When the FD Fails - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 88 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 5:41 pm Thread Starter
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Angry When the FD Fails

Sounds like its not a matter of if but rather when. What happens when the drive fails? Does the real drive lock up and you go skidding down the road or can you come to a stop? How hard is it to get the bike on a trailer (if it locks up)? Im concerned as I do a lot of two up with my wife. I dont want want to leave our children orphans if you know what I mean.

There are risks in riding but the least of my concerns should be "the bike". The steady stream of failures concerns me not to mention how we might not be able to "get home" in a timely manner after a ride. Its too bad that such a wonderful machine has a ticking time bomb. The though of moving to a wing or Harley does not make me happy.

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post #2 of 88 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 5:52 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

What happens is generally vibration is felt by the rider and/or oil comes out.
There are no instances of lockup that I know of.
There are no instances of accidents related to FD failure, although oil on the rear tire would certainly be risk factor.

And it is not a matter of "not if, but when." There is pretty good data that many drives will go for a very long time and not have a failure. A limited number of drives were probably set up improperly and are destined to fail.
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post #3 of 88 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 6:04 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

LTs made after 2002 have far less incidence of FD failure. When they go out it's like any other wheel bearing failure.

I also ride two-up 90% of the time and in our case we felt a light vibration for 100 or so miles then intermitent grinding and finally consistent ugly sounding metal on metal. The rear wheel never locked up and we were able to roll it very easily. It was something of a trick loading the 1000 lb beast into the back of a pick-up and I would recommend very solid ramps and at least three strong people to get the job done.

You have a 2005 which is the final revision of the current model and made well after the FD bearing failure was identified. I know several guys that ride 2005 and newer with no FD problems. I have a 2002 that was made with the original defective bearing that went out at 48K miles. It was inconvenient but we were never in any danger.

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post #4 of 88 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 6:42 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsciullo
Sounds like its not a matter of if but rather when. Jim
You've been listening to "the sqeaky wheels" making noise (pun intended)
final drive failures have happened to approximately 4% of the LT's.
that also means that 96% of the bikes out there are not having failures.

So if your glass contains 96% volume of its capacity.
is "the glass" half full or half empty?


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post #5 of 88 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 7:05 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
You've been listening to "the sqeaky wheels" making noise (pun intended)
final drive failures have happened to approximately 4% of the LT's.
that also means that 96% of the bikes out there are not having failures.

So if your glass contains 96% volume of its capacity.
is "the glass" half full or half empty?

I like that................Nicely put.....

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post #6 of 88 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 7:28 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
You've been listening to "the sqeaky wheels" making noise (pun intended)
final drive failures have happened to approximately 4% of the LT's.
that also means that 96% of the bikes out there are not having failures.

So if your glass contains 96% volume of its capacity.
is "the glass" half full or half empty?
Neither. Your glass is 4% too big!

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post #7 of 88 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 8:00 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

I don't believe anyone knows the actual percentage. Everyone repeats the 4% becasue it was once stated many years ago. BS on 05's and later are better. How is a failure on an 08 with 6k miles better?

Unless BMW actually releases the numbers, noone knows for sure how many are failing. The dealers don't know and won't say. BMW won't say. And I suspect the majority of riders don't frequent these sites.

When I went to pick mine up, what do you know, another Bizarre Blue K12 (05 or greater obviously) in the shop... with it's rear end pulled. I wonder what it was there for?

Not trying to be a naysayer. Good for you who haven't experienced it, and I hope you don't. But be carefull. You may be bragging today, but tomorrow?

To answer the question, I agree: Sometimes you feel a grinding with no leak- still driveable, and sometimes you stop and look at your wheel and notice oil all over it- driveable maybe, extremely dangerous, I say yes.
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post #8 of 88 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 8:30 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

My first final drive failure was at 143000 miles on my 01 Lt. It started as a mild vibration which turned to ugly noises after a couple hundred miles. No oil leaking or wheel wobble. After an improper rebuild the second drive failure started as severe vibration and ended with wheel wobble while on the center stand, but no oil leakage. Neither incident made me feel unsafe to be operating the bike ,nor adversely affected its handling.

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post #9 of 88 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 11:20 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Whenever I stop for fuel or have Misty up on her high heels, I walk around her for a "pre-flight...".. I roll the rear wheel looking for problems... and I am practiced in how far it will "coast"... with a kick...

So, I am confident that with "inspections" at each fuel stop on a long trip... a friend riding beside me to do a "look over" for "oil leaks", etc (gee, am I on the Harley forum again?) that I'll "catch" it before there is a problem.

Also, KNOWING your bike and it's handling is key.. you should know something is "changing" before it goes Chernobyl on ya.

After that, just ride it...

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post #10 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 5:30 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

I have the 2004 (05 in your terms) model and I have simply chosen the route of changing the main FD bearing between 60-70.000 km without waiting it to quit on me.

It is a bearing that in good circumstances can run much longer I know that, but the cost of having it changed (by a professional of course) is minimal compared to the possible hassle that follows if you get stranded.

Other bikes need to have the chains and sprockets changed, the drive belts don't last for ever in other bikes...
LT's FD construction was originally developed for models half the weight of an LT. So it seems to work on it's limits in our bikes but if I have the main bearing changed (and the other parts checked) every four years, I think it is no big deal for me...

Regards

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post #11 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 5:42 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by pozo_izquierdo
....Other bikes need to have the chains and sprockets changed, the drive belts don't last for ever in other bikes...
Regards
Good and interesting analogy.
Preemptive rebuilding of my final drive is my approach also.
For those inclined to do their own work, I'd bet at current prices putting in a new crownwheel bearing and seal is cheaper that a new chain on many bikes.
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post #12 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 7:07 am
 
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by pozo_izquierdo
Other bikes need to have the chains and sprockets changed, the drive belts don't last for ever in other bikes...
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
Good and interesting analogy.


And yet, there are many models of bikes out there by Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha that have drive shafts that NEVER fail. That is "supposed" to be the beauty of having a bike with a drive shaft.

In my honest yet humble opinion, I believe that the 4% figure (for any year) is WAY low. That 4% figure is something that this forum came up with years ago, and we've kinda clung to it. What about all the pre-'05 models that have failed since that stat was presented as fact? What about all of the post-'04 bikes that have failed since then? What about my '06 GT? What about Dave Dragon's '06 GS? What about Ken Meese' '07 GT? And so on & so on & so on. Anyone who frequents any BMW forum will hear these reports rolling in. And we still keep buying these bikes. I just can't figure out why.

I used to say, "Ride it until it breaks, fix it, and repeat". Well ... I've changed my tune. I know mechanical things break. But catastrophic failures should be much further apart and fewer between. I guess I never was much of a gambler. And my gambling days with BMWs are soon over. When they get their act straightened out, maybe I'll come back. But not until they have a line of bikes that can be relied upon ... like the 'Wing, FJR, and Concours.



Have a nice day.
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post #13 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 7:09 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

My first failure was found with the bike sitting in the garage and an oil spot on the floor. The second was on my return from CCR this year. Riding into St Louis on Sunday evening I felt nothing. The next morning on rolling out from the hotel the I heard a grinding, about 40 miles out, I started to feel what I was hearing. I called one of my friends on the site to let him know I was turning around and heading back to Gateway BMW in St Louis because I suspected the FD was going out. 60 miles later on the approach bridges to the Mississippi River, the back of the bike got squirrelly and I pulled over and watched all the oil run out of the rear end.

Having had two failures, I'm still not hesitant to get out on the LT and go where ever I want at any time.

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post #14 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 7:44 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_R
Having had two failures, I'm still not hesitant to get out on the LT and go where ever I want at any time.
No disrespect but as a consumer the only thing that comes to mind on this is:

"fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on ME"

I thought it a preemptive strike after buying a new 07, within a month I had a 0 mile FD in my closet ready to mail with the tools. Even in warranty I felt I needed this because of this issue, and is truly the first bike I have owned where this cloud hangs over it.

If I ever have to have that overnighted to me, I will be off the bike in a week.

I just don't get it. It is the most awesome Touring bike I have ever ridden, yet BMW will not step up. I know now it's life cycle is gone and the new platform is coming.

At the very least they should improve the FD and keep it so it can retro to 05 and up.

Only then would I keep a BMW that loses a FD.

Sure it is "the baby with the bath water", but I am a consumer and I will not keep an inferior product.

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post #15 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 7:50 am
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Talking Re: When the FD Fails

The good news in all this is that I'm only one final drive failure away from having a new Harley again. I can't wait.

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post #16 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 7:52 am
 
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_R
Having had two failures, I'm still not hesitant to get out on the LT and go where ever I want at any time.
And that is the exact attutude that BMW wants you to have. How's that Kool-Aid taste Steve?
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post #17 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 7:58 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
And my gambling days with BMWs are soon over. When they get their act straightened out, maybe I'll come back. But not until they have a line of bikes that can be relied upon ... like the 'Wing, FJR, and Concours.


Love the "rant" emoticon...I had to watch it through a couple of time before
I got on to the read'n.

I have to +1 all that you said about the FD failure rate. I put the Kool-Aid down and walked away myself...to an FJR.

Did anybody notice that Joe had something good to say about FJRs???
WOW what a shift!


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post #18 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 8:17 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

I agree that the 4% failure rate is way low. I don't have any hard facts to back that up, but two failures on my LT, one failure on my buddies LT, one failure on another buddies GS, and a seal failure on yet another buddies GS, points to some deficiencies with the rear end of BMW's in general. Is the problem the end of the world, or a life threatening situation, no, it is just an inconvience. BMW makes great motorcycles. I wish they would address the problems they have with F.D.s before they lose a significant portion of their customer base.

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post #19 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 8:21 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
And that is the exact attutude that BMW wants you to have. How's that Kool-Aid taste Steve?
As always Joe, I could not CARELESS what you think.

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post #20 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 11:09 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13


And yet, there are many models of bikes out there by Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha that have drive shafts that NEVER fail. That is "supposed" to be the beauty of having a bike with a drive shaft.

In my honest yet humble opinion, I believe that the 4% figure (for any year) is WAY low. That 4% figure is something that this forum came up with years ago, and we've kinda clung to it. What about all the pre-'05 models that have failed since that stat was presented as fact? What about all of the post-'04 bikes that have failed since then? What about my '06 GT? What about Dave Dragon's '06 GS? What about Ken Meese' '07 GT? And so on & so on & so on. Anyone who frequents any BMW forum will hear these reports rolling in. And we still keep buying these bikes. I just can't figure out why.

I used to say, "Ride it until it breaks, fix it, and repeat". Well ... I've changed my tune. I know mechanical things break. But catastrophic failures should be much further apart and fewer between. I guess I never was much of a gambler. And my gambling days with BMWs are soon over. When they get their act straightened out, maybe I'll come back. But not until they have a line of bikes that can be relied upon ... like the 'Wing, FJR, and Concours.



Have a nice day.
Yup, have to agree. I owned a Yamaha Virago and two Suzuki Intruders, all with driveshafts, and never a single problem with any of them (and all of them had a whole lotta miles put on them).

I'm not saying the bikes were trouble free. The Intruder 1400 had a bad habit of eating the inner rear brake pad, but it seemed to be a common trait on that bike. I learned to play mix and match with rear brake pad compounds (buying two sets at a time, one hard, one soft, fitting the harder pad on the inside) and checked the wear often. Yes, it was kind of a PITA, but it never left me stranded, like a final drive failure will.

I really think the LT is the best bike I have ever ridden. But, if/when my final drive fails, I'll have to make a decision. I think that decision will be primarily driven by how much of an inconvenience the failure causes me. If it goes while pulling into my garage, I'll fix it and keep the bike. If it leaves Telle and I stranded out in the boonies, that POS will get towed home with a FOR SALE sign on it!

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post #21 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 12:23 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Seems to me that there's a lot of personal preference about different bikes and amount of tolerance folks have for a failure. Personally, I don't think any of the bike's mentioned compare to a well maintained LT and if it breaks, I'll fix it and "Just Ride It".
I've been stranded and found out how much cycling camaraderie there is out there. If you're on this forum to help others, you're probably gonna do it on the road, too. That makes for a really great experience. With cell phones and services (towing, shipping ...) getting so much easier to find then 20 years ago, I didn't find it such a hassle when it happened to me. Certainly not to the point of ridding myself of the best, and only, MC I ever wanted or currently want.

Just my $0.02,
Jer

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post #22 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 1:34 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by jers99lt
I've been stranded and found out how much cycling camaraderie there is out there.
Cameraderie will get old after a few days of trying to arrange such an awkward and delicate repair given only a few remote dealers, a lack of factory recognition, and no organized source of spare parts - and this is on top of a wrecked vacation and major expense.

The 4% number has to be unrealistic and BMW is silent about challenging this for a reason.

How many miles are on the average "trouble free" bike? Mine (2005 K1200LT) is coming off warranty March 2009 with less than 8000 miles on it. I hope I stay with the 96%................
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post #23 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 1:45 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by niel_petersen
Cameraderie will get old after a few days of trying to arrange such an awkward and delicate repair given only a few remote dealers, a lack of factory recognition, and no organized source of spare parts - and this is on top of a wrecked vacation and major expense.

The 4% number has to be unrealistic and BMW is silent about challenging this for a reason.

How many miles are on the average "trouble free" bike? Mine (2005 K1200LT) is coming off warranty March 2009 with less than 8000 miles on it. I hope I stay with the 96%................
I guess it's all in how you look at it. Except for commuting to work, I don't ride with any firm agenda. Where I go, I go. If something changes, I just go with it. Not much you can do about changing what's gonna happen. I actually wasn't stranded with a FD issue. It was the clutch. The FD failure I had got me 20 miles and home.
Now, 8000 miles on a 4 year old bike. You probably have LOTS of time left, but I don't know of anything that's trouble free.

Jer

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post #24 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 2:04 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Jer - At age 70 I'm not bothered by it except that it would make my wife smoking mad if it ever happened to us........
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post #25 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 3:59 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by niel_petersen
Jer - At age 70 I'm not bothered by it except that it would make my wife smoking mad if it ever happened to us........
I see your point, brother.

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post #26 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 10:27 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

I sure hear a lot of whining about the final drive,

if I were to listen to you guys I'd be thinking there's a 96% failure rate.

I had a FD failure on my 2002 LT,
I had it fixed and left the next day for a 15 state trip.

If the FD on my 2005 fails tommorrow,
I would do it all again.

Until then: any day my FD doesn't fail, is a good day.

There, y'all happy now?


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post #27 of 88 Old Oct 16th, 2008, 11:40 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCrider
When I went to pick mine up, what do you know, another Bizarre Blue K12 (05 or greater obviously) in the shop... with it's rear end pulled. I wonder what it was there for?

I am so glad that mine is not Bizarre Blue. That must mean that I have a lesser chance of FD failure because mine is Metallic Mauve (or Electric Plum)?

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post #28 of 88 Old Oct 17th, 2008, 12:12 am
 
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Re: When the FD Fails

Has anyone ever had a drive fail while using shockproof heavy? I dont think I have ever heard of one. My drive was replaced out of warrantee 36K ago and have had nothing but heavy in there since. Never more than a minimal grey film on the magnet, let alone any accumulation. Virtually NO indication of wear.

The drives are clearly under-engineered and thus require an extreme performance lubricant to survive IMO.
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post #29 of 88 Old Oct 17th, 2008, 12:46 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Fixed it for $128 and @ 3 hours of my time .... No big friggen deal

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post #30 of 88 Old Oct 17th, 2008, 3:40 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

When my FD failed the rear end did lock up! It only stopped turning for a fraction of a second and then released, however it was enough to cause the rear of the bike to slide sideways about a foot (at 35 mph). If had lasted any longer I'm pretty sure I'd have gone down. If it had happened at any sort of speed or in a turn - I'm positive that I'd have gone down!

Mike Kiesel

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post #31 of 88 Old Oct 17th, 2008, 5:59 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13

And yet, there are many models of bikes out there by Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha that have drive shafts that NEVER fail. That is "supposed" to be the beauty of having a bike with a drive shaft.
I agree whole heartedly that BMW's rash of final drive failures is a disgrace. And they deserve every bit of criticism they get, and they deserve every defection of riders to another brand.

However, I happen to love the KLT and I am willing to do final drive "maintenance" as an alternative to just waiting and wondering if its gonna break someday.

With the help of the membership of this board, I feel I have arrived at a relatively simple way of putting away the worry of FD failure, and that method is a careful, preemptive rebuild. (Other folks are looking at temperature monitoring, chip detectors, but I don't hold much for those techniques).

The jist of my post is directed at folks who like the LT, and want to decrease the worry and odds of FD failure. By thinking of a preemptive FD rebuild as akin to chain maintenance it puts it in the perspective of preventive maintenance.

Should we have to be doing this at all? Heck no! But it is a reasonable alternative for some of us.
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post #32 of 88 Old Oct 17th, 2008, 6:57 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

I think yours is a great idea. I am worried about doing this myself, though, as I am am just becoming a very basic bike mechanic. I hear of preload, etc, and I don't know that I have the knowledge or skill to do this. Of course, it's still less expensive to have someone who can do this work do it for me rather than wait for a failure. I'll probably also preemptively rebuild once it's out of warranty.

At what mileage intervals did you decide to institute this pm? I saw your post but don't remember the miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
I agree whole heartedly that BMW's rash of final drive failures is a disgrace. And they deserve every bit of criticism they get, and they deserve every defection of riders to another brand.

However, I happen to love the KLT and I am willing to do final drive "maintenance" as an alternative to just waiting and wondering if its gonna break someday.

With the help of the membership of this board, I feel I have arrived at a relatively simple way of putting away the worry of FD failure, and that method is a careful, preemptive rebuild. (Other folks are looking at temperature monitoring, chip detectors, but I don't hold much for those techniques).

The jist of my post is directed at folks who like the LT, and want to decrease the worry and odds of FD failure. By thinking of a preemptive FD rebuild as akin to chain maintenance it puts it in the perspective of preventive maintenance.

Should we have to be doing this at all? Heck no! But it is a reasonable alternative for some of us.
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post #33 of 88 Old Oct 17th, 2008, 7:36 am
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Question Re: When the FD Fails

Is there anyone here that questions the wisdom of putting the BMW specified preload on a ball bearing? I watched the excellent video that was posted here and it just seems to me that that preload is excessive. I have an ’04 that has suffered all the usual calamities except for the clutch and final drive failure. Since some drives don’t fail it would be very interesting to know what the preload is on these drives.

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post #34 of 88 Old Oct 17th, 2008, 8:02 am
 
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorhead
Fixed it for $128 and @ 3 hours of my time .... No big friggen deal
If those were the only factors, then this thread need not exist. Unfortunately, there are other factors involved here. Like, the vacations and/or roadtrips ruined by this unforeseen failure. And the inconveniece when you're 500 miles away from the closest dealer ... and they can't get you the parts until the 2nd Tuesday of next week! And let's not forget that your SO is on the back of your bike trusting that she will get to the next destination without this hassle.

To me, it's not the cost of getting it repaited at all. It's all the factors and events that lead up to the repair.

ALL of this would be moot if BMW's engineers would own up to this design flaw and just FIX IT ALREADY!!!
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post #35 of 88 Old Oct 17th, 2008, 9:02 am Thread Starter
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Re: When the FD Fails

All-
Appreciate your responses. Its "somewhat" comforting to know that the rear end will probably not lock up. The consequences are increasingly more permanent if that happens. I know that some have drilled a weep hole to fix this problem. Anyone with weep holes have a failure?

Jim

Jim in Dublin, OH

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post #36 of 88 Old Oct 17th, 2008, 10:23 am
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Talking Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsciullo
All-
I know that some have drilled a weep hole to fix this problem. Anyone with weep holes have a failure?

Jim

A weep hole in the final drive? LOL

Some here have drilled their clutch slave cylinders.

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post #37 of 88 Old Oct 17th, 2008, 12:12 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Weep holes are to prevent clutch contamination not prevent FD failures.

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post #38 of 88 Old Oct 18th, 2008, 12:50 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Joe,

Don't get me wrong ... I was VERY VERY disappointed it failed PERIOD !

But I am not going to condone standing on a soapbox beating my chest screaming and yelling was a POS my LT is either. And NO it is not going to pushed over a cliff or sold come Monday.

Shit happens, wish it did not, but it does .... guess Murphy does live.

I fixed it and will continue to frankly not worry about it and enjoy what is IMO the most AWESOME open road bike on the planet ... Nuff said


Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
If those were the only factors, then this thread need not exist. Unfortunately, there are other factors involved here. Like, the vacations and/or roadtrips ruined by this unforeseen failure. And the inconveniece when you're 500 miles away from the closest dealer ... and they can't get you the parts until the 2nd Tuesday of next week! And let's not forget that your SO is on the back of your bike trusting that she will get to the next destination without this hassle.

To me, it's not the cost of getting it repaited at all. It's all the factors and events that lead up to the repair.

ALL of this would be moot if BMW's engineers would own up to this design flaw and just FIX IT ALREADY!!!

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post #39 of 88 Old Oct 18th, 2008, 9:44 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorhead
Joe,

Don't get me wrong ... I was VERY VERY disappointed it failed PERIOD !

But I am not going to condone standing on a soapbox beating my chest screaming and yelling was a POS my LT is either. And NO it is not going to pushed over a cliff or sold come Monday.

Shit happens, wish it did not, but it does .... guess Murphy does live.

I fixed it and will continue to frankly not worry about it and enjoy what is IMO the most AWESOME open road bike on the planet ... Nuff said
Now that is about the best opinion I've ever read on this board!! Well said.

+1

You're right...........Nuff said.

Hey motorhead: Someday.........I'll buy at least the first round.

Ride Safe

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post #40 of 88 Old Oct 18th, 2008, 9:59 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by pozo_izquierdo
I have the 2004 (05 in your terms) model and I have simply chosen the route of changing the main FD bearing between 60-70.000 km without waiting it to quit on me.
Well, Poz, I thought the same way you did. With absolutely nothing wrong with my FD, I swapped out bearings at 53k miles (85.9k km). The second bearing lasted 22k miles (35.6k km) before failing, well under 60-70,000. You never know.

Dave Moore
Boerne, Texas
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post #41 of 88 Old Oct 18th, 2008, 10:08 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsciullo
Sounds like its not a matter of if but rather when. What happens when the drive fails? Does the real drive lock up and you go skidding down the road or can you come to a stop? How hard is it to get the bike on a trailer (if it locks up)?
Jim

Jim, my FD failed while I was doing 80+ mph on the Interstate. It started as a rough feeling, maybe a little grinding noise and vibration, then a perceptible instability in the rear end, a sloshy feeling. I was able to pull over to the side and ride the shoulder of the Interstate over 30 miles to the next town at 20-30 mph. Two people were able to push it up a trailer ramp. Later, when I arranged repairs, two of us got it on another trailer without much difficulty.

I have never heard of anyone's rear locking up, and I have plenty of friends who lost their FD's.

Dave Moore
Boerne, Texas
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post #42 of 88 Old Oct 18th, 2008, 10:25 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

It sounds like another FD failed at speed, and loosing a Spleen is a high price to pay.

Read this:

Got home from the hosp yesterday, 15 days total. We were in N W Alabama on the trail of tears ride Sept 21, 2nd day of 3 for the ride. Clear, dry, straight, no intersections & no one else involved. We were with about 3-400 other bikes, doing 60 in 65 zone 4 lane divided highway. Had a concussion, so not sure what happened. Rear locked up, drive train failure? know more when get bike home. Judy broke her humorous. I had 5 L back ribs broken, bruised lung, rup spleen-removed. Skinned R knee. They had a 3 for one on the spleen, gall bladder and appendix all at once. First hospital sent me to Huntsville trauma 50 miles by helo. Last week the Med Jet flew us to Syracuse and are shipping bike and trailer. Got home yesterday. Doing great. Legs and arms all work, just some healing in mid section to go.

Check out that med jet, MOA gets a discount. www.bmwmoa.org

Oh, my helmet took a beating!

Jim Schuyler

Toby in New York
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post #43 of 88 Old Oct 19th, 2008, 1:20 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Damn, glad your still among the living

If this accident was indeed caused by a final drive failure? .. Would file a (class action) law suit against BMWNA.

As much as I hate to say it , Your accident if FD related may indeed be the catalyst to make BMWNA address the issue !!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tobiwan
It sounds like another FD failed at speed, and loosing a Spleen is a high price to pay.

Read this:

Got home from the hosp yesterday, 15 days total. We were in N W Alabama on the trail of tears ride Sept 21, 2nd day of 3 for the ride. Clear, dry, straight, no intersections & no one else involved. We were with about 3-400 other bikes, doing 60 in 65 zone 4 lane divided highway. Had a concussion, so not sure what happened. Rear locked up, drive train failure? know more when get bike home. Judy broke her humorous. I had 5 L back ribs broken, bruised lung, rup spleen-removed. Skinned R knee. They had a 3 for one on the spleen, gall bladder and appendix all at once. First hospital sent me to Huntsville trauma 50 miles by helo. Last week the Med Jet flew us to Syracuse and are shipping bike and trailer. Got home yesterday. Doing great. Legs and arms all work, just some healing in mid section to go.

Check out that med jet, MOA gets a discount. www.bmwmoa.org

Oh, my helmet took a beating!

Jim Schuyler

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post #44 of 88 Old Oct 19th, 2008, 6:29 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by davemoore
Well, Poz, I thought the same way you did. With absolutely nothing wrong with my FD, I swapped out bearings at 53k miles (85.9k km). The second bearing lasted 22k miles (35.6k km) before failing, well under 60-70,000. You never know.
Having rebuilt several drives, I am very curious about these failures of rebuilt drives. You "swapped out" the bearing. Did you check and measure preload using the BMW tool or using Dman's technique with a dial micrometer? Or some other method?

Or did you just disassemble the drive, remove the old bearing and replace with a new one using the original shim(s). Many have done this, and in the early days of FD failures I suspect BMW service departments also did it this way until they got "educated" and started replacing the whole drive. Several BMW rebuilt drives later failed too.

If preload was not calculated when the new bearing was installed, the failure comes as no suprise to me.

If preload was carefully caluclated, and appropriate shims were installed, I wonder what the failure mode was? Did the bearing retainer break as seen in many crownwheel bearing failures?

Also, was the new bearing installed with out excess pressure that might result in spalling of the balls and races?

If a carefully and properly rebuilt drive fails has a crownwheel bearing fail, that points to a cause of failure that is beyond the currently suspected reasons.
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post #45 of 88 Old Oct 19th, 2008, 6:54 pm
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Unhappy Re: When the FD Fails

FD failure not mine, but another LT rider from
central New YOrk

Toby in New York
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post #46 of 88 Old Oct 19th, 2008, 7:24 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

That does it! I'm drilling a weep hole in my FD tonight!!.........

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post #47 of 88 Old Oct 20th, 2008, 1:03 pm Thread Starter
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Angry Re: When the FD Fails

Steve-
Thanks for the clarification. Im getting my LT issues confused.
Jim


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_R
Weep holes are to prevent clutch contamination not prevent FD failures.

Jim in Dublin, OH

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post #48 of 88 Old Oct 20th, 2008, 7:11 pm
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler50
That does it! I'm drilling a weep hole in my FD tonight!!.........
I can't believe you are all making light of this fantastic idea. With a weep hole of the appropriate size, you will be able to add an ounce of gear oil every couple of weeks and you will no long need to change your FD oil as it will get a continual replenishment of fresh oil! This is a great idea and you all are just jealous that you didn't think of it first!!

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post #49 of 88 Old Oct 21st, 2008, 12:13 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
Having rebuilt several drives, I am very curious about these failures of rebuilt drives. You "swapped out" the bearing. Did you check and measure preload using the BMW tool or using Dman's technique with a dial micrometer? Or some other method?

Or did you just disassemble the drive, remove the old bearing and replace with a new one using the original shim(s). Many have done this, and in the early days of FD failures I suspect BMW service departments also did it this way until they got "educated" and started replacing the whole drive. Several BMW rebuilt drives later failed too.

If preload was not calculated when the new bearing was installed, the failure comes as no suprise to me.

If preload was carefully caluclated, and appropriate shims were installed, I wonder what the failure mode was? Did the bearing retainer break as seen in many crownwheel bearing failures?

Also, was the new bearing installed with out excess pressure that might result in spalling of the balls and races?

If a carefully and properly rebuilt drive fails has a crownwheel bearing fail, that points to a cause of failure that is beyond the currently suspected reasons.
Are you tracking the drives you rebuilt for milage, service intervals etc?

I think your theory does make sense, but until you get lots of rebuilds you've done on the road (at least 100 or more to get any kind of decent data,) and have some history on them, it is pretty tough to conclude anything about what is working or not.

From what I've read on this issue, there doesn't seem to be a magic number in miles where failure occurs. Nor is there a cutoff year where it can be said the problem was solved.

As far as worrying about failure on mine, I will admit only to looking for the "puddle" now and then and spinning the wheel by hand when checking tire pressure. Beyond that, I don't believe in preemptive fixes for things that aren't broke, especially when no one seems to be able to say for sure what causes the failure...but that's just me.

Steve
Chandler, AZ
2000 BMW 1200LT


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post #50 of 88 Old Oct 21st, 2008, 7:06 am
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Re: When the FD Fails

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
I can't believe you are all making light of this fantastic idea. With a weep hole of the appropriate size, you will be able to add an ounce of gear oil every couple of weeks and you will no long need to change your FD oil as it will get a continual replenishment of fresh oil! This is a great idea and you all are just jealous that you didn't think of it first!!
You guys all have it wrong. The "Final Drive Weep Hole" is the gully on the side of the road you sit down in to cry when your final drive gives out in the middle of nowhere.

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