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Discussion Starter #1
I was always worried about the final drive but it's been fine! I know many of you have answered questions about 5th gear clutch slipping but let me ask again.

25,000 miles on 2001 LT.

5th gear 5000 RPM - roll on full throtte and the clutch slips, not always but sometimes.

If I down shift from 5th to 4th and full throttle I get no slipping.

From a stop I get no slipping under hard acceleration.

Downshifting (1st, 2nd, 3rd) going hard into tight turns and full throttle no slipping.

SOOO...

I drilled an inspection/weep hole - no oil just black powder.
I sprayed the clutch with some brake cleaner and dipped a Q tip in the hole, no sign of oil.

Any ideas short of a new clutch?
 

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I know of one case where the rear main seal leaking caused the clutch to slip. My friends had 18k on it and no noticable leak, mine showed leak on floor, but I never noticed slippage, however the clutch was about gone when torn down. I have 57k on mine. Mechanic knew of another at 90k. Just my 2 cents worth. I just got mine out of the shop last month and a whopper of of a repair bill.
Larry
 

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I too have heard of the seal leaking causing the clutch to slip. I would recommend getting it looked at before it becomes a major problem.
Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Seal Leaking

I hear what you're saying about the seal leaking however I have no oil in the clutch housing or on the plates that I can detect.
 

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I would not recommend a 4th gear roll-on to full throttle; sumpin's gonna give and it ain't the tires or engine. The clutch is a weak spot; no sense in teasing the tigers.
 

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tomandmelanie said:
I was always worried about the final drive but it's been fine! I know many of you have answered questions about 5th gear clutch slipping but let me ask again.

25,000 miles on 2001 LT.

5th gear 5000 RPM - roll on full throtte and the clutch slips, not always but sometimes.

If I down shift from 5th to 4th and full throttle I get no slipping.

From a stop I get no slipping under hard acceleration.

Downshifting (1st, 2nd, 3rd) going hard into tight turns and full throttle no slipping.

SOOO...

I drilled an inspection/weep hole - no oil just black powder.
I sprayed the clutch with some brake cleaner and dipped a Q tip in the hole, no sign of oil.

Any ideas short of a new clutch?

Tom,

It is my belief that SOME LT clutches will slip a bit under hard acceleration and the right (or wrong) conditions. I put a new clutch in my '01 and with brand new components (even after break-in) could MAKE it slip sometimes with the right "load" on it.

The LT is a HEAVY bike with a powerful engine and a WEAK (underrated IMO) clutch. That makes for a slip every now and then. Now, not all LT's will do this. But, with the right amount of weight, horsepower application, clutch component wear, etc, etc, etc, I believe some LT clutches with NO OIL LEAK will slip from time to time.

One question...did the brake cleaner have any negative effect on the clutch at all?
 

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I too had a serious rear seal leak. I did the tear down and replacement. The clutch was clean, dry had less than 25% wear after 70K miles. Upon assembly, the bike seemed perfect until I read about the rolling 5th gear, full throttle test. When I tried it slipped. I've never did the test before so it could be nothing has changed. After all, that test is the maximum horsepower with the maximum clutch load. I'm not going to worry about it unless I feel it slipping under my normal riding habits. I have an idea that will be many many miles from now.
 

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Personally from what I have read and heard from many other members about the clutch slipping, if you have a clutch that slips in 4th and 5th and basically becomes not ridable, then you know you have a problem. If you are worried about a slip in 5th at full acceleration, maybe its the start of something, but once again from what I have read it happens quick and destroys the clutch quickly if your slave cylinder begins to leak, and I would assume this to be true of engine oil and also tranny fluid. So IMO ride it like you stole or at least until the clutch gives out, because if you do have a problem its already too late.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
5th Gear Clutch Slipping

I can't answer the question "did brake cleaner help or hurt" it's been raining here in Northern California so I have not had a chance to test the bike since drilling the inspection hole, searching for oil and spraying the clutch with brake cleaner.

I will give the bike a ride this weekend if the rain stops and get it down to the dealer for an inspection and test ride if I have time. I'll let you all know the results.

By todays motorcycle standards the LT is underpowered and over geared. My experience with sport bikes tells me that a fully engaged clutch should not slip under any conditions. Hard riding will dramaticly increase tire wear but it does not damage the clutch ... stunt riding put aside.

I alway ride it like it was stolden maybe that's the problem, but maybe that's the fun too!
 

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tomandmelanie said:
By todays motorcycle standards the LT is underpowered and over geared. My experience with sport bikes tells me that a fully engaged clutch should not slip under any conditions. Hard riding will dramaticly increase tire wear but it does not damage the clutch ... stunt riding put aside.

I alway ride it like it was stolden maybe that's the problem, but maybe that's the fun too!
But, it's a dry, single plate clutch as opposed to a wet, multi-plate on the other bikes. Here's hoping that changes with the new model.



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grifscoots said:
But, it's a dry, single plate clutch as opposed to a wet, multi-plate on the other bikes. Here's hoping that changes with the new model.
And here's hoping that BMW have worked out the noise issues with their new multi-plate wet clutches. No slipping or other problems on my GT to date, but it sure can make a racket to rival the infamous brake squealing. :( Official dealer response: "They all do that, it's normal and nothing to worry about."

My '02 LT had the clutch changed at 36K. I was convinced it was a warranty slave cylinder leak, but the mechanic couldn't prove it so I paid out of pocket. :eek: I then replaced the clutch at ~85K due to a weeping rear main seal. Again, my $$. :eek:

A few guys here have changed the clutches out themselves, but it is a huge job. Or the dealer will do it for $1,400-$1,500 and 2-3 days, if they have the parts in stock.
 

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tomandmelanie said:
I was always worried about the final drive but it's been fine! I know many of you have answered questions about 5th gear clutch slipping but let me ask again.

25,000 miles on 2001 LT.

5th gear 5000 RPM - roll on full throtte and the clutch slips, not always but sometimes.

If I down shift from 5th to 4th and full throttle I get no slipping.

From a stop I get no slipping under hard acceleration.

Downshifting (1st, 2nd, 3rd) going hard into tight turns and full throttle no slipping.

housing to relieve the heat build up and dust.

SOOO...

I drilled an inspection/weep hole - no oil just black powder.
I sprayed the clutch with some brake cleaner and dipped a Q tip in the hole, no sign of oil.

Any ideas short of a new clutch?
I've always had manual everything, and I've always been very careful about how I release the clutch and use the brakes more rather than downshift. I do remember drilling holes in the clutch housing to relieve heat and dust. Can you drill in the housing without taking the bike apart? If so, do you have photos of the hole(s) and size? :bmw:
 

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When the clutch slave cylinder fails, the brake fluid goes right into the clutch area, and the clutch will be contaminated and start to slip LONG before any brake fluid is noticed in the bottom of the bell housing. There is not a huge amount of brake fluid in the clutch system at best, and even if it is all pumped out it will pretty much coat everything in the clutch assembly and not much will actually be slung out to the housing.

If your clutch fluid level starts to go down, this is the problem.
 

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I don't think drilling a 1/4" hole in the case would do much to drain anything, especially clutch dust. Many auto have about a 1.25" hole in the bell housing that is plugged with a rubber plug. If you could do that, it would be big enough to blow the dust out of the clutch area and maybe wash it out with brake cleaner. It would also make it easier to check for oil leaks. ........... :rolleyes:
 

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I agree with Jack and Dave Shealey. If your bell housing drain hole is dry, there is a chance the clutch slave could be leaking, that would warrant looking at, especially if your clutch reservoir level is reduced.

If your are absolutely not slipping in 4th gear you are fine.

A 1/4" hole is definitely large enough to indicate a rear main seal leak. Some on this board have seen this indication.

I have a bell housing drain and slave weep drilled. I am positive between the two, I will know when fluid is trying to invade my clutch space.
 

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I know for a fact that enough clutch dust will also cause slipping. Could be your problem if you had no fluid.
 

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wacolt said:
I would not recommend a 4th gear roll-on to full throttle; sumpin's gonna give and it ain't the tires or engine. The clutch is a weak spot; no sense in teasing the tigers.
+1 On my second LT ...both did this early in their life. I hope BMW builds a much stronger clutch into the updated version of the LT.

Ron
 

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Any chance of someone telling me where this hole should be drilled and what type or make of brake cleaner is generally used ?.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: Clutch Slipping In 5th Gear...

My clutch was slipping in 5th gear around 5k+ rpm. The bike only had about 25k on the speedo and did not slip in any other gear with normal use.

I drilled a 3/16th hole in the bottom of the clutch housing which is easily located under the bike. I then sprayed some brake cleaner degreaser into the hole using the extender tube that comes with the can, not a whole can just three or four long sprays. I got a bunch of dust draining out and I have not had a problem since. I have gone back several times since and sprayed but the clutch housing has not drained much if anything since. The bike now has 35K on it and it no longer slips in 5th gear. The clutch on the LT is just like a car it is a dry pressure plate on disk system not a wet cassette system.

Others on this forum have other opinions, this worked for me. If you're slipping in all gears you've got another issue and I doubt this proceedure will remedy the problem however it will not hurt.

Good Luck!
 
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