Final Drive Rebuild - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 15 Old Aug 25th, 2008, 9:52 am Thread Starter
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Question Final Drive Rebuild

I have a 02 Lt with 25k on it. I have been changing the FD lube with AMSOIL gear lube once, sometimes twice a year. In the past, I have only seen fuzz on the magnet. This last time, there were a few shiny metal chips on it. The drive had no play and turns smoothly.

So I decided to take the drive to the dealer and have them rebuild it. They will clean it out and replace any bearings that are bad. I expect to pay $300 - $400 for the rebuild. The dealer said a complete new FD is now $1200.

Has any done the same thing and if so how successful was the rebuild?
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post #2 of 15 Old Aug 25th, 2008, 10:13 am
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Re: Final Drive Rebuild

I am going through the rebuild right now. I should have my bike back this week. I have an '99 with 30k+ miles and was told that if the bike was ridden hard or regularly overweighted, this is a common problem. The new final drive was estimated to be around $1500 but the rebuilt is going to cost me around $500. My shop does them quite often and actually recommends rebuilding over new. I will let you know what my results are when I get the bike back.
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post #3 of 15 Old Aug 25th, 2008, 10:19 am Thread Starter
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Smile Re: Final Drive Rebuild

Thanks for the reply.

My bike had not been ridden hard and rarely two up. I pulled the FD off myself (easy) to save some money and to keep from waiting for an appointment. Hope I can get 5 more years out of this FD.
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post #4 of 15 Old Aug 25th, 2008, 3:17 pm
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Re: Final Drive Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by eotiii
I have a 02 Lt with 25k on it. I have been changing the FD lube with AMSOIL gear lube once, sometimes twice a year. In the past, I have only seen fuzz on the magnet. This last time, there were a few shiny metal chips on it. The drive had no play and turns smoothly.

So I decided to take the drive to the dealer and have them rebuild it. They will clean it out and replace any bearings that are bad. I expect to pay $300 - $400 for the rebuild. The dealer said a complete new FD is now $1200.

Has any done the same thing and if so how successful was the rebuild?
Ask your service depart that is going to "replace any bearings that are bad" how they are going to calculate the shim thickness necessary to establish the preload for the new bearing (s).

Typically the problem with these drives is a failed crown wheel bearing and the tapered roller bearing is okay. If they plan on just replacing the crown wheel bearing using the existing shims, I'd suggest you pass on that rebuild.

There have been some reports of the tapered roller bearing spinning on its shaft/seat on the crownwheel but this seems to be a less common occurance and has occured on new year models.

If the tapered roller bearing is replaced, then the shimming of this bearing has to be calculated to create proper gear lash between the input bevel gear and the crown gear.

Whether the tapered roller bearing is replaced or not, if the crown wheel bearing is replaced the preload should be calculated.

Some of us have speculated that not all rebuilds of final drives (even those done by BMW service depts) have had preload calculated when a new bearing was fitted. It is much easier to just rebuild using the existing shim, but not a proper way to do it. A final drive rebuilt using this shortcut technique will work fine for many miles, but will probably eventually fail prematurely.

This may explain why some folks have had more than one failed crown wheel bearing, the rebuild didn't correct the initial problem.
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post #5 of 15 Old Aug 25th, 2008, 8:35 pm
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Re: Final Drive Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
Ask your service depart that is going to "replace any bearings that are bad" how they are going to calculate the shim thickness necessary to establish the preload for the new bearing (s).

Typically the problem with these drives is a failed crown wheel bearing and the tapered roller bearing is okay. If they plan on just replacing the crown wheel bearing using the existing shims, I'd suggest you pass on that rebuild.

There have been some reports of the tapered roller bearing spinning on its shaft/seat on the crownwheel but this seems to be a less common occurance and has occured on new year models.

If the tapered roller bearing is replaced, then the shimming of this bearing has to be calculated to create proper gear lash between the input bevel gear and the crown gear.

Whether the tapered roller bearing is replaced or not, if the crown wheel bearing is replaced the preload should be calculated.

Some of us have speculated that not all rebuilds of final drives (even those done by BMW service depts) have had preload calculated when a new bearing was fitted. It is much easier to just rebuild using the existing shim, but not a proper way to do it. A final drive rebuilt using this shortcut technique will work fine for many miles, but will probably eventually fail prematurely.

This may explain why some folks have had more than one failed crown wheel bearing, the rebuild didn't correct the initial problem.
I never get tired of reading your explanation

I hope you cut and past that somewhere

While I hope to never need your services, I believe in my heart that your rebuild would be better then any "typical" assembly on the BMW line. I too think the early failures are bad assembly procedures coupled with marginal bearing specifications.

Lee
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post #6 of 15 Old Aug 26th, 2008, 1:09 pm Thread Starter
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Red face Re: Final Drive Rebuild

Thanks for the input guys.

Unfortunately they have already started the work. Hopefully theyíll do a good job.

These types of repairs are troublesome and when it happened I thought about getting a different bike but honestly, I don't think there is another luxury bike out there that has the same combination of comfort, gas mileage, performance and handling as the LT.

And itís paid for.

This is the first repair. I guess Iíll keeping fixing it in lieu of a monthly payment.

Cheers.
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post #7 of 15 Old Sep 5th, 2008, 9:22 pm
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Re: Final Drive Rebuild

First it was 19 instead of 22 ball bearings, or some other sort of BS.
Now it's either too much or too little preload on the main bearing.
No one wants, especially BMW, to admit that BMW did not build the FD stong enough to withstand the loads that are exerted on it through normal operation.
I have rebuilt my own FD, measured the preload & it comes out exactly using the same shims that were in there from the factory.
I put 145k on my '99 before I totaled it & now have a '00 with 35k.
My plan is to be pro-active & replace the main bearing every 30-40k regardless & especially before a long trip if it's getting close to that mileage.
$175 in parts is CHEAP insurance in my book.
Instead of wasting $$ on synthetic oil changes every 3-4k like some are doing, use it on the FD.
JM2CW
Chris
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post #8 of 15 Old Sep 5th, 2008, 9:30 pm
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Re: Final Drive Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedy
First it was 19 instead of 22 ball bearings, or some other sort of BS.
Now it's either too much or too little preload on the main bearing.
No one wants, especially BMW, to admit that BMW did not build the FD stong enough to withstand the loads that are exerted on it through normal operation.
I have rebuilt my own FD, measured the preload & it comes out exactly using the same shims that were in there from the factory.
I put 145k on my '99 before I totaled it & now have a '00 with 35k.
My plan is to be pro-active & replace the main bearing every 30-40k regardless & especially before a long trip if it's getting close to that mileage.
$175 in parts is CHEAP insurance in my book.
Instead of wasting $$ on synthetic oil changes every 3-4k like some are doing, use it on the FD.
JM2CW
Chris
How many miles were on the FD that you rebuilt?

I find it hard to believe this is a design defect as if that were the case, then virtually ALL FDs would fail, not 4% or even 10%, but 100%. That fact that most appear to run 50,000 to 100,000 miles or more suggests to me that the issue really is an assembly defect in getting the preload correct.

Matt

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post #9 of 15 Old Sep 6th, 2008, 7:26 am
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Re: Final Drive Rebuild

I had a wheel bearing go out in my 55 Chevy. Another one went out in my 88 Lincoln. Some last forever. I'm sure it's the same with the final drive. Not all bearings are created equal. I expect that the end play is critical. If mine fails I will rebuild it myself. But 4% is not a really high number in my book.........

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post #10 of 15 Old Sep 6th, 2008, 7:09 pm
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Re: Final Drive Rebuild

The original failed @ 35k, the complete replacement failed 75k later.
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post #11 of 15 Old Sep 6th, 2008, 11:05 pm
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Re: Final Drive Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler50
I had a wheel bearing go out in my 55 Chevy. Another one went out in my 88 Lincoln. Some last forever. I'm sure it's the same with the final drive. Not all bearings are created equal. I expect that the end play is critical. If mine fails I will rebuild it myself. But 4% is not a really high number in my book.........
It depends on your perspective and on the consequences, but I consider a 4% (if that is even the right figure) to be a huge error rate for a system like a final drive that is safety critical. To put it in perspective, let's assume that US airlines had a 4% failure rate on flights. According to statistics at the BTS web site, we had a little over 10 million passenger flight departures in the last 12 months. A 4% failure rate would have yielded 400,000 airplane crashes in the last year. That seems like a really high number to me.

Let's take a more benign example, how would you like it if 4% of your financial transactions were incorrect at your bank? What if 4% of your prescription pills were poisonous or incorrect?

Final drives have been around for a long time and aren't bleeding edge technology. An error rate of 4% of final drives in an modern automobile would put that company out of business most likely.

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post #12 of 15 Old Sep 6th, 2008, 11:25 pm
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Re: Final Drive Rebuild

Regardless of what anyone posts, we do not know what the failure rate of FDs, we don not know why, and no amount of complaining has seemed to make a difference with BMW.

It looks as if the best we can hope for is that next year they will consider having enough FDs to cover failures during CCR and that members come up with better ways to replace FDs.

Bob

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post #13 of 15 Old Sep 7th, 2008, 3:52 pm
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Post Re: Final Drive Rebuild

FYI,

Bought my used "03 LT in may of '06 with 8700 miles on it.

At 18,600 FD went, rebuilt under warranty at my dealer.

At 39,000 chips of something appeared on the drain plug so took it back to the dealer. They replaced necessary parts at no charge to me.(parts of first fixe are warranted for 2 years).

Now at 56,000, today 9-7-2008, still no signs of large chips on the drain plug so far. So, am I just a few thousand away from another repair? I can only guess, but I keep my eye on it at oil changes every 3000 miles. When I see chips on the plug, back to the dealer I'll go.

I'm not aware of shim changes on the rebuild. I trust they do it right!

Just some facts about my ride that I LOVE!


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Bought used K1200LT number 3. This one is green/teal with 31,369(now 7/29/2018 54,143) miles and is an '02. The first 2 bikes made it to near 150,000 miles.
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Due to heart health, the Dr says not to ride under 40 degree air temp. Ugh! Now it is harder to get my 18000 miles a year in just in the summer. Guess that stopped my 20 degree rides now.
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post #14 of 15 Old Sep 26th, 2008, 12:27 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Final Drive Rebuild UPDATE:

I got my final drive back from the dealer. They replaced the main bearing (FAG 61917.C3), plus all the seals and they needed a new shim. Cost 399.00.

The bearing was pitted on both the inner and outer race. These pits corresponded to the shiny metal chips I found on the magnet. It was near complete failure.

Installed the rebuilt FD and it seems to be fine. The dealer gives a 2 year warranty on the parts. A new drive would have been $1200 so I consider myself lucky.
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post #15 of 15 Old Sep 27th, 2008, 9:05 am
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Re: Final Drive Rebuild

I finished rebuilding my final drive yesterday. It's installed now and I'm back on the road. I'll keep a closer eye on it this time. I have $240 in parts invested. This type of bearing fails in the overdrive section of the Dodge transmission and they support no weight at all. It usually starts as a whine and we replace it. Nothing is perfect.......

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