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Thread: 2013 k1600 14,500 miles Cracked Piston!

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Again, I suggest the best bet is for the dealer to have help from BMW. Recall also that with a bit of help dealers were indeed able to "repair" the S1000RR engines with untightened rod bolts. Saw one under construction and it was a pretty major tear down.

    Most owners and forum posters are not qualified to determine whether a new engine or more than one piston is required. This isn't the same as bodywork and there's nothing wrong with repair.
    Hmmmm IKchris: I'm not sure how to take your post. Perhaps "some" owners/posters are not qualified in making a determination, but that's painting with a really broad brush when you know nothing about the owners and posters backgrounds, mechanical or otherwise. I won't bore you to death with small details about my past, but take a good look at a K1600 and tell me what you see? This isn't a run of the mill straight 6 engine out of a Jeep Wrangler. This is a high tech piece of machinery that requires only the most knowledgeable and experienced technician working on it, not some schlepp fresh from the oil change rack.

    Second, I have never in all my motoring life heard of a piston magically and mysteriously cracking at 14,500 miles. Pistons just don't do that for no reason. If a defective piston is installed in a hi-po engine it is going to fail within a very short time span. Something else caused the problem and this hasn't been investigated near well enough. Replacing the piston and hoping that nothing else goes to he** again is completely unacceptable. A cracked piston is a major situation and shouldn't be taken lightly by anyone.

    This issue throws a real red flag up for longevity of the K1600. Is this a one time problem, or is this the start of another major issue for K1600 owners as if there aren't enough already? The jury is still out on that one, but if BMW had an once of brains they would gladly replace the engine with a new one and try to keep this issue under the radar. My guess is they won't do that and they will take the cheapest way out.

    Rick

  2. #17
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorcop@wi.rr.com View Post
    Hmmmm IKchris: I'm not sure how to take your post. Perhaps "some" owners/posters are not qualified in making a determination, but that's painting with a really broad brush when you know nothing about the owners and posters backgrounds, mechanical or otherwise.
    Oh, not at all.

    Those qualified exist in a chain beginning with the dealer and the training received from BMW by personnel there. Then it's BMW USA's technical reps. Then it's the BMW engineers in Germany, including possibly those at Ricardo, who actually designed this engine. Perhaps also the technical people at the company that produced the piston. Maybe the fuel injection supplier folks, if analysis indicates their product contributed.

    NONE of the folks posting here are part of that chain (and it's easy to conclude few have the contacts) and therefore NONE are qualified. Me either, but I understand and have participated in the process for other engineered products.

    Big worry is whether dealer makes use of all BMW resources listed.
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    Hard to believe that Motorrad would want to piece meal a fix in this instance and risk further issues on the same unit. Minimum effort here should be new long block from the factory complete with everything that plugs into or hangs off of it. Reset warranty to zero miles and three more years. Send motor back to Germany and let the folks figure out what happened.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridefar View Post
    Hard to believe that Motorrad would want to piece meal a fix in this instance and risk further issues on the same unit. Minimum effort here should be new long block from the factory complete with everything that plugs into or hangs off of it. Reset warranty to zero miles and three more years. Send motor back to Germany and let the folks figure out what happened.
    That would be the minimum I would settle for. I have two bikes and if one was down with warranty problems I would be in no hurry to get it fixed.
    Dave
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridefar View Post
    Hard to believe that Motorrad would want to piece meal a fix in this instance and risk further issues on the same unit. Minimum effort here should be new long block from the factory complete with everything that plugs into or hangs off of it. Reset warranty to zero miles and three more years. Send motor back to Germany and let the folks figure out what happened.
    Ridefar: You raise a very valid point and one that makes a ton of sense. There should be some concern based on the design of the K1600 that a cracked piston at relatively low mileage is nothing to take lightly. Let's face it, I would want to know at a corporate level if this is a telltale sign of things to come or is it a one time flaw that created the problem. Had BMW taken a course of greater concern when final drives started failing in the 1200 LT perhaps a lot of customers could have been spared the expense and inconvenience of an obvious design flaw. The same can be said about failed water pumps and electrical switches, but at a lesser level than a blown piston.

    The "right" thing to do would be send an engine to the dealer and swap it out with the old one and extend the warranty on the new engine. The old engine could then be sent back to the power train engineers at BMW for a detailed disassembly and analysis of what caused the failed piston. The whole problem with this train of thought is that is goes completely against the current line of thinking at BMW because this would require some expenditure of time and money which they have shown by word and deed to have no interest in doing. An absolute bare minimum repair should involve replacement of ALL six pistons not just one to help restore some customer confidence that this isn't going to happen again at some point.

    So unless my guess is wrong and I would love to have to eat my words, the OP's engine will be repaired as cheaply as possible with an absolute minimum of parts and labor and pushed out the door. The people at the dealership will keep their fingers crossed that nothing happens to it at least in the short term and the bean counters at BMW will pat themselves on the back for once again taking the cheap road thereby saving money for the company. The ultimate loser though will be the OP/customer who will forever wonder every time he pushes the "start" button if his bike will start and will it complete the trip.

    Rick

  6. #21
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    I had the (dis)pleasure of working with a German engineer once. The attitude of German superiority was strong in him. The idea that one of his designs might have a flaw could not make it thru his thick skull. It was our fault for using it wrong. Even when it broke for him, then it was inferior American parts. Which he specified since there are not many German made electronic components anymore.

    I have heard this exists on a wider scale, and is possibly what is going on here.

    Rod

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post
    I had the (dis)pleasure of working with a German engineer once. The attitude of German superiority was strong in him. The idea that one of his designs might have a flaw could not make it thru his thick skull. It was our fault for using it wrong. Even when it broke for him, then it was inferior American parts. Which he specified since there are not many German made electronic components anymore.

    I have heard this exists on a wider scale, and is possibly what is going on here.

    Rod
    I worked in the automotive industry and had to deal with VW & BMW and can't tell you that their attitude is they CAN DO NO WRONG and HAVE DONE KNOW WRONG. It is never their fault and they very reluctantly will take care of an issue but will NEVER admit to fault at any point. Stupid proud bastards.

  8. #23
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    the cheap fix is, grab a complete engine off the assembly line, crate it, ship,it to the dealer with complete warranty, put the busted engine in same crate and ship it back to BMW engineers. The expensive way is to piece meal the fix. Public relations in a company's favor are way more expensive than an engine.

    Just looking at the heavy paper bag with an s type bike leaned over in which a T-shirt was packaged at a dealer. Way over designed obviously for PR and customer satisfaction, probably costing into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. A shopping bag which likely will be tossed into the recycle bin? Or a happy bike purchasing return customer, costing maybe ten grand? seems like a no-brainier, two sense.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8ninety8 View Post
    the cheap fix is, grab a complete engine off the assembly line, crate it, ship,it to the dealer with complete warranty, put the busted engine in same crate and ship it back to BMW engineers. The expensive way is to piece meal the fix. Public relations in a company's favor are way more expensive than an engine.

    Just looking at the heavy paper bag with an s type bike leaned over in which a T-shirt was packaged at a dealer. Way over designed obviously for PR and customer satisfaction, probably costing into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. A shopping bag which likely will be tossed into the recycle bin? Or a happy bike purchasing return customer, costing maybe ten grand? seems like a no-brainier, two sense.
    It's only expensive for the OP as they want to get the bike beyond the warranty period. After that, it's on the OP's dime.

    When I worked for an Apple Authorized Repair shop, Apple trained and encouraged techs to use the cheapest repair possible as the first repair done on a computer. After getting more experienced and using our own common sense, we could and would skip Apple's recommendations and fix what needed to be fixed right. The difference is that in 99.9% of the cases I didn't need Apple's permission to do X repair a certain way as it seems with BMW. In either case though, the cheap way out is the primary driver in both cases and couple that with arrogance and it's not the best situation for the bike owner.
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8ninety8 View Post
    the cheap fix is, grab a complete engine off the assembly line, crate it, ship,it to the dealer with complete warranty, put the busted engine in same crate and ship it back to BMW engineers. The expensive way is to piece meal the fix. Public relations in a company's favor are way more expensive than an engine.

    Just looking at the heavy paper bag with an s type bike leaned over in which a T-shirt was packaged at a dealer. Way over designed obviousllow. y for PR and customer satisfaction, probably costing into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. A shopping bag which likely will be tossed into the recycle bin? Or a happy bike purchasing return customer, costing maybe ten grand? seems like a no-brainier, two sense.
    In today's world of business as taught in business school, you use just in time inventory. This means NO SPARES so when, not if, when, something goes wrong there are NO SPARES. If you grab a spare engine off the line, everything goes to hell very quickly. So that will not happen. I am sure that there were meetings, to determine the correct level of spares, this engine was so good of course the spares level was low or zero. So to get a spare engine, it needs to be planned and produced, while the OP sits without a bike. BMW is not the only mfg to have this problem.

    Then the complete engine does not get shipped back for failure analysis. A possible problem is not detected etc.

    Rod

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post
    In today's world of business as taught in business school, you use just in time inventory. This means NO SPARES so when, not if, when, something goes wrong there are NO SPARES. If you grab a spare engine off the line, everything goes to hell very quickly. So that will not happen. I am sure that there were meetings, to determine the correct level of spares, this engine was so good of course the spares level was low or zero. So to get a spare engine, it needs to be planned and produced, while the OP sits without a bike. BMW is not the only mfg to have this problem.

    Then the complete engine does not get shipped back for failure analysis. A possible problem is not detected etc.

    Rod
    I remember when the Northstar engine came out, Cadillac didn't allow R&R of the original engine, but would put a new one in and send the old one back for examination. This was before JIT, but I guess they cared more about reputation and quality than some others.
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponch1 View Post
    I remember when the Northstar engine came out, Cadillac didn't allow R&R of the original engine, but would put a new one in and send the old one back for examination. This was before JIT, but I guess they cared more about reputation and quality than some others.
    BMW did exactly the same thing with the early Oilhead transmissions.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    BMW did exactly the same thing with the early Oilhead transmissions.
    What was the problem with them?
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  14. #29
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    Poor shifting (grinding + rejections) plus false neutrals; and it got worse with mileage. My shop was able to duplicate the issue every time, so zero hassle with the warranty exchange.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    Poor shifting (grinding + rejections) plus false neutrals; and it got worse with mileage. My shop was able to duplicate the issue every time, so zero hassle with the warranty exchange.
    Yup, I think we all got new trannys back then. However, BMW appeared to be a bit looser with their warranty $'s back then. They even replaced failed Showa shocks early on, then stopped that.

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