BMW Dealer Swing Arm Disaster - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 2010, 8:02 pm Thread Starter
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BMW Dealer Swing Arm Disaster

Hi All. Just joined the ranks of you K- bikers by buying a 15K miles 1998 K1200RS. I've put 12 miles on it by riding it to the local BMW dealer to have them check out a small oil leak on the right hand side of the back where the transmission housing meets the engine block.

This has turned into a small disaster. When they removed the swing arm, they destroyed the threads when removing the rear bearing journals . Now they think it's fair that I pay for the swing arm repair(replacement actually). What do you knowledgeable folks think? I read a post on another site that talked about this "common problem" and a solution for it. Shouldn't the dealer have known about this problem and taken precautions to avoid it?

I appreciate any feedback you can give.

I really like the bike and plan to keep it for many years.

Last edited by Snowcrash; Aug 12th, 2010 at 8:42 pm.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2010, 12:09 am
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The swing arm has to come off to fix the oil leak you have (which is either an engine seal leak or a transmission seal leak). 15k miles on the odo, over 12 years of time. I would have to say the bike wasn't ridden much, more likely sat. And the threads seized.

I dunno...I'd ask if they can help out a bit with the price, but leaving a bike to just sit is a small bit of negligence on the previous owners part. Along with 15k miles and you have an oil leak, I don't see how the dealer is heavily obligated for much. Just my 2˘ worth.



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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2010, 5:18 am
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I had the same problem on my '97 and I did the job myself very carefully.

Once the threads start to bind as the caps are turned, there is only one way to save a swingarm and that's to drill out the bearing caps. Very messy and time consuming at dealer rates. Blame BMW for designing the bearing caps in aluminium with fine threads fitting into coarse ali cast metal, then demanding enormous torque.

I picked up a couple of boneyard swingarms (1 for a spare!) and paid roughly £60 each. New would be a lot more BMW $'s unless they can cut you a deal.

I wouldn't be too hard on the dealer, although they should have pre-warned you there was a risk.



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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2010, 4:54 pm
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While doing a clutch spline lube a friend's brother "helped" me removed my swing arm pivots by using a 3/4 inch impact wrench. It did take the pivots out, as well as all the threads to boot. Heat is required to soften up the red lock-tite and safely remove the bearing caps. Beemer Boneyard got me back on the road with a $160.00 swing arm and it arrived in good time and in very good shape. I'd say that's where I'd go from here. If the dealer is a bonafide BMW dealer, he should have a tech someplace on the property that knows how to remove a swingarm. That's pretty common place working on these bikes. I, for one, wouldn't pay them for a new swingarm. Worst possible scenario for me would be to buy the part from BB and let the dealer pay for all the labor to reassemble.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2010, 10:58 pm Thread Starter
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You hit it right on the head. Owner put 15 miles on it over the last 3 years. It just seemed to me that this is a common problem and at least the dealer could have forewarned me about the hazards of removing a part BMW didn't envision anyone removing for any reason.

Thanks for the feedback!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2010, 10:59 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response. I appreciate this website!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2010, 11:02 pm Thread Starter
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That's kind of what I thought. There are many posts on line that discuss how to remove the swing arm. For the dealer to destroy it while taking it off seems nutty to me. The reason I brought it to the dealer is to have professionals work on it. If I wanted to destroy it, I'm sure I could have done a fine job of that my self.

Thank you for your reply.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 16th, 2010, 2:58 pm
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Now there's a curious thing. My '97 swingarm definitely had Loctite on the threads, so I'm not surprised even with heating that the fine threads just ripped out. You need a blast furnace to get that amount of metal up to temperature and you'll likely trash the paint finish.

The only better job you could have done would have been to spend 2 hours drilling out the cap, with no guarantee at the end that the threads would still be usable. Buying a special tap to chase out the threads could add another $100. At dealer rates that could all be close to a new swing arm.

But I don't see Loctite mentioned in the oem service CD?

My caps went back with 10% less torque on the high torque cap, no Loctite used and I marked the cap and swingarm with a center punch so I could keep an eye on it for movement.



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Last edited by voxmagna; Aug 16th, 2010 at 3:31 pm.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 16th, 2010, 8:16 pm
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I think I have a K1200RS swing arm that I bought along with the drive unit and drive shaft off eB** I know I sold the drive unit after I traded the K 1200RS in but sure I have the rest. Do you want me to check? Email me at [email protected]
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2010, 11:14 pm
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What is the thread size? Could a heli-coil cure it?
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