Final Drive - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 35 Old Jan 31st, 2018, 9:59 pm Thread Starter
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Final Drive

I have an 05 with 60K on the clock, I bought the bike last year and didn't receive any maintenance details with it. I am planning a big summer and I would like to have the final drive inspected/rebuilt. After research, I understand Saddleman is the MAN to talk to. I am new to the fourm, so I am not sure how to contact him. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 35 Old Jan 31st, 2018, 10:51 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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Originally Posted by nate1263 View Post
I have an 05 with 60K on the clock, I bought the bike last year and didn't receive any maintenance details with it. I am planning a big summer and I would like to have the final drive inspected/rebuilt. After research, I understand Saddleman is the MAN to talk to. I am new to the fourm, so I am not sure how to contact him. Any help is greatly appreciated.
To send him a message, you need 15 posts. Load this thread up with 15 posts, pics if you have them and then you can find or get directed to a thread where you can send him a message. You have 2, 13 to go

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post #3 of 35 Old Feb 1st, 2018, 1:34 am
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Re: Final Drive

Saddleman is the guy to go to. he did mine a month ago. He may see your post here.
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post #4 of 35 Old Feb 1st, 2018, 4:49 pm
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Re: Final Drive

05 and up are not as prone to the classic failure as they finally figured out how to put them together. But nothing wrong with letting Dave look at it for as he is the man on rear drives.

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post #5 of 35 Old Feb 1st, 2018, 6:36 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

Thats good to know, Thanks to all
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post #6 of 35 Old Feb 1st, 2018, 6:37 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

Thank you....Off to post lol
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post #7 of 35 Old Feb 1st, 2018, 7:49 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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Originally Posted by nate1263 View Post
I have an 05 with 60K on the clock, I bought the bike last year and didn't receive any maintenance details with it. I am planning a big summer and I would like to have the final drive inspected/rebuilt. After research, I understand Saddleman is the MAN to talk to. I am new to the fourm, so I am not sure how to contact him. Any help is greatly appreciated.
You understand correct. Saddleman is the the go to. Private message him.

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post #8 of 35 Old Feb 1st, 2018, 7:57 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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Thank you....Off to post lol
Just a few more post to go.
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post #9 of 35 Old Feb 1st, 2018, 8:59 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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05 and up are not as prone to the classic failure as they finally figured out how to put them together. But nothing wrong with letting Dave look at it for as he is the man on rear drives.
Someone forgot to tell my 07 that... It was Cutterized at about 27K.

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post #10 of 35 Old Feb 1st, 2018, 9:45 pm
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Re: Final Drive

Just ride the Big Girl and don't worry. I have a y2k with 100k on it. I changed my fluid every 12k miles. Saw 1st abnormal flakes at 90k. Saddleman done my rebuild. I have nothing but good to say about these bikes. I wouldn't pull that diff out for no reason. Just my thoughts.
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post #11 of 35 Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 12:42 pm
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Re: Final Drive

I subscribe to the old saying "if it's not broke, don't fix it."
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post #12 of 35 Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 1:25 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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I subscribe to the old saying "if it's not broke, don't fix it."
The trouble is, if the shimming is wrong it is broke, it just hasn't failed yet.
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post #13 of 35 Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 6:18 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

My theory is that, not knowing the first 50k maintenance that was done, it might be a good idea, especially since I planning a couple of big trips. One the first things I did was to change the fluids, and I did notice some silver on the magnet. Just looking for peace of mind.
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post #14 of 35 Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 6:19 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

Thank you sir, hope to talk to you soon!
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post #15 of 35 Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 7:04 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

I will check the magnet on the next maintenance, if it looks good, maybe I will go that route. Thanks
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post #16 of 35 Old Feb 3rd, 2018, 6:09 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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Originally Posted by nate1263 View Post
I will check the magnet on the next maintenance, if it looks good, maybe I will go that route. Thanks
Com'on Nate, just 3 more posts.
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post #17 of 35 Old Feb 3rd, 2018, 9:06 pm
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Re: Final Drive

Have you ever thought about using a mechanics stethoscope to listen to the bearings? If you put the bike up on its center stand and put it in gear while the bike is running you might just be able to hear an irregularity in the sounds the bearings make. I use this method when I inspect some of the machines I work on in the steel industry. When the bearing cage has started to fall apart the balls don't sit where they should. This will lead to the bearing sounding a little clunky instead of the smooth sound a bit like tearing silk that a good bearing usually makes.
Just a thought and I will try this myself.
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post #18 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2018, 6:11 am
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Re: Final Drive

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Originally Posted by nate1263 View Post
... did notice some silver on the magnet.
Reflective, shiny particles on the drain magnetic are symptomatic of a classic crownwheel bearing failure.
A small amount of dull, gray mud-like build up on the drain magnet can be normal, but shiny, silver particles are a bad sign.
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/...d-failure.html
Much discussed in the past with many pics and posts. Searching the archives here is tedious, but you might find pics that help you understand what you saw on your drain plug.
HTH
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post #19 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2018, 6:17 am
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Re: Final Drive

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Originally Posted by Wazza View Post
Have you ever thought about using a mechanics stethoscope to listen to the bearings? If you put the bike up on its center stand and put it in gear while the bike is running you might just be able to hear an irregularity in the sounds the bearings make. I use this method when I inspect some of the machines I work on in the steel industry. When the bearing cage has started to fall apart the balls don't sit where they should. This will lead to the bearing sounding a little clunky instead of the smooth sound a bit like tearing silk that a good bearing usually makes.
Just a thought and I will try this myself.
With a decade and a half of final drive failure discussion on this board, just about everything has been discussed. It is just easy for all that information to become lost in the archives.
Mechanic stethoscope, temperature monitoring, vibration tests, etc. have all been discussed and tried by various folks.

There seems to be no subsititute for regular final drive lube changes with visual inspection of the the lube and drain plug.
Beyond that, open inspection of the drive.
HTH
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post #20 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2018, 2:32 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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With a decade and a half of final drive failure discussion on this board, just about everything has been discussed. It is just easy for all that information to become lost in the archives.
Mechanic stethoscope, temperature monitoring, vibration tests, etc. have all been discussed and tried by various folks.

There seems to be no subsititute for regular final drive lube changes with visual inspection of the the lube and drain plug.
Beyond that, open inspection of the drive.
HTH
I would say there is no substitute for an open inspection and reshimming. Then you have no need for other than regularly scheduled oil changes.
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post #21 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2018, 2:52 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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I would say there is no substitute for an open inspection and reshimming. Then you have no need for other than regularly scheduled oil changes.
I agree with that somewhat that an open inspection is the only way to know the true status of the FD. I would think that other than new or with a new bearing installed, any shimming measurements would be somewhat meaningless unless you found that even then, it was over shimmed. If so, there may already be irreversible damage. Unless you know what the initial measurements were, you would not be able to make a reliable determination on the current state of the drive and some failed at a relatively low mileage. If it had any significant mileage and was still over shimmed, I would just go ahead and replace the bearing and reshim properly.

That being said, if you found it to be in spec, I would agree. Just change the oil regularly and check the magnet. It could already be one of Curtis or Dave's rebuilds or one of the others who have done the job right. My spare may be one of those. I opened it up and checked it out. No pinion race creep, wear pattern looked good, lash was good and the shimming was spot on. I just put it back together and keep it on the shelf should I or a close friend need one in a hurry. One day I will open it back up and look for Dave's mark. Didn't know what to look for at the time I had it apart. Don't know if Curtis made any marks or not.

Gordon
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post #22 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2018, 5:39 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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... One day I will open it back up and look for Dave's mark. Didn't know what to look for at the time I had it apart. Don't know if Curtis made any marks or not.
Toward the end of my rebuilding phase, I was marking with a punch, three dots in a triangle pattern inside the drive housing. I honestly don't remember exactly how many I marked that way, or where I put the marks, and I probably didn't always put 'em in the same place.

I marked them just so I could tell for myself if someone was sending me a drive I had rebuilt or they were sending me a different one.

So far, I haven't had to honor my "life time" guarantee. If one of my rebuilds has failed, I don't know about it. (I used to offer a life time guarantee, end life of the bike or end of life of the rider, which ever came first.)

Today, if I did get one back, I'd ship it to Saddleman and pay him to do it.
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post #23 of 35 Old Feb 5th, 2018, 8:14 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

That is an awesome idea, I am concerned that I may not have knowledge to know what I am listening for. As I expand my touring range, only concern is a break down. I am planning a trip to the Adirondacks this summer and I just think about all of the tales of fd failure and it is always in the back of my mind
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post #24 of 35 Old Feb 5th, 2018, 8:16 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

I will do some digging in the archives and see what I can find, I am new here so thanks for the tip!
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post #25 of 35 Old Feb 5th, 2018, 8:18 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

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I would say there is no substitute for an open inspection and reshimming. Then you have no need for other than regularly scheduled oil changes.

How involved is opening it up, I pretty mechanical and not afraid to do things, but final drive seem pretty daunting.
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post #26 of 35 Old Feb 5th, 2018, 8:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
Reflective, shiny particles on the drain magnetic are symptomatic of a classic crownwheel bearing failure.
A small amount of dull, gray mud-like build up on the drain magnet can be normal, but shiny, silver particles are a bad sign.
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/...d-failure.html
Much discussed in the past with many pics and posts. Searching the archives here is tedious, but you might find pics that help you understand what you saw on your drain plug.
HTH
Thats what I seen when I changed the fluid right after I got the bike, I see where I stand after this next change, I have about 10K on the last change and I was going to do it in my spring prep.
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post #27 of 35 Old Feb 5th, 2018, 9:36 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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How involved is opening it up, I pretty mechanical and not afraid to do things, but final drive seem pretty daunting.
It is quite involved to do a complete inspection and FD setup. Shimming is just one aspect. Teeth engagement pattern should also be checked. I had Tom Cutter do mine as he is close to where I live, but Saddleman is the resident expert here.

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post #28 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2018, 7:06 am
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Re: Final Drive

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I will do some digging in the archives and see what I can find,...
Nate,
Here's one I found: http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/...ml#post1012241
See the first attached pic in the post.

As the crown wheel bearing breaks down, first there are small shiny metal flakes that are result of pitting of the races and balls of the bearing. As the process continues, the flakes will become bigger. Then as the pitted balls and races start stressing the bearing retainer, the retainer will fracture and shards of the retainer will appear.

However, most often, by the time the retainer has fractured, retainer shards will have torn the oil seal resulting in the show stopping lube leak onto the rear wheel, so the finding of retainer shards is usually on drive inspection after catastrophic failure.
HTH
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post #29 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2018, 10:07 am
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Re: Final Drive

If you don't do precautionary rebuild and want to survive a long trip just buy a seal and bearing to carry with you. Look at this post for a field repair procedure. Not every town has a BMW dealer but almost every town has a machine shop somewhere. Most you would lose is half a day.

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post #30 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2018, 11:23 am
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Re: Final Drive

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The trouble is, if the shimming is wrong it is broke, it just hasn't failed yet.
Yes. Kinda like a timebomb. At some time. Usually the worst possible time. Miles from home.

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post #31 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2018, 12:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
Nate,
Here's one I found: http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/...ml#post1012241
See the first attached pic in the post.

As the crown wheel bearing breaks down, first there are small shiny metal flakes that are result of pitting of the races and balls of the bearing. As the process continues, the flakes will become bigger. Then as the pitted balls and races start stressing the bearing retainer, the retainer will fracture and shards of the retainer will appear.

However, most often, by the time the retainer has fractured, retainer shards will have torn the oil seal resulting in the show stopping lube leak onto the rear wheel, so the finding of retainer shards is usually on drive inspection after catastrophic failure.
HTH
Thanks so much, I watched a video of the rebuild last night and until getting the proper clearance for the shims I was down to try it. I was able to contact Saddleman and I looking into having it done just for peace of mind. I usually hold on to bikes for several years and I don't see my opinion changing on this one, so I think it is a wise investment.
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post #32 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2018, 3:37 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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Thanks so much, I watched a video of the rebuild last night and until getting the proper clearance for the shims I was down to try it. I was able to contact Saddleman and I looking into having it done just for peace of mind. I usually hold on to bikes for several years and I don't see my opinion changing on this one, so I think it is a wise investment.
I consider myself to be pretty mechanical. I put a 383 in my Fiero and swapped in a 6 speed transaxle and even did the paint and upholstery by myself. I won 7 or 8 trophies. I have learned that some times it is better to buy someone's experience than to earn your own. When building my Jeep I got into re-gearing both axles and installer lockers and decided to bundle it up and pay the local expert. Good move.
Saddleman did my rear drive a few months ago as a preemptive move. I feel so much better now planning for my CC50.
he is great to work with.
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post #33 of 35 Old Feb 7th, 2018, 9:04 pm
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Re: Final Drive

I have been slack this winter. Lots of home projects,hunting,getting ready for coastal fishing in the spring and I love to compete in skeet. So the bike has sit. I am forcing myself to tear into it soon. I bought this 02 model bike last summer with a extensive background in extremely good maintenance. I drained the rear end fluid and looked at it. Like new. It has just went past 8K miles. I bought a spare FD off a trike conversion with 18k on it. I do wonder if these drives have already started a pattern that requires replacement of the bearings? I plan on no extended trips this summer. It does make one wonder in my case if its worth it.

With that said I lost 2 FD's on a 01 in 02 within 13K miles........its the reason I got off them at the time.
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post #34 of 35 Old Feb 7th, 2018, 9:37 pm
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Re: Final Drive

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I have been slack this winter. Lots of home projects,hunting,getting ready for coastal fishing in the spring and I love to compete in skeet. So the bike has sit. I am forcing myself to tear into it soon. I bought this 02 model bike last summer with a extensive background in extremely good maintenance. I drained the rear end fluid and looked at it. Like new. It has just went past 8K miles. I bought a spare FD off a trike conversion with 18k on it. I do wonder if these drives have already started a pattern that requires replacement of the bearings? I plan on no extended trips this summer. It does make one wonder in my case if its worth it.

With that said I lost 2 FD's on a 01 in 02 within 13K miles........its the reason I got off them at the time.
It might be worth an inspection and measurement to see where they are with shimming. If over shimmed and that many miles, personally I would replace the bearing and shim properly and not take a chance that metal fatigue had already started as early failures were all over the place in mileage. Then I would do regular oil changes and magnet inspections for the next 100K

2c

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1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
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post #35 of 35 Old Feb 8th, 2018, 10:38 am
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Re: Final Drive

Interestingly I have an 02 in the shop now with an original unrebuilt FD that the current owner got from the original purchaser. It has 76K on it and the drive feels fine. I will keep an eye on it.
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2004 330 Ci Convertable
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