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Discussion Starter #1
I have the "dreaded" problem and before taking to the dealer to fix I wanted to ask a few questions:
1. The problem is with the clutch itself right, with the one-way teeth getting glugged down with accumulated crap so that when the starter motor spins they don't flick out and catch...right?
2. To repair, if whatever the cause, the problem is due to the teeth being stuck, then the repair is simply to give it a good clean?
3. In David's recent posting on this subject he says he replaced the whole sprag clutch cage assembly ...why do this instead of simply cleaning.
4. None of this relates to the actual starter motor right?
5. If what rocketman007, in the same thread as David ( http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52741&highlight=sprag+clutch ) says is correct (I am wondering if he isn't thinking of the Boxer motored bikes where access to this area is much simpler), that the access to clean this area is simple....then why wouldn't a good clean solve the problem virtually every time?

Can people throw more light on this. The estimate from the dealer so far is well north of $1,000.

On the flat, the only way I have got the bike to start is waiting a long time (like several hours :) ) or rocking in 5th. Interestingly, I got the problem 3 years ago when I still lived in Philly...it went away after a couple of weeks....probably because I had the money then to fix it. Now its back with a vengence here in NZ, and things are lot tighter of course! We have to order LT parts from Australia or Germany....everything is two weeks.

TIA
 

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It would be great if there were a way to clean it, but unfortunately, it is pretty hidden in the rear of the crankcase, no easy way to get any cleaner into it. I tried spraying carb cleaner into mine, but it did not work. There have been some good results using CD2 or Rislone DETERGENT oil additive, but you need to run it for some time for it to have any effect.

You could try, maybe you will have better results. Remove the crankcase cover on the right side, and at the top rear you will see the drive gear and housing that contains the clutch. There are three (or four) holes in it, use the little tube on spray carb cleaner to spray cleaner into the holes, turn it, spray again, repeat. I drained the oil and refilled it to get the carb cleaner out before running the engine again, but if not too much in the oil it will evaporate out pretty quickly when the oil heats up. As I said though, did not work for me.

I replaced mine, because as soon as I knew I had the problem I ordered the part. The sprag cage assembly was about $60 at the time. You do not need the inner or outer housings, just the little cage with the sprags in it. However, the job to replace it is a real witch! I removed the engine to do mine. You have to be REALLY careful to put it in the right way!

Someone else was successful removing the transmission then splitting the intermediate case away from the engine, but by the time one gets the transmission off, and the rear of the engine down far enough to remove the intermediate case, it is not far from just removing the engine, where it is MUCH easier to work on the sprag clutch area.

I did some pretty major work on my LT, 3 slave cylinders, new pistons and rings, and by far the worst job was the sprag clutch! I would not want to do that one again.

Put some CD2 in it, push start it to get it running, and ride as long as you possibly can before shutting it off, rinse, and repeat. If you are lucky, you may get it loosened up.

rmg08057 said:
I have the "dreaded" problem and before taking to the dealer to fix I wanted to ask a few questions:
1. The problem is with the clutch itself right, with the one-way teeth getting glugged down with accumulated crap so that when the starter motor spins they don't flick out and catch...right?
2. To repair, if whatever the cause, the problem is due to the teeth being stuck, then the repair is simply to give it a good clean?
3. In David's recent posting on this subject he says he replaced the whole sprag clutch cage assembly ...why do this instead of simply cleaning.
4. None of this relates to the actual starter motor right?
5. If what rocketman007, in the same thread as David ( http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52741&highlight=sprag+clutch ) says is correct (I am wondering if he isn't thinking of the Boxer motored bikes where access to this area is much simpler), that the access to clean this area is simple....then why wouldn't a good clean solve the problem virtually every time?

Can people throw more light on this. The estimate from the dealer so far is well north of $1,000.

On the flat, the only way I have got the bike to start is waiting a long time (like several hours :) ) or rocking in 5th. Interestingly, I got the problem 3 years ago when I still lived in Philly...it went away after a couple of weeks....probably because I had the money then to fix it. Now its back with a vengence here in NZ, and things are lot tighter of course! We have to order LT parts from Australia or Germany....everything is two weeks.

TIA
 

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Back in the old days they used to pour transmission fluid into the crankcase to loosen and flush out the gunk. It has some mighty strong detergent in it. It will clean your hands better than solvent or soap. Just sayin'...... :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks David and Rattler. Some good notes here, can pass to the dealer who is still of a mind its the starter motor...trying to get him to listen.
 

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2005 K1200LT
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rmg08057 said:
Thanks David and Rattler. Some good notes here, can pass to the dealer who is still of a mind its the starter motor...trying to get him to listen.
Just ask him to verify that reverse is working OK - that will eliminate the starter motor as the problem.
 

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Here is a tip from the older goldwings. Most goldwing riders know about this. I know this works very fast on the sprag clutch on them because we had to push start one that got so bad it would not engage at all. We put 1/2 quart of Marvel Mystery Oil in the crankcase oil and started the bike by pushing it. We let it run up to temp to check the fan operation and then took it for a couple mile ride to verify our other repairs. When we brought it back we had to shut it off to tighten a hose clamp. We then changed the oil and filter. This bike has had no sprag issues since that day. As a maintenance procedure I will run about 8 ounces of MMO in the oil for 50 - 100 miles about very 15,000 miles on my 83 wing just before the regular oil change. I started this after the sprag clutch started acting up at 20,000 miles. Give it a try and your only out 6 bucks if it doesn't work on the Beemer. Of course I have nothing to gain by recommending this product.
 
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