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  #1  
Old 10-08-2017, 04:36 AM
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My rear drive has a problem

OK guys, so here I am with my beloved 2004 K1200RS that has about 5 or 6mm play in the rear wheel. I just did a 1200 km weekend and noticed some slipping and sliding on my ride. It was wet and so I thought is was a slippery road surface. On my return home I noticed that there was oil over the muffler, rear drive and wheel. Here was the cause of the slippery ride !
I pulled the boot back to check if the front seal f the FD was leaking, but it was oil free in there.
I am yet to pull off the FD to inspect, but given the amount of play I am picking a major issue.
Can anybody point me to the guy in the USA that rebuilds these? I think from memory he is named Bruno? I have a spare, but I am not sure how good it is, so I would like to get one of them rebuilt by an expert to be 100% sure it is going to last.
Advice, suggestions etc welcome.
Thanks in advance.
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2004 K1200 RS "Brunhilde II" the German redhead. Ohlins, Speiglers, Corbin seat, GT screen, lotsa farkles.
2016 R9T - Wifes new ride, with Puig rear hugger, Wunderlich screen, knee pads, rocker head protectors.
1997 K1200RS - "Silver Fern" - rebuilt with 2002 motor.
1987 K75S Cafe Racer - Purple People Pleaser - 85kg lost.
1990 K75S Special edition - wifes tourer (SOLD in 2017)
2008 Moto Guzzi Breva 750 - wifes sport bike (sold 2018)
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2017, 11:41 AM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

Anton Largiader.

Tech articles:
http://www.largiader.com

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  #3  
Old 10-09-2017, 02:44 PM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

OK, so I drained the oil out of the final drive last night and it was full of very fine bright metal filings. The magnetic plug had a large clump on it. I will fit my spare unit tonight and pull the dying one apart. the material looks like hardened metal, so I am assuming the balls in the big bearing will be chewed up, but the cage has not collapsed yet.
After considering costs of sending for repair, I am going to change the bearing myself and run the spare for now. As I do not know the inner state of the used replacement (oil was clean, minimal bits on the drain plug) - I may well get another 30 or 40k out of it before I revert to the original refurbished unit.
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2004 K1200 RS "Brunhilde II" the German redhead. Ohlins, Speiglers, Corbin seat, GT screen, lotsa farkles.
2016 R9T - Wifes new ride, with Puig rear hugger, Wunderlich screen, knee pads, rocker head protectors.
1997 K1200RS - "Silver Fern" - rebuilt with 2002 motor.
1987 K75S Cafe Racer - Purple People Pleaser - 85kg lost.
1990 K75S Special edition - wifes tourer (SOLD in 2017)
2008 Moto Guzzi Breva 750 - wifes sport bike (sold 2018)
1996 K1100RS - Brunhilde I - (sold in 2007)
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2017, 05:56 PM
voxmagna voxmagna is offline
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

I also have a spare I repaired hanging on my garage wall ready for action. If you have a spare you might as well spend some downtime repairing it yourself.

I did this a while ago on my present repaired drive which has now done 15K. I didn't post at the time as it was a bit experimental, but I put Moly in the RD after rebuilding it. I had this idea that because of the poor design and shared pre-load between the big and small bearings, no amount of careful setting up would give long life if friction increased wear taking away the pre-load, which is why I added the Moly. Loss of pre-load, the true sign of bearing wear, is the main reason these drives fail. You can't just go back and re-shim to restore pre-load, because bearing wear damage has already started,

I'm very low annual mileage now and it will take me a long time for this drive with Moly additive to reach 60k when I could say it was probably beneficial, or if it failed sooner and the Moly made things worse. I regularly check for some drag on the rear wheel and it is still seems the same as when I first set up the drive which is a good sign.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:41 PM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

Some good YouTube stuff on doing this job, look at everything, many ways to approach the problem, I believe it is a mistake to use the same shims without checking.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2017, 10:47 PM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

Yes, I have looked the the Illinois BMW video and it looks pretty straightforward.
I am not too sure on the dial gauge method due to issues of getting a stable enough platform to read accurately, but I believe that using some thicker solder in place of the shim, cranking the cover down to torque, and then removing to measure the thickness of the "deformed" solder would be pretty accurate. Any comments on this method would be welcomed.
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2004 K1200 RS "Brunhilde II" the German redhead. Ohlins, Speiglers, Corbin seat, GT screen, lotsa farkles.
2016 R9T - Wifes new ride, with Puig rear hugger, Wunderlich screen, knee pads, rocker head protectors.
1997 K1200RS - "Silver Fern" - rebuilt with 2002 motor.
1987 K75S Cafe Racer - Purple People Pleaser - 85kg lost.
1990 K75S Special edition - wifes tourer (SOLD in 2017)
2008 Moto Guzzi Breva 750 - wifes sport bike (sold 2018)
1996 K1100RS - Brunhilde I - (sold in 2007)
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:38 AM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

A piece of plate glass or a piece of polished granite from a kitchen will work for a base to measure from. A product called Plastigauge is what you really need not solder, if your going that way.
http://plastigauge.co.uk/
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:19 AM
paulmogs paulmogs is offline
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

Bob's ( RFW ) is a good method for setting up, post #30.

http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?...r+drive+feeler
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  #9  
Old 10-10-2017, 09:31 AM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

Time to open the drive to assess.I have two of them here that are failed.And not the the usual worn big bearing.

I'd have to show them to someone I know who does such repairs but I wouldn't hold my hopes too high as to if both them drives are even repairable in a cost effective way.Won't happen for a good long while but he sure showed me how to preload them as he does in his shop with 1mm solder.

Go read a few threads on the BMOA board?
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  #10  
Old 10-10-2017, 06:11 PM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

I don't like the solder method because even though it compresses as the cover is tightened, it still has some residual static pressure that is difficult to account for. The proper method is to measure the depth of the cover and them measure the distance from the FD housing to the top of the bearing using the BMW measuring ring and this is done with zero downward force on the bearing unlike the residual being applied by the solder.

Most of don't have this special BMW tool and some have modified spare covers to provide the same function leaving spaces exposing the bearing top and the FD housing face to perform that measurement. The dial gauge method comes closest to measuring as long as you have stabilized the platform for the dial gauge to the FD housing which is not a trivial thing. The proper preload is between .05 to .1mm or 2 and 4 thousandths of an inch over your measurement and my fear is the solder method would end up with too high a preload which is what likely caused the initial accelerated failure anyways unless that load value was accounted for and I don't have the math skills to do that.

There is more than one way to attempt that measurement for sure but since I don't have a modified cover or the BMW measurement ring, I choose the next best zero load measurement method which is the dial gauge and if done properly, you can get pretty close. Just my opinion.
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2017, 06:36 PM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

When the rear drive in my ‘99 loosened up at 70,000 miles, I pulled it and carried it into Touring Sport in Greenville, SC. Total cost for rebuilding was $356.48, albeit in 2009.

Thought that was reasonable, and has held up for 8 years and about 15,000 miles on it so far.
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2017, 09:49 PM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

The solder method is too crude for this, that is why I mentioned plastigauge material. This is where it shines.
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2017, 11:46 PM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

More?

https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...2-R1150R/page2
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  #14  
Old 10-12-2017, 07:49 PM
voxmagna voxmagna is offline
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

I think I've tried all the ideas. Solder works but fiddly, Bobs feeler guage method is simple, quick to do and is a good second method cross check. I invented my own method using a spring balance to measure the drag on the bearing with the pinion removed.

However, it is all rather academic trying to achieve a level of super accuracy because I was able to prove in all these methods that case temperature has a huge effect on the pre-load you are trying to achieve and maintain for a long life and mileage. The RD casing is aluminium and you only need several degrees increase in oil temperature to reduce pre-load. The lab techs will say o.k, set the pre-load up at room temperature, but that's not the real operating condition.

Aside from a bad design of two bearings considerably different in type and size sharing the same pre-load, bearing wear is the main issue leading to failure. Although some say bearing pre-load was not always correct leaving the factory, there are others that have gone back after 30k and seen pre-load reduce to near zero and that can only be due to bearing wear. BMW designed the RD around certain physical size constraints. The output shaft bearing is a very expensive deep groove type annular bearing. When I last checked SKFs catalogue there were several larger and even double row bearings that had superior specs. But BMW chose the small one with the special spec. I never felt that pre-load was suitable for this large bearing. I think it's there for the smaller taper bearing. Had they used the same size (taper) bearing type at each end of the shaft, pre-load would make sense and that is what is done on rear drive car diffs. We are stuck with what we have in a housing that's too small to get it right.

I've now taken the pragmatic view that learning to repair a drive myself, keeping a hot spare and getting 50k from it is about the best I'll get. Once you have done a repair successfully, you regularly check for play on the rear wheel and swap the drive for even a small amount detected. When you catch the drive early you only need a bearing, seals, oil and a shim check. If the bearing breaks up and damages the pinion or its expensive bearing it's toast.
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  #15  
Old 10-17-2017, 05:29 AM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

Thanks Vox, That is pretty much what I had gathered from reading all the posts. No matter how fussy you are with set-up and shims, the basic design is flawed and has limitations. I will just do it up as good as I can get it, and set it aside as a spare. I have my used spare on it right now and it will go at least 30k more on that one as it feels good. I was at 80,000kms when the original failed, which is about the same mileage as FlyingKiwi got from his first one. I tend to agree with him (and yourself) that so long as you catch the bearing before it flys to bits, it is relatively simple to change the big bearing and probably not as expensive as chains and sprockets. I have made up a jig to mount the FD and a dial gauge, and will see how close I can get with that, compare to the feeler gauge method, and see where the two get me... some Kiwi innovation and determination will get me there I am sure. Thanks for your input!!
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2004 K1200 RS "Brunhilde II" the German redhead. Ohlins, Speiglers, Corbin seat, GT screen, lotsa farkles.
2016 R9T - Wifes new ride, with Puig rear hugger, Wunderlich screen, knee pads, rocker head protectors.
1997 K1200RS - "Silver Fern" - rebuilt with 2002 motor.
1987 K75S Cafe Racer - Purple People Pleaser - 85kg lost.
1990 K75S Special edition - wifes tourer (SOLD in 2017)
2008 Moto Guzzi Breva 750 - wifes sport bike (sold 2018)
1996 K1100RS - Brunhilde I - (sold in 2007)
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  #16  
Old 12-29-2018, 11:02 PM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

Just wondering if anyone has had any success replacing the big bearing with a tapered roller bearing?

Just asking!
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  #17  
Old 12-30-2018, 02:20 AM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

I don't think there is an appropriate taper bearing to replace the deep groove ball bearing. It would likely require some serious re-engineering that the existing housing wound not accept. Been discussed before on the LT forum but no one has ever come up with the parts to attempt it.
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:20 PM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

I guess I will looking for a spare rear drive as well, frustrating though
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  #19  
Old 12-30-2018, 02:53 PM
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Re: My rear drive has a problem

If rebuilt properly, they are pretty reliable. The trick is doing it right and getting the measurements correct for the shimming. Typical factory over shimming from the early LT masses was about .2mm which would cause metal fatigue and bearing failure. If you don't have the experience and tools to make the proper measurements, then having a spare may be a prudent move.
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