Do all BMWs have final drive problems? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 2010, 11:19 pm Thread Starter
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Do all BMWs have final drive problems?

If so, is there a way to prevent the problem, is there a way to know if the final drive is about to fail? Thanks
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 2010, 11:49 pm
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Change oil often, check side play at rear wheel often, check for metal shavings on magnetic drain plug, touch wood......! I do all that but just found out today that my driveshaft is Kaput at 30,000 miles....Driveshaft No:3 on BMW's since 1992!
And my rear shock is leaking......Shock No:5 on BMW's since 1986!

But do the checks, it is a lot easier and cheaper to repair before you destroy it on the road.Any side play at the rear wheel is cause for concern.

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2010, 1:45 am
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2010, 8:14 am
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how long..........belts?????

bmw needs to get with the 21st century and go to drive belts. their final drive is costly to manufacture and offers no advantages over a belt.(and don't start with the argument about belts not being strong enough ---power equipment uses them and they withstand 450 lbs of torque). i think this may be a case of german pride and hard-headedness. i hope they read this..............
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2010, 9:37 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billbeemer
bmw needs to get with the 21st century and go to drive belts. their final drive is costly to manufacture and offers no advantages over a belt.(and don't start with the argument about belts not being strong enough ---power equipment uses them and they withstand 450 lbs of torque). i think this may be a case of german pride and hard-headedness. i hope they read this..............
If they don't fail ...

No need to adjust

Consistent wheel base/geometry

Less likely to to take a rock or incur damage (I had a rock go right through a belt once)

I dunno, there are more advantages (and disadvantages too) but differentials have been pretty effective on cars and trucks for years and I do know belts and chains were tried on those and found to have significant drawbacks.

The $64,000 question ... why were the drive units notoriously so bullet proof until the past decade or so and why do the Japanese drive shaft units hold up better? I put 185,000 on a 1984 Yamaha Venture Royal and did nothing more than change the oil in the drive train every 25,000 miles.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2010, 11:41 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgun
Do all BMWs have final drive problems?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If so, is there a way to prevent the problem, is there a way to know if the final drive is about to fail? Thanks
No, not all BMW's have final drive problems. K-1200LT and to a lesser extent, the GS seem to have the biggest issue of final drive problems (when referring to the classic "Brick" engine and drivetrain). Do a search here and you won't find many posts on final drive failures on the classic K-RS/GT. Shocks, headlight wiring, seals, clutch and fuel quick-disconnects are another matter!

I've got 104,000 miles on the original final drive, change oil regularly, use synthetic, and it's been problem free. I did replace the pivot bearings at 102,000 miles as they were getting notchy.

To test, put the bike up on the centerstand, grab the wheel at 3 and 9 o'clock, and rock back and forth ... there should be no movement. Repeat with hands at 12 and 6 o'clock.

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2010, 12:23 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -CRASH-
The $64,000 question ... why were the drive units notoriously so bullet proof until the past decade or so and why do the Japanese drive shaft units hold up better? I put 185,000 on a 1984 Yamaha Venture Royal and did nothing more than change the oil in the drive train every 25,000 miles.
They are mounted in twin-spar swingarms.
If the Germans did this, they probably would have no rear drive problems either.
But as we all know, you can't tell the factory anything.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2010, 12:40 pm
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Since we are talking final drive here I'll stick with this post....!
Any tips on replacing the front seal or the pivot bearings without the BMW "Special Tools"? Both kaput because of that vibrating driveshaft I'm sure.
I'm probably OK with the pivot bearings, did them once on my GS, but that seal.....!
That would save me a very long drive on one of the best riding road in the province......and one of the worst for cars in the winter....!
Thanks!

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2010, 3:34 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billbeemer
bmw needs to get with the 21st century and go to drive belts. their final drive is costly to manufacture and offers no advantages over a belt.(and don't start with the argument about belts not being strong enough ---power equipment uses them and they withstand 450 lbs of torque). i think this may be a case of german pride and hard-headedness. i hope they read this..............
They already run belts on the F series BMW's.
Im not sure about BMW however the newer HD belts are made with Kevlar which if you excuse the pun makes them pretty bullet proof!

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2010, 5:12 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h96669
Since we are talking final drive here I'll stick with this post....!
Any tips on replacing the front seal or the pivot bearings without the BMW "Special Tools"? Both kaput because of that vibrating driveshaft I'm sure.
I'm probably OK with the pivot bearings, did them once on my GS, but that seal.....!
That would save me a very long drive on one of the best riding road in the province......and one of the worst for cars in the winter....!
Thanks!
I can't speak to special tools for the front seal, but the swing-arm pivot bearings use the same tool as the final drive pivot bearings ... a socket with a window cut into it. I built this one myself using a cut-off tool. The big got-ya is breaking the existing pivot pins loose ... they are torqued in by a gorilla on steroids. If you round off the socket flats, you're seriously screwed, as the pins are torqued into the frame. I used a 2-foot cheater on my breaker bar and broke a socket trying to free them. I've heard of folks bending their 1/2"-drive breaker bars trying to break them loose.


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