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Rear wheel flange install issue


CVA-42

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the rear wheel flange recall work done by my dealer on my '08 1200GS. In and out in less than ninety minutes. On the way home, I thought I felt a vibration coming from the rear end at highway speeds. By the time I got home, I was certain of it. This vibration was not present on the way to the dealer or at any time before the flange replacement was done. The next day, I called the dealer Service Manager and told him about it. Hmmm, he said, could be a bent wheel or bad tire. That's what one might think, I said, but it was not present when I dropped the bike off. He suggested I bring the bike back for them to inspect and that appointment is now set for June 9. Meanwhile, on the off-chance that the rear wheel was not properly re-installed at the dealership, I loosened the mounting bolts enough to jiggle the wheel a little bit and then retightened the bolts in the recommended criss-cross pattern to torques of 15, 30, and 44 foot pounds. Took the bike out for a test ride. Vibration is still there. So, with the bike on the centerstand, I taped a felt-tipped Sharpie marker to the muffler so it was just touching the sidewall of the rear tire and then slowly rotated the tire. Sure enough, the rear wheel wobbles about 2 millimeters and I believe this is causing the vibration at speed. I don't believe the wheel or the tire is at fault since, again, there was no vibration before the flange was replaced. Could the flange itself be faulty? What else could have gone wrong during the recall work? I should emphasize that my relationship with the Service Manager is, and always has been, excellent and he has not been defensive in any way. Or, at least, not yet. Any opinions on the problem or advice for me before I take the bike back in? Thanks...

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Evening CVA-42

 

Can you see (or measure) the brake rotor wobbling in the same place as the wheel does?

 

Without seeing the work being done or measuring the before & after flange run out it is pretty well all guessing on our part.

 

My SWAG is that either the tec didn't heat the flange enough, or your final drive axle & the new flange at max press fit so they just forced the flange on.

 

Or the tec got lazy & didn't remove the new flange then remove the swarf when the flange got tight pressing it on.

 

The new BMW flange install tool can exert a LOT of force on that flange so the swarf needs to be removed if the flange starts gets tight when installing. (ask them if they removed the swarf, it's in the BMW install bulletin)

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D.R. - - Great suggestion to check the brake disc as well. There is definitely some run-out on the disc. Somewhat more difficult to see and not as pronounced as on the wheel (that makes sense since it's so much smaller). Can't exactly tell if it's on the same spot as the wheel but it looks to be close. So, since both the wheel and the brake disc seem to have similar run-out, I'm feeling even more like the flange was not installed properly.

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Well, I visited the dealer yesterday to have the flange and the rear end checked out. They started out by checking the run-out on the rear wheel and brake disc. They did confirm some of each but said both were within BMW specs. Then they unseated the tire, moved it on the wheel, and re-balanced it. At this point, I was asking the Service Manager what they had found when the tech came in and said the flange had a problem and he needed a new one. So the second new flange was installed along with all new parts that they had installed the first time (lock ring, o-ring, spacer ring, bolts, cover). The Service Manager said that the flange they put in the first time was faulty. I took him at his word and didn't press him on the installation procedure. To sum it up, the vibration is better but some is still there. Not sure what, if anything, to do next. In fact, now I'm not really sure it was completely absent when the original flange was on the bike before all this work was done although I am sure that whatever vibration was there when I left the shop after the first flange replacement was worse than when I brought it in. But they did replace the first replacement flange (for good reason, presumably), any run-out is within BMW spec, the tire and wheel have been re-balanced, so I guess I'll just run the bike and quit worrying about it.

 

D.R. - - What would you say at this point?

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Morning CVA-42

 

That is tough call from this far away.

 

What I can say is we have seen quite a few similar occurrences in the auto industry.

 

Once a customer becomes sensitized to a vibration or vehicle noise it is difficult to please them after that as they seem to be able to tune it into every time they use the vehicle.

 

About all I can say is do another wheel (visible runout look/see) & if it looks reasonable just ride the bike & try not to think about it. If it still bothers you in a month & some more miles traveled then you might have to address it.

 

One thing I personally do on my own bikes, cars, & trucks is once I am happy with wheel disturbance (lack of vibration) is to mark the wheel to the hub so the wheel ALWAYS bolts back on the with the same clocking.

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D.R. - - I hear you on the "sensitization" issue. I'm definitely tuned into it although I'm trying not to be. Great suggestion for wheel/hub clocking. Chances are it was disturbed at the first dealership visit. I'll try dismounting the wheel and rotating it 90 degrees. Maybe that will get me back closer to the sweet spot if there ever was one. Thanks for the help....

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Evening CVA-42

 

You might also look at the muffler mounting to make sure it is hanging free & not binding on the rear mount. A tight muffler or tweaked exhaust can give you some 2nd order vibration that could be confused with tire vibration.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am going for this flange recall job (and fuel pump check) in 2 weeks, and now I am almost afraid that my so far trouble free rear flange might get screwed somehow. I have been doing all the maintenance including tire changes on my 2009 RT by myself and this is the first time the bike is going back to dealer...

I have actually checked both the rear flange and the fuel pump recently and did not find any cracks/issues.

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Thanks all for the head's up on this recall repair. Mine is scheduled to be replaced a week from tomorrow on my ST. No cracks on original flange to date. I'll be sure to check for any rear wheel run-out prior to the repair.

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