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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I'm new here. I just bought my first BMW. It is a 2000 K1200LT. I got it from a co-worker who was about to sell it to the junkyard for scrap price. I think he got really frustrated with it. It left him beside the road and I don't think he liked that too well. I'll give you a little history on the bike and then tell you what I "think" the problem is.

He bought the bike brand new in 2000. It has been serviced by BMW dealers every 6000 miles. It has 40,000 miles on it now. At some point early in it's life, the rear seal on the engine leaked and the clutch had to be replaced. Luckily, it was under warranty.

He's gotten down in his back and the bike was just too big for him so he decided he was going to sell it. It had sat in his garage for a long time without seeing much operation. The gas was stale and he took it to the station to fill it up. He said the engine was running really rough. On his way back home, he said it started vibrating and running really rough and then quit pulling. He pulled off on the side of the road and messed with it a bit and then it started pulling again and went about another 600 yards and quit pulling completely. He had to have it towed home.

I bought it and when I was rolling it off the trailer at my house I heard a fairly loud clunk...clunk...clunk right in the area of where the drive shaft would connect to the transmission. I put it on the main stand and started it. It ran smooth as silk. When I tried to put it in 1st gear, I had to release the clutch a bit to get the gears to mesh before the shifter would click down into gear. That told me that, at least, the clutch was turning the transmission. The rear wheel did not move. I put it in 5th gear and released the clutch. I could hear a quiet whine but the wheel didn't even offer to rotate.

I took my metal stethoscope and listened to the area of the swing arm where the front of the drive shaft should be and there's a loud clunking sound when the wheel is turned backwards. I don't hear it when I turn the wheel forward. I found that strange. I want to think the drive shaft has somehow come off of the transmission output shaft and is flopping around in the swing arm. The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is that there isn't any noise when I rotate the rear wheel forward.

Has anyone experienced this particular problem before? If I have to tear into this thing, I'm going to see about drilling the weep hole to prevent oil from getting on the clutch. I've seen videos and other information on that procedure. I just wanted a little assurance from someone who's experienced such troubles. I can afford to put a few bucks in the bike since I got it for a song.

So, has anyone had this particular experience? I've searched the web many times but haven't found this set of symptoms mentioned in any forums.

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to chime in.
 

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When re-installing the drive shaft, you are required to give it a real firm smack with a hammer (at its lower end) in order to drive the shaft into its seat (up at the transmission). It's a clip ring setup if I recall. I failed to do that when I reassembled mine after a clutch change. Sounded like a hammer beating on an anvil going down the road. I had to trailer mine home, smacked that puppy into place and all has been well ever since.
I suppose that it is possible that yours is suffering the same issue. But better mines than my own should chime in rather quickly with other possibilities.
 

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Probably a broken u-joint or as the previous poster suggests, the drive shaft is off the splines. My bet is a broken u-joint as that's a more likely scenario of setting unused for a long period of time. Not a big fix either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
From what I've been reading, the drive shaft is almost impossible to get back on the splines without removing the swing arm which, of course, requires that special windowed socket. Do you think it's possible, with much praying to the motorcycle gods, to get the drive shaft back on the splines without removing the swing arm? Oh well, I guess the thing to do is rip it apart and pull the shaft without removing the swing arm and giving it the ol' shadetree mechanic try. I wonder if anyone has invented a type of shoe horn to slide under the shaft up to the front u-joint to support the end that connects to the transmission to make such a job a little less infuriating. :histerica
 

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Sounds more like the rubber cushion that joins both ends of the driveshaft has deteriorated and thus losing connection to rear portion of the shaft.

Not matter what your going to have to replace the shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If that were the case, wouldn't it offer to turn the wheel just a little bit? I can put it in 5th gear and the rear wheel doesn't even offer to move. I just figured that there would be enough friction from the pieces rubbing together to cause it to turn a little. I know I'll have to tear it apart but I was just hoping to get a better idea as to what to expect.

Thanks
 

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I fitted mine after the swing arm was installed its not that hard, but I doubt you will get it out unless it has come off or broken, why don't you pull the blasted thing apart and find out what's actually wrong, then find out what needs to be done if you are not sure.
I don't mean to come across abrupt that's not my intention,
it's late and I'm tired so Ill go to bed now good night..
 

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Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
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The rear drive is fairly easy to pull. Yes you do need the special socket but you can use a 30 mm normal one if you get creative with marking the pivot pin before you torque the lock nut. To get an idea look at the "Weep Hole Drilling" videos in the sticky post. It shows all you need to know.
 

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Looks like he is located in Wartburg, Tn. Maybe there is someone local that can help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks jzeiler,

I wondered if I could get away with something like that. Poor man always lookin' fer a cheaper way to do something.
 

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Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
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If you want I can loan you a set to do the job.
 

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I would think the easy thing to do first would be to remove the rear tire and pull the final drive, if the shaft comes with it, then you know that it was not properly seated to begin with. If not, your gonna have to pull the FD anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, my hopes were dashed and my fears confirmed. I pulled the FD today and the drive shaft came with it. The splines in the end of the drive shaft were shredded. I took a camera and ran it up in the swing-arm and the splines on the end of the transmission output shaft were also shredded. Sooooo, this means the transmission will have to come out and the output shaft replaced. I'll also have to get a drive shaft.

Another sucky thing that I noticed was the fixed bearing on the FD was crushed. The race was split almost into two pieces and the little rollers were hither and yon. It almost looks like the floating bearing stud was screwed in too tight. Kind of like tightening the castle nut too tight on the front spindle of an old chevy.

I guess the thing for me to do now is to "manufacture" a holding device to steady the bike and support the rear for the undertaking of which I'm about to partake. I hope everyone here has, at least at some point, worked on something like this at the floor level. If you have then you can appreciate what I'm about to get into. I'll have to make sure my cussinator parameters are set high so as to avoid any expletive fits in the presence the ghosts from the graveyard that sits adjacent to my property. I'd hate to wake the dead with a few paragraphs of expletives strung rhythmically and poetically together. I have been known to throw down on a few of those when the bark gets knocked off the knuckles or a blood-blister gets pinched up in some highly used spot on my hand. :histerica

Good Night All.....
 

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Doesn't sound like fun, but I really liked the "cussinator settings". Just a thought, could you post a photo of the shreaded splines? I wonder if the shaft was able to slide out of the transmission output, could the splines just be damaged at the very end of the opening? Not sure how well you can see with your camera. Could you get an air nozzle up there to blow it out so you can really see to the bottom of the tranny output? I mean if the majority of the tranny output "socket" isn't damaged, maybe replacing the shaft and fixing the bearing might be all you need to do? I'm just thinking of all the things I might check out before I bit the big one and yanked the tranny. I mean if the shaft was seated securley in the transmission output, how could the splines disintigrate? I know, anything is possible!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey casualemt,

I didn't take any pictures of the output shaft or the end of the drive shaft. The output shaft has the splines stripped from the circlip to the end of the shaft. The end of the drive shaft has about the same amount of splines stripped. I wished and hoped the output shaft would only be damaged on the very end but that isn't the case. The camera I was using to see the output shaft from the end of the swing arm was one from Snap-On that has the tiny LED and camera at the end of a long flexible cable. I stuck it all the way up in there next to the tranny and got a really good look at the end of the shaft. The circlip was even damaged a little. It's gotta come out. dang!
 

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Bummer dude!!!
 

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Enjoy The Ride
K1300GT K1200LT
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This is this the first failure of the output shaft & drive shaft splines on a LT that I have read about. :crazy: I'm curios as to the case & reason of the failure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
All I can figure is that the dealer must not have gotten the drive shaft fully engaged with the circlip the last time it was torn down, which was quite a while back. I guess something must've caused the yoke to work its way off the clip and once it got far enough disengaged, it started vibrating and then the damage was done. The previous owner told me it started vibrating pretty hard and then quit pulling.
 
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