Drive shaft failures - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2010, 4:10 pm Thread Starter
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Drive shaft failures

So what happens when a drive shafts fails?

I checked mine (54K miles) and one of the u-joint has slight sticking spot. I suspect that it will go for many more K miles before it fails, but the manual says to replace it.

A new shaft is ~$700... so I am considering if it is a good idea to stay with the one I already have and use it until it _really_ fails. I just want to know what to expect and what possible consequences of if failing.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2010, 4:54 pm
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My buddy's R1100RS broke the rear u-joint and the result was a cracked rear drive housing in addition to the driveshaft. The rear drive damage was the result of the spinning shaft and the time it took to realize what was going on and get the bike off the road. Not very long at all.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2010, 5:41 pm
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Take it to a driveline shop. They can take the old bearings out and install new ones. No big deal and some can even balance them. I had my old RT rebuilt and I think the guy said they were same size as some European sports car.


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2010, 8:16 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMack
Take it to a driveline shop.
Hm... I'll try. But I wonder, if those are replaceable, why BMW manual tells you it is not serviceable and to replace it as a unit?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2010, 10:24 pm
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Hm... I'll try. But I wonder, if those are replaceable, why BMW manual tells you it is not serviceable and to replace it as a unit?
BMW wants to sell you the whole shebang. They do it with almost everything that they don't want the shops to mess with like starter brushes, alternator rebuild, fuel pumps, etc.

One of the yoke bearings on mine was really loose in one twist and not so much in the other. Bearing seemed almost dry at 70K miles when I was doing a spline lube that turned into a tranny seal replacement. I think my old drive line bearings were crimped in, but it didn't seem to matter to them. It's what they do for a living and they do a lot of stuff including weird steering and compound axle and drive line assemblies. Buddy had them rebuild his CVC joints too. The only thing they probably can't do is replace the rubber in that section of the BMW drive line should it split out - but maybe they can do that to now? Dunno, but the drive line BMW sells is nearly $1,000 on the K1300R now. A couple of yoke bearings and labor was maybe $90 if I recall. Long as the splines are good and the rubber is intact, they shouldn't have a problem.

I'd ask them to mark the phasing too when they get done. That sort of messed me up when I put it back together. I even went around to two other drive line shops to make certain the rebuilder was right as it didn't seem right to me for some reason. They all concurred it was right.


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 3:33 am
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It's good to read there are still places around that re-condition.

Many years ago I had a similar problem with a Ford. First there were joints made by 'Hardy Spicer' that were serviceable - you could upen them up by removing circlips to replace needle roller bearings. Then the car manufacturers thought failures of driveline joints were rare and went over to a factory assemble technique. They pressed and staked in the caps covering the needle rollers and went for smaller more compact bearings. Shops in UK sprung up sourcing the bearings and with the right press tools, but I haven't heard of any for years. The important thing about a shop repair is the equipment to re-balance and you must get ALL the U joint bearings replaced. If I had to look for service shops in UK I'd start looking at those firms that manufacture for the car aftermarket. But these days, they are probably all in Korea!

If you leave drive shaft joints to wear and go out of balance, the rear drive pinion oil seal may start wearing and possible the pinion bearing to. Check out the price of repairing those!



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Last edited by voxmagna; Sep 2nd, 2010 at 3:38 am.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 9:52 am
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A thought. Maybe your dealer would recommend a drive line rebuilder? I know my old local took a lot of stuff like starters and alternators to rebuild shops if the customer balked at the BMW prices.

Some of the really old K bikes seemed to smoke out their alternators and he had a good rapport with one German rebuilder who did a lot of foreign car electrical stuff. His name was Otto and he used to tell us "He was a smart man as he could spell his name forward and backwards." We took him a starter out of an old Jaguar XKE and he took it apart in about 3 minutes while complaining about "How hard they were to work on" (He was laughing the whole time.). He found a bad winding and they had a whole room full of huge 3 foot diameter spools of magnet wire and he wound a new commutator while we watched. It was pretty amazing to see as it spun in some jig, but if you got the tools it's easier too. He said he could make a whole starter from scratch if he needed too as he had a complete machine shop. True German craftsman that actually like his work.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 10:09 am
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We don't have people with those skills in UK anymore and have lost the skills to survive in adversity and breakdown of world order! If cell phones and the Internet were lost tomorrow, many would probably lose the will to live.

Everything is throw away and people in shops just need to learn how to use a stock search computer and order from re-sellers who themselves order from other re-sellers who get stuff from China!

Even the service shops have procedures and labor charges set. As long as your vehicle problem fits with what the computer knows about, or a defined service operation, you are O.K. If the computer doesn't help, they change everything and charge you the bill, whilst throwing away some perfectly good components.



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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 9:30 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMack
I'd ask them to mark the phasing too when they get done. That sort of messed me up when I put it back together.
Now, I looked at that thing again and I am confused about phasing. This shaft is 2 part. You can assemble it anyway the splines align. The manuals (clymer and bmw) don't mention anything about it. Just slip one part into another and that's it. Is it not important in this setup or I am not understanding the phasing correctly?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 9:51 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIK
Now, I looked at that thing again and I am confused about phasing. This shaft is 2 part. You can assemble it anyway the splines align. The manuals (clymer and bmw) don't mention anything about it. Just slip one part into another and that's it. Is it not important in this setup or I am not understanding the phasing correctly?
It's a drive shaft, it's not a timing chain or belt with critical timing. There should be no reason it has to be aligned to a certain spline. If it slides onto the spline it's good.
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