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post #1 of 11 Old Jul 14th, 2008, 9:18 pm Thread Starter
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More FD failure questions

Forgive me for kicking this rock yet again but I'm trying to understand the "current status" of the situation. I just purchased a new 2009 LT about 3 weeks ago and I'm just trying to understand what may potentially be an issue in the future. I'm not going to lose sleep over it but if there is anything from a preventive maintenance standpoint that can be done I'll do it. I've read most of the material on this site to include the failure data base.
I understand that BMW has not acknowledged the problem but does anyone know with certainty what the cause is? I know it sounds like a stupid question but with so many failures it seems strange that the true cause hasn't surfaced yet. Or has it and I missed it some where among all the metal chips? Most bearing failures in machinery occur for several reasons:

1) Lack of lubrication. Doesn't seem to apply in this case.
2) Manufacturing defect in the bearing. Most defective bearings fail early in
their service life.
3) Poor engineering design. Is the design of the FD and the loads it sees
keep the unit on the ragged edge of serviceability? Crap I hope not but it
could be. I noticed that the FD failures dropped significantly in recent
model years but still exist. I believe I read a new large bearing was
incorporated within the last several years. The failures still continue albeit
at a reduced level so it brings me to the last option.
4) Set-up. Has anyone published the proper set-up procedure? There has to
be some sort of preload check on a set up like this, right??? Or has this
been an issue of bad bearings and improper set-up?

If you have the latest and greatest bearing installed and had a method to verify a proper set-up then wouldn't that increase greatly our chances of FD happiness?

2011 CVO FLTRUSE
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post #2 of 11 Old Jul 14th, 2008, 9:40 pm
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I would not worry about your FD, if it fails while under warranty, get the dealer to replace it, if you have an extended service contract, check to see if it is covered under that if it fails. Otherwise you have to realize it is a piece of metal made by a machine designed by a human, it will at some point break, if it does, get it fixed and move on. There are a lot of people on here who have replaced the bearing, it is not a huge undertaking, I am sure they would be more than happy to help you fix it when that day comes. Until then, replace the fluid at 600 miles, and then every 3000. I would be more concerned about learning to flush the brake system and all the other maintenance things needed to be done on these bikes so it will give you many thousands of miles of pleasurable riding. The issues that people read about on here about the LT are real, but few, though they do happen, most have been very lucky and never had any serious problems with their bikes, If it starts to keep you continuesly worring about it every time you get on the bike then you need to trade it or sell it as you will never really be happy with the bike, and these cost way too much to have that nagging in the back of your mind every time you get on it.
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post #3 of 11 Old Jul 14th, 2008, 9:43 pm
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Re: More FD failure questions

I have 38K on my 05 and no signs yet. In fact there has only been a couple of documented post 2003 failures and they were not the big bearing but rather failure of the aluminum carrier for the small taper bearing. Just enjoy the ride and don't worry about it.


The manual has very specific procedures and special tools to set the pre load. One of our own members has been very successful in re-building drives that suffered from big bearing failure. But our friend in the UK has gone through several re-builds on the same drive. So it is a crap shoot. I believe it is all in the care of assembly. Best preventative measure is frequent oil changes to inspect for abnormal wear.

Personally I think they were all Monday or Friday assemblies that were not put together correctly at the git go.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #4 of 11 Old Jul 14th, 2008, 11:33 pm
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Re: More FD failure questions

Does anyone know of a particular dealer or service department that has a good record for rebuilding the final drive? I'm leaning toward the "have it rebuilt every now and again", but wouldn't begin to know who to turn to for that service.
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post #5 of 11 Old Jul 14th, 2008, 11:49 pm
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Re: More FD failure questions

if a dealer repairs the FD then I believe that there should be a 2 year warranty on it. I might be wrong.
I personally would look into replacing the drive from one of the outfits that trike LT's or get a very low mileage one off e-bay before going and having a dealer repair it.
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post #6 of 11 Old Jul 15th, 2008, 12:40 am
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Re: More FD failure questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by LARK
I've read most of the material on this site to include the failure data base.
Keep reading, the answers you seek can be found within!

Ted

Camarillo, CA
2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200S - Red
2007 R1200S - Black - Sold
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post #7 of 11 Old Jul 15th, 2008, 5:37 am
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Re: More FD failure questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmlt
Does anyone know of a particular dealer or service department that has a good record for rebuilding the final drive? I'm leaning toward the "have it rebuilt every now and again", but wouldn't begin to know who to turn to for that service.
NOOOOOOOOO
If it works, leave it!
Just keep checking for wobble and even a loose pinion bearing won't kill the FD if you catch it in time.
Use Redline Heavy in there as well for really low wear

"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 #8 of 11 Old Jul 15th, 2008, 9:41 am
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Re: More FD failure questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
...... In fact there has only been a couple of documented post 2003 failures and they were not the big bearing but rather failure of the aluminum carrier for the small taper bearing......
Please elaborate on this if you can.

I have in my possession a final drive sent to me by one of our members for rebuilding. The fit of the tapered roller beaing interal race on the aluminum shaft of the crown wheel was very loose. It could be removed and replaced by finger pressure alone; it did not need a bearing puller or press. Do you think that this an example of the failure mode you are describing? I am in the process of rebuilding the drive, having used Loktite 220 on the tapered roller bearing fitment to the crown wheel, but I am not very confident in this approach.

Thanks in advance for your comments

Last edited by CharlieVT; Jul 15th, 2008 at 1:01 pm.
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post #9 of 11 Old Jul 15th, 2008, 10:11 am
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Re: More FD failure questions

"Use Redline Heavy in there as well for really low wear". I've used Redline in the past, and will NEVER use it again. One comment I'd heard over and over by mechs and techs was the 'milky' appearance of Redline when they changed it out. Had it in my HD transmission, sent it in for UOA, and it came back emulsified (water contamination). I've since switched to a product called Schaeffer Oil, and use their product #167 in trans and FD. Really pleased with it.
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post #10 of 11 Old Jul 15th, 2008, 10:42 am
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Re: More FD failure questions

My drive is drive #4 now.

1) Original drive could not get threaded ring seal (pinion seal) to seal. BMW provided new drive

2) Small bearing spun on shaft. BMW provided new drive

3) Lots of metal no wobble appears pinion bearing failing. BMW paid to have overhauled by shop.

Of the 3 new drives and 1 overhauled, the overhauled one feels better, smoother and appears quieter than any of the factory provided ones so maybe this will be the charm.

I never worry about the drive, just monitor the fluid changes and have caught them all prior to leaving a puddle on the floor. Kinda like monitoring tires, fix them when they need fixing.

Jeff
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2005 K1200LT 341,000+
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post #11 of 11 Old Jul 15th, 2008, 12:47 pm
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Re: More FD failure questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
Please elaborate on this if you can.

I have in my possession a final drive sent to me by one of our members for rebuilding. The fit of the tapered roller beaing interal race on the aluminum shaft of the crown wheel was very loose. I could be removed and replaced by finger pressure alone; it did not need a bearing puller or press. Do you think that this an example of the failure mode you are describing? I am in the process of rebuilding the drive, having used Loktite 220 on the tapered roller bearing fitment to the crown wheel, but I am not very confident in this approach.

Thanks in advance for your comments
Yes it could be. Also see jsr's #2 comment. That is the same as the on from the guy in Indiana on his 05. Still these were not the usual "Big Brearing" failures that plagued the early units. I am not worried about it but I did buy Perry's spare drive .

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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