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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks

My first LT was an '05. It was a wonderful bike that had no issues. I sold it at 20,000 miles after deciding I wanted to ride smaller, sportier bikes. Fast forward three years - my elbows are shot from my previous 20 year long career as an Auto Tech, and the Doc says I have to stop stressing my elbows. Remembering how comfortable my LT was - and after seeing the stupid money people are getting out of used GL 1800's I decided to buy another LT. Not wanting to take the depreciation beating I took on my '05 and seeing that LT resale values fall faster than a dress on prom night, I decided to buy used. I leave to pick it up tomorrow. It is a 2003 LT-E with 17,000 miles on it. I got a decent deal on it and suspect it will never be worth much less than I paid for it unless I keep it to the end of its lifecycle.

Reading this board would scare the crap out of any prospective LT purchaser due to the rampant posting about the following three problems:

1) Broken shift linkage

2) Failed FD crown bearings ( I would not buy anything older than 2003 because supposedly the incidence of failure was higher on 2002 and earlier bikes)

3) Failed slave cylinders, rear seals, or anything else that causes the clutch to slip.

So my first question is about the slave cylinder. I've been reading some posts that speculate the slave cylinder fails because the clutch pushrod bearing locks up and causes the piston to spin in the seal (I think). If this is the case, I wonder if there is any correlation between those riders who tend to sit at stop lights with the bike in gear and clutch lever squeezed, versus riders like me who only grab the clutch lever when they have to use it. I know it runs counter to MSF teachings, but I sit at stop lights in Neutral and watch my mirrors. Does anyone know if there is a higher failure rate for those riders who sit and idle with the bike in gear and the clutch lever squeezed?

My 2nd question is about the supposedly fragile shift linkage. Does this apply to all years, or was there a point at which BMW made changes to make it stronger? Should I really carry spare parts with me like the faq suggests?

I'm looking forward to getting back on one of these big pigs. Even if I don't enjoy the size of the bike I always enjoyed the comfort!
 

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The difference between having it in neutral at a stop, and holding the clutch in will be minimal at most. The bearing is spinning all the time the engine is running, clutch in or not. More pressure on it when the clutch is held in, but there is still the spring pressure of the slave cylinder return spring when the clutch is out, so the bearing is still under light load and spinning all the time.

So, holding the clutch in at stops contributes only slightly to the bearing wear.
 

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As far as fragile shift linkage - NOT. There is a problem if you don't inspect it and tighten any loose ball pins and lubricate it. I do mine every 12K and have found a loose ball pin on two of four inspections. They only break if the the ball pin is loose and the threads take a beating. No breaks in 48K.


As far as the leaking slave/tranny seals - drill the drain hole. Procedures are posted here.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
jzeiler said:
As far as fragile shift linkage - NOT. There is a problem if you don't inspect it and tighten any loose ball pins and lubricate it. I do mine every 12K and have found a loose ball pin on two of four inspections. They only break if the the ball pin is loose and the threads take a beating. No breaks in 48K.


As far as the leaking slave/tranny seals - drill the drain hole. Procedures are posted here.
I fully intend to. I've got to get to work and weld up a swing arm socket first.

Is there any merit to using low grade loctite on the threads of the ball pins?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
dshealey said:
The difference between having it in neutral at a stop, and holding the clutch in will be minimal at most. The bearing is spinning all the time the engine is running, clutch in or not. More pressure on it when the clutch is held in, but there is still the spring pressure of the slave cylinder return spring when the clutch is out, so the bearing is still under light load and spinning all the time.

So, holding the clutch in at stops contributes only slightly to the bearing wear.
Thanks. I wasn't thinking about that.

I've done two clutch jobs on oilhead RT's and I can't imagine the LT is that much more difficult, but I'd rather not have to find out if I don't have to.
 

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Bueller said:
I fully intend to. I've got to get to work and weld up a swing arm socket first.

Is there any merit to using low grade loctite on the threads of the ball pins?
They come from the factory with a dry red loctite compound already on them. It wouldn't hurt to add a bit more. Some contend that would make it harder to remove a "stub" should one fail. But if is isn't loose it should not fail. Your choice. Lack of lube and a heavy boot could break a tight one.
 
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