What would U do . . . PM--Rear Bearing Replacement? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 13 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 5:24 pm Thread Starter
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What would U do . . . PM--Rear Bearing Replacement?

Late summer I added two more wheels to the stable . . . a 2000 LTC w/ 18 K miles. Iíve had it out for a couple of local trips to almost 20K and joined (obviously) bmwlt.com I had the dealer near the seller run the VIN for service work. There was minor warranty work and scheduled service.

Next summer Iím planning on the BMWMOA Rally in WI, CCR and perhaps a cross country trip.

With this said, Iím wondering if I should take preemptive action by replacing the problematic rear drive bearing.

There are two BMW dealers w/in 20 miles. I spoke to both service managers today. The established dealer (also sells Hondas) said itís about a $600 job. He knew what he was talking about based on the conversation about heating the bearing & keeping shaft cool, etc.

The second call to the new guys in town said unless there is significant play in the rear wheel, the drive oil dirty and/or there is substantial debris on the drain plug donít worry about it. ďYouíll know when itís about to go!Ē Bring it in and weíll do an early 24K service and change the tranny and rear drive oil to synthetic which will reduce the temperature in the drive.

The rear wheel is tight. I changed engine oil and rear drive when I got it. The rear drive oil was clean as well as the drain plug.

I donít ďwant it to goĒ when Iím on a long or short trip for that matter! Donít want to tackle this surgery on my own at this point.

So what would you do?

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post #2 of 13 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 7:37 pm
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I would ride the beast like I stole it and stop worryin'. Obviously you have a well maintained unit so what will be will be.

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and Pawleys Island, SC
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post #3 of 13 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 9:31 pm
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What I did was change out the bearing at 45K miles. Now have 5K on the 17 ball bearing. I bought my 2000LT in Nov 99. I've run dino 80W-90 gear oil. More of the few failures have occurred in the 40-60K range. For now I'd suggest just ride it until you get closer to 40K.

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post #4 of 13 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 11:17 pm
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There's really no guarantee that a new bearing will last longer than what's in the bike now. I would stick with synthetic oil and change it at every normal service (in other words, more often than recommended). And every so often, spin the rear wheel and check for play or roughness. Otherwise, Just Ride It.

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post #5 of 13 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 5:54 am
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What would I do...

I have a 17 ball bearing and new seal in my side case.
I did an open and inspect some time ago and decided to leave the original bearing in place. I still consider replacing the original bearing like Barnett (Wilbar) did, but I would still carry the original bearing as a spare.
I have about 50K miles on my 2000.

I now just ride with my new spare bearing in the side case; somewhat facetiously I maintain that the bearing in the side case provides good karma which will prevent bearing failure.

On a more practical note, if I have a failure somewhere far from a BMW dealer requiring long distance towing, delays in ordering parts, I figure any local bike shop or even auto garage could help me get back on the road by installing my spare bearing faster than the tow to the BMW dealer.
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post #6 of 13 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 9:47 am
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I would do as others say, just keep a close eye/ear on it, and change the (synthetic) gear oil at every oil change.

A bearing installed by less than a really good tech, using all the right tools and MEASURING the bearing pre-load is a re-build that may not last.

As I have stated before, a SKF engineer told me that the axial clearance in a bearing has a tolerance range 5 times what the axial clearance is, which means that if it is not properly measured and shims changed if needed it is highly unlikely the proper axial pre-load will be obtained by just swapping out a bearing.

My bet is that probably less than one out of ten BMW shop techs will do the job correctly.

If you do have the bearing and seal with you, there were instructions on a "on the road" swap out from an article in BMWON magazine posted. That certainly won't be a proper rebuild, but it will get you back on the road and is decent trip insurance. Get that article if you can find it, and carry it with you, along with any tools you deem fit. Getting the bearing off the hub and the new one back on are the difficult parts in an emergency repair.

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post #7 of 13 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 11:57 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMitchell
Late summer I added two more wheels to the stable . . . a 2000 LTC w/ 18 K miles. Iíve had it out for a couple of local trips to almost 20K and joined (obviously) bmwlt.com I had the dealer near the seller run the VIN for service work. There was minor warranty work and scheduled service.

Next summer Iím planning on the BMWMOA Rally in WI, CCR and perhaps a cross country trip.

With this said, Iím wondering if I should take preemptive action by replacing the problematic rear drive bearing.

There are two BMW dealers w/in 20 miles. I spoke to both service managers today. The established dealer (also sells Hondas) said itís about a $600 job. He knew what he was talking about based on the conversation about heating the bearing & keeping shaft cool, etc.

The second call to the new guys in town said unless there is significant play in the rear wheel, the drive oil dirty and/or there is substantial debris on the drain plug donít worry about it. ďYouíll know when itís about to go!Ē Bring it in and weíll do an early 24K service and change the tranny and rear drive oil to synthetic which will reduce the temperature in the drive.

The rear wheel is tight. I changed engine oil and rear drive when I got it. The rear drive oil was clean as well as the drain plug.

I donít ďwant it to goĒ when Iím on a long or short trip for that matter! Donít want to tackle this surgery on my own at this point.

So what would you do?
Buy a spare rear drive like I did. Learn how to change it out so you can do it on the road. When your current bearing blows (if it ever does) change out the drives and ride on into the sunset. Take the bad one to the dealer and have them benchwork the drive with new bearings/seals etc.
Done....
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post #8 of 13 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 12:03 pm
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Question Final Drive Things to Consider

If you choose to waite for the ball bearing to fail you will most likely find that when the bearing starts to fail there are small flakes of steel that spread through the drive assembly and into all of the other bearings and gears. Even though you might carry the large bearing what are you going to do about the other bearings that are now trashed by the metal particles floating in the gear oil. Replacing the other bearing on the side of the road or in a shop not equipped with the proper tools in very difficult if not impossible. I can speak from experience that you can have a bearing failure with no notice of loose wheel or noise etc.
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post #9 of 13 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 12:34 pm
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Life is uncertain

As one of the members of the final drive failure club,
I can tell you that there are no guarantees and no warning signs (in most cases).
The final drive bearing on my 2002 failed at 14K and 40 miles into a three week trip,
it was a "bummer" for sure.
There are LT's out there with a hundred K without bearing failure,
I think we established that the failure rate is approximately 3% of all LT's.
So which group are you going to be in? the 97% or .........
If worrying about it is going to affect your riding pleasure,
then go ahead and change it out.
Personally I think there are many other mishaps that are far more likely to occur,
like for instance a flat tire, so are you going to carry a spare?
Of course not, and if it should happen a cell phone and a credit card will get you out of that predicament.

Now if any of Y'all want a spare final drive, I've got one for sale,
if you break down on the road I could "overnight" it to you,
if you break down within a days ride of me, I'll bring it to you.
maybe this will help you sleep better tonight


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

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post #10 of 13 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 1:37 pm
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i agree, try to ride it and not worry, after all there are a lot of other items on the bike that could let go.

even if it is something that has happened to just 3% of LT's, my question is why? i've not heard of any other shaft drive bike having this problem.
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post #11 of 13 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 3:05 pm
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Carrying a spare bearing doesn't mean I consider doing a "road side repair". However any reasonably equiped garage would have the tools needed. As far as bearing installation, amazing things can be done with a freezer and an oven, even with no bearing press handy.

As far as such an "emergency" rebuild being "properly done", just replacing the bearing using the existing shim would probably be as good as many bmw shops would do. And yes, the point would be to get back on the road rather than spending the next 2-3 days getting repaired, the point would not be the perfect rebuild.

You can't be prepared for everything, but if you are paying attention you may catch the final drive meltdown before it gets beyond the crown wheel bearing and seal. Many have experienced no further damage. If you ignore the symptoms, or try to get "just a few miles more" by riding on a failing final drive, certainly you risk more components being damaged.

After all this discussion about planning for a final drive failure, the best preparation is a good emergency road service contract, a credit card, and a positive attitude. Like, if you bike's broken but you're not, things aren't all that bad
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post #12 of 13 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 5:10 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the comments

Based on all of the responses and the positive mathematical probablity (much better than Vegas), I'm going to ride the grey beast "like I stole it and stop worryin" as encouraged by Daman858, a retired LEO.

I did steal it based on the negotiated price due to "family issues" of the previous owner. Been there . . . done that, but now I can ride & enjoy life with this gal!

pm
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post #13 of 13 Old Nov 27th, 2006, 10:26 am
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as another failed drive guy

id change it

i can tell u for a fact that i changed my rear drive oil regularly and there was NO indication of either play or metal on the magnetic plug 3 weeks prior to the thing going out.....

if you are wanting to ride across country with some peace of mind....change it.....

when it goes it goes fast and its not something you are going to fix on the side of the road.....

having said all that....mine did have over 80,000 miles on it when it went out.....

its pretty easy to remove your rear drive from the bike......

just my 2 cents

Kip
99 LT
97 Shadow 1100
Jefferson, Ga
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