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Final drive -- 1100RT

Mark K

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At 62,000 miles, I'm thinking it might be time for some R&R on the final drive unit. Last year -- for the first time -- I noticed some play back there. I was able to determine it was from the final drive pivots, and decided to let it go, just being sure to check a little more often perhaps.


Well, tonight I have the rear wheel off to change out the tire, so I give everything a "shake-down." Final drive pivots still exhibit some play, not noticably different than last year -- if I look really close, I can see it, but I mostly feel it. Now I also found play which I would assume to be from the big bearing. I can see and feel noticable play when I grab the rotor and wrench it in various directions. I know it's originating from that area because the caliper is moving back and forth when I grasp the rotor at 12 & 6 o'clock.


I've been changing the FD oil every engine oil change for the last couple of times and haven't noticed any of the obvious bad signs, so I'm looking for some more experienced opinions...Do these things go rather quickly or might I see it coming since I'm changing oil once a year? Is the big bearing even on its way out at all?

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I found the best way to check play w/ FD vs FD pivot bearings....

Stick your fingers between the rear rotor and the final drive, then rock the rear tire at 12 and 6 o'clock, if you feel your fingers getting pinched...there you go, FD bearing.

If you grab the rear tire at 3 and 9 o'clock and there is play, it's the FD Pivot bearings, and you may only need to retorque them.

If it aint broke,...don't worry about it.

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Take up the play by Re-adjusting the paralever bearings - simple job, 5 minutes max. You don't even have to remove the rear wheel.

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It sounds pretty straightforward to retorque the paralever-to-FD bearings. I'll do that. This small amount of play in the FD (crown?) bearing still has me a little concerned, however. Is it unheard of to take preemptive action against this? I have nothing but the grey "fuzz" on the drain plug and the ex-BMW dealer here in town says failure rates on the final drive are really really low.


Is it possible/recommended to inspect this bearing somehow without too much trouble, like having to replace a seal (or something else I don't have on hand)?




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