMW NA to cover the premature and catastrophic failure (he called this 'goodwill coverage'). Got the call today. BMW agreed to pay 450.00 for parts as a 'goodwill gesture'. The rest, plus tax, is my problem.

I'm not feeling much goodwill as I type this. It's not the money for me at this point. I've paid this much for two new tires and an oil change. It's the principle involved; this rear drive has a known issue, BMW has never stepped up and admitted it, and if they can just wait until enough time passes (regardless of the mileage), they can refuse to support a loyal customer due to the bike being 'out of warranty'.

Thank you to everyone on this board who provided me with advice and insight on this problem.
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Old Sep 17th, 2011, 4:49 am
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Re: Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringProf
Well, the rear drive was fried. The bearing failed and took out some other parts.

The dealership, where I have purchased 2 LTs, 1 GT, and one Triumph Rocket (as well as bringing in 2 friends for a GT and K1300S), as well as having all my regular (every 3,000 miles) maintenance performed on all my bikes (this was all over the last 10 years), estimated the cost of repair at $1,100.00. As might be expected, I took the position that this was a known failure due to a design &/or manufacturing issue, and asked the service manager to get BMW NA to cover the premature and catastrophic failure (he called this 'goodwill coverage'). Got the call today. BMW agreed to pay 450.00 for parts as a 'goodwill gesture'. The rest, plus tax, is my problem.

I'm not feeling much goodwill as I type this. It's not the money for me at this point. I've paid this much for two new tires and an oil change. It's the principle involved; this rear drive has a known issue, BMW has never stepped up and admitted it, and if they can just wait until enough time passes (regardless of the mileage), they can refuse to support a loyal customer due to the bike being 'out of warranty'.

Thank you to everyone on this board who provided me with advice and insight on this problem.
I feel your pain. My GT was on its 3rd drive unit at 35000ks.
Meese's comments are valuable, i think that he used to carry a spare FD on his 1200GT.
Based on many other experiences that i have read about, i reckon that getting a new FD installed into a bike that is going on 6 years old for $650 is a pretty good outcome.
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Old Sep 17th, 2011, 8:38 am Thread Starter
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Re: Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadicool59
I feel your pain. My GT was on its 3rd drive unit at 35000ks.
Meese's comments are valuable, i think that he used to carry a spare FD on his 1200GT.
Based on many other experiences that i have read about, i reckon that getting a new FD installed into a bike that is going on 6 years old for $650 is a pretty good outcome.
Glass half full.
If all $25,000 touring bikes required their owners to stock replacement rear drives, I guess that would be a reasonable approach. Unfortunately, after 10 years of touring back and forth this country and Canada, with a potential failure always in the back of my mind, and now having one, I've had enough. Especially since there are now wide expanses without a BMW dealership in close to 1000's of miles.

Many on this board have indicated (see thread) that BMW covered not just one but in some cases two failures completely when the bikes were out of warranty, so $650.00 feels like a 'screw you' to me; especially when I have the customer record with this dealership that I've had. Especially since the service manager indicated that they would reject coverage due to mileage OR time! 6 years old would be meaningful to me if rear drives had a shelf life, but for something like a bearing, time is not the issue; mileage is, and I personally do not believe that on a bike this costly, 26,000 miles should be considered a normal life expectancy for a rear drive.

I've enjoyed my BMWs, and I'll miss my GT, but I'm done. The bike goes this week.

Anyone interested in buying a top case or a Russell Day Long seat for a 2006 GT (I'd have to have your stock seat in return since RDL builds their seat on the stock pan)?

I also have topcase and panniers liners (luggage). Anyone interested?

The Touring Professor

2012 Victory Cross Country Tour
2007 Honda Gold Wing
2004 Honda Rune
1999 H-D Dyna-Glide Conv.
1996 Porsche 993 Turbo
1991 Acura NSX

Gone But Not Forgotten:

2006 K1200GT
2005 Triumph Rocket
2001 K1200LT
2002 K1200LT
2003 Hayabusa
2002 1800 VTX
1999 HD Sportster
1988 HD Softail Custom
1975 Yamaha 100cc
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