Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Houston, TX, USA
The bike is a 99 LT, meticulously maintained by Patrick F. in Oregon, I bought it used almost a year ago at about 60,000, with 15,000 miles on it since. I don't see anything in the maintenance records about the FD being replaced, but it was serviced several times with fresh fluid.
I went on a 1,000+ mile camping weekend, and on the way back (last 200 miles) it felt like my rear tire was out of balance, with the whomp-whomp sound, and I felt a lot of vibration in my footpegs getting worse the further I went. The tire was scalloped, but we all know the Metzlers get loud when they are low on tread. No biggie, I had a spare rear tire at the house, and it got me home. A few days later, I got some time outside and replaced the tire. While I was at it, I did the rear brake pad and the FD fluid. It had been nearly a year since the FD fluid was changed, and I had never done it.
I noticed the fluid was the silver slurry stuff. The magnet was full, and the fluid had about 40 small (less than a mm) specks in it, which required further inspection. I noticed that turning the brake rotor would produce roughness, and I could feel vibrations through the housing when I turned the brake rotor by hand even with the brake pads removed.
At this point, I called the guru Dan M., who has shown me several "tricks" on this bike, and has helped me with the maintenance to this point. He diagnosed it over the phone as fried FD bearings.
I was still hopeful/ignorantly optimistic, put the whole thing back together, and told myself that I remembered thinking the FD was going out the last time I replaced a rear Metzler. After flushing it a couple of times with clean fluid, I refilled it, and went for a test run. I didn't get to the end of the block. It's toast. Lots of vibration, and the fluid is fleck-filled again. I don't know what's wrong in there, but something is.
Interestingly enough, there is no play in the wheel at all. None. Feels rock solid both in the 12-6 and the 9-3 positions. Maybe a driveshaft U-joint????
I'm planning on at least pulling it apart with the assistance of Dan M. and the tech manual that came with the bike. I read the chapter last night, and it shouldn't be too hard. I'll take pics so I can help someone else one day.