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Thread: 1998 R1100RT pre-emptive clutch change?

  1. #1
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    1998 R1100RT pre-emptive clutch change?

    Happy Father's Day to all.

    70,650 miles
    I can provoke clutch slip with a dragstrip style launch. (impressing no one)
    I have not felt it slip in top gear yet.
    The engagement point is very narrow now.
    I do have the cable adjusted with plenty of free play.
    There is no squealing, rattling, or other strange noises.

    I have a couple of weeks off coming up and I'm thinking about changing out the clutch friction plate.
    I've never done it but I have read through the steps.
    I'll have to borrow some tools (for the swing-arm) but I think I can handle it.
    I need to work up an approximate budget.

    Question 1: Am I silly to do a preemptive strike on this?
    I'm a bit pokey with the tools and I just figure I need to get it done when I have plenty of time.

    There is never any oil usage, never a drip escapes it. I could park it in the living room.
    There is some final drive seapage where it collects grime; doesn't seem to ever make it to the ground.
    The neutral and gear position switches don't work anymore.

    Question 2: Obviously the friction plate is worn. And the stupid switches are annoying so I'll replace them (it?).
    And, I had already lubricated the clutch cable when I read Paul Glaves' warning not to.
    The fact that it improved tells me the lining is probably worn through somewhere, so time to replace that too.
    What else should be replaced at this point?
    Seals?

    Question 3: Would you do anything with the transmission, other than change the oil?
    (Mobil1 70w90 is in there right now.)
    Seals?
    Are there any known mods for slicker shifting for example?

    Question 4: Same question for the final drive.
    (same oil)

    Thanks.


    Edit:
    Question 5: Comments on this page?
    http://www.rbracing-rsr.com/bmw_clutches.html
    Last edited by scott.lambert; 06-16-2013 at 03:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    you have a PM

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post
    you have a PM
    PM...
    Personal Message ------- OH.

    duh

    I guess I'll just buy all the seals I will uncover and a full clutch kit.
    Don't know if it is better to just not disturb a non-leaking seal.

    Did you know, the new gear position switch is $118.37 ? Isn't that nice?
    A small price for making my life complete though. It just isn't, you know, with only odd numbers in it.
    I'm sure I'll look over at the RID after every shift to admire the powers of 2 as they come up.

    The stock clutch will be fine I guess.
    Just need to stay out of parking lots.

    So, new clutch, swap out the cheap oil and the cheap tires and I'll be ready to go to Salem in July, right?
    But I will have spent my trip money on parts.

    [RANT] I'll be ordering parts from places that do business online and answer my emails. [/RANT]

  4. #4
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    Speaking from direct experience, if you only replace the friction plate you WILL get reduced miles out of the clutch. Here is what I did:
    1. Main seal failed on my 94RS at about 68000 miles. I replaced only the friction plate, thinking I'd save money. New main seals installed.
    2. Clutch started slipping again at about 100000 miles, I again replaced the friction plate only, thinking I'd save money.
    3. Clutch slipped again by 125,000 miles (notice the progressive reduction in miles), so AGAIN, I am doing clutch work.

    The only money I saved was doing the work myself and learning a lot about the bike. BUT, cheap ass biker that I am, trying to reuse the pressure plate and clutch "housing" as its called, I did not notice the very shallow cone/taper wear on the plate surfaces. Each time I replaced only the friction plate, it developed a more narrow contact/wear area, and wore out sooner. I do not beat my bike at all, mostly all highway miles.

    Back in 06, at 125,000 miles I replaced the entire clutch assembly, as you should do. I now have over 50,000 miles on that last clutch job and its working great and should easily go 100,000 as most BMW dry clutches do when set up right and not oil fouled. Complete clutch assembly is close to $400 in parts alone. But do it right, once, or you WILL be doing it again, sooner.
    Last edited by ANDYVH; 06-18-2013 at 12:41 PM.
    Woodenshoe to Cheesehead

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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    Speaking from direct experience, if you only replace the friction plate you WILL get reduced miles out of the clutch. Here is what I did:
    1. Main seal failed on my 94RS at about 68000 miles. I replaced only the friction plate, thinking I'd save money. New main seals installed.
    2. Clutch started slipping again at about 100000 miles, I again replaced the friction plate only, thinking I'd save money.
    3. Clutch slipped again by 125,000 miles (notice the progressive reduction in miles), so AGAIN, I am doing clutch work.
    When I need to replace a clutch, I know who I'm calling. There is no substitute for experience.

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    I'm considering tackling a clutch change also in a few weeks, so it sounds like I should replace more than just the friction plate. What else is included in the whole assembly as recommended? I was going to use an aftermarket composite plate instead of the OEM BMW one. Should I also do the transmission seal as I've seen on some posts? My bike is a 95 1100RS.

    Thanks for any help.

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    Well I'm thinking about waiting until winter again now.
    ...or until it lunches


    Yep, gonna get the "kit" from BeemerBoneyard which is spring, pressure plate, and "cover".
    Have to decide between $100 oem friction plate or one that is oil-proof for about 3x.

    Should we replace seals or just look at 'em?

  8. #8
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    If the main seal isn't leaking, no reason to replace them. The early Oilheads, 93 and 94, were known to have main seal issues. Mine did, failed at about 65,000. I installed new main seal myself when I did the first clutch job on my 94 at 68,000 miles. I just replaced the starter on my 94 last Monday, and the area around the clutch that I could see is dry, no oil, at 172,000 miles. So the main seal I installed back in 98 has been good for over 100,000 miles.
    Woodenshoe to Cheesehead

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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    The early Oilheads, 93 and 94, were known to have main seal issues. Mine did, failed at about 65,000.
    What?! A known problem? Did BMW warranty this for you? Did they offer to cover the replacement of this oil seal if it failed within a 2 year period? Did you phone the president? Did you organise a mass ride to BMW headquarters? I see a poll being started here in the near future.

    Sorry, I kinda got away on myself.

  10. #10
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    Down boy, down, DOWN!!

    I know the feeling. My 94 RS had the other "known" problems; tranny, alternator pulley, handlebar mounts, all taken care of under warranty or campaign. In fact, BMW replaced the entire tranny on my bike at 68,000 miles, since it had reported/documented issues from day one. So, I wasn't gonna holler too much about a main seal issue.
    Woodenshoe to Cheesehead

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    Down boy, down, DOWN!!

    I know the feeling. My 94 RS had the other "known" problems; tranny, alternator pulley, handlebar mounts, all taken care of under warranty or campaign. In fact, BMW replaced the entire tranny on my bike at 68,000 miles, since it had reported/documented issues from day one. So, I wasn't gonna holler too much about a main seal issue.
    OK, now I know I'm in a fantasy world. BMW treated you fairly and took care of these issues? Don't tell anyone. It'll ruin some people's reason for being. OK, I'll shut up now.

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