The final (rear bearing) countdown!? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 2:40 am Thread Starter
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The final (rear bearing) countdown!?

Hi all final drive experts,

as preparing for our Big Trip we were considering taking one spare rear drive bearing (+ O-rings, seals etc) along. Just to sleep better...

Now here comes the funny part:

I have believed that there was a new 17 ball bearing introduced a couple of year ago. This has been widely discussed but for some reason the service experts / managers on this side of the pond don't seem to know about this change.
I have thought that well, we Europeans are again stuck on the previous century so I asked Roy Jorawsky to ask if his dealer would have this "new" design.
The Canadian dealer does not know about it. Also some US board members have reported that their replacement bearing has been the "old" 19 ball design and the dealer has not "known" about the 17 ball unit.

Does anyone know the TRUTH behind this myth? Was this 17 ball design just a desperate private test by BMW NA and the headquarter did not know about it? Or was the bearing change actually done by the factory but now they are back to the original design? Or are the dealers just selling out old spare parts stock and you can get 17 ball unit if you are lucky? Or are you any luckier with a 17 ball unit anyway?

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

Bike trip from Finland to USA:

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post #2 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 4:27 am
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Just had a 19 ball fall apart within 1000 miles of replacing another 19 ball.
How much was down to poor fitment, old crud left from the 1st problem or 19 balls are still bad, I dont know. But here in England they say they have not heard of 17 balls. I have done 2k+ in the last few weeks just to make sure I feel safe with the thing.
One bit of advice I would give though - dont swop it out if what you have works. New doesnt mean better in this case!

"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain


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post #3 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 8:21 am
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I have to agree. If it is working don't change it. I was about to try the change to the 17 ball unit then people started talking about you might not get what you ordered. Then someone said that a couple of the 17 ball units have gone bad. Then someone said it sounds like BMW has changed manufacturers for the bearing and are back to 19 balls in the bearing.

After all this time I would think someone would know the answer. BMW might but if they do they certainly aren't telling. If I were you I would just keep the spares on hand. You may never need them but then you wouldn't have to wait for parts if it does go out.
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post #4 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 8:24 am
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I just had

mine rebuilt with the 17 ball at my local BMW of Denver. They were great. I had in to them on Tuesday and they had it out Wednesday afternoon. $510 total.
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post #5 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 9:51 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parishollow
mine rebuilt with the 17 ball at my local BMW of Denver. They were great. I had in to them on Tuesday and they had it out Wednesday afternoon. $510 total.
Andrew, Do you know if the shop used the measuring fixture with dial gauge in order to obtain the correct taper roller bearing preload ?? If they did not your FD could be a time bomb.

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post #6 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 10:13 am
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I'm sure this question will come up at CCR if a BMW rep shows. If anyone has a 17 ball bearing it might be a good idea to bring it to CCR in case they deny any knowledge. For those that have not attended CCR there is usully an hour set aside for a Q & A with a BMW Motorad (N/A) rep.

Tim Frederick
Woodbury, MN
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post #7 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 10:13 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murray
Andrew, Do you know if the shop used the measuring fixture with dial gauge in order to obtain the correct taper roller bearing preload ?? If they did not your FD could be a time bomb.
Exactly. That's why I insisted that my dealer replace the ENTIRE drive with a new factory unit. Most dealerships do not have the skill/tools to do a FD rebuild properly. Then you are in a perpetual state of FD anxiety.
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post #8 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 11:09 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredthead
I'm sure this question will come up at CCR if a BMW rep shows. If anyone has a 17 ball bearing it might be a good idea to bring it to CCR in case they deny any knowledge. For those that have not attended CCR there is usully an hour set aside for a Q & A with a BMW Motorad (N/A) rep.
I have attended 4 of those sessions, and each time we come away with hope that they actually listened, and meant what they said. Then we spend the next year disappointed that it was all wasted breath.

The people they send to CCR may have good intentions, but it NEVER does one bit of good, and the people that come the next year treat the whole situation as if it is the first time they have heard of it, make silly excuses, and promise better communication. Never happens though.

It is just about guaranteed you will get no answers this time either. Especially since the current LT is on it's last leg, to be either discontinued or replaced with a new design, then the current LTs will be off their radar completely.

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post #9 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 12:02 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pozo_izquierdo
Hi all final drive experts,

as preparing for our Big Trip we were considering taking one spare rear drive bearing (+ O-rings, seals etc) along. Just to sleep better...
Ari
Most of the final drive issues were on the earlier models 99-2002,
The chances of having final drive failure on your 2005 are very remote.
Besides that, you've become such a celebrity on this forum
that in the event you should have a problem
anywhere in the USA,
you'll have LT riders and forum members coming to your aid
from at least a half a dozen states.


Hans
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post #10 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 3:07 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
Ari
Most of the final drive issues were on the earlier models 99-2002,
The chances of having final drive failure on your 2005 are very remote.
Besides that, you've become such a celebrity on this forum
that in the event you should have a problem
anywhere in the USA,
you'll have LT riders and forum members coming to your aid
from at least a half a dozen states.
Hehe, thanks for the nice words Hans.

I know I might be a bit paranoic about this final drive thing but I thought that since there are two identical (of age) bikes riding together, maybe one spare bearing would not be an overkill.
And whether or not being a celebrity it still would be convenient to have the spare part along. And I do appreciate highly all the welcomings, comments or pieces of advise that I have received from all over so from that point of view we feel much more comfortable taking our trip.

But...the original question still remains. Is this 17 ball bearing a fairytale or not? Obviously not totally as one member just got a new one from his dealer in Denver. So, is this a "Colorado speciality" only....?

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

Bike trip from Finland to USA:

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post #11 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 7:02 pm
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Not a fairytale

There were indeed 17 ball bearings. But it would appear that BMW has gone back to the 19 ball.. I don't think there have been very many failures since the 02's came out... and before that it has been about 4 % of the previous ones..

Frankly I just wouldn't worry about it, I don't think that you'll be having problems with your 05's bearing...

I'm really beginning to think that the 4% failed because they weren't set up correctly at the factory... As evidenced by the repeated failure when one of us sets up one without all the necessary measurements....

I have a spare drive for my 99 and I'll be bringing it along to CCR just in case, But I'm hoping mine isn't one of the 4% that will fail....Hopefully just owning a spare will be insurance enough against the failure...

See you in a few weeks Ari, Give me a yell when you get in the neighborhood and we'll have a beer wherever you decide to overnite...


John

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post #12 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 9:00 pm
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Ebay may be the ticket

Ari,

You may want to consider buying a used one off from Ebay and have it shipped to one of us forum members that could hold on to it until you get here or even be ready to drop ship it to anyplace you are. If your looking at it as a replacement to get you going quickly again, then it doesn't really matter what bearing is in it for a spare to get you through your trip and have for future use.

Here is an auction on one from a bike that was triked.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-K...09342377QQrdZ1

Just a thought

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post #13 of 13 Old Jul 20th, 2006, 9:13 pm
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If the person BMW sends out isn't helpful, anyone ask Honda or Harley Davidson to come? ;-)}
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