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Discussion Starter #1
Back in April i did a post about finding some small metal specks on my drive drain plug. I posted a picture listed under the thread "shavings". Well I took the bike to The Hitching post, a Hopkins MN BMW dealer. I had the final drive inspected along with the 36000 mile service, valve adjustment etc. They could not find any issues with the drive.
So I left on my trip to Seattle trip on May 24th. On Monday of this week, I got off I80 at Reno NV and there was a loud noise from the final drive. I parked the bike and sure enough gear oil was leaking all over the rear wheel.. I got the bike towed to Sierra BMW in Reno. THey were able to replace the bearing, seal etc. in one day. It was good that the final drive failed where I could get it fixed. To bad Hopkins said nothing was wrong. Now I am in Port Angeles WA, 3200 MILES from home at the bike is running great.
Just an update.....
 

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Discussion Starter #2
PS: Sierra BMW gave me the bearing. I will try to get some picures posted soon.
 

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Jim, sorry about the problems on the road, but join the club! I guess it just goes to show that this forum probably knows as much, if not more than, the average dealer! When you do get home might I suggest that you consider giving the rear wheel a good feel for play? If you do have any indication of looseness I would recommend removing the Rear Drive for an inspection and check of the preload on the bearing.

Experience has shown that many dealers do not get this correct upon the re-build. And even the new drives can have problems. Of course you should have 24 months of warranty with the BMW parts and labor!

John
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I talked to the mechanic who did the rebuild, and he said he has done quite a few of them. He said the PreLoad wasn't too far off from what it should be.
I was told to change the drive fluid in about 600 miles from the repair. Will do this before leaving Port Angeles.
Sierra said it isn't a bad idea to change the fluid with each oil change. Any metal specs on the plug isn't good. As opposed to what the other dealer said - That is what the drian plug is for,
 

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Jim,
Would you consider mailing your bearing to Curtis as I did? It proved very interesting to see what he was able to glean from the damage done to it.
I'd be very curious to know how the tech/dealer determined that the preload wasn't too far off. I'd also be curious to know how any tech/dealer assembled the bearing-hub unit. Do they actually heat and cool the pieces, or just press them together.
It would be interesting to pull yours apart now and see just how close they got yours.
I have to say too, that based on my recent experience, the test for play in the rear wheel is virtually useless, and checking the drain plug is hit and miss at best. I'm not saying that I won't continue to monitor, but I'm not bettin' the farm on either.
What, you say I have trust issues? Nah.

Frank
 

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Yes, I agree with sending it to the 'Guru' of FD's..........and would also request that you keep us posted.............and thanx; Jim
 

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I'm quite sure "guru" isn't quite appropriate. I've just made a hobby of failed final drives. There are professional mechanics and mechanical engineers who understand bearings and gearboxes much better that I do. I am just persistent. :)

I'm with Frank, I don't trust dealerships, sorry that the good ones get painted with the same brush of suspicion as the bad ones, but I have heard way too many "blow smoke".

I am happy to cut open another bearing, but don't think I'll learn much from that one. I have a box full of trashed bearings in all stages of degradation. The reason I wanted to see Franks was because of the stage of failure when he opened the drive. He caught it early based on wheel rotation roughness, the retainer was broken but that wasn't identified until the drive was opened. I also have seen drives where roughness was felt but the retainer was still intact. This has helped me get an understanding of how the bearings are failing.

The bearing pic'd in this thread is pretty typical. I am sure the races will have severe spalling. I am now out at the stage of looking to see the distribution of the spalling around the races, is it evenly distributed, or primarily in selected areas?

Cutting a bearing open with a metal cut off disk is pretty easy if you have the tools. If you want to mail me a bearing for cutting open and picture taking, I'm happy to do it, PM me for a mailing address.

Some metal on the drain plug is normal. A new drive will generate a fine grey paste that comes from the wear-in of the gears. The bearings shouldn't be generating anything and when they do, you are on your way to problems. The difficulty is knowing where the metal is coming from. All we have now is particle size, shiney big particles are bad, fine grey mud is okay. A good drive will generate the fine grey mud early in its life and then little to none should be generated as the drive "matures". At least that's my understanding of it at this point.

Wheel wobble is of no value in detecting crownwheel bearing failure. I have made this statement many times now but the wheel wobble test still gets talked about. If you have detectable play at the rear wheel, check your pivot bearings and swingarm bearings. Based on all I think I know about crownwheel bearing failures, you won't be able to detect play at the rear wheel because of a bearing failure until after the seal is torn, the oil has leaked out, and you have ridden another 5 to 20 miles. Then your wheel will wobble. Prior to that, your best indicator is shiney metal on the drain plug (yeah, hard to catch because it progresses pretty fast after it starts by most accounts). The next best indicator is roughness during wheel rotation.
Ari recently reported listening to his final drive with a mechanic's stethosope. That is a really good idea. The next best test is to feel for roughness during wheel rotation. I have suggested pushing brake pads away from the rotor so that the pads rubbing on the rotor isn't altering the sound or sensation of the wheel rotation. Those riders who have paid close attention to the feel of the bike have caught bearing failure early, prior to seal tearing and oil leak. Most riders discover the problem when the oil comes out. At that point you aren't going to ride very far, and you shouldn't as damage to other drive componets may occur. I've seen destroyed brake calipers and rotors resulting from riders trying to get further down the road after a drive failure. Not a good idea to keep riding IMO.
 

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Jim, sorry to hear about your final drive failure. Always tough to have mechanical problems while on the road.

If it had to happen at least it happened in a beautiful part of the country. I road through Port Angeles a couple weeks ago.

Best of luck to you on the rest of your journey.

Loren
 

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Only one small correction: I had been checking mine with the push-pull test and listening/feeling for roughness with rear brake clear. All was good as near as I could tell. There was NO indication (look, listen or feel) of a problem. I only found the broken retainer because I decided to open up the FD just for a look see. Had I not done that, I would not have know it was failing until the deed was done.
 

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Jim
Nice folks at Sierra eh. They have always treated me great with what I believe to be great quality. Not inexpensive but good value IMO.
 

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fpmlt said:
Only one small correction: I had been checking mine with the push-pull test and listening/feeling for roughness with rear brake clear. All was good as near as I could tell. There was NO indication (look, listen or feel) of a problem. I only found the broken retainer because I decided to open up the FD just for a look see. Had I not done that, I would not have know it was failing until the deed was done.
Thanks for correcting me, I had the history wrong.
That's even a more interesting a history.
 

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Charlie mentioned telepathically that his *new* 2011 K1600LT has a tiny hydrophone attached within the FD itself and that IF .. *IF* a metallic anomaly is detected the 1.4K- GDP LAzer will fire incinerating the intrusion before it can spall off and multiply. The new bearings, gears and seal contain a Proprietary Regenerative Enhanced Transformation Telemetry Yawl -Kinetic Eutectic WIsenshiner Laptoblor aka-Pretty Kewl OH hush...

Unfortunately this device is set off by the Antennae Ring, so a recall is in the works.. prior to the rest of us getting them..

Ahem.. yeh it is a slow night... ANy new pics of the new KLT diesel turbine?
 

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haughty said:
Proprietary Regenerative Enhanced Transformation Telemetry Yawl -Kinetic Eutectic WIsenshiner
Oh, you had me until you said 'wisenshiner':rotf:
 

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Really? Pretty sure I read the same thing. Yeah, on the internet! Yeah, that's it!!! :rotf::rotf::rotf:


haughty said:
Charlie mentioned telepathically that his *new* 2011 K1600LT has a tiny hydrophone attached within the FD itself and that IF .. *IF* a metallic anomaly is detected the 1.4K- GDP LAzer will fire incinerating the intrusion before it can spall off and multiply. The new bearings, gears and seal contain a Proprietary Regenerative Enhanced Transformation Telemetry Yawl -Kinetic Eutectic WIsenshiner Laptoblor aka-Pretty Kewl OH hush...

Unfortunately this device is set off by the Antennae Ring, so a recall is in the works.. prior to the rest of us getting them..

Ahem.. yeh it is a slow night... ANy new pics of the new KLT diesel turbine?
 

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I've put 11K on my rebuilt FD. I changed the fluid this week and the magnet just had some goo on it. No fuzz. The fluid looked dark to me but it's Royal Purple and most of it may be the color in it. I spun the wheel with both plugs out and it sounded smooth. When I look back at my original failure (I've had 2) I believe the bearing was getting rough close to 1,000 miles before it failed. I wish I had caught it BEFORE I left on that trip. I broke down in Grand Junction and hauled it home. Prior to the failure I felt like it had lost it's smoothness. It seemed to dance on the road like it wasn't touching when I first got it. After the overhaul it was smooth again. The 2nd failure sneaked up on me again despite my vigilance. I rode it home (about 100 miles) after I had no doubt it was gone. I have a spare now so I'll junk this one before I rebuild it again.............. :D
 

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rattler50 said:
I've put 11K on my rebuilt FD. I changed the fluid this week and the magnet just had some goo on it. No fuzz. The fluid looked dark to me but it's Royal Purple and most of it may be the color in it. .....
Goo? Jelly like? What is that stuff?
I have seen a couple of FDs where there were small deposits of a gelatinous material stuck in recesses of the drive. I have wondered what that stuff is. Some of it looked like good old bearing grease, some was more clear, some had the color of the colored gear lube that was in there.

I wondered if folks had mistakenly thought addind a little wheel bearing grease to the lube might be a good idea (it is not a good idea, bad idea). I also wondered if it was the result of mixing old fashioned petro-GL with synthetic GL, but that's just wild speculation.
I haven't queried on this subject before.

WHAT IS that Stuff!?!
Anybody have an idea?
 
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