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Thread: FD Time

  1. #1
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    FD Time

    Well, from the looks of things and the sound of things... it's Final Drive Time!
    Mileage reached 46K. I'm not real impressed but maybe I should be thankful it didn't happen sooner, or on a long trip, or it didn't grenade and leave me on the side of the road in the middle of the desert.
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    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Hang on a minute...
    If those two tiny flakes on your finger are all you found in 46K miles I would not be jumping to conclusions just yet. Does the bearing feel rough? Sometimes it's easier to feel for this with the wheel off.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  3. #3
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    If you are expecting the FD fluid to be exactly clean and totally free of any silver/grey color, then I suggest you first talk to some experienced mechanics before tearing into it.

    If it does not exhibit any free play or roughness, then its probably fine.

  4. #4
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    A little "mud" or some hairs are OK. Distinct flakes or chips come from a bearing race and it will be downhill from there, fairly quickly.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    Registered User Olsensan's Avatar
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    There are plenty of threads here with pictorials demonstrating the procedure, go for it if indications direct you to that direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    If you are expecting the FD fluid to be exactly clean and totally free of any silver/grey color, then I suggest you first talk to some experienced mechanics before tearing into it.

    If it does not exhibit any free play or roughness, then its probably fine.

    It is a known reality that some final drives have a shorter life than others. Because of this I thought it might be better to change the fluid at 6K intervals. Cheap peace of mind you might say; others might say it's a waste of oil.

    Anyway, at 42.5k I changed it prior to a 3K trip and I noticed a 'slight' silver particulate. I didn't think much of it other than a little dirty. Also noticed a slight amount of play in the rear wheel at the 12/6 position. During the 3K ride (two up) both of us noticed a droning coming from the rear as we leaned either left or right from center. It wasn't tires, at least I don't think it's the tires. I didn't like hearing the noise because it was indicative of impending bearing failure. Nothing happened on the trip.

    Upon return I looked at the rear wheel play(more play), as well as a reputable dealer and an independent. Everyone said bearing replacement time. Although there isn't tangible flake or slivers of metal in the oil there seems to be enough to indicate replace it before the FD starts spewing all over the rear wheel. I feel the combination of checking the oil via this minder device and noting the sound and play helped determine it was time to rebuild the FD. We'll see...
    Last edited by LGB; 08-07-2012 at 09:06 PM. Reason: change word

  7. #7
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    It's your money, your call. Are you sure it's not just loose or worn bearings at the pivot pins? The droning sound when leaned left or right sure sounds like worn tires to me. The smudge on your finger looks like normal wear to me. I have the FD Minder on my RT and check it at just about each gas-up and that's what I get on it. From far away, over the web, it looks like you're jumping the gun.

    At 90k miles, my FD big bearing started to flake apart. This is just a little bit of what I had on the FD Minder 300 miles after I changed the FD Oil. I changed out the big bearing right after that.
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    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  8. #8
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    On the older Oilheads, the droning can certainly be caused by failed swingarm bearings. I had replaced mine with bushings (the bearing races had come apart) but last year I noticed the rythmic droning when leaned left or right. Checked the preload on the bushings and realized I needed to reset it. Droning now gone.

    On my 94 RS I have 169k on the original final drive and at most I get some silver/grey paste on the drain plug when I change the fluid (last done at 166K), but no flakes/chips etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m_stock10506 View Post
    It's your money, your call. Are you sure it's not just loose or worn bearings at the pivot pins? The droning sound when leaned left or right sure sounds like worn tires to me. The smudge on your finger looks like normal wear to me. I have the FD Minder on my RT and check it at just about each gas-up and that's what I get on it. From far away, over the web, it looks like you're jumping the gun.

    At 90k miles, my FD big bearing started to flake apart. This is just a little bit of what I had on the FD Minder 300 miles after I changed the FD Oil. I changed out the big bearing right after that.

    I haven't torn the FD apart and really haven't decided to do it, or not, at this point. I felt all along that a little residual in the oil is normal.
    The amount of particles that I see in your photo is more in line with.. time to rebuild/ replace. I'll check out the noise thing further and get another opinion or two.
    I might just keep an eye on it and l do a rebuild when it's really saying, rebuild me.

  10. #10
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    +1 what the other guys have said. I'm at 89K, original FD, and see a bit of that smudge every time and that's with changing my fluid every 6k or so as well.
    '64 R50/2 - "Gone But Not Forgotten"
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  11. #11
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    The bearing is right behind the seal. The seal costs about $30 and is simple to R&R. It might be worthwhile to pull the seal off and see what the bearing looks like. The bad ones I've seen are plainly obvious.

  12. #12
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    If you've just got a weeping seal, it's simple to R&R. Unless the bearing is actually broken into pieces I don't believe you can actually determine condition by pulling the seal. The drain plug will be much more indicative than what is visible behind the seal.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    A little "mud" or some hairs are OK. Distinct flakes or chips come from a bearing race and it will be downhill from there, fairly quickly.
    What about lash. My drive seems to have a lot of lash. Is that a problem? Previous owner took it into Deming Cycle years ago and had them adjust it. At 50K still runs great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron from BC View Post
    +1 what the other guys have said. I'm at 89K, original FD, and see a bit of that smudge every time and that's with changing my fluid every 6k or so as well.

    Greetings Ron,

    Well, I'm wondering what, if any, wheel play do you have at the 12/6 position? Is it tight? Does it have 3/32" play? Does it have 1/16" play? Or...any ?? Please describe. Mine has some. And some "service advisor experts" suggest that it's boarder line, some say too much and I should rebuild.

    I realize there should be some residual in the oil, it's just about how much, coupled with other markers.

    I'm going to say that my PR2 tires with some 7800 miles on them are the reason I hear the droning noise when leaning. I won't change them until I need to.

    But, there's still wheel play. I'm inclined to do a watch and see. I know it doesn't seem normal, but I'll watch to see if oil is seep'n and to feel if there is more wheel play and to see if there is more residual on the minder.

    Time will tell and I'll be reporting back in on the demise of my final drive...
    Any suggestion's, and other observations mentioned, are appreciated.

    Thanks to all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LGB View Post
    Greetings Ron,

    Well, I'm wondering what, if any, wheel play do you have at the 12/6 position? Is it tight? Does it have 3/32" play? Does it have 1/16" play? Or...any ?? Please describe. Mine has some. And some "service advisor experts" suggest that it's boarder line, some say too much and I should rebuild.

    I realize there should be some residual in the oil, it's just about how much, coupled with other markers.

    I'm going to say that my PR2 tires with some 7800 miles on them are the reason I hear the droning noise when leaning. I won't change them until I need to.

    But, there's still wheel play. I'm inclined to do a watch and see. I know it doesn't seem normal, but I'll watch to see if oil is seep'n and to feel if there is more wheel play and to see if there is more residual on the minder.

    Time will tell and I'll be reporting back in on the demise of my final drive...
    Any suggestion's, and other observations mentioned, are appreciated.

    Thanks to all!

    Quote Originally Posted by m_stock10506 View Post
    If you've just got a weeping seal, it's simple to R&R. Unless the bearing is actually broken into pieces I don't believe you can actually determine condition by pulling the seal. The drain plug will be much more indicative than what is visible behind the seal.
    Thanks for the insight Michael. But, I don't have a weeping seal. Some play, some noise (probably tyres) and some goop in the oil. We'll see what happens.

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