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HELP... Dealer is Stumped


99Roadster

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The ESA on my '07 RT came down with acute 'unadjustable pre-load syndrome' (UPS) for the second time. They replaced the shock but could not calibrate it requiring a ZFE replacement.

 

New firmware was ordered matching the bike specs. Now they're having an issue programming the new ZFE because it doesn't recognize the ESA. They've tried multiple times even contacted the regional rep without success.

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

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99Roadster The ESA on my '07 RT came down with acute 'unadjustable pre-load syndrome' (UPS) for the second time. They replaced the shock but could not calibrate it requiring a ZFE replacement.

 

New firmware was ordered matching the bike specs. Now they're having an issue programming the new ZFE because it doesn't recognize the ESA. They've tried multiple times even contacted the regional rep without success.

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

99Roadster, with all they have replaced & tried it is difficult to tell what you might have..

 

About all I can say is: if they can’t get the ZFE to recognize the shock & you have had 2 failures of the shock preload to operate I would start by verifying that ALL the wire connections, wires, & connector terminals are making good clean contact & no opens present.. Might be as simple as a connector or terminal open between the shock & ZFE..

 

Twisty

 

 

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Thanks for the reply. I can only hope those items have been reviewed but obviously, there's no way to verify.

 

They did mention that the new shock will operate if prompted directly. They just can not get the new firmware loaded. It keeps prompting about not recognizing the ESA and recommends a ZFE replacement.

 

Hoping for a miracle cure at this point.

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Ok, so they're having an issue. That can't be the end of it. They need to push regional harder or go up the chain.

 

By chance did you finance and if so through BMW? Might contact them and tell them they owe you for payments on the bike since its out of service with no ETA in sight. A friend actually did that (and got it!) on the car side when his 330 was out for 3 months... but then again, that was cars.

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Sounds an awful lot like what we've been going through with the heated grips on Sharon's (Bullett's) bike.

 

Sorry, no can help though.

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Thanks for the reply. I can only hope those items have been reviewed but obviously, there's no way to verify.

 

They did mention that the new shock will operate if prompted directly. They just can not get the new firmware loaded. It keeps prompting about not recognizing the ESA and recommends a ZFE replacement.

 

Hoping for a miracle cure at this point.

 

 

99Roadster, well if they can control the rear height using the Motorrad diagnostic system it sounds like at least most of the connectors are working properly anyhow..

 

Could be about anything.. Kind of sounds like they aren’t real fluent in ESA diagnostics..

 

For all we know they flashed the ZFE with the no ESA data..

 

I guess as mentioned above you will have to go to a higher authority to get someone at BMW engineering involved or at least authorize a complete new ZFE/Shock system installation.. I have the BMW R12000RT service manual & it really doesn’t have much to offer on ESA/ZFE interface diagnostics..

 

 

 

 

 

Twisty

 

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Similar issues are happening to my '06 RT. New shocks ordered/installed but the old ZFE wouldn't recognize the new shocks. So a new ZFE is coming from the Fatherland and I'm anxiously waiting....it's been 3 weeks and I'm going thru DT's.

 

Hope it works out for you.

 

Mike

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The original version of rear ESA shock used a resistive element (pot.) to tell the ZFE the position of the rear preload adjuster. There seem to be a few of these that fail. I've worked on a few myself.

 

The new ESA shock and the only type available for replacement uses a hall effect sensor to tell the ZFE where in the travel the shock preload adjuster is. When you replace the old style shock with a new one using the hall sensor, you have to reprogram the ZFE first prior to running the calibration routine in CIP. This procedure has worked for me a few times now, so not sure why the dealer is having trouble. You would think the regional tech rep would know....?

 

There is documentation in one of the CIP release notes describing the procedure for the switch to a hall effect ESA shock from the older style.

 

Hope this helps out.

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Thanks guys. Wish I had more info - just relaying info from the SM as he attempts to describe the problem.

 

Bruce, is the procedure to program the ZFE and then calibrate the shock? Seems reasonable, problem is the ZFE doesn't recognize there is ESA available.

 

Apparently, from what I've been told anyway, the firmware CD for the ZFE is custom made per VIN. I'm guessing, because that's all I can do at this point is either the new ZFE or the firmware is the problem.

 

It's been 4 weeks and the update only just arrived. The DT's are really bad. :(

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Central chassis electronics ZFE

The R 1200 R (K27) model with optional ESA has been given a new type of basic spring

setting. The basic spring setting position is no longer evaluated via a potentiometer, as before,

but via Hall sensor.

As development progresses, other motorcycles will be fitted with this suspension strut.

 

WARNING:

In order to avoid incorrect diagnostic results, you are requested to confirm which type of rear

suspension strut is fitted if the unit develops a fault:

 

• ESA suspension strut with potentiometer sensor: the plug connector (X9737) for the

spring pretension sensor has either 3 wires (on models without pressure stage)

leading to the suspension strut sensor or 7 wires (on models with pressure stage)

which then lead to the suspension strut sensor and to the pressure stage motor.

 

• ESA suspension strut with Hall sensor: the plug connector (X9737) for the spring

pretension sensor has only 2 wires instead of 3 (on models without pressure stage)

leading to the suspension strut sensor or only 6 wires instead of 7 (on models with

pressure stage) which then lead to the suspension strut sensor and to the pressure

stage motor.

 

The suspension strut variant encoded into the central vehicle electronics control unit is

displayed at the top of the screen on the right during this stage of the diagnostics.

 

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Steve & Bruce,

 

THANK YOU for stepping in here with what is obviously a OEM service tech's perspective and info. Your contribution to this board is terrific and is the sort of thing that keeps a lot of us BMW loyal.

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the 4-letter word "loaner" would not be the only 4-letter word I would be using... it would occur in close proximity to the other 4-letter word "Lawyer" and "Lemon"...

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This problem is exactly what happened to me and new shock / brain (ZFE?) replacement sorted it.

 

The techie spent ages trying to download my settings on the first failure and barely got the bike back on the road after days of sweat. ESA failed again along with a number of other bits then they fixed it. Not too good riding solo through the twisties with the ESA jammed in 2 up mode

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I had to return to my dealer (Bob's BMW) twice so that they wouldn't order the wrong shock when the pre-load adjustment stopped working on my '06. Mine was the first one they had with this problem, but they got it right and after the new shock and software re-flash (about 3 hours total), I've had no further problems.

Tom

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Well, I only hope I have the same luck.

 

Apparently, it's ready. After assistance from the BMW rep and 9 attempts they were finally able to get it going. We'll see how it works. I was experiencing poor idling as well which I'm hoping the new ZFE will cure.

 

I want to thank everyone, especially the techs for the input. It's been a trying experience I won't detail here.

 

If I had known better at the time I would probably not have chosen the ESA but it's a convenient option when it works. Hopefully, this is the last of it.

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The ZFE will not cure your idle issue.

Apart from sharing the can h and can l, term 30, term 15 and ground

the zfe has nothing to do with engine control.

Steve

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the 4-letter word "loaner" would not be the only 4-letter word I would be using... it would occur in close proximity to the other 4-letter word "Lawyer" and "Lemon"...

 

As for lemon law, most states are three strikes. Some have a time limit in which the fix has to be performed. I can tell you that Virginia is three strikes no time limit, as long as the problem first occurs under warranty, for non safety systems. For safety systems they get a single chance. When you invoke lemon law they have to buy the vehicle back at the price you paid plus any intrest that you may have incured, and the vehicle get a "LEMON" title. The do get to subtract a small pittance for each mile you travled with the vehicle.

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On my '05 after a lot of fooling around and testing different options, my dealer (Ozzie's BMW Center) had to replace both the rear shock and the control unit on my bike, then the BMW Computer wouldn't recognize the new shock. They had to re-initialize the whole system, from the start, before it finally recognized the switch. Everything has been just fine since. I believe this whole process is documented in a Service Bulletin.

 

Ken

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Well, after about a hundered mile ride today not only does the ESA work but new shock feels better than the original. Also, the engine management is tremendously improved which, I can only assume is because of the updates that were installed. It was never updated from factory from 3/07.

 

Throttle control and transitions are much smoother. Decel would be jerky and sensitive. This has been the most dramatic change. It still does a bit of popping but very different and better throttle management. Much less sensitive and more linear as you would expect.

 

Idle is better, not perfect but very much improved. It feels stronger and less hunting. Previously, when coming to a stop it was so bad it affected balance. Also, the whole dash would shake. No longer an issue. I previously observed that when the idle was very poor it was fully warmed and improved slightly if the engine was restarted.

 

The new shock is also better over uneven road conditions and feels a bit more planted. I can only imagine what aftermarket shocks are like and how poor these really are in comparison. Also, the front-end seems to have a bit more feedback.

 

Overall a big improvement. It's great to have it back and better than before.

 

Now, if I can only do something about that seat...

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