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post #1 of 57 Old Feb 21st, 2018, 2:16 pm Thread Starter
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Question Filings on final drive plug

Hi

I drained the final drive yesterday on my 99 LT and the plug showed filings.
Is this a concern or should I wait and see at the next change?
The oil was a good colour.
The plug was cleaned 5000km ago.

Thanks
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post #2 of 57 Old Feb 21st, 2018, 3:59 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatoona View Post
Hi

I drained the final drive yesterday on my 99 LT and the plug showed filings.
Is this a concern or should I wait and see at the next change?
The oil was a good colour.
The plug was cleaned 5000km ago.

Thanks
Welcome to the forum. The FD will normally make a very fine powder that will mix with the oil and form a paste that accumulates on the magnet. If that is nothing more than a paste, then it is probably OK. If there are flakes or larger particles, that may be in indication of the crown bearing beginning to deteriorate. Wipe that off on a smooth surface and look at the particle size. Check the rear wheel for any play by shaking it at 9 and 3 and also at 12 and 6. There should be no play that you can feel. If there is, you need to determine if that play is in the wheel bearing or worn pivot bearings on the swing arm. If it is in the wheel, you are looking at doing the crown bearing replacement in the near future.
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post #3 of 57 Old Feb 21st, 2018, 4:21 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatoona View Post
Hi

I drained the final drive yesterday on my 99 LT and the plug showed filings.
Is this a concern or should I wait and see at the next change?
The oil was a good colour.
The plug was cleaned 5000km ago.

Thanks
Hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like more than the normal gray sludge. I would consider sending the FD to Saddleman for a pre-emptive inspection and possible rebuild.

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post #4 of 57 Old Feb 21st, 2018, 5:26 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

Wipe it onto a clean white cloth and look for shiny or "sparkle" stuff. Old gray "fuzz" is normal, shiny is bad.
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post #5 of 57 Old Feb 21st, 2018, 9:53 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

The 2 that I lost looked like that about couple thousand before they failed.......

I would just change it, run it and check back in 4-500 miles. I would give odds you need a rebuild and the guy to fix it is right here.
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post #6 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 4:08 am Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
Welcome to the forum. The FD will normally make a very fine powder that will mix with the oil and form a paste that accumulates on the magnet. If that is nothing more than a paste, then it is probably OK. If there are flakes or larger particles, that may be in indication of the crown bearing beginning to deteriorate. Wipe that off on a smooth surface and look at the particle size. Check the rear wheel for any play by shaking it at 9 and 3 and also at 12 and 6. There should be no play that you can feel. If there is, you need to determine if that play is in the wheel bearing or worn pivot bearings on the swing arm. If it is in the wheel, you are looking at doing the crown bearing replacement in the near future.
Thanks for the welcome.
There is no movement in the rear wheel.
There were some larger particles that concern me.

Thanks again
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post #7 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 4:11 am Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like more than the normal gray sludge. I would consider sending the FD to Saddleman for a pre-emptive inspection and possible rebuild.
Yes definitely more than grey sludge. There is some metal coming from somewhere.
I'm in Australia so may need to tackle the drive myself.

Thanks for your response.
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post #8 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 4:12 am Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
Wipe it onto a clean white cloth and look for shiny or "sparkle" stuff. Old gray "fuzz" is normal, shiny is bad.
There was shiny .

Thankyou for the reply.
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post #9 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 4:15 am Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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The 2 that I lost looked like that about couple thousand before they failed.......

I would just change it, run it and check back in 4-500 miles. I would give odds you need a rebuild and the guy to fix it is right here.
Thanks, what happens when they do go? Are you stuck where it happens or can you limp some distance?
Who is the guy to fix it here in Australia?

Thanks again for your reply.
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post #10 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 7:11 am
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by Chatoona View Post
Thanks, what happens when they do go? Are you stuck where it happens or can you limp some distance? Who is the guy to fix it here in Australia?...
If that is a "classic crown wheel bearing failure" (which I suspect that it is...), the usual progression is a sense of rough running in the rear of the bike as the balls and races become more severely pitted, followed by fracture of the bearing retainer as the stresses on it become greater. This progression happens rapidly over just a few miles. Then the bearing retainer breaks, shards of the retainer tear the main output seal of the final drive (located behind the rear brake rotor) and the lube runs out onto the wheel/tire.

No one has confirmed a severe crash directly related to this lube on the rear tire, but there have been suggestions of accidents that may have been caused by this. Gear lube on the rear tire of a motorcycle clearly not a good thing.

At the point of loss of seal integrity, folks have been able to continue to ride a limited number of miles but this at risk of causing greater damage to the internals of the final drive. In some cases, the riding of additional miles has destroyed components in the drive requiring replacement of the drive. (being more cost effective to replace than repair).

BTW, the "shake the wheel test" has never been a good indication of a failing crownwheel bearing; it will reveal worn or loose swing arm pivot bearings, but in all the years I have been following these final drive failures, I have never seen or heard of the "shake the wheel test" detecting the early stages of the bearing failure. By the time you can detect any axial or radial movement originating in the final drive, other symptoms of failure are clearly evident. i.e. retainer shards on the drain magnet or ruptured seal.

Not sure about a rebuilder Down Under, but with info on this site and suggestions from the group, you could DIY. I have become an advocate of having someone experienced with these drive do rebuilds but if you post pics along the way, folks on this site will help walk you through it.

HTH
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Last edited by CharlieVT; Feb 22nd, 2018 at 1:24 pm.
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post #11 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 10:38 am
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

Contact users Axle or CWS as they are the most active down under.

In the mean time look over this article I wrote about a field repair. Could be an alternative for a proper rebuild if you can't find some one.

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post #12 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 12:55 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

I was only 20 miles from home when the first one became apparent although I was waiting for it. This was in 2001. I was able to then ride it 15 miles or so for repair under warranty.

The 2nd honestly surprised me a good deal. I had changed the rear drive oil a few weeks before. Had some sludge but although concerned did not expect such a sudden failure weeks later. The week before I had returned from a fairly long trip though and should have checked the drive oil. That was my chance to be diligent that I won't miss now. I was a good 125 miles out on failure day. Short long story we totally suited up in leather and I nursed it home. It was so bad after cooling it froze. Had to drag it on the trailer. I felt fortunate. Still under warranty it was repaired again. Still in 2001.

I left the brand and bike until a rebirth last year.......

I also bought a spare FD first thing as well. Being that if I send mine off I would request new bearings I am just watching mine closely. First sign of anything its off to Dave. I haven't heard of one yet not being caught before hand with diligent FD oil changes which take 10 minutes tops. ( I am sure many would not want to change it as much as I do) A quart basically does 4 changes.

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post #13 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 1:02 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

There are some detailed videos on YouTube about this repair job also. My friend who is handy but not a machinist did it in his garage. I think a secret is not to use original shims but follow one of the ways to measure things and use the "new" shim pack spacing as indicated by your measuring. Also, should be no problem by now but be sure your replacement bearing has 19 ball bearings not the original 17 sizing.

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post #14 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 1:25 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
If that is a "classic crown wheel bearing failure" (which I suspect that it is...), the usual progression is a sense of rough running in the rear of the bike as the balls and races become more severly pitted, followed by fracture of the bearing retainer as the stresses on it become greater. This progression happens rapidly over just a few miles. Then the bearing retainer breaks, shards of the retainer tear the main output seal of the final drive (located behind the rear brake rotor) and the lube runs out onto the wheel/tire.

No one has confirmed a severe crash directly related to this lube on the rear tire, but there have been suggestions of accidents that may have been caused by this. Gear lube on the rear tire of a motorcycle clearly not a good thing.

At the point of loss of seal integrity, folks have been able to continue to ride a limited number of miles but this at risk of causing greater damage to the internals of the final drive. In some cases, the riding of additional miles has destroyed components in the drive requiring replacement of the drive. (being more cost effective to replace than repair).

BTW, the "shake the wheel test" has never been a good indication of a failing crownwheel bearing; it will reveal worn or loose swing arm pivot bearings, but in all the years I have been following these final drive failures, I have never seen or heard of the "shake the wheel test" detecting the early stages of the bearing failure. By the time you can detect any axial or radial movement originating in the final drive, other symptoms of failure are clearly evident. i.e. retainer shards on the drain magnet or ruptured seal.

Not sure about a rebuilder Down Under, but with info on this site and suggestions from the group, you could DIY. I have become an advocate of having someone experienced with these drive do rebuilds but if you post pics along the way, folks on this site will help walk you through it.

HTH
Thanks CharlieVT, your description certainly helps to understand what will happen and this all seems inevitable. The fellow I bought the bike off said he had it happen twice so clearly from what I have read it has never been rebuilt properly. The bike has 127000K's.
Like any bearing failure on any piece of machinery more damage occurs if you keep going just to finish the job.
Might be rebuild time.

Thanks again for your reply.
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post #15 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 1:30 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by cbxchris View Post
I was only 20 miles from home when the first one became apparent although I was waiting for it. This was in 2001. I was able to then ride it 15 miles or so for repair under warranty.

The 2nd honestly surprised me a good deal. I had changed the rear drive oil a few weeks before. Had some sludge but although concerned did not expect such a sudden failure weeks later. The week before I had returned from a fairly long trip though and should have checked the drive oil. That was my chance to be diligent that I won't miss now. I was a good 125 miles out on failure day. Short long story we totally suited up in leather and I nursed it home. It was so bad after cooling it froze. Had to drag it on the trailer. I felt fortunate. Still under warranty it was repaired again. Still in 2001.

I left the brand and bike until a rebirth last year.......

I also bought a spare FD first thing as well. Being that if I send mine off I would request new bearings I am just watching mine closely. First sign of anything its off to Dave. I haven't heard of one yet not being caught before hand with diligent FD oil changes which take 10 minutes tops. ( I am sure many would not want to change it as much as I do) A quart basically does 4 changes.
Thanks cbxchris, I'm with you about changing the drive oil regularly, cheap way of checking what is going on.
I might do another few hundred ks and check the plug again just to be sure.
Dragging the beast up a plank onto a trailer would take an army of mates
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post #16 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 1:37 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by beech View Post
There are some detailed videos on YouTube about this repair job also. My friend who is handy but not a machinist did it in his garage. I think a secret is not to use original shims but follow one of the ways to measure things and use the "new" shim pack spacing as indicated by your measuring. Also, should be no problem by now but be sure your replacement bearing has 19 ball bearings not the original 17 sizing.
I watched a video last night and it appears I would have the gear here at home to tackle the job.
From all the reading the shim sizing seems to be critical.

Thanks for your reply.
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post #17 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 1:43 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
Contact users Axle or CWS as they are the most active down under.

In the mean time look over this article I wrote about a field repair. Could be an alternative for a proper rebuild if you can't find some one.
What a great document, good on you for writing it.
I think the old saying"be prepared" in this case means fix it now so you dont have to carry out the repair out of your comfort zone in someone else's garage.

Thanks for your reply jzeiler
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post #18 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 1:47 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by Chatoona View Post
... The fellow I bought the bike off said he had it happen twice so clearly from what I have read it has never been rebuilt properly. The bike has 127000K's...
Thanks for the bike history. Very informative. "Unembellished" or "summary" bearing replacements where the bearing is replaced but the preload is not calculated are destined to fail again.

Sorry, I am a "damn yankee" and have to think in miles: That's about 80K miles, and the bike is on its third final drive failure. That's about 20K miles per bearing which is consistent with those early bikes with serious excess preload on the bearing. The majority of those early bikes which failed, failed around 20K miles. The results of my inquiry over the years found that those bearing were over preloaded about 0.15-0.20mm.

Here's a serious short cut to a rebuild: Follow jzelier's excellent write up: http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/technica...tml#post892450

When you get to the point where he says if there are two shims, toss out the thin one, do exactly that. The thin shim will be a 0.15mm shim. (Added on edit: given the drive has been worked on a couple of times already, you never know what is in there. I suggest you put a micrometer on the thinner shim just to confirm it is 0.15mm.)
If there is only one shim, put a micrometer on it and then replace it with a shim that is 0.15-0.20mm thinner.

That is clearly an estimate based on a review of failed drives, but short of doing a proper rebuild (which should give you a 100K+ mile trouble free drive), you'll get at least another 20K miles and probably much more than that.

If you are willing to remove and disassemble the drive, and take pics along the way, we'll help with checking for other know problems in the drive.

You'll need a seal and crown wheel bearing, time and tools...

I wouldn't just ride it.

HTH
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Last edited by CharlieVT; Feb 22nd, 2018 at 5:38 pm.
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post #19 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 8:35 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

Hi James, didn't realise you were an Aussie when you posted on FB.
Not sure if anyone here has rebuilt a final drive as yet, I expect Linton (Axle) who is in Portland, Vic would have a go at it.... but he's madder than me.... haha. I'm in Sydney.

I got lucky and picked up a near-new one from a triked LT and swapped mine over during a clutch rebuild at 100,000km, which Linton kindly helped me with.
But if you rebuild yours and do a good job, you'll be the local expert!

Another mate Brian who lives in Orange had an LT for many years (Brian and Mim) but they're on a triked Goldthing these days. Don't think he was mechanically inclined though.

For now I'd put the plug back in with new oil and see if they are any spares on fleabay you could pull apart in the meantime and have a go at rebuilding.... if you plan on hanging onto the LT, that is.
Cheers mate.

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post #20 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 9:41 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by cws View Post
Hi James, didn't realise you were an Aussie when you posted on FB.
Not sure if anyone here has rebuilt a final drive as yet, I expect Linton (Axle) who is in Portland, Vic would have a go at it.... but he's madder than me.... haha. I'm in Sydney.

I got lucky and picked up a near-new one from a triked LT and swapped mine over during a clutch rebuild at 100,000km, which Linton kindly helped me with.
But if you rebuild yours and do a good job, you'll be the local expert!

Another mate Brian who lives in Orange had an LT for many years (Brian and Mim) but they're on a triked Goldthing these days. Don't think he was mechanically inclined though.

For now I'd put the plug back in with new oil and see if they are any spares on fleabay you could pull apart in the meantime and have a go at rebuilding.... if you plan on hanging onto the LT, that is.
Cheers mate.
Yea Chris I'm happy to have a go at it, I've had a go at all other things on the LT.
I like the idea of tracking down another drive and rebuilding it.

Have seen Brian and Mim on the Goldwing at a Ulysses ride, they take turns riding, good on em.

Thanks
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post #21 of 57 Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 9:52 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
Thanks for the bike history. Very informative. "Unembellished" or "summary" bearing replacements where the bearing is replaced but the preload is not calculated are destined to fail again.

Sorry, I am a "damn yankee" and have to think in miles: That's about 80K miles, and the bike is on its third final drive failure. That's about 20K miles per bearing which is consistent with those early bikes with serious excess preload on the bearing. The majority of those early bikes which failed, failed around 20K miles. The results of my inquiry over the years found that those bearing were over preloaded about 0.15-0.20mm.

Here's a serious short cut to a rebuild: Follow jzelier's excellent write up: http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/technica...tml#post892450

When you get to the point where he says if there are two shims, toss out the thin one, do exactly that. The thin shim will be a 0.15mm shim. (Added on edit: given the drive has been worked on a couple of times already, you never know what is in there. I suggest you put a micrometer on the thinner shim just to confirm it is 0.15mm.)
If there is only one shim, put a micrometer on it and then replace it with a shim that is 0.15-0.20mm thinner.

That is clearly an estimate based on a review of failed drives, but short of doing a proper rebuild (which should give you a 100K+ mile trouble free drive), you'll get at least another 20K miles and probably much more than that.

If you are willing to remove and disassemble the drive, and take pics along the way, we'll help with checking for other know problems in the drive.

You'll need a seal and crown wheel bearing, time and tools...

I wouldn't just ride it.

HTH
You poor yankees with your miles and thousands of an inch
The shimming certainly seems to be the issue, I could imagine that most rebuilders just want to get the thing back together instead of waiting on an ordered correct sized shim!

I'm keen to have a go at pulling the drive apart and doing the rebuild myself. Just have to work out when to get to it.

I do like Chris's idea of tracking down another drive and rebuilding that.

My rides will be short in the mean time.

Thanks for your time CharlieVT
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post #22 of 57 Old Feb 23rd, 2018, 6:31 am
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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You poor yankees with your miles and thousands of an inch
The shimming certainly seems to be the issue, I could imagine that most rebuilders just want to get the thing back together instead of waiting on an ordered correct sized shim!
Right on about the metric system. US almost changed some time ago, but didn't make it. (All the final drives I worked on had mileage reported to me in "miles" so that's my reference.) US should really "bite the bullet" and make the change. Those who are steeped in our legacy system and don't understand metric are unaware of the relative simplicity of doing things in metric, it is truly a superior system. (Sorry for the thread highjack...)

The difficulty of proper rebuild isn't about ordering the shim, but rather the measurement process. I have an old video which someone edited and put on you tube; if you can ignore the flashing intro and grammar errors of the guy who posted it, and ignore of the minor errors regarding drive housing disassembly and erroneous hypothesis regarding cause of bearing failure, the preload measurement method show in the video has stood the test of time. The method shown was first proposed on this site by DMAN, whose method was an elegant alternative to the BMW Service Manual method which requires a BMW Special Tool. The DMAN method used a standard dial indicator rather than a special tool and, when done carefully provides reliable results.
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post #23 of 57 Old Feb 23rd, 2018, 8:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Right on about the metric system. US almost changed some time ago, but didn't make it. (All the final drives I worked on had mileage reported to me in "miles" so that's my reference.) US should really "bite the bullet" and make the change. Those who are steeped in our legacy system and don't understand metric are unaware of the relative simplicity of doing things in metric, it is truly a superior system. (Sorry for the thread highjack...)

The difficulty of proper rebuild isn't about ordering the shim, but rather the measurement process. I have an old video which someone edited and put on you tube; if you can ignore the flashing intro and grammar errors of the guy who posted it, and ignore of the minor errors regarding drive housing disassembly and erroneous hypothesis regarding cause of bearing failure, the preload measurement method show in the video has stood the test of time. The method shown was first proposed on this site by DMAN, whose method was an elegant alternative to the BMW Service Manual method which requires a BMW Special Tool. The DMAN method used a standard dial indicator rather than a special tool and, when done carefully provides reliable results.
Hey CharlieVT if I'm going to tackle this myself I will certainly be watching as many videos that are available.
I watched one the other day where he used bolts in the hub then levered it up against a dial gauge, interesting that the measurements varied.

I'm currently on the search for another drive, if I can track one down at a reasonable price I may rebuild it.

Ill assess and see where my brain takes me.

Thanks for your replies.
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post #24 of 57 Old Feb 23rd, 2018, 9:20 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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You poor yankees with your miles and thousands of an inch
I have something here called Google and can look up cool conversion tools to compensate for whichever way you feel is better. I just wish they would have gone one way or the other so I don't have to switch between the two while working on my cage.
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post #25 of 57 Old Mar 19th, 2018, 6:21 am Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by Chatoona View Post
Hi

I drained the final drive yesterday on my 99 LT and the plug showed filings.
Is this a concern or should I wait and see at the next change?
The oil was a good colour.
The plug was cleaned 5000km ago.

Thanks
I have had a quote to completely overhaul the rear drive including replacement of all seals and bearings - $1280 AUD.
I was quoted 4.5hrs labour with the rest being parts.

Is this a fair price?

Thanks
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post #26 of 57 Old Mar 19th, 2018, 7:24 am
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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I have had a quote to completely overhaul the rear drive including replacement of all seals and bearings - $1280 AUD.
I was quoted 4.5hrs labour with the rest being parts.

Is this a fair price?

Thanks
In my line of work I buy a lot of bearings and seals. Admittedly I haven't tried to price the contents of the final drive but lets just say that they cost about $500. If that was the case then they are valuing their time at around $170 per hour. I personally think that that is very steep for a mechanic. I diagnose and repair far more complicated machinery than a BMW motorcycle and I don't charge that much.
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post #27 of 57 Old Mar 19th, 2018, 8:13 am
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

you could do it yourself for about 400, they will just reuse the old shim guaranteed, it would be cheaper for you to buy one in the states and send it to saddleman to over haul it maybe cost 600- 700 including the shipping.

south bank Melb charge at least 120/ph if not more that's why I do all my own repairs

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post #28 of 57 Old Mar 19th, 2018, 8:38 am
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by Chatoona View Post
I have had a quote to completely overhaul the rear drive including replacement of all seals and bearings - $1280 AUD.
I was quoted 4.5hrs labour with the rest being parts.

Is this a fair price?

Thanks
If they actually replace ALL the bearings and seals, the US cost for parts alone would be $558.81 and based on a .77 exchange rate, that would put the price of all the parts including one shim per bearing if any needed changing at about $430 AUD. That is $850 AUD for labor or $188/hr. Not sure if the parts cost is subject to any other inflationary tax or tariff to inflate that cost but that does seem like a pretty steep shop rate.

My biggest concern for that amount would be that they actually did all the proper measurement procedures and proper setup of the drive for that cost as many dealers simply replace the bearings and leave the shim packs alone as it is a tedious time consuming process to do the measurements and it takes some special tools. If you were in the US, I would definitely say ship it to Saddleman and have him rebuild it and it would cost you far less in USD.

If all they are going to do is replace the bearings and seals and not do the setup and proper re-shimming, that is a very expensive rebuild as it would not correct the problem that put you in the position of needing a rebuild in the first place and you will be back at some time later to need it done again.

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post #29 of 57 Old Mar 19th, 2018, 2:36 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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you could do it yourself for about 400, they will just reuse the old shim guaranteed, it would be cheaper for you to buy one in the states and send it to saddleman to over haul it maybe cost 600- 700 including the shipping.

south bank Melb charge at least 120/ph if not more that's why I do all my own repairs
Thanks axle, I usually do all my repairs also but just not sure if I have the needed tools for this.

Perhaps I should just get into it and do it and see what happens. For the labour i'll save I could buy the required tools.

Thanks again
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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If they actually replace ALL the bearings and seals, the US cost for parts alone would be $558.81 and based on a .77 exchange rate, that would put the price of all the parts including one shim per bearing if any needed changing at about $430 AUD. That is $850 AUD for labor or $188/hr. Not sure if the parts cost is subject to any other inflationary tax or tariff to inflate that cost but that does seem like a pretty steep shop rate.

My biggest concern for that amount would be that they actually did all the proper measurement procedures and proper setup of the drive for that cost as many dealers simply replace the bearings and leave the shim packs alone as it is a tedious time consuming process to do the measurements and it takes some special tools. If you were in the US, I would definitely say ship it to Saddleman and have him rebuild it and it would cost you far less in USD.

If all they are going to do is replace the bearings and seals and not do the setup and proper re-shimming, that is a very expensive rebuild as it would not correct the problem that put you in the position of needing a rebuild in the first place and you will be back at some time later to need it done again.
The fella assured me that the shimming would be done correctly.
The labour charges here are any where from $100 to $140AUD an hour.

Thanks for your reply
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by Wazza View Post
In my line of work I buy a lot of bearings and seals. Admittedly I haven't tried to price the contents of the final drive but lets just say that they cost about $500. If that was the case then they are valuing their time at around $170 per hour. I personally think that that is very steep for a mechanic. I diagnose and repair far more complicated machinery than a BMW motorcycle and I don't charge that much.
I thought it seemed costly, I dont mind paying for the parts but the labour seems expensive.
I am waiting on a quote from another BMW dealer.

Thanks Wazza
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post #32 of 57 Old Mar 19th, 2018, 3:27 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

There are YouTube videos on this to get you started.
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post #33 of 57 Old Mar 20th, 2018, 2:43 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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There are YouTube videos on this to get you started.
Hi Beech Ive watched youtube and it seems to be a job I could manage but the shimming seems so critical and the right gauges are essential this leaves me a bit concerned.
Thanks for your reply.
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post #34 of 57 Old Mar 20th, 2018, 3:12 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

Yes the shimming is the key to it working well. But there are ways to measure inside clearences that require no gauges. A product called plastigauge. A clay like plastic is inserted to the space, all bolted up with normal torque, then opened. A scale is held against the now squished plastigauge material. Depending on how wide it was squished to is read on the scale and you know the gap. It is very accurate. I have no problem telling someone to use this if they are the least bit mechanical. (If you can take the drive apart and rebuild it this product is in your realm of use)

https://www.amazon.com/Northern-Perf...auge+kit&psc=1

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post #35 of 57 Old Mar 20th, 2018, 3:12 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by Chatoona View Post
Hi Beech Ive watched youtube and it seems to be a job I could manage but the shimming seems so critical and the right gauges are essential this leaves me a bit concerned.
Thanks for your reply.
The shimming it pretty critical but if you know what you are doing and have the gauges or measuring tools, it can be done adequately keeping in mind that the preload window is .05 to .1 mm or for us US people, between .002 and .004 inches. The typical over shimming is around .2 mm or about 8 thousandths over or 2 sheets of paper too much. If you undertake the task, repetition is pretty important. Do the measurement many times so you know you have a repeatable number to base your shim thickness on. It is also interesting to measure the original shim pack and see how far off it is compared to your measurements. If you end up with something thicker, I would recheck it again.

Mine was about .15 mm over.

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Re: Filings on final drive plug

I've rebuilt over 100 of these final drives & plastigage doesn't have any product that would even come close to working.


Quote:
Originally Posted by beech View Post
Yes the shimming is the key to it working well. But there are ways to measure inside clearences that require no gauges. A product called plastigauge. A clay like plastic is inserted to the space, all bolted up with normal torque, then opened. A scale is held against the now squished plastigauge material. Depending on how wide it was squished to is read on the scale and you know the gap. It is very accurate. I have no problem telling someone to use this if they are the least bit mechanical. (If you can take the drive apart and rebuild it this product is in your realm of use)

https://www.amazon.com/Northern-Perf...auge+kit&psc=1
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by beech View Post
Yes the shimming is the key to it working well. But there are ways to measure inside clearences that require no gauges. A product called plastigauge. A clay like plastic is inserted to the space, all bolted up with normal torque, then opened. A scale is held against the now squished plastigauge material. Depending on how wide it was squished to is read on the scale and you know the gap. It is very accurate. I have no problem telling someone to use this if they are the least bit mechanical. (If you can take the drive apart and rebuild it this product is in your realm of use)

https://www.amazon.com/Northern-Perf...auge+kit&psc=1
Ive used plastigauge when rebuilding a V8 checking clearances on the big end bearings, it is a good product.

Thanks
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post #38 of 57 Old Mar 21st, 2018, 5:03 am Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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The shimming it pretty critical but if you know what you are doing and have the gauges or measuring tools, it can be done adequately keeping in mind that the preload window is .05 to .1 mm or for us US people, between .002 and .004 inches. The typical over shimming is around .2 mm or about 8 thousandths over or 2 sheets of paper too much. If you undertake the task, repetition is pretty important. Do the measurement many times so you know you have a repeatable number to base your shim thickness on. It is also interesting to measure the original shim pack and see how far off it is compared to your measurements. If you end up with something thicker, I would recheck it again.

Mine was about .15 mm over.
The youtube video I watched showed the measuring being done a number of times to get it right.
I'm keen to try but very wary so checking other options.

Thanks
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post #39 of 57 Old Mar 21st, 2018, 7:54 am
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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I've rebuilt over 100 of these final drives & plastigage doesn't have any product that would even come close to working.
Dave is correct, plastigage won't work in this application.

There is much discussion on the subject in past threads, so not worth reciting here.

Search the archives if curious why it doesn't work in this application; those threads are probably a decade old so.
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post #40 of 57 Old Mar 21st, 2018, 1:38 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

Thoughts :

Might 3 or 4 short lengths of electrical solder (~0.050 dia electronic solder) work? This would allow field technicians to establish needed shim thickness with a simple outside micrometer.

It may require a couple of iterations to get the right total length of solder to get the preload correct for measurement purposes before a final shim determination. It might potentially be a more consistent measurement scheme in that the preload during measurement could be more repeatable. That pre-measurement preload would be adjusted by varying the length of solder under compression.

On the other hand, what is the exact desired preload? Maybe our designated expert's sandpapered fingertips is the only solution.
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post #41 of 57 Old Mar 21st, 2018, 2:14 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Thoughts :Might 3 or 4 short lengths of electrical solder (~0.050 dia electronic solder) work? This would allow field technicians to establish needed shim thickness with a simple outside micrometer.

I used to use the solder method for values in the hundreths of an inch checking EMD piston carrier bearings in place. But in this case I don't think it is accurate enough and the plastigauge is available at most auto shops, cheap and supremely accurate. If I was going to use solder, I'd just put the original shim pack back in and call it okay. (which is not really a good idea).

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post #42 of 57 Old Mar 21st, 2018, 2:20 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Originally Posted by niel_petersen View Post
Thoughts :

Might 3 or 4 short lengths of electrical solder (~0.050 dia electronic solder) work? This would allow field technicians to establish needed shim thickness with a simple outside micrometer.

It may require a couple of iterations to get the right total length of solder to get the preload correct for measurement purposes before a final shim determination. It might potentially be a more consistent measurement scheme in that the preload during measurement could be more repeatable. That pre-measurement preload would be adjusted by varying the length of solder under compression.

On the other hand, what is the exact desired preload? Maybe our designated expert's sandpapered fingertips is the only solution.
I have seen others talk about using solder to gauge the gap however, solder is pretty hard and would likely apply some significant preload force even after the cover was tight so unless you knew what that residual force was to adjust your readings by, your measurement would be off and the preload is only .05mm to .1mm thicker than the gap or .002 inches to .004 inches for the Americans. About the thickness of a sheet of paper. Actual measuring of the gap is the best way and the way the manual specifies. The Dman method of measuring the movement is good as long as you are careful and have a stable platform to work from that won't influence the results. Personally, I would not use solder to figure this gap.

jmo

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post #43 of 57 Old Mar 21st, 2018, 3:01 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

My LT has 127000km or 80000miles.
The previous owner rebuilt the drive twice and it looks like it is going again.
It appears as though the drive has never been put together properly.

I hope to get it right this time so I dont have to think about drive failure ever.
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

Easy method works if there is more than one shim. A thick and a thin, throw out the thin and you are probably OK. This doesn't work if there is only one shim. The Dman method is very easy to do and repeat several times with exact same results. I have done it on three drives so far. Saddleman is the Man with over 100 under his belt and no returns.
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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I have seen others talk about using solder to gauge the gap however, solder is pretty hard and would likely apply some significant preload force even after the cover was tight so unless you knew what that residual force was to adjust your readings by, your measurement would be off and the preload is only .05mm to .1mm thicker than the gap or .002 inches to .004 inches for the Americans. About the thickness of a sheet of paper. Actual measuring of the gap is the best way and the way the manual specifies. The Dman method of measuring the movement is good as long as you are careful and have a stable platform to work from that won't influence the results. Personally, I would not use solder to figure this gap.

jmo
I have used solder to measure industrial hi-speed gear clearances & found it very repeatable. It is easily crushed by my Etalon micrometer faces. However looking at Digi-Key I find that there are over 1100 different solder forms, alloys, melting points etc available so standardizing on this scheme is hopeless. Simply deleting the thinnest shim is better for a temporary roadside repair.

I retract my thoughts!
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post #46 of 57 Old Mar 21st, 2018, 8:37 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

You need to be able to measure a gap between .010" - .035" in order to figure out the necessary shim to set the preload between .002" - .004". Plastigage won't work on a gap that wide.


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I've rebuilt over 100 of these final drives & plastigage doesn't have any product that would even come close to working.

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post #47 of 57 Old Mar 21st, 2018, 9:58 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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You need to be able to measure a gap between .010" - .035" in order to figure out the necessary shim to set the preload between .002" - .004". Plastigage won't work on a gap that wide.
Plastigage is available in sizes that will measure gaps up to 0.070". However, temp limit is 95 F so using heat to separate the parts would be problematic. And the commercial sizes like PL-E only come in bulk.

I personally think soft lead would work great. 0.050" lead would compress to 0.010" to 0.035" quite handily and would handle 250 F in an oven. And it would provide very little resistive force to the clamping. To test this, get some thin electronics solder (not plumbing solder) and squeeze it in a small pair of pliers. I think you will find you can squeeze it down to 0.010" without great effort.

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post #48 of 57 Old Mar 21st, 2018, 11:25 pm
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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Plastigage is available in sizes that will measure gaps up to 0.070". However, temp limit is 95 F so using heat to separate the parts would be problematic. And the commercial sizes like PL-E only come in bulk.

I personally think soft lead would work great. 0.050" lead would compress to 0.010" to 0.035" quite handily and would handle 250 F in an oven. And it would provide very little resistive force to the clamping. To test this, get some thin electronics solder (not plumbing solder) and squeeze it in a small pair of pliers. I think you will find you can squeeze it down to 0.010" without great effort.
I wonder how much the resistive force would affect the measurement seeing that it is supposed to be done with zero load.

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post #49 of 57 Old Mar 22nd, 2018, 7:12 am
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

You gents speculating about using Plastigage and solder, etc. to measure final drive preload shim thickness are trying to reinvent the wheel, err... reinvent final drive repair.

I have a variety of plasticgage sizes in my little shop of horrors which I had experimented with during my foray into becoming one with final drives. I couldn't make it work, see previous posts for reasons why.

Dan Martin, long time contributor to this site had a method (IIRC he was using epoxy) which he reported some success with.
(Hope you are well Dan, haven't heard from you in a while).

(Among other acts of generosity, Dan used to show up at CCRs pulling a trailer with spare final drives in it just in case someone needed one.)

As far as the "don't measure anything, just discard the thin shim" method, this is actually has some basis in the limited data we have. Of the 50 some final drives I rebuilt, I found that the majority that suffered "classic crown wheel bearing failure" had excess preload in the range of 0.15-0.20mm. If lacking ability to make proper measurements, decreasing shim thickness by 0.15mm in the case of a classic crownwheel bearing failure will probably provide a final drive that will outlast the mileage of the previous one.
(I wonder if Dave S. aka Saddleman has added observations based on his rebuilds...)

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post #50 of 57 Old Mar 22nd, 2018, 7:38 am
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Re: Filings on final drive plug

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I wonder how much the resistive force would affect the measurement seeing that it is supposed to be done with zero load.
I think you would have to do an FE analysis, but I will bet the distortion of the assembly would be almost immeasurable with a standard dial indicator. If you used a 1 mm diameter lead wire and squeezed it down to 0.010", I would be surprised it it took 20 lbs of force. I don't think that level of force is going to materially distort the assembly and alter the gap being measured.

However, this is purely educated guessing on my part as I haven't rebuilt a drive or looked super closely at the size of the housing parts. It just seems very unlikely to me that parts which are subjected to a thousand pounds or more of in-service load will be dramatically distorted by 20-50 lbs if force (if even that much) from a properly sized lead wire. An by properly sized, I would strive for not much more than a 4X thickness ratio and 2x is probably ideal.

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