Failure while towed... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Jul 17th, 2010, 6:15 pm Thread Starter
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Failure while towed...

Got home this afternoon from a wonderful 8 day (2000 mile) ride through the Canadian Rockies, a ride I'd do again if it weren't 1650 miles up to our staging point in Wenatchee.

Towed the K12 (along with the K75) up to the staging point and back (and took some strange looks from the BMW folks riding north along I-84 in Idaho and Oregon yesterday). Had had major services done before I left; had no problems during the ride in Canada.

Got home this afternoon--the end of a three day drive/tow--and went to off-load the bikes. The K75 is fine, but there's a puddle of oil beneath the rear wheel of the K12 and around the final drive, both above the FD oil opening and dripping off of the drain plug.

I'm too tired at the moment to do anything: I'm leaving it as is on the trailer and will have a better wrench come look at it tomorrow to see if we can infer what might have happened.

I'd appreciate some suggestions about what I should be looking for. Could either plug on the FD vibrated loose during the tow (the roads were, from time to time, pretty rough)? I tied it down according to instructions elsewhere on this site: that meant that while the front end could move up and down, but back end was firmly anchored via the frames below the cases. Could it be some kind of shock failure?

Have to go to a wedding in Albuquerque next Friday; I'm now expecting that I'll just leave it on the trailer and tow it back up there (that's the closest dealer, the one I drove by this morning as I headed home) then, but I'd like some suggestions on where I should start looking to assess what the problem might be.

Larry Johnson
El Paso TX
2003 K1200LTC
1991 K75RT
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post #2 of 14 Old Jul 17th, 2010, 6:32 pm
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Re: Failure while towed...

Pretty tell tail will be WHERE oil is ...
If only on and dripping from diff housing likely slosh out the vent.
If disk rotor is wet and especially if seeing any radial oil tracks all the way around it on diff side ... the dreaded seal failure or worse.

JMO ... for just taking a guess

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post #3 of 14 Old Jul 17th, 2010, 6:37 pm
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Re: Failure while towed...

Pretty hard to diagnose from where I'm sitting,
my first thought is it's something like
when the cat shits in your shoes,
you musta done something to "piss her off"

The logical approach would be process of elimination,
remove the fill plug on the final drive and check the fluid level,
it should be right to the bottom of the threads,
if it ain't, drain the FD into a clean container and look for shavings,
if there aren't any refill wipe it clean and take it for a ride.

Then look again, if there's oil it came from somewhere
but with 1600 miles of wind it could have leaked from anywhere and landed in the rear.
It could have "siphoned" out of the vent, stranger things have happened,
if the FD failed I would think you'd have had oil on it when you loaded the bike.


Hans
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"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
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Last edited by SilverBuffalo; Jul 17th, 2010 at 6:42 pm.
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post #4 of 14 Old Jul 17th, 2010, 8:00 pm
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Re: Failure while towed...

If you have towed the vehicle up and down several elevations changes I believe you have no issues.

And the story goes like this - I towed my 2002 K1200LT from Cincinnati to the CCR in
Breckenridge, CO. While I was gassing up in Dillon I noticed oil from the rear drive all
over the wheel. And there was no explanation why since the rear wheel did not turn
for over 1500 miles and it just sat there on the trailer. When I got the CCR I
approached the BMW service guys from the Denver dealer and they said not to worry
happens all the time in the mountains when trailering BMW's. Just top up your rear
drive fluids and away you go. It appears that near the top of the vent hole there is an
area where oil can get trapped and when you change elevations this oil can get
sucked out by normal atmospheric pressure differentials.

For the record the following elevations apply:
Cincinnati
480 feet above seal level

Eisenhower Tunnel
Is the highest vehicular tunnel in the world, located at an elevation of 11,013 feet
above seal level

Dillon
9,800 feet above sea level

BTW, when I trailered home there was no leakage ???

Dan Finazzo
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post #5 of 14 Old Jul 17th, 2010, 8:01 pm
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Re: Failure while towed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
Pretty hard to diagnose from where I'm sitting,
my first thought is it's something like
when the cat shits in your shoes,
you musta done something to "piss her off"


She just couldn't take the humiliation of being trailered. Like a Harley!

Loren

WAK1200LT
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post #6 of 14 Old Jul 18th, 2010, 1:45 am
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Re: Failure while towed...

I agree with dfinnazzo. I was going to post about this a couple of days back under the title of live and learn. But I have been having too much fun on the LT in Salt Lake City and in Redmond-Bend.

i trailered the LT from Chicago, which is about 490' ASL down 80 and over the Rockies. When I stopped at Buford, Wy. (Population 1) for gas, free coffee, and fun, I noticed that the license plate on the trailer (cheap IL tin) was broken through from the wind, and the LT back tire was all wet.

I stopped in by BMW Motorcycles of Utah in Sandy, UT. Andy Grover, who runs the service dept. there, took one look at it and said the same - air in the FD expands pushing out the oil. He had one of his guys clean it up, test drove it, and wash it and didn't charge a cent. Great service for the traveler. They are located at 339 W 9000 S, SANDY, UT 84070 - just under the I15. Not to be confused with BMW Motorcycles of Salt Lake, which does not seem to be around.

Live and learn, and top off the fluid when you get a chance.

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post #7 of 14 Old Jul 18th, 2010, 7:08 am
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Re: Failure while towed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wa1200lt


She just couldn't take the humiliation of being trailered. Like a Harley!

Loren
+1 on that one, I can't top it any better

I think the elevation change comments are a very valid possibility. Good luck with it.

Bill
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post #8 of 14 Old Jul 18th, 2010, 9:00 am
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Re: Failure while towed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatzo
+1 on that one, I can't top it any better

I think the elevation change comments are a very valid possibility. Good luck with it.
Agreed. Can't touch that one either. Perhaps what you're seeing is BMW urine. You most likely horrified the poor LT to the point that it lost control of it's bladder. Kind of like when they're loading the poor, pitiful little puppies into the cargo compartment of the plane. They just shake, shudder and pee on themselves.
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post #9 of 14 Old Jul 18th, 2010, 9:36 am Thread Starter
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Re: Failure while towed...

I'll check out the altitude siphoning--we ranged from the shore of the Columbia to over 7000 feet in New Mexico, and the bike was at a very slight tilt to the rider's right (I was towing two bikes),

My thanks to all who responded and to jzeiler whose photos on another thread helped me to approach the vent.

And as for the unhappiness of the towed LT, I had a choice: an unhappy LT or an unhappy SO, who is delighted to drive the truck as a trail vehicle for the group but is now spoiled, and would be very unhappy if she had to give up the cab, her coffee, her XM, and the airconditioning. But it's all the LT's fault anyway, because it fell over three times the first time she rode on a trip.

Larry Johnson

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post #10 of 14 Old Jul 18th, 2010, 11:23 am
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Re: Failure while towed...

I had a K1200LT transported from Atlanta to Denver and when it arrived had the same fluid leakage. The local dealer, BMW of Denver, told me that it was a common occurance with bikes brought from sea level to altitude.
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post #11 of 14 Old Jul 18th, 2010, 1:49 pm
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Re: Failure while towed...

Gotta keep the Admiral happy Larry That is first and foremost.

Bill
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post #12 of 14 Old Jul 20th, 2010, 6:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Failure while towed...

Looks to have been less than an ounce lost (though the puddle seemed HUGE) when I topped it off today. Won't be doing any heavy duty riding for the next several weeks-- no one covers my professorial duties while I'm away--but I'm confident that all will be well, since such a variety of dealers had the same response reported to me by you guys.

One question, however: I didn't pull the vent or do anything to the filter. Is that something I should do?

Larry Johnson
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post #13 of 14 Old Jul 20th, 2010, 6:37 pm
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Re: Failure while towed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljjohns
One question, however: I didn't pull the vent or do anything to the filter. Is that something I should do?
If you're still talking about the final drive?
all you need to do is fill it and ride it.

This has been an interesting thread, I learned something from it,
that just proves that "there are no stupid questions"
although sometimes you have to wonder about the people asking the questions.
And I'm not talking about you Larry.


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
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post #14 of 14 Old Jul 20th, 2010, 7:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Failure while towed...

My plan is just to ride it, but jzeiler had such a cool picture of plucking out the filter underneath the vent cap that I wondered if that was something that needed to be done.

I'm trying to minimize lowering myself to the garage floor to do such stuff; we've got a Harbor Freight lift but we haven't had the courage to put the LT up on it.
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