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Thread: 1997 R1100RT, 60K Miles, Harsh 1-2 Upshift, 2nd comes out of gear, once and awhile.

  1. #1
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    1997 R1100RT, 60K Miles, Harsh 1-2 Upshift, 2nd comes out of gear, once and awhile.

    I should start by saying that I might have two weeks of riding left, we are seeing snow already. Any suggestions I get here will be undertaken during the winter, another long winter.

    The last two weeks, ambient temperatures have dropped to needing full gear and careful riding. Since the drop in temperatures, my 1997 R1100RT, 60K Miles, has started being cranky during up-shift from 1st to 2nd. There has been a noticeable "clash". The last few days, it has "popped" out of second gear on deceleration.

    It's just a transmission, nothing complicated, likely the dog for 2nd gear is a bit worn out or I have too much main shaft end play. That would be the usual explanation to those symptoms in any transmission.

    Here is where it gets complicated:

    I searched the forums looking for my symptoms in expectation that it might be problematic to this particular model of bike/transmission. What I found was a universal complaint of transmission problems being caused by lack of the clutch sliding on the input shaft. Sticky splines so to speak. I am due for doing a spline lube.

    My problem, I can't see why sticking splines would cause such a specific complaint and not a broader one as in "clash" of every gear and "popping" out of any gear regardless of cruise, acceleration, or deceleration.

    Weigh ins here will be sincerely appreciated but I can't promise that I won't try to find some humor and fun in your posts. Did I mention that I have a very long winter ahead and I use the time to find fun and drink beer?
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

  2. #2
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    I should start by saying that I might have two weeks of riding left, we are seeing snow already. Any suggestions I get here will be undertaken during the winter, another long winter.

    The last two weeks, ambient temperatures have dropped to needing full gear and careful riding. Since the drop in temperatures, my 1997 R1100RT, 60K Miles, has started being cranky during up-shift from 1st to 2nd. There has been a noticeable "clash". The last few days, it has "popped" out of second gear on deceleration.

    It's just a transmission, nothing complicated, likely the dog for 2nd gear is a bit worn out or I have too much main shaft end play. That would be the usual explanation to those symptoms in any transmission.

    Here is where it gets complicated:

    I searched the forums looking for my symptoms in expectation that it might be problematic to this particular model of bike/transmission. What I found was a universal complaint of transmission problems being caused by lack of the clutch sliding on the input shaft. Sticky splines so to speak. I am due for doing a spline lube.

    My problem, I can't see why sticking splines would cause such a specific complaint and not a broader one as in "clash" of every gear and "popping" out of any gear regardless of cruise, acceleration, or deceleration.

    Weigh ins here will be sincerely appreciated but I can't promise that I won't try to find some humor and fun in your posts. Did I mention that I have a very long winter ahead and I use the time to find fun and drink beer?
    Dry splines are most likely to impair downshifts rather than upshifts. The reason is the clutch disk needs to slide a little bit when the pressure plate releases so the disk isn't dragging on the clutch cover. If it drags on the clutch cover the transmission continues to have some torque from the engine applied and shifting is difficult. As I said, it impairs down shifts mostly but I wouldn't rule out rough upshifts in the lower gears.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  3. #3
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    I get hanging clutches, but this problem?

    I've had the OD of the splines on an input shaft wear into the ID of a clutch plate or in the case of a truck, both clutch plates. I've even seen dual mass clutches jam the torsion plate, they always caused gear clash in all gears and some cases, melted the synchros but so far, everything I have read on the BMWMOA forums says my problem is sticking clutch splines. I can't see it with my complaint.

    I'm looking to get smarter here by being proven I'm wrong.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

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    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    In your posts you've been clear that keeping it simple is always good. I tend to agree. When things start to feel sticky when I shifty the first thing I check is the state of lubrication on the for the shift lever bushings and the ball joints of the shift selctor rod. If they don't move freely... grease em up before you dig any further.

    Reason I mention this is mine got hard to shift and this whole mechanism was bone dry. Like metal on metal bone dry. Grease in the bushing, molykote in the ball joints fixed it right up.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  5. #5
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    This is not the "typical dry splines" issue.
    Several bikes ago, I also had a 97 RT. Since delivery on Day One, it was just not feeling "right" when shifting between second and third, either up or down. My dealer (Marty's) changed the trans oil at the first service (~600 miles). No change. At 2000 miles, they tried a different oil (non-BMW). No change. As the bike aged, it only got worse. Another different oil again made no difference. By about 20K miles, not only were these shifts grinding and clunking, but shifting up to 3rd would sometimes cause an outright bounce-back and rejection of the shift, resulting in a false neutral between 2nd and 3rd.
    The transmission was replaced under warranty.
    I've read a few times, in this forum, that the 96-97 trannies were a poor lot...
    Of course, the factory never actually told Marty's what the root cause was.

  6. #6
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    Now I have some concerns.

    Quote Originally Posted by happy wanderer View Post
    In your posts you've been clear that keeping it simple is always good. I tend to agree. When things start to feel sticky when I shifty the first thing I check is the state of lubrication on the for the shift lever bushings and the ball joints of the shift selctor rod. If they don't move freely... grease em up before you dig any further.

    Reason I mention this is mine got hard to shift and this whole mechanism was bone dry. Like metal on metal bone dry. Grease in the bushing, molykote in the ball joints fixed it right up.
    Thank you Happy Wanderer, I totally forgot about the most basic, simple mechanism. I took it apart this morning, it looked good. I used some heavy moly paste grease from Mevotech. It's the consistency of petroleum jelly. The shifter is definitely smoother but first to second, you need to snap your foot upwards and you hear a definite clash.

    Downshift from third to second is good and it doesn't pop out of gear then. I rarely downshift second to first. The bike is usually at a stand still when I do that as it has enough horsepower to carry it through low speeds so I seem to stay in second a great amount of time in the city at very low speeds.

    Reading Pauls1150 comments have me wondering. If this is an inherent problem to these transmissions, what is the problem? Pauls1150 is only one comment about inherent problems and seems to me I have read that before.

    Maybe if someone was to match my riding style, I might find out I don't have a problem at all? Wouldn't that be the simplest and best answer?
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

  7. #7
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    Thank you Happy Wanderer, I totally forgot about the most basic, simple mechanism. I took it apart this morning, it looked good. I used some heavy moly paste grease from Mevotech. It's the consistency of petroleum jelly. The shifter is definitely smoother but first to second, you need to snap your foot upwards and you hear a definite clash.

    Downshift from third to second is good and it doesn't pop out of gear then. I rarely downshift second to first. The bike is usually at a stand still when I do that as it has enough horsepower to carry it through low speeds so I seem to stay in second a great amount of time in the city at very low speeds.

    Reading Pauls1150 comments have me wondering. If this is an inherent problem to these transmissions, what is the problem? Pauls1150 is only one comment about inherent problems and seems to me I have read that before.

    Maybe if someone was to match my riding style, I might find out I don't have a problem at all? Wouldn't that be the simplest and best answer?
    Do you slightly preload the shifter before pulling in the clutch?
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  8. #8
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    I'm not sure, good question.

    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    Do you slightly preload the shifter before pulling in the clutch?
    That's a really good question. I am going out on Sunday if the weather is good and I will pay attention. When I report back, it will be interesting to get your comments.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

  9. #9
    Registered User GKman's Avatar
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    "...Since the drop in temperatures..."

    That might be a clue. Perhaps the higher viscosity at low temperatures added to wear or other problems puts the problem over the edge. Not that I would dream of using a fifty cent solution in reducing the viscosity when a two thousand dollar transmission tear-down is indicated....

  10. #10
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    I'm not pre-loading second gear up-shift.

    I looked at my habits, I'm not pre-loading the up-shift to second. I tried a bit of pre-load, way worse clash. I also tried shifting at lower RPM, about 2400, shifts nice bit the engine is working pretty hard to climb from there. At higher RPM, above 4200, won't go at all.

    This makes me wonder about the viscosity of the oil from GKman's comments. I am thinking the viscosity of the oil in the rear end. The tranny oil should be warm after the first few miles. If the oil in the diff is thick, I wonder if it's not like riding the rear brake a bit.

    I know in trucks, the tandems like to be heated up before the truck shifts nice but the temperatures are way colder when that occurs.

    At this point, it's looking like I'm rebuilding the tranny.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    At this point, it's looking like I'm rebuilding the tranny.
    Aaack!

    Did I miss someone else suggesting?:

    Change the transmission oil to fresh Mobil1 70w90 first.

  12. #12
    Left Coast Rider
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    I'm not a transmission mechanic but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    I'm thinking purely from position of logic...If this is a new issue you've never before experienced my guess is that a fluid change will not help and that you're going to be getting your hands dirty over the winter.

  13. #13
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    If I had more time left in the riding season.

    It was just too cold for me to ride today. I didn't feel all that enthused about putting on layers of clothing just for a quick tear. That pretty much means that I need to live with my problem until I can get my hands dirty. I can't see oil in the tranny deteriorating after 10,000 miles. I used Castrol Syntec 75W90 and if it breaks down that fast, I should have noticed it in other vehicles as well. Mobil 1, gear or engine oil has always proven to be a great product for me but the dealer here is very expensive and brings in specific stock only.

    It looks like I will need a few evenings at a Holiday Inn Express and tear into this problem.

    I am still looking for a reason why they say these trannys are problematic. If stuff didn't blow up, I would never have earned a living fixing them.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    I can't see oil in the tranny deteriorating after 10,000 miles. I used Castrol Syntec 75W90
    yup.

  15. #15
    JohnWC
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    [QUOTE
    I've read a few times, in this forum, that the 96-97 trannies were a poor lot...[/QUOTE]

    I have a 96 1100RT and have done a lot of reading on this issue, although not much on it lately. I'm certainly not any expert on transmissions at this point, but I too doubt that changing the fluid, or preloading the clutch is the heart of the problem. From my reading is seemed that these year bikes had the M94 transmissions, which indeed had several problems. There is a lot of information on this issue on this site. Fortunately for me the previous owner of my bike was really good about taking care of the bike. It must have developed transmission problems, and he ended up sending the transmission to Anton Largiader for a total rebuild. I have the receipt for the work done and I believe one thing was "beveling the gears". It was around $1200 for the work. Pretty expensive at this point for a bike as old as mine, or yours, is now. But, on the very positive side, I never worry about transmission problems. I would tackle most repair jobs on my bike, but I doubt the transmission would be one of them. That seems to require a healthy amount of knowledge, special tools, and knowing what expensive part to replace/alter. I would suggest calling Anton and getting his professional opinion. He seems to be the expert on working on these transmissions. His website is full of information. A used transmission from someone like Beemer Boneyard might be the most practical. You could use the M97 transmission, a direct replacement, I believe, which is supposed to be much better.

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