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post #1 of 37 Old Mar 26th, 2006, 7:32 pm Thread Starter
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Angry Front End problems!!

I started to go for a ride this afternoon after getting all the Honey-Do's out of the way. I had finished getting the bike back together after repairing the fuel sensor and getting a new SilverStar bulb put in last night. I had it out for an hour or two last night and had noticed a bad head shake at about 45 mph.
I wrote this off to bad air pressure in the tires after I stopped about a mike from the house and checked.
I went ahead and rode around for a couple of hours and didn't notice the head shake but couldn't get over the feeling that something wasn't right.

I recently had the bike into the local dealer and when I got it out I ran over to Lake Charles and back and found about 2/3 of the screws in the Tupperware loose. I tightened them after adding a little thread lock on them. I went ahead and went to Florida for the IBA and MTF Ride In and Daytona Party.
I had what I thought was just tire problems in Florida and bout a new front tire in Jacksonville. I still had the same problems but since I am a touch on the stubborn side I continued on with my outing. I made it down to Key West and back home to Pasadena with a rear Bridgestone that had a area inside the tire about a foot long that was delaminating and causing a knot to swell up on the left side of the tire which was cause a low speed wobble. I made it home and had it replaced the next day. I'll take some pictures of the problem and post them later. It's impressive.

Today's problem was worse. In fact it scared the hell out of me and I don't scare easy. The ball joint that is connected to the bridge assembly came loose. And it looks like it was loose for a while.

I am inclined to place the blame on the dealer They have just finished replacing the upper and lower fork seals and I don't know if the ball joint was removed or loosened to do this, but it makes sense.

The joint broke loose as I was bumping the bike of the center stand. When the front tire hit the floor, the bike collapsed to the left, landing on the J-Peg and bending the hell out of it. I thought at first I had did something stupid, and got the rest of the way off the bike and tried to stand it up. I t was immediately apparent that there was something wrong. The bike felt heavier if that is possible and the angle of the bike was all wrong. I struggled to upright the bike and when I got it up on the side stand I could see that the front end was lower than the back. I tried to get it up on the center stand and couldn't so it by myself. I had the ladies of the house help me and I got down to look at that front end.

At first i couldn't see what was wrong so I grabbed a flashlight and took another look. The pictures that I've attached will show what I have found.

After you look can someone tell me that this was just a coincidence or is it something the dealer contributed to. I don't won't to go there and find out it was just one of those things.

Right now I am mad and still a bit scared at what could of happened if this had let got go last night when I was fooling around or this afternoon when I was out riding. I was heading to Katy to go to Bass Pro Shops and that would have been on the freeway and moving at 60 to 80 mph. It could have been fatal in my opinion.

Now to fix it. Would you repair the threads and return it to service or replace one or both pieces. I need advice on this.

Let me know what you think guys. And if you want to know who the dealer is, I will email that to you.

Lewis
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Lewis

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post #2 of 37 Old Mar 26th, 2006, 8:42 pm
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I would certainly be talking to the dealer. I would want the damaged pieces replaced at his cost. As to the tupperware screws coming loose I would be annoyed but not overly bothered. Also, if properly tightened they shouldn't need any form of locktite, you may regret that later. Locktite reacts with some plastics, might harm the tupperware. Another possible problem may be with the wellnuts, they can spin even without locktite.
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post #3 of 37 Old Mar 26th, 2006, 8:53 pm Thread Starter
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Red face Locktite

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjordans2000
As to the tupperware screws coming loose I would be annoyed but not overly bothered.---------------Another possible problem may be with the wellnuts, they can spin even without locktite.
I have already remover the tupperware and figured it out. And yea the well nuts were a problem. Not as bad as this though.

Lewis

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post #4 of 37 Old Mar 26th, 2006, 8:57 pm
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busted..

Glad to see you are able to type this. Yup, could have been fatal. Gotta say it looks like corrosion of the threads allowed it to pull loose. "fixing" the threads, in my opinion is "not" recommended.

Her are pics of "new"/good parts according to my 2005 models RepRom CD.
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post #5 of 37 Old Mar 26th, 2006, 8:57 pm
 
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That was never properly assembled.... Take very good well documented pix...
And yes thats scary.....................Regards Pete
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post #6 of 37 Old Mar 26th, 2006, 9:02 pm
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I'd say you had an Angel on your shoulder! I'd talk to the service manager where the work was done. Somethin' don't smell right.


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post #7 of 37 Old Mar 26th, 2006, 9:07 pm
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Exclamation Just

Looking at the amount of road grime that is in the bottom 9/10ths of the ball joint housing, the ball joint hasnt been properly wrenched down for quite awhile. I'm not sure what the thread engagement on that particular piece is supposed to be, but it has to be more than the 3 or 4 threads that it was. Going to have to check mine now. My .02 worth.

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post #8 of 37 Old Mar 26th, 2006, 9:47 pm
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Thanks for sharing, Lewis. I just checked my early 2000 and see that full engagement shows only one thread of the cross member showing on the bottom side just above the fender. This is the first time anyone has noted that threaded detail backing out, on this site. A while back someone broke the center beam (at the weld) that the bushing is attached to, when he hit a big pot hole. Looks like we all have another area to eyeball on our preflight check. Surprising the shop did not see this area when they did the fork seals. I wonder if BMW has an alert bulletin of some sort out to the dealers looking for this dangerous situation?

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post #9 of 37 Old Mar 27th, 2006, 9:13 am
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Agree. It appears only a couple of threads were engaged (2 - 3 max) and from the grime on both the male and female threaded parts it has been that way for a long time if not from the beginning.

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post #10 of 37 Old Mar 27th, 2006, 9:54 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by km5bh
I started to go for a ride this afternoon after getting all the Honey-Do's out of the way. I had finished getting the bike back together after repairing the fuel sensor and getting a new SilverStar bulb put in last night. I had it out for an hour or two last night and had noticed a bad head shake at about 45 mph.
I wrote this off to bad air pressure in the tires after I stopped about a mike from the house and checked.
I went ahead and rode around for a couple of hours and didn't notice the head shake but couldn't get over the feeling that something wasn't right.

I recently had the bike into the local dealer and when I got it out I ran over to Lake Charles and back and found about 2/3 of the screws in the Tupperware loose. I tightened them after adding a little thread lock on them. I went ahead and went to Florida for the IBA and MTF Ride In and Daytona Party.
I had what I thought was just tire problems in Florida and bout a new front tire in Jacksonville. I still had the same problems but since I am a touch on the stubborn side I continued on with my outing. I made it down to Key West and back home to Pasadena with a rear Bridgestone that had a area inside the tire about a foot long that was delaminating and causing a knot to swell up on the left side of the tire which was cause a low speed wobble. I made it home and had it replaced the next day. I'll take some pictures of the problem and post them later. It's impressive.

Today's problem was worse. In fact it scared the hell out of me and I don't scare easy. The ball joint that is connected to the bridge assembly came loose. And it looks like it was loose for a while.

I am inclined to place the blame on the dealer They have just finished replacing the upper and lower fork seals and I don't know if the ball joint was removed or loosened to do this, but it makes sense.

The joint broke loose as I was bumping the bike of the center stand. When the front tire hit the floor, the bike collapsed to the left, landing on the J-Peg and bending the hell out of it. I thought at first I had did something stupid, and got the rest of the way off the bike and tried to stand it up. I t was immediately apparent that there was something wrong. The bike felt heavier if that is possible and the angle of the bike was all wrong. I struggled to upright the bike and when I got it up on the side stand I could see that the front end was lower than the back. I tried to get it up on the center stand and couldn't so it by myself. I had the ladies of the house help me and I got down to look at that front end.

At first i couldn't see what was wrong so I grabbed a flashlight and took another look. The pictures that I've attached will show what I have found.

After you look can someone tell me that this was just a coincidence or is it something the dealer contributed to. I don't won't to go there and find out it was just one of those things.

Right now I am mad and still a bit scared at what could of happened if this had let got go last night when I was fooling around or this afternoon when I was out riding. I was heading to Katy to go to Bass Pro Shops and that would have been on the freeway and moving at 60 to 80 mph. It could have been fatal in my opinion.

Now to fix it. Would you repair the threads and return it to service or replace one or both pieces. I need advice on this.

Let me know what you think guys. And if you want to know who the dealer is, I will email that to you.

Lewis



Crap that don't look good at all! it's hard to say if the dealer caused this by the pics only you can find out what all they took apart.

as far as what to replace, I would replace both pieces no question there at all! I would not repair those threads.

Tom

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post #11 of 37 Old Mar 27th, 2006, 7:50 pm
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I can't imagine anyone removing the ball joint to do fork seals. The easiest way to do them is to remove the two bolts that hold each fork lower to the cross brace, and pull them down. I suppose you could remove the nut that attaches the ball joint to the front "trailing" arm and remove both lowers together, but that nut wasn't what came loose. Unless the ball joint has been replaced sometime in the past, this would have to be an assembly problem from the factory or material failure. I have never seen this happen. The torque for that ball joint to bridge is pretty high, 200 nm I think. I do think that if you just had fork seals done though, the tech that did the job would have (or should have) noticed the ball joint backing out of the lower bridge. Looking at the pictures more closely, it really does look like it either backed out or never was screwed in all the way.

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post #12 of 37 Old Mar 27th, 2006, 8:40 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobygrape
Looking at the pictures more closely, it really does look like it either backed out or never was screwed in all the way.
That's the conclusion that I have come to as well. I am going to go over and see the dealer tomorrow afternoon and see what they have to say. I will have to get the bike towed in to get it looked at and I doubt that BMWOA or the insurance company are going to take care of that. I was lucky, really lucky. This could have happened at speed and lord only know what condition my condition would be in.

Lewis

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post #13 of 37 Old Mar 28th, 2006, 8:15 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobygrape
I can't imagine anyone removing the ball joint to do fork seals. The easiest way to do them is to remove the two bolts that hold each fork lower to the cross brace, and pull them down. I suppose you could remove the nut that attaches the ball joint to the front "trailing" arm and remove both lowers together, but that nut wasn't what came loose. Unless the ball joint has been replaced sometime in the past, this would have to be an assembly problem from the factory or material failure. I have never seen this happen. The torque for that ball joint to bridge is pretty high, 200 nm I think. I do think that if you just had fork seals done though, the tech that did the job would have (or should have) noticed the ball joint backing out of the lower bridge. Looking at the pictures more closely, it really does look like it either backed out or never was screwed in all the way.
I tend to agree with you, I see no reason why they would pull it like that to replace fork seals,

Tom

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post #14 of 37 Old Mar 30th, 2006, 8:25 pm Thread Starter
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I got the word from the dealer on this at about 6 pm today. According to the service manager, the BMW represetitive has looked at the bike and said that the ball joint backed out over time and that it is not their responsibility and that they can offer no assistance with the repairs. I believe that this ball joint should never back out on its own. This is what I was told by the dealer's service manager.

I would advise everyone to check this ball joint. There is no way that this should ever just back out. I really don't believe that is possible. I personally believe that this is a faulty installation. Maybe by BMW, maybe by a service man, but a faulty installation at any rate.

Tomorrow I intend to start talking to BMW America Customer Service. If that doesn't get someones attention, there are other avenues. Now I am starting to get upset.

Lewis
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post #15 of 37 Old Mar 30th, 2006, 11:08 pm
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Lewis keep us all posted on this problem.. Thanks for sharing this with all of us. I will be checking mine tomorrow.....

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post #16 of 37 Old Mar 30th, 2006, 11:41 pm
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good luck getting the phone to answer.

Best if you can make nice with your dealer and ask him if he's willing to "help"... and see if he'll sell an x10did war-and-t.

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post #17 of 37 Old Mar 31st, 2006, 4:39 am
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Lewis that is scarey sh*t indeed.
I'm going on a ride tomorrow morning, but right now I'm going to the shed to check this out on my bike.

Lucky indeed!

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post #18 of 37 Old Mar 31st, 2006, 6:10 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by km5bh
I got the word from the dealer on this at about 6 pm today. According to the service manager, the BMW represetitive has looked at the bike and said that the ball joint backed out over time and that it is not their responsibility and that they can offer no assistance with the repairs. I believe that this ball joint should never back out on its own. This is what I was told by the dealer's service manager.

I would advise everyone to check this ball joint. There is no way that this should ever just back out. I really don't believe that is possible. I personally believe that this is a faulty installation. Maybe by BMW, maybe by a service man, but a faulty installation at any rate.

Tomorrow I intend to start talking to BMW America Customer Service. If that doesn't get someones attention, there are other avenues. Now I am starting to get upset.

Lewis

I would contact your insurance company and let them know what is happening. why I have no idea but they might be able to shed some light on what direction to take, after all it is a safety issue

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post #19 of 37 Old Mar 31st, 2006, 9:02 am
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Thumbs down

Meadow Muffins! The only way that could happen is through improper installation. There is a reason there is a locknut there. If the ball joint backed out, it was because the locknut was not torqued properly. I also can't imagine how it could have backed out. There should be sufficient pressure on the threads from the weight of the bike to hold it in place

If they indicate that this could happen normally I would be asking where is the inspection/service interval schedule for the ball joint. BMW has a very detailed list of inspection/service items and when they should be done and I'm pretty sure this is not on the list.

If they still deny and there is indeed no service schedule for the ball joint or associated parts, I think you would have a case of negligence on BMW's part for failure to identify an area that does require a regular inspection/service or suffer a possible catastrophic failure.

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post #20 of 37 Old Apr 6th, 2006, 9:20 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmgs
I would contact your insurance company and let them know what is happening. why I have no idea but they might be able to shed some light on what direction to take, after all it is a safety issue
I may Have to contact the insurance company. I got my first partial estimate today from the dealer. Over $1,000 in parts and they haven't removed the plastic yet. This is nuts. And do you BMW has answered phone call or email. Not!
I'm starting to think that maybe I'll follow the advice of the some of the locals here. Fix it and them find a lawyer. This is maddening.

Lewis

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post #21 of 37 Old Apr 7th, 2006, 1:00 am
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'If they still deny and there is indeed no service schedule for the ball joint or associated parts, I think you would have a case of negligence on BMW's part for failure to identify an area that does require a regular inspection/service or suffer a possible catastrophic failure.'

I agree. It is BMW's responcibility to design a safe vehicle. If a critical part can come loose during normal use there needs to be a specified service interval. Preferably the design should make this occurance next to impossible. Auto manufactuers have used cotter pins, bent tab retaining washers, and the like to keep wheels and other critical parts from falling off for years. Perhaps a NHTSA report is in order here.
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post #22 of 37 Old Apr 7th, 2006, 4:45 am
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BMW Fault

Quote:
Originally Posted by km5bh
I got the word from the dealer on this at about 6 pm today. According to the service manager, the BMW represetitive has looked at the bike and said that the ball joint backed out over time and that it is not their responsibility and that they can offer no assistance with the repairs. I believe that this ball joint should never back out on its own. This is what I was told by the dealer's service manager.
Lewis
This is a case of improper assembly. BMW is at fault.
Was there any trace of loctite on the fork bridge or ball joint? If not then improper torquing at the factory. You have a case

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post #23 of 37 Old Apr 7th, 2006, 10:33 pm Thread Starter
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Wink Loctite

Quote:
Originally Posted by murray
This is a case of improper assembly. BMW is at fault.
Was there any trace of loctite on the fork bridge or ball joint? If not then improper torquing at the factory. You have a case
There was no loctite that I could see. I got the insurance company lined up today. The dealer's talking over $2000.00 now and said it might go up when they get the Tupperware off.

And in the meantime, I am developing severe withdrawal problems. I caught myself looking at a ST1300 today.

Lewis

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post #24 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2006, 12:27 am
 
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Question

Are you the original owner of this LT?

May we never find the end of the road!

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post #25 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2006, 9:26 am
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I am sure the procedure is the same on earlier models but the 05 manual requires you to remove the fork bridge from the forks and place it in a fixture. Then lubricate the threads of the ball joint and torque to 230 Nm (165 Ft Lbs). So no loctite. I now make inspection of this area a routine item.

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post #26 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2006, 10:00 am Thread Starter
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Cool but the 05 manual requires you to remove the fork bridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
I am sure the procedure is the same on earlier models but the 05 manual requires you to remove the fork bridge from the forks and place it in a fixture. Then lubricate the threads of the ball joint and torque to 230 Nm (165 Ft Lbs). So no loctite. I now make inspection of this area a routine item.
That's interesting. I wonder if the mechanics now use that as a standard practice. If all things were equal and the parts are the same, I think I would out of habit do all the same.

Can you send me a copy of the page in the manual?

Lewis

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post #27 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2006, 5:23 pm
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That has been the procedure since the beginning.

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post #28 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2006, 8:50 pm
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Page from Manual

The 05 manual is an integrated electronic manual (IETM) tried a screen capture and it seems to work.
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post #29 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2006, 9:08 pm
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Okay. There are specs for the installation of the ball joint but I don't see anything in the service check list about this being a required maintenance item. The valves, swing arm bearings, and such are there. Nothing on the ball joint. I would still contend BMW failed to warn this could be a problem. Also, did you or your dealer perform the required maintenance service? If your dealer, you could argue he failed to provide this undocumented service item or notice it was coming loose. I'm no fan of legal action but it seems there is sufficent reason to expect some help with fixing your bike.
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post #30 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2006, 9:57 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks, I got it. It doesn't tell me that this is required to change the fork seals top and bottom though. That's what I was looking for.

Lewis

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post #31 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2006, 9:59 pm Thread Starter
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Okay. There are specs for the installation of the ball joint but I don't see anything in the service check list about this being a required maintenance item. The valves, swing arm bearings, and such are there. Nothing on the ball joint. I would still contend BMW failed to warn this could be a problem. Also, did you or your dealer perform the required maintenance service? If your dealer, you could argue he failed to provide this undocumented service item or notice it was coming loose. I'm no fan of legal action but it seems there is sufficent reason to expect some help with fixing your bike.
The dealer did the maintainance. $1300 worth.

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post #32 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2006, 10:54 pm
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Then I would keep arguing for at least partial coverage. You entrusted your life and your bike to an authorized BMW dealer who has had factory training and all available factory manuals and service bulletins. The lawyers would have a field day throwing blame around but since you weren't under the hood that leaves faulty design, production error, and/or service/inspection mistakes.
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post #33 of 37 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 9:16 am Thread Starter
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Then I would keep arguing for at least partial coverage. You entrusted your life and your bike to an authorized BMW dealer who has had factory training and all available factory manuals and service bulletins. The lawyers would have a field day throwing blame around but since you weren't under the hood that leaves faulty design, production error, and/or service/inspection mistakes.
I'm getting all kinds of advice from folks telling me to get a lawyer, but I think that would cost more than the repairs are going to run. Now if I could afford to sic a lawyer on them just for hatefulness, I would go get one tomorrow. This is the reason cooperations don't listen to the little man. They know that they don't have the assets to play with that the companies do.

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post #34 of 37 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 1:24 pm
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I agree, I'm not suggesting you hire a lawyer unless you're into that sort of thing. I merely point out that there is blame elsewhere and you have every right to discuss this further with BMW and your dealer. Getting them to admit they have a responcibility here probably will be tough without legal help but I personally would press for assistance anyway. Filing, or the threat of filing, a NHTSA complaint could help convince them to help.
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post #35 of 37 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by km5bh
Thanks, I got it. It doesn't tell me that this is required to change the fork seals top and bottom though. That's what I was looking for.

Lewis
It calls for the removal of the upper nut on the ball joint to free the forks from the leading link. If they did that work on the forks - frankly I don't see how they could have missed the badly installed ball joint. Good luck.

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post #36 of 37 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 7:50 pm Thread Starter
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It calls for the removal of the upper nut on the ball joint to free the forks from the leading link. If they did that work on the forks - frankly I don't see how they could have missed the badly installed ball joint. Good luck.
Thanks

I'm going to try and pick up a manual on ebay or somewhere. It might help in my talks with the dealer.

Lewis

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post #37 of 37 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 9:03 pm
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Now you've got the idea. Do your home work and present you're case. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
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