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Discussion Starter #1
Failed Rear Drive Club. All my friends have joined. I guess it was time, in spite of preventative measures.

I have a 2001 LT. At 53k miles, I had a rear main drive leak, repaired by local shop Rhine West. While the bike was down, I had em swap the 19-ball bearing for a 17-ball. That was 22k miles ago. Easter weekend, coming back from Big Bend, Texas, the bearing cratered at mm330 on I-10 west of Ozona, Texas (thanks to Monte and Grif for helping me get it home again).

So here's my question - rather than pay $1100 for an OEM drive, I ordered a '99 drive from LTparts with 10k miles on it. It came from an LT that was triked and has the original 19 bearing. The newest BMW bearing is another 19-ball design different manufacturer. Does anyone know if I can swap bearings for a new one in an old rear drive housing? I have to assume they are interchangeable?
 

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davemoore said:
Failed Rear Drive Club. All my friends have joined. I guess it was time, in spite of preventative measures.

I have a 2001 LT. At 53k miles, I had a rear main drive leak, repaired by local shop Rhine West. While the bike was down, I had em swap the 19-ball bearing for a 17-ball. That was 22k miles ago. Easter weekend, coming back from Big Bend, Texas, the bearing cratered at mm330 on I-10 west of Ozona, Texas (thanks to Monte and Grif for helping me get it home again).

So here's my question - rather than pay $1100 for an OEM drive, I ordered a '99 drive from LTparts with 10k miles on it. It came from an LT that was triked and has the original 19 bearing. The newest BMW bearing is another 19-ball design different manufacturer. Does anyone know if I can swap bearings for a new one in an old rear drive housing? I have to assume they are interchangeable?
Hey, Bud - not positive, butt I think you can. I'm on my way to see Hank and pick up ole Toad - I'll ax him if he knows. OK to mention your final drive 'event' to him???
 

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Hi,
I'm not a professional mechanic, but I do have a lot of common sense.

Here's what I think happens to a final drive. (experienced the FD failure twice).

I don't think it makes any difference whether you have the 17 ball or the 19 ball bearing. In my observation it's the cone roller bearing on the inside that goes first. That's the one that I think should be a sealed bearing and one that shouldn't have to have the correct preload on it. My last fix had pieces of the cone bearing in the oil but nothing appeared to be wrong with the 17 ball bearing.

I've had both the 17 and 19 ball bearing and both times the cone bearing was the one that pooped out. You could say that the 17 or 19 ball bearing allowed play in the first place, but I'm not to sure about that.

My feeling is that the casing might not be correct or simply the preload isn't correct. It's a damned shame I/we 4%er's have to deal with it.

I'm really wondering if a perfect fix would be to just get a whole different final drive used or new.

I wonder! I feel better now.............................lets hear it from the engineers!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dick said:
Hey, Bud - not positive, butt I think you can. I'm on my way to see Hank and pick up ole Toad - I'll ax him if he knows. OK to mention your final drive 'event' to him???
Shore, go right ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
MikeERideWNC said:
Oh Thanks God!

I thought you were going to say that you bought a Harley. :histerica
No, but my neighbor did. Retired postal worker, bought an Touring set up. He can't even ride it, hasn't taken the Harley class yet. But, he has bought the hype/. No sir, won't catch me doing fuelish like that.
 

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davemoore said:
No, but my neighbor did. Retired postal worker, bought an Touring set up. He can't even ride it, hasn't taken the Harley class yet. But, he has bought the hype/. No sir, won't catch me doing fuelish like that.
"Retired postal worker"
Don't piss him off or he could go postal on you :rolleyes:

Good luck on the repair.
 

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I would put the drive on without making any bearing changes. In my opinion, the bearing has never been the culprit, but something else in the way the drives were manufactured and assembled.

I am pretty sure the "old" 19 ball bearing and the "new" one are the exact same bearing, both by SKF. Someone please correct me if wrong.

The 17 ball bearing that saw a rather brief apperance was made by FAG.

As I recently posted in another thread, my take is that manufacture and assembly processes were the problem, NOT the bearings themselves.

I would NEVER open and mess with a factory unit that has no problems, as it just may outlast the bike. Trying to change the bearing without GOOD preload measuring capability is a total crap shoot, and you could end up with unit more likely to fail than you started out with.
 

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dshealey said:
I would put the drive on without making any bearing changes. In my opinion, the bearing has never been the culprit, but something else in the way the drives were manufactured and assembled.

I am pretty sure the "old" 19 ball bearing and the "new" one are the exact same bearing, both by SKF. Someone please correct me if wrong.

The 17 ball bearing that saw a rather brief apperance was made by FAG.

As I recently posted in another thread, my take is that manufacture and assembly processes were the problem, NOT the bearings themselves.

I would NEVER open and mess with a factory unit that has no problems, as it just may outlast the bike. Trying to change the bearing without GOOD preload measuring capability is a total crap shoot, and you could end up with unit more likely to fail than you started out with.
I haven't verified this, and prolly can't, butt Hank at Rhinewest said that his ordering protocol nowdays is using only one part number for the rear wheel drive bearing and he may receive a 17 ball unit, OR maybe a 19 ball one. No rhyme or specifics - he just has to take what he gets.

Now, having said that, I don't know if he has to order thru an intermediary, or can order direct from a warehouse - he's not a factory authorized 'dealership' with quotas and inventory requirements, so I'm guessing that is why he has to take what comes in. He does have a stack of used bearings (I'd guess a dozen or more), so he has a leetle track record on ordering outcomes.
 

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yeah i would definitely do it this way. if it ain't broke don't fix it.
dshealey said:
I would put the drive on without making any bearing changes. In my opinion, the bearing has never been the culprit, but something else in the way the drives were manufactured and assembled.

I am pretty sure the "old" 19 ball bearing and the "new" one are the exact same bearing, both by SKF. Someone please correct me if wrong.

The 17 ball bearing that saw a rather brief apperance was made by FAG.

As I recently posted in another thread, my take is that manufacture and assembly processes were the problem, NOT the bearings themselves.

I would NEVER open and mess with a factory unit that has no problems, as it just may outlast the bike. Trying to change the bearing without GOOD preload measuring capability is a total crap shoot, and you could end up with unit more likely to fail than you started out with.
 
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