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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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 :boom: . 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.
 

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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #5
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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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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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Search here and on the other site. Somebody did it but it's an unusual fine metric thread. Somebody even bored out the arm, TIG welded a large ali bush insert and did a re-tap. However I don't know how they got on with the axis alignment of the new threads, which is very important. Don't underestimate the work to recover the paint finish afterwards. BMW paint is extremely hard and won't strip easily.

Look here:

http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=27957&highlight=swingarm+thread

If you can get a used swingarm with clean threads - go there first.



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If you think you can get a heli coil in the swing arm straight by drilling it by hand then I'm going to stop running a CNC milling machine and give the work to you! Are you kidding me or what? Then you want to ride that bike??? This is what holds the rear wheel on the bike! Come on, really??
Good luck, oh ya, let me know if your out on the bike after you install the heli coil so I can get home in time to stay away from work like that!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Snowcrash said:
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 :boom: . 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.
OK, about 5 weeks later got the bike back. I will tell you that the dealer did a great job. Replaced the swing arm for a very reasonable price and made all the changes I wanted on the bike. It's in perfect condition.

It's simply awesome. While I have little to compare it to, I will tell you that adding PIAA lights under the cowling, heated hand grips, and the "hyper lights", it's quite a sight. Add my Remus exhaust and it's a beast.
It's an amazing experience riding this bike.
 
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