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Final Drive Failure List


KingBiscuit

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More than one failure on same bike?...Owners with failures on different bikes?...Be an interesting list sorted by last name....Realize that some postings are duplicates of the same failure....

Lesson:........Change final drive fluid often and check for junk....

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More than one failure on same bike?...Owners with failures on different bikes?...Be an interesting list sorted by last name....

Copy all and paste into Excel, then sort any way you want.

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I was feeling bored/curious, so I created a spreadsheet, cleaned up the data (including an assumption that 2-digit mileage figures were shorthand for thousands), deleted obvious duplicate entries, then sorted by model and last name.

 

Since I don't know what sales figures were, I don't know if the results are proportional, but it looks like the K1200 series has a relatively high failure rate, followed by the R1200 series.

 

There are a few clusters of multiple failures on the same bike, but just as many clusters of multiple failures on different bikes by the same owner. One poor guy had three FD failures on 2 different K1200LTs -- at 26000, 5800, and 11900 miles.

 

http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~libssd/bmw_fd_failures.xls

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There are a few clusters of multiple failures on the same bike, but just as many clusters of multiple failures on different bikes by the same owner. One poor guy had three FD failures on 2 different K1200LTs -- at 26000, 5800, and 11900 miles.

 

 

Makes one wonder why some people preach changing the FD oil at every oil change. Some have posted changing it every 3k. A few even more often. When something fails more than once...it isn't the problem and throwing oil at it will solve nada!

 

On the other hand, if it makes you feel good. :rofl:

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My FD failure at 9000 was not anything to do with oil. Rear hub became too loose at the axle (splined press fit). However, fix was new FD, which included new axle and hub.

 

Early fueling map for the K12GT created lots of engine braking, so the FD was catching it from both accel and decel. Much smoother now on new mapping.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
Makes one wonder why some people preach changing the FD oil at every oil change. Some have posted changing it every 3k. A few even more often. When something fails more than once...it isn't the problem and throwing oil at it will solve nada!

 

I went to a 6K oil change interval on my gearbox a couple of years ago, not to prevent failure, but because I wanted more opportunities to catch a failure-in-progress: my hope was that the more frequent inspections of the oil and the magnetic drain plug might allow me to address a problem before it disabled my bike on the side of the road.

 

As it happened, my gearbox input shaft failure was a very slow, gradual thing that was taking place over the entire life of the bike, and although a professional oil analysis might have caught it, it never showed up visually in the oil until other symptoms (like input shaft axial play) were obvious anyway. So whaddya know.

 

Likewise, when my final drive crapped out in '04, there were no obvious symptoms until the final 400 miles.

 

IOW, the utility of more frequent oil changes for detecting impending final drive or gearbox failures appears to be roughly nil. :grin:

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Keep in mind that there are several lists going. Probably the most well established is that at BMWLT . There have also been attempts to keep a list here on BMWST.

 

Also many people do not choose to list their failures.

 

I would view these lists with a great deal of skepticism as they are clearly incomplete. For instance I don't see Richard Turk or W. Boyter, each with two FD failures on the same bike reported on this board.

 

I don't think you can consider only 8 RT's to be of any significance whatsoever.

 

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I changed my F/D oil on our '04 R1150RT every 6k. Changed it 3K before the failed crown bearing at 48k. No warning from the oil. Pulling the F/D side cover can give you a look at the crown bearing cage, a common source of the ultimate grenade.

 

FWIW, I think having a properly shimmed drive whether OEM or rebuilt is the key to long life.

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Care for some direct experience rather than internet guesswork?

 

08-08-2001.....1999 LT.....26,500 miles.....main bearing failure........rebuilt

05-30-2002.....2002 LT.......8,200 miles.....FD seal failure...............rebuilt

02-29-2004.....2002 LT.....11,950 miles.....main bearing failure.....replaced

08-15-2008.....2007 GT.....63,000 miles.....main bearing failure.....replaced

11-25-2008.....2007 GT.....73,400 miles.....main bearing failure.....replaced

 

Yes, those were all my bikes, and I have the tow truck receipts to prove it. That makes 3 brand-new BMWs, and a total of 5 failures.

 

Note that the last failure occurred on my GT 3 months and 10K miles after the latest-greatest-2008 FD was installed (due to the failure of the 2007 drive that was installed at the factory). So much for their quality engineering improvement programs.

 

The truth is that BMW is working on this problem, the overall failure rate does seem to be diminishing (based on hundreds or thousands of bikes), but they really don't have it nailed yet.

 

Now I won't go so far as to say that you shouldn't buy that shiny new Beemer. Everyone has to make up their own mind about that. But based on my experiences, I won't be sending any more money to Germany.

 

Which really sucks because I love the bikes, but I just don't trust them anymore.

__________________

Ken

SoCal

'07 Dark Graphite GT

'02 Mauve LTC

BMWLT#156, IBA# 16150, MOA# 111996

 

 

 

 

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My FD failure at 9000 was not anything to do with oil. Rear hub became too loose at the axle (splined press fit). However, fix was new FD, which included new axle and hub.

 

I had the same failure in summer 2007 on my '06 R12RT at about 23,500 miles. The details are included in the list at the link.

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Like this?

BMW_F800_Belt_Final_Drive.jpg

BMW F800 Belt Drive

 

That sure looks sweet to me. Put 14,000 miles on a Victory belt drive and never even had to tighten it. Its still running the same belt a year later with the new owner. If ya grow up eating burnt toast, well you know the rest.

 

David

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