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Possible clutch failure

Niall G

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Gents, (and ladies)


My bike is a ’98 1100RT with 36,000 miles.


A few days ago my clutch began to slip. crazy.gif I was accelerating hard in 3rd gear when at about 5k rpm the revs continued to rise rapidly with no increase in road speed. I guess this lasted at most 1 or 2 seconds before I backed off the throttle.


When I got home I checked the clutch cable free play at the handlebar (5mm) and readjusted to 7mm using the handlebar adjuster. I went for a test ride and all seemed fine however later in the week when riding with my wife on the bike the clutch started slipping again. crazy.gifcrazy.gif


I’m hoping that resetting the handlebar adjuster to 12mm gap and 7mm freeplay by using the adjuster on the other end of the cable will fix the problem otherwise I guess I’m due a new clutch.


I asked a local dealer how much this would be worst case and he quoted £900 !!!! (That’s approx $1600). He based this on a recent job where they had to replace a seal that had let oil contaminate the clutch. I suspect I may be in the same situation as I don’t abuse the clutch so contamination is what I’m expecting.


I am lucky as I have a friend who works my Mercedes Benz and is a top vehicle tech who is keen to help me replace the clutch if necessary. My only concern is replacing the seals on the engine/gearbox if necessary. Can these seals be replaced without dismantling the engine or gearbox if that is what is needed?

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Niall , Im sure Sean will be here soon to post on your seal questions , but with as many here that have done spline lubes and clutch replacements , you have the resource to walk you thru any dilemma you can get into . Dont submit to your dealer , well except for parts of course . You can get a preview on possible seal leakage removing the left footpeg side plate and removing the starter , and peeking in ........

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Check out the IBMWR website and look at the tech section for clutch adjustment written by Paul Glaves. Try that adjustment and if that doesn't work, try whatever you think might work in terms of adjustment. What have you got to loose?! I will do anything to not have to replace my clutch, either myself or have a dealer do the work. If you can get it adjusted so it works why tear your bike down?

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Hi Niall,


Yes, if you should need to, the engine and tranny shaft seals can be replaced without dismantling the engine or tranny cases. I'd imagine your friend who's the Mercedes tech is already quite familiar with this trick, but here it goes. CAREFULLY, drill two very small holes in the seal, 180-degrees apart, screw in two very small screws into either hole you just drilled, not all the way, just partially, so the heads are still sticking out. Grab both screw heads with a pair of pliers or vise grips and give a good yank. The seals will pop right out. You'll need to devise a drift that has a hole in the center, so it can fit over the shaft like a sleeve, in order to drive the new seals in. It's a piece of cake, just be very careful, as you don't want to score either the shaft or the seal seating surface on the tranny or engine case.


BTW, the transmission input shaft seal is made by BAF. It's a BAFUD1-SLDRR seal. The dimensions are 22mm x 35mm x 6mm and it's a clockwise rotating seal, looking at it from the outside. I don't have an engine shaft seal in front of me, so I can't give you those specs, but if you need me to, I'll go rummage through my spare parts if you need me to look it up.


You should be able to find BAF seals at your local bearing shop. As an alternative, I'm sure a TCM brand seal will work just fine too. These same seals are commonly used in machining and manufacturing equipment, so they're readily available, and they're standardized, so don't let your dealer fool you into thinking these are some sort of "uber" seals that you can only get from BMW. Like most of the parts on these bikes, BMW has simply sourced the parts from other manufacturers. You can also obtain these items from these other manufacturers, usually for a whole heck of a lot less money than from the BMW dealer. I've been getting these seals from my bearing source and they're identical to the BMW seals, and they cost about 1/3 the price too.

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