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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK all you FD hot shots please give me your opinion so I can either sleep well or cry myself to sleep tonight. I have an 07 LT with 15,788 miles. I bought it from the original owner with 1100 miles. I have had all the required Factory services done. At 12,757 miles had the 12,000 mile service done and now that I have put 3000 miles on I did a oil, filter and FD oil change. After reading as many FD threads as possible I very carefully drained and inspected the drain plug and lube color. The dealer put some kind of red colored lube in the FD. It came out pretty clear with a very very slight cloudiness. I even strained it through paper towels to see if any shiny particles showed up and nothing. But when I checked the magnet on the drain plug it had grey fuzz on it, enough that you could not see the shape of the round magnet in the plug. I then took solvent and washed all the fuzz into a glass container and I saw a piece of shinny metal so I put my finger on it and it stuck to my finger. I then took a magnet and it jumped to the magnet. it was not a flake but looked more jagged. I found no other similar pieces or shinny flakes but there did appears to be some very small amount of aluminum flakes mixed in with the grey fuzz as these were not attracted to the magnet. Does anyone have pictures of the drain plug with fuzz and metal so I can compare . I filled the FD with Castrol 80/90 gear lube. Should I check it sooner than 3000 miles. Any advice is appreciated.
 

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Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
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As long as it is gray and not shiny, that is normal. Even a few chunks of gray material is OK. The fuzz will diminish in time. Biggest threat on the 05 and up is the taper bearing being loose on the crown gear. That will create a lot of aluminum (black in the oil). Not very common though. BMW synthetic gear oil is red. What you have to worry about is massive amounts of shiny stuff on the magnet. Oil is cheap and another drain a few K down the road should give you peace of mind.

This is what you don't want to see.
 

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Is this the first time its been drained?
You may not have a problem. Good size chips you have a problem. I would just ride it and check what you get next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks John and Mike I feel better now. I'm not sure when it was last changed, does BMW maintenance intervals require it to be changed at the 6K if so it was done then. I'll change it in another 2K just to see if all is good. I was just concerned because in one of Charlies threads he thought the grey fuzz may be an indicator of failure. Maybe he will chime in and give his opinion. Thanks again.
 

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The black schmutz is normal... You're looking for pieces that you can pick up...

Like that picture....

You're fine.. Go ride you worry wart...:bmw:

JOhn
 

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norton said:
Thanks John and Mike I feel better now. I'm not sure when it was last changed, does BMW maintenance intervals require it to be changed at the 6K if so it was done then. I'll change it in another 2K just to see if all is good. I was just concerned because in one of Charlies threads he thought the grey fuzz may be an indicator of failure. Maybe he will chime in and give his opinion. Thanks again.
A 2007 with only 15K miles? Don't worry for a second. Very unlikely you have a FD problem. Your FD is still wearing in. It is normal to find some grey fuzz at lube changes. And a random flake of metal shouldn't be cause for concern, especially if this was the first lube change.

As the FD wears in, a little grey fuzz on the drain plug magnet is normal, and will diminish over time. Finding a little grey fuzz even after 30K or 40k miles shouldn't cause concern.

In my post about signs of impending FD failure, I note that INCREAsing amounts of grey fuzz may be an indication of premature crownwheel bearing failure even in the absence of a collection of shiney metal flakes on the magnet. A collection of shiney metal flakes on the magnet correlates with spalling of the crownwheel bearing; a clear sign of impending failure.

A more subtle sign of impending failure is INCREAsing amount of grey fuzz noted over time at subsquent lube changes; this correlates with a wallowing out of the crownwheel bearing races in the absence of spalling. These are bearings that are wearing prematurely and by all indications will eventually fail. The significant finding is not the presence of grey fuzz, or the amount of grey fuzz, but rather seeing more and more if it over time.

I wouldn't bother changing the lube in 2K. If you are really compulsive you could just pull the drain plug for a quick look, while holding the lube in the FD with a finger. Replace the plug and top off the FD to replace the little lube you lost.

I'd go for 6K miles and change the final drive at the same interval as the crankcase. Use the same color lube each time so color changes in the lube are easier to see. Again, if you are really compulsive, you can keep a little lube from the previous change in a small glass jar to compare the color to. Also, if you can take a well focused, close up picture of the drain plug magnet, that will allow you to compare the amount of grey fuzz at subsequent lube changes. For this to be of value, you want to keep to a strict mileage interval for lube changes.

Or, you could just ride it. Change the lube at 12K miles as specified by BMW and don't worry about it. This approach will work fine. :)

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Charlie thanks for responding since you are the FD Guru I can now rest easy. It's amazing how something that only occurs 4% of the time can weigh so heavily in the back of your mind. Since this was my first time changing the FD oil I guess I over reacted. Anyway better to be safe than sorry. Thanks to all who responded.
 
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