Just got a "New" 19-ball Crown Bearing from Chicago BMW this week? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 30 Old Jun 3rd, 2006, 2:44 pm Thread Starter
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Just got a "New" 19-ball Crown Bearing from Chicago BMW this week?

I month or so ago I asked the question about what parts and tools I needed to perform a 36K service and to change crown bearings. I made my list, checked it twice, and placed an order with Chicago BMW.

My box finally arrived last week and today I planned to 1) install the crown bearing and (depending on time) 2) change the timing chain tensioner lining.

So, I open my $215 box of goodies and grab the crown bearing. I count the balls and find there to be 19. Hmmm. My good friends on the K12LT forum are recommending the 17 ball one. So, after waiting for Chicago BMW to open, I give them a call.

He says that about 2 years ago, BMW superseded the part number from the old part to the new one, which is 33121468899 or "899" as the parts guy called it.

He says he has sold about 60 of the "899's" and never heard of a failure and has never counted the balls.

So, I have a '99 with 39,500 on the clock. I bought it last fall with ~33K and the previous owner never changed the bearing. I changed the rear drive oil a few weeks ago and found only a small amount of metal powder on the magnet and no flakes, plus the wheel does not rock, so I don't think I have a problem...I am just changing it for piece of mind.

Now, do I change bearings and put this one in, or should I send it back and shop around for a 17-ball version?

Or, do I not get the bearing from BMW at all, and go directly to a bearing distributor and buy from them? The bearing I was sent from Chicago BMW was in a BMW box, but it was a FAG bearing, so BMW is just a reseller for this part anyway.

What is the consensus? Did BMW supersede the original bearing with the new and improved 17-ball version, and supersede it again with an even better 19-ball version?

Or is the 17-ball version the best there is there is a warehouse somewhere in Germany with stacks of bearings and it is luck of the draw which one you get?

Regards,
Larry

'99 K1200LT

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post #2 of 30 Old Jun 3rd, 2006, 3:26 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holy Cow
I month or so ago I asked the question about what parts and tools I needed to perform a 36K service and to change crown bearings. I made my list, checked it twice, and placed an order with Chicago BMW.

My box finally arrived last week and today I planned to 1) install the crown bearing and (depending on time) 2) change the timing chain tensioner lining.

So, I open my $215 box of goodies and grab the crown bearing. I count the balls and find there to be 19. Hmmm. My good friends on the K12LT forum are recommending the 17 ball one. So, after waiting for Chicago BMW to open, I give them a call.

He says that about 2 years ago, BMW superseded the part number from the old part to the new one, which is 33121468899 or "899" as the parts guy called it.

He says he has sold about 60 of the "899's" and never heard of a failure and has never counted the balls.

So, I have a '99 with 39,500 on the clock. I bought it last fall with ~33K and the previous owner never changed the bearing. I changed the rear drive oil a few weeks ago and found only a small amount of metal powder on the magnet and no flakes, plus the wheel does not rock, so I don't think I have a problem...I am just changing it for piece of mind.

Now, do I change bearings and put this one in, or should I send it back and shop around for a 17-ball version?

Or, do I not get the bearing from BMW at all, and go directly to a bearing distributor and buy from them? The bearing I was sent from Chicago BMW was in a BMW box, but it was a FAG bearing, so BMW is just a reseller for this part anyway.

What is the consensus? Did BMW supersede the original bearing with the new and improved 17-ball version, and supersede it again with an even better 19-ball version?

Or is the 17-ball version the best there is there is a warehouse somewhere in Germany with stacks of bearings and it is luck of the draw which one you get?
The "new" 17 ball bearing is made by SKF instead of the 19 ball bearings that were made by FAG.

I would try to find the SKF bearing, even knowing that may not be the total "fix" of the problem. It does seem that the newer bearing is showing better life.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
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post #3 of 30 Old Jun 3rd, 2006, 4:01 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holy Cow
Now, do I change bearings and put this one in, or should I send it back and shop around for a 17-ball version?
There are those on the forum that have specifically ordered the 17-ball version, and received the 17-ball version. So, it can be done. I think you should send this puppy back and go shopping. Perhaps you should start a thread asking for recommendations on where to get the "right" part. That would probably save you a lot of time and aggravation. (Oops! Too late! )
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post #4 of 30 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 5:17 pm
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I just ordered the new bearings also and told they would be 19 ball. These are supposedly the latest and are on back order from BMW AG. I'll let you know what I actually get. Part number was same as posted in previous posts for the 17 ball.

Tim Frederick
Woodbury, MN
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post #5 of 30 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 7:00 pm
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I find it unacceptable that they would be sending out the 19 bearing part. I would not install a 19 bearing part in my bike. Send it back.
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post #6 of 30 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 11:34 pm
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Question

I too plan on replacing my bearing, and was planning to order from Chicago BMW. Bummer about receiving a 19 bearing.

I looked at the parts at MaxBMW and they show part # 33 12 1 242 210 @ $134 replacing # 33 12 1 468 899. I don't know if this it 17 or 19 bearings.

I will call them tomorrow for more info.


David
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post #7 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 12:00 am
 
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Please report back. I've only seen the Part No. 33 12 1 468 899 posted for the 17-ball unit.
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post #8 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 7:15 am
 
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Hello All:
I just did the change. I have the box for the 17 bearing in my hand. BMW part #33121468899. As David states in a previous reply the 17 and 19 bearing units are made by different manufacturers. I bought my bearing from the local dealer who had it in stock. Good luck on the project.
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post #9 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 10:07 am
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When I ordered mine last week I ordered part #33 12 1 468 899 and was told it would be a 19 ball. Will see when it shows up.

Tim Frederick
Woodbury, MN
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post #10 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 10:44 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredthead
When I ordered mine last week I ordered part #33 12 1 468 899 and was told it would be a 19 ball. Will see when it shows up.
What dealer in MSP ?

Jon Bush
' 09 RT
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post #11 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 11:03 am
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Is BMW just dumping the old 19 ball units on the market to get rid of them? Knowing they are, at the very least, part of the rear end problem, you would think they would have removed them from the supply chain.

I was seriously thinking of replacing mine with the new 17 ball unit - until now. Thanks for the info.

Lee Nowell
Black 01, LTC
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post #12 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 11:21 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lnowell
Is BMW just dumping the old 19 ball units on the market to get rid of them? Knowing they are, at the very least, part of the rear end problem, you would think they would have removed them from the supply chain.

I was seriously thinking of replacing mine with the new 17 ball unit - until now. Thanks for the info.
Since BMW has never admitted a problem with the bearings, it is entirely possible the advent of the SKF bearing was nothing more than second sourcing of parts, and they may still be using both suppliers for bearings depending on availability and pricing. Certainly a common practice in all industry.

It will be really interesting if we ever see a FAG bearing with the "new" part number on it's packaging.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
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post #13 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 11:24 am
 
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All I know is that it's pretty darn ironic that the FAG bearings are the ones blowing apart!

All the more reason to buy the new GT. To get rid of this FAG in my rear drive.
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post #14 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 11:45 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
Since BMW has never admitted a problem with the bearings, it is entirely possible the advent of the SKF bearing was nothing more than second sourcing of parts, and they may still be using both suppliers for bearings depending on availability and pricing. Certainly a common practice in all industry.

It will be really interesting if we ever see a FAG bearing with the "new" part number on it's packaging.
True, they have not admitted anything. In your opinion, why would they still be selling the 19 ball unit if almost 100% of the failures are with that unit? Is it the design of the 19 ball unit or the manufacturer of the 19 ball bearing unit the problem?

Does this imply that newer LT's MAY have the 19 ball bearings installed in them at the factory or does the PARTS division get their dealer replacement parts where ever they can get the best deal?

Lee Nowell
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post #15 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 1:12 pm
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Jon, I ordered mine from BMW Chicago. They said they were on back order from BMW AG (Germany). But I was at Leo's this morning for a new tire and they said they had the 17 ball in stock although I didn't physically see it. I'll post as to what I get on arrival.

Tim Frederick
Woodbury, MN
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post #16 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 3:37 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
All I know is that it's pretty darn ironic that the FAG bearings are the ones blowing apart!

All the more reason to buy the new GT. To get rid of this FAG in my rear drive.
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post #17 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 9:02 pm
 
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Question Baerings

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
The "new" 17 ball bearing is made by SKF instead of the 19 ball bearings that were made by FAG.

I would try to find the SKF bearing, even knowing that may not be the total "fix" of the problem. It does seem that the newer bearing is showing better life.
Question: Could it be that the improvement going from 19 balls to 17 had nothing to do with the # of balls, and everything to do with the Quality of the original 19's? And now they might have gone back to a 19, but with the Quality problem fixed? Dave, you are probably as close to a bearing expert as anyone we've got. What do you think?
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post #18 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 10:37 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
All I know is that it's pretty darn ironic that the FAG bearings are the ones blowing apart!

All the more reason to buy the new GT. To get rid of this FAG in my rear drive.
Ya, we don't want no FAG balls
oh gosh

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post #19 of 30 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 11:06 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvRead
Question: Could it be that the improvement going from 19 balls to 17 had nothing to do with the # of balls, and everything to do with the Quality of the original 19's? And now they might have gone back to a 19, but with the Quality problem fixed? Dave, you are probably as close to a bearing expert as anyone we've got. What do you think?
The number of balls never had anything to do with the problems. Different manufacturers use various designs of the ball cages (separators), and also slightly different ball diameters depending on the load ratings. The separator design is what determines the number of balls used. Lower ball count leaves a little more room for the separator attachments. Some use rivets, others use little folded over tabs to hold the halves together.

The machined bronze retainer MRC bearing I bought to use (never got to try it ) only had 16 balls, but there was machined bronze between the balls which was riveted together. I sold it to another member here, hopefully he will one day try it out.

All the bearings had just about the same load ratings though.

I am surprised that the FAG bearings were failing, and seemingly the SKF bearings are holding up better. Both companies are long time highly respected bearing manufacturers.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
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post #20 of 30 Old Jun 7th, 2006, 6:13 pm
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Well I called and talked to the parts guys at Max BMW. They said that BMW pretty much keeps them in the dark. The two 899 bearings they had were 19 ball. They ordered more, but the computer showed that both US and Germany showed Out of Stock status. I would assume that the only stock is what is on hand....

Dave
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post #21 of 30 Old Jun 7th, 2006, 10:29 pm
 
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The correct part.

Here is the pics of the 17 ball I received from Leo's BMW. Interestingly, it's made in France SKF.
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post #22 of 30 Old Jun 7th, 2006, 10:32 pm
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Out of curiosity I called a local bearing distributor and gave them the SKF part number. They said they could have one in a few weeks for $300 some odd bucks. I did not order it.
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post #23 of 30 Old Jun 7th, 2006, 10:41 pm
 
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Leo's charged me $135. plus shipping.
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post #24 of 30 Old Sep 18th, 2007, 10:16 pm
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When mine failed I checked it out and it had SKF stamped on it. Oh no......

Jack Homesley
Cornelius, NC USA
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post #25 of 30 Old Sep 19th, 2007, 1:31 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cccpastorjack
When mine failed I checked it out and it had SKF stamped on it. Oh no......
Pretty much backs up my opinion that it is not the BEARINGS at fault, but a drive design or assembly process that is the problem. As I have said before, both FAG and SKF are large, very well known, highly respected bearing manufacturers.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
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post #26 of 30 Old Sep 19th, 2007, 10:23 am
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Exclamation Money grabbers

I caught it early and had mine replaced @ 150.000kms, was charged about 70 euro's including a seal and O-ring. Workshop time was 120 Euro's.
Pix on: http://picasaweb.google.nl/Flipachick/RearEnd
As you can see the retainer was the culprit.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giarcg
Out of curiosity I called a local bearing distributor and gave them the SKF part number. They said they could have one in a few weeks for $300 some odd bucks. I did not order it.
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post #27 of 30 Old Sep 19th, 2007, 11:15 pm
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Joe,
I replaced my crown bearing in January 2006 with about 45K on the clock. The bearing came from Irv Seavers BMW and was a 17 ball SKF (France) and was identified as P/N: 33121468899. The original 19 ball unit that was removed was a FAG (German) bearing. The ball carrier cage in the 17 ball unit is much more massive that the delicate (watch like) cage part in the 19 ball unit. Based on the track record of failures, I say take any 19 ball unit back and get the 17 ball unit!
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post #28 of 30 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 7:08 pm Thread Starter
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OK, so I haven't been super fast at doing anything with this. My bike now has 51,000 miles on it with out a hint of bearing trouble. (Still the factory bearing). However, on the way home from work last week, I heard a noise from the rear end as I pulled away from a stop sign and when I got home, I felt a little play in the rear wheel, so I decided to change the bearing. I still had the "new" 19-ball FAG bearing I ordered some time ago.

So, I tear my bike down. Oil is clear, magnet only has a little metal dust on it. Once I get the bearing off, it doesn't look bad. There is a light amount of pitting on the outer race, but overall, it looks great, especially the cage, which is where I understand the failure comes from. I open the package of the new bearing and it does feel smoother, but I notice it is covered in a protective grease or oil, so I wash it off in the parts cleaner. I notice some end play. So I measure it. I clamp down the outer race of the bearing to some 1-2-3 blocks and place a dial indicator on the inner race and try to move it up and down. 0.014" end play. I measure my old bearing, 0.017" end play. That seems like too much to me for a brand new bearing. No wonder I could feel movement trying to rock the wheel.

I am going to call Chicago tomorrow, but has anyone measured the end play of a new 17-ball bearing? I really don't want to spend the time putting it all back together if I am not gaining some level of confidence.

Regards,
Larry

'99 K1200LT

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post #29 of 30 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 11:00 pm
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Offset between the inner and outer race is what I was concerned with when I swapped my bearing out. I planned to use the same shim, so I wanted a similar race offset when the preload is applied by the housings with shim.

You must have noted orientation of your removed bearing. I use the P/N or MFG marking to determine a common side. Compare the offset and if within a .001 of each other, you should be OK installing the new bearing in the same direction with the same spacer.

The extra axial clearance of the new bearing will not be a factor since you are loaded against the tapered roller bearing on the other end by the preload.

I'll note that not everyone will agree with this method.

Barnett
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post #30 of 30 Old Oct 20th, 2007, 12:58 am
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Even if you match bearing clearances, you are assuming that the original bearing was set up properly, which may not be the case. If anything I'd suggest going for minimum preload - certainly not excessive preload. I really feel you have to measure the preload with a dial indicator after washing out the bearings & lubing it with something extra-thin like WD-40.

I wish there was a way that the breakout friction of a properly preloaded axle could be quantified without any shaft seals in place. This might be a more repeatible way to establish the required shim.
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