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Thread: BMW final drives

  1. #1
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    BMW final drives

    Looked at a final drive failure on another web site, it appears that the 1200 GS has ball type bearings in the final drive, truthfully did not think anyone used them any more as roller bearings perform so much better. Has anyone converted their final drive to roller bearings.
    Just a question thanks
    2011 1200gs

  2. #2
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Also sealed!

    I just found out on my GSA1200'07. Never new the newer FD bearings were sealed and NOT run in oil. Mine just got replaced a month ago and I hand held the bearing in amazement, sealed! Randy

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    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    I think they have to use the ball due to the lateral load. The needle can't take lateral load. Anton has a big write up about it. Something like lateral load.
    dc

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    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    The original paralever drives had one deep groove ball bearing and one tapered roller bearing on the crownwheel. The new "big hole" paralever drives have one deep groove ball bearing and one cylindrical roller (needle) bearing on the crownwheel.

    If I had my druthers I would want a drive with two opposed tapered roller bearings or two angular ball bearings.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    The original paralever drives also used preload on the tapered bearing, which has been hypothesised to be the cause of failure of the large ball bearing.

    The hexhead (big-hole) drives allow the drive to self-center with the ball bearing at one side and a needle on the other. IMHO - better design. Bearing preload is so easy to get wrong (as BMW proved..)

    BTW - ALL hexheads use this design, not just the GS..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
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  6. #6
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    I don't know?

    BMW did preloaded bearings for 60+years, BUT of course the single sided swingarm changed all that with loading the rear wheel so differently. They sure have had their engineering difficulties regarding all this. Engineering may(?) be of sound quality and perhaps the bearing mfg'ers are the culprits? I don't really unbderstand a "sealed" ball bearing in my FD, with all that oil bath at hand? 180cc. Maybe not enough oil to keep bearing and gears all happy?

  7. #7
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    BMW did preloaded bearings for 60+years, BUT of course the single sided swingarm changed all that with loading the rear wheel so differently. They sure have had their engineering difficulties regarding all this. Engineering may(?) be of sound quality and perhaps the bearing mfg'ers are the culprits? I don't really unbderstand a "sealed" ball bearing in my FD, with all that oil bath at hand? 180cc. Maybe not enough oil to keep bearing and gears all happy?
    Which would you rather have lubricate your bearings: clean grease of the appropriate type and amount; or dirty oil that may contain tiny abrasive metal bits sloughed off the gears through normal wear?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    BMW did preloaded bearings for 60+years, BUT of course the single sided swingarm changed all that with loading the rear wheel so differently. They sure have had their engineering difficulties regarding all this. Engineering may(?) be of sound quality and perhaps the bearing mfg'ers are the culprits? I don't really unbderstand a "sealed" ball bearing in my FD, with all that oil bath at hand? 180cc. Maybe not enough oil to keep bearing and gears all happy?
    Are the newer final drives that are vented still using 180cc?
    Anthony S.
    2012 R1200GS

  9. #9
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Point taken:)

    A sealed bearing may well be a better idea! Who knows? After all, BMW FDs(bearings) have run in oil for a really long time. And, that said, they have been failing now, a lot of years too. I had never seen one, however, until recently when they showed me at the shop a sealed FD Ball bearing from mine. 180cc is likely the same, but you'd better check? I know mine does not get overly hot, as I can still touch it bare handed, no burns. Can't hold my hand on it long, because its still very very warm. FD Veteran here; 2 FD failed KLT1200, and now 1 FD GSA1200, maybe questionable! Dealer took NO chances, just did the job with very minor movement in rear wheel. Caught it early. Randy

  10. #10
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloride View Post
    Are the newer final drives that are vented still using 180cc?
    Yes BMW lowered the fill on all the new drives -- the new K16 FD is also 180cc.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
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  11. #11
    Registered User de Razendebol's Avatar
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    Are the newer final drives that are vented still using 180cc?

    Other victim,

    Noticed rear slipping away in a long curve while riding through Colorado on my way to the rally in st Paul , odometer 55183 Km is about 30000 miles, the movement on the bearing caused my rear to move in the curve.
    repair is nearly as much as a new one and than, not having a vent.

    The unit is new without oil, a label says fill 200 ML of oil, did replace the unit my self, on a GS I suggest to everyone to install an extension for the vent on HEX and LC bikes, (Touratech), the extension, for the GS if you want to make a wet crossing.



    I do not see a problem filling more oil, when an extension is placed, a bit more oil keeps the FD cooler, the vent takes care of the pressure.

    And for those who like to know, I did change oil every 2nd season on my GS 1200.
    Every turn an opportunity

  12. #12
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by de Razendebol View Post
    And for those who like to know, I did change oil every 2nd season on my GS 1200.
    If the failure was in the large bearing on the crown-gear, your oil changes did nothing to lessen the chance of failure since that bearing is external (as discussed above) to the drive and is NOT lubricated or even in contact with the gear oil in the drive.

    There isn't much to blame that sort of failure on aside from a defective bearing, and/or an inadequate design, although water crossings may cool a hot bearing enough to draw a vacuum on the seals, sucking water into the bearing where it then can't escape. That can result in destroying the bearing.

    What part failed? I'd assume the large bearing since you mention wheel movement..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  13. #13
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    I have had my final drive checked on my 1200S three times. All three checks were good.
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  14. #14
    roamingbeemer roamingbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    If the failure was in the large bearing on the crown-gear, your oil changes did nothing to lessen the chance of failure since that bearing is external (as discussed above) to the drive and is NOT lubricated or even in contact with the gear oil in the drive.

    There isn't much to blame that sort of failure on aside from a defective bearing, and/or an inadequate design, although water crossings may cool a hot bearing enough to draw a vacuum on the seals, sucking water into the bearing where it then can't escape. That can result in destroying the bearing.
    The water crossings BMW advertise for the GS line of bikes should include a note for Shaft bikes to check the FD unit for water getting past the gaitor or getting into the oil thru the vent/seals IMO...
    Seek Fun. "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain--and most fools do" BF
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  15. #15
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ-J View Post
    I have had my final drive checked on my 1200S three times. All three checks were good.
    What did did the check entail? It could range from a check for lateral or other abnormal movement, to disassembly of the FD to some degree. Just wondering.
    Kevin Huddy
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