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Well, the transmission is toast after all (Redline Oil is made of water)


SWB

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Just got the call from the dealer service department (unnamed, for the moment). My transmission is toast. Here are the particulars:

 

They say:

 

* Water or other substance in the transmission

* Main shaft, all gears and forks are toast; corrosion abounds.

* $3700 to repair or "only" $2850 to purchase new from them

 

I said:

 

* 58K miles. Checked by one San Diego dealer at 50K miles, and serviced by this dealer at 54K miles.

* No problems with any other gears other than 1st to 2nd. Not a slipped shift, no 5th gear slippage - nothing.

* Changed transmission oil about 800 miles (2 weeks) ago; no metal shavings, parts, or weird colored transmission oil; replaced with Redline heavy. (I declined to add water; there were no such mixing instructions with the Redline oil).

* I won't be paying $3700 to them for a rebuild, or $2850 for a new transmission. It'll be $2100 new at Chicago BMW, or a used transmission for much, much less.

* I'll be in to the dealer tomorrow to pick up my box of parts (for $115 disassembly charge), and take my business elsewhere.

 

This is truly a "lose-lose" situation. I find it very difficult to believe that my transmission was in that bad of shape going in there. (I should have disassembled it myself; never again.) My gut tells me that they pulled all the major components from my bike, and will return to me some junk from another R&R'd transmission with 280K miles.

 

On the other hand, it's not the dealer's fault my transmission is trashed, if that's the case. And, it's tough for them to prove a negative, i.e. that they DIDN'T do what my worst suspicions would indicate. I have to give them the benefit of some doubt, until I can find evidence of something else.

 

Going transmission shopping. It may be time to part out this puppy. I've got $800 in other parts on my shopping list, and that doesn't touch the engine. (If the transmission on this puppy is this badly trashed, what condition is the engine in?)

 

Jury is still out (and you're the jury). In the internet world, EVERYTHING is subject to peer review. I hope this dealer service department understands that.

 

 

Edit: One more thing, both the transmission exterior and all splines looked factory fresh, it was just the inside of the transmission that was trashed. Go figure ...

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This is truly a "lose-lose" situation. I find it very difficult to believe that my transmission was in that bad of shape going in there. (I should have disassembled it myself; never again.) My gut tells me that they pulled all the major components from my bike, and will return to me some junk from another R&R'd transmission with 280K miles.

 

On the other hand, it's not the dealer's fault my transmission is trashed, if that's the case. And, it's tough for them to prove a negative, i.e. that they DIDN'T do what my worst suspicions would indicate. I have to give them the benefit of some doubt, until I can find evidence of something else.

 

What leads to your deep suspicions about their character in the first place? I don't see it in your story. So either you know something about them that leads you to think they are thieves or you are (perhaps?) being quite unfair in your suspicions/accusations.

 

I'm just glad I don't own the dealership doing this work for you. Or fill us in on the rest of the story.

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Scott, if they didn't completely disassemble the main shaft or clean all the bearings maybe look to see if there are signs of red oil in the nooks & crannies of the bearings & between gears & shafts.. No red oil would be real suspect..

 

Twisty

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This is truly a "lose-lose" situation. I find it very difficult to believe that my transmission was in that bad of shape going in there. (I should have disassembled it myself; never again.) My gut tells me that they pulled all the major components from my bike, and will return to me some junk from another R&R'd transmission with 280K miles.

 

On the other hand, it's not the dealer's fault my transmission is trashed, if that's the case. And, it's tough for them to prove a negative, i.e. that they DIDN'T do what my worst suspicions would indicate. I have to give them the benefit of some doubt, until I can find evidence of something else.

 

What leads to your deep suspicions about their character in the first place? I don't see it in your story. So either you know something about them that leads you to think they are thieves or you are (perhaps?) being quite unfair in your suspicions/accusations.

 

I'm just glad I don't own the dealership doing this work for you. Or fill us in on the rest of the story.

 

Well, David, I didn't name the dealer, and as I said, the jury is still out. You see the "story" differently than I do. I took a low mileage transmission in on which I had just changed the transmission oil, and I examined what came out of it (still have it in a container). What they told me didn't square with what I saw with my own eyes. And, I did indicate that there was some doubt.

 

Regards.

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A couple of things I'd check into. First, does the Redline Heavy ShockProof gear oil meet BMW's specifications? Was there something wrong with the bottle you used? Is it possible you got an improperly marked or mixed bottle?

 

It sounds like your troubles began when the oil was changed.

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Was there something wrong with the bottle you used?

 

Do you still have some left over from your last service that you could check?

 

Even if it's in your final drive?

 

Stan

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My gut tells me that they pulled all the major components from my bike, and will return to me some junk from another R&R'd transmission with 280K miles.

 

Just because your paranoid doesn't mean that they aren't out to get you!!! grin.gif

 

Stan

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Scott, if they didn't completely disassemble the main shaft or clean all the bearings maybe look to see if there are signs of red oil in the nooks & crannies of the bearings & between gears & shafts.. No red oil would be real suspect..

 

Twisty

 

1) No red oil; there was some sort of pink murky junk on a few items, but with the exception of one shift fork which had a heavy coat of Redline, everything else was very clean.

 

A couple of things I'd check into. First, does the Redline Heavy ShockProof gear oil meet BMW's specifications? Was there something wrong with the bottle you used? Is it possible you got an improperly marked or mixed bottle?

 

It sounds like your troubles began when the oil was changed.

 

2) What can I say? Redline indicates that this oil exceeds BMW spec's. BMW doesn't comment on oil. The BMW Service Manager last time I was in this shop said "Mobil 1, Redline, BMW Syn - all good oils". This service manager said "I've never heard of anyone using Redline oil in a BMW bike; I doubt that it meets BMW's specs." Bottle was sealed Redline, and looked like nice, thick, clear, red, normal gear oil. The shop didn't save me any oil from the tranny, but I do have the (BMW) oil from the last transmission service.

 

 

3) I saw not one bit of corrosion. Looks like a new transmission, except for the intermediate shaft.

 

My gut tells me that they pulled all the major components from my bike, and will return to me some junk from another R&R'd transmission with 280K miles.

 

Just because your paranoid doesn't mean that they aren't out to get you!!!

 

I don't blame David for being a bit tweaked about that statement. It was premature speculation. I don't like trashing other people because of my misfortune, but "something happened here" is as close I can come.

 

Pictures will follow. The General Manager quoted me the $230 disassemble and reassemble. The Service Manager later called me and was incredulous, but "honored" the quote. The final $3756.60 quote I received included $2617.22 for parts, $936.00 for labor, and the difference to the governor. $936.00 does not equal $230, but that's a bit irrelevant at this point.

 

As to the parts ordered:

 

* The "intermediate shaft" is an entire assembly of shaft, bearings, and gears. It's non-rebuildable. It's $1000 alone. It does have damage - the only significant damage.

If you lose this part, for $1000, you might as well pack it in. The transmission is toast (because you'll have spent more than it's worth new to fix it).

 

* The spec orders all new shift forks, all new gears and bearings to completely rebuild the output shaft. I see no significant damage to either, but then I'm not a trained mechanic. The bent or damaged shift forks I've seen on our dirt bikes looked like someone took a grinder to them. These BMW forks look in great condition, albeit with a touch of wear to one of them. The gears on the output shaft look perfect as well.

 

The splines look perfect, everywhere.

 

The center gear on the intermediate shaft has some pretty severe spalling. Did Redline cause that? Did poor shifting cause it? A worn clutch? Did someone swap that single, hugely expensive part with mine to produce a totalled gear box? Probably not, but anything is possible. They were trying to sell me a new gear box for $2850, not repairs to this one.

 

Pix follow;

 

Complete Transmission interior parts:

TransComplete.jpg

 

Intermediate Shaft:

IntermediateShaft1.JPG

 

Intermediate Shaft (different view):

IntermediateShaft2.JPG

 

Output Shaft and gears (5, which were all on the replacement list).

 

OutputShaft&Gears.JPG

 

Shift forks (3); multiple views.

ShiftFork1.JPG

 

ShiftFork2.JPG

 

ShiftFork3.JPG

 

ShiftFork4.JPG

 

ShiftFork5.JPG

 

ShiftFork7.JPG

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russell_bynum

I'm with you...I don't really see any problems other than the damage to that one gear on the intermediate shaft. Maybe the pics aren't telling the whole story, but I'm not seeing anything really wrong.

 

I might be tempted to find a used transmission, steal the intermediate shaft out of it, and put your transmission back together.

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Bart Anderson

Might be a longshot, but that breather doesn't look right to me...isn't there supposed to be a black plastic cap there? Pic below. Can anyone else verify this?

 

If so, and the bike has been in the rain, then that's how water got in there. So, what happened to the breather cap?

 

Also, those parts look to me like they've been pretty thoroughly cleaned, since all the parts on mine had a very thick coating of oil (Mobil 1 75/140) on them even after sitting out of the tranny for a few days. I would think water emulsified in Redline oil would be like a creamy red frappucino all over everything.

 

109453269-M.jpg

 

 

One other thing: the width of those pics makes this whole thread hard to read...can you resize 'em down a bit?

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I'm with you...I don't really see any problems other than the damage to that one gear on the intermediate shaft. Maybe the pics aren't telling the whole story, but I'm not seeing anything really wrong.

 

I might be tempted to find a used transmission, steal the intermediate shaft out of it, and put your transmission back together.

 

I am thinking the same thing, Russell. It's almost harder to inspect these transmission parts with the naked eye than through the lens of a camera (at least, for some of us older type guys grin.gif). It's hard to tell looking at the parts, but through the camera lens, they look new. I'll get a magnifying glass and take a closer look tomorrow.

 

I've got a line on a used, low-mileage tranny with a damaged case. I'm not sure I can do the job myself, though, and particularly, not without $300+ in special tools. This is a bit more complex than a dirt bike transmission. It might be a fun project to try, though. Shiming it correctly would be the big job.

 

I really need this bike back in service. I'd spring for $2200 for a new transmission and be done with it, except this is a $5K bike. (I saw an identical, low-mileage R1100RT(P) from the state police in Idaho go for a bit over $4K last week. I'm kicking myself for not going after that bike, but it closed a few days before my bike died. I didn't think I was in the market.) If this were a 2004 model, I'd spring for the new transmission, but then again, there are two R1150RT transmissions on beemerboneyard right now; wouldn't need to buy new.

 

I've got some thinking to do. With the transmission, clutch and other planned work, I'm hitting $3K. If something else happens (Engine, ABS), I'll have twice as much into the bike as it's worth.

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Might be a longshot, but that breather doesn't look right to me...isn't there supposed to be a black plastic cap there? Pic below. Can anyone else verify this?

 

If so, and the bike has been in the rain, then that's how water got in there. So, what happened to the breather cap?

 

Also, those parts look to me like they've been pretty thoroughly cleaned, since all the parts on mine had a very thick coating of oil (Mobil 1 75/140) on them even after sitting out of the tranny for a few days. I would think water emulsified in Redline oil would be like a creamy red frappucino all over everything.

 

109453269-M.jpg

 

 

One other thing: the width of those pics makes this whole thread hard to read...can you resize 'em down a bit?

 

The breather cap was intact when the bike went in (so that's what that was), and is now sitting the bottom of the case.

 

The few drops of oil I saw did look sort of creamy pink. But if he used a degreaser to clean up the parts to inspect, who knows what actually came out of the drain plug. I should have drained it myself before taking it in. I just didn't see a reason, since I had just changed the fluid. dopeslap.gif

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russell_bynum

I've got a line on a used, low-mileage tranny with a damaged case. I'm not sure I can do the job myself, though, and particularly, not without $300+ in special tools. This is a bit more complex than a dirt bike transmission. It might be a fun project to try, though. Shiming it correctly would be the big job.

 

I worked with Sean and SageRider when they rebuilt Michael's transmission after the first gear on the input shaft ate the front bearing and destroyed the case, shaft, etc.

 

I don't recall any special tools other than a heat gun.

 

I may be talking out of my ass here because it has been a few years, but...

 

The single row ball bearings in the shafts aren't particularly sensitive to proper preload like tapered roller bearings are. So, you don't have to get the shims perfect. I'm pretty sure that all we did on Michael's transmission was re-use whatever shims were already there.

 

Use the heat gun to heat the case, particularly at the three bearing cavities. Then pull the case apart. Heat the bearing cavities in the other end of the case to get the shafts free. Heat the bearing cavities again to put everything back together.

 

Hopefully Michael will chime in here because I'm sure he remembers better than I do.

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The damage to the intermediate shaft gear is extraordinary and looks like a severe case of lubricant failure but I would be surprised if the Shockproof alone was responsible for the damage. While I would personally recommend sticking with standard 75W-90 or 75W-140, people have been using Redline in gearboxes for a long time without problems and I doubt that it could fail so completely, but maybe. Really kind of a mystery there.

 

The other gearsets obviously aren't as bad and it's hard to tell from the photos but there does appear to be the beginning of abnormal wear on some of the teeth. Seeing this, and the outright damage to the intermediate shaft, the dealer is probably being safe rather than sorry in replacing them, and I don't know that I'd disagree with him. IOW, the other gearshafts would probably be OK, but... crazy.gif

 

If you have a line on a good set of transmission internals then that may be a good way to go, although after having rebuilt a few of these I can definitely offer the opinion that if you swap shafts from one transmission to an entirely new case it will be very unlikely that you will end up with the proper end float just by re-using shims (the entire tolerance range is only .004" after all.) I can't say how much being out of spec on the end float will hurt things, but if you don't measure for the proper shims you will almost certainly be out of spec somewhere. For peace of mind I would recommend re-shimming if you go this way.

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Why buy a damaged tranny and go thru all that is required to make it usable. A good low mileage transmission should be abvailable for somewhere between $600 and $800.

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The damage to the intermediate shaft gear is extraordinary and looks like a severe case of lubricant failure but I would be surprised if the Shockproof alone was responsible for the damage.

 

That's about where I am at the moment. There's no other explanation I can come up with. I drained the transmission and filled it to the specified about with Redline Shockproof Heavy, and it came out - not heavy. The bike is garaged, hasn't been in the rain, and hasn't been washed. (The vent cap was in place.).

 

There's just no other explanation that I can come up with, other than the incredible (i.e. the mechanic is playing games, and the intermediate shaft is from some other transmission).

 

The most likely diagnosis is that Redline oil killed this transmission.

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How would Redline kill the tranny? Others (including me) have had very good experience with Redline, and so far I've heard neither reports nor rumors of any such Redline problems.

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Just a thought, and a remote possibility. Was the Redline container sealed. There should have been a paper seal under the plastic cap. I have heard of cases where cheap bastards will purchase product, drain it and refill with something else, then return to store for refund saying they bought too much or some other story. Store full of minimum wage kids just puts it back on shelf without checking.

 

It was awhile back, I was at the auto parts store for Redline. I was going to purchase three quarts. Decided to check the caps and noted one of the bottles was missing the seal. Didn't look any further. There should be no reason for a missing seal. Took the two sealed bottles and put the other back.

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Just a thought, and a remote possibility. Was the Redline container sealed. There should have been a paper seal under the plastic cap. I have heard of cases where cheap bastards will purchase product, drain it and refill with something else, then return to store for refund saying they bought too much or some other story. Store full of minimum wage kids just puts it back on shelf without checking.

 

It was awhile back, I was at the auto parts store for Redline. I was going to purchase three quarts. Decided to check the caps and noted one of the bottles was missing the seal. Didn't look any further. There should be no reason for a missing seal. Took the two sealed bottles and put the other back.

 

Yes, both bottles were sealed and out of unopened case boxes (i.e. used Redline 75W90 for the final drive, shockproof heavy for transmission).

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How would Redline kill the tranny? Others (including me) have had very good experience with Redline, and so far I've heard neither reports nor rumors of any such Redline problems.

 

Look, I've been promoting Redline based on the recommendations of others. You'll find no one more disappointed than I. Similarly, when David (second post) told me that I was a lousy customer for suspecting the mechanic; I respond, "OK, my bad, shouldn't have suspected a working stiff just doing his job, without proof to the contrary".

 

But then again, this bike has 58K miles on it - it's a low mileage transmission failure, relative to the history of the bike. There's no common wear pattern across the transmission gears, forks, and other parts.

 

So, if it's not the mechanic and not the oil, what's the cause? Normal wear? I have a problem getting there from here. I didn't put water into the transmission, I didn't make a mistake and put WD40 instead of Redline Shockproof Heavy, and I didn't use a ballpeen hammer on the intermediate shaft gear. I'm just looking for, and speculating about a cause. I'm not looking to place blame. I'm the one eating the cost on this failure.

 

(FYI: The "Redline Oil is made of water" statement in the title was sarcasm, in response to the machanic's claim that "water or something got into the case". I believed he knew it was Redline oil, disapproved of it, and upon seeing non-OEM recommended oil, slapped together a standard "complete-rebuild" estimate for $3700, including $700 more in labor than originally estimated, so that he could get the gear box out of his garage. But, again, that's just speculation. What do I know?)

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SWB, in looking at the pictures you posted it looks like the worst damage is only 2nd gear.. That isn't an oil related problem as I see almost no damage to the other gear sets.. You would think any oil or lubrication related problem would show up on the most loaded gears & on the most heavily used gear sets (like 4th or 5th gears).. Unless you travel mostly in 2nd gear or put most on that 800 miles only on 2nd gear I would look for other causes (like lots of slow speed 2nd gear engine lugging such as police training courses).. If that bike spent a part of it’s previous life as a police training bike that could explain the high pitting wear on 2nd gear…

 

Twisty

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I'm questioning the "Redline" diagnosis, not SWB. If the shop blames the damage on Redline, I'd sure want to know the specific basis for that diagnosis: Do other bikes and machines have a history of Redline-related similar damage? Lots of other Bimmer guys use the stuff, so what has been their experience? Water in the Redline? In that case, a lab test would show it. What about the debris from the damaged teeth, etc.--does that show up in the lubricant? Got a magnetic drain plug? If Redline is the fault, why does the damage appear to be confined to 2nd gear teeth? If chemical contamination is at fault, wouldn't there be damage or chemical etching elsewhere on other steel parts?

 

I don't know the answere to these questions, but seriously doubt the mechanic's diagnosis holding Redline at fault. Doubting his diagnosis leads to doubting his honesty and/or competence, as night follows day.

 

BTW, who gains financially from your misfortune? What would be bottom-line profit from selling you a new tranny at full retail price, plus labor?

 

What reputation for honesty and competence does the shop have?

 

BTW, if the cops in your area use BMW bikes, who does their fleet maintenance, and would such person/shop be suitable for a second opinion?

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looks to me like you got one bad gear in there that wasn't heat treated properly.Why only that gear and not the meshing one ? Looks to me like a bad gear right from the factory.The dealer should stand behind you on this one and have bmw pay for it rather then trying to sell a transmission.This is how bmw looses its customers.

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mikefigielski

Sorry to say, but 58K mile M97 tranny failures are not that uncommon. If 2nd gear was the problem that makes sense as that is the one gear that BMW did not undercut on the M97 trans. The original early M93 transmissions (and all K-bike and Airhead trannies) all had all of the gears undercut. BMW only under cut some of the gears on the M94/95 and M97 trannies and there are plenty of 2nd and third gear issues on those transmissions as proof. I see the M94/95 trannies popping out of 3rd gear with as low as 35K miles and M97 2nd gear issues anywhere from 50k to 100K miles. Just ask Bruno or Tom Cutter about the undercutting of gears, they do it to all trannies that they rebuild. Putting a new shift fork and/or bearings in a trans without undercut gears is a band aid at best. Good low mileage M97 trannies are very hard to come by, believe me!!

I doubt there is anything sinister going on here. The trans was having issues in 2nd gear and the dealer is always going to want to replace all components in a trans for a rebuild. Redline has nothing to do with it, it is poor design by BMW by not undercutting all of the gears.

 

Mike

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Thanks for your input, Mike. And thanks to the rest of you as well. I've got some thinking to do; either part this beast out and buy something else, buy a remanufactured transmission, or go with some expensive repair options. I had just made this bike my primary transportation mode, so I have to decide pretty quickly.

 

If I buy something else, it's not going to be a high-mileage bike of any kind. Lots of you folks report great experiences with high mileage BMW's, but I'm not a believer. Nothing over 15K miles for the next bike, and if it's new, it'll probably have to be the Honda ST.

 

These are decisions I had not planned on making this early with this bike. eek.gif

 

Guess adversity builds character .... smirk.gif

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...I worked with Sean and SageRider when they rebuilt Michael's transmission after the first gear on the input shaft ate the front bearing and destroyed the case, shaft, etc.

 

I don't recall any special tools other than a heat gun.

 

...I'm pretty sure that all we did on Michael's transmission was re-use whatever shims were already there....

Hopefully Michael will chime in here because I'm sure he remembers better than I do.

My recollection now is hazy at best (finally! crazy.gif), but I don't recall doing any re-shimming. In addition to using the heat gun as described by Russell, we did use a micrometer to measure bearing position on the shafts and used a hydraulic press to install bearings on the shafts.

 

As an FYI, even though I had ball bearings and bearing cage pieces go through the gears, I did not take any gear damage like what is shown in this thread.

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Anton Largiader

Is the wear only on the teeth shown in the pictures, or is it all the way around the gear? If it's concentrated on a few teeth, I would check the shaft for runout. It could also be some bad heat-treating that got through.

 

At any rate, it's toast but the tooth wear alone doesn't explain the shifting problems you described. The forks look like typical forks on trannies that I rebuild: a bit of brightness on the corners and that's about all.

 

The two most critical things for the operation of the tranny are the condition of the dogs (which look decent in the pics) and the condition of the grooves in the drum (which I didn't see). Next is the shimming followed by the fork condition.

 

In your place I would probably just buy a used tranny. Here, I never put a used tranny in a customer bike without a full overhaul including recutting the shift dogs.

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Is the wear only on the teeth shown in the pictures, or is it all the way around the gear? If it's concentrated on a few teeth, I would check the shaft for runout. It could also be some bad heat-treating that got through.

 

It's all away around the gear (2nd, I believe), and there some light spalling on the reciprical output gear as well.

 

The two most critical things for the operation of the tranny are the condition of the dogs (which look decent in the pics) and the condition of the grooves in the drum (which I didn't see). Next is the shimming followed by the fork condition.

 

The drum looks good. The dogs generally look good. The "receiving" dogs (inside one of the gears) look the most worn, but that may be my bad eyes and the view angle. I really can't seen anything wrong with the dogs at all. I would have expected the problem to be worn dogs or a bent shift fork, but that just does not appear to be the case.

 

I didn't understand what "undercutting" meant until I read an internet article, and took a close look at the dogs on this transmission. Some gears are clearly not undercut, while others are. Curious BMW design.

 

In your place I would probably just buy a used tranny. Here, I never put a used tranny in a customer bike without a full overhaul including recutting the shift dogs.

 

The plan is in progress. The tranny is on the way to Tom Cutter's Rubber Chicken Racing Garage. I'm going to have it rebuild from another (damaged) transmission.

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Here's a rumor that MAY explain this whole mess. This is third-hand, so take it accordingly. An acquantence has been a BMW motorcycle mechanic for decades and was trained in Germany. He says a German friend who worked for decades for BMW in Germany recently told him that BMW transmission gears are now cast and installed without machining. So, the metal is nice and pretty from a precise casting method, but doen't have the additional treatment that machining, etc. would impart. Soft metal?

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The plan is in progress. The tranny is on the way to Tom Cutter's Rubber Chicken Racing Garage. I'm going to have it rebuild from another (damaged) transmission.

 

Just out of curiousity, how did you settle on this shop?What do you estimate the cost for the rebuild will be and what specifically are they doing?

 

I'm interested as I may at some point send off my spare tranny for rebuild before digging into a clutch replacement on my 2nd RT-P.

 

Thanks!

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maybe I missed something but what was the reason you removed a perfectly good tranny and had it dis-assembled?

 

RPG

 

Wouldn't shift into 2nd from 1st.

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Just out of curiousity, how did you settle on this shop?

 

Based on recommendations from others, and upon a discussion with Tom. I want to be certain that all the gears are undercut, and I wanted an expert opinion and a top job done. Remember, this has got to shift like a Honda when it's done .. grin.gif

 

What do you estimate the cost for the rebuild will be and what specifically are they doing?

 

That's a "depends" question. The $230 estimate from the as yet unnamed BMW dealer was clearly bogus, just to get me into their shop. Their "estimate" after breaking the case was nearly $1000 for labor. (I never asked them to justify the change; they knew they weren't repairing it for $3700 - they might as well said $15000. They just wanted to sell me a transmission.) A local BMW specialist estimated something like $450 plus parts. I found used transmissions (available, and recent sales) for anywhere from $500 to $1600. New "remanufactured" transmissions run a bit over $2100 at Chicago BMW ($2650 retail), and I've heard some not-to-nice things about the quality of those transmissions. (A good member on this forum with 2 transmissions under his belt offered to do the job for $300 plus parts or another used transmission.)

 

I was almost to the point of just doing the work myself, but I couldn't guarantee that the bike would shift like a Honda after I was done with it (or that it'd shift at all wink.gif). After speaking with Tom Cutter, I decided that I wanted the job done right and was willing to pay for it.

 

I'll let you know how it turns out.

 

 

I'm interested as I may at some point send off my spare tranny for rebuild before digging into a clutch replacement on my 2nd RT-P.

 

That's really not a bad idea. As Mike (beemerboneyard.com) told us, M97's in good condition are tough to find. As long as you get as much for your current used transmission as you put into the one you're sending to Tom, you'll break even, and probably have a much better transmission installed to boot.

 

To spend the amount of money I'm spending on this old police bike, I've really got to ride it a while. No converted RTP is going to sell for what a civilian bike sells for, regardless of what is done to it (i.e. repairs, upgrades, new paint, etc.). I think I'm going to leave the final drive alone for now, but I'm replacing most of the rest of the bearings (swing arm, final drive carrier, front wheel, and am checking the rest of the front end), plus the clutch, the side footrest plate - probably $1000 in parts not including the transmission (and sadly, no shocks). Anything that moves or wiggles on this thing is getting scrutiny, because if I've got to do this again... I'll die. bncry.gif

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SWB, I thought we already had the "shift like a Honda" discussion. lmao.gif

 

I know that I for one am hoping for the best outcome for you and a lot of miles of smiles when it is returned to service. thumbsup.gif

 

If I can express my opinion, I don't think I would try to outsmart the experts and experiment with "trick/alternative" (my term)solutions to lubricants. As a pilot and ex-racer I understand the psychology of both ends of that spectrum and where it can lead you.

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If I can express my opinion, I don't think I would try to outsmart the experts and experiment with "trick/alternative" (my term)solutions to lubricants.
I agree. Anecdotal or not, I've seen many accounts of 'superior' alternatives to the manufacturer's recommendation being potentially responsible for a failure, yet instances of the manufacturer's recommended lubricant failing and causing a problem are almost unheard of. Unless you truly know exactly what you are doing and why when addressing a problem with a lubricant change I wouldn't stray very far from the mnaufacturer's recommedndations in this area. There just seems to be little or no upside to balance the risk.
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  • 7 months later...
looks to me like you got one bad gear in there that wasn't heat treated properly.Why only that gear and not the meshing one ? Looks to me like a bad gear right from the factory.The dealer should stand behind you on this one and have bmw pay for it rather then trying to sell a transmission.This is how bmw looses its customers.

 

I agree with your suspicions, karl.

 

I know this thread is ancient history by now, but SWB - do you still have the old gearset? If you do, it might be worth your while to have a failure analysis done by an accredited commercial lab. Almost every major city in the country has one or more - I can hook you up with one close to you if you wish. A standard failure analysis would probably cost you less than $150 - and it may yield results that would prove BMW (or their supplier) was at fault in this case. It would give you firm footing to legitimately ask for all your money back in this repair - including the forensics work.

 

A simple microhardness test would show whether or not that specific gear was heat-treated properly (and it sure looks suspect to me). Although you might not have access to BMW's spec on this particular part, gear specs are 'fairly' universal in their case-hardness spec. Generally, mfrs ask for gear teeth that have a minimum hardness in neighborhood of HRC 55-60 for a minimum depth in the neighborhood of .03" to .05". Your failure starts AT the surface of the gear face - and looks like localized areas of tear away, not a general wearing/grinding down that would indicate a lube failure. A single microhardness test would show immediately whether or not that gear facing was 'soft', or up to generally-accepted specs. A basic visual microstructure analysis of that same cross-section (can be done on the same section) would indicate immediately if there was porosity or inclusional artifacts in the casting that may have caused weakness or brittleness in the microstructure.

 

Email me if you want further info on failure analysis and commercial labs that would do the work for you.

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Yep, this is ancient history. The transmission has been rebuilt, damaged gear set was rebuilt with a few used gears, new forks and other stuff was added, the gears were undercut, and it's back together and on the bike. The bike shifts ultra-smooth - like a Honda.

 

I guess I'd rather spend my time riding than fighting BMW. Since I still have OEM hardware in the transmission, I hope there wasn't a hardness problem.

 

The transmission was more worn than appeared in the pictures. The dogs were worn. It was probably just an abused transmission with 50K miles of official use by multiple rides. We'll see how the rebuilt transmission works out.

 

Thanks.

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The transmission was more worn than appeared in the pictures. The dogs were worn. It was probably just an abused transmission with 50K miles of official use by multiple rides. We'll see how the rebuilt transmission works out.
So . . .

 

 

 

. . . are you gonna put some more RedLine ShockProof in there?? grin.gif

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The transmission was more worn than appeared in the pictures. The dogs were worn. It was probably just an abused transmission with 50K miles of official use by multiple rides. We'll see how the rebuilt transmission works out.
So . . .

 

 

 

. . . are you gonna put some more RedLine ShockProof in there?? grin.gif

 

Funny guy. eek.gif

 

You're a regular comedian, Jamie.

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Sorry to interrupt but after looking at the photos

corrosion or oil had nothing to do with it.

The Case Hardening has failed!

A very common occurrence on Opel gearboxes as well

Hmm German as well

 

Its definitely a manufacturers defect which has occurred

and it results from too much power for the gears

since all BMW's dont have this problem (i hope)

it is a design flaw and should be investigated back all the way to Munich. The Fatherland.

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